Have you ever thought about the family of the victim whose loved one was taken from them in a situation where the death penalty was sought by the state as punishment? Most people don’t get that far in their thinking on the issue.
Can you imagine, for years and years, coming to court and seeing the person who committed the atrocity against your son/daughter/ Mother/ Father or other family member sitting there while the case gets continued and continued and continued….. I know I can’t.
I’ve stated my view on capital punishment in past blogs. In short, I don’t believe in it. And here is why. How do you balance what the delays do to a family with the protection of the Defendant and his/her right to a fair trial? The responsibility of the Court, prosecution and defense is enormous. Particularly if they are to “get it right”.
Don’t be naive. There are innocent people on death row. Innocent people have been put to death. How do you correct that mistake? The answer is plain and simple. You can’t. And if one innocent person is put to death, then the death penalty should be eradicated. Think about it, the cost to the victim’s family could be alleviated. They could have closure by another method of punishment. The financial cost to society would be lessened. And, if there was a mistake, as devasting as that mistake would be to a person whose liberty was taken, it could be corrected. And just as important, what is worse, an instantaneous death or the spectre of spending the rest of your life in prison. Knowing that you won’t leave prison until you are in a pine box. What has a more deterrent effect?
The story below illustrates the frustration that is shared by all three components set forth above.
Quite simply, doing away with the death penalty is the only solution. Aside from the emotional damage it causes to the victim’s family, from a practical standpoint, if just makes more sense.
Judge Goodwine has presided over her share of death penalty cases. And make no mistake, she is a good judge. This article clearly illustrates her frustration with delays in the process. Delays that are unnecessary.