Kingston, New York's Daily Freeman publishes the editorial,"Capital punishment and our culture of violence." Here's the beginning:
For the 500th time since reinstituting the death penalty in 1982, Texas executed an inmate last week.
Her name was Kimberly McCarthy, 52, who murdered her 71-year-old neighbor during a 1997 robbery.
Two other killings are said to have been linked to McCarthy, who became the third female in three years to be executed in this country.
According to The Associated Press, there have been more than 1,300 executions in the U.S. since the Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976. About 40 percent of the executions have been in Texas. Thirty-two states have approved capital punishment.
It’s barbaric and tragically symbolic of our violent nation.
The eye-for-an-eye mentality that dates back to the beginning of civilization may be understandable on a personal level.
But the death penalty hasn’t proven to be a deterrent. And there is always the possibility of wrongful convictions in our imperfect justice system.
Pat Monks posts, "Is Texas executing justice?" at the Daily Caller, a conservative blog. He's a Harris County Republican Precinct Chair, a member of the board of directors of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and a founding member of the national group Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty.
Last Wednesday, Texas executed Kimberly McCarthy, the 500th inmate to be executed by the state since it reinstated the death penalty in 1976. But I’m not celebrating. Like many conservatives, I oppose the death penalty and I shudder when I think back to the September 2011 GOP presidential debate where the crowd applauded Governor Rick Perry’s record on the death penalty. As a lifelong Texan and conservative Republican, I think this latest execution represents a sad and solemn milestone.
My great state of Texas, whose traditions and values I hold dear, has the death penalty all wrong. But the state’s large number of executions — since the Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume 37 years ago, Texas has accounted for 40 percent of all executions in the United States — is only part of the story.
Liberty-loving conservatives are waking up to the risk of executing innocent people, as well as the outrageous expense of capital trials and their endless appeals. Many of us now realize the death penalty does nothing to make us safer and does not deter killers. Despite all its executions, Texas had the 23rd highest murder rate in the nation in 2011.
Today, America is shifting away from the death penalty. Six states have repealed capital punishment in the past six years and the pace of executions is slowing everywhere as fewer inmates are sentenced to death. In Texas, the imposition of the death penalty peaked in 1999, when four-dozen people were put on death row; only nine people were put on death row last year.
Earlier coverage of Texas' 500th post-Furman execution begins at the link.