Death penalty facts cited in recent column are inaccurate

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, March 16, 2016

This is a rebuttal to TJ Ray’s “The death penalty is unusual” column published March 11, 2016.

TJ missed it.

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In three ways, innocents are more protected with the death penalty than with lesser sanctions: those being enhanced due process, enhanced incapacitation and enhanced deterrence.

There is no proof of an innocent executed in the U.S., at least since the 1930s.

Fourteen thousand innocents have been murdered by those known murderers that we have allowed to murder, again — recidivist murderers, just since 1973.

Cost was not an issue in the Nebraska repeal. Three fiscal notes found no cost savings in getting rid of the death penalty.

The victims’ survivors, in actual death penalty cases in Nebraska, have been working to retain the death penalty in that state.

The Nebraska legislature’s death penalty repeal has been reversed by a citizen referendum and is subject to a November 2016 statewide vote, which, I predict, will uphold the death penalty.

There is no “religious consistency about the sanctity of life.” It is an odd claim, with no support, now, or ever, with the exception of absolute pacifists, a very minor sect, within Christianity.

For thousands of years, the sanctity of life has been the foundation of death penalty justification, whereby the taking of innocent life was viewed as so profoundly evil that the guilty murderer had sacrificed their right to live.

Killing in self-defense, in defense of others, in a just war and with executions, all against unjust aggressors, are all morally acceptable, by most religious teachings, based within sanctity of life.

TJ was confused by the numbers.

That would be 3-18 lives saved per execution, or about 4,500-27,000 lives spared by the deterrence of executions, since 1977.

If TJ wants to know how those economists calculated the lives saved by the deterrent effect of executions, TJ should read the studies and then call the authors. Basic.

Texas only executes 0.7 percent of their murderers, as all the judicial limitations intend.

States which have not executed, recently, is the result of judicial roadblocks or lack of executions drugs, both of which are not the fault of the death penalty, but of those trying to disrupt it.

Justice Breyer missed it.

Dudley Sharp

Houston, Texas

Death penalty advocate