BRIAN PERRY/Execution options

The fights over where executions would occur show the distaste even proponents of the death penalty have over the practice; as it should be.

In my college freshman speech class I spoke passionately against the death penalty.  Four years later in graduate school I took the opposite position and advocated for the death penalty. Later I fell somewhere in between: believing the state may employ capital punishment but is not required to do so for justice sake. A comprehensive view of the sanctity of life seems to discourage the death penalty.

Today, I don’t believe the death penalty serves as a deterrent or is a cost-efficient way of handling criminals. Perhaps both could be true, but potentially at the cost of due process. It certainly doesn’t function in a system based on “corrections.” I lean toward the idea that the only punishment that does deliver justice for certain crimes is execution. But it is a somber and regrettable justice not to be celebrated.

Fortunately for me, my decision doesn’t matter.  Prosecutors, juries, judges, legislators and the governor must wrestle with that.

For now, as Attorney General Hood has said, if the state is going to have capital punishment it must have a constitutional way of carrying it out. That might not include a firing squad, but the legislature is poised to provide options other than lethal injection: including a return to electrocution.

Neshoba Democrat