Courts Politics

Millennials’ Shocking Plan to Abolish Death Penalty

Growing up in Texas during the ’80s and ’90s, the death penalty was deeply ingrained in the state’s culture, akin to tacos and football. News of scheduled executions was commonplace, with teenagers making casual jokes about someone “riding the lightning” when the lights flickered. However, there’s been a shift in recent years, with a quiet groundswell of support for abolishing capital punishment not just in Texas, but across the nation. Public support for the death penalty has been declining steadily over the past few decades, nearing record lows, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Nan Tolson, director of Texas Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, challenges the myth that the death penalty serves as an effective deterrent for crime. With an extensive political background, Tolson argues that the evidence doesn’t support the notion that capital punishment enhances public safety. As a limited government conservative and Christian, she questions the morality and effectiveness of the state exacting revenge through executions.

Moreover, the existence of life without parole sentences presents a compelling alternative to capital punishment. Ron Wright, wrongfully convicted of murder and later exonerated, emphasizes that life without parole carries a heavier weight for inmates than execution. In prison, where capital punishment serves as an incentive for violence, life without parole sentences provide a more enduring punishment, as there’s no “finish line” for the condemned.

The conservative perspective on the death penalty is evolving, with concerns about government competence and the sanctity of life playing prominent roles. As a conservative Catholic, the idea of the state determining who lives and who dies raises doubts about governmental competency, particularly given its track record in various areas. The growing skepticism toward the death penalty is underscored by the innocence issue, as wrongful convictions and exonerations shed light on systemic flaws in the justice system.

While legal changes to the criminal justice system are challenging, the shifting attitudes among millennials, who will soon dominate political spheres, could herald significant shifts in policy priorities. Millennials’ growing distrust of the death penalty juxtaposed with support for abortion rights signals a complex landscape for future debates. As cases like Richard Glossip’s appeal to the Supreme Court unfold, they will serve as pivotal moments in shaping attitudes toward capital punishment, leaving a lasting impact on generations to come.

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