Next time you defend the death penalty by saying that it’s the appropriate punishment for a person who confesses or when the crime is unspeakable, you might want to remember this.

Two young children were raped and murdered in the basement of their home. The man convicted of the crime CONFESSED (at least according to police) to the crime AND failed a lie-detector test. The prosecution fought for years to keep the DNA from being tested — explain that one to me, will you? Then, it finally gets tested and there’s a match with another person who is now serving a prison sentence for… you guessed it… rape. What’s not clear to me from the story is whether or not the rape for which that other man was convicted happened before the 7 and 8 year old children were raped and murdered. I hesitate to research that part. And oh yeah, the only reason he wasn’t sentenced to death is because there was just one hold-out on the jury. Thank God for that. The price we, as a society, pay for keeping the death penalty includes a long line of cold cases and rape kits that aren’t tested because the government doesn’t have the resources to handle them. Let’s reexamine our priorities, shall we?

Kathleen Lucas