When will the excuses for not enforcing the death penalty ever end? The latest argument is how much pain there will be for the inmate — will it be quick enough, will it be cruel and inhumane? The three chemical formula became a cause of concern; then the type of chemical was questioned. The newest chemical is one dose of pentobarbital.

On Thursday, Feb. 7, federal Judge James Brady ruled that there was not enough known about this latest drug and postponed the execution of Christopher Sepulvado, who has been on death row for 21 years for murdering his 6-year-old stepson.

Gary Clements, director of the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana, continues to waste taxpayers dollars on trumped up appeals for these murders who have a safe haven in Angola where they are cared for as well, if not better, than our loved ones in nursing homes. Our death row prisoners get meals of home-grown vegetables, beef raised on their farm and all the comforts many homeless do not have. Derrick Todd Lee has had a medical procedures, all at taxpayers expense. How can we be so blinded by this charade? The “scales of justice” have tipped so far they no longer balance, and the victim is no longer the consideration.

Imagine how much pain, fear and trauma each victim incurred. Shouldn’t this enter into the equation? Unless you have lost a loved one to a murder, you have no idea of the pain and suffering of these victims. This pain and suffering spills over to their families who struggle with a system of justice that has not kept pace with the technology of criminal investigations and now the science of forensics, which gives us the infallible science of DNA.

Anyone convicted with DNA evidence should have a limited time period for appeals. After all, the reason for the long wait on death row was to protect the innocent when eyewitnesses and fingerprints were the dependable crime fighting and conviction tools.

We in Louisiana should follow the lead of Texas and California and imitate their death row convictions. The death penalty is a deterrent to crime. The problem is we don’t enforce it; we let our inmates take up space in our overcrowded jails at the expense of the taxpayers.

Why can’t we see what a waste of funds Louisiana doesn’t have. Just look at the rising death statistics in Baton Rouge and other major cities based on crime. Don’t you think it’s time to do away with incarceration of murders for at least 20 plus years? Wake up Louisiana and do the right thing!

Lynne Marino

retired administrative assistant