Friday, 23 September 2011

State Sponsored Killing is Wrong

Killing, harming or abusing children are highly emotive, and charged, crimes. Who amongst us does not harbour some anger or disgust for perpetrators of such actions. Indeed, if a parent discovered their child being abused or harmed in any way I could understand if they meted out their own justice on the attacker. I'd not agree with them disproportionately harming or, even, killing the offender; yet, I'd see their actions as very human.

The same cannot be said for the state after a series of deliberations deciding to put someone to death for a crime or infringement against society. This form of barbaric punishment does not rectify anything; nor does it have a deterrent effect, unless by acting as a deterrent it is meant the executed person will not reoffend.

Sadly, murder is still prevalent in the USA, both within non-death and death penalty states. So, there goes the deterrent defence. Over the years I've watched TV programmes where family members of murder victims tell the world that this man or this woman deserves the death penalty for the awful crimes they've committed. They always claim that only the state taking of a life will bring 'closure' to their loss.

Troy Davis Murdered by the State of Georgia Early
on Thursday 22 September 2011 - RIP
Invariably this talk of closure will be mixed in with Old Testament 'an-eye-for-an-eye' type justification for the putting to death of the criminal, as though the mere mention of the 'Good' book is somehow a seal of approval. But then, this is America; and, thankfully not all that happens in America turns up on our shores a few years later.

It is no coincidence that the right-wing in the USA is the loudest advocate of the death penalty; nor is it any coincidence that right leaning states, such as Texas and California (the first with a Bush Governor the second with Schwarzenegger) regularly execute, usually African American and Hispanic, prisoners.    

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