Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Death Penalty Is On the Way Out

As long as the possibility exists for an innocent person to be put to death--and it has happened--the death penalty serves no purpose at all. Furthermore, it is extremely expensive and wasteful.

Even Texas, once the execution capital of the United States, is backing away from the ultimate penalty:

Even in Texas, which leads the nation in executions since 1976 (when the U.S. Supreme Court approved the practice after a brief moratorium), the wheels are coming off the bandwagon. From a peak of 40 executions in 2000, the Lone Star State put 10 prisoners to death last year and seven so far in 2015. According to the state’s Department of Corrections, the number of new death sentences imposed by Texas courts this year is precisely zero. There, as elsewhere, prosecutors, judges and jurors are concluding that the modern death penalty is a failed experiment.

The shift is more pragmatic than moral, as Americans realize that our balky system of state-sanctioned killing simply isn’t fixable. As a leader of the Georgia Republican Party, attorney David J. Burge, recently put it, “Capital punishment runs counter to core conservative principles of life, fiscal responsibility and limited government. The reality is that capital punishment is nothing more than an expensive, wasteful and risky government program.”

It's time to get rid of it once and for all.

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