how do you feel about....

  1. ...the death penalty? I used to be for it, and I guess in some circumstances I still would be, but I recently read 2 books---The Dreams of Ada , by Robert Mayer, and The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town, by John Grisham, and I have to say....wow. Two sets of defendants sentenced to death for two different crimes, who just got railroaded by the so-called justice system in the town of Ada, OK. (sorry to anyone here who may be from Ada!) The one set of defendants is still in prison tho no longer on death row, and the other set--the ones in Grisham's book--were completely exonerated though they had to sit on death row for some 14 years!! Can you imagine what it must have been like for themselves and their families? It really made me think about the death penalty, and the odds of truly innocent people being put to death. I used to believe that it didn't really happen but after reading these books I am troubled to think how flawed the justice system is in America.
     
  2. I have mixed feelings about the death penalty.

    I'm from a town with a maximum security prison with the electric chair (which gets used). Growing up it was really weird to read the obituary in the local paper of the person who was just put to death in the chair. It always freaked me out.
     
  3. Don't know. On paper I'm all for it. How would you feel if one of your loved ones got knifed and raped to death? me - not so good. But at the same time I'm up for Jury duty the day after Thanksgiving vacation. Don't know if I could sit on a death penalty jury - I am not God and should not deterimine the fate of someone. (how is that for a fuzzy answer? I am very much on the fence). BTW - I'm in Texas - take that for what it is worth.
     
  4. The various ologists among us will have their analyses, but one of the things I notice is that whenever there is a particularly horrific crime in the news, it is interesting to hear how many people will suggest horrific punishments for the perpetrator, or at least whoever is accused.

    It is as if there is an urge to show that we can be even more violent, that our desire is not to stop such incidents, end violent behavior, but perpetuate it, glorify it, be part of it, surpass it in brutality.

    The other thing that I always think of is the custom in ancient times of sacrificing people to a deity or spirit, and I think that we can see some of the same psychology at work today.

    Again, I can perceive something of a societal urge to "send a message," I guess is one way to put it. Some might call it a primitive desire for revenge, and there are those who can make a very good argument that it is that.

    The individual sentenced to die may not be the exact person who committed that exact crime, and there are certainly people who have very strong feelings about that, and even organizations that exist precisely for the purpose of identifying such cases, and attempting to have them re-visited via the legal system.

    But the over-riding sense of the societal outrage appears to be more focused on that message-sending aspect, that modern day version of the sacrifice to the spirits, while at the same time, there is that undeniable desire, albeit in many cases, maybe not a conscious one, to perpetuate the violence. And in many cases, as mentioned above, creditable arguments can be made that one segment of society is seeking revenge on another segment, choosing the "sacrifice" from what may be considered by the mainstream to be a less desirable group.

    A few years ago, a young woman doing humanitarian work in South Africa was murdered, by someone in the very community she had gone there to help. Her parents chose to honor her memory by going to South Africa and continuing her work. I believe they are still there today.

    My own personal view is that as a species, we have not evolved in some ways as much as one might think, looking at our iPods, our shopping malls and cell phones. :smile:

    And the one thing that is certain is that we can control only what we do. We each have the option, the power, to say:

    I will not harm others, I will not hate. If I or my family have been victims of such, it will stop with me. And these are the values I will impart, the example I will strive to set, for my children, or any children whose lives I touch, in the hope that the next generation will do better.
     
  5. I'm against it. Granted, if I read about someone who has committed a horrible, senseless crime for which they have no remorse for, especially against children, I can't help but feel, "They need to die."

    But it seems a tad hypocritical, don't you think? "Killing those people was wrong. To teach you a lesson, we're going to kill you."
     
  6. That was very well said and I couldn't agree more.

    I personally don't think that anyone has the right to "play God".

    I think that it's wrong to kill another human being no matter what the circumstance. Whether it's someone killing out of anger or whether it's a judge or a jury deciding that someone "deserves" to die. It's crazy to me how we can justify killing under certain circumstances and it's scary that we think we have the right to decide who deserves to die.

    "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" - Mahatma Ghandi

    Just my 2 cents. ;)
     
  7. no comment.....
     
  8. I am very much against it for social reasons, economic reasons, justice reasons and too many others to list. The state's job is to protect the populace, not to take part in vengeance.

    And I couldn't have said it better than ShimmaPuff:
    "And the one thing that is certain is that we can control only what we do. We each have the option, the power, to say:

    I will not harm others, I will not hate. If I or my family have been victims of such, it will stop with me. And these are the values I will impart, the example I will strive to set, for my children, or any children whose lives I touch, in the hope that the next generation will do better."