Another thought

Posted by Chuck Charlton in a conversation on the WELL, and posted here with his permission:

“The death penalty does not exist to punish the guilty. It exists to aggrandize the egos of the penalizors. Correlation between legality and result are irrelevant.”

Chuck made this statement in a discussion of this news story: Expert says fire for which father was executed was not arson

One Response to “Another thought”

  1. Steven Gayle says:

    I believe that the only honest rationale supporting the death penalty is the notion that some murders are so henious that the only possible payback is death. This notion probably comes our DNA.
    If you think this is a good basis for criminal justice policy, the next question becomes: are you willing to sacrifice some innocent people in order to achieve this objective?
    That innocent people will be executed is a certainity — humankind is not capable of devising an error free system of criminal justice. This is vividily illustrated in Mr. Willinghgam’s case. It is also demonstrated by the reversal of countless other convictions where DNA evidence has shown the innocence of wrongfully convicted persons.
    Justice Scalia has acknowledged as muich in a recent opinion — in his judgement, the execution of innocent persons is a price he is willing to pay in order to have a death penalty.
    As for me, I am not willing to have the blood of innocents on my hands. I am also unwilling to entrust my government with the task of deciding which prisoner shall live and which shall die.
    That the state of California could also realize a budget savings of one billion dollars should really seal the deal — abolish the death penalty.

    Steven Gayle
    San Francisco

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