As a 33 year law enforcement veteran I've worked all types of cases with all types of police officers, judges, and attorneys. I've come to realize the system is composed of imperfect human beings who, unfortunately, carry their emotions and bias into their decision-making. It has rendered the death penalty an unfair and inhumane punishment.
— Rory Steidl, Master Sergeant, Illnois State Police
Historically the death penalty as a judicial punishment has been seen to bear unequally and unjustly on the poor, on minorities and all oppressed groups within the population. The vulnerability of all criminal justice systems to discrimination and error must be taken into account.
— Ron Stalling, former officer, uniformed division of the U.S. Secret Service
I think law enforcement thinks [the death penalty is] a joke and that's probably why 1 percent thinks it's effective. It takes too long and there's too many people on death row that never get put to death.
— Dale Vietmeier, Police Chief and former President of the Allegheny County, PA Chiefs of Police Association
If I were ever killed in the line of duty, I would never, ever want my wife or children to have to suffer the way the families who testified before me have suffered. Instead, I would want to know that the person who did it was behind bars for life, and that my family had the services they needed to heal and the financial support they needed to live without further sacrifice.
— Police Chief James Abbott, who changed his mind about the death penalty after serving on the New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission.
We bow to no one in our support for tough law enforcement policies. We believe, however, that tough law enforcement policies must also be smart and effective. After much study and deliberation, we have come to believe that Maryland's death penalty is neither smart nor effective. Nor, because it is necessarily imposed in an inconsistent manner, is it tough.
— Letter urging repeal of the death penalty signed by 51 current and former Maryland law enforcement, March 13, 2007