This is yet another hot topic in American politics but always one that needs to be discussed as it is very important and truly not who we are as compassionate people who value life. The death penalty, the inhumane and barbaric practice of executing our fellow citizens. This is something that has existed for so many years but something that is dark and sinister and must go away if we are to truly claim to be “great”. The support of capital punishment by conservatives leads me to adopt one conclusion and that is that ring wing Americans are not the pro-life party, they are the pro-death party. They can claim all they want to be “pro-life” because in their words they fight for the unborn but their views on war, guns, poverty, and this issue here show that they are not pro-life at all, maybe just pro-birth.
Now, I talked about their pro-life hypocrisy in another post showing how they fight and fight against abortion but then go and support the execution of their fellow Americans and shed no tears when children are sleeping in the streets or don’t have enough food, or when people lose their lives to guns yet want to say that they value life just because they value fetuses. I am convinced that the majority of those in right wing circles are not even that, they do not care about the unborn even, just want to control women and restrict their healthcare choices. On the death penalty, you cannot call yourself someone who values and respects life if you support people who take it. Life is precious and nobody has the right to take someone else’s life, not even the government.
Republicans are always saying that they need guns to defend against “tyranny” yet support a form of tyranny which is the death penalty. This seems pretty hypocritical if you ask me, to say that you are against the government when they try to protect people by passing gun control laws yet support them when they take human lives. They want to make abortion illegal yet are okay with people being killed by capital punishment, they defend this by saying that the act of abortion of “innocent children dying” cannot be compared to “savage and evil criminals being killed”. They try to have it both ways but can’t as the truth is that every human being matters and the way that I defend abortion is that I believe in a woman’s right to control her own body and that includes the termination of a pregnancy but the government does not have the right to take another life that does not belong to them. That is the difference between the two, you cannot compare them, so stop trying to.
Christians claim to value life but they do not act like it, whenever there is a story of someone who committed an awful and evil crime of murder or rape the conservatives in this country say evil things like they should be shot or hung or other terrible things and that is not Christian. They also defend their stance on the death penalty by saying that the Bible says an “eye for an eye” but that is not entirely true, the Old Testament supported this but also supported it for false accusations and there are so many of those in relation to the death penalty these days, so many innocent are put to death. On the eye for an eye concept, the New Testament does not say that as Jesus was against violence and killing everyone. Jesus died so our sins could be washed away and forgiven and he is about forgiveness, something Republicans could learn from as they are about vengeance not loving thy neighbor.
The United States is the only western country still using the death penalty and that is something that is not a thing to be proud of, we also are fifth with the number of people executed year by year. Europe ended it years ago with the exception of Belarus as have Australia, Canada, and many other places and only 58 nations worldwide still practice the inhumane practice. Of those 58 most do not have civil rights and are run by dictators and are not democracies like we are. Yes, I know that we are not a complete democracy but we do have rights and a constitution and in my view executing people goes against what we stand for and violates their constitutional rights. Of course, Republicans only care about rights in relation to guns and “religious freedom” aka discrimination towards people they do not support. The death penalty is not what we are about here in America, it represents hate and brutality and that is not the country that I know the United States to be. We build prisons for a reason and that is to house those who commit crimes, we should not kill anyone let alone how many we do execute every year.
The state of Texas executes the most and now wants to change how the courts define if someone is mentally ill so they can execute them too. As you may know, it is unconstitutional to put mentally ill people to death as it should be but Texas wants to change some of that. The fact is that nobody should be put to death and contrary to what the right thinks about liberals, we do not want to “coddle” criminals or let them off easy, we simply are not brutal and do not want to murder anyone and yes, the death penalty is murder. I believe that if you kill or rape someone you should get 25-life and if it is first degree premeditated murder then life no parole, that is the punishment that they should get and life in prison isn’t “easy”, another myth the right spreads about the issue.
The death penalty is wrong and we should not be participating in this barbaric practice any longer, some states have abolished it while others won’t including my usually liberal state of California. I am ashamed that we still do it here, it does not represent our values and I will always fight against it. There are many reasons why it is wrong ranging from the risk that someone could be innocent to how it won’t bring back those that we harmed or killed to the fact that it cost more to execute someone not less like they say it does. They say that they do not want their tax dollars keeping people in prison for years and years but forget that to execute them costs more, not less.
Plus, what does it say about us as parents and as human beings if we are so uncaring that we support people losing their lives? What message does it send to our children if we say it is okay to kill someone if they do something wrong, that will teach our kids to seek revenge instead of seeking justice and trust me, the death penalty is not justice, it is the opposite. Only our creator has a right to take someone’s life and when we support the death penalty we are supporting a crime which is state sanctioned murder, make no mistake about it. This is not who we are, we are killing more and have been in recent years and now states like Delaware want to begin doing it again and states like Utah and Idaho want to do it by more barbaric methods like a firing squad and bringing back the gas chamber. Who are we to do this? We are not the compassionate and forgiving nation that I once knew that is for sure.
If we think this is “justice” then we are dead wrong because it is not and under Donald Trump and his pro-death Attorney General Sessions I am sure more will be executed on the federal and state level and that is not right, that is not the America that I know. The America I know doesn’t kill people and while murder is a deplorable act that must be punished, killing people is not the way to go. It is like with war, we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong. Seriously? This sends a very wrong message to our children and to society and that is that it is okay to seek vengeance and take someone’s life and this leads to more death not less. The facts suggest that the death penalty does not deter crime or stop people from killing each other, it never has and it never will. What it does do is create a culture of violence and the government that leads us should be leading by example, not showing people that even they do not value life. It is time, beyond time actually, that we abolish the death penalty in all fifty states and on a federal level and start acting like decent human beings once again, it is time to do away with this outdated and horrific policy!