A Different Angle on the Death Penalty

webeagleThe Reformer is “The Official Inmate Newsletter Of The Iowa State Penitentiary” in Fort Madison, Iowa.  The newsletter is put together by inmates and is produced somewhere between quarterly and monthly.

A letter-to-the-editor caught my attention in this past issue.  We’re reproducing here just as it was printed in the newsletter:


             My name is Jesse Brown, and I am serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.  I am writing this letter in solidarity with thousands of other men and women imprisoned all across this country asking that you stop supporting the sentence of life without the possibility of parole as an acceptable alternative to the death penalty.

“Life      without      the      possibility      of      parole      is      the      “Death      Penalty.”

            I know that many death penalty advocate groups believe that it is not politically viable to seek to stop all forms of the death penalty.  Many of these groups don’t believe that life without parole is essentially a death sentence.  They are wrong . . .

            According to many studies, support for the death penalty continues to shrink.  The public is more and more accepting of the proposition that rehabilitation is a real possibility and is an acceptable punishment.

            If you believe executing humans is wrong, then condemning them to a long slow death in prison must also be wrong.  And yes, a long slow death is the death penalty.  To argue otherwise is morally disingenuous at best.

            Why not adopt a true and complete opposition to the death penalty?  Why not argue in favor of humanity?  Why not move forward with the times and stop fighting with out-molded [sic] positions on behalf of the more than 4,000 men and women sentenced to die.  By meaningful incarceration I ask that you and your organizations adopt a consistent opposition to all forms of the death penalty.

            Please break the silence and let all our voices be heard.  “No effort gets No results”

 Fawkes-Lee & Ryan does not support nor oppose Jesse’s position.



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1 Response to A Different Angle on the Death Penalty

  1. Jean Basinger says:

    This opinion is not all that uncommon among those serving a life sentence. I have heard it from a number of people who say life without parole is a death sentence. It takes away any hope of ever getting out. Advocates often say we have to have life without parole on the books or we will definitely get the death penalty back. I am not so sure that is true.

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