Generally speaking, I suppose I’m what is normally called a liberal. I agree with the left on many things, including abortion rights, gun control (although unlike some liberals, I do feel the second amendment right to bear arms should be protected, I just think people should have a license to buy a gun, and by license I mean participate and pass specializing training and safety courses), stem cell research, universal health care – you get the picture. Yet there is one issue where I am constantly in imminent danger of losing my liberal card, and that is the death penalty.
I admit it, I am not directly opposed to capital punishment – although personally, I don’t feel that most cases should warrant a sentence of death. I do, however, feel that the most extreme cases – serial killers, for example – should lead to a death sentence, because I daresay it is the most humane option for what these people are. Serial killers have a problem - a deep rooted, psychological need to kill – and this is something that can’t be cured by a few prison psychiatric visits. While it is possible that rehabilitation might work in a case or two – and I always have hope for the future of psychiatry – the threat of recidivism is extremely high. The longer a serial killer stays in prison, the more agonized they become because they cannot fulfill that psychotic need. If we are worried about what is humane for these prisoners, and that is one objection to capital punishment – then it seems that putting them to death is in fact more humane than leaving them alive, unable to kill, unable to reach that release. But that is just my opinion.
The problem, of course, with capital punishment in the
The case that is most pressing on my mind is that of Philip Workman, who is scheduled to die on May 9th for robbery and murder of a police officer. The very informative Sharon Cobb recently posted a short documentary with some information about the Workman case, and this led me to explore a little further. Watching the documentary (I’m posting it here, as well) and reading a little more about the case, it is clear to me that at the very least there is reasonable doubt as to whether Workman actually shot the police officer. In fact, I have to wonder if he wasn’t actually shot by another cop, simply because of all the coercion of witnesses and facts that seems to surround this case, but I suppose that point is moot now. The main goal is to keep an innocent man from dying for a crime he didn’t commit. At the end of the documentary there is information about how to contact the governor of
Another man possibly wrongfully accused and facing a death sentence in Ohio is Joe D’Ambrosio. Luckily, last year a judge ordered that D’Ambrosio be retried or released within 180 days. I cannot find any details (it has been over 180 days since the order) on the outcome of his case. I hope he finally got a fair trial. This site recounts many people’s stories of false accusation and imprisonment, and I am sure there are others.
I have to wonder what we do when the