How Pro-Life Am I?

Like many folks, I was really troubled by the execution last week of Troy Davis.

Really I was just really hopeless and sad.

But then I also saw this story, and I was really forced to ask myself, “How pro-life am I?”

Because what that guy did was horrible…

… and if I mourn the execution of Troy Davis, then I have to also mourn the execution of James Byrd.

… and that’s really, really hard to do…

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2 thoughts on “How Pro-Life Am I?

  1. I used to be pro-death penalty. But as I’ve grown up and learned about those who were executed and were innocent, plus with Illinois abolishing the death penalty—all of this and more has made me re-think how I felt about it. For one thing, the United States is one of the very few Western countries that use the death penalty. That’s troubling to me, as a country that touts itself as a beacon of democracy and freedom. Another thing—once the death penalty has been brought down, there’s no undo button, no mulligan, no bringing anyone back from the grave. It’s done and it stays done.

    And for those where there was beyond a reasonable doubt that they were tied to heinous crimes, the hard question is whether they deserve their humanity, even though they deprived their victims of theirs. The answer has to be yes. When we subscribe to an eye for an eye, there is no real justice—the officer that was killed cannot be reanimated or brought back. He’s still gone. In the case of James Byrd, even though he was an inhumane person, the State shouldn’t repay him with inhumanity. His victim’s family, I believe the man’s son, didn’t want Byrd to be executed, even though Byrd said he’d do that crime again and had no regrets.

    The disparate number of black people, especially men, in prison also makes this issue of abolishing the death penalty even more pertinent and larger than the case of these two men who were executed last week. The prison industrial complex is quite rigged, to the point that we should definitely question if Lady Justice really has that blindfold on tight. I saw some stats about who is on death row, and they surely falls along on racial and class lines.

    It’s quite telling that on Troy Davis’ death certificate, the cause of death is homicide. But it’s also very troubling, where murder is done in the name of the people of the State. What I’m hoping is that, because the world was watching this, and a lot of Americans were watching this, this will start the end of the death penalty in the United States.

    But I hear you about how this much of a struggle this is–and I know that you’re not alone. I even forgot that Timothy McVeigh had been executed in Indiana about 9 years ago. But maybe this is somewhat sadistic to say–I’d rather someone sit in prison and sit with what they have done instead of the State and victims getting the instant, but most likely, fleeting gratification of they being put to death. But I hope that these folks here: http://www.innocenceproject.org/ might help allay the struggle a bit. Also, mourning someone’s life doesn’t mean you subscribe to their actions.

    Thanks for sharing and for being honest, since it was just too painful for me to blog about at the time.

  2. Hey Uncle Eric- James Byrd was actually the African-American man that was killed from that story, and Brewer was the one executed for Byrd’s death. Very appalling and sad story.

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