29 May 2005

Executions are too final

There's a bill on its way to the Texas governor which would allow criminals to be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. It's a good thing, I think, and I hope that Rick "Goodhair" Perry signs it.

Part of my approval comes from the reason cited in the story linked above:
Death penalty opponents hope the proposal reduces the number of executions in Texas. They have argued that prosecutors use the prospect that a killer will someday be back out on the streets to scare juries into issuing more death sentences.
And not executing criminals means that the inevitable mistaken convictions can be somewhat rectified.

But the strongest reason this is a good bill is simply that states should not be executing their citizens. Removing the most heinous offendors from society is necessary, and life without parole accomplishes that. Executions legitimize killing as a means of settling disputes, or of exacting revenge. This world would be much better off if killing were deligitimized.