The death penalty is a hot button issue right now. My thoughts on the subject have always been the same. I have never been a believer in capital punishment. Killing a killer seems redundant and unfair. I don't see how the death penalty helps anyone. There has to be a better way to get criminals to pay for their crimes. Something else has to be done. I think I also feel this way because of how many innocent people have been sentenced to death and died for nothing. That is the worse part.
Most people think that my stance on this subject should be different. My family has been hit hard by black on black violence. Three of the most important men in my life as a teenager were all gunned down in senseless violent acts in New Orleans. My cousin Larry was killed in January 1997. My Father was killed on September 23, 1998. My favorite uncle Larry was killed in October 2000. That's a lot of death in a short period of time. I was never fully over grieving one before another one was taken from me, from us. Death is hard. Murder is 100 times worse. Murder snatches your loved ones from you without warning, without explanation. I was angry for so long about these deaths. I was seeing red and I wanted revenge. I wanted the men responsible for these murders to die. No, I'm not talking about by the long arm of the law either. I was so enraged that I had thoughts of taking a live. I wanted it to not hurt anymore. I needed someone to hurt more than my family was hurting. Once I was able to work through my anger and grief, I calmed down considerable. My Father's killer/s were never found. I received no closure there. We didn't get any justice for him. My Uncle's and Cousin's killers were prosecuted and sentenced.
I just wanted the men in jail. Life sentences and doing hard time. I did not want them to have an easy way out. The death penalty was that to me. I wanted them to spend the rest of their lives suffering for the pain they caused us. Watching "The Green Mile," solidified my opinion that the death penalty is cruel and not an option. A criminal should not have an out. He/She should pay for their crimes. If it is a violent crime, they should pay with spending the rest of their lives in jail. Morally, murder is wrong. It is a sin. So, how could it ever be right for a judge and jury to decide that a murderer should be put to death? Murder is murder, bottom line. I cannot condone it on any levels.
The Troy Davis case has brought this topic back to the forefront. His death is a travesty. He should not have been put to death when there was so much doubt about the case. That is what affects me the most. Innocent people who have been falsely convicted and subsequently put to death. That is the saddest part of it all. The justice system is severely flawed. There is a movement to abolish the death penalty. I have signed the petition. It can be found on the NAACP website. It's archaic and inhumane in my opinion. After watching the Troy Davis case unfold this past two weeks, I have realized how unnecessary the death penalty is. We don't need it. I hope we can get rid of it.
In the Name of Troy Davis: Pledge to End the Death Penalty in the United States
I pledge to fight to end the death penalty in the United States because Troy Anthony Davis was executed despite extreme and well-known doubts about his guilt.
I pledge to fight to end the death penalty in the United States because the system failed Troy, even though the system is supposed to be fail-proof.
I pledge to fight to end the death penalty in the United States because these failures are the result of a system that gives the power of life and death to humans, who are prone to error and susceptible to bias.
I pledge to fight to end the death penalty in the United States because 130 people have been exonerated from death row since 1973, and we have no way of knowing how many innocent people have been killed.
I pledge to fight to end the death penalty in the United States because death is permanent and mistakes are uncorrectable.
I pledge to fight to end the death penalty in the United States because we know that race and class disproportionately determine who lives and who dies.
I pledge to fight to end the death penalty in the United States because Troy Davis often said, "This movement began before I was born ... it must continue and grow stronger...until we abolish the death penalty once and for all."
I pledge to fight to end the death penalty in the United States because it was Troy’s final wish.
In the Name of Troy Anthony Davis, I pledge to fight to end the death penalty in the United States to ensure that what happened to Troy never happens to another person in our criminal justice system. (from the NAACP website)