Happy to see end to death penalty

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDFebruary 26, 2014 

I want to thank Gov. Inslee for placing a moratorium on the death penalty in Washington State. I believe it is a step forward towards creating a more human and rational society.

The death penalty is problematic in many ways. Capital punishment does not act as a deterrent to prevent future crimes, as evidenced by higher murder rates in those states that have not ended this practice. The death penalty is extremely expensive and wasteful, shifting tax dollars away from other needs. The death penalty is applied at much higher rates for non-whites and those who cannot afford to purchase adequate legal representation. Government-sanctioned killing often results in further suffering and trauma of the families of murder victims, as well as murderers' family members. Most concerning of all is the fact that innocent people have been wrongly convicted and executed for crimes they did not commit. I have personally met and heard the stories of a number of people who were exonerated after spending decades on death row when evidence comes to light.

The criminal justice system is flawed. Humans make mistakes. For these reasons alone we must put an end to the death penalty. Let us work towards eliminating violence and revenge in all forms, so we may live in a world where understanding, forgiveness and justice for everyone prevail.

Sharon Avolio

Bellingham

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