The death penalty has been in the news again.
One article (“State considers reviving old time executions”: Lima News, Jan. 29) talks about the possibility of reviving long abandoned methods of execution because of the growing difficulty of obtaining the drugs used for lethal injections.
Another article (“Test leads to release of another Ohio inmate”: Lima News, Jan. 31) talks about man released from death row because of DNA testing, proving once again, if proof were needed, that our justice system can make mistakes.
Finally, there is the column by Thomas J. Lucente Jr. (Lima News, Feb. 7: “Time to end the death penalty in Ohio”). The column should be required reading for all county prosecutors, and for our state legislators.
Given the fact that the death penalty is not an effective deterrent to crime, that it is very costly, and that innocent people have been put to death, one has to wonder why Ohio continues to use it. Two reasons that come quickly to mind are revenge and political expediency.
The latter, if ever a motive, would be so blatantly wrong that it needs no further discussion. The other motive, revenge, is often clothed in the language of “justice for the victim and his/her family.”
But does doing violence to another human being — and that is what an execution is, no matter how “humanely” it is carried out — send a message that human life, all human life, is sacred? And is that not the message that we want to convey to a society and a world that so desperately needs it?
Let’s stop executions in Ohio, not because we cannot figure out a way to do it in a humane manner, but simply because there is no humane way to execute a fellow human being.
— Al O’Dell, Columbus Grove