Saturday, June 22, 2013

It Must Be Okay. The Government's Doing It.

1. Statistically, the death penalty is not a deterrent to violent crime.

2. It's more expensive to execute someone than to keep them in prison for life.

3. The five countries carrying out the most executions in the world: China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the United States of America.

4. Studies indicate there is significant bias in the application of the death penalty

You're more likely to end up on death row if you kill a white person than a black person, and black defendants are more likely to get the death penalty than white defendants. I can't help but feel more people would be up in arms if I reported, "Women are more likely to get the death penalty than men," or "Christians are more likely to get the death penalty than atheists." For some reason, different prejudices weigh differently on our national conscience, and the undeniable racial bias in our application of the death penalty is much too easily dismissed, or worse, accepted.

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5. Many claim those on death row are career criminals who just plain "deserve to die." And also, who cares about the details of their particular situations, "it doesn't change the fact that the world is just better off without them." 

Do we not realize, these are the same dehumanizing arguments used to justify abortion and euthanasia, especially of those who veer from the norm of our mental or physical expectations, those who are weak, disabled, or sick? In every person, always, regardless of past or present situations, is hope, is potential, is the opportunity to love and be loved. To write off just one person begins the process of writing off any one person.

6. If we can protect society by a sentence of life in prison without parole, then the only remaining reason for someone to support the death penalty is revenge.

7. Revenge sucks. It is not sweet. Even less so when exacted with prejudice, an exorbitant amount of money, and no additional provision of public safety.

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