Gino Pazzaglini: Life, not death

May 2, 2014 

Regarding the May 1 news article “Oklahoma faces sharp scrutiny over botched execution”: The “botched” execution in Oklahoma is disturbing. Most assuredly, the crime this man committed can be described only as barbaric and pure evil, deserving severest punishment.

Years ago our family also experienced the trauma of criminal assault that thankfully ended without permanent harm in our case. We can empathize with families of victims wanting “an eye for an eye” justice.

Yet hearing the shocking accounts of how this execution was carried out should cause anyone pause. A grotesque crime followed by a grotesque execution.

Beyond legal arguments prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment, mishandled executions such as the recent one in Oklahoma give us the opportunity to again examine our own beliefs on capital punishment, close-up. The only countries in the world who execute more people than the U.S. are China, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. And while numbers of U.S. executions have dropped, so have the number of abhorrent crimes.

Life imprisonment without parole, rather than death row execution, is the more fitting path.

Gino Pazzaglini

Raleigh

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