Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Death Penalty is Unneccessary

The execution of murderers is unnecessary.  I won’t make it a moral issue and say it is wrong, even though the risks involved might make it so.  The death penalty is risky simply because of the lack of checks and balances in the justice system.  Yes, it is true that the convicted have many opportunities to appeal, but are these appeals really taken seriously.  There have been too many instances where prosecutors have behaved, at the least badly, and at the worst illegally themselves.  It is odd to me that the justice system of the United States appears to be interested only in the conviction rate, not in making certain that the correct person is apprehended and punished. Box scores are inappropriate in judging how effective a justice system is.  In my state, North Carolina, we have had occasions where the prosecutors and governor refuse to reconsider a case even in the face of new evidence.  The typical response is “The jury has spoken” which is true but did they have enough information to decide?

We all know of DNA rescues, death bed confessions by others, and accidental evidence finding while investigating another case, why then, do members of the prosecutorial side resist making amends?  The death penalty does something else; it coarsens society itself making life taking that much easier.  It also excuses abortion, which is amazing from both points of view.  The pro-choice side is opposed to the death penalty  yet endorse abortion, and pro-life is generally in favor the death penalty but opposed to abortion; go figure.

Why not consider an alternative?  I have for years proposed that murderers should not be executed simply because death is too easy for them.  This is especially true in the case of torture killings and child murder.  It is my opinion that these criminals should be housed in someplace cold like Alaska, North Dakota, and Idaho, someplace where escape is not an option.  They should be kept in solitary confinement, no communication with their families, television, newspapers, magazines, and take their meals alone in their cell.  This is equivalent to death without putting pressure on society.  When these murderers die in prison their families may be given the option to claim the body or they will be buried in the prison graveyard.  The graveyard should be visible from the prison to remind these monsters of what awaits them.

In every case new evidence must considered and the prosecutors may have little or no say so in the matter.  I also propose that prosecutors that “railroad” a suspect should be severely disciplined with a minimum prison sentence of five years hard time with no chance parole.  It is time to realize that technology makes it possible to prove innocence and there is no need to execute criminals to punish them.

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