I bet you’ll never guess. I’ve got what I think is a pretty practical view on the death penalty – or lack there of such a penalty – when it comes to murder sentencing. Although I do not have (thank God) a family member or friend who has been affected by a capital felony case, my view is that it would be fine to get rid of the death penalty… with a few caveats.
Rick Green over at the Hartford Courant online posted part of Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s letter to Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz where she vetoes HB 6578, An Act Concerning the Penalty for a Capital Felony..
There is no doubt that the death penalty is a deterrent to those who contemplate such monstrous acts. The statistics supporting this fact, however, are not easily tabulated. How do we count the person who considered the consequences of the crime and walked away? We cannot, but we know that this occurs. We have a responsibility to act to prevent these heinous crimes and to ensure that criminals will not harm again.
Since Rell did not provide any statistics, Green provided a link to the Death Penalty Information Center post comparing the murder rates of death penalty and non-death penalty states. The statistics “show” that states without the death penalty have lower murder rates.
Come on now… it’s not plausible to think a criminal would commit capital felony murder specifically because they were in a death penalty state, or elect not to commit murder since the penalty was only life in prison.
Rell was right on the money when she stated you can not measure crimes that did not happen due to sentencing guidelines that scared criminals straight. This also applies to crimes that were not committed by criminals in a specific area due to a higher percentage of citizens trained and carrying a concealed pistol.
There are many other factors to consider, and since I don’t what to re-phrase my comment on Green’s CT Confidential post, here it is, with my emphasis of my own comment in bold.