The US Supreme Court is taking a look at the process that Oklahoma uses to administer the death penalty. They decided on this review a week after denying a stay of execution for a prisoner there who was sentenced to death. If it was fine one week, then why would it need to be reviewed the week after?
I was dealing with a sinus infection for a while, so I had time to mull over a few different topics, and capital punishment took up a bit of that time. Georgia just executed a prisoner within the past few weeks as well as Oklahoma. I actually have a high school classmate sitting on death row in Alabama right now, and his case has caused me the most conflict with my views on capital punishment.
That classmate killed a friend of mine and a few other people in a robbery. A decision to not come home from school on a Friday afternoon was all that likely kept me from being a victim in that same robbery. For the longest time, I harbored guilt over not being there to protect my friend. I also harbored fear that my life could have ended more than 20 years ago that night.
In light of the ramblings on the ISIS killings and other countries using capital punishment around the world, I have come to the opinion that the death penalty no longer serves a purpose in America. If you seek revenge for the death of someone else, then it’s there for you. As a deterrent to crime or criminal activity, it is as useful as teats on a bull.
We can’t call people on the carpet for human rights abuses when we house 25% of the world’s prison population. When we’re using unproven combinations of drugs to execute prisoners, that should be a wake up call to square our actions to ensure that we are not acting hypocritical when we tell others they need to treat their people better.
Maybe this SCOTUS review is a good thing. I don’t think it hurts that drug companies have decided they no longer want to play a role in executing people. Whether by lethal injection or beheading, the end result of capital punishment is the same. Death. If we’re going to claim that we act better than others, then it would help the case if our actions mimicked our words.