I just can not find any moral reasoning to ever allow the death penalty to be used as a means of conveying society’s revulsion to a criminal for an act that has been committed. I do not feel that the government has the right to commit someone to death. I have felt this way all of my life.
The reason this topic emerges as a headline is due to President Biden being the first person sitting in the Oval Office to openly, and correctly, oppose the death penalty. It was reported this weekend that he has discussed the possibility of instructing the Department of Justice to stop scheduling new executions. Make no mistake that should such a policy move be made it would be a most important step towards modernity.
If such a change were made it would abruptly end what can only be termed a troubling run of executions by the federal government, all during a pandemic that raged inside prison walls and infected journalists who cover such news, along with federal employees who undertake the work. And the pandemic, it needs noting, has even infected those put to death.
The bizarre and absolute soulless push by Donald Trump to execute people is one of the darkest aspects of his wretched term in office. More federal executions were held in the last six months under Trump’s term than in the previous 56 years combined. That underscores the depravity that some in the nation had elected to high office.
The fact we find some criminal acts to be so barbaric that some wish to turn to death as a way to make a statement about how society feels is a natural one. It is a base reaction. But laws are made to curtail base reactions of people. While I can understand how upset people can be over the Boston Marathon bombing, as an example, I can not understand those who wish to translate feelings of anger to an execution.
As a nation, we must not allow ourselves to taken over by the darker forces that are a part of the human make-up. We must always strive to be better than those in society who have failed so miserably to live up to a certain code of conduct that we all know to be the best way to live.
Two steps are needing to be taken by this White House. First, there must be a cessation of scheduling new executions. Secondly, and most importantly there must be a shredding of the death penalty from U.S. statutes.
There is no evidence that the death penalty prevents crime, but there is plenty of evidence to show that it is used in a way that allows for minorities and economically disadvantaged people to have a higher chance of being placed on death row. If the death penalty is not a proven deterrent to murder, is it worth the excessive costs, risks of error, uncertainty of completion, and other problems that are inherent to its practice?
In fact, I would argue the sole motivating factor behind the death penalty is vengeance. A pure lust for vengeance. That is not how a civilized nation should operate. I do understand, and desire justice be brought for those who commit crimes, but I fail to understand how a government that forbids killing among its citizens should then be in the business of killing on the taxpayer’s dime. There is just no logic to the thirst for vengeance.
But there is a most logical rationale for ending the death penalty that even conservatives will find acceptable. Since the death penalty is a very costly and inefficient system, ending it will free up resources that then can be used on crime-fighting measures that have proven to be effective. Fiscal responsibility mixed with law and order.
Placing someone in prison for life is the only reasonable way to proceed for those who commit the ultimate crime in our society. Then allow for God to be the final judge on the matter. The government should not be in the business of taking a life.
I believe that President Biden will end this awful policy with the death penalty. It is a stain on our nation.