ISSUES AND ANSWERS: Death penalty prevents killers from ‘killing again’

Do you think Delaware should reinstate the death penalty?
Yes, Delaware should reinstate the death penalty. The death penalty is reserved for those who take the life of another, usually through violence or depravity. The death penalty removes the perpetrator from having the ability to kill again. As we saw with the murder of correctional officer Lt. Steven Floyd, even those incarcerated are capable of killing again.

If it’s reinstated, how should the reduced availability of the chemical compound used for execution be addressed?
For years, Delaware used other means for carrying out the death penalty. The absence of chemicals used to hasten the death of a murderer should not be an excuse for not carrying out a just and appropriate sentence, arrived at by a jury and judge.

Geoff Klopp

How likely is it that an innocent person may be executed by mistake?
Delaware has never executed a person in error. Never. Period. Our system is designed to ensure a reasoned consideration occurs by not only the trial court but an automatic appeal to the Supreme Court before the death penalty is carried out. With the new forensics available to determine the true identity of a killer, the chances of accidental execution are reduced to almost zero.

Would a reinstated death penalty help protect the state’s law enforcement personnel?
The death penalty protects everyone — law enforcement and regular citizens. There may be those wickedly depraved individuals who do not think of the consequences before they kill. But if they kill and are sentenced to death, the chances of them killing again — in prison, in society, anywhere — are eliminated. It protects a well-ordered citizenry from senseless violence.

If the inmates charged with killing Lt. Steven Floyd in the Feb. 1 Vaughn prison uprising were found guilty and the death penalty was reinstated, do you approve of prosecutors pursuing execution retroactively?
That’s a question lawyers will fight over for years. But, my belief is YES! Those men who brutally, maliciously, intentionally and with malice and hatred, killed, participated in the killing and conspired to kill, Lt. Floyd on Feb. 1, 2017 should be executed. The antiseptic application of the death penalty by using carefully administered drugs which permits the murdered to die “peacefully” pales in comparison to the way they murdered Lt. Floyd.
My support for the death penalty is not based in hatred or malice or revenge. My support is based in history and practice, since biblical times. There are simply certain people who present a clear and present danger to all of the rest of us. Simply separating them and putting them in jail does not prevent them from killing again. That point was proven brutally and horribly on Feb. 1.

Geoff Klopp is the president of the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware.

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