Thursday, July 24, 2014

Another Botched Execution and Horror

News Radio gives me stuff to think and write about.

Last night, Arizona tried a new drug combination to carry out the execution of inmate Joseph Wood.  The process required 117 minutes before Wood was finally pronounced dead.

I have written about botched executions before and, while other executions have been done without incident, it is still disturbing that there are so many recent failures.  I believe it is because we no longer have a source for obtaining the drugs that are known to work - and now states are now left with trying new and unproven methods for lethal injection.

All this I can understand.

But what really got my jaw on the floor was the statement by Richard Brown, brother-in-law of Debbie Dietz' (the victim whom Mr. Wood murdered)  He is quoted as saying:

“This man conducted a horrific murder and you guys are going, let’s worry about the drugs.  Why didn’t they give him a bullet, why didn’t we give him Drano?”

I understand the pain of loss.  That senseless murder.  The need for justice.  I know there are masochistic monsters inside us.

But we have to evolve beyond that and we have to be better than the murderers.   We develop lethal injection because, in the view of U.S Court, it is legally acceptable.  When it deviates outside of the normal is when the law must take notice and take action.  It has yet to be determined whether the process that happened last night was a violation of Mr. Wood's Eighth Amendment Constitutional Right (where a government cannot impose cruel or unusual punishment or torture).

Should we even consider those who are wrongfully-imprisoned?  A recent study says we get it wrong more than four out of one-hundred times.  Does an innocent man deserve Drano?

Ask yourself, if you were to be murdered, would you want your kids to avenge you - risking their own futures?  Or would you want them to forgive and live on?  If they were murdered, do you think they would want you to seek blood in return?  How much blood do you think they would want?  Or would they rather see you better than their own killer?

Forgiving a killer does not lessen your love for those around you.

This is why cease-fires are so difficult to attain.  Right now, the death toll in Gaza is over six-hundred.  That's six-hundred individual instances where they have to put their bloodthirst aside for peace.  Six-hundred individuals must unanimously decide for forgiveness.

It's just about unfathomable.  Especially if the social-constructs that bind people together, be it government or religion, don't foster the idea of forgiveness or, worse yet, proclaim revenge-killing as acceptable.

It's very hard to forgive, I won't deny that.  And if some radical comes around saying "it's OK to kill your killer." that's pretty enticing to someone who has just lost their entire world.  But we should try to retain that little voice that tells us something's not-quite-right about that.  Something we realized in kindergarten.

We'd have more time to play on the swings if we weren't so consumed with revenge.

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