Target: Senator Lucia Guzman, Chair of the State Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Goal: End the death penalty in Colorado.
The state of Colorado still upholds the death penalty for cases of first-degree murder with an “aggravating factor,” and for cases of treason. Regardless of the guilt of any inmates or the severity of their crimes, capital punishment is too extreme and too permanent to be trusted in the hands of state courts. Many innocent people have been executed in the history of the U.S. for crimes they did not commit; the only way to ensure this never happens again is to abolish the death penalty.
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in 1976 that the death penalty was unconstitutional for many of the cases in which it was used, but most states have continued to execute prisoners within a stricter set of guidelines. Colorado has executed one inmate since 1976, and currently three inmates remain on death row. Although these inmates have been convicted of truly heinous crimes, we cannot trust that a judge and jury will ever be impartial enough to decide life and death for other citizens. Life in prison should be sufficient to exact justice, and if any of these inmates are found not guilty in the future, there will be ways to correct the error of the previous court decision. This is obviously impossible if the inmate has already been executed.
Capital punishment is uncivilized, draconian, and irreversible. Even in seemingly clear-cut situations of cold-blooded murder, the courts can still make serious errors of judgement and convict the wrong person, or convict someone of the wrong crime. Executions cannot be undone, so if the court makes such an error, it is too late to repair the damage for an innocent person. Colorado needs to join the rest of the industrialized world by outlawing capital punishment. Sign the petition to demand that the state legislature ban the death penalty.
Dear Senator Guzman,
Capital punishment is uncivilized and totally irreversible, and no matter how effective the courts are at convicting only those who are guilty, we should never entrust the lives of citizens to a judge and jury. In the history of the U.S. many innocent people have been executed for crimes they did not commit; the only way to ensure that this never happens again is to abolish the death penalty.
18 other states and most industrialized nations have banned capital punishment. Even for the most grievous crimes, state execution is too permanent and life in prison should be sufficient to punish the worst of criminals. New evidence often comes to light years after a conviction, and if the convict has already been executed, there is no way to correct the errors of the previous court decision. Please help Colorado and the U.S. join the rest of the industrialized world by outlawing capital punishment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Der Vollstrecker via Flickr