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Thursday, August 30, 2007

This Liberals Opinion on Death Sentences




I am of the firm belief that the worst sentence you can give out is a full term of life in prison. Depending on your crime, solitary confinement for life is not a problem for me. Hard labor for the worst of crimes is not a problem for me. If you kill someone under any circumstance, under any mental state of mind it is murder and inserting a needle into the convicted persons vein’s does not solve the problem. Hanging them till dead or death by lethal gas is the easy road out for the convicted and the state. It perpetuates the problem onto the families of the victims whether we like it or not.

Mothers of murder victims are no different than mothers of the ones that murdered the actual person. They both gave birth to a life and did their best to raise the child with what values they knew. Same school but not all students learn the lessons of life they truly need. Some kids hear the Charlie Brown version of the teacher and other kids hear what they need to hear. The what and the how of those same two children and how they live their lives after they leave the mothers apron strings is anyone’s guess?

Killing one mothers child because another mothers child murdered someone is psychologically wrong to the human spirit. Punishing the child for life for murder by spending the wasted life is the only answer that makes sense.

This leads me to this piece in the Houston Chronicle, I’ve never been to Texas but I love this paper! Governor Rick Perry pulled the plug on an execution today and this is what they have to say about that…

Aug. 30, 2007, 7:01PM
Perry spares inmate set to die today
By LISA SANDBERG
Austin Bureau

AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry offered a rare reprieve today to a death row inmate who was sentenced to die for a killing he did not personally carry out.

Six hours before Kenneth Foster was scheduled to die, Perry accepted a recommendation from the state board of pardon and paroles and commuted Foster's death sentence to life in prison.

In a statement, Perry said he arrived at "the right and just decision" after carefully reviewing the facts and after considering the board's 6-1 recommendation, which was issued earlier this morning.

Foster, a former gang member from San Antonio, was sentenced to die for being an accessory to the murder of 25-year-old law student Michael LaHood Jr., who was killed in 1996 at age 25. Foster, who was then 19, was the getaway driver in a car some 80 feet away from where one of his buddies shot and killed LaHood during a botched robbery.
- Houston Chronicle

Some people are of the opinion that an eye for an eye is the bible way but it is not the way of the human spirit. An ideology has risen in this country from the bible thumpers that God is a just God and he demands an eye for an eye. Wasn’t that thought written by just a man?

Anger is a very strong emotion and with the murder or death of a child I can comprehend and understand the emotion any parent could go through. Hate, despair, as a parent can send your mind down the road of revenge but revenge comes with a very heavy price. The short term gain in human spirit will not last and the mind is a funny device with many buttons to push and some of them it is best not to even dare push.

What about the emotion after the sentence is fulfilled and the trap door to the hanging is released for the murderer in the mind of the mother of the victim? Somewhere in her mind is the thought that she just killed another mothers child and she is no better than the murderer of her own child then. It can happen and then what? Glory for seeing the scales of justice balanced only makes the weights of justice balance for the moment. Down the road regret and compassion are all that is left for two mothers with one another each having a child in the grave.

Does that make any sense? In my mind it does not!

My main point is that our nation and our states need to look at the death penalty and re-think it. If we can spend a billion dollars a day to fight a war thousands of miles away from our shores can we not build the largest rock busting prison colony? I firmly believe that a life at hard labor is more justice than putting the even remote possibility of the thought on the victims families mind even if it is ten or twenty years down the road that they could have been or were remotely responsible for a state sanctioned murder.

I have to offer my thanks to Governor Rick Perry of Texas for commuting this sentence to life in jail. In doing so he did not save one life, he saved two mothers lives as well. Nobody else will no how many other lives he saved by this one simple stay of execution.

Having the death sentence is not a deterrent to crime of the worst kind it is a continuance of the crime beyond the actual event for both families effected by the actual crime. It’s just okayed by the state? If we can't trust them with our tax dollars can we trust them with sanctioned by murder?

Papamoka


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4 Comments:

Anonymous Tom said...

Good post. It's easy to see murderers as isolated monsters and not realize that they have a family too.

And those who quote "an eye for an eye" need to read what Jesus said about that in the New Testament.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

While I appreciate the idea that taking of a life as retribution for the taking of a life is not always palatable, there are things that can make it less unpalatable.

This man's sentence was commuted because he was not the killer; he was an accessory. Had he pulled the trigger, the needle would have gone into his arm sure enough.

The suggestion that putting an individual in prison for life is punishment enough is not always accurate. There are those who will continue to find ways to kill; and many states that mandate life in prison also mandate options for parole. Additionally, allowing these individuals who know there's nothing else the state can do to them are under no sense of obligation to behave, which leads to a situation where these individuals commit even more murders against both inmates and guards - thus affecting even more parents.

Sometimes, perhaps, for the greater good of the nation as a whole, capital punishment is not unthinkable.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

Thank you Tom! I'm not a bible quoting blogger so I leave that interpertation up to the reader. I love the New Testament thought though.

Good point Steve, I'm still not in favor of the death penalty. Prison isn't a fun house ride. Hard core criminals have their code of ethics and it is called pure survival at the worst level of human existence. That is the price to pay for murder.

I can't quote the study but it is in fact cheaper to jail someone for life than go through the expensive process of appeal after appeal when it comes to death row inmates.

Volley for serve Counselor

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Michael Linn Jones said...

I've always used Ted Bundy as an example of the efficacy of the death penalty. Whatever the origins of his problems, by being put to death he will definitely not kill any more people.

However, in years hence I have been witness to some of the darker sides of the criminal justice system (or "Just Us" system some would say).

The problem is with the process by which people find themselves condemned to die. I just don't trust the system any more to adquately ensure that those being put to death are the ones who deserve it.

Life in prison without parole is as bad as it gets, and yes Steve is right in that it gives these people nothing left to lose. But it might be fairly said that it would also provide an opportunity for exculpatory evidence to surface in the future that is useless if someone is already dead.

11:45 AM  

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