I used to be pro-death penalty but not so much anymore. Don't get me wrong, if someones guilt is 100% certain, ie, the person admits guilt and there is no doubt at all (think anti-government, right wing nut Tim McVeigh), I do think the death penalty is appropriate. But excepting this rare situation I am against the ultimate penalty.
With the advent of DNA evidence we have seen quite a few prisoners on death row exonerated. Many were convicted from bogus eyewitness accounts. That should send a chill up any persons spine. It is logical to presume that before DNA evidence, perhaps hundreds of innocent men have been put to death by our government when they were actually innocent. In 2011, 42 people were put to death in our states. How many were innocent? We will never know.
Conservatives argue that we have never proved that a particular person put to death was in fact innocent. That is true but only because once a person is killed by the state the investigation into his case is usually terminated (no pun intended). Thus, finding out after the fact that an innocent man has been killed would almost certainly not happen. This ostensibly bolsters the conservative position but when reality and reasonableness are applied their rationale falls short. Just because you cannot prove something for sure does not mean it is not happening. At some point, logic should come into play.
Therefore, unless we are 100% sure of someones guilt ("beyond a reasonable doubt" doesn't cut it) we must not utilize capital punishment. Murdering even one innocent person is not only shockingly immoral but also an embarrassment for our country. And for any person who thinks this is not that big a deal I urge you to put yourself in that "wrong place at the wrong time" scenario. You were convicted of a crime you did not commit and are on death row. The state is about to kill you and leave your wife and children without a husband and father. Kind of a big deal now isn't it?
For the record, liberals are usually against the death penalty, usually for the reason I stated above but also sometimes because they generally just feel all killing is wrong. Conversely, conservatives are adamantly pro death. In fact, they embrace it. The highly conservative state of Texas is the country's number one state for executions.
Ironically Texans, who are usually devout Christians, take the designation with pride, frequently bragging about the number of convicts they have killed. Evidently taking lives, possibly even innocent ones, does not conflict with their Biblical beliefs.
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