Policy Round Up: Death Penalty

Written by

Shanel Adams
Shanel Adams Shanel Adams is an editorial assistant with GlobalPolicy.tv. She is a public relations major, political science minor at Howard University originally from Detroit. Shanel is passionate about poverty alleviation and political participation.

Senator Joel Anderson’s new bill hopes to revitalize the death penalty in California. One of the most controversial aspects of the bill is the proposal for gas chambers to be included in their death penalty system. This will allow California to be the only place globally to use suffocation as a form of criminal punishment.

Also this week, Governor O’Malley’s office announced that he will be signing a law to repeal the death penalty in Maryland. The conflict of policymakers on the issue of the death penalty is translated throughout the American public. While some believe that criminals such as the Boston bomber get the death penalty, others are adamant about the procedure being heinous. 

Experts weigh in on how the death penalty should be approached in this country.

Blogger 8days2amish explains their opinion on death penalty as it relates to the Boston bomber:

“I’m staunchly pro-death penalty right up until the instant a man or woman is taken into custody and then I become instantly opposed.The case of the brothers Tsarnaev is the perfect example. Last Friday I felt relief when Boston law enforcers killed Tamerian, 26, because he was a threat to kill many more. 
The death penalty meted out to him on the streets of Worcester will not deter other terrorists, but it certainly deterred the radical Chechnyan from killing again. But now I’m glad his equally guilty brother is in custody and is being nursed back to good health. Cases when a condemned man receives a stay of execution because is either too fat, too stupid or too ill to kill always fascinate me.The people who make those decisions must be blind to irony.”

Read the full article in The Daily Kos.

Emma Weisfield-Adams shares the recent changes made to the death penalty nationally:

 “Six states will have ended the death penalty in six years. Delaware introduced similar legislation last Tuesday. Nebraska lawmakers held death penalty hearings the same day. Other states like Colorado, Kansas, and Montana have come close in the past and will consider it again in the next few years

Nationally, the number of death sentences has continued to trend downward for the last decade. Just 43 people were executed and 77 death sentences were handed down in 2012. That’s just one more sentence than was issued in 2011, which saw the fewest number of people sentenced to death than in any year since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.”

Read the full article in Fire Dog Lake

David Protess shares why policy makers are apprehensive about the death row:

“The Discovery of Innocence. Since 1973, 142 death row inmates have been officially exonerated, with the vast majority cleared in the past 20 years. The innocence issue has had a profound effect on building coalitions against the death penalty by crossing ideological and party lines. Even law-and-order Republicans do not favor sentencing innocents to death. And, exonerees have banded together to effectively fight for abolition, among them Kirk Bloodsworth, the Maryland man who became the first condemned prisoner to be exonerated by DNA.”

Read the full article in The Huffington Post.

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