After everything that has been discussed these past few days, I wanted to take a minute to talk about the implications that the death penalty has in our country, and what might happen if it isn’t abolished.
Really, on the surface, things will appear to continue as they have been: some dangerous citizens will be killed, while in the process, innocent and mentally incapacitated people will also be executed.
First, I think it is noteworthy to mention the cost of capital punishment. The money we have been spending and will continue to spend on the death penalty is great, and could be used to fund so many other things. In addition to what I talked about in a previous post, the amount of resources that would free up due to the abolition of the death penalty would also be great. In a time of limited economic resources, this economic argument does hold weight.
However, much more important than this is the fact that the perpetuation of the death penalty is proof to society that killing is okay, as long as it is sanctioned by the state. It is using the crime itself as punishment.
Paul Jacob Bhatti says in Moving Away from the Death Penalty, that
“There is no justice without life, and you can’t appreciate life if you don’t reject death.”
This is what I think to be the greatest thing we as a people are losing and continue to lose while we do not address this issue. We are becoming a people who are aware of life, rights, and the dignity of the human person, and I think that the more aware we become, the more this will hurt humanity as it continues to be ignored.