Sen. David Burnett has introduced a bill to end the death penalty in Arkansas. He’d replace the punishment for a capital crime with a sentence of life in prison or life without parole.
1) The Arkansas Times has long supported an end to the death penalty. It is not a deterrent to crime. It is more expensive than a finite sentence. The state’s involvement in death is objectionable. Mistakes are uncorrectable. The penalty is unfairly applied.
2) Burnett was the judge in the trial that led to a death penalty for Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three.
3) Despite the mire in which the death penalty has sunk, it is unrealistic to expect a Republican-majority legislature to approve this bill.