[Deathpenalty]death penalty news --- USA
j_sommer at gmx.net
Thu Apr 7 19:21:59 CDT 2005
death penalty news
April 7, 2005
The death penalty necessary justice for criminals found guilty
It may be the most ominous walk in the world. A mere 20 yards from a stark
death row cell to the death chamber - arguably the loneliest and most
despairing juncture in a human life.
Now, the moments preceding this annihilation of a life is bizarre, at best.
The accused is offered a last meal of their choice: lobster, steak,
pheasant and truffles? He is kindly given some solace while talking to a
spiritual advisor or religious leader of their faith.
Finally, he is offered an opportunity to unite with friends and loved ones.
Now, the convict solemnly takes his final walk down the bare hallway
leading to the place where he knows, with an almost inescapable degree of
certainty, he will take his last breath.
This is the place he will die.
How can a supposedly civilized society extract its justice from a system of
vengeance like this? It's simple.
These people, convicted beyond a reasonable doubt, will die in a way that
neither you nor I are ever likely to be so lucky, or entitled to experience.
Assorted methods are used across the country to carry out executions.
At Raiford, Florida's execution site, convicts enter the room and are
strapped to a gurney.
After being asked if they have any last words and the final order from an
official is given, they are injected with a painkiller and anesthesia, to
render them unconscious and ensure they feel absolutely no pain.
They drift off into a peaceful, painless slumber. A fatal mix of drugs then
begins its journey into their veins to stop the heart and force the
cessation of life.
It is quiet, peaceful, serene and absolutely painless. The offender's
exodus from the world is a luxury.
A luxury that their victims - who may have begged for their lives, who may
have been tortured or abused - never had.
There are those bleeding hearts that will tell you that the death penalty
has never served as a deterrent to crime.
Statistics tell me that not a single executed convict has ever committed
another crime. That is proof enough for me.
"The death penalty should not only be kept in place, but also enforced more
quickly. Those sentenced to the death penalty that spend years, if not
decades, on death row are spending taxpayers money to stay in almost
luxurious prisons," said sophomore Lindsey Donaldson.
With the current state of criminology, DNA and forensic science, it is a
virtual certainty that the convicted are, in reality, the perpetrators.
Of the prisoners exonerated in the last five years, the majority were
convicted prior to the 1990s.
This fact proves that while there still may be a margin for error, it is
dwindling with time and remarkable technological breakthroughs.
On Feb. 26, an article in The Boston Globe announced that a group of
lawmakers in Springfield are aiming to terminate Illinois' moratorium on
death penalty executions.
Rather than adhere to the reasonable-doubt clause, they hope to abide
instead by "guilt beyond any doubt" when formulating a conclusion during
the penalty phase in a capitol case.
The lawmakers believe this will minimize the risk of putting the wrong
person to death because it will eliminate any chance of error, only
sentencing those who have been proven guilty beyond any doubt to death.
In other words, those criminals with blood on their hands.
"The death penalty should be used in extreme cases only, like when a person
has brutally killed people. But in reality, I don't think I'm for it. I
think the worst punishment in life is to spend it in prison, thinking about
the crime you've committed day in and day out," said junior Alethea Perez.
I truly hurt for that one man or woman wrongly accused and convicted.
But, not nearly as much as I hurt for the victims and families of the Ted
Bundys, John Wayne Gacys, Jeffrey Dahmers and Charles Mansons of the world.
As a result of our insistence that the rights of the accused weigh more
than the rights of the victims, these men could be stalking you and your
children right now.
So, which innocents have greater rights?
(source: Opinion, The Beacon)
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