What would it take for the death penalty to finally be abolished in Pennsylvania or even the entire United States? How long will it be before we realize how arbitrary the system is, and that the act itself is barbaric and senseless? These questions seem unanswerable because the death penalty still remains prevalent in our justice system, but as the number of inmates taken off death row continues to rise, we should feel rejuvenated with hope. Hope that some day our country will be rid of this unjust system.
On March 22, Donnetta Hill and Angel Reyes became the 124th and 125th overturned Pennsylvania death sentences in the post-conviction process. Both were resentenced to life without parole, but Hill continues to maintain her innocence.
It is cases such as these that add to the already high amount of evidence against the efficiency and effectiveness of the death penalty. We allow defendants to sit on death row for years, sometimes decades, all the while forcing the family of victims to relive their tragedies. We use money to fund this broken system that could be much more beneficial in other areas, such as improved education systems or cleaning up a city.
The death penalty is and will continue to be a barbaric and broken tool of “justice” in our country. Until it’s abolished, we will be funding a system that has never been proven to be an effective crime deterrent, we run the risk of executing an innocent person and potentially commit the same crime that we sentence people to death for: murder.