Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mental Illness and the Death Penalty

The Tuscon Citizen published an article about the never-ending problems with the Death Penalty.

Lately there have been stories in the news about people that were given the death penalty(capital punishment) and executed only to find out later through modern DNA testing that the wrong person was killed. That in and of itself is enough to give pause before taking some one’s life for a crime, but what about when the person is seriously mentally ill and symptomatic when a crime is committed?

Amnesty International believes that “The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state in the name of justice. It violates the right to life…It is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. There can never be any justification for torture or for cruel treatment.”

What's your opinion? Is Amnesty International right when they say the "death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights?" I certainly think so.

At the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) annual convention in San Francisco last summer families of murder victims joined with families of persons with mental illness who have been executed to speak out against the death penalty.

Double Tragedies, a report released at the convention, calls the death penalty “inappropriate and unwarranted” for people with severe mental disorders and “a distraction from problems within the mental health system that contributed or even directly lead to tragic violence.”

Please leave a comment.

No comments:

Post a Comment