Y NOW MANY have read and been moved by the extraordinary mea culpa published in the Shreveport Times by a man named Marty Stroud III, who more than thirty years ago sent Glenn Ford to die for a crime he did not commit.
Killing an innocent person is a mistake that cannot be undone.
So is killing a guilty one.
When the sentence for killing someone is to be killed, we’re saying killing is wrong only when the wrong person does it, not that killing is inherently wrong.
But I guess if we said it was inherently wrong we’d have to take the missiles off our drones and quit sending our soldiers out to impose our will on the world.
This piece by Liliana Segura is the most moving and persuasive I’ve read in a long time. I hope it gets a wide distribution.
Stroud is to be applauded for his honesty and humility, however late they may have come. The light that he sheds on the execution mentality of our so-called criminal justice system is important, at least to those of us with our eyes open. The same can be said about the other former officials mentioned in this excellent article.
What we can expect now is an overwhelming backlash against Stroud and the others, appealing to the same base instincts in an ignorant population. With no supporting arguments, we will hear politician after politician state “I believe in the death penalty.” What they believe in is the votes that they get for their medieval position.
At the end of the day, the death penalty serves as just another distraction from the important issues facing us, issues that Wall Street does not want us to consider.
I personally am against the death penalty in all cases, but I understand the feelings of those who do shout outs in favor of it. I know hard core death opponents who would make an exception for Richard Allen Davis, the guy who killed 12 year old Polly Klass in Petaluma 20 years ago. But the California Supreme Court upheld his death sentence 10 years ago, and he sits to this day on Death Row. It should be labelled Someday Maybe Death Row.
It seems to me there’s a huge ambivalence on the part of everyone. The appeal process takes so long that Davis may die of old age before he gets his final comeuppance (unless you believe in hell in which case the execution is just first torture).
And then there’s the now preferred means in many (but not all) states – lethal injection. Killing someone in a way that makes it a faux medical procedure, making sure they’re comfortable, swabbing the needle insertion site with alcohol so there’s no chance of a post mortem infection.
How is that any way a deterrent? Are people with murderous hearts going to hold back because of fear of years and years of appeals, then being eased away gently?
Yelling “kill the bastard now!” must feel really good (I actually don’t know), but I wonder if the loudest shouters would have the wherewithal to actually push the plunger or pull the trigger (with that conscience salving “one rifle has no bullet” so they all can pretend that they had that one), or throw the switch on “Old Sparky,” or the quick release thing on the gallows (with the head and face discretely covered so the “witnesses” are spared the burden of seeing the facial contortions), or turn on the gas in the chamber and check out the choking through the glass windows. They talk a good kill, but their self righteous howls somehow don’t quite convince me.
I also wonder if anyone being led to the lethal injection site ever screams “i don’t want to die!” like James Cagney did while being hauled to the chair in "Angels With Dirty Faces. "
People think I’m just being a smart ass when I say this, but I’m against the death penalty because it lets killers and torturers off too easy. I can’t imagine any punishment worse than years and years of waiting with only the faint hope that The Innocence Project will get around to second guessing my death sentence.
“These are transformative figures. Their accounts, while powerful on their own, are important in the space they create for others to change as well — perhaps even some still working inside the system they have since disavowed.”
Thank you, Ms. Segura for this uplifting article. It reminds me of the Bible’s story about the Prodigal Son… the one who strays far from core moral teachings. However, upon recognizing his sin (= missing the mark), he is forgiven.
As you relate, if there was no insider Snowden, the public would not know what the Dark Side was up to. It’s the same with John Perkins and others. Only those on the inside of The Beast can relay to the rest of us what’s actually going on. In this way, through their own baptisms in blood-shed, their transformations summon society’s own.
So much goes on under the radar. Only those with eyes to see (having seen it) can relay it so that with enough public opposition, matters can change as they must.
Unfortunately, I heard that Utah (I think it was) is opting for a firing squad since European nations are refusing to send chemicals that can kill inmates softly… with their “songs.”
By using the pronoun WE, you allege–falsely–that all citizens (= we) support the death penalty or that all citizens support these planned (and supported by lies) foreign wars. You do the State’s work by portraying the product of massive propaganda campaigns (designed to win citizens’ support through devious and often diabolical means) with the real thing. Manufactured (on the basis of lies) consent is NOT tantamount to public support; and even if every insecure white male gun worshipping fool supports militarism, the same cannot be said for most women, most minorities, and the young people who have managed to escape a full decade of continuous campaigns of indoctrination (to the make-war State).