Monday, 1 December 2008
Gradually, most of the civilized world has
Pro-death----Revenge mentality; Gradually, most of the civilized world has
abolished the death penalty. Conscientious people everywhere now realize
that killing prisoners is a medieval barbarism suited for dictatorships,
but not for modern democracies.
Gradually, most of the civilized world has abolished the death penalty.
Conscientious people everywhere now realize that killing prisoners is a
medieval barbarism suited for dictatorships, but not for modern
Of course, some murderers don't deserve to live, but that's not the point.
Educated, enlightened governments shouldn't stoop to the murderers' level
by killing them.
Of course, most people have a natural thirst for revenge after a heinous
crime - but society shouldn't be rooted in such primal instincts.
It's a shame that America is almost the last pro-death democracy, ranking
alongside brutal dictatorships such as China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the
like. America was tainted, for example, when former Texas Gov. George W.
Bush set an all-time record of putting people to death - and mocked one
woman about to be killed.
We're proud that West Virginia rose above this status long ago by ending
state executions. We're always pleased when another state takes the same
step. New Jersey did so last year.
Now it seems likely that Maryland will follow. The Maryland Commission on
Capital Punishment voted strongly to eliminate executions. The
commission's findings, to be given to legislators Dec. 15, reportedly
--Prosecutors are more likely to seek death when victims are white. They
show less concern when a black is killed.
--Executions do not deter murders.
--Capital cases cost taxpayers much more and take substantially longer
than non-capital murder cases.
--Rather than providing "closure" for a victim's family, the drawn-out
appeal process adds to the family's stress.
--Risk of executing an innocent person is strong, because many death row
convictions have been found faulty.The ultimate punishment is spotty by
geography. Prosecutors in Baltimore County are 13 times more likely to
seek execution than are those in the city of Baltimore. Much of the world
regards America as a brutal place where people are put to death. We hope
that Maryland and other states join West Virginia in rising above that
(source: Editorial, The Charleston Gazette)