Although we are disappointed with today’s decision, it is important to point out what the U.S. Supreme Court did not say. The court did not rule that the death penalty is good. It did not say that the death penalty is fair. It did not find that the death penalty saves tax dollars. It did not state that the death penalty deters others from killing.
This death penalty case involved a highly technical issue. In their decision, the Supreme Court dealt with that single technical issue and avoided all substantive discussion of the death penalty.
The comprehensive truth of Kansas’ death penalty is this: It is mistake-prone and biased. It has cost Kansas taxpayers untold millions of dollars and we have had no executions. It subjects victim families to seemingly endless trips back to court. The eleven plus year experiment is a failure.
We all want crime policies that are smart and that work to keep our communities and our families safer. The death penalty does neither. If anything it allows us to avoid discussing and debating what really works.