Is life imprisonment worse?
Voters in California and Nebraska will be deciding more than who goes to the White House. Ballots in both states include a question on whether or not to repeal the death penalty.
The Washington Post reports:
Voters in California and Nebraska will decide whether they want to keep the death penalty
When voters head to the polls in California and Nebraska on Election Day, they will get to weigh in on whether their states should abolish the death penalty.
These two initiatives, along with another ballot measure in Oklahoma, represent a sort of microcosm of where things stand nationwide on the death penalty. Most states still have the practice on the books, even if a dwindling number of states actually seek to carry out executions…
Competing initiatives in California
There are actually two death penalty proposals in California, and they are diametrically opposed: One would eliminate capital punishment, while the other would effectively speed up the death-penalty process.
California has not executed an inmate since 2006 because of concerns about its lethal injection protocols, and executions there have been rare in the modern era. But the state is home to 1 in 4 death-row inmates nationwide, with a bigger population of condemned inmates than the next two states (Texas and Florida) combined, so a decision to eliminate the death penalty would have a dramatic impact…
Nebraska’s death penalty bill turns to the voters
Nebraska voters are going to decide an issue that lawmakers battled over last year.
The state’s legislature voted to abandon the death penalty despite Gov. Pete Ricketts’s vow to veto the measure. Ricketts, a Republican in his first term, followed through on his pledge and vetoed the bill, but lawmakers overrode his veto and, by the narrowest margin possible, again voted to abolish the death penalty.
The fight did not end there, though. Supporters of the death penalty immediately said they would keep fighting the bill and pledged to get it onto the November 2016 ballot, following a campaign that included a sizable donation from Ricketts, who said he was “appalled” by the bill and called it “cruel” to victims of the people sentenced to death.
This video report from CBS News Los Angeles explains the California ballot question:
This letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times makes the case for keeping the death penalty:
The death penalty is about deterrence, not revenge
Vote no on Proposition 62, the ballot measure that would abandon California’s death penalty. It’s not about vengeance; it’s about deterring someone from killing you.
Everyone has his or her own private fear, their own private hell. True, some killers might not fear having to pay with their own lives for killing you, but some might. Some killers’ worse fear might be spending eternity in prison, and they would rather be executed. Life imprisonment, therefore, should always remain a punishment.
The minute you remove any possible punishment for killing, you are removing a deterrent for some potential killer. Keep the death penalty and keep life imprisonment. It’s not about their lives; it is about protecting your own life from those to whom the death penalty is a deterrent.
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