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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The death penalty

Reading an article recently on how a death row inmate hanged himself while awaiting his death by injection, I started to think, how do I feel about the death penalty? And I can honestly say, I'm conflicted.

For the longest time, I thought the death penalty was wrong. We are playing God and as Mahatma Ghandi once said, "An eye for an eye and the whole world is blind." Not to mention the amount of wrongful executions due to shoddy investigative work and a failed judicial system. In Illinois, for example, the Chicago tribune examined over 300 death penalty cases and found that 33 people on Illinois death row were represented by lawyers that had been disbarred or suspended, and in nearly 50 cases, people were convicted based on testimony from jailhouse informants, usually regarded as flimsy evidence. The number of mentally challenged inmates awaiting a death sentence is also quite high and in my view, very disturbing. These people aren't fully able to grasp what they've done let alone what could possibly happen to them. Even if there were a way to guarantee 100% that every single person executed was in fact guilty, would the death penalty be used in the form of revenge and the belief that the guilty party was beyond redemption?

All that being said, I'm a mother now and that changes everything. If someone were to harm/kill my child, I would want them dead. Not only would I want them dead, in a moment of anger and sheer insanity, I would probably kill them myself. I think that's a natural reaction for most parents. And I could not imagine the pain some parents have felt burying their child, or even worse, never finding their body.

It makes me sad that we live in a world where we even have to think about this, but we do.

I want to know, what are your thoughts on the death penalty?

Original article that sparked this blog post:


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