The Death Penalty is a Joke
I recently read about a death row inmate who died a natural death while awaiting endless appeals. A quick check of Google turns up dozens of death row inmates who either died naturally, committed suicide or overdosed in 2019. I’m not against the death penalty per se, I just don’t believe it has the desired deterrent effect on crime or criminals. At one time, I used to believe it was useful to execute a criminal to prevent future violence against more victims but now, I’m not sure it’s worth the time, money and effort to execute someone.
First, it just takes too long. Twenty five years is not uncommon. Some cases drag on for 40 years or more. Where’s the justice in that? How is that going to deter new younger criminals? How is it justice to leave victims in limbo for the rest of their lives?
Second, I’ve come to believe law enforcement and courts are biased against minority defendants. I used to have full faith in LE and courts but I’ve read too many stories over the past few years of blatant discriminatory behavior by those sworn to protect us.
Third, “shit happens.” Mistakes are much more common than I had ever imagined. If a mistake is discovered after an execution, “Oh crap” isn’t going to cut it. If a mistake is uncovered after 10, 20 or, even, 30 years in prison, the inmate is still alive to sue the pants off the state.
Speaking of suing the pants off offending parties, federal reimbursement should be established to give the aggrieved party enough resources to pursue a lawsuit. The party can either hire a lawyer or piss away the reimbursement on drugs, alcohol and partying, their choice.
Finally, death row inmates should be given a choice of pursuing endless appeals or simply dropping all appeals in exchange for a flat-rate reimbursement for their family and heirs. For arguments sake, let’s say an inmate can quietly go to the death chamber in exchange for a $250,000 payout plus an equal amount for the victims. That may prompt some losers to accept their guilt and, hopefully, do some good for the ones they leave behind.