Voters to make ethical call on death penalty

 Columnist Naaman Hightower

Columnist Naaman Hightower

For a minority of inmates in California prisons, Nov. 8 will be their own judgment day.

Voters will decide the fate of those on the notorious death row. The decision of whether to live or die, placed in human hands.

California Proposition 62 could spare the lives of murderers, rapists, molesters and others who are viewed as unfit to live among humanity for the rest of their days.

If passed, Propisition 62 replaces the death penalty with life without the possibility of parole.
I vote yes.

Coming from a spiritual place, who are we to say who lives, and who dies? Only one person is allowed to do that.
Does this mean that the scum of the earth listed above can simply do their vile deeds without having to pay the ultimate price?

Well let’s take a look at the so-called “ultimate price.”

According to Amnesty International, in California the current prison system costs $137 million dollars per year. A system without the death penalty would cost $11.5 million dollars per year, according to a recent study by the group.

Imagine what our valued tax dollars could be put toward.

In the same vein, what lesson does it teach the offender? A quick painless death for a heinous crime that affects families and friends for the rest of their lives.

On top of that, many studies show the death penalty has many flaws.

One study in particular, conducted by the New York Times, shows the race bias in the death penalty.

Since 1977, the majority of death row defendants, almost 77 percent, have been executed for killing white victims, even though African-Americans make up about half of all homicide victims.

Why would someone vote no on Propostion 62?

Many conservatives from the southern United States believe in “an eye for an eye,” which means the punishment should fit the crime exactly. A murderer should be murdered through our government, essentially.

Also, California Proposition 66 is also a big topic during this election time.

This proposition keeps the death penalty in place, while speeding up the appeals process, and establishing a time frame for death penalty review, thus saving our valuable tax money.

Both propositions would require prisoners on death row to work while in prison and pay restitution to victims’ families, which is a plus for both sides.

This proposition is so controversial because we must consider the victim’s family.
What do they want to see happen to the person who committed the crime on their loved one?
Forgiveness is often a coping tool for some, while revenge coats the hearts of many who feel as if they have been violated.

Whichever way you choose to vote this election year, know that your vote will change someone’s life forever.