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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Arizona executions impede progress

    Arizona continues to fail to protect the most basic of human rights.

    The state of Arizona is on its way to at least matching its all-time annual record for executions, an atrocity Arizona residents shouldn’t be proud of.

    Two Arizona inmates have been executed so far this year, and according the Tucson Sentinel, two more death warrants will probably be issued in the next few days. In addition to those four executions, there are three other appeals nearing the end of their process, which could bring the state’s total executions to an astonishing seven this year.

    The last time Arizona executed seven inmates in a single year was 1999. Prior to 1999, Arizona hadn’t executed seven or more people since 1910, the year capital punishment became legal and two years before Arizona even became a state.

    So far this year, there have been a total of nine state-issued executions in the United States. With two each, Arizona and Oklahoma are tied for second most, while Texas leads with three executions.

    Since 1975, Arizona has had a modest 30 executions. And while Arizona may not have the highest number of executions (that record belongs to Texas with 480), it certainly isn’t progressing like most states. Large states where executions used to be common, like California, are now leading the way with fewer executions per year. California has even strongly considered abolishing capital punishment.

    Unfortunately, even though it seems most of the United States is beginning to come to the realization that execution is not a humane form of punishment, states like Arizona are lagging behind. The refusal to follow the progress of the rest of the country casts a dark shadow on the beautiful state.

    It is discouraging to see a state with so much to offer be left behind. There is no crueler punishment than that of taking the life of a soul who is not evil but instead lost.

    The U.S. judicial system doesn’t see it this way. Instead capital punishment requires an eye for an eye, even though it is written in the Eighth Amendment that, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” And yet the United States continues to take the lives of individuals.

    Most average Americans will likely never be faced with the death penalty, nor will even know someone close who is facing the death penalty. However, everyone lives one precious life and everyone has made a mistake in his or her life, some big, some small.

    While the rest of the country moves forward, Arizona and its residents will be left behind.

    — Luke Davis is a pre-journalism sophomore. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

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