The New York Law Journal posts, "Tinkering With the Machinery of Death," commentary by Walter P. Loughlin. He's a partner at K&L Gates in New York, who represented Ernest Willis, pro bono. Willis was released and exonerated in 2004, after serving 17 years on Texas death row.,
The spectacle in Arizona was at least the fourth botched execution this year. In January, an Oklahoma prisoner was heard to scream that he felt his body was burning as the lethal drugs were administered.3 One week later, an Ohio prisoner was seen to gasp for air for 25 minutes before being pronounced dead.4 Last April, again in Oklahoma, a prisoner writhed in pain as the drugs were pumped into his body tissue instead of his bloodstream. Prison officials halted the execution. The prisoner died of a heart attack.5 These are not isolated instances. It has been estimated that up to 7 per cent of lethal injection executions have historically gone awry for one reason or another.6
Ray Krone writes the OpEd, "The Death Penalty Is Too Broken To Be Fixed," for the Daily Caller. He's the 100th person who was sentenced to death and later exonerated. Krone is the co-founder of Witness to Innocence.
I spent more than 10 years in Arizona prisons for a crime I didn’t commit, including almost three years on death row.
I’m a lifelong Republican. I grew up in rural Pennsylvania playing Little League Baseball and Pee Wee Football. I served six years in the U.S. Air Force. I was honorably discharged, steadily employed, and had no criminal history.
Before this happened to me, I supported the death penalty. Fry ‘em. They don’t deserve to live. All that sounds different when people are talking about you and you were at home asleep at the time of a brutal murder.
"The death penalty is expensive, ineffective," is by Tom Markgraf for the Oregonian.
What if, instead of spending millions on killing criminals, we could use that money to help the families who are victims put their lives back together, with therapy, counseling and restitution? Wouldn't that be a more positive, effective use of money?
In every state with the death penalty, jurors have the option of sentencing murderers to life in prison without the possibility of parole. It's cheaper to taxpayers and keeps violent offenders off the streets for good. More important, it allows mistakes to be corrected. In California, where 3,300 criminals have this sentence, seven people sentenced to life without parole have been released because they were able to prove their innocence.
Ending this practice makes financial and practical sense.
Related posts are in the OpEd category index.