Friday, January 19, 2007

Abolish the Death Penalty

For the most part, the same people who claim that they are “pro-life” also favor the death penalty. But it isn’t the hypocrisy of the death penalty proponents that bothers me (that’s nothing new for the Reactionary Right), it’s the barbarism of it all. I guess that shouldn’t surprise me either, given the blood-lust much of these folks have for Bush’s New Crusades (“the only good Moslem is a dead Moslem”—the logical extension of their reasoning for supporting the war in Iraq).

But to the point. The death penalty is barbaric and should be abolished in the United States. Studies have shown that executions have no deterrent effect. As mere punishment, the effect would be over in an instant (in theory anyway—recent bungled lethal injections have not been so swift, raising “cruel and unusual” worries). The only remaining rationale is revenge, which is clearly what is on the minds of conservatives (which brings us back to hypocrisy, of course, given that these same conservatives claim to be Christians, for whom revenge—administered by mortals, at least—ought to be antithetical). Revenge is not a principle on which a civilized nation should stand. It is beneath us and is unproductive.

Furthermore, mistakes can be made and the death penalty is irreversible (short of resurrection). Human beings—prosecutors, judges and juries—are fallible. Why compound our own errors by killing the innocent?

Abolish the death penalty.

4 comments:

Dannyboy said...

Not ALL those put to death are innocent. In fact, far more are guilty. I'll admit that the Death Penalty has flaws, but it's not worth ditching. What we need are careful, non-bias judges and Governor's like Warner and Kaine who seriously look at every case.

Clifford Garstang said...

Of course not all who are executed are innocent, but if even one is then that is far too many, don't you agree? And even if everyone sentence to death is guilty, that still doesn't mean the death penalty is justified, on the other grounds I cited. I do agree that we are fortunate to have had Mark Warner and Tim Kaine in office, but imagine a Governor Kilgore (perish the thought) and what he would do with executions. The sane course is to abolish the death penalty all together. It achieves nothing except revenge, which has no value.

Barbara's Journey Toward Justice said...

I read your Blogs and thought you may find this story interesting. This Book Changed my mind about the Death Penalty. I feel the more people know about these issues maybe some things will change. At one time I wrote this about the book I read.... Who And Where Is Dennis Fritz, You may say after reading John Grisham's Wonderful Book "The Innocent man", Grisham's First non-fiction book. The Other Innocent Man hardly mentioned in "The Innocent Man" has his own compelling and fascinating story to tell in "Journey Toward Justice". John Grisham endorsed Dennis Fritz's Book on the Front Cover. Dennis Fritz wrote his Book Published by Seven Locks Press, to bring awareness about False Convictions, and The Death Penalty. "Journey Toward Justice" is a testimony to the Triumph of the Human Spirit and is a Stunning and Shocking Memoir. Dennis Fritz was wrongfully convicted of murder after a swift trail. The only thing that saved him from the Death Penalty was a lone vote from a juror. "The Innocent Man" by John Grisham is all about Ronnie Williamson, Dennis Fritz's was his co-defendant. Ronnie Williamson was sentenced to the Death Penalty. Both were exonerated after spending 12 years in prison. Both Freed by a simple DNA test, The real killer was one of the Prosecution's Key Witness. John Grisham's "The Innocent Man" tells half the story. Dennis Fritz's Story needs to be heard. Read about how he wrote hundreds of letters and appellate briefs in his own defense and immersed himself in an intense study of law. He was a school teacher and a ordinary man from Ada Oklahoma, whose wife was brutally murdered in 1975. On May 8, 1987 while raising his young daughter alone, he was put under arrest and on his way to jail on charges of rape and murder. Since then, it has been a long hard road filled with twist and turns. Dennis Fritz is now on his "Journey Toward Justice". He never blamed the Lord and solely relied on his faith in God to make it through. He waited for God's time and never gave up

Clifford Garstang said...

BJTJ: thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. I haven't yet read Grisham's book or the one you mention, but now I'll look into both.