Monday, March 24, 2008

Better Served

James Gray, a judge in California's Orange County, has been writing about the death penalty in the Daily Pilot. Two relevant excerpts from his latest column:

We are also more frequently seeing the phenomenon of the victims’ families speaking out against the execution of the convicted perpetrator. One of these is a man named Bud Welch, whose daughter died at the hands of Timothy McVeigh in the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.

As Welch continued to think about the situation, he stated publicly that he had come to two realizations. The first was that even after McVeigh would be dead, he himself would not actually feel better. The second was that he decided that all his rage and hatred against McVeigh in the name of his daughter was hardly a fitting tribute to her memory.

And later in the piece:

Accordingly, I have personally concluded that the families of the victims would be better served by its repeal; the huge amount of tax money would be better spent on improving our roads or paying the salaries of our police and firefighters; both the trial and appellate courts could better devote their resources and energies to address numbers of other issues in our society that are crying out for attention; and our country could rejoin most of the rest of the civilized world by repealing this practice. One way or the other everyone will benefit, because the system we have today is neither swift nor sure.

Read the entire column here.

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