Iowa’s death penalty must remain void

Advocating to kill someone because they killed someone is fighting violence with violence; it’s not the message that should be spreading within a society that has become more civilized.

The death penalty is an injustice. Studies show it does not deter crime. However, it is a crime for people to be wrongly accused and killed whether from lack of substantial evidence or discrimination. Over 100 people have been released from death row in recent years because there was finally enough supporting evidence to prove their innocence — not every “felon” has been so lucky.

Capital punishment does discriminate against minorities in particular. Those individuals are more likely to, in disproportionate measures, receive the death penalty.

Iowa’s death penalty was abolished in 1965 by former Governor Harold Hughes. There have only ever been 46 executions in the state of Iowa since 1834, and the prejudices that exist today were no less prevalent while the death sentence was intact, meaning innocent people may have been killed. In 1845, two Mormon brothers were hanged for murder, repeatedly voicing their innocence. They blamed their verdicts on religious prejudice.

Currently in Iowa, murderers are sentenced to life in prison. And every single one of those life sentences will die in a cell for the acts they have committed. They can repent in jail or they can not. And either way, if  the convicted are sorry or indifferent, it is not for us to decide when their lives should end. Killing is against the law. So it would be unlawful to reinstate the death penalty in Iowa. It shouldn’t be allowed for our government and our leaders to kill other humans where they see appropriate.

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