Letter to the editor: Time to end death penalty

Posted 3/28/19

Time to end death penalty A society that respects life does not deliberately kill human beings. The death penalty sends the message that violence is the most effective solution to problems. The …

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Letter to the editor: Time to end death penalty

Posted

Time to end death penalty

A society that respects life does not deliberately kill human beings. The death penalty sends the message that violence is the most effective solution to problems.

The National Research Council reviewed more than three decades of research and found no credible evidence that the death penalty deters violent criminal acts. In fact, from 2000-2010, the murder rate in states with capital punishment was 25-46 percent higher than states without it. Police chiefs ranked the death penalty last among effective ways to reduce violent crime.

Limited funds that could be used to prevent crime are wasted on capital punishment. A death penalty trial costs Colorado taxpayers approximately $3.5 million, versus $150,000 for a life without parole trial, according to the ACLU. A 2009 legislative analysis found eliminating the death penalty would save the state $1.5 million a year because defending a death penalty case costs about 15 times the cost of a LWOP case.

Finally, the death penalty prolongs pain for victims’ families, dragging them through an agonizing and lengthy process that promises an execution at the beginning, but rarely delivers. A study found that those navigating cases without the death penalty exhibited better psychological and physical health. Additionally, countless law enforcement hours are spent chasing a death penalty conviction instead of addressing the 1,200 unsolved murder cases in Colorado.

The death penalty bogs down law enforcement, delays justice and devours millions of crime-fighting dollars that would be better invested in protecting the public. Colorado is ready to end the broken death penalty system.

Bob and Tina Gurdikian

South Jefferson County


 

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