This article appeared in the Macon Telegraph.
For many reasons, it is time for Georgia and other states to abolish the death penalty. A recent poll showed 61 % of Americans would choose a punishment other than the death penalty for murder.
Also, just 1 % of police chiefs think that expanding the death penalty would reduce violent crime. This change in public opinion is steadily restricting capital punishment, both in state legislatures and in the federal courts.
As Georgia’s chief executive, I competed with other governors to reduce our prison populations. We classified all new inmates to prepare them for a productive time in prison, followed by carefully monitored early-release and work-release programs. We recruited volunteers from service clubs who acted as probation officers and “adopted” one prospective parolee for whom they found a job when parole was granted. At that time, in the 1970s, only 1 in 1,000 Americans was in prison.
Our nation’s focus is now on punishment, not rehabilitation. Although violent crimes have not increased, the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with more than 7.43 per 1,000 adults imprisoned at the end of 2010. Our country is almost alone in our fascination with the death penalty. 90 % of all executions are carried out in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
One argument for the death penalty is that it is a strong deterrent to murder and other violent crimes. In fact, evidence shows just the opposite. The homicide rate is at least 5 times greater in the United States than in any Western European country, all without the death penalty.
Southern states carry out more than 80 % of the executions but have a higher murder rate than any other region. Texas has by far the most executions, but its homicide rate is twice that of Wisconsin, the first state to abolish the death penalty. Look at similar adjacent states: There are more capital crimes in South Dakota, Connecticut and Virginia (with death sentences) than neighboring North Dakota, Massachusetts and West Virginia (without death penalties). Furthermore, there has never been any evidence that the death penalty reduces capital crimes or that crimes increased when executions stopped. Tragic mistakes are prevalent. DNA testing and other factors have caused 138 death sentences to be reversed since I left the governor’s office.
The cost for prosecuting executed criminals is astronomical. Since 1973, California has spent about $4 billion in capital cases leading to only 13 executions, amounting to about $307 million each.
Some devout Christians are among the most fervent advocates of the death penalty, contradicting Jesus Christ and misinterpreting holy scriptures and numerous examples of mercy. We remember God’s forgiveness of Cain, who killed Abel, and the adulterer King David, who had Bathsheba’s husband killed. Jesus forgave an adulterous woman sentenced to be stoned to death and explained away the “eye for an eye” scripture.
There is a stark difference between Protestant and Catholic believers. Many Protestant leaders are in the forefront of demanding ultimate punishment.
Official Catholic policy condemns the death penalty. Perhaps the strongest argument against the death penalty is extreme bias against the poor, minorities or those with diminished mental capacity. Although homicide victims are 6 times more likely to be black rather than white, 77 % of death penalty cases involve white victims.
Also, it is hard to imagine a rich white person going to the death chamber after being defended by expensive lawyers. This demonstrates a higher value placed on the lives of white Americans.
It is clear that there are overwhelming ethical, financial and religious reasons to abolish the death penalty.
Jimmy makes some interesting points and I think he’s right.
One thing I find interesting is that Protestants are more in favour of the death penalty than Catholics. I doubt many European Protestant are in favour, so why the difference?
It is reported in the latest Modern Railways, that work has started on a new rail terminal at Felixstowe. It will be able to handle trains of 30 wagons carrying 90 x 20 ft. containers.
It also appears that the port would like some passenger trains on the branch replaced by buses. As the port had agreed to double-track the branch to increase the capacity, this is a bit of a cheek.
I used to live in Felixstowe and as a teenager, getting back from Ipswich after about five was impossible, due to the appalling bus and train services, which stopped around six or seven.
So do Hutchison Ports want the people of Felixstowe to return to those dreary times I had to suffer. At least, now the last midweek trains leave Ipswich at around 22:30.
There is a petition on the Government’s e-Petition site to get the line dualled.
Assuming Stuart Pearce is in charge of both Team GB at the Olympics and England at Euro 2012, after today he has a real selection problem after Kyle Walker‘s superb goal today against Blackburn.
Let’s hope he gets some more problems like this!
Whatever happens, Kyle Walker should certainly be playing competitive football in the close season!
Having used the station a lot in recent years, I can’t say it’s not before time.
I think the company has got something here, as it can provide low-cost lighting to all of those places in the world that are off-grid.
The article shows how in places like Kenya it can be used to provide lighting and mobile-phone charging at a very affordable cost, by combining good solar technology with simple systems based on scratch cards and mobile phones.
But I think it has other applications,where you need a small amount of power in a difficult to get to place. Remember that even in the UK, we have a surprising amount of sunlight most of the time. But of course not now!
At the moment, I’m listening to the last match in the Glasgow Premier League at Celtic Park. It is usually on one of the main Sky channels, but today it is on Sky Sports 4. Are those of us who get our Sky through BT Vision being censored? Or do they expect it will be too red-blooded for English tastes? Especially, as from what I can gather from the commentary, the Celtic crowd have been giving the Rangers fans a warm and very bigoted welcome. I think that if say some of the banners unfurled by the home fans, appeared at say an Ipswich against Norwich fixture, they would certainly be confiscated.
All of this is a minor battle compared to what happens in the next few weeks. Rangers will probably loose a lot of their best players and the transfer embargo they are under will mean they won’t be able to sign any more.
What puzzles me about Rangers, is that the Inland Revenue didn’t fully investigate the non-payment of tax by the club a couple of years earlier? After all, if this forces the club into liquidation, then it will be the English at fault. Could it be, that Prudence didn’t want it to happen under his watch?
As a taxpayer, I have a right to know, about all the tax and contract mandering that happened in Scotland in the last days of the worst government we’ve had since Lord North.
Which Brother and Sister Played for Two Different Countries in Different Sports in the 2010 Commonwealth Games?
This sounds like a trivial pursuit question and it is. The answer is in the long form in the Sports section of today’s Sunday Times.
I’m not slways struck on Jeremy’s taste in cars. But he does know his dogs. Not the four-legged variety, but those cars, those of us who understand them, wouldn’t be seen dead in.
Two seasons ago, he gave the worst review to any car, that I’ve ever seen, with the exception of this one.
So imagine my delight to see the object of this review, outside my house, being given a fuel transfusion by a specialist recovery company. As the car appeared to be a petrol model, it would appear that the pratt not only was stupid enough to buy a BMW X6, but was stupid enough to put diesel in it.