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Death penalty should be abolished

Our View -   Oct 10, 2013

Another unbelievable case has arisen in which the death penalty has been prescribed and, over a period of many years, in this case 22, the penalty has not yet been delivered.

It is the case of Christopher Sepulvado who was convicted of killing his six-year-old stepson in 1992 and is still awaiting his execution for the crime.

Sepulvado has not yet been executed for his crime over all of those years and his execution by injection has been delayed at least 90 days because of a question in the law about what poisons can be used in the executions. One person was executed, it is said, by injections that made him suffer such pain that was not intended to be invoked upon such a criminal.

And this is not unusual. Executions are usually delayed for one reason or another, which makes us wonder if we are meant to execute for crimes even as evil as murder. After all, an execution is taking the life of a human being for committing the same evil that we are doing to the criminal. Is that correcting the evil?

Perhaps we should take the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” to apply to all human beings even in cases where it is in recompense for the killings they committed. After all, if we can keep a person alive who killed another human being, he perhaps can learn the value of life and how humans should respect it. The message could spread to others and benefit the future of mankind.

In many cases, we have executed people for killing others and later found out after their deaths that they did not commit the crimes. Of course there is no turning back and doing what was right. The person is already executed for the crime he did not commit.

Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of the Archdiocese of New Orleans wrote in the Clarion Herald newspaper last week that “besides our respect for human life, there are two other reasons we do not support the death penalty. The first is it takes away the opportunity for that person to experience repentance and conversion and to live a life of repentance for what he or she has done. Second, the actions of the perpetrator are evil, sinful and wrong, but taking that person’s life does not enact justice. It will not bring the dead person back to life and usually does not bring peace to the family and friends of the one who suffered the injustice.”

The death penalty does not seem to have helped reduce our murder rate. It is as high as ever. By preaching instead the values of life and the benefits of keeping people alive, we are more likely to reduce the desire to kill and instead inspire people to help others live on and benefit the future of humanity. It is the better way to a better life.

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