Sunday, February 25, 2007

Abolish the Death Penalty

I've commented about this before and I'm sure I will again, until the day the United States joins the the civilized world and puts the death penalty to rest. It's barbaric, ineffective as a deterrent, prone to error, and unfairly administered. Any one of those reasons should be sufficient for this uniquely irreversible form of "punishment" to be banished, and I hope in my life time it will be.

What prompts me to write today is a Comment in The Nation (February 26 issue) by Sunil Dutta, a police officer in L.A. He observes that as a society we spend far more resources dealing with the application of this punishment than we do in attending to the needs of victims. The answer? Dutta says,
"An effective alternative tot he death penalty already exists. Life in prison without parole is moral, practical and far less expensive than the complicted and flawed process that leads to the death chamber. With life imprisonment, the murder is removed from society and forgotten, so that attention can be turned to the victim's family and their needs."
I would add that in those instances (fortunately few) where errors are made, life improsonment is a mistake that can be corrected.

1 comment:

Catzmaw said...

After 20 years in the legal system I agree with you completely. If people had any understanding of the many different levels upon which mistakes can be made, and the inertia in the system which will not allow police officers, judges, witnesses, or judges to admit to or even rectify a mistake, they would not be so enthusiastic for the death penalty.