California’s death penalty suspension should be lifted

Gov. Newsom’s suspension on capital punishment delays rightfully deserved justice.

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California’s death penalty suspension should be lifted

Courtesy of wikimedia commons

Courtesy of wikimedia commons

Courtesy of wikimedia commons

Adam Pigott, Freelance Writer

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Whether we are talking about the Golden State Killer, kidnapper and murderer Richard Allen Davis, the late Charles Manson or the Hollywood Ripper, it is evident that California, just like every other state, has its fair share of homicidal psychopaths. These serial murderers have committed unspeakable atrocities and have shown no remorse for their actions. 

Psychopathic killers are a clear and present danger to everyone around them and their crimes should deserve punishment from the death penalty. However, back in March, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a suspension on executions that will last as long as he is governor, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. I strongly disagree with this suspension. There are criminals that are too dangerous to be kept alive that should face justice. While Newsom’s order does not reverse the convictions and sentences of death row inmates, it is a delay of justice that should be served.

DETERRENCE IS NOT THE POINT

More often than not, people that oppose the death penalty say that it does nothing to deter crime, and only fuels a culture of violence. However, executing murderers is not the same as murder. Murder, by definition, is “unlawfully killing a person with malicious aforethought.”

Giving the death penalty to someone such as Ted Bundy, a man that raped and murdered dozens of women, is lawful and just. Bundy managed to escape police custody twice and committed his crimes all across the Northwest, in Colorado, Utah and Florida. In the words of Ed Davis, an Indianapolis police chief, “You do not shoot a rabid dog to deter other rabid dogs, you shoot him so he won’t bite somebody.” If Bundy had not been executed, there is no telling how many more people would have been hurt and killed. 

God placed judges, leaders and jurors among his people to establish laws and enforce them. This is what puts leaders in a position to be responsible for judgment that effectively protects God’s people from those who only want to harm and destroy. In Genesis 9:6, God says that whoever kills another person will meet the same fate at the hands of man. He calls his people to be just, and ignoring the fact that these killers will kill again as long as they are breathing is unjust.

WHO SHOULD FACE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT?

It is important to clarify that I do not believe that every single killer should face capital punishment. There are killers that should serve a life sentence. The ones that deserve to be put to death are those that have committed murder in the most brutal and barbaric fashion. In 1993, in Petaluma, California, Richard Allen Davis stalked 12-year-old Polly Klaas, broke into her home, kidnapped her and strangled her, according to the San Francisco Gate. Davis’ actions were carefully calculated, which is first-degree murder. He committed the most severe form of murder, and he deserved his death sentence. While his sentence does not change, Newsom has delayed the justice and closure that Polly’s family has rightfully deserved for over 25 years.

“He is advocating on behalf of pure evil,” said Polly’s father Marc Klaas in an interview with ABC-10. “He is the champion of the death row inmate in California. Death row is filled with individuals who killed cops, women, babies, children.”

If Newsom is correct in saying that the death penalty unfairly discriminates against people of color and the mentally ill, then that problem should be addressed. However, I do not believe that a suspension of the state’s punishment will solve that problem. The internal problems of our country’s justice system need to be addressed rather than the form of punishment.

Capital crimes committed by minors and the mentally impaired should not result in a death sentence. The criminal that murdered Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, Eddie Ray Routh, was believed to have suffered from schizophrenia. Instead of pursuing the death penalty, prosecutors sentenced him to life without the possibility of parole. The death penalty should be used on those who are fully aware of their actions and show no remorse.

RETRIBUTION, NOT REVENGE

The main purpose of executions is not revenge, but retribution. What ultimately separates the two is the intention. Executions make examples of the people who are on death row. Newsom’s moratorium does not take into account the justice and retribution that must be served to murderers such as Richard Allen Davis, the Golden State Killer and the Hollywood Ripper. The death penalty preserves and lifts up the lives of the innocent to a higher position while ending the lives of evildoers.

The death penalty is crucial to the preservation of justice in our country. The death row inmates in California who have killed police officers, babies, children and women as described by Paul Klaas, deserve to face justice. If innocent people are to be kept safe, order is to be maintained and the sanctity of innocent life is to be preserved, Newsom must realize that capital punishment effectively protects people and holds criminals responsible for their crimes.