I used to be in favor of the death penalty. It was years, no, decades ago. What was it that made me anti-death penalty, today I can’t say other than I came to a conclusion that the death penalty was not about justice for victims, but rather revenge from society. It’s shameful to have to say that even today, the majority of Americans still support this barbaric punishment.
There are people that have committed horrific crimes, but does putting them to death resolve anything for society in general or for the families that have suffered? I argue no. I say that as a conservtive, someone most believe would absolutely support executions. Murdering a murderer though, is not justice. There’s no such thing as “closure” for those familiy members who’ve lost someone, who are themselves victims, because some evil person has decided that even robbing a convenience store requires killing the clerk. How does killing the killer ever provide closure for those family members? It doesn’t. Their loved one is gone, forever, and nothing the state can do, even sentencing the perpetrator to death, will ever bring them peace.
Revenge is not an appropriate way for the justice system to work. Yes, we all want revenge, there are heinous crimes that have occurred in our lifetime and it’s appropriate for those victims, as well as the rest of society to demand that justice be done; Bring the perpetrator to trial, place the convicted in prision, for life if it’s justified. How does killing the same resolve anything? Of course it doesn’t. Bad people are bad people and because we execute numerous people every year, and the rate of those going to the death chamber has not declined.
Many anti-death penalty advocates bring up the cost to execute someone, and yes, they’re all true, but that’s only one part of the whole picture. What about those that have been sentenced that are actually innocent? In this country, many have been retried based on new evodence, or just released based on prosecutorial malfensense (keeping possible exculpatory evidence away from the defense). How is it we may rush to judgement on a flawed legal system? We can’t and shoudn’t.
But what about those where there is absolutely no doubt that they committed the crime? Every piece of evidence, including DNA, shows that yes, they committed the crime. Why not put those same to death? I again come back and ask, to what purpose? Will executing one killer prevent someone else from committing a similar crime? Statistics (from the Department of Justice) show that it doesn’t. It may make you – a random person in society – feel better, but it does nothing to prevent the same crimes occurring over and over again.
I could go on and on, cite statistics, quote personal stories from victims, and more; But I wont here. An incredible resource is my good friend Godless_Mom whos written a series about the death penalty that should raise anyone’s eyebrows., It’s a compelling series and I encourage everyone reafing here to take the time. You may discover something you didn;t know before (In fact, /i guarntee you will). She’s also updating the series here, but strt with the original. If you’re still an advocate for the death penalty after reading the original series, well, nothing any of us could say would change your mind.
It doesn’t make you a bad person for supporting the death penalty, I think it’s really about being uninformed. The more we all know about this practice, the better, and the more minds that can be changed. Let’s end this now.