Thursday, October 9, 2014

C-J Op-ed: Why I'm against the death penalty

Op-Ed by Allen Ault, the dean of the College of Justice & Safety at Eastern Kentucky University.
Capital punishment is not a theoretical concept for me. I have murdered five human beings for a state.
At the time of these deaths, I was director of the Georgia Department of Corrections. Ironically, the executions were carried out in the same maximum security prison where I had previously served as warden. As a result of these experiences, I became a strong opponent of capital punishment. I am against the death penalty because:
• It does not act as a deterrent.
• It is costly (for example, California has spent more than $5 billion for 17 executions).
• It is not applied to the most egregious cases.
• The criminal justice system that administers it is extremely imperfect; over the past decade, nearly 150 death row inmates have been exonerated.
• It is illogical for the state to teach citizens not to kill by killing.
The final reason for my opposition is a particularly personal one—the heavy toll capital punishment exacts from the individuals who have to carry out the sanction.
Read the complete article