Just Say No to Capital Punishment
Here is a letter to the New York Times:
Responding to Ohio’s month-long postponement of its next execution after a judicial finding of constant departures from proper execution procedures, the Times editorial rightly concludes that the death penalty ‘cannot be operated responsibly anywhere,’ and justly calls ‘for every state with the penalty on the books to outlaw this barbaric punishment’ (Ohio and the Death Penalty, August 7).
The capital punishment system is rife with failure. In addition to procedural problems with its implementation, it does not deter violent crime, and far exceeds the cost of imposing life sentences. But most importantly, those charged with implementing the death penalty – prosecutors, jurors, and state officials – are not omniscient actors, immune from inescapable human fallacies. Undoubtedly, the death penalty claimed innocent lives in the past and will surely do so in the future, proving the Times absolutely right to call for its abolishment.
Brad R. Schlesinger