Letter: Keep death penalty out of Iowa

Two separate bills in the Iowa Legislature are focused on bringing back the death penalty.

It has been over 50 years since Iowa abolished the death penalty and it is unfortunate that this legislative session is going to see an attempt to push it through at the same time as we are having other important debates.

The death penalty is proven to be more expensive for the state than a life sentence in prison and states with the death penalty have more homicides per capita than states without, which means that it is ineffective as a deterrent. It also opens up the possibility of executing people who did not commit the crime they were accused of. We’ve seen numerous people in the last 50 years who were released from death row after being found innocent and it’s not a stretch to believe that there have been people who have been wrongly executed, which is a punishment that is impossible to take back once administered.

You can see by looking at Nebraska, that acquiring the method of execution is a complicated prospect and multiple states with the death penalty have seen expensive lawsuits brought against them regarding drugs used for lethal injection, further costing the state money and time. The death penalty is an expensive, ineffective punishment, and we ought not bring it back.

Nicholas Ostrem

Iowa City

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