I’m sorry to hear that you were victimized by violence. I would never criticize an individual for supporting the DP who had experienced violence firsthand. Anyone who has suffered that kind of grievous assault/loss is certainly entitled to their feelings whatever they might be. I happen to be privileged to know several extraordinary individuals who have experinced the loss of a loved one to murder, and yet are opposed to the DP. They have come to believe that our system of “justice” actually contributes to the violence in our midst.
By replicating the violence we supposedly abhor, we legitimize it and further imbue society with the miasma of brutality.
These survivors of violence have come to embrace a restoritive brand of justice, rather than a retributive form--a brand of justice that protects society by other than violent means, that nurtures the survivors and, ideally, would strive to rehabilitate and give some meaning to the rest of the murderer’s life (for instance, involve him/her in meaningful work, the proceeds from which could be used to help the survivors of violence).
In any case, from my viewpoint the state’s mirroring the murderer’s act of brutality with another act of brutality is not healing--for society or the individuals involved.
As Marietta Jaeger-Lane (who lost her 7 year-old daughter to murder) has said: “Loved ones, wrenched from our lives by violent crime, deserve more beautiful, noble and honorable memorials than pre-meditated, state-sanctioned killings. The death penalty only creates more victims and more grieving families. By becoming that which we deplore -- people who kill people -- we insult the sacred memory of all our precious victims.
'Concerning the claim of justice for the victim's family, I say there is no amount of retaliatory deaths that would compensate to me the inestimable value of my daughter's life, nor would they restore her to my arms. To say that the death of any other person would be just retribution is to insult the immeasurable worth of our loved ones who are victims. We cannot put a price on their lives. That kind of 'justice' would only dehumanize and degrade us because it legitimates an animal instinct for gut-level bloodthirsty revenge.”
I also have had the privilege to have met several of the 125 individuals who have been exonerated and freed from death row, as well as some of the mothers who have had sons there. No one wants to look at it, but the DP cures no ones pain--it only increases the pain of other families on the other side of the DP. As long as society continues to rely on the tool(s) of violence to solve its problems, violence will remain--a symptom of society’s ills.
(Incidentally, as far as having “to pay to feed, clothe, house, and provide medical care” for murderers, it should be noted that the whole DP process costs much more than the whole “life-in-prison” process--one of the many reasons New Jersey abolished the DP.)
Fighting for Truth, Justice, and making it the American way!