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September 21, 2011

Why the Death Penalty Sucks.

“We Killed Somebody Today.”

Beyond that injustice, however, is that fact that killing people to try to teach people that killing people is wrong—is oxymoronic.

Jesus said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” To the extent that we are in any way a “Christian nation,” (and to the extent that Georgia is in the “Bible Belt”) we should ask ourselves: “Who would Jesus kill?”; why we’re the only Western nation to still employ the death penalty?; and why we are in league with countries such as China, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia in still using it? Moreover, we should ask ourselves why we’re allowing someone who is clearly NOT guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to be killed?

Troy Davis was found guilty of killing someone in 1989.  There were 9 eyewitnesses and 7 of them has since recanted their original statements.  Moreover, ballistics evidence linking Davis to the crime and eyewitness testimony identifying Davis as the shooter has been determined to be “egregiously false and misleading.” All sorts of last minute, last ditch efforts have been attempted to prevent this execution from taking place – all to no avail.  Here are some links to learn more about this case.

Okay, so we failed to prevent Troy’s death, and, even though more states are discontinuing or re-evaluating their use of capital punishment, it’s looking like it’s going to be awhile before the death penalty is abolished across the nation.

What can you do? Well, sometimes less is more. Sometimes the individual is political. We may not be able to get places like Georgia or Texas to change their policies, but we can take matters into our own hands on the personal level.

You can tell your loved ones that in the event that you are killed through a criminal act of violence that you do not wish the person who kills you to be killed by the state. Much like a “living will” (aka advanced directive) you can sign a legal document stating that you don’t wish to see the death penalty employed against your potential offender.

The Sisters of Mercy in Brooklyn created the idea for a “Declaration of Life” and The Dominican Sisters of Peace (“Sisters” are really cool nuns) are providing a “Declaration of Life” that you can download, print, and sign!  http://www.oppeace.org/declaration-life

Be sure to make copies of this document and give them to your loved ones and attorney.  Might be a good idea to have them notarized by a notary public at your bank first.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that the world will be better off by having another person die – simply because s/he killed me.

Yours in ahimsa, agape, justice, and reconciliation — not revenge and retribution,

Rev. Roger Wolsey

‎”An eye for an eye will make us all blind”. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

p.s. 11:08PM EST, The deed is done. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” – Jesus, Luke 23:34

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Roger is the author of Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity

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