Way back in my freshmen year of college, I had to write a ten page paper against the death penalty. If I had to do it now, ten pages would have seemed nowhere near enough. I could go on and on. Fittingly, I chose to title it: “The Most Premeditated of Murders”.
Evidence aside, in the court of law what usually happens is this: whichever side of the case has the better lawyer wins. Because let’s face it, besides the victim and assailant, typically no one else knows the 100% truth. It’s a whole lot of speculation. You can never with 100 percent conviction and without a shadow of a doubt fully prove a person’s intent.
But what happened tonight in Oklahoma? That’s a [premeditated] murder in every sense of the word. Murder is, after all, the deliberate act of killing someone. If you aren’t familiar with what happened, here’s the short of it: a man was being put to death via lethal injection in Oklahoma using a new combination of drugs, and his execution was “botched”. End result? The man ultimately died of a heart attack forty minutes later.
Never mind the fact that the inmates, lawyers and advocates had argued that this new and untried [and untested] protocols could cause “levels of suffering” that would violate the prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishment” clause of the Eighth Amendment.
Never mind the fact the states were in this limbo because the traditional drugs were no longer being sold to the US on the basis of humanitarian grounds.
Never mind the fact that states have developed secrecy laws that basically allow them to keep hidden the source of their supplies and the content/combination of drugs being used… which is fishy enough to raise red flags.
The following is an excerpt from my aforementioned college paper, and I still believe it to be completely true:
Capital punishment is essentially a murder committed by the state. In a society that condemns killing, it is ironic that this country executes people as a punishment, which is without a doubt just an official murder. In no civilized society can society punish an act by participating in the very act that the condemned is being put to death for. Moreover, it definitely sends the wrong message because there is no logic to killing people who kill people to show that killing is wrong.
I am not saying the guilty shouldn’t be punished. What I am saying is this: a) you can never be 100% sure of guilt and you can’t undo death. With the number of stories you hear of the guilty being proven otherwise decades later, I can’t even fathom how many people have been put to death wrongly for crimes they didn’t commit; you can release them from jail, but certainly not bring them back to life, b) the system is racist. Let’s not kid ourselves and actually believe that the system treats each of them equally: the disparity between those who are given harsher treatments for similar crimes amongst Caucasians and those of color is ridiculous, and to tie into today’s unfortunate events c) the constitution prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment” which definitely played a role in today’s execution without a doubt.
Every time we take one step forward as a nation, we seem two take two steps backwards in the wrong direction.