Thursday, 4 June 2015

What makes me weep

Last night, Texas executed a man of 67. He had been on death row for 31 years, and there was compelling evidence that he wasn't responsible for the crime of which he was accused. He maintained his innocence up to the end. He had endured the torture of facing execution seven times before, having had seven previous stays of execution,

This week, two of my latest letters to my own death row friend were returned to me, with no reason given. This man depends on my friendship, and will feel betrayed and let down. I rarely cry, but on this occasion, I did.

For anyone who believes in the death penalty, and those who don't, please take the time to follow this inspiring talk (link below) by a black lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, who has worked tirelessly to defend these people. He also defends children . Yes, children. The US imprisons for LIFE some children as young as 13.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/17/bryan-stevenson-if-its-not-right-to-a-rapist-how-can-it-be-ok-to-kill-a-killer


11 comments:

  1. That's so barbaric. I feel your sadness, Frances, and hate to think of that man waiting for your letters. At least they should let you know why he didn't get them.

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    1. Rosemary, I have a wonderful coordinator who is trying to get a message to him about what's happens, but she has no idea whether it will get through. I despair.

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  2. There are certain horrendous crimes for which I think the death penalty is correctly merited; but these are few. However, keeping a man on death row for 31 years is inhumane. If there was absolutely no doubt of his guilt, then why the wait? If there was a question about his guilt then he shouldn't have been facing a death penalty in the first place..

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    1. Cro, I cannot accept that judicial killing is ever justified. It dehumanises everyone involved, and doesn't act as a deterrent. It is just revenge disguised as justice.

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  3. An Excellent link. There is hope while there are people like Bryan Stevenson living and working in America. Mind you Texas is a third world state in a first world country, he'll have his work cut out.

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    1. Thank you, Adrian. I'm so glad you took the trouble to listen to Brian. He's an astonishing man.

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  4. I'm not really sure how I feel about the death penalty. In some cases it does seem it might be justified. I can't think of any good reason to keep anyone on death row for 31 years though. There can't be anyone who benefits from that in any way (other than companies who're paid to run the prisons, I suppose)

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    1. Patsy, so look at tha clip, if you have a moment. Brian's speach really is worth hearing. His book - Just mercy - is also an eye-opener.

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  5. Well I've at last managed to read the article. It's difficult to disagree with almost everything he says. The older I get the more I despair about the world. As for executing children that takes it to the level of IS.

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    1. Did you scroll down to his speech? Truly inspiring.

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