Now’s the time to abolish executions

Opinion: If a bipartisan coaliton in the Arizona Legislature on criminal justice reform agrees with abolishing the death penalty, now is the time to act.

By Robert Robb | Arizona Republic

Attorney General Mark Brnovich has been badgering Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Corrections to resume executions.

He has apparently succeeded. Corrections Director David Shinn notified Brnovich that the department was confident that it would be able to obtain the necessary lethal drug and someone to administer it. The department, he wrote, “now stands ready to commence the execution process.”

That process begins with Brnovich filing the required papers.

Executions aren’t immoral or unjust

My long-standing opposition to the death penalty is narrowly based. I do not regard it as immoral or unjust. I agree that some murders are so heinous as to deserve the ultimate punishment, death.

Related: 

The right to a speedy death / By Phil Riske, Rose Law Group Reporter

And I weigh very heavily the sense of closure many family members of victims say they gain from an execution of the perpetrator. Brnovich has made that a major part of his argument for resuming executions in Arizona.

However, the criminal justice system is a human institution, subject to human frailties and foibles. While some people may deserve the ultimate punishment, a human institution cannot be trusted to dispense it. Particularly one as rickety and vulnerable to mistakes and manipulation as the American criminal justice system.

Because of all that, the most severe punishment available should be life in prison. The death penalty should be abolished.

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