Connecticut, The Death Penalty, and You

As you probably already know — if you’re even mildly tuned into the news — the state Senate voted to repeal the Death Penalty in Connecticut. I am very happy about this.

Please read on before you start calling me a bleeding heart.

The truth is I don’t believe in the death penalty but not because I believe in the sanctity of human life. No, I spend most days thinking that  the earth would be a whole lot better off if we got a good global plague. There’s too many people, and too many of those people amount to giant drains on global resources without really giving anything back.

No, I object to the death penalty for far more practical reasons. To start, I can’t imagine why these anti-government, conservative wing-nuts thinks it’s OK for the government to dish out death, but not healthcare. Apparently you can trust the government to decide who should die, but not to run a glorified insurance agency. WTF?

You may have guessed by now that I don’t have faith in our government — or juries made up of the people who could use a good plague — to decide who is guilty. You don’t have to look very hard to find tales of wrongly convicted individuals. And while mother nature rearing her ugly head and taking us out with her might is one thing, I can’t get behind a government doling out death to wrongly convicted individuals — or even rightly convicted people.

Why do I have a problem with putting the guilty to death? Well, the process is a drain on resources — both in terms of the time and money it takes to actually put someone to death. It’s also harder on families. If you can just get murderers to plead guilty in exchange for life in prison, it’s over quickly. Families don’t spend years of their lives in trials, and appeals. In short, they can start the work of healing sooner.

Finally, it’s pretty clear that the death penalty does not work as a deterrent to crime. States with the death penalty almost always have higher rates of crime.

And frankly, I just can’t bare to be in the same category as Texas when it comes to…well…anything.