Tim McDonald, our board secretary, recently had an op-ed published in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. It’s a good piece and makes the very important connection between the use of the death penalty and the lack of scarce resources in other crucial areas. The text is below:
Stories show state’s spending misplaced
It is appropriate that the paper has the story of Tennessee’s first executions in several years in the same edition with the story of the dismal status of Tennessee’s children as revealed in the Casey Foundation report.
Both executions and the lack of support for children appear to stem from a set of misplaced priorities in this state.
How can Tennessee spend hundreds of thousands of dollars attempting to kill two men (one of whom the state has itself determined to be mentally ill and the other for whom the state refuses DNA testing) while there are many better ways to spend the limited dollars available in this state?
Spending state funds for victim restitution, crime prevention for at-risk children and other programs designed to help children are much better ways to spend money than using it to orchestrate state killings.
The fact that Tennessee shows up at 46th out of 50 in the recent report shows that available funds are obviously not being spent for the betterment of children.
While the state cannot and should not be expected to fully support children financially, it should be expected to spend some available funds to help improve their lives.
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