To Kill or Not to Kill
 
  
We are lucky to live in one of the states that has never permitted the death penalty.  We oppose the death penalty because it is inhumane, unfairly applied, and doesn't work.  To plan and intentionally kill a fellow human being (other than in war or self defense ) is the most repugnant act a person can do.  When an individual does it, it is called murder.  When a society does it, it is sometimes called justice.

It is also inhumane in part because we sometimes kill the innocent.  Hundreds of prisoners found guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt" have been later found not guilty.  Recent examples include cases where scientific DNA evidence (not available at trial) shows that some on death row and others were not really guilty.  The governor of Illinois recently pardoned or commuted the death sentence of everyone on the Illinois death row when it was shown that most of them were innocent.  He had been a pro-death penalty Republican all of his career.  After we have killed a person, it is too late to say "I'm sorry" to the person we killed or his loved ones.

The death penalty is applied against racial minorities.  There is a greater chance of a minority ending up on death row.  There is a greater chance chance of a white witness misidentifying a black suspect.  Minorities are generally poor and more likely to have poor legal representation. 

The record fails to establish that executing people deters murder.  Years ago, England executed pickpockets.  The best targets for the pickpockets became the members of the crowd who gathered to watch the hanging.  Studies of states that have either eliminated or adopted the death penalty have failed to show any increase or decrease in murders in those states after the change.  Murder is also one of the least repetitive crimes.

Virtually no other modern country permits the death penalty except for wartime crimes.  The bottom line is that the death penalty cheapens life.  We ought to be promoting the value of life.

Vote Democratic.  Join us in opposing the death penalty.