Many European countries have abolished the death penalty these days. But they are less democratic and less accountable to the people of their country.
Genny Rojas was four years old when her aunt and uncle, Veronica and Ivan Gonzales, tortured and killed her. They hung him alive with a hook on the closet wall in their apartment. They shook him violently, strangled him, beat him with a hairbrush, and handcuffed him for days. She died after being taken into a boiling bath for three minutes.
A California jury sentenced Veronica and Ivan to death. The California Supreme Court upheld their convictions. If someone deserved the ultimate punishment, they did.
There must certainly be heartfelt arguments about people’s opposition to the death penalty, at least for religious, moral, or other reasons and beliefs. There are also valid arguments regarding the historical use of the death penalty against minorities, especially in the South.
The Court of Cassation ruled that the death penalty was constitutional. [5., 14.art.] It carries the express consent of the death penalty: a person cannot be “deprived of life, liberty or property” without legal action.
In most of the states (29), death penalty is in the books. Similarly, the federal government and military have the ultimate punishment for the most heinous crimes.
Since 1976, when the Supreme Court reversed the sentence, 1,512 executions were carried out, with the majority of the defendants being whites (55%), followed by blacks (34%). The majority of victims in death penalty cases are whites (76%), followed by blacks (15%). The majority of Americans support the death penalty, and since voting began in 1938.
However, in order for the death penalty to be applied fairly, we must strive for the criminal justice system to function as intended. We should all agree that all defendants in large cases should have competent and diligent lawyers representing them at every stage of the trial and appeal process.
Any residue of racism in the criminal justice system is wrong and we must work to eradicate it. Nobody is in favor of racist prosecutors, bad judges or incompetent defense lawyers. If problems arise in certain situations, they must be corrected – and most of the time it is.
However, the death penalty serves three legitimate criminal purposes: general deterrence, specific deterrence, and revenge.
First, general deterrence is the message to those who are thinking of committing heinous crimes that they should not do it, otherwise they could be sentenced to death.
Second, specific deterrence is specific to the defendant. It simply means that the person sentenced to death will not be alive to kill other people.
Punishment, the third penological purpose, is an expression of the right of the society to reach a moral judgment by punishing a person who commits a crime appropriate to the crime committed. People’s representatives in the twenty-nine states and Congress spoke out loud; The death penalty must be imposed for the worst of the worst.
Opponents also argue that since other countries have abolished the death penalty, we should do it. However, Thailand, India, Japan, Singapore and many other countries are subject to the death penalty.
Yes, many European countries have abolished the death penalty. But they are less democratic than us, and MPs are less accountable to the people in their country.
Note that there are a number of death row inmates who were understandably exonerated through groups such as the Innocence Project. Unfortunately there may be errors. In fact, there may be mistakes on both sides when it comes to the death penalty.
But admitting that mistakes can occur from time to time in large cases does not make the death penalty any more unjust than years of imprisonment, because non-capital cases are not rendered unfair as occasional errors occur.
Today, there are built-in checks and balances in the criminal justice system, from jury selection to the sentencing stage, to the appeal process designed to provide a fair process for each defendant. The system is not perfect and we must work to make it better for everyone involved.
But we cannot forget the victims either. Genny Gonzales would be 28 years old this year. She never went to high school or went to college or fell in love. He went. Their killer deserves the death penalty. However, justice will not be completed until their sentences are executed.