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March 08, 2009

End capital punishment

A Star editorial (3/4, Opinion, “Ending a burdensome cost” concluded, “Fiscal considerations are as good a reason as any to punish the most heinous criminals with life in prison without parole.” It also stated “costs are more than monetary. Death penalty prosecutions and prolonged appeals exact a toll on families of crime victims and communities.”
Following the murder of my father in 1972, I came to realize that murder victims’ families cannot obtain closure from an execution. Healing comes only from outside the legal system from support of family, friends and community. Affected families would be much more assisted if the state were to spend the excess cost of capital punishment on their needs for financial assistance and support.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s decision to study the abolition bill in an interim committee provides Kansans the opportunity to understand just how poorly we are served by the existence of capital punishment. After 15 years, Kansas’ death penalty is wrought with prosecutorial misconduct, withholding of evidence, jury misconduct, judicial error and probably inadequate representation.
The time has arrived to face the truth and end capital punishment.
Bill Lucero
Kansas coordinator, Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation



I agree with both gentlemen here. After losing a loved one, I would want the person who is responsible for doing it to serve life imprisonment. With doing so, the criminal would be able to serve his time for what he had done.

Also, with my religion I do not believe it is our right to choose whether someone will be able to live or be put to death. Serving life in jail without parol would be worse I would think.

It seems to serve as a way to keep jails not as crowded and to put people who the government believe to be dangerous enough. Who is government to decide whether someone should live or die?


I've come full circle on this issue and Inow support the end to the death penalty. Coming from Illinois, where it was discovered that there were a disturbing number of innocent people on death row, I supported the suspension of the death penalty in that state. I was also surprised to learn how much it can cost to put a criminal to death.

But beyond that, I agree completely with Mr. Lucero about families not gaining any closure from knowing someone who has turned their lives inside out has been put to death. I've seen it described as a hollow victory. And if it does not serve victims' loved ones, what purpose does it serve?

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