Monday, June 8, 2009

Free to Execute at a Snail's Pace

While the General Assembly passed a ban of the death penalty in Connecticut this past session, Governor Rell has thankfully vetoed the measure. We are now free to continue executing one convicted violent murderer per quarter century.

One really has to be fantasizing if they believe our death penalty works well. The appeals process is far too long and convoluted, and death row inmates in Connecticut are more likely to die of old age than lethal injection.

Opponents of the death penalty including Judiciary Chairman Rep. Michael Lawlor have used the ineffectiveness of the state's death penalty as an argument against even having a death penalty, which of course is an absurd argument. What we truly need is a reform of the death penalty appeals process to speed it up, not an elimination of capital punishment.

Rell recognizes, as do legislative proponents of the death penalty, that there is a place for execution. It should be reserved for the most vile and heinous of murderers. I do not concern myself with whether or not the death penalty is a deterrent, because I'm not sure it is. Rather, I liken it to putting down a rabid dog. There are some inhuman beasts who are capable of great evil who do not have a right to live as their very existence is a threat.

The argument that life in prison is more severe than the death penalty is weak. But without the death penalty, we lose a great deal of bargaining power for prosecutors for someone who does deserve life in prison.

The savages who committed the attrocities in Cheshire back in 2007 are certainly candidates for the death penalty, so repulsive were the calculated nature and beastliness of their offenses.

When someone decides that they will destroy a human life, they must put their own in jeopardy. Justice demands nothing less.

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