In response to the "Don't revive capital punishment debate" editorial (Our View, The Record, March 21) I completely disagree with the author's stance and strongly feel that the capital punishment debate should be front and centre. In reading the transcripts from the Tori Stafford trial, it is shocking, graphic and tragic that an innocent eight-year-old girl had that level of evil bestowed upon her for no reason other than two soulless individuals following through on a dare.
The events will culminate in these people (hopefully) living the rest of their lives behind bars at the expense of taxpayers. The 2005 StatsCan numbers show that the cost of running federal prisons was over $10 billion. The yearly cost for a female prisoner was between $150,000 and $250,000, while the yearly cost for a male prisoner was around $88,000. With university costs soaring and teachers striking in B.C. for equitable wages, it seems completely irrational to keep these people alive. What is the point? They can be rehabilitated? Who would hire these individuals and who would want to live next to these individuals? The accused even stated, "I have no life." So the rational decision is to incarcerate her for the rest of her life?
In an earlier time, when justice didn't have as many checks and balances or technological advances, innocent people were wrongly accused and sentenced to death. However, with more advanced technology there is a much lower chance of false positives and wrongly accusing and executing innocent individuals. Nothing is 100 per cent accurate, and there will always be a certain margin of error, however, if we as a society continue to feel that we
are too sophisticated and have evolved past the "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth justice," just read the trial transcripts of the Tori Stafford or the Robert Pickton case. You will see that we have not become more sophisticated or humane, and in many cases just the opposite.
Virgil Hill, Burnaby
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