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Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP) recognizes and upholds the responsibility of society to protect everyone from people who are dangerous, in particular, those who are convicted murderers.
FADP also understands the legitimate response of human nature to seek vengeance in the form of harsh punishment for persons who have committed violent crimes. FADP believes that as a civilized society, we are obligated to do better than to respond with a simplistic, emotional response, regardless of how natural that response may feel.
FADP is concerned that our justice system is currently a retributive justice system which only heightens the pain and deepens the wounds of the families of victims of murder, the families of perpetrators, and the perpetrators themselves. FADP also recognizes the strong ability of human nature to change and heal.
FADP is concerned about well-documented and indisputably persistent problems in the application of the death penalty and in the criminal justice system as a whole in the United States of America.
FADP calls attention to politicians who perpetuate a myth through their advocacy of the death penalty to demonstrate a “tough on crime” position on matters of public policy. To suggest that the death penalty is a deterrent to violent criminals and is a vehicle to somehow grant relief to the suffering of victims families is to deceive the constituents they serve.
FADP calls on all citizens to urge their elected representatives to work towards violence prevention programs which identify and help “at-risk” youth and adults. FADP calls on all citizens to look beyond emotions and to learn the facts about how our system actually functions before deciding for themselves where they stand on the question of empowering the government to kill prisoners in their name. Separate the concept from the practice, then decide!
Morally, socially and economically, the death penalty is a bad public policy. There is a better way. Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty advocates the following as a viable alternative to the death penalty:
- Persons convicted of capital murder should serve a minimum of 25 years in prison before the possibility of consideration for parole. Please note: consideration for parole in no way suggests an inmate will receive parole. Parole boards must abide by strict but fair standards in deciding who should receive parole. The abolition of parole endangers prison workers. Under current Florida law, however, capital defendants receive either life without parole – period, or death.
- In certain cases, imprisonment should be for life, with no possibility of parole – ever.
- While in prison, prisoners who are physically and mentally able should work in jobs which are not slave?like and allow for some dignity and purpose of life for the prisoner. Such work situations create safer conditions for guards and others who work in prisons.
- A portion of the prisoners’ earnings should go to pay for their incarceration, and a portion should go into a fund for the victims of violent crime and their survivors. This would allow for a restitution fund for social, psychological and religious help for victims and survivor families. Such funds could also provide financial help for families which have lost a wage earner to murder as well as for support to the dependants of incarcerated individuals.
FADP supports the concept of restorative justice, including the bringing together of perpetrators and victim’s family members by qualified professionals working with both to help facilitate the process of reconciliation.
Get involved! Contact:
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP)
PMB 335, 2603 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hwy, Gainesville, FL 32609
www.FADP.org 800-973-6548 [email protected]