The following letter to the editor ran in the January 4, 2014, Arizona Daily Star. It’s by DPAA’s vice president.
Myriad reasons to drop death penalty
By Punch Woods
Re: the Dec. 17 article “Death penalty sought for three.”
How tragic the Pima county attorney is seeking the death penalty. The cost is millions more than seeking life without parole. That money could well be used for other investigations and appropriate prosecutions. Last year the county attorney spent about $2 million more than authorized.
Furthermore, evidence and experience demonstrate that the death penalty is cruel, irrevocable and a violation of the right to life. It damages and poisons society by endorsing violence and by causing injustice and suffering. It has no particular effect on violent crime, and abolition nations often have lower murder rates than those that still execute.
Executions and death sentences have dropped nationally, but not here. Pima and Maricopa counties are among the top 15 counties performing executions since 1976. Will Pima County be the last to stop seeking the death penalty?