Monday, January 13, 2014

More on the Death Penalty

My personal position remains unchanged: I am not personally in favor of the death penalty, but I do believe that it is reasonable for any decision on this matter to be made after public debate and decision making. I believe that it is appropriate for each political entity qualified to reach a decision on this matter to make it's own choice. This morning I read of a man who had been sentenced to death in 1989, whose conviction has now been overturned. It seemed probable that he was the only person responsible for the crime, but the courts have determined that the witness's identification of the perpetrator was insufficient and unsupported. Let me make it clear that I have no quarrel with the court's conclusion. I certainly understand why the accused's family and friends would do everything in their power to keep him alive. However, in my opinion the lengthy delay in reaching a conclusion is unacceptable. I believe that there should always be a final date for the filing of any appeal of a conviction, especially one which might result in the imposition of the death penalty. The desire of the victim's family and friends for "closure" is totally understandable. I don't have a strong opinion on the timing of any final appeals, but it seems to me that two years might be appropriate.

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