17 December 2007

Banning the Death Penalty

So it seems that New Jersey has now banned the death penalty. I don't really know how
to feel about this. Their reason against the death penalty is because "government cannot provide a fool-proof death penalty that precludes the possibility of executing the innocent." Ok, sure, that's a pretty good reason to do it. But then I ask, why is it ok to imprison the presumed
innocent prisoner for life without possibility of parole? Either way, you're taking his life away.

A related subject is the overcrowding of prisons. I guess New Jersey doesn't have this problem. Granted, the 8 men who had been on the state's death row probably won't overburden the state's prisons anyway. I guess the death penalty shouldn't be seen as a way to clean out our
prisons either, but still. Why were these men given the death penalty? Someone who makes that kind of call obviously thought this was the solution to dealing with them and their crimes. I just don't know what to even make of it. Thoughts?


wolff said...

that state hasn't executed anyone in like 50 years, so it's not like it makes a huge difference either way. I doubt many other states will follow suit. The governor was probably trying to preempt a supreme court ruling so he could be the first to say, oh yeah we'd already done that.

IO said...

Well, 35 years. Still, could you imagine being on death row and just wondering when they're going to actually take you out back and string you up? That would probably be the worst part of the process.

I agree that this was probably just a political stunt. Still, it brings up the question of whether it's right at all. I was really bringing attention to their supposed reason for banning the death penalty.

Manda said...

Well, generally people who are judged innocent aren't imprisoned for life, they're set free. There have been way too many causes of people on death row being exculpated years later by DNA evidence to say "Kill them all!" I'm all for keeping people around for several years to be absolutely certain before going ahead and killing them, but there are some crimes where the person who committed them should never, ever, walk free in society again, and the death penalty is the most effective way to ensure they don't. The problem is proving that the person on death row is actually the one who committed the crime. But if they are, if there's incontrovertible evidence, kill the bastard.