Should Death Row Inmates Be Able to Donate Their Organs Before They Die?

Several people have asked me lately whether I think that death row inmates should be able to donate their organs before they die. In effect, to commit suicide through organ donation. Culminating in donation of the heart, of course. They are going to be executed anyway, why not bring benefits to others en route?

I see the logic of this position. Why inject someone with lethal medications and then dispose of their remains when so much good could come of their death?

But that’s where I have a problem with this policy: of making people feel that so much “good” can come out of executing people. I oppose organ donation from prisoners on death row because I oppose capital punishment. I think people should always have a chance at redemption, no matter what crimes they have committed. I do not think that capital punishment is, or can, be administered fairly in the United States. I do not think the criminal justice system is accurate enough to make me confident that people who are executed necessarily committed the crimes they had been accused of.

I oppose death-by-organ-donation because I don’t think we need any more reasons to look favorably upon the death penalty. We are practically alone amongst Western democracies in still using this form of punishment. I’d like to see that change.