So what brings you all the way from Canada to Miami?
I'm a reporter from the Toronto Star. I'm covering this case about the woman on death row for killing her abusive husband.
Yeah, that case has stirred up a lot of controversy in these parts. I'd say I tend to be more pro-capital punishment. I'm actually a parole office so, I work in the system.
Seriously? Well, I'd love to ask you some questions. Completely off the record of course. It's just interesting to hear different perspectives about such a polarizing issue.
Yeah sure, nothing like talking politics over a beer. I guess it's not really a big debate in Canada, is it?
You'd be surprised, while we haven't had an execution in Canada since, around 1962, and that was back when they were still hanging people, I think there are a lot of people who would like to see it brought back. Partly, I suppose, because of the burden on the tax payers to keep these guys incarcerated, and of course this sort of and an eye for an eye mentality.
Well, I think they are both valid issues, and I definitely feel that we could do a better job of stopping the systemic issues in our society that lead to some of these young people who become murderers due to growing up in neighborhoods with high rates of poverty, where gangs tend to recruit and initiate these boys early on before they've had a chance to learn anything else. That said, when you're talking about serial killers, I kind of feel like the best solution is a bullet in the back of the head.
I guess the argument to that would be that some consider that to be cruel and unusual punishment. I mean I know you aren't blindfolding these guys and putting them in front of a firing squad, but lethal injection hasn't exactly got the best rep right now.
Yeah, well, we also aren't as extreme as countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran where they behead and stone people. Anyway, don't forget, we also still have the electric chair here. Ha ha.
Can I ask, what do you think about these situations where people are later exonerated under appeal because more forensic evidence has been found that they didn't commit the crime? Like The West Memphis Three case?
Certainly the idea of people being wrongly convicted and executed is a great miscarriage of justice, but I think we have to try to reform those systems rather than just throwing the baby out with the bath water so to speak. I also think that the victims families deserve their pound of flesh.
I guess I can understand that, I think though, that a lot of Canadians would rather err on the side of caution where peoples lives are concerned.
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