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Friday, January 19, 2007

Eye For an Eye or Hangnail for an Eye?

The liberal side of me fears that capital punishment is very likely to encapsulate a few instances of the mistaken execution of an innocent man/woman, but when I read the story of this woman who survived the 1994 massacre in Rwanda, I can't imagine the resentment she must feel that the country's cabinet has voted to scrap the death penalty. So while her 17 family members were apparently not worthy of life, the killers are.
Again I say, if countries continue to either turn a blind eye or a lighter sentence onto killers and rapists, they send the message that these are crimes in which the victims may lose everything, but the criminal can live out the rest of his days in shelter and with food, more food than some of the people who starve to death throughout the continent of Africa.
I know execution doesn't allow for the possibility of rehabilitation, but in a country that has starving poor, I'd much rather see money spent on programs to develop independence of the people rather than keeping alive genocidal murderers. In fact, teaching them "to fish" may reduce the number of crimes in the process by reducing the margin between the "have" and "have nots". After all, the Hutus claim that the reason they did it was because the Tutsis were treated as a superior race to the Hutus.
Obviously, there will always be the poor and there will always be suffering (to paraphrase the cool cat, Jesus himself), but if something can be done about it, then by gum we've got to do it.


Barbara Blog's said...

May I suggest reading this book.I changed my mind about the Death Penalty after I read it. here is something I read about it; Who And Where Is Dennis Fritz, You say after reading John Grisham's Wonderful Book "The Innocent man", Grisham's First non-fiction book. The Other Innocent Man hardly mentioned in "The Innocent Man" has his own compelling and fascinating story to tell in "Journey Toward Justice". John Grisham endorsed Dennis Fritz's Book on the Front Cover. Dennis Fritz wrote his Book Published by Seven Locks Press, to bring awareness about False Convictions, and The Death Penalty. "Journey Toward Justice" is a testimony to the Triumph of the Human Spirit and is a Stunning and Shocking Memoir. Dennis Fritz was wrongfully convicted of murder after a swift trail. The only thing that saved him from the Death Penalty was a lone vote from a juror. "The Innocent Man" by John Grisham is all about Ronnie Williamson, Dennis Fritz's was his co-defendant. Ronnie Williamson was sentenced to the Death Penalty. Both were exonerated after spending 12 years in prison. Both Freed by a simple DNA test, The real killer was one of the Prosecution's Key Witness. John Grisham's "The Innocent Man" tells half the story. Dennis Fritz's Story needs to be heard. Read about how he wrote hundreds of letters and appellate briefs in his own defense and immersed himself in an intense study of law. He was a school teacher and a ordinary man from Ada Oklahoma, whose wife was brutally murdered in 1975. On May 8, 1987 while raising his young daughter alone, he was put under arrest and on his way to jail on charges of rape and murder. Since then, it has been a long hard road filled with twist and turns. Dennis Fritz is now on his "Journey Toward Justice". He never blamed the Lord and soley relied on his faith in God to make it through. He waited for God's time and never gave up.

TeacherLady said...

Thank you for directing me to your reading suggestions! I'm certainly open to reading both the Grisham and Fritz books should the opportunity arise. However, in the case of the genoical murder of the Tutsis, the killers admitted their guilt and blamed "the devil" or whatever else on their actions. I don't think they should be sheltered and fed by the prison system while millions of innocents starve and die due to exposure to the elements in various countries around the world. If they were set to work to tend farms which were then used to feed the families of the poor, then maybe their existence would not seem like a sick joke in the eyes of the innocent who live worse off than child killers and destroyers of families.
Thanks again, I can totally understand your perspective given the situation of Mr. Fritz and those like him, I just don't feel it applies in this specific instance. I am flexible from situation to situation! :)