Why do I oppose the death penalty?
Above all, I oppose the death penalty because I feel it is morally wrong for us to choose to inflict death as a form of punishment on our fellow human beings. In addition to that, I believe inherent to our justice system is a real and irremedial risk of executing an innocent person.
As much as we in this country strive for a justice system that is fair and impartial, it is ultimately an imperfect system created by imperfect humans. It is a system in which racial bias should not play a role but in reality plays a significant role in jury verdicts. It is a system in which faulty witness testimony, erroneous confessions, and sometimes inferior attorney representation, have resulted in several wrongful capital punishment convictions.
I strongly believe that we should continue to strive for the best possible justice system. But knowing that it will always be imperfect, we cannot afford to exact the ultimate punishment of death. For while we can correct wrongful convictions, we cannot do so once such a final punishment has been dealt.
When did I become passionate about my opposition to the death penalty?
I initially became aware of the issues surrounding the death penalty sometime around the age of 20 through Amnesty International and their campaign to abolish the death penalty. Since then, I have continued to educate myself on the issue. And when possible, I have contributed my time and resources to the cause of abolishing the death penalty in the U.S and ultimately around the world.
Why did I become a Torchbearer, giving a monthly contribution to the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty?
I am proud to be a Torchbearer for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. And I am glad that the NCADP has embarked on its 90 Million Strong Campaign, which I see as an effective way to communicate the message that the abolition movement is growing stronger. And I am happy with the knowledge that we will someday see an end to capital punishment in our country and ultimately the world.
Ruben "Tony" Catano is originally from Odessa, TX. After high school, he served five years in the U.S. Army. Afterward, he earned his B.S. in Computer Engineering from Texas A&M University. Since then, he has been living and working in the Dallas, TX area as a software developer.