"Abandon executions: Death penalty unfair, illogical and costly," is the Lexington Herald-Leader OpEd written by Brian Cooney, an emeritus professor of philosophy at Centre College.
Last December, the ABA released the results of a two-year study by its Kentucky Assessment Team on the Death Penalty. The team included eight distinguished Kentucky jurists, two of whom were retired state supreme court judges. They unanimously recommended halting executions until "serious problems" were addressed. Among their disturbing findings.
On Oct. 17, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, citing the findings of the ABA committee, sent to each member of the General Assembly and to the governor a resolution calling for outright abolition. It was this resolution that prompted the New York Times editorial also calling for abolition.
Why abolition rather than a moratorium to give us time to eliminate the abuses? Even reform of the death penalty system cannot rule out executions of innocent people. The injustice of a wrongful conviction can never be rectified if the convicted person is killed.
We have to ask ourselves what good we accomplish by executing murderers rather than imprisoning them for life without parole (a sentence available in Kentucky). There is no evidence to suggest that the death penalty has a greater deterrent effect than a life sentence.
"State moves away from death penalty," is the North Carolina editorial published by the Jacksonville Daily News.
In 2012, juries in North Carolina refused to sentence a single defendant to death, according to a report that recently appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer.
The report indicated that not only has no one been sentenced to death in the state during the year, but that no cases that could result in a death penalty are pending trial. That’s the first time the public has set something of a voluntary moratorium on the harshest of sentences in decades.
While killing the perpetrator resolves the immediate problem, it leaves a moral blight on the culture that orders and condones such a killing. It is much more honorable to remove from society forever such a person, but not compound his or her crime by emulating it.
Seattle's KIRO-FM reports, "Relatives of murder victims oppose death penalty." It's by Tim Haeck.
Relatives of murder victims in Washington hope their voices carry some extra weight in the debate over the death penalty.
Retiring State Senator Debbie Regala, D-Tacoma, was among a group of death penalty critics speaking out in Olympia Thursday. The six-term state lawmaker has a personal story to share.
"In 1980, my brother-in-law was murdered and his body was dumped in a park in Seattle," Regala told KIRO Radio. His killer was never prosecuted.
Still, she favors abolishing the death penalty. "We spend six to ten times as much money pursuing a death penalty as we would if we went for life without the possibility of parole," claimed Regala.
"When we look at the high cost, the staggering amount of money that gets spent on this, that money could be so much better used in giving police officers better tools to prevent crime, tools for helping solve some of these cold cases."