Letters to the Editor

Death penalty unfair, unjust

The death penalty supposedly eliminates serious criminals, yet it’s killing our society. Capital punishment is unique to America and we should be ashamed to be unique in this way.

The use of the death penalty in America is unfair, unjust and inhumane. As applied in the United States, it’s dispensed in an unfair manner: based on wealth and race. I think it’s absurd that we kill people who could possibly be innocent, yet are denied the right to a sufficient trial because of racial bias and lack of the financial means to pay for a strong defense.

The death penalty is also a burden for taxpayers. According to Amnesty International, the median cost per case for those on death row is $1.26 million. The cost of keeping an individual in prison for life is about half of that amount. There is no public safety benefit that goes along with capital punishment. I feel that there are much better ways to spend this money. Investing in the education system could help eliminate crimes in the first place.

While the death penalty eliminates “dangerous” criminals, it prevents said individuals from redeeming themselves. The current system prohibits the growth of these individuals. As a society we don’t allow people on death row to prove that they have grown as individuals and realize that they have committed a dangerous crime.

While I understand the primal desire for revenge after a crime, demanding life-for-a-life is an expensive solution that ultimately diminishes our humanity.

Emma Schaper, State College

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