Monday, October 21, 2013

Death row diary offers a rare glimpse into a morbid world

CNN had an article on a death row inmate's blog, with posts by his sister.  I have a couple of problems with this blog - for one thing the top of the blog notes the man is on death row for a murder he did not commit.  This makes him sound innocent which he is not.  He was a career criminal who was involved in a robbery that left a man dead.  He claims he was not the one that pulled the trigger but does not deny being involved in the crime.  As a Christian I have some reservations about the death penalty but do not see a problem with it in limited circumstances.  When someone is a career criminal and commits a horrible murder with no question of their guilt and no extenuating circumstances I think the death penalty may be appropriate.  I am not sure if it is appropriate in this case, but I do have a real problem with this attitude:

"I understand there are usually about two dozen witnesses to these executions and I sometimes wonder about those who will be at mine, unknown, faceless men rooting for me to die, happy to see me breathe my last breath. I wonder about men who do not know me, have never met me, never broken bread with me and who know nothing about what's in my heart, who nonetheless are anxious, eager, happy to see me die.

It does not bother me, but I wonder if it will ever bother any of those men (and yes, it's almost always men, with their lust for blood; women seldom indulge in this), perhaps in their sunset years when they reflect back on their youth and wonder about their imperatives. I hope, for their sakes, that one day they will be ashamed -- or at least disappointed -- with their naked blood lust and will determine to henceforth set a better example for those following behind them."

First of all, the family of the victim certainly has the right to be eager to see him die, and he does mention that earlier.  But the reason so many are anxious to see a criminal die is because they usually care about justice and the victims.  For this criminal to try to take the high moral ground is extremely hypocritical - did he ever reflect back on his youth and his imperatives that lead directly to a man's death?  His sister is giving him a voice when his victim and his family has none.  She allows her brother to express publicly his reflections on dying that his victim never had the chance to do.  She makes her brother out to be a victim when he is not, but he did create and victim, and she is victimizing the family again.

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