When the death penalty is discussed, it seems to me the discussion inevitably goes toward the guilty person who has that penalty over their heads. At the same time, the victim, lying in their grave, is forgotten. If this person, judged to be guilty by a jury of his peers, had received life instead, the conversation would never get started. What is necessary, it seems to me, is to not lose sight of why/how the death penalty was affixed as suitable punishment.
I have never served on a jury. I do listen to the news, doing my best to keep up. I have been appalled by stories speaking of who had been murdered, who had been judged guilty by a jury of their peers. If the death penalty is judged to be the only penalty worthy of this crime, it must be administered.
At the same time, an otherwise innocent person must be protected. I have no problem with the appeals process. It must move expeditiously, looking at the recently concluded trial to determine all went as it should. I want the innocent protected, both the one no longer with us as well as the one in the docket for the crime. If new evidence surfaces, which clears one who had been guilty, they must be released.
If, on the other hand, the appeals process does not clear the person judged guilty, then it is time to set a date for execution. What must be understood is this person has been judged guilty by a jury of his/her peers. This person has committed a crime so heinous, so out of the bounds of how we feel human life should be treated, there is no other penalty deemed suitable. Society demands the affixed sentence be carried out. The guilty, in executing a crime of first degree murder did not grant to their victim any hint of the consideration granted them. This crime was committed with malice aforethought, as though the murdered person had no value as a member of society. This person does have value, and this person cries for punishment from the grave.