I confess to being a person who has gone back and forth on the issue of capital punishment. I do understand feelings of anger and desire for revenge on the part of those whose loved ones have perished at the hands of some sick and ignorant person who believes violence is the way of life. Governor Jay Islee of the state of Washington pointed out it was time to “join a growing national conversation about capital punishment.” Believe it or not, but during the 18th and nineteenth centuries the manner in which Americans handled crime and capital punishment led them to be viewed as the most enlightened nation in the world. We became famous for reducing the number of crimes that led to being put to death. The death penalty was abolished in the sixties and restored by a new Supreme Court in the seventies.
Islee pointed out: “there have been too many doubts raised about capital punishment, there are too many flaws in this system today.” I do not believe anyone was put to death in the 20th century whose family had a million dollars. It is clear those who are poor-black, white, Hispanic– wind up on Death Row. Too many mistakes made that modern DNA uncovers. It is time to join the world and end capital punishment.