From the March-April 2018 issue of News & Letters
Bellefonte, Pa.—The great concern that many have regarding the possibility of executing an innocent person is understandable because, once that occurs, there’s no chance of revival. No rational human being would want to be responsible for the senseless execution of an innocent individual. If killing is wrong, why does the state murder people who have been accused of murder to show that it’s wrong? Those who are condemned to the first death sentence are housed on death row in solitary confinement for infinity, unless they are exonerated or pardoned.
THE OTHER DEATH SENTENCE
A second death sentence is known as a life sentence without the possibility of parole. A life sentence is a perpetual nightmare that causes irascible days and nights. Those with a life sentence are housed with the general population.
Many of these individuals that are serving these death sentences are trying desperately to get their convictions overturned. One of the problems is that there are too many people in society who don’t want to accept the fact that the judicial system is fallible. For most people, it would take a family member or a close associate to be arrested or incarcerated to learn that the system is certainly venal.
Thinking makes you come to a conclusion, but many would rather stay in a state of denial than learn the truth.
The late prestigious Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall stated, “No matter how careful the courts are, the possibility of perjured testimony, mistaken honest testimony and human error remain all too real. We have no way of judging how many innocent persons have been executed, but we can be certain that there were some.”
For the first time in Pennsylvania history, drug suppliers refused to sell drugs to use for an execution. It has been reported that other states are experiencing the same problem. The drugs used in lethal injection have dwindled incredibly, which caused a temporary stay on executions. Pennsylvania has close to 200 prisoners waiting to be executed.
Freedom of speech and action are meaningless without freedom to think, and there’s no freedom of thought without doubt.
—D. Ameen McKelvie
Read accounts from the historic hunger strikes that won the settlement to end indefinite solitary confinement in California, a critical moment in the Prisoner Human Rights Movement, in “Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers: ‘We want to be validated as human.’”