Monday, October 31, 2005

To Kill or not To Kill: What is the Answer?

This week has been a time for reflecting on life and what it means. I found myself considering whether or not the death penalty was justifiable as a means to right a wrong. I often find myself switching back and forth on this issue like a swing being gently pushed by the wind. My reluctance to really agree with this method of punishment has more to do with my religious beliefs than anything. (Thou Shalt Not Kill) But then I think what if it was someone I loved, would I want that person to pay for that crime? Of course I would. But as more and more convicted criminals seek to test DNA and are being released I think it is an issue we need to talk about. First, it is a common knowledge that there are many folks of color as well as other races locked up for crimes they say they did not commit. So many prisoners have been released and paid monetary settlements because they were wrongly convicted. Now I'm hearing that more folks on death row may be innocent. If we kill the wrong person, what's next? This is the most recent case that folks are screaming that something is wrong with the evidence and that the young man was beaten into signing a (Confession) statement that he killed these two young women. Should we inject the death penalty when evidence is shaky at best? I think this is something to ponder?

27 comments:

Hasan Mubarak said...

As far as I see this punishment from my religious perspective, it might be one of the ways in which the price of crime is paid by the criminal.

In this way, he may be able to get released from the chambers of hell because he had already been electrocuted in this world...

Killing the wrong person will be the most horrific act with innocent victims. The authorities surely need to confirm the act before carrying out such serious executions.

crallspace said...

I used to be in full support of the death penalty, but after I heard a sermon about it, I changed my mind a bit... not completely, but somewhat.

It is true that a lot of people of color are wrongfully accused. That is disgusting, and the fact that anyone who is innocent, regardless of color, loses their life for no reason should be stopped. But, yeah... people of color get screwed on that one constantly. That's shameful.

But in the cases where there's no question, and the killer/rapist sneers proudly at what he's done, we have to kill them. Or at least it makes for a better world. You save about $25,000 a year in taxes, you rid one more scumbag....

but the main problem is that our govt. is corrupt and incompetent, and just like w/ abortion, we cannot trust their judgment to make decisions with OUR best interest. It's really unfortunate.

Jdid said...

I support the death penalty for those who are indeed guilty but does being found guilty these days mean one is really guilty? Looks like the justice system is seriously flawed so in that case maybe the death penalty needs to be rethought or better yet rethink the justice system.

Ruben said...

I honestly don't know where I stand on the issue. If someone murdered a fried of family member then I would definitely want them to die, but the system is flawed and way too many innocent people have been put on death row.

No_the_game said...

I think death penality should be there. But process of executing should be more complicated and doubled checked.

Brea said...

If the hustice systyem in the U.S. wasn't so incredibly messed up - I might consider the death penalty.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I am pretty staunch about being against the death penalty. I just think that there have been too many times that an innocent person has paid an ultimate price.

~Deb

Groove said...

I do not agree with the death penalty.

For many reasons. Like you Rose, the main one being relgion.

Later on this week I am going to post something that relates to this on my blog.

Intersting story for you to read, I don't know if you heard about this...

http://theunconquerablesoul.blogspot.com/2005/10/surviving-system-i-am-confident-enough.html

BTW--Good Post Rose!

Brownsoul said...

I say no. There are so many innocent people behind bars...it breaks my heart to think of the innocent who may die at the hands of the government.

Now, I know there are some people who've unapologetically committed terrible crimes, still to kill them does not right the wrong. I said on Ddot's blog that if someone were to kill a family member of mine I wouldn't want them to get the death penalty simply because after that person is gone, I won't have the opportunity to tell them how I feel when I wake up on some mornings angry about what happened.

lady in satin said...

When it comes to the death penalty, I really don't know where I stand. Sometimes I feel that it is justified due to the crime that the person committed, and sometimes I feel that its probably too harsh of a punishment. But I definitely feel that if you voluntarily kill someone...meaning you meant to kill them, then you deserve the same treatment. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, type of thing. But its a touchy subject that I don't like to think about. Death.

Shirazi said...

No to the innocent. But no harm in giving Death Penality where it is due.

defiant goddess said...

I just posted about this. I do believe the death penalty is justified, particularly in extreme cases (serial murders). BUT I also believe that people should not be executed until there is absolutely no doubt that they were guilty. If they plead innocent, give them all the time they need to prove their case.

But I do think about what if that was my loved one. I would definitely want justice for them. And I'm just not convinced that the world is better off with murderers walking around to strike again.

Tre said...

I don't agree with it at all, it actually serves no purpose. Other than revenge in some kind of sinister way,

Vengance is mine, says the Lord.

princessdominique said...

Yes it's definitely something to ponder. You definitely don't want the memory of killing the wrong person on your conscience. You never can be too sure ie. lab mix ups etc. You just never know.

***Double_Oh_No*** said...

As I mentioned before, I have no qualms about supporting the death penalty for those who openly admit to committing such heinous crimes and/or show no remorse. Those that are wrongfully convicted are a different situation entirely.

I think Brea said it best!

Stacy-Deanne said...

My mother is a full believer of the death penalty. Not to mention we're in Texas. I used to root for it in a lot of cases but now I've changed. I say let the people (who are actually guilty of terrible crimes) sit their butts in jail and fry for life! I think that them in jail is much more torture and that killing them gets them off easy. It's a fact that most criminals cannot live with their crimes so some of them embrace the death penalty but to me it's letting them off easy. I say let them serve as many life sentences as possible if they killed, raped or whatever. That's the better punishment. Also, we don't have the right to take other's lives no matter what they did. We just don't have that right. But that's just what I believe. Still, I won't be like Susan Sarandon and fight for a murderer's life. Hey, I respect her as an actress but she should put her time into helping good people and not criminals that we know are guilty. Here in Texas most people believe you should just shoot the criminals out on the streets and call it a day, LOL! I say let the criminals LIVE with what they've done. That alone will slowly kill them. You won't believe how hard it is to face something you've done when you can't hide from it.

Stacy-Deanne said...

By the way, my blog looks like yours now, LOL! Yep I changed it. Hope you like it.

kathi said...

Wow, tough topic. I support the death penalty. But, I also believe our justice system needs to re-examine the 'beyond a shadow of a doubt' definition, because it isn't working. If the life in prison was less rewarding for the criminal, then perhaps I'd not be so much for the death penalty. But having been active in the prison ministry, I've seen first hand that it's not as 'unpleasant' as I'd like it to be if it were to completely replace the death penalty. I can't justify how I feel, and I'm not saying how I feel is right or wrong. Simply how I feel. Very interesting topic, though. Thought provoking, well done.

Shawn said...

Thanks for dropping by.

momyblogR said...

Great post. I do support the death penalty when ALL evidence points in that direction. I do realize that there are some that have been wrongly convicted and it up to our system (God help us ALL) to see to it that things like that don't happen.

As far as the religious reasoning. I am a firm believer in the Bible. I was raised in a Christian home and continue to stand by those values. We are held accountable for our actions here on earth and have to pay the penalty for our wrong deeds. Yes, we are forgiven if we ask for it, still we must pay the price here on earth and that price my be our life.

I love the post.

Rose said...

I appreciate everyones' comments. It is hard to trust the system to do what is just. But I know that if a crime affected me personally I would want the person electrocuted. Unfortunately, I do feel that is too easy for the criminals. I think justice would be served by allowing them to stay alive and letting the other hard core criminals deal with them. Then I think they would wish they were dead. But to answer hasan mubarak questions about why the other 99 percent of poor voted for him, that did not happen. American has many levels of folks, very rich, rich, middle class, low middle class, the working poor and poor. It is hard to get the true statistics of each of these groups because they have not released the census information for 2005. But all kinds of folks voted for this President, even some poor folks who are probably between 20-25 percent of the poplulation but coupled with others voting from all levels of income it is easy to see why he was selected. Now the question is: does those who put him in office still approve of him?....the polls say that he is at the lowest rate ever...but really it doesn't matter. To get rid of him would only put his sick buddy in "Cheney", who believes in the same things as President Bush...

SoutherN_SweetnesS said...

How is the person being punished after death. Doesn't it make you feel better nowing they are suffering for life, rather than taking an easy death in the arm.

Rue said...

I have debated this issue with myself for years. I come from the area where 'schoolgirl killer' Paul Bernardo is from. Not sure if you heard of that where you are. Up untill that happened I was dead set against the death penalty. Then my opinion swayed ever so slightly. I thought that it really is the only way we can ensure that this monster never hurts anyone else again. I've changed my mind back again since then. One reason is I don't feel anyone has the right to kill anyone. Another reason is far less charitable. Killing is too good for them. I feel it is more of a punishment to let them live out thier long lives thinking about what they've done and feeling frustrated because the can't act on thier remaining urges. Still though our penal system here in Canada leaves much to be desired. I think that "life" should mean life! No "out on good behavior" etc..They should only have the bare neccessities for life as well. No TV's in thier cells and access to the internet. No University degree ( I couldn't afford that kind of education!). The prisoners here in Canada even have the right to vote for goodness sakes! Changes definately need to be made for certain!

Steven E Erisman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
steve said...

To me it is simple.Murder is the
taking of a life without cause.
Killing is the taking of a life with cause.Capital punishment is
"killing", not "murder".

I am not a violent man, but if I had to die to protect my children
I would do it.If I had to kill to protect them,I would do so
without any guilt or hesitation.I could kill if I had to but I would not murder.Anyone who does not feel
this way should not be having children. I felt this way when they were young, and I still feel
this way now that allof them are
grown, with children of their own.

Now, with all of that said, I agree that there have been many cases
where someone was wrongfully convicted. Those older cases need to be looked at again to insure that guilt was established "beyond a reasonable doubt.I believe that with the technology available today,the courts can be much more certain that a conviction is the correct one.

I seem to be rambling here. I seem to be unable to make a simple statement after all.

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