Texas Democrats came out strongly for justice when the 2012 state convention added repeal of the death penalty and replacing it with life without parole to the party platform. Exonerated death row inmate Anthony Graves, who was nearly executed twice, spoke to a large audience explaining how our dysfunctional justice system continues to wrongfully execute innocent people.
Graves spoke from the heart and reminded attendees that you can’t undo an execution. He also told us that while outsiders think life without parole is getting off easy those in prison with such sentences don’t see it that way and many would rather face execution or in his words “take the needle”.
While people of color are disproportionately represented among those executed don’t think it can’t happen to middle aged white guys. Gov. Perry allowed Cameron Todd Willingham to be executed even after being presented with evidence that no crime had been committed at all.
We should also recognize that it costs four times as much to try a death penalty case and execute the convict as it does to jail someone for 40 years. That means we spend an awful lot of our criminal justice resources on killing someone when we could be protecting our families from violent crime by having more cops on the beat.
If you’re a small government, low tax conservative who believes our criminal justice system should be tough on crime wouldn’t it be more cost effective to stop this big government boondoggle?