Tuesday evening death row inmate Clarence Hill, will be executed for his involvement in the fatal shooting of Pensacola police officer, Stephen Taylor. Hill, who will die by lethal injection, committed the crime more than 20 years ago.
Enraged by the lapse in time since Hill committed the crime and that of his punishment, activists against the death penalty are questioning if capital punishment is truly serving its purpose.
According to Amnesty International’s website, “scientific studies have consistently failed to find convincing evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than other punishments.”
So, if the death penalty neither increases nor decreases crime, what is it really supposed to do?
Florida’s 10-20-Life program was instated by Gov. Jeb Bush in 1998 to decrease the number of violent crimes within the state. Since its inception, the program has done just that. The number of violent gun crimes has decreased by 34 percent, making it the lowest it has been in 25 years.
With 10-20-Life, there is a clear objective and purpose for its use and data to show that it is doing exactly what it was designed and intended to do.
However, when looking at the death penalty, things aren’t as clear.
We are not advocating for or against the death penalty but simply proposing for it to do more than kill those sentenced to death and prevent future incidents from happening.
If there is no defined purpose or objective, it seems we are operating solely on emotions, and in an attempt to even the score.
Amber Vaughan for the editorial board.