Phoenix, AZ—Putting convicted killers to death is wildly popular in the United States. It’s the final retribution and deters future criminal conduct, at least by the condemned prisoner.
Let me be the first to say I’d much prefer to see many more justifiable homicides by Americans fighting crime where they live and work.
Our justice system is a mess. Jurors get way too much outside influence and despite court rules they are busy surfing the web and social networking sites before and during deliberations.
There are so many cases these days where the guilt of the accused is arrived at by simple guesswork and probabilities. Most troubling are those cases where medical examiners can’t even provide the cause of death! Murder is assumed and even though there are no witnesses, prosecutors can make the jury hate and convict the accused. That is beyond scary and un-American.
Because of Constitutional guarantees imposition of a death sentence take from 10 to 30 years as appeals grind through the courts. What people need to know is taxpayers fund both sides of the appeals and when the death penalty is involved those cases cost several million dollars each!
People sent away for life don’t get the financial resources that are available to the condemned. The life sentences that are handed out as a result of plea agreements are rarely seen in appellate courts. The death cases are always litigated up and until the very last second.
Most people on death row are career criminals who are really guilty. Being a habitual criminal invites suspicion and arrest with the thinnest of evidence. Some times just being known by police in a crime infested neighborhood will get these people caught in the police dragnet after a serious crime.
There are an amazing number of people sitting in condemned cells with no criminal record, other than their current conviction!
I hope there is nobody reading this story that wants innocent people strapped down to a table and killed for crimes they did not commit. It happens and you or someone you love could suffer unimaginably when our justice system fails.
There is something simple that can be done to preserve the death penalty and yet end forever the frightening specter killing an innocent person.
Simply changing the government’s burden of proof from beyond a reasonable doubt to, beyond a doubt before imposition of a death sentence. A second higher hurdle for death cases would save hundreds of millions of dollars and take the guesswork out of killing people like Troy Davis.
With fewer death penalty cases clogging up the courts, the process can be speeded up for those that deserve the ultimate punishment.