Wednesday, October 05, 2005

NYTimes: Even Life Without Parole is an Excessively Harsh Punishment for Murderers

Confirming what those of us who support capital punishment have long believed, the New York Times is running a series, No Way Out, bemoaning that those convicts sentenced to life in prison are increasingly really serving life in prison. Life without parole has been touted as the alternative to execution that, in the eyes of death penalty opponents, avoids taking a life to avenge a life taken.

Many countries around the world that have abolished the death penalty have also abolished life without parole and equivalents. They believe even the worst of the worst can and deserve to be rehabilitated and returned to society. We execute or imprison for life without parole the worst, most violent criminals among us specifically because they have committed acts sufficiently vile to earn the judgment of their peers that society must be protected from any potential of recidivism by permanently removing that person from society.

Death penalty opponents in the United States argue that one of the drawbacks of the death penalty is the difficulty in obtaining extradition of accused murderers who have fled to counties that won't extradite to death penalty jurisdictions unless the death penalty is removed from the table. However, in the case of Mexico--and I'm sure other countries with which I am less familiar--they will not extradite anyone facing life without parole or a life without parole equivalent. Do we really want to give the cold-blooded killers who face the potential of death or life without parole even the opportunity of returning to society?

Today's installment in this series, "Serving Life, With No Chance of Redemption," is the third article in this series. Go to BugMeNot if you need a username and password.