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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The death penalty, matters of life over death.

By Briana Booker

Before our class discussion on the death penalty, I never thought about having an opinion on whether it was an unjust or just action for the state to kill people legally. But now, I am no longer neutral, I believe it is unjust. I do not believe any person should voluntarily take the life of another person, unless necessary for survival. As the readings we did on the death penalty implied- A life can not be replaced. I do not care how short or long a life time ranges, the memories, thoughts and actions can never be exactly replicated. We all take a variety of journeys. We all have distinctive spiritual and physical traits. We all are made unique enough where another “us” can never be exactly copied.

I can understand the anger and bitterness families hold realizing their loved ones died at the hands of a murder. But I do not understand how two evils can make a right. I do not see the victory in seeing another person die. A person is not getting justice when the state approves of a death penalty. A person is getting a temporary bandage on a wound that might never heal. It is not healed because of the difficulty to find peace in an outcome one felt helpless, lacking control of the situation.

 I have never met anyone on death row. Any one can end up there, whether guilty or innocent. The criminal justice system is not flawless. Nothing in life is without error. I may not know what it feels like to kill another human being, but I do know that we all feel pain. We all make mistakes.                                                                                                                                

  I recall for an introduction to criminal justice class I took my junior year of college, I visited a Montgomery county prison. If the prisoners were not in jump suits, I would have not notice that they had made some ‘wrong’ in society’s social system. They were acting and thinking like “normal citizens.” Who am I to judge them?
I have no right to judge, although I can think I do. The only presentation that made me pause and think otherwise that people that chose killing did not deserve to die was when I heard the story of Lucy. A young and innocent child’s life cut short, and for what?

There is not a real explanation. It was just another verification to me we live in a cruel world where loving people perish at the hands of those emotionally and mentally unstable.                   

Why hurt because you have been hurt? I can never understand that. I feel if I physically inflicted pain on another person intentionally, my action would disturb me. I hope it will halt me before I did too much harm. But then again, what is too much harm? Is harm in itself too much? Does it matter, the degree of pain we inflict on one another? Pain comes in all forms and levels. It leaves visible and invisible scars. It allows horrible cycles of cruelty to continue and be accepted as a way of life and not a choice of life. Our oppressive roles to another allow this continuous cycle of suffering. But I wonder is it out of habit? Can we change? Can we stop inflicting pain if we try? I do not know. I just know a life is a life, and it should be valued.

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