He’s Not Dead, Jim

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Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 10.07.50 PMEnough is enough.  This last botched execution, the horror story of a man taking nearly two hours to die, because of the humane lethal concoction of drugs alleged to be able to kill him is disgusting.  We’re better than this. I know nothing about the murderer in question.  I’m not even going to mention his name, not even delving into his crime, which was worthy of ‘death’.  That’s the problem here, is anything truly worthy of death?  One can make the sarcastic remark that executing someone is so finite, but I am not going to.

The argument is that the old eye for an eye adage is a deterrent to crime.  If so, why are crimes in this country becoming more and more horrific. Obviously, it’s not working.  If it isn’t working, then why are we a vengeful society?  Why are we the only civilized…. oh scratch that.  We’re no longer the world leader economically.  We no longer lead the world in quality of life, life expectancy, education, health care, earnings, or happiness.

We live in a world where people are so in love with death and vengeance that they are allowed to murder a young black man who is just walking down the street.  They can kill a 17-year-old girl who asks them not to ride a lawn mower through their yard.  A woman has a right to shoot another, in a Walmart parking lot.  The argument was over car speed. She did not want to slow down, evidently.

We live in an increasingly barbaric world.  Once upon a time, there was a rule against cruel and unusual punishment in the US, but those days are long gone. Today, our nation is owned by the NRA, and the people behind it.  We are living in a nation that is on the brink of a shooting war, and no one wants to do much at all about it.   We are now living in a nation where a popular religious type wants to end the space program because aliens are going to go to hell.

Beam me up, Scott, there is no intelligent life down here.

Seriously, this once great nation is rapidly regressing into a Third World country.  Our infrastructure is a disgrace. People need good jobs.  Inequity is on the rise.  In many ways, there is no future for anyone under a certain age, not here.  It is so bad, I don’t know how my nieces and nephew, and my great niece will be able to live out their lives here.

We’re living in the age of extremism, especially religious extremism.  In a nation that claims to be ‘Christian’, at least the minions of the far right do, they are seriously inclined not to forgive, turn the other cheek, or practice love. Instead, they want vengeance, and eye for a bumped toe, and show no mercy.  Instead, our nation has turned to barbarism.  In turning to barbarism, we are forgetting why this nation is so great.  We were founded during the Age of Enlightenment.  There is nothing enlightened about much of anything here.

And so, instead, we demand retribution.  We demand imprisonment for the least infraction.  There is no kindness, no humanity, no compassion.  There are certain factions within our society who would prefer kill or be killed, which is how they act.

The truly disturbing part of demanding the ultimate punishment for the ultimate crime is the fact that a shockingly large percentage of individuals who are on death row are innocent.  Better let a hundred guilty individuals survive, than murder the life on an innocent person, in the name of justice.

True mercy requires that the ultimate retribution be swift and merciful.  What we’re now seeing, with this now ‘merciful’ version of lethal injection is vile and disgusting.  Even our pets, our beloved animals are put down more humanely.  Humans deserve better, no matter if they have, themselves are lower than the worst predatory animal.  They are still sentient beings.  If we have mercy for animals, we should have mercy for humans who have become animals in their actions.

I’d much rather see them spend the rest of their miserable lives locked in a cell.  It is far less merciful.  It is time to end this system of retribution, and enact something more civilized before we regress even farther into that black hole of failed nations.

 

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