On The Death Penalty

wpe7.jpgIf I had committed some crime and I was condemned to death, such as Timmothy McVey in the Oklahoma City bombing, I would have denied all appeals made on my behalf and chosen death as he had. He is still contemporary enough to stir up the National anger that supports the death penalty. “A perfect example of someone who should die for what he did”, they would say. And those directly affected, and most of the city of Kansas City, would also be for death.

Putting myself in his shoes, I would think that death is preferable to living the rest of my life, a young man in prison without any possibility of parole. No chance to escape, no place to go, nothing to do except survive for many years in a prison population, out to get him, where society has thrown away the key. He chose death to a living hell.

22p0023.jpgMy position on the death penalty is that I am pro-life, but it seems illogical to me for those that are pro-death even for certain horrendous crimes could also claim to be pro-life when it comes to abortion. Life is life, whether it’s a sinned life or an innocent life.

From everything I have written up to this point, it should be clear that my views on CAUSE AND EFFECT (KARMA), resolve, for me, the issue of the death penalty. I don’t think it’s necessary for someone to be put to death by the state to know that the cosmic laws will take care and appropriately deal out justice to those who have committed horrendous crimes. It’s enough for me that they have been ostracised from society and kept under lock and key for the remainder of their life.

For those directly affected by the crime, such as the family members, it’s hard to simply say, let KARMA take care of the situation. For them, the pain is too great, and the desire for revenge is understandable. If I were in their shoes, I would in all likelihood wish for the same thing. But I’m not, and neither is society.

The question still comes down to whether THE STATE has the right to take life under any conditions. If religious or spiritual people contend that life is sacred no matter what – even a sinned life is as sacred as an innocent one – then THE STATE, in my opinion, clearly has no right to take life. Only God does.

The problem with the judicial system in this country is that it talks about rehabilitation, but how it meters out “justice” is more based on revenge. It is not interested in taking a perpetrator of societies’ laws, and turning him/her into a contributing member of society. There is too much anger in society to pay back some form of pain to those that have committed crimes, but the level of revenge for those who have committed minor crimes seems to be out of proportion with the reality of what has actually been committed.
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Crimes that are not injurious to others should, in my opinion, not be aimed at revenge or retribution. There should be more aggressive attempts to re-educate those people and make every attempt to get them reintegrated back into society. The problem is society doesn’t recognize that. Often people who commit less injurious crimes are locked away with people who have committed more serious crimes, and by the time their sentence has expired, those who should be allowed to re-enter society have been so hardened by being mixed-in with the prison environment of career-criminals that they have themselves become irretrievable. The objective of re-education and rehabilitation then becomes a pointless endeavor. When they are eventually released, they no longer can survive in a society that has labeled them as criminals, and which provides no support system to help them readjust. They cannot easily integrate or live without repeating some of the crimes that brought them to the criminal justice system in the first place.

Large percentages of people incarcerated in prisons today are there because of some drug-related crime – either selling or using substances that society has deemed illegal. These criminal are not on the same level as those that commit the crimes of murder. They do not deserve to be thrown away in the hardened prison populations because society hasn’t thought out a proper way to rehabilitate them.

12-4-death-penalty.jpgThe issue of the death penalty, how we define any of the criminal elements in society, and how we deal with them as a group, defines the very civility of our culture. What the United States says in the way it deals with its criminal elements is that it’s not the least bit interested in rehabilitation, and that certainly has had Karmic consequences on our society.