Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey made the news when he called for Tennessee to start executing those on death row. 79 people are on death row in Tennessee. Tennessee has not executed anyone in years. Delays are numerous as the appeals process is long and hard. With the delays , the victim’s families play the waiting game of will they or won’t they.

My modest proposal is stop all these appeals and delays and ask Governor Haslam to commute all 79 folks on death row sentences to life without parole. It basically means that they will die in prison. Why should the government commute death penalty sentence ?

According to the Death Penalty Information Center , executions are down in America . In fact , Texas which kills more folks than anybody are adopting life sentences without parole which is a major factor in the decline.

My request is more pragmatic for two reasons. First , the appeals would end. The fight over the right mix of drugs to kill someone would end . I tried to contact Tennessee’s Administrative Office of the Courts to get the amount taxpayers spend on indigent defense in death penalty cases went unanswered . After being transferred to several people , I got dumped into voice mail. I guess nobody knows what Tennessee taxpayers spend on the death penalty. Second , it is closure for the families of the victims. Thank God I have never experienced their pain of loss over a loved one , but to relive that those moments time and time again with appeals and delayed execution dates. At least with life without parole means the person convicted will die in prison.


My modest proposal is first commute all death sentences in Tennessee to life without parole. Then , hope the Tennessee Legislature closely examines whether Tennessee should still be putting folks to death. Only 32 states have the death penalty on the books. Is it Time Tennessee joins the list ?