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A P.S. regarding capital punishment

A P.S. regarding capital punishment April 24, 2011

It was my intention to move on from the controversy about capital punishment that resulted from my post “Capital punishment is sin.” 

However, I just viewed Saturday evening’s episode of the TV show “48 Hours” (April 23).  (I wasn’t able to watch it when it aired because we attended a wonderful Easter concert that included many songs about the cross and the atonement as well as the resurrection.  We tried not to be distracted by the fact that we were sitting four rows behind a former president and his wife!)

Anyone who watched this episode of 48 Hours has to be deeply troubled by the practice of capital punishment in America today.  The special prosecutor hired by a Texas county to re-try the case of a man convicted of murder declared there was no case against him in the first place, accused the original prosecutor of misconduct and had the charges dropped.  (The female special prosecutor is well known nationally as a tough prosecutor.)

The defendant spent 18 years under arrest or imprisonment–12 of them on death row.  A team of professors and students associated with the Innocence Network took on his case and demonstrated to a federal judge’s satisfaction that his original trial was mishandled.  The judge threw out his conviction with strong criticism of the original prosecutor.  Apparently, much of the testimony against him was coerced or fabricated.  There was no physical evidence against him.  He had an alibi.  This was a clear case of a rush to judgment and a miscarriage of justice.

I doubt it is any coincidence that the defendant, now exonerated and a free man, is black.

Were it not for the professor and students and the defendant’s public defenders and the special prosecutor, this innocent man would now be dead.

Anyone who thinks innocent men like him have not been executed is, I believe, simply so ideologically committed to this medieval practice that they cannot admit the obvious.

This is one major reason why capital punishment is a sin.  In our country, at least in some states, it is not carried out justly.  This was not the first episode of 48 Hours to demonstrate it.  Other shows such as Dateline have as well.

Illinois finally abolished the death penalty because of the overwhelming prevalence of black men on death row and the likelihood that at least some of them are innocent.

It’s time for people who care about justice to take a stand against capital punishment–if for no other reason than that it is at least sometimes today in our country a legal form of lynching.

This is my blog and I choose to have the final word about this–at least for now.  I will not post any comments about capital punishment for the time being and I promise to drop the subject with this–at least for now.

Now on to other subjects…..

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