Death penalty unlikely to curb criminal activity

newsroom@islandpacket.comMarch 10, 2014 

I have been thinking about a recent editorial, "No execution for another year in SC."

As the grandfather of a young Clemson student who was brutally murdered in his apartment, I have been filled with many mixed emotions this past year. The perpetrators have been arrested and are awaiting trial.

I do not have any statistics to go by, but I question whether having the death penalty in South Carolina has been a deterrent to anyone using a gun to commit a crime. If I am wrong, then let's bring back hanging in the town square like they did in the Wild West.

Perhaps a mandatory life in prison sentence for anyone committing a capital crime would be a better and more-civilized option. That should be coupled with a speedy trial that doesn't go on for years. It would save the taxpayers a lot of money and let the loved ones of the victims obtain some closure and restore a little sanity to their lives.

I feel the solution to acts of violence is for us to do a better job with our youth. Children dropping out of school and committing petty crimes that are ignored by our system is at the root of the problem.

We would be a lot better off spending our money on the education and welfare of our youth than investing in more prisons.

We once had a nation that never locked its doors. Will we ever see that again?

Frank R. Postma

Hilton Head Island

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