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Execution costs can be lower if common sense is applied

on Wednesday, 08 July 2015. Posted in Letters to the Editor, Opinions

If in fact it costs $1.1 million more to convict and execute a person for capital murder than it does to imprison them for a potential 60 years, something is incredible wrong and it has to change. I have served on half a dozen or so juries. As I recall, before deliberation the judge instructs that you must decide beyond a “reasonable” doubt that the defendant is guilty as charged to convict.

I have thought about how awful it would be to be innocent of something yet convicted and put in prison, fined or otherwise. Unfortunately there have been people that served many years for a crime they didn’t commit. I suppose most of them were exonerated because of relatively new technology such as DNA. Unfortunately sometimes it is because of some stupid technicality a guilty person goes free. Our judicial system is not and never will be perfect, but changes in laws and the court system are seriously needed. 

However, if a person is deemed to be guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt, such as multiple eye witnesses, confession with positive proof, such as DNA, that should be a serious game changer. Laws can be modified to do that so swift action can be taken and lots of money in court costs can be saved as well family grief. Regarding the cost of an execution, that needs modification too. If found guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt, the cost can be quite low if common sense is applied. People kill themselves daily for 50 cents or less. Dave Hicklin Florence

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