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Retired-10 12-14-2004 06:55 PM

Death penalty poll from
I just saw this poll on Without hesitating, I voted that the death penalty was the harsher sentence. You lose your life! That seemed like common sense to me, at least. To see the current results on the poll be - 62% life in prison and 38% death penalty - I was shocked! I wanted to get a PTOers take on this so I created the same poll here.

Personally, I do support the death penalty in certain cases...serial killers, situations where there's a "smoking gun"...but NOT in situations like the Scott Peterson case where everything is so circumstantial.

I'm very interested in hearing everyones response!

swtmel 12-14-2004 07:52 PM

Here is my opinion....

I would think life in prison would be harder because there is no escape. There are so many in this world that think the death penalty is an 'easy way out'. Having to live that life every single day with no hope has to be difficult.

I do think that certain cases call for the death penalty, like Ted Bundy and Timothy McVeigh and such. But they are rare and far between...

This is an interesting poll and thank you for bringing it up :)

2nice 12-14-2004 08:11 PM

Personally I think that Life without is a harsher sentence, for the simple fact that you arent ever gonna come out unless something happens on appeal.

I remember one pen pal that i had on deathrow in Cali agreed with me. He says that he prefers to be on deathrow than getting life w/o!! He said something about the appeals costs... he says that being on deathrow, that he has hope that hemay be able to come out on appeal because the state pays for the whole of it, but if youve been sentenced to life w/o, the state only pays for your appeals to a certain point!! Leading you to also be having a death sentence of another kind! :(

I think that the death penalty is wrong no matter how it is dressed!

Retired-10 12-14-2004 08:16 PM

ALL of my eight penpals have said at one time or another "prison isn't as bad as I thought it would be." Even my three Texas penpals have said it! No, I've never experienced prison but I think I would rather spend my life there than let someone take my life away. Maybe after spending a night or two in jail I might feel differently but I'm just still so surprised by these results!

...I wish more people would write their two cents in addition to voting in the poll... PLEASE! :)

wannamae 12-14-2004 09:19 PM

I chose Life in prison. And then it depends on the evidence and how good of a case against the defendent. They would just have had to done something totally immoral. But then again, life w/o is the best option cause then that person would never have a chance to do the crime again. And to make it worse on them it would be a everyday reminder.

sellenburg 12-14-2004 09:32 PM

Life is harsher
I have to say a life sentence is harsher. because the person would have to remember why he was put there everyday of his or her life. And if they are in their early 20's thats a long time! With the death sentence, I think its an easy way out. The only way I would agree with the death senetence is if it was a serial killer. Even then..Ithink its a cake job. He ends up dead the surviors of the victiums families still have o deal with thier grief.

Life, knowing there is no chance to actually live and enjoy it and do the things they dream of is really harsh.

PTO56489 12-14-2004 09:41 PM

The death penalty with out a doubt. The conditions in which someone on death row lives are diifferent....which of course differs from state to state. Some death row inmates get no contact visits...some don't even get phone calls...they have no opportunity for employment nor are they given access to an education. They are locked in their 6 by 4.5 foot cell 23 hours out of the day. And of course looms their impending execution. Sometimes that date will come multiple times...only to receive a stay a few minutes before it is supposed to happen....the stress that must create for them and their loved ones is most definately tremendous.

If you ask anyone with a friend, pen pal or loved one on death row they would say that they'd much rather that they have life without parole...I mean if the death penalty wasn't so bad...why even bother appealing ? Why fight for a reduction in your sentence at all?

I guess it boils down to a choice your entire life behind bars until you die of old age....or living a short time and having to face the death chamber...I mean what kind of way to go is that? Imagine being strapped to that chair and being lethally front of a room full of strangers no less...and maybe even your loved ones...that they must watch the life leave your body.... :( :(

That's not to say that life without parole is a cake walk...I am sure it is very difficult and has a whole other set of struggles.

Just my opinion

Retired-10 12-14-2004 09:50 PM

IceBlue - You made a point I was discussing with someone else earlier tonight. I don't have any DR penpals but I'd love to ask someone what THEY thought was the harsher sentence and I highly doubt I'd ever heard a DR inmate say they're happier being on DR instead of being given LWOP.

Yes, lifers have to live with the knowledge that they're never getting out but at least they're able to possibly work in the prison, gain an education, make friendships in the prison, etc. It FEELS like a real life, in a way. One of my 'pals best friends in prison has a life sentence. He's only in his cell from 11pm-6:30am every day. He had a job until recently and he's also taking college classes. I'd take that any day over being put to death. God, not some judge, should decide when I die...

PTO56489 12-15-2004 12:23 AM

It is definately an interesting topic...and I was surprised that more would choose the death penalty over life without parole *yikes*

I guess it depends on what perspective a person has. I have only had death row pen pals...until recently...I started writing to a person on mainline *thanks to you* I had initially planned on only sending a card but now we are exchanging letters*. I told him that I had never written to someone in the general population and that I was interested in learning more about what it is like for him.

Having said sweetie initially was sentenced to life without parole...he served a year or so and then was resentenced to death :( He's seen both sides of the fence. I am not sure which he'd prefer...he's on death row now...he's been there for over 20 years....he has no faith in the appeals I'm not sure what he'd do if he was given life again *shrugs* I would like to think he'd jump at the chance...but after so many years I think he's broken...I know that on death row there are a lot of men that he used to talk to and hang out with on the yard....they no longer go out....they just sit in their cells in a catatonic state. It's very sad.

Either way it sucks. much as I love my sweetie...he made a choice....and when you do the crime you got to do the time !!!! I just don't think that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment :(

Retired-10 12-15-2004 07:46 AM

Just an update: The poll is now 61% Life in prison and 39% death penalty

I'm still so shocked by this. What can be worse than losing your life?!?

Thank you to those of you who have responded :)

busman 12-15-2004 08:18 AM

What can be worse than losing your life?!?

Loosing half your life. It is told to me that a sex offense is the worst thing that can happen to people because it doesn't kill the victim, it half kills them, the victims are emotionally dead but physically alive.
I can see where a sentence of either type, life w/o parole or death penalty could be so overwhelming to face and cause the same reaction.

Retired-10 12-15-2004 08:23 AM

I'm a victims advocate in the courts so I'm very much aware of how crimes affect the victims. This question doesn't have anything to do with the victims, however.

I just don't understand how someone can feel that life in prison is worse than losing your life by the death penalty. Someone help me understand!!!

busman 12-15-2004 08:31 AM

I'm not saying one is worse than the other. Either way your life is over. One costs more than the other, and we feel more humane with a life sentence, but the end results are the same, you die in prison, either from old age, or injection, yo still die in prison.

Retired-10 12-15-2004 08:39 AM

I'd rather die naturally any day.

MsAloha1018 01-05-2005 02:38 AM

On one side, I would think that doing life without the possibility for parole would kind of be like only living part of a life. The emotional and mental cost of being away from your loved ones and not having the freedoms that every other citizen has must be very devastating for someone having to serve such a sentance.

HOWEVER, I'm against the death penalty, and really can't see the justification for it. I've heard it said that "justice is served" afterwards, but is it really??? I'm not so sure, IMHO.

Milady 01-05-2005 10:37 AM

As a Christian sending me home to Jesus would be the best possibility. With life in prison there is constant torment. I would have to say it depends on the individual. If they are not saved, then death would be horrid.

~BabyG~ 05-16-2005 05:30 PM

I feel like life in prison is a tougher penalty. You would have no chance of coming home. It is more expensive to keep people in prison but it is more of a penalty.

Moe'sGirl 06-07-2005 06:05 PM

Death Row Inmates Give Out Scholarships
Death Row Inmates Give Out ScholarshipsTuesday, June 07, 2005 RALEIGH, N.C. Zach Osborne doesn't have a lifetime of memories about his little sister he was only 6 years old, she was only 4, when she was raped and murdered.

Their mother's boyfriend was sentenced to death for the crime, the memory of which Osborne thinks will make him a better police officer. It's a goal the rising sophomore at East Carolina University (search) is striving to reach with help from an unlikely source death row inmates from around the country.

On Tuesday, the 19-year-old Osborne will receive a $5,000 college scholarship from the group of inmates, who solicited money through their bimonthly publication, "Compassion." Including Osborne's grant, they've given out seven scholarships worth about $27,000.

"We would like to support him in realizing his dream of becoming an officer of the law and finding a way to prevent future violence," wrote Dennis Skillicorn (search), a death row inmate in Missouri who is the newsletter's editor, in the May issue. "Our intent is genuine."

Osborne's sister, Natalie, was murdered in Asheboro in April 1992. The killer, Jeff Kandies (search), is on North Carolina's death row for the crime. Living through that experience, Osborne said, will make him a better officer

Boohsbabygirl 06-08-2005 02:43 PM

Life in prison. You sit with the same routine day in and day out........Your freedom is taken away and you just sit and sit........wasting away eventually. The death penalty... BAM........... the gas or lethal injection or electricity will just take you away from all of that.

babygirl350 06-08-2005 02:49 PM

I do not believe in the Death Penalty under any circumstances, however I am not naive enough to think that some people just do not belong out in society to commit crimes again.

My opinion is the Life In Prison is the harsher sentence. To have to live every day and remember your crimes has got to be devastating to the mind. To have to endure prison life even in the "best prisons" if I may use that term lightly has to be heck.

For the families, they still have their loved one and while not free, they still can communicate with them.

In Death there is no seeing them, plus it just creates more victims.

Thanks for sharing this with us.

ToAsTy 06-09-2005 06:16 PM

In my persona; opinion i think that life would be harder, because you know that there is no escape, but then again death and knowing what is coming would be extreemly hard also. I don't think that i could prepare myself for either

JayandMe 06-21-2005 05:41 PM

No way that LIFE is harder! I used to think that before I knew people in prison, but now that I do.....Death Penalty is way harder cause half the time they do yeras and years anyways....always knowing that they are going to die in the end. At least with life, it sucks but you just have to accept prison as your life. The death penalty is like years and years of waiting to die....thats enought to drive a person mad! That is torchure as far as I am concerned!

Jorlanda 06-21-2005 05:48 PM


Originally Posted by Boohsbabygirl
Life in prison. You sit with the same routine day in and day out........Your freedom is taken away and you just sit and sit........wasting away eventually. The death penalty... BAM........... the gas or lethal injection or electricity will just take you away from all of that.

You really think it is that easy? DR inmates don't sit there day in and day out? Their freedom is not taken away? They do the same things Lifers do but they do it with knowing death is waiting for them. And please don't forget DR inmates are treated differently cause they are supposed to be the worst of the worst For so many guards they are already dead.

My husband is on the row and I would do anything for him getting a life lsentence. I am shocked so many people believe life would be harder than death. Just walk in our shoes for one day and you will change your mind.

strogirl 06-21-2005 09:39 PM

I voted Life in Prison because I think it is more of a torture. Just my personal opinion.

samsfi 06-22-2005 12:24 AM

I realize this is a very personal thing... however for me-- death is no punishment-- I feel we live in hell every day-- what could possibly be worse than the reality we as humans live in day to day.... death can actually be a form of 'self-preservation' if you ask me. Were it me-- I'd take death over life in prison! It's time we as a society see the death penalty for what it really is...Revenge! It accomplishes nothing- it is not a deterent and tell me... how does it restore a victom? Plain and simple it doesnt!!!

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