You can read our letter in it's entirety below. As you could probably guess, it has generated quite the response in the Daily's online combox!
The Michigan Daily’s editorial that ran Monday, Sept. 26 takes the position that the death penalty has no place in civilized society (From the Daily: A fatal penalty, 9/25/2011). But the very next day, the same space on the page states, partial-birth abortion is a personal decision (From the Daily: The right to choose, (9/26/2011). We at Students for Life find it hard to take the position on capital punishment credibly with the Daily advocating against a ban on partial-birth abortion. It is unreasonable to ask the United States and the 34 states with capital punishment to abolish it for the sake of preserving the lives of those found guilty in court, while one does not oppose the taking of life from those who have committed no crime at all.
Given how many people wrongly convicted and sentenced to death have had their innocence proven by DNA, it seems fundamentally inconsistent on human rights to forcibly end someone’s life when his or her unique DNA proves he or she is a living human being who has committed no crime. How can the editorial disregard such a basic scientific fact and state that the unborn is part of a woman’s body when it does not have her DNA, much less heart beat, brain waves and sometimes blood type? The ignorance is astounding.
Students for Life as a club is also opposed to the death penalty. However, we assert that it is self-evident the guilty cannot have a greater right to life than the innocent. Additionally, it is far less inhumane to kill someone by lethal injection than cutting open their skull and vacuuming out their brain. Individual liberty should never be subject to anyone’s choice or personal preferences. Ultimately, we believe the Daily conveys the height of hypocrisy by seeking to abolish the death penalty while refusing to even condemn abortion.