The Death Penalty

I have been in favor of abolishing the Death Penalty since my early youth for humanitarian reasons - primarily because of the risk of sending innocent people to their death. Recently I have changed my mind, and I now favor the death penalty for a few simple reasons. (google: image source)

1. I watched a rerun on Fox News of O’Reilly opining that he favored abolition of the death penalty because a life sentence is a harsher punishment than the death penalty. I now agree that a life sentence is a harsher punishment and for humanitarian reasons I now argue in favor of the death penalty. But there were other reasons that also influenced my decision to change my belief.

2. I viewed a documentary about the 10 prisons on Rikers Island situated between the Bronx and Queens, NYC. I am familiar with the facility because I had visited Rikers Island while working as a paramedic and ambulance driver as a college student in the NYC Times Square area. The island prison contains a staff of about 11,500 police, guards and staff to control a prison population of about 13,000 at an annual cost of nearly $1 Billion. During the documentary, The “Lifers” interviewed expressed their passionate feelings that Life in prison was dangerous and replete with mental anguish. They had nothing to live for, except join violent gangs for daily protection. Click here for Prisons on Rikers Island, NYC

3. “Lifers” are forgotten. The death sentence actually provides Hope for prisoners who maintain their innocence. There are numerous organizations now available to provide legal counsel and safeguard against an innocent person being executed. The risk of terminating an innocent person is now deminimus.

4. I now feel and believe that death by lethal injection is a far more humane alternative than Life in Prison. (See Humane Lethal Injection)

5. I have also been viewing Forensic Files and similar programs and have become to believe that: (See Forensic Files)

a. the death penalty is an important bargaining chip in plea bargaining for prosecutors to obtain confessions, to obtain information on the whereabouts of missing murdered victims, to provide closure for relatives of the victims, and finally convictions.

b. the death penalty should be an option for the jury and relatives to insure justice is served.

c. in all cases when a person convicted continues to maintain their innocence, the death sentence should be delayed and remedial legal counsel should be provided to the accused.

Brophy Tuesday 07 July 2009 - 10:36 am | | Brophy Blog

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