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Anti-death penalty retired cop responds to Boze on Inslee decision

A retired police officer and self-described conservative from Oak Harbor wrote to David Boze Thursday to describe why he is against the death penalty and why he thinks that Gov. Jay Inslee has the power to issue a moratorium on executions.

"There's no doubt that Gov. Inslee has the constitutional authority to issue reprieves, commutations, and pardons... If we don't want the governor to have this authority, we should amend the Constitution to remove that authority from him," Boze read from Greet's letter on Thursday. "We might also amend the Constitution to allow the Legislature to allow an opportunity to override these actions.

"I am a conservative, a retired police officer, and I do not support the death penalty. The primary purpose of incarceration is punishment, and I do not think either death row or the death penalty as currently administered, are sufficiently punitive.

"I believe the death penalty is a purely emotional response to certain crimes on society's part - and I get it. As a retired police officer from a large Southern California city, I have seen many examples of the despicable things people can sometimes do to one another. Some of these crimes are among the most horrendous acts humanly possible and we often rightly respond to them with a visceral anger and a desire for revenge, with an eye for an eye, a death for a death.

"While I understand these feelings, I think our system of jurisprudence should be based more upon logic and sound rationality and less in emotion. And logic and sound rationality tell us that life without parole can be a far more effective punitive and criminal sentence on various fronts. It's less expensive for society to administer. Death row modules in prisons cost far more to operate than other modules and the mandatory appeal required of death penalty cases likewise drive up the cost of adjudication.

"Life without parole is far more effective as both a punishment and a deterrent."

More of Greet's letter goes on to describe a prison system where inmates do hard labor and live amid Spartan accommodations.

Boze disagreed with Greet, saying that procedure in the state is for a clemency board to recommend executions to the governor, who then decides to act on them. And as far as the morality of executions, he said that, for some crimes, execution truly fits the crime.

"[With the death penalty] what you're saying is, the value of life taken is so great, the only punishment that truly fits is execution for the individual who took that life," Boze.

Neal McNamara, Writer, KTTH
Originally from the Northeast, Neal McNamara has worked as a news reporter for more than 10 years at newspapers across the U.S., landing most recently in Seattle.
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