Archive for the ‘Death Penalty’ Category

>A life taken

September 24, 2010

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The state of Virginia took the life of a human being Thursday night. A mentally challenged woman at that. Their Republican governor refused to intervene. the U. S. Supreme Court refused to intervene. Those officials are complicit in the death.

Yes, I am against the death penalty. I don’t believe “Thou shalt not kill,” makes an exception for the imperfect laws set by humans.

I am not a supporter of the killing associated with war either, although I understand that sometimes war is unavoidable. Of course, that excludes the war in Iraq. That war was unnecessary and unjust.

But back to the killing of Teresa Lewis.

I’ve been studying the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church so let me share what they say about the death penalty. The bold print is mine.

We believe the death penalty denies the power of Christ to redeem, restore and transform all human beings. The United Methodist Church is deeply concerned about crime throughout the world and the value of any life taken by a murder or homicide. We believe all human life is sacred and created by God and therefore, we must see all human life as significant and valuable. When governments implement the death penalty (capital punishment), then the life of the convicted person is devalued and all possibility of change in that person’s life ends. We believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and that the possibility of reconciliation with Christ comes through repentance. This gift of reconciliation is offered to all individuals without exception and gives all life new dignity and sacredness. For this reason, we oppose the death penalty (capital punishment) and urge its elimination from all criminal codes.

I agree with this position entirely. I am angered whenever the state, whether it be the state of Alabama, Texas, Virginia or any other state, engage in this archaic and unhuman practice.

I pray that we will recognize our folly, and that the death penalty will be outlawed in our state and in our nation.
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>Reversals

July 30, 2008

>The IOC has reversed itself and said that Iraq athletes could participate in the 2008 Olympics.

IOC: ‘We look forward to seeing the Iraqi flag in Beijing’

IOC Reversal As it should be.

***************************

Massachusetts will reverse itself and allow gays from out of state to marry. Estimates are that it will boost the economy by $111 million, create 330 jobs and generate $5 million in taxes and fees over three years. 21,000 couple from New York State alone are expected to marry in Mass. Governor Deval Patrick says he will sign the measure, allowing the unions.

Mass. Marriage As it should be.

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And one reversal that should be.

Bobby Ray Gilbert has confessed to the murder that Thomas Arthur is scheduled to be executed for on Thursday. Arthur has claimed innocence all along, and the wife of the victim didn’t change her story to implicate Arthur until it gave her a chance to be released from prison early (she was first convicted of the crime).

Gilbert is a convicted murderer serving life without parole, so there is the credibility problem. But still, with the doubt created, and the fact that there is DNA evidence from a rape kit that could be used to prove guilt or innocence of either man is reason enough to delay this execution.

Inmate Story

Birmingham News Opinion

As it should be. But will someone step up and do the right thing? Troy King? Bob Riley?

Reversals

July 30, 2008

The IOC has reversed itself and said that Iraq athletes could participate in the 2008 Olympics.

IOC: ‘We look forward to seeing the Iraqi flag in Beijing’

IOC Reversal As it should be.

***************************

Massachusetts will reverse itself and allow gays from out of state to marry. Estimates are that it will boost the economy by $111 million, create 330 jobs and generate $5 million in taxes and fees over three years. 21,000 couple from New York State alone are expected to marry in Mass. Governor Deval Patrick says he will sign the measure, allowing the unions.

Mass. Marriage As it should be.

****************************

And one reversal that should be.

Bobby Ray Gilbert has confessed to the murder that Thomas Arthur is scheduled to be executed for on Thursday. Arthur has claimed innocence all along, and the wife of the victim didn’t change her story to implicate Arthur until it gave her a chance to be released from prison early (she was first convicted of the crime).

Gilbert is a convicted murderer serving life without parole, so there is the credibility problem. But still, with the doubt created, and the fact that there is DNA evidence from a rape kit that could be used to prove guilt or innocence of either man is reason enough to delay this execution.

Inmate Story

Birmingham News Opinion

As it should be. But will someone step up and do the right thing? Troy King? Bob Riley?

>Death Penalty Revisited

July 25, 2007

>Is it not just a little odd that the dean of Cumberland School of Law at Samford Univerity is named John Carroll, and that John Carroll High School is just a couple of miles away n the same road!

Anyway, John Carroll, the dean, says that Alabama’s death penalty law needs to be studied, and that it has flaws in it that should be addressed. The Story
He was a member of the American Bar Association’s death penalty assessment team for Alabama that in 2006 suggested several reforms. Among them:
Revamping indigent defense services
Providing defense counsel in state post-conviction proceedings (Alabama being the only state that does not do this)
Providing standards for judges in overriding jury recommendations.
Enacting a post-conviction DNA law

Sounds like the time for study is over. The ACLU released a report titled Broken Justice: The Death Penalty in Alabama in 2005. This 27 page report outlines clearly the problems Alabama has with its death penalty laws.

But as Carroll says, attempts to talk with state officials have not been successful.

This is a related story about post conviction DNA testing for Darrell Grayson, scheduled for execution on Thursday. that story

Did you know that in 2005 Alabama sentenced more people to death than Georgia…Mississippi…Louisiana…and Tennessee…combined! Do you think the criminals of our state are really that more heinous than our surrounding states? That doesn’t make sense, when you realize that we are arguably the most “Christian” of all the states. One would think that those values would filter down to would be criminals enough to produce lower crime rates and more civility. I mean, if we have more “Christians” spreading the word of God, with any success one would expect to see lower crime rates and such.

Oh yeah, they believe same sex marriage is the greatest threat. So they ignore their failure to address social issues that really matter. Issues like poverty and hunger, health disparities, after school programs for inner city kids…things that might make a difference in so many lives. Instead they focus on demonizing gays and lesbians and rallying people around hatred rather than love. How refreshing to see an African American pastor from the south questioning the use of scripture to target GLBT people during the Democratic Youtube debate the other night View the question on Youtube . And to hear candidates talking frankly about equal rights. read the transcript on CNN Sorry, but you will have to scroll down to find this question and the candidate’s answers.

One can only dream….

Death Penalty Revisited

July 25, 2007

Is it not just a little odd that the dean of Cumberland School of Law at Samford Univerity is named John Carroll, and that John Carroll High School is just a couple of miles away n the same road!

Anyway, John Carroll, the dean, says that Alabama’s death penalty law needs to be studied, and that it has flaws in it that should be addressed. The Story
He was a member of the American Bar Association’s death penalty assessment team for Alabama that in 2006 suggested several reforms. Among them:
Revamping indigent defense services
Providing defense counsel in state post-conviction proceedings (Alabama being the only state that does not do this)
Providing standards for judges in overriding jury recommendations.
Enacting a post-conviction DNA law

Sounds like the time for study is over. The ACLU released a report titled Broken Justice: The Death Penalty in Alabama in 2005. This 27 page report outlines clearly the problems Alabama has with its death penalty laws.

But as Carroll says, attempts to talk with state officials have not been successful.

This is a related story about post conviction DNA testing for Darrell Grayson, scheduled for execution on Thursday. that story

Did you know that in 2005 Alabama sentenced more people to death than Georgia…Mississippi…Louisiana…and Tennessee…combined! Do you think the criminals of our state are really that more heinous than our surrounding states? That doesn’t make sense, when you realize that we are arguably the most “Christian” of all the states. One would think that those values would filter down to would be criminals enough to produce lower crime rates and more civility. I mean, if we have more “Christians” spreading the word of God, with any success one would expect to see lower crime rates and such.

Oh yeah, they believe same sex marriage is the greatest threat. So they ignore their failure to address social issues that really matter. Issues like poverty and hunger, health disparities, after school programs for inner city kids…things that might make a difference in so many lives. Instead they focus on demonizing gays and lesbians and rallying people around hatred rather than love. How refreshing to see an African American pastor from the south questioning the use of scripture to target GLBT people during the Democratic Youtube debate the other night View the question on Youtube . And to hear candidates talking frankly about equal rights. read the transcript on CNN Sorry, but you will have to scroll down to find this question and the candidate’s answers.

One can only dream….