Torchbearer Spotlight: Suzy Drapkin

Why do I oppose the death penalty?

I oppose the death penalty because I don’t believe in killing others. I believe it is immoral. While those who kill others are called murderers, what does it make those who kill them? At what point does one lose their humanity and are no different from the ones they are now killing? I have often wondered what would happen to those who believe in the death penalty if they were the ones having to execute men and women instead of some faceless person. Would it change their minds if they did the killing themselves and then had to watch someone die?

When did I become passionate about my opposition to the death penalty?

I can’t remember any specific incident or time that influenced me to be against the death penalty. However, after moving to Texas where the death penalty is rigorously enforced, I have become more aware and against these grievous wrongdoings. I wanted the death penalty abolished even more when I learned that so many of these deaths involve innocent or intellectually challenged individuals who receive sentences because of wrong arrests, poor witnesses, prejudice, and/or lousy forensic evidence. This is the real crime!

What are my impressions of the 90 Million Strong Campaign? How is my current involvement in the Campaign, and how has this Campaign helped bring more people to speak out against the death penalty?

I believe that any campaign that gets the public educated and involved, especially 90 million individuals, has to have a positive impact. The more voices, the stronger the impact! The more individual stories of innocent people either awaiting their deaths or already killed, the stronger the impact! The more atrocities associated with the death penalty, the stronger the impact! When politicians feel the wrath of their constituents, then they get on the bandwagon. This is how change occurs in this country. This is what is happened with the marriage equality movement, and I hope we can see the same changes in the abolition movement.

Why did I become a Torchbearer, giving a monthly contribution to the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty?

I appreciate all the hard work that the folks behind the scenes do at the NCADP. After all if there wasn’t the NCADP, then there wouldn’t be a 90 Million Strong Campaign. They are the ones who should be praised! My contribution is a way for me to make sure that I help in some small way. Providing it on a monthly or sustaining basis keeps me from forgetting to contribute.

Any final words?

Obviously, how someone feels about the death penalty is very personal, but if it’s not a case about morality, then how about looking at the statistics. According to articles in The Guardian and Forbes, “at least 4.1% people sentenced to death” are innocent. That’s just too many.

Suzy Drapkin, Principal at Drapkin Goodwin, focuses on helping individuals reach their career goals, advance in their professional development, and improve in self-confidence. She also enjoys working with organizations to build successful employee retention plans and provide individualized outplacement services and exit programs. She holds a M.S. degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Boston University and a B.S. in Special Education from Southern Connecticut State University. She has lived in Austin, Texas since XXXX and has been a Torchbearer for over 2 years.

Source:: National Coalition to End the Death Penalty