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For nearly the first forty-five years of my life, I believed in the death penalty.

Some things—child rape, premeditated murder, terrorism, serial rape and the trafficking of certain drugs in massive quantities—were simply so horrible and corrosive to society that only death was a fitting punishment.

In fact, it’s only been a few months since is circulated a petition to replace lethal injection with nitrogen suffocation or a firing-squad.

This was, of course, predicated upon the notion of a fair system, clean policing and the absence of any Augustinian sins on the part of anyone involved in the legal process. That is to say, total shit. A steaming truckload of it, to be blunt.

I had realized that problems existed within certain states’ legal systems, in the Lone Star State’s. I had even been aware that an innocent man, Cameron Todd Willingham, had been executed, but believed it to be a good-faith error based on faulty techniques and scientific “knowledge”.

At the beginning of June, Lester Bower was executed for a murder of which he was factually innocent. Upon reading more about the case and the circumstances surrounding it, I learned that Federal and state authorities knew of his innocence at the time of his trial, which was literally a circus. (Read the articles. People in clown make-up literally drifted in from a carnival on the courthouse lawn and then left when they desired something more entertaining.)

Having become aware of at least three executions by the State of Texas and the plight of two other innocent individuals awaiting the same fate, I realized that I could not trust people.

It is impossible to remove the “human element” from a capital case, and therefore the death penalty is untenable. There are no bedrock guarantees that the case won’t be figuratively folded, spindled and mutilated, I therefore withdraw in perpetuity my support for any death sentence.

I understand about Dzhokar Tsarnaev. Yes, he does deserve it; however, that one in a million case cannot be enough to keep the option of death available. If someone killed six people on a bus, there would be a hue and a cry to kill the terrorists, but if those same people died as a result of prosecutorial or investigative avarice, no one would speak. Not enough to matter, anyway.

I’ll speak. We’re in the second decade of the twenty-first century and still relying on a horribly error-prone system to kill people we believe need to die.

As the saying goes; Killing to punish murder is like fucking for chastity, raping rapists, fighting for peace or remaining silent to make your voice heard. It’s an oxymoron…emphasis on the moron.

To regain our place among civilized nations, of which we were once the guiding light, the death penalty must be replaced with a sentence of life without parole in a “super-max” prison.

Europe has done it. Canada has done it. Australia has done it. Even some of our own states have done it. It’s time to kick the “death habit”.

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4 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Colder Case.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I too used to be all for the death penalty. But after 5 years of psych. training at mostly liberally-strong schools, I’m now totally against it. I do think that “evil people” should be punished for their egregious crimes, but killing a person because he or she killed just doesn’t make sense to me any more. But too, I believe that as long as a person has a breath left in his or her body, there’s absolutely a chance at reformation, restitution, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of the neural pathways in the brain (not to mention the heart) so that true change might be achieved- no matter how “evil” said person was going in.

    Naturally, we must consider some spiritual aspects in the death penalty- as much as I’d like to keep it about politics- but religion/death/the afterlife/etc.- it all sort of ties in to why (and to what degree) each person supports (or doesn’t support) the death penalty. I was raised in a Pentecostal upbringing. (Enough said, eh? heheh…) We were taught that “an eye for an eye” worked for the Old Testament. But not the New Testament. Jesus came and said and taught, “Turn the other cheek.” So, things became drastically different then in the judicial department! But that’s not to say killers and sadistic torturers (etc.) should be appeased and given a slap on the wrist either.

    Anywho, I do feel you on all of this! By the way, I stopped trusting the system (in large part) when they authorized the removal of my two children from my custody- more than 20 years ago- and trumped up bogus charges against my parents, my church, my FAMILY, myself- and opened an investigation (for the next 12 years) in which my entire life was destroyed. It devoured us all. My kids never came home. I (nor my family) were ever convicted of the ridiculous (and disgusting) things that were alleged, but the damage was done. It was a decade long witch hunt- all so the (cop) foster Dad and (scheming) foster mom could adopt my youngest daughter. I can’t even begin to tell you the level of torture and corrupt judicial warfare they executed on me year after year.

    It was brutal. Remind me to write a memoir- it’d probably be a best seller. ;0) I think there are a lot worse things that can happen to a person than him or her being executed. Sometimes that’s a merciful solution. Living inside of one’s own mind- all alone- can sometimes be a greater punishment than death. I suppose that’s why I’m now working towards becoming a Forensic Psychologist- I want to help mentally ill inmates/convicts who’ve been sentenced to solitary confinement, and who spend years locked away- living out that private hell- with little to no help. (I want to help them receive the proper treatment and do all I can to move them to proper treatment facilities, such as state hospitals.) My target demograph aren’t people who are still “all there”. I want to help people who truly have no idea why they’re there or who they are any more. (That’s the direction I’m going in, anyway.) x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your reply.

      First of all, it’s nice to know someone actually reads what I write.

      More importantly, it’s nice to know that my message is getting out. Each of us is mmeely a pixel, but we form a picture, a message of enlightenment.

      I grew up arpund police, prosecutors and judges, so I know that the CJ system is the ultimate “sausage factory”. If people really knew some of the things which go on, we’d have our own Bastille Day.

      Your story about being the subject of a witch hunt is all too familiar. I also stuck with the death penalty out of a commitment to spiritual and earthly laws before finally conceding defeat. (Mine was Methodist, which isn’t as liberal as you would think.)

      I also agree that there are many things worse than death. In fact, this is why I remain in favor of euthanasia upon request. We do it for our pets and offer it to our worst, so we should be able to request it. But, I digress; that’s another blog, for another day.

      I very much believe in the promise of both psychology and psychiatry, but when it comes to sociopathy, I don’t believe that’s curable. I think that may be like trying to make the proverbial silk purse out of a sow’s ear. James Holmes will always be what-and who-he is.

      It is because of the entrenched avarice, ambition and societal fear which we have both seen in our lives that capital punishment can never be aan option. It’s an all too convenient way for society to rid itself of undesirable elements, which have variously included Galileo, Darwin, Elvis and Masters and Johnson. Hegemony must be opposed.

      I look forward to reading your comments on future blogs and even additional comments on this, should you have anything else to say. Now, If I can just find 2,000-3,000 more intelligent and caring readers. 😉

      Like

      • Haha…good luck with finding that many (intelligent and caring) readers! I’ve discovered, for the most part, that people are innately selfish. What might seem like a “general comment” to most, is actually a “calling card” of self-promotion for many. A person receives a comment by a person, or, a “lazy like” (meaning, somebody presses the like button on someone’s comment, so their icon will be places in the comment section), but can muster up neither the care nor the passion to actually “comment”. These days, it really is all about self-promotion. Or, mostly, it seems. (But then again, I study people and behavior.)

        I have all of 350 followers because I don’t go out “fishing”. I’m alright with that. ;0)

        Also, I do hear what you’re saying about sociopaths- and them being on another level altogether of being “unfixable”. But in this instance, again- I turn to an example of the very worst of the worst- mentioned in the Bible. “Legion”. You might be familiar with that story. A man lived in a cemetery, and was actually chained up (by the town’s people). He lived there alone and would cut himself with sharp stones- the Bible says he was possessed with like- thousands of devils, etc. In today’s time, he would definitely be classified as a sociopath, psychopath, and schizophrenic- and those are all the good qualities!

        But, according to the Bible, Jesus took compassion on him and cast them all out. The evil beings ran into the swine instead, who ran themselves off the cliff and into the sea. Afterwards, the town’s people were even more afraid of that same man because the next time they saw him, he was clean, completely in his right mind, thoughtful and “together”, and sitting in a room with Jesus, talking. I know to some, this is like “folklore”, but to me, it’s a true story, as I believe the Bible is factual and true (and inspired by God). All of this isn’t to say that sociopaths simply need spiritual intervention and they’re good to go! No, it wouldn’t make much of a difference to many of them.

        So, I mostly agree with you about sociopaths being who and what they are- much of the time from birth. But I do think that if a person has the right formula (proper meds, proper treatment/therapy, proper nutrition, sleep, and equally important- proper spiritual intervention), then he or she stands at least half a chance for help. Unfortunately, this seldom happens, rendering the sow’s ear, as you put it so well, just a sow’s ear.

        Like


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