Saturday, May 16, 2015
Top Ten Reasons to Let Him Live
10. Because it costs more to put a person to death than it does to imprison them for life.
9. Because your religion demands it (if you are a Baptist, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Orthodox Christian, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Unitarian Universalist, UCC/ Congregationalist, or United Methodist). And because it is consistent with your beliefs (if you are Buddhist or Hindu). And because it is suggested by Torah and Talmud (if you practice Orthodox or Reform Judaism).
8. Yes, I know which religion is missing from the above list. (Well, that was an ignorant statement-- hundreds, thousands of religions are undoubtedly missing. But there is one which will likely provoke comment). So let him live, because then practitioners of religions not listed here will witness another kind of justice, one tempered with mercy.
7. Because, as a bright young college student recently pointed out, killing begets killing, in an endless cycle. Which means, each time the US government kills proponents of radical Islam, we effectively recruit for radical Islam.
6. Because keeping the war with radical Islam going is projected to cost the US $598.5 Billion in 2015, or 54% of all US discretionary spending.
5. Because we regularly kill those who are mentally ill or developmentally disabled and who are supposed to be exempt from such punishment.
4. Because it is a significant punishment to live for 80-plus years with the knowledge of your crime.
3. Because the killing of criminals has not been shown to deter killing.
2. Because, since the above fact is well-known, the only possible reasons for killing criminals are either the exercise of scapegoating or the demonstration of bloodlust, both of which are morally repugnant.
1. Because we apply the death penalty in unequal ways based on race, gender, and poverty.
Let him live. Let us join the vast majority of countries (about 75%) in which the death penalty has either been abolished or is on permanent moratorium, and while we're at it, let's do what we can to prevent our own citizens from exacting this punishment on one another for crimes like listening to music in their cars.
Let's dig down deep and find our humanity again.
Let him live.