David Garrett has a blog I have discovered, and his latest entry is on why he is against the death penalty:
Having lived in a country where the death penalty remains on the books as a discretionary sentence for murder, I can say with some certainty that one of the results of having a capital sentence even as an option is what lawyers call “perverse verdicts” by juries unwilling to convict because they know or believe the person concerned will be executed, and they cannot cope with that on their collective conscience.
I suspect Garrett is right – more killers might be found not guilty, due to juror reluctance to return a verdict which can result in execution.
I have also come to believe that Life Without Parole (LWOP) which is available as sentence in many American States – and soon will be here – IS actually probably a worse punishment than the 20 or so seconds of terror prior to instant death by judicial hanging as was practiced here and in England.
The downsides of LWOP of course include the cost, and as Burton has demonstrated (he will never leave prison alive and he knows it), someone serving LWOP can kill again with impunity – there are guards as well as prisoners in jail – and there is nothing more the state can do.
I have different reasons for being against the death penalty. I just do not like the idea of giving the state the power to execute its own citizens – even the killers. Plus the chance of killing an innocent person.Tags: David Garrett, death penalty