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LETTER: Death penalty is a no-win platform

Emilie Henry
York Township

The platform committee of the Democratic National Committee recently added the abolition of the death penalty to the party’s platform. It’s good to see that politicians are now recognizing and labelling the death penalty as the cruel and unusual form of punishment that it is.

File-This April 6, 2016, file photo shows the Pfizer logo appearing on a screen above its trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Pfizer said Friday, May 13, 2016, it was blocking use of its drugs in lethal injections, which means all federally-approved drugmakers whose medications could be used for executions have now put them off limits. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

When you look at the numbers, it’s crazy to think the death penalty is only affecting criminals or those “deserving” of such a punishment. One hundred and fifty-six people have been exonerated from death row in the past 43 years, and six of those were in Pennsylvania.

The fact that we’ve sentenced this number of innocent people to death is unacceptable. Our current system will never be fully capable of protecting innocent people, so having a punishment as permanent as death is just too risky.

Pfizer says it's blocking use of drugs for lethal injections

As if that weren’t enough, seeking the death penalty is much more expensive than life without parole. The appeals process for capital cases is complex, lengthy and extremely costly. Seeking death instead of life without parole adds about $2 million to a single murder case. And the process can’t be shorter or cheaper or else we run the risk of executing an innocent person.

To make a long story short, with the death penalty, nobody wins. We should welcome this platform from one of our largest political parties and encourage the Republican Party and others throughout the nation to adopt this position as well.


York Township