Kentucky Rep. Joe Fischer, a Fort Thomas Republican, has proposed a bill that will be introduced in the state House of Representatives that will expand the death penalty to include those who have murdered children. In Kentucky, the death penalty can only be applied when a specific aggravating circumstance exists. However, this bill will add murderers whose victims are under the age of twelve and have previously been harmed by the accused. The editorial board of The Miami Student believes that the passing of this bill will be beneficial in narrowly expanding Kentucky’s definition of the death penalty and will provide closure to the families while saving the state money by eliminating unnecessary costs of keeping prisoners.
The bill specifically addresses murderers who have previously harmed their victims before killing them. Some crimes are so depraved that they warrant the punishment of death. The majority of this board feels that the killing of children under the age of 12, particularly if the children have already suffered at the same criminals’ hands, may be deemed appropriate to receive the death penalty.
If passed, the bill will add a new definition to Kentucky’s circumstances in which the death penalty may be applied. While the bill does in fact expand the death penalty, it remains true to the narrow scope of the current law. Though, it must be recognized that to those who do not support the death penalty, no expansion is acceptable.
With the passing of this bill, the victim’s families will be given a more definitive closure over the death of their children. The chance of a repeat of the offense will be completely eliminated, which will provide mental relief. Furthermore, it reduces the cost of providing for prisoners for the duration of their life. This is a moral dilemma. Tax dollars feed, clothe and shelter people guilty of horrific crimes and who do not contribute positively to the community. The death penalty eases that burden. Still, cost is by no means the most important consideration. This expansion of the death penalty is sufficiently narrow. Because it applies to a crime of such a depraved nature, the expansion will be beneficial.