The Capital Punishment Issue:
Murdering The Murderer
like to think they have evolved since the old days when teams of vigilantes held instant trials and hung horse thieves and
alleged black rapists of white women from the nearest tree.
we have become more refined at the way we arrest and convict, but the United States still remains high among the nations of
the world that still execute convicted felons. Horse thieves usually don’t get the death penalty, but rapists who kill
and anyone convicted of pre-meditated murder and especially the killing of innocent children and police officers end up on
death row in most states of the union. And more black than white males appear to find their way to the modern killing rooms.
It’s an ugly and barbaric practice.
are happy to say that 14 states and the District of Columbia have abolished the death penalty. They are Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois,
Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
other states have maintained the death penalty, with some like Texas apparently operating almost assembly-line killings since
the Supreme Court opened the door to capital punishment in America in 1976.
issue has risen to national attention since Troy Davis was put to death in Georgia, in spite of new evidence suggesting that
witnesses in his alleged fatal shooting of an off-duty police officer were coerced by police into fingering him as the shooter.
punishment has been brought into the public spotlight because of the controversial presidential candidacy of Texas Governor
Rick Perry, who has presided over 235 executions, more than any other governor in any state in history. Many believe that
some of the people put to death under Perry’s watch were wrongly convicted. They say Cameron Todd Willingham, who was
executed after being charged with setting fire to his house and killing his children, was later found innocent after it was
determined that the fire was never a case of arson.
like Amnesty International have been working hard to get the death penalty abolished in all 50 states. Opponents of capital
punishment argue that new DNA testing has been used to prove the innocence of a number of people convicted of rape and murder
cases. They argue that testimony by witnesses at the scene of any crime cannot always be trusted.
we look at the practice of capital punishment around the world, it is shocking to realize just how barbaric the United States
appears. We are the only nation in the Americas to conduct executions and we stand among the top five nations in the world
in the number of people put to death each year.
others are China, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan.
what does anyone gain by murdering the murderer? Is justice truly served? The violent act of killing the killer may appear
to be the correct thing to do in the heat of the moment but does it really appease the victims of such heinous acts? If the
truth were to be told, further acts of violence only create more victims.
believe the old and outmoded religious dogmas that preach “an eye for an eye” have had a lot to do with the belief
that capital punishment is correct justice for killers in the eyes of the Creator. After all it is so commanded in the Old
who really recorded the old laws found in the Old Testament books? Did a mighty force really carve them in stone when it confronted
Moses on the mountain or was that merely one of the many ancient myths that found their way into religious books from the
an almighty God in the clouds really gave humanity these laws, then we also should be executing the adulterers, masturbators
and fornicators in our midst. The Old Testament laws also issued a death penalty for men who are not circumcised, people who
eat leavened bread, drink blood (or ate raw meat), commit blasphemy, practice forms of magic or spiritualism, or worship idols
and other gods than Jehovah.
lot of children would be sentenced to death for striking, cursing or just disobeying their parents or coming home drunk. If
we stuck to those Biblical laws the way some fundamental Christians think we should, we fear that few contemporary children
would have a chance to grow up.
is one positive thought about all of this. If we followed all of the old laws to the letter we might quickly solve our problem
of overpopulation. But then we would create another problem of disposing all the bodies.