4/26: End the death penalty?

Moderated by Rick Badie

The United States is one of the few industrialized nations that uses capital punishment to deter crime. Georgia, one of 34 death-penalty states, uses lethal injection to execute.

Today, former President Jimmy Carter writes it’s time to end the practice for reasons that include a change in public opinion, prosecutorial costs, and socioeconomic and racial bias. A death penalty proponent argues that an executed murderer never murders again.

What do you think?

And here is more information on the death penalty

In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court voided 40 death penalty statutes and suspended the death penalty.

Four years later, capital punishment was reinstated and a 10-year moratorium on executions ended with the execution of Gary Gilmore by a firing squad in Utah.

Since reinstatement, nearly 1,300 executions have been carried out.

Georgia’s current death row population sits at 99 and includes one woman. Its method of execution is lethal injection.

Georgia’s most recent high-profile execution was that of Troy Anthony Davis, on Sept. 21, 2011, for the 1989 killing of Savannah police officer Mark McPhail.

On Tuesday, a federal prosecutor called for the execution of Brian Richardson for the 2007 killing of his cell mate, Steven Obara, in the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta. The defendant is already serving a life term for armed robberies.

Besides Georgia, there are 33 death penalty states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

Illinois became the most recent state to abolish the death penalty when it did so last year.

Other non-death penalty states are Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

Since reinstatement of the death penalty, 56 percent of the defendants executed are white; 34 percent are black and 8 percent are Hispanic.

More than 75 percent of murder victims were white in cases that ended with executions.

In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to outlaw the death penalty for juveniles under the age of 18 at the time crimes were committed. The high court called the execution of children unconstitutionally cruel.

Wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy: “Retribution is not proportional if the law’s most severe penalty is imposed on one whose culpability or blameworthiness is diminished, to a substantial degree, by reason of youth and immaturity.”

Sources: www.deathpenaltyinfo.org.;www.pbs.org.

25 comments Add your comment


April 30th, 2012
8:01 pm

you killed _____. So we are going to kill you…… Does not sound exactly RIGHT.

Time for Freedom

April 27th, 2012
4:31 pm

In a case against an accused, the judge, jury, prosecutor, and sometimes the defense attorney are all paid by the state. The case is classified as “the state versus…” The goal of the system is not to make the victim whole but to seek retribution (never restitution). The government routinely lies. Prosecutors routinely lie, hide exculpatory evidence (look it up), get evidence barred from introduction, and otherwide manipulate cases. The careers of prosecutors are measured by their wins, not by the justice that is served.

I can see no reason given our current system that the government should EVER be able to take the life of a human being unless multiple eyewitnesses were present to witness the murder.

The government murders FAR too many people every day to ever risk more innocent blood being spilled through the judicial process.

Dudley Sharp

April 27th, 2012
3:53 pm

Georgias murder rate dropped about 66% since death penalty reintroduciton, in 1973, just as with Texas.

1. The United States has had double digit executions, annually, from 1984 – 2010.

Murders are, now, at a 43 year low.

Murder rates are, now, at a 48 year low.

It’s not surprising that death sentences are at a 35 year low.

2. Double digit annual executions stopped in the US in 1964 and resumed in 1984.

During that period, murders increased by 100%

murders in 1964 9,360

murders in 1984 18,670

3. There was a moratorium on all executions in the US from 1967 to 1977.

During that period, there was a 56% increase in murders.

murders is 1967 were 12,240

murders in 1977 were 19,120

Saul Good

April 26th, 2012
8:01 pm

And for those who are innocent? That would make the “repeat offender” the State.

Either way…I’m glad you feel as if one human (or several) get to choose if a human being should die or live. Yet I’ll add: Feel free to explain why a state like GA that HAS the death penalty has a murder rate per capita that is more than twice what it is in Vermont which has none.

It simply does NOT work as it was intended…

Outer Perimeter

April 26th, 2012
5:45 pm

@Saul Good, the death penalty damn sure stops repeat offenders.