Student-led death penalty discussion ends year-long series

Joshua Farmer

Senior Amanda Moore led a discussion on the use of the death penalty on an international scale that showed those in attendance statistics about the use of the death penalty, reasons for abolition and ways to push for abolition Tuesday night.

Moore, a global studies major, said she is passionate about social justice. Moore helped to organize social justice week and founded the campus Amnesty International organization.

Her passion for abolition of the death penalty led to a presentation that she felt delivered her message successfully.

“I hoped to show the audience that the world is moving toward abolition,” Moore said. “I don’t expect people to all of a sudden change their stance on the issue, but I wanted to introduce the issue on a global scale to the audience.”

Matthew Robinson, professor in government and justice studies, helped organize the event and said he was pleased with how successful the year-long death penalty series has been.

“Each event that we have hosted so far has drawn large crowds and provoked some great discussion,” Robinson said.

Moore’s speech is the fourth and final installment in the death penalty series.

Robinson said Moore was the perfect choice to close the series.

The event opened with Moore discussing crimes for which the death penalty has been used as punishment and which methods of execution are most commonly used.

Drawing the audience in, however, was her segment revealing that the United States has been among the top five countries in terms of death penalty use every year since 2008.

“I hope that as a result of this presentation, people begin to look at the death penalty as a human rights issue and not a victim issue,” Moore said.

Senior management major, Terrance Young, said that he was glad he came to the discussion because he learned a lot.

“It definitely let me see more about the international side of the death penalty, beyond our state and beyond our country,” Young said. “It definitely broadened my knowledge and gave me a lot to think about.”

Story: CORY SPIERS, Intern News Reporter