Thursday, September 22, 2011
Thou Shall Not Kill: Standing Against Murder
On September 21, a day of prayer for World Peace, a man named Troy Davis became the thirty fifth human being to be murdered by the United States government in 2011. Whether or not he was guilty is irrelevant, although the possibility of his innocence makes his death that much more horrifying.
Killing is wrong. Legally sanctioned killing does not make it right. Guilt does not make it right. The death of the killer does not change the status of their victim. Every human being has a value that we have no right to destroy. Not upholding the dignity of human life cheapens and diminishes us.
Arguments for deterrence are refuted by scholarly research every year. There are more murders in states with the death penalty than in states without it (1). There are a disproportionate number of people of color and mentally ill on Death Row (2). One hundred and thirty eight individuals who were scheduled to die at the government's hands have been exonerated in the past 38 years (2). That is 138 innocent people who would have been put to death. Religious, civil rights, political leaders, even victim's families, constantly plead for rational and merciful justice (3). The entire civilized world opposes the barbarity of the death penalty, except for the United States. In our bloodthirsty nation, over 63 percent of the population supports capital punishment.
Mahatma Gandhi said “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” May God have mercy on us for our inhumanity.
(3) http://www.worldcoalition.org/ http://www.americancatholic.org/news/deathpenalty/
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