To the Editor:
Governor Rauner, please consider this while you try to reinstate the death penalty.
My son, John, was murdered in the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting in July 2012.
Within a few months of John's death, the district attorney was asking all of us who had alost someone to give an opinion on whether he should seek the death penalty for the defendant.
I knew the phone call was coming, so I had time to think through my answer. I have been opposed to the death penalty for many years.
It only strengthened my opinion when Illinois had to release people from death row when DNA cleared them. I was glad when Illinois got rid of the death penalty in 2011 after a more than decade-long moratorium.
Losing John put this question into a whole new light.
Do I care if my son's murderer lives ordies? Not really. If he died tomorrow, I probably wouldn't shed a tear for him.
That doesn't mean that I want to see him executed. Since I don't believe that the death penalty acts as a deterrent, it is nothing more than revenge. The government executing a person because he/she killed is hypocritical beyond belief.
How does executing a killer make us any different than the killer?
I was relieved when the man that murdered John was found guilty, but I was also relieved when the jury couldn't decide to give him the death penalty. I knew he would never walk the streets a free man again and I was spared the years of appeals and maybe, at the end of it, an execution.
Nothing would bring John back, and killing his murderer wouldn't have made anything better.