Is the title of an OpEd by Matthew T. Mangino, published in the Youngstown Vindicator. He is of counsel with Luxenberg, Garbett, Kelly and George and the former district attorney for Lawrence County, Pa.
Life ended recently for two men on death row, one in Texas and one right here in Ohio.
The deaths — very different — occurred less than a week apart and demonstrated the inequities of the death penalty.
On the last day of July, Texas executed Douglas Feldman, a former financial analyst and magna cum laude graduate of Southern Methodist University, who at age 40 gunned down two people.
Last Sunday, Billy Slagle hanged himself in his cell at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution. He was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Aug. 7 for the murder of Mari Anne Pope in Cuyahoga County.
Very different men
Did these two very different men — one repentant the other defiant; one a middle-aged killer the other a teenager; one educated the other a high school drop-out — deserve essentially the same fate?
In 1972 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the death penalty — the court found that the imposition of the death penalty had become arbitrary. Today, with the death penalty reinstated, there are 143 inmates on death row in Ohio, 716 in Texas and 3,103 nationwide. With only 23 executions so far in 2013, can an argument be made that the death penalty is again arbitrary — this time upon those whom it is carried out?