I know of no justification for the continuing use of executions in the U.S., but they are continuing. Arizona, for example, plans to execute Frank Jarvis Atwood on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, at the Central Unit of the Arizona State Prison Complex in Florence, Arizona. Sixty-five-year-old Frank is convicted of murdering eight-year-old Vicki Lynne Hoskinson on September 17, 1984, in Tucson, Arizona. Atwood has until May 19 to choose between the gas chamber or lethal injection as the method of his execution. Either is horrifying to me.
We have evidence by the pound that execution does not deter criminals including murderers. Many Americans, myself included, find the death penalty egregiously immoral—no government has the right to take a citizen’s life. And execution is far more expensive than life imprisonment. Some estimate that it costs U.S. taxpayers between $50 and $90 million more per year (depending on the jurisdiction) to prosecute death penalty cases than life sentences. In Texas, one death penalty case costs the state about $2.3 million. That’s is three times higher than what it would cost to imprison one inmate in the highest security prison cell available for 40 years.
So we have no justification for continuing the barbaric practice of state killing.
It’s time for us to speak out and work for change.