Montana’s capital punishment law deserves reconsideration

As an out-of-state student, I was unaware that capital punishment was in effect in Montana until only a few months ago, and it has truly angered me. Because of my Christian faith, I believe murder is evil and that capital punishment is not justice but simply revenge.

There are many people who share my belief, but those who don’t often bring up that capital punishment “costs a lot less than life-imprisonment”. Most people believe this to be true but is actually false. New York alone has estimated that if they were to bring capital punishment back that they could spend $1.7 million on just one trial alone. Generally non-capital punishment cases cost around $740,000. These numbers (and many more) can be found online by searching “cost of capital punishment” on Google. So what could be put in the place of capital punishment that would serve adequate justice to the crime? I would say that life-imprisonment is a less costly option; however I would also bring to attention prisoner reformation.

In the mid-1980s there was a woman named Karla Faye Tucker. Tucker killed two people with a pickaxe and was sentenced to death. While on death row, she turned to God, begging for forgiveness. When the brother of one of her victims met with her and shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ she was reborn into a completely different person and lived the rest of her life accordingly. Prisoner reformation doesn’t always work but I believe that it’s a more hopeful & beneficial option than revenge.

At the end of the day we need to consider the facts. Awareness needs to be spread in order for anything to change. This isn’t a Republican vs. Democrat issue, this is a life or death issue and it needs to be seriously addressed.

Michael J. Petty

MSU Film Student