Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Robin Lovitt was less than 24 hours from his scheduled execution by the state of Virginia. But the Governor Mark Warner granted clemency at the last moment. Gov. Warner thought that evidence was improperly destroyed and that caused enough doubt for Gov. Warner to grant Lovitt clemency. Had Lovitt been executed he would have been the 1000th person executed in the United States since the Supreme Court allowed the death penalty in 1976.

If you’ve been reading my little blog long enough you know I’m pro-life right down the board. That means I oppose the death penalty. I am absolute in my opposition. We have no right to kill, not even in the name of justice. No murderer, rapist, child molester or even terrorist should be put to death. Killing criminals solves nothing. It doesn’t make us safer. There’s no evidence that shows capital punishment deters crime. The United States is the last of the Western first world nations to execute its criminals. We need to stop.

You see I know that all the capital punishment supporters would say if they read this, “He’s soft.” No I am not soft on crime or any of that. You see it’s the death penalty supporters that are the cowards here. They want you afraid of the big bad criminals and want you to believe only killing will protect you. They’re like the scared little animals that puff up to try and scare away predators. These people thrive on fear and only a coward would do that. Forgiveness always requires more strength than revenge.

Please don’t give me that lame ass hypothetical question that everyone poses to people who oppose the death penalty. You know it. It goes like this, “ What if some broke into your house and brutally killed someone you loved? Wouldn’t you want to see them die?” My answer is always the same and I shall share it with you. “Maybe in my grief induced delirium I might want to see that person suffer some horrible fate. But that would be anger not justice and we cannot govern on anger we must do on justice. Now let me ask you this. Let’s say someone broke into your neighbor’s house and brutally murdered them. What if that someone who committed that heinous crime was someone you loved? Would you want them dead? “ That usually shuts them right up.

You see we always externalize evil. We act like criminals are some alien species that Martians dropped off. They’re not. They are not that different from you and me. It’s all just a matter of degrees that separate us. We need to remember that. I think it would serve us well to remember the words of Eugene Debs, a Socialist Party candidate for President around the turn of the 20th century. “As long as there is a lower class. I am in it. As long as there is a criminal element. I am of it. As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”


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