Typical scene at the supermarket. The father who slaps little Tommy because he slapped his younger sister. 'I told you not to hit', says the father while he gives the little one a spank. An eye for an eye? Probably not. A deterrent? Maybe. Is it right? In my book, it isn't.
The same scenario could be applied to the debate about the death penalty. Why do we kill people who kill people to show people that killing people is wrong? The message is confusing, to say the least. The state ends up doing the same thing that abhors.
And the facts don't seem to support the arguments in favor of capital punishment. Here's a sample: It costs far more to execute a person than to keep him or her in prison. There is no evidence that executions deter folks from committing murders or serious crimes anymore than prison sentences.
Furthermore, states that have the death penalty have a higher rate of murders than states without it. About 80% of the executions are committed in the South, where the rate crime is highest.
There's more. The number of inmates released from death row has increased over the last few years thanks to DNA sample that proved their innocence, a practice nonexistent in the past. And finally, but not least, race plays a major role in deciding who gets it. A black person is much more likely to be condemned if he or she kills a white person than a white.
The United States has joined ranks with countries like Iran, Iraq and China in applying the death penalty, a practice that has been abolished in most European countries and Latin America, 139 altogether.
Violence runs deep in America's veins, ever since the Pilgrims came to this land aboard the Mayflower. And we made our way through wars, time and time again, to this day, here and abroad.
We respond to violent and despicable acts with death.
The state ends up doing the same thing that is telling the whole world it abhors. Confusing, right? And on top of that, scientific studies have shown that it does not deter crime.
So, unlike the father that slaps his kid for slapping a sibling, our response to murder should be with life in prison. It's just, cheaper, fair and humane.
One last thing before I sign off. The kid will go on with his life after being spanked. The guy on the death chamber won't.
Source: Eduardo Orbea