The Death Penalty is one of those issues, along with Abortion and Gay Rights that sets people on edge. It's an issue that divides people sharply and both sides are adamant that THEY are correct.
There are those who point to the Bible that says that "An Eye for an Eye" is the only way to do things. I could point to many things in the Bible that we don't practice anymore to say that quoting the Bible as giving you permission for something isn't the most logical thing.
I could also point to in the Bible where Jesus said the exact opposite.
Via the NIV translation of the Bible:
17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”d says the Lord.
However this is still an issue that probably won't go away anytime soon, and both sides will dig in their heels and insist that they are correct in how they view things.
And to those who are FOR Capital Punishment, I just have to say that I get it. I understand COMPLETELY how you feel. There are those I see in this world that just have absolutely no place here. Have no reason to be living due to the heinous things they've done.
There are people who embody the idea of pure evil, and if given the chance would gladly repeat their vicious and despicable crimes against society.
Recently there's more rage on the part of the Pro-Death Penalty side in the wake of the Channon Christian & Christopher Newsom murders. Despite there possibly being some fabrications being forwarded in emails concerning the details of their deaths (concerning their bodies being supposedly mutilated and other types of unmentionable things happening), the main factors are true. These two people were viciously murdered by strangers.
Now there are those who are angry at the idea that they would get anything less than the Death Penalty.
"An Eye for an Eye" many people are saying. And as I pointed out above, I understand. COMPLETELY. I absolutely know what it's like to have someone you love taken from you, and you wanting vengeance.
But I just can't get behind that idea, and bear with me as I explain why.
As of July 23rd of this year, there have been 241 people convicted of SERIOUS crimes, that have been exonerated by DNA. These are people who have spent YEARS on Death Row waiting to die for something they never did.
These are people who in some of their cases, were months/weeks/days away from being executed before they were released because there was no way they could have done the crime they were convicted of.
In many of those cases it involved witnesses that lied, were paid off by the police, or there were racial bias involved. John Grisham's non-fiction book "The Innocent Man" detailed just such a case in which the police were so gung ho to pin a couple murders on two men that they lied and did everything in their power to make sure they were put on death row and executed. And they never did it.
Just in New Jersey, there was a study released that showed African Americans who kill white people are more likely to get the death penalty.
New Jersey Supreme Court Report Finds Disturbing Evidence Regarding Race and the Death Penalty - A report released by the New Jersey Supreme Court found that the state's death penalty law is more likely to proceed against defendants who kill white victims. "There is unsettling statistical evidence indicating that cases involving killers of white victims are more likely to progress to a penalty phase than cases involving killers of African-American victims," the report states. Appellate Division Judge David S. Baime, who conducted the study, said that the findings that more capital cases are considered in white, suburban neighborhoods should be examined by the attorney general's office. (Asbury Park Press, 8/13/01)
This can't all be due to an outdated stereotype that "Blacks are criminals" or that "They" do all the crime. It's been well established that many of our laws (drug laws particularly) are used to bring the hammer down on African Americans. That's not even up for debate. It's just a fact.
In fact, just recently it was made known that the state of Texas executed an innocent man, for a crime he didn't commit. There are no details or info on how many people are executed each year that turns out to be innocent, unfortunately. I'm sure a lot of people would rather not know. They'd rather turn a blind eye to the fact that our system is seriously flawed.
And as a result, if they cannot guarantee me beyond a shadow of a doubt that no innocent men or women will be executed for crimes they didn't commit, I can't support the Death Penalty.
Nothing in this life is perfect. I am aware of that. However THIS. THIS should be perfect. This is not something that you can put out there and say "Well we're mostly right on the money here but every now and then...."
That's outrageous and should not be stood for by a civilized society.
I'm not debating that there are truly evil people in this world that we would all be better off if they were not living anymore. However if you can't tell me that innocent people won't be executed due to shoddy police work, racial bias, or just flat out lies, then how can any person with a conscience support it?
If you do, you're essentially saying "It's worth it." That it's worth killing potentially innocent people, as long as you take out the ones who TRULY deserve it.
Tell that to the family of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was wrongfully executed in Texas for a crime he didn't commit.
Tell his family that he was "collateral damage" and was just a necessary sacrifice.
You'll have to do it because I could never sacrifice my morals and ethics to do something like that. Never.