justice stevens disavows the death penalty

justice stevens disavows the death penalty

In an opinion released on Wednesday, United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote:

I have relied on my own experience in reaching the conclusion that the imposition of the death penalty represents “the pointless and needless extinction of life with only marginal contributions to any discernible social or public purposes. A penalty with such negligible returns to the state (is) patently excessive and cruel and unusual punishment violative of the Eighth Amendment.”

Absolutely right …

It is difficult for me to discern even a “marginal” contribution to the public good. What does the death penalty accomplish, except to satisfy an unholy desire for retribution or revenge? It does not make people better or society safer. On the contrary, it reinforces a culture of violence and encourages the least helpful — and the least noble — impulses in a victimized society.

As a nation that proclaims itself a defender of liberty and human rights, it would only be right for us to lead the rest of the world toward the total abolition of the death penalty, but we aren’t. We aren’t leading. We’re not even following.

One thought on “justice stevens disavows the death penalty

  1. Death penalty is a good verdict for a criminal. So that it is good and it just shows how big and unlawful crime a criminal committed. And is the legal thing for having a victim’s justice.The current recession has taken a toll on anything, including the amount of death sentences and executions. Legal and ethical issues and costs are among the chief reasons for the decline in the capital punishment. It is not as likely that people will face the death penalty now. (See http://www.newsytype.com/13999-executions-death-sentences/ for more info)

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