Death penalty opponents say practice a failure, waste of money

The same day convicted Richmond County killer Mark McClain was executed at a Georgia prison, one of the nation’s leading non-profit death penalty research organizations released a harsh assessment of the practice.

 

A report by the non-profit Death Penalty Information Center released Tuesday said state executions are wasting millions of dollars that could be funneled to other anti-crime efforts, and that law enforcement officials increasingly view it as a low priority for reducing actual crimes.

In a private poll of 500 police chiefs from across the nation, law enforcement officials ranked the greater use of the death penalty last when asked about the areas that were the most important in reducing violent crime.

Among the top choices were reducing drug abuse, increasing the number of police officers and creating a better economy with more jobs. They also ranked the death penalty as the least efficient use of taxpayers’ money, instead citing programs such as neighborhood watch programs and those designed to train more officers as better uses.

About 1 percent of those polled said more use of the death penalty was a better way to reduce violence.

The report also said about 57 percent of police chiefs, agreed that it does little to prevent violent crimes because criminals do not often consider the consequences of their actions.

Mr. McClain was executed by lethal injection Tuesday night at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson. A Richmond County jury sentenced him to death for the 1994 shooting of 28-year-old Kevin Brown during the armed robbery of a Domino’s Pizza on Washington Road.

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