Death penalty is unfairly applied
This letter is in response to Alfred Green's letter titled “Tucson murderer rewarded for crime.”
The argument is not whether Jared Loughner deserves the death penalty. The argument is whether the death penalty is a form of justice.
Emotions aside, better heads will prevail if we at least pursue the discussion. I would argue that capital punishment is not justified because it is not equally distributed amongst the population, and it should be noted that the U.S. is the only country in the industrialized world that still practices the death penalty.
Since the 1980s I have read that more than 30 countries have abolished capital punishment. Of the 74 countries that continue to execute prisoners, the vast majority of executions are in China, Iran, Vietnam and the United States. These countries have practiced the following types of execution: crucifixion, stoning, drowning, burning at the stake, impaling and beheading. In comparison, America has used lethal gas, injection, electrocution, hangings and shooting.
I can already hear the howl of conservative ideologues but this is not an indictment of comparison or suppression, but the contrast of freedom that all men are created equal under the law.
To understand who gets executed in the United States is important in understanding why Loughner did not get the death penalty. I believe it is because there is a disproportion of execution in the United States. Studies have determined that the race of victims is clearly a determinant of whether or not a defendant receives a sentence of death. Reports have concluded that minorities have accounted for 43 percent of total executions since 1975 and 55 percent are currently awaiting execution.
A suspension of the death penalty is necessary to address the inequality in our purpose of the death penalty.
Understand this: About half of all murder victims in the United States are not white, yet 80 percent of all death sentences are imposed for murders of whites. I would not be surprised that if a study were done on the nature of different crimes, you would find certain types of crimes are more likely to invoke the pursuit of the death penalty than others.
The question is not why Jared Loughner only received life in prison. The question is why there is an imbalance of justice in society.
In closing, Green you quoted scripture in his letter, so I feel that I should quote one in mine and in no way do I claim to be a man of religion but I understand Romans 12:17. “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'” To the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.