JURIST Guest Columnist Ben Jones, Executive Director for the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty, says that Connecticut's repeal of the death penalty is one of the first of a trend of states moving away from capital punishment ...
“After careful study of the death penalty and its effects, a bipartisan majority of legislators concluded that the only way to fix the death penalty is by ending it.”
Rebuttal: They did not listen to public opinion. Fix the death penalty by ending it? Without the death penalty, more innocents will be at risks. Without the death penalty, Life Without the possibility of parole might be the next target for abolitionists.
“In taking this step, the Connecticut General Assembly responded to concerns raised by those constituencies most directly impacted by the death penalty. In particular, the personal stories of murder victims' families resonated with legislators. In February 2012, 179 Connecticut murder victims' family members joined a letter calling on lawmakers to end the death penalty. "The reality of the death penalty," they explained in their letter, "is that it drags out the legal process for decades. In Connecticut, the death penalty is a false promise that goes unfulfilled, leaving victims' families frustrated and angry after years of fighting the legal system." These pleas by victims' families changed lawmakers' minds and played a key role in the passage of a repeal bill.”
Rebuttal: I know there are murder victims’ families who are against the death penalty, I accept their opinions but rather than abolish it, fix the system. Just for argument sake, there could be also another 179 murdered victims’ families who want to keep capital punishment. Senator John Kissel and some Politicians are trying to speed up the appeal system. Are you not going to forget William Petit and his family members?
“In addition to this systemic bias, Georgia's execution last September of Troy Davis — an African-American whose guilt was in doubt — served as a potent symbol of the role race continues play in America's death penalty. Following Davis' execution, NAACP President Benjamin Jealous made repeal of the death penalty a priority and focused on Connecticut in 2012. Jealous joined Connecticut NAACP leaders in a series of rallies, marches, and press conferences calling for repeal of the state's death penalty. Their message was clear: the only way to eliminate bias in capital punishment is to repeal it. Enough is enough.”
Rebuttal: “A potent symbol of the role race continues play in America's death penalty.” I did not see them mentioning about Lawrence Brewer, a racist white supremacy who was executed for murdering an African-American, James Byrd. Those activists did not wear a T-shirt saying, “I AM LAWRENCE BREWER.”
Will they put a slogan saying, “I AM ANTHONY SOWELL.” – the African American serial killer who murdered 11 African American women in Ohio?
There are many cases of White-Americans being executed for murdering African Americans. I can name two here:
The only way to eliminate bias is to destroy racial discrimination in the system, if the system is racist and people go to jail. I did not hear them say abolish prisons too.
“Finally, members of Connecticut's law enforcement community grew increasingly frustrated with the state's death penalty. Nationally, a majority of police chiefs recognize that there is no evidence that the death penalty deters crime — a point backed up by a recent study conducted by the National Academies.”
Rebuttal: The reason why the death penalty in Connecticut hardly deters crime is because it is hardly used, nasty liberals keep fighting their death sentences. But never be surprise if there are people being killed by hired hit men in those non-death penalty states. Since the restoration of the death penalty in 1976, further evidence confirms the deterrent effect of the death penalty. Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, a strong opponent of the death penalty, has conceded as much. “Of course, the death penalty deters some crimes, that’s why you have to pay more for a hit man in a death penalty state than a non-death penalty state.” [Debate among Paul Cassell, Alan Dershowitz, and Wendy Kamenar on the death penalty (Harvard Law School, Mar. 22, 1995)]
“In Connecticut, the General Assembly's non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis estimated that the state eventually would save $5 million a year by ending the death penalty.”
Rebuttal: U.S. states that repeal death penalty laws do not see a significant savings in trial costs. In states where the death penalty is the maximum punishment, a larger number of defendants are willing to plead guilty and receive a life sentence. The greater cost of trials where the prosecution does seek the death penalty is offset, at least in part, by the savings from avoiding trial altogether in cases where the defendant pleads guilty.
“Connecticut's experiment with capital punishment has come to an end. Expect more states to follow suit. With each passing year, promises that we can design a fair, effective, and foolproof death penalty grow more and more tenuous. In response, a powerful coalition of murder victims' families, civil rights leaders, and law enforcement officials — joined by pro-life Catholics, mainline Protestants, and Jewish leaders — has come together to call for repeal of the death penalty in Connecticut and other states. Clearly, lawmakers are listening.”
Rebuttal: Lawmakers are only listening to Abolitionists and not public opinion.
I wonder how Ben Jones can take it if one of his family members were murdered. On Sunday 29 April 2012, 40-year-old Danny E. Gonzalez was found shot dead in Waterbury. I suspect those killers have waited for the repeal to be in force before they murdered someone.