From: Glenn Larkin
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2001 3:55 AM
Subject: Re: [stopfloridatorture] DON'T CLUTTER OUR MINDS WITH FACTS
 Old icons die hard.  The death penalty is an old icon that has outlived its usefulness, is not cost effective, is morally repugnant to many, and does not do what it supposed to.  As a business procedure. it is less than 50% efficient, and would never be kept without changing.

But that is not the reason to abolish it.  Past history is full of innocent people at the executioner's antechamber,and snatched away at the last minute, or actually executed -- the latest one being Malcolm Johnson in Oklahoma, where DNA evidence definitively exculpated him, after he was dead.

Where is the moral justification to have taken an innocent man (atrandom ?) run him through a court on tainted evidence, and forbid him to make a legitimate appeal to defend himself, and believing his is guilt (juries are never wrong!) pump him full of poison.  Oh yes, to show how human we are, we make the act of killing as painless as possible. Not!

Being human,our justice (whatever that means) is fallible, and mistakes do and can happen.  Death penalty mistakes are buried so that they do not lurk in our conscience.  The only way to justify the deliberate state killing of another human is to demonize him or her, decapitating the human quality from the individual.  This is the method Nazi Germany used to kill over five million Jews, and another eight million other slaves, dissidents and Gypsies.  And this is the way we are justifying the slaughter in Afghanistan, the slaughter of American Indians, the killing of "heathens" in the past, and the claim that aliens have no rights under the Constitution, as Goon Bush is trying to enact.   The death penalty merely propagates this dichotomy that dehumanizes a particular group of people, to "prove" that we value the sanctity of human life.  Curious...