Thursday, May 14, 2009


If you remember a woman, who use to work in the jewelry department at Penny’s here in Brownsville, was gunned down in Florida with her drug dealing husband and two children. The convicted perpetrators of this heinous crime received the death penalty.

I strongly oppose the death penalty on grounds that it demeans our society and far too often innocent people are executed. Just yesterday a man was released from death row after DNA evidence found he could not have perpetrated the crime.

But here is the question and why I am writing about this - given the crime against these innocent children, if there is a case for the death penalty, is this it? And if it is, is this the case because it serves our emotional needs and anger or because it would truly serve the needs of the people?

While I can certainly understand that if there is a case for the death penalty, this is it, is our emotional attachment to this case a rational basis for forming a pubic policy in support of the death penalty?

Let’s take it one step further, should the emotional response of the people ever be a basis for public policy? Should not our elected leaders have the wherewithal to withstand public pressure which is based on emotions instead of rational thinking? Is this not in fact the core problem with the federal budget? Every vote is based on the emotional needs of the people and not on the greater good.


Anonymous said...

It is a tragedy that 2 children died, but the bigger tragedy is that 2 parents would take their two innocent children on a cross country drug dealing trip! There should be an outrage at the families who enjoyed the rewards of their relatives illegal dealings. Those who knew the families or knew of them are not surprised. In the drug war, bodies, well they are just the price of doing business children or not. Cold? Callus? or just realistic? People die everyday, it's a part of life. Some deaths are expected, some are a surprise; such is life. No tears here, I don't have any tears left after seeing my latest PUB bill! That is something I can control, I'll just raise my thermostat!
Happy Thursday,
100 words or less.

Anonymous said...

Someone who would gun down a child that is no threat to them so as to make a point would kill you or me, too, perhaps to make some other point. Someone who has the ability to do this is an on-going threat to us all and we will all be at risk as long as they are walking among us. I, too, am opposed to the death penalty, not because I don't think we would be better without it but because we make to many mistakes and to many innocent people are wrongly convicted. Yet, there are plenty of people that should not be allowed in our society. I mean, Charles Manson still scares the shit out of me. So I guess the deal is to lock them up forever. Yeah, I know, why should we feed and house them for 50 years? Because a society has to have some kind of standards and I, for one, would rather live in a society that will house prisoners for 50 years rather then execute innocent men. If, as a society we behave as does the worst of us how are we different from them? Just because a society acts with the rule of law doesn't make it right. I'm guessing that the Nazi's acted within their rule of law and we all know how that turned out. And that brings me to torture. When Bush's guys institutionalized torture as a policy of the American government they became outlaws and they should be treated as outlaws and prosecuted. Once we reduced ourselves to the lowest common denominator we, at least on that issue, became the same as our enemies.
And no, I don't think we should take the humanity out of our leadership but I don't think that humane actions and rational thinking are mutually exclusive.

BobbyWC said...

Mescalero, I read your post and then went outside to see if lightning was about to strike - you and I are not normally on the same side. While I welcome you agreeing with me, I mush prefer when you do not, because it adds to the discussion.

I loved this most about your comment. "If, as a society we behave as does the worst of us how are we different from them?"

To all my readers, I would love nothing more than to post your comments on subjects rather than mine. If you have an idea, submit it - if it is reasonable written and does not get into unsubstantiated claims I will certainly post it as your own comment as a lead post.

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

Great topic! I'm still straddling the fence on this one. Time does tend to heal, but I've never had to endure the victim's family sorrow.

This sort of issue tends to permeate our core values and appears to separate along far right and far left party lines. Most of us feel comfortable watching from the sidelines until it happens to us.

This is probably the same debate that runs through the psyche (no pun intended)as row v wade.

God bless those innocent children, and the families on both sides that have to live with this terror.