There are too many instances of innocent men and women being sentenced to death, of people of color, both defendants and victims, being treated more harshly, and dealt with as if they were expendable.
This is why New Jersey abolished the death penalty in 2007, and why we fully expect other states will follow.Americans would be appalled to discover how much of their tax dollars support the flawed, ineffective death penalty system. For example, it costs Florida $51 million a year to enforce the death penalty above what it would cost to sentence first degree murderers to life in prison without parole.
I'm a big fan of hers. I subscribe to her organization's newsletter. But I believe she has it wrong. The reason we oppose the death penalty is because it's morally wrong, period. It's true that innocents may have been executed and that blacks and hispanics fare worse than whites in the system and that it's tremendously expensive to manage, but those are not the reasons we oppose it. We oppose it because it's morally and ethically wrong.
Of course, these side benefits of abolition could be persuasive where ethics and morals are not, in which case, I wouldn't want to quibble. But I think in any discussion of the death penalty we should be careful not to overlook the major reason for abolition.
What's your opinion? Do you think Ms. Rust-Tierney would still oppose capital punishment if no innocents were ever convicted and if no discrimination ever existed and if it were cost effective? I think yes. She would.
What do you think?