Boone Council adopts resolution against death penalty
by Anna Oakes
The Boone Town Council took a stand against the death penalty in North Carolina with the passage of a unanimous resolution March 21.
The resolution calls on the N.C. General Assembly and the governor to enact legislation to repeal the death penalty in all state jurisdictions and to commute all death sentences currently in effect to sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
"I think life in prison is a stronger punishment than you think," said Councilman Rennie Brantz, noting that he has worked at prisons in the past. "The punishment is severe. Very severe."
Matt Robinson, a government and justice studies professor at Appalachian State University, presented the resolution to the council for adoption.
Robinson and graduate student Amanda Moore twice appeared before the council prior to this month's meeting to present research related to use of the death penalty in the United States and around the world.
The resolution notes four reasons for discontinuing the death penalty, including its ineffectiveness as a crime deterrent, its excessive cost, racial bias in sentencing and the sentencing of innocent people to death row.
Robinson said that earlier this month, Maryland became the sixth state in seven years to abolish the death penalty.