Why is the death penalty wrong?

To the Editor:

There seems to be a movement in New Hampshire to outlaw the death penalty.

Some have even written letters explaining that the death penalty is just not right based upon their religious beliefs. They feel that society through an elected government does not have the right to execute convicted criminals of the worst type.

Was it wrong for our government to track down Osama bin Ladin and execute him? Most people don’t think so. Is it wrong for our troops to hunt down and kill terrorists that threaten the United States? We have been doing it every day for the last 12 years and I don’t hear many people complaining.

I believe the most fundamental role of government is to protect its citizens. What makes a person who commits a heinous crime any better or different than a terrorist? Therefore, why is it wrong for the government to execute a convicted killer? They are just protecting the citizenry from any repeat crime.

Well, you might say it is a life that is being taken and that is not right. I say it is a life that is being forfeited for a good reason and with the scientific and technical tools available today, it is virtually impossible to convict an innocent person. Furthermore, innocent and healthy people die every day from road accidents. These deaths are not right but no one advocates doing away with cars. I believe a wrongful death is when an innocent person is killed, or when a person who is trying to protect the citizenry like a policeman or a soldier is killed in the line of duty. When these wrongful deaths are judged to be criminal in the first degree, the perpetrator convicted of the wrongful death should be prepared to give up their life, just as they caused their unfortunate victim to do. This seems right to me.

So why is capital punishment wrong and why should we eliminate it?