Megan Smith, Asheville • August 21, 2010 (from a family member of murder victims)
There is a lot of current hype about the death penalty and the Racial Justice Act. I lost my father and stepmother to murder, and one of the killers is on death row now. As I have learned more and more about capital punishment over the years, it has become clear that the system is biased and broken in many ways. It seems like a system so extreme ought to at least be fair — racially and otherwise — but isn't. I'm glad that the Racial Justice Act forces us to confront that issue. Even if some are stretching the statistics, overall the numbers speak loudly that something must change.
As a family member of murder victims, I can tell you that I feel no healing, justice or closure that someone else might die. It doesn't set things straight again, prevent other teenagers from going down the wrong track, nor does it bring back my loved ones. Maybe instead of just analyzing racial statistics, perhaps we can take another look at the purpose of the death penalty and if it is really accomplishing what we hope it is.
Asheville Citizen-Times here
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