No death penalty means justice for criminal only

I disagree with the opinion of Stephen Kent’s article, “Final step to civilization? Abolish the death penalty” (CR, July 17).

If and when we do abolish the death penalty, the message we would deliver to convicted murderers is, OK, you now have a license to kill anyone else you may want to, if you so desire. Our laws now protect you, and you are safe from ever being put to death.

Subsequently, if a prisoner kills a guard or another prisoner, what would be our alternative to further punish them? Perhaps give them another life term? Maybe our Supreme Court could then re-study the options available and may one day reintroduce the death penalty, but only, say, after five or more murders are committed and they feel that rehabilitation just possibly didn’t work.

Take away the one punishment that most convicted murderers fear, and our criminal justice system will surely turn into justice for the criminal only.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.