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.

References:

(1) http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/deterrence-states-without-death-penalty-have-had-consistently-lower-murder-rates#stateswithvwithout

(2) http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/FactSheet.pdf

(3) http://www.worldcoalition.org/     http://www.americancatholic.org/news/deathpenalty/
     http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/religion-and-death-penalty
     http://www.mvfr.org/?page_id=3





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14 comments:

Cranky said...

A wonderfully written piece that basically encapsulates my beliefs. Thanks so much for writing this!

Marie said...

Thanks so much for your comment (although I hate calling you Cranky!! lol)

This was easy to write and hard to publish. I was/am very nervous about offending people I care about who might feel differently. But I feel so strongly about the immorality of capital punishment, I couldn't stay silent.

I hope people who have a different perspective agree to disagree. We all have to live our beliefs.

Pricilla said...

But hey, all those Christians are just following the Word in Bible....it CAN't be WRONG now can it?
;)

Debbie said...

i agree to agree marie...you always have the courage to say what i feel!!

miss you girl!!

Marie said...

Pricilla - Thanks for your comment! The way I look at it is if someone is going to refer to the Bible, it boils down to this:

Matthew 22:36-40

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

It is hard to make an argument for capital punishment with that staring you in the face.

Debbie - Miss you too!! I REALLY miss you, thank goodness for your blog.

I don't know if I am brave or foolhardy. It was hard to post this. But I so strongly believe in what I wrote, that makes it a little easier.

Thank you for your affirming comment.

Thank you all.

bing said...

agree to disagree at some points.

i agree that the death of a killer does not make it right but what must be done to the killer? there has to be a deterrent to stop people from killing especially innocent and helpless victims. if not death penalty, what would stop these monsters?

this is a good read. thought provoking. :-)

Anji said...

I agree with you. One small point made by a lawyer in the US that I know. If a man is sentenced to death people are more likely to do something to help him clear his name.

The cruellest part is the years and years they are kept hanging on. How do they live with that?

Marie said...

Bing - I think life imprisonment with no possibility of parole is a humane alternative. And sadly, I think there are some damaged creatures out there who are going to kill no mater what. They are so depraved nothing will stop them. But the death penalty does not stop them now.

It is frightening to think of the evil that is out there. But meeting evil with more evil is not the solution.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment.

Marie said...

Anji - you must have left your comment while I was answering the last one.

I cannot imagine the horrible torture of death row. I believe if someone was damaged before they end up there, being there only makes things worse. Even the whole concept of a last meal makes me feel ill.

Thank you for your comment, as always. :)

Dirty Butter said...

I've been on a murder trial jury, but he pled guilty before the trial was over. I don't think I could have voted for the death penalty, but I thankfully didn't have to test my beliefs on that one.

I can agree with your point of view as long as you are also against abortion (other than cases where the life of the mother is at stake, and possibly rape and incest). So many people who are against the death penalty are also pro abortion, which makes no sense to me. If you're Pro-Life you're pro life, period!

Marie said...

DB - that must have been harrowing! I can only imagine. It is hard to have a belief such as this and then be confronted by pure evil, such as with the Petit murders. I still believe two wrongs do not make a right.

I do believe that life begins at conception and I am personally opposed to abortion. However, I do not want to judge other women who have felt they had no alternative. Ultimately, we all have to answer to God for our choices.

Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment.

Dirty Butter said...

I'm not judging those who choose abortion, but those who are against the death penalty but do believe that abortion is perfectly OK. It's illogical to me.

Jay said...

To me, execution is just vengeance. It's a rationale for killing that society deems more acceptable than the murderer's reason. You're right...it diminishes us.

Marie said...

DB - I do agree with you, that thought process is not consistent.

Jay - Absolutely, that is exactly what it is, vengeance. It accomplishes nothing. I cannot fathom obtaining any kind of peace or satisfaction from the death of another person.

Thank you so much for stopping by and for leaving your comment.