Monday, February 11, 2013

The death penalty is hard on everyone

One of my biggest beefs with the death penalty is how draining it is. It's a tremendous financial drain, with trials costing far more than non-capital murder cases. It's a drain on resources, requiring more attorneys per side,  more experts, more investigators. Attorneys file and argue more motions, so judges have to set aside more days for hearings. More prospective jurors have to be called and given questionnaires and interviewed in jury selection.

And it's emotionally draining on everyone. The longer trials and the additional sentencing phase that delves into every nook and cranny of the defendant's life are exhausting for everyone. Then there's the emotional toll on the people who actually have to perform the executions. I don't care how right or morally justified anyone thinks it is: killing a person takes a toll. If it doesn't, there's something seriously wrong with that person.

This father of a murder victim wants you to know it's tough on the victim's family as well. After enduring 10 years of litigation since his son's murder, this father is now asking the Colorado legislature to abolish the death penalty, calling it a broken system that he and his family have been trapped in. If his son's killer were just subject to a life sentence in prison, the case would likely be long over by now.

We throw so much time and money and emotional energy into this process of intentionally killing people. And we do it all acting as though it doesn't really cost us anything. But it does. It takes a toll on everyone involved. Why do we continue to insist that it remains a worthwhile endeavor? It isn't.

No comments:

Blog Designed by : NW Designs