In early April, Virginia authorities executed William Morva for the crime of killing a sheriff’s deputy and a hospital security guard. The state’s Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, declined to commute the sentence.
In August, Florida is set to resume using the death penalty after an 18-month hiatus. The state Supreme Court had put executions on hold during that time in light of a federal Supreme Court decision. Republican Gov. Rick Scott also stripped Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala of the power to prosecute murder cases because she said that she would never seek the death penalty.
John Kasich, Ohio’s Republican governor, has scheduled 27 executions through 2021.
A federal judge in June accepted changes to Arizona’s execution procedure, such as ban on using some drugs. This settles a case brought by prisoners contending that the way Arizona carried out he death penalty caused too much suffering.
These activities across the states show that both Democratic and Republican governors continue to enforce the death penalty, but there is also a push to curtail – or even ban – its use.
Death penalty opponents point to the frequency of wrongful convictions. They contend that the chances are simply too high that an innocent person has been, or will be, put to death. Those pushing for abolition also contend that the practice is barbaric, with those being executed suffering too much.
There are still many Americans who support the death penalty, however. They see some crimes as deserving the ultimate punishment.
While numbers are hard to determine precisely, there is evidence that the death penalty is becoming more unpopular in America. However, when voters faced state ballot propositions in 2016, they affirmed its use in Oklahoma and California.
Do you support the continued use of the death penalty? Or do you think it’s time that the U.S. stops enforcing this type of punishment?