McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

June 26, 2013

Letter to Editor about abolishing the death penalty

From submitted reports
Submitted report

McALESTER — Editor:

I am deeply shocked about the fact that the state of Oklahoma has again killed with Mr. Brian Darrell Davis, 38, a human being, in this week.

It is already the second execution in this month and the third in this year in Oklahoma. How terrible. I am very sad and disappointed about this fact.

And I am very angry about Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin who had rejected the recommendation of the Oklahoma Executive Clemency Board for commuting the death sentence into a life sentence without parole for Mr. Davis.

The current Governor does not respect the decisions of this honorable and meaningful institution and makes it so completely needless.

It is really not a glorious chapter for the state of Oklahoma to execute human beings. No doubt about it.

Fair Justice was not served in the case of Mr. Davis. Please remember, the former jury members, who voted for death regarding the colored Mr. Davis, were all white citizens.

In any case, the death penalty has not a deterrent effect. Furthermore capital punishment does not drop the crime rate.

Quite the contrary executions reduce the respect for human life and make communities more violent.

Here are coming my ten key arguments for the abolition of the death penalty:

• The death penalty violates the right to life, liberty and safety of the person.

• The death penalty is irreversible. The risk to execute an innocent person is far too big.

• A state may not go and stand with murderers on the same level.

• Death sentences often hit people in poverty or ethnic and religious minorities above average.

• Executions are cruel and degrading. You lower the respect for human life;

• The death penalty doesn’t make the world safer. It doesn’t deter perpetrators before criminal offenses.

• The execution of the perpetrators doesn’t make the victims live again.

• The death penalty prevents every chance of rehabilitation of one criminal.

• Also many families of murder victims decline the death penalty because it doesn’t cure the pain of their loss.

• The death penalty doesn’t fight the reasons for crimes.

Furthermore please think of the Oklahoma taxpayer. The death penalty is much more expensive than life in prison.

The long appealing process and the long stay of many death row inmates costs a lot of money. No doubt about it.

If I summarize all these arguments, I come to the final result that the state of Oklahoma has to abolish the death penalty as soon as possible.

Let us create together a world without state executions. We make our planet a better place. No doubt about it.

Henry Wagner,

Bavaria, Germany