August 18, 2021
“The punishment of murder by death, is contrary to reason, and to the order and happiness of society.1. It lessens the horror of taking away human life, and thereby tends to multiply murders.2. It produces murder, by its influence upon people who are tired of life, and who, from a supposition, that murder is a less crime than suicide, destroy a life (and often that of a near connexion) and afterwards deliver themselves up to justice, that they may escape from their misery by means of a halter.3. The punishment of murder by death, multiplies murders, from the difficulty it creates of convicting persons who are guilty of it. Humanity, revolting at the idea of the severity and certainty of a capital punishment, often steps in, and collects such evidence in favour of a murderer, as screens him from justice altogether, or palliates his crime into manslaughter. If the punishment of murder consisted in long confinement, and hard labor, it would be proportioned by the measure of our feelings of justice, and every member of society would be a watchman or a magistrate, to apprehend a destroyer of human life, and to bring him to punishment.”
In closing, let me reaffirm that what Othal Wallace did the night of June 23rd was abhorrent. It is one of the worse crimes someone can commit. He not only murdered a good, honorable man by all accounts, but he deeply wounded our entire community. I am grateful that we have leaders who stepped up and helped it heal. Their important work isn’t done yet, but I know we’re in good hands.