Moving Toward An Unwelcome Record

Ohio is on pace to break its modern-day record for capital punishment executions in a single year.  In 2004, Ohio executed seven prisoners.  Last week Ohio executed its fifth death-row inmate this year, and the state is on pace to kill a total of 11 this year.  Only Texas has executed more people in 2010 than Ohio.

There is no doubt that many of the death-row inmates committed heinous crimes.  The most recent prisoner to be executed was known as the “Homicidal Hitchhiker” because he killed and injured people in the Cincinnati area who had helpfully offered him a ride.  The inmate, named Michael Beuke, had exhausted all of his appeals and habeas corpus arguments.  Like Beuke, the other occupants of Ohio’s death row also are people convicted of committing horrible crimes that show no regard for the sanctity of human life — and they too are slowly, but surely, working through the fruitless appeals that are the only things that stand between them and imminent execution.

I am opposed to capital punishment.  Killing people is a crime because it is the ultimate immoral, criminal act.  I don’t think the morality equation changes when the State takes a life in a cool, calculated way.  I would like to think that, as a society, we have moved beyond the death penalty, and it saddens me that Ohio is on pace to kill so many people this year.  I also think the death penalty is a waste of our resources.  Our courts spend inordinate amounts of time hearing death penalty cases and appeals, we hire lawyers to push for the death penalty, and we pay for lawyers to represent the accused.  When an execution date draws near, we hear about the constant requests for leniency, the last-minute arguments to stay the execution, and the charges that the lethal injections that are supposed to cause a painless death aren’t so painless after all.  It all seems unseemly, wasteful, and wrong to me.

I am sure that, if a loved one were killed in a senseless crime, I would want revenge — but an individual’s desire for revenge should not dictate the State’s response to criminal acts.  I think our state’s policy should be to throw a person convicted of murder into prison for life, there to live out his days in a harsh and brutal existence among the dregs of society and perhaps to reflect upon his heinous act and his wasted life.  That sounds like punishment enough to me.

1 thought on “Moving Toward An Unwelcome Record

  1. reconsider:

    The death penalty is a just and appropriate sanction and it saves additional innocent lives.


    “Death Penalty Support: Religious and Secular Scholars”

    “The Death Penalty: More Protection for Innocents”


    All prospects of a negative outcome deter some. It is a truism. The death penalty, the most severe of criminal sanctions, is the least likely of all criminal sanctions to violate that truism.

    25 recent studies finding for deterrence, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation,

    “Deterrence and the Death Penalty: A Reply to Radelet and Lacock”

    “Death Penalty, Deterrence & Murder Rates: Let’s be clear”


    “The Innocent Executed: Deception & Death Penalty Opponents”–death-penalty-opponents–draft.aspx

    The 130 (now 139) death row “innocents” scam


    “Death Penalty Cost Studies: Saving Costs over LWOP”


    “Death Penalty Sentencing: No Systemic Bias”

    More essays supporting the death penalty and refuting the anti death penalty claims


    “Death Penalty Polls: Support Remains Very High – 80%”

    “Killing equals Killing: The Amoral Confusion of Death Penalty Opponents”–very-distinct-moral-differences–new-mexico.aspx

    A Death Penalty Red Herring: The Inanity and Hypocrisy of Perfection, Lester Jackson Ph.D.,

    “The Death Penalty: Neither Hatred nor Revenge”

    “The Death Penalty: Not a Human Rights Violation”

    “Sister Helen Prejean & the death penalty: A Critical Review”–the-death-penalty-a-critical-review.aspx

    Additional essays


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