But what about public safety?
"The fundamental purpose of government is to provide for the public safety."
When Florida adopted its current death penalty laws, there were only two possible punishments for first degree murder; death, or life imprisonment with eligibility for parole in 25 years. The public was rightly concerned that a murderer might be released form prison and kill again. But no more. The law has changed. Now, the only two possible punishments for first degree murder are; death, or life imprisonment with NO eligibility for parole. Life really means life.
Since 1994, the people of Florida have been able to be confident of one fact, when someone is convicted of first degree murder, they will die in prison. Our expensive, ineffective and inefficient death penalty does not determine if the offender will die. It only determines how the murderer will die; by lethal injection or by natural causes.
The budget adopted by the legislature during the special session in January 2009 cut 556 positions and $48.7 million from the Department of Corrections. The day after the special session ended, the Department began notifying 66 probation officers that they were losing their jobs. One has to ask if public safety is better preserved by maintaining the death penalty while taking probation officers off the streets.