Waiting to Die

The Truth About the Death Penalty

Dear Love,

I’m not dead yet. It seems I’ve been waiting here forever just to die. I’m not all that surprised though; it doesn’t seem like anyone ever dies around here unless its from old age or a prison brawl. I heard one guy died here, after waiting forty years, from natural causes (“Nation’s Longest Serving Death Row Inmate Dies 40 Years After Conviction”). I hope I don’t do that. The anxiety of waiting would probably kill me first. I also heard that in the last forty years only thirteen people have been executed (Ron Briggs con 3). Thirteen! Can you believe that? Why bother putting us on death row if they aren’t even going to kill us? They might as well lock us up for life; it’s pretty much what they are doing anyways. Why do they want to kill us anyways? Do they find justice from it? Is killing me the only way they can feel at peace? Do they worry that I'll escape and cause more trouble? I don't want to live my life on the run. At least here I have food and shelter. There's no guarantee that I would get that out of here. Let me tell you, I thought killing that man who hurt me would give me peace, but it didn’t. It made everything worse. Do they think it will stop others? They obviously don’t know deterrence theory. I doubt they have even heard the term swiftness of punishment or certainty of punishment. It means that for a punishment to be a deterrence it has to happen soon after the sentencing and has to happen with certainty (Schram and Tibbetts 70 -71). Well, I’m still not dead and I’m not sure I ever will be killed. And if I hear one more time that killing me is the only way to keep me from killing again, I swear (George W. Bush pro 11). What about all the murders not on death row? The murders in prison are allowed to murder? What’s the point of regular prison if you really believe it won’t hold? Don’t even get me started on the brutalization effect. I still don’t understand how the death penalty isn’t just someone seeking revenge. Killing is killing, whether someone decides it's legal or not. Might as well let vigilantes do the work and save the police some time. Anyway, how are you? Did you fix your financial problem? You know it would be less of a problem if taxes weren’t so high. It costs you $384 million an execution to do it the ‘right way’ (con 3). Makes you wonder what a bullet would cost. But then again, it’s easier to say it’s not murder when nobody’s pulling the trigger. Plus, someone could miss with a bullet and fail the execution. Not that that ever happens with lethal injections or electrocutions. Oh wait, yeah it does. So who knows, maybe when they finally call my number I won’t die. I’ll just be a vegetable. There’s one guy in here that keeps getting his number called but keeps getting rescheduled (“Upcoming Executions”). Honestly, it seems like more people are getting rescheduled than executed. Anyways, I hope you’re doing well. I miss you, I love you. Hopefully this will all be over soon.

Love,

Caron


Works Cited

  • Schram, Pamela J. and Stephen G. Tibbetts. Introduction To Criminology. 2nd ed., SAGE, 2018.
  • “Upcoming Executions.” Death Penalty Information Center. deathpenaltyinfo.org/upcoming-ex
  • ecutions#year2018. Accessed 24 April 2018.
  • “Nation’s Longest Serving Death Row Inmate Dies 40 Years After Conviction.” Death Penalty
  • Information Center. deathpenaltyinfo.org/nations-longest-serving-death-row-inmate-dies- 40-years-after-conviction. Accessed 24 April 2018.
  • “Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed?” ProCon.org, 27 March 2017. deathpenalty.procon.org/
  • view.answers.php?questionID=001324. Accessed 24 April 2018.