An Inmates Right to Die


Today on my Facebook page I asked this question: If an inmate receives a sentence of life with no chance for parole do you think the inmate should be able to decide if they want the death penalty?

It was quite a controversy on the page since my friends that responded were torn with two very different schools of thought. Half were focused on the cost savings to the government if inmate could select the death penalty and the others were focused on the thought that if the prison sentence is life then that’s what it should be since prison is a punishment for a crime. I wondered if any of them had read the article I read yesterday that really opened my eyes to the many possibilities of that could exist with inmates being able to select death.

Associate Press writer, Dena Potter, wrote this article that I read on In a nutshell it’s about Virginia inmate Robert Gleason, Jr. who was looking for his own death penalty verdict for killing his cell mate last year and even told the court in May that he would kill again if the state wouldn’t seek the death penalty in his case. He’s allegedly “involved” in killing another inmate last Saturday. Apparently, his warnings weren’t believed by the prison staff.

Although Robert Gleason doesn’t have life without possibility of parole his case begs the question of how much say should an inmate have in their sentencing? What if an inmate were to have the option to select death and waive all rights to an appeal? What if they were able to speed the process so that the death penalty doesn’t take years of waiting to die?

Make no mistake, I think that anyone in the penal system should have full rights to a fair trial and any appeals to prove their case as the law allows but this is an entirely different situation.

What do you think?

About the Author

Regina Foster Bartlett is a mother of two teenagers who recently married her soulmate and believes her favorite wedding gift was the addition of four stepchildren and four grandchildren! She’s a confessed tech-nerd who loves all things social media. She’s also a published freelance writer and she’s been blogging since before blogging was cool. She's the voice behind the radio broadcast and writer behind this blog. Always on the lookout for interesting stories she can be reached by emailing: or using the Contact form by clicking the link above.