The Green Party of Arkansas opposes the death penalty

We oppose the death penalty in all cases, with no exceptions. There are many reasons for our opposition to the death penalty. The biggest reason is that it is immoral – it is immoral because it is unnecessary for the protection of society because convicted murderers are incarcerated at the time that they are executed. All killings of human beings are wrong except in cases of self defense, and therefore the death penalty is wrong.

Many people who are in favor of the death penalty assume that those who are against the penalty are simply “bleeding hearts” that are sympathetic to the killer and not to the victim. There are however, reasons to oppose the death penalty that have nothing to do with being sympathetic to the convicted person. We will list two here.

One reason is because the person to be executed has in every case some kind of family – a mother, a father, a brother, sister, daughter, son. The loved ones of the convicted person are themselves innocent. They have not committed the crime, and yet they are painfully punished by having a loved member of their family executed. They will never hear that voice again, never be able to mail that son a picture of a family event, never will be able to provide encouragement or support for a daughter’s rehabilitation, if only in prison. The family members of those who are put to death are *additional* victims of the original crime, innocent victims, and they are the victims of the state, and that is just wrong.

A second reason is simple justice. There is no such thing as perfect justice. Therefore there should be no irrevocable penalties. When a mistake is made and the wrong person is convicted of a crime, when there is no death penalty the person stands at least some chance of being vindicated through future evidence coming to light. You can let a person out of prison, but not out of a grave.