Bringing people to justice
You’re sitting in the courtroom. You watch the killer. Why did you pick my family to ruin? You watch him day after day. His eyes are cold, steely blue and lifeless. How could a human being do something like this to another human being? You keep thinking about life in prison vs. the death penalty. You keep thinking about your sister and how she didn’t get to choose. She didn’t get a chance to do anything she planned for her future. You think about how you may feel as you watch him being executed. You wonder about the families of the other victims. You wonder if he had an accomplice who will continue to kill, after the murders locked up or dead. Every once in a while he turns and looks at you. While the medical examiner is giving his testimony and describing what he found, the killer turns and looks at you. He smiles. He’s proud of what he’s done. He’s thinking, ‘look at me, look what I did. You won’t ever forget me.’ He’s right. You will never forget him. But you may get peace knowing that he’s gone. Knowing that another will not have to go through what you are going through because of him. Knowing that another young girl will not know unspeakable horror at his hands. Knowing that he can’t tell people the horrible things he did to your sister, or write a book about it or gain the fame that he so desperately craves or have your sister’s horrible demise turn into a made-for-TV movie. His story, his actions, his sickness can die with him. And that makes you grateful.
Capital punishment is less expensive than life without parole. Abolitionists claim that it’s more expensive, but, the annual cost of incarceration is $40,000 to $50,000 a year for each prisoner or more, and life without parole prisoners spend on average 30 or 40 years in prison. The upfront costs of the death penalty are a lot higher than equivalent life without parole cases, but JFA: Justice for All, a criminal justice reform organization, says...
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