The United States is one of only four industrialized democracies that still practice capital punishment. This upcoming election, Prop 34 will determine the fate of the death penalty in California.
Alexandra Gross’ personal essay, “My Childhood Pen-Pal Was an Innocent Man on Death Row,” raises ethical and thought provoking questions surrounding capital punishment. Gross decries:
“My lifelong friendship with an innocent man on death row means that I have always been deeply opposed to the death penalty. I talk to people about it a lot these days with Proposition 34 and I urge them to vote ‘yes.’ Those who favor it often say it’s too slow and expensive. I always think: ‘If we had a quick cheap death penalty, Paris would have been killed.'”
Remember Alex’s pen-pal, Paris, when you vote on Prop 34 this November 6th. There are 725 people currently on death row, and many to come, whose fate is in our hands.