IF ONLY ONE LIFE – THE FOLLY OF THE DEATH PENALTY

“The Life of David Gale.” If only one life is spared – if only one life is saved. Then abolition of the death penalty is worth it. The death penalty is simply an exaction of revenge – a philosophy posited in the Old Testament of the Bible.

But our Nation was founded on Christianity, not the Old Testament. So get rid of the Old Testament. Read the New Testament. After all, isn’t our Nation founded on Christianity which derives from the New Testament?

How many of you have read the New Testament? Anyone? My grandfather was a Baptist minister. I grew up with religion. My dad was an Evangelical United Brethren; my mother was a Baptist; my great grandfather was a hardshell Southern Baptist.

I spent my life with religion. Every summer I went to Topeka, Indiana, and spend two weeks in church camp. I knew all the Beatitudes by time I was 8 years old. I have read the Bible – both Old Testament and New Testament. But the New Testament was given to us to wipe away the bitterness and the exactitude of the Old Testament. The New Testament is our Christian heritage.

Jesus gave to us a new philosophy of life. The New Testament provides a basis of forgiveness and love, not of hatred, not of regimen, not of exactitude.

Yes, I watched the movie “The Life of David Gale”, and, yes, if only innocent life is spared, then the death penalty is a travesty. The death penalty should be abolished. Much, much, rather thousands of guilty lives spared than one innocent life condemned to death and suffer that ultimate unjustified sacrifice to a sentence that can never be undone.

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About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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19 Responses to IF ONLY ONE LIFE – THE FOLLY OF THE DEATH PENALTY

  1. wickle says:

    Very well said.

    Far too many Christians are far too ignorant of the Bible to know the Beatitudes, and they listen to “rational” arguments in favor of the death penalty, or Old Law arguments that they don’t know enough to rebut.

    Small government conservatives who don’t think that the government should have the authority to restrict pollution want the government to have the power to kill. People who call themselves pro-life long to kill … capital punishment makes people very, very strange.

  2. Wickle:

    I have a difficult time with the death penalty,. I have the four sons and nine grandchildren, and, I would hope, that should someone take their lives, I would have the ability to forgive them.

  3. wickle says:

    I agree. I have two sons and a daughter … if anyone should kill them, I hope that God’s grace will show itself through me and that I will remember His words, “Do not return evil for evil, but overcome evil with good.”

    I used to be very pro-capital punishment, and I remember what it feels like to look at murderers with absolutely no compassion. Of course, then I began reading testimonials from prison ministers and convicted murderers who have turned their lives around … and some of them are put to death, anyway. Trookies Williams comes to mind, and the woman in TX (I don’t recall her name … but then-Gov. Bush mocked her plea, “Don’t kill me.”)

  4. mark says:

    I have many problems with the death penalty although, to be honest about it, I don’t lose much sleep over the handful of executions the last few years. I suspect they were all worthy candidates. The cost, the delays, the possibility of mistake and the general coarsening of society are all, I think, genuine concerns.

    But, for me, it came down to a conviction that, were I the one to “flip the switch” or “push the button” for a man who is inevitably immobilized, shackled and guarded to the nth degree of redundancy, I fear that I would ultimately be called upon to justify my action, and that my explanation would be found insufficient.

  5. The death penalty used to be effective and still can be. We used to see justice served in monthes not decades. Decades gives time to folks to look all grandfatherly and innocent. Not the person or animal that raped and killed that 15 year old girl. We as a country no longer deter crime- we reward it with 3 hots and a cot, dentitry, medical, lawyers, endless appeals.
    It must make people sick who have lost loved ones by convicted murders who have been released. I wish we would stop pampering all level of criminals. I guess when one kills another human with intent- I become very pro choice, the next of kin should be able to tell the state either death or life in prison without parol.

    And I guess I dont get the “The death penalty should be abolished. Much, much, rather thousands of guilty lives spared than one innocent live condemned to death and suffer that ultimate unjustified sacrifice to a sentence that can never be undone.” If I recall- are not the unborn and children the most innocent among us? I only bring this up because you are a bible scholar.

  6. Jeremiah. 1:5. Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.

    I dont want to argue about this because it is to no avail. However, I can state my position as being pro death penalty because that is not an innocent person 99.999999% of the time. These are the worst of the worst. They will do it again or their actions were so horrible. I can justified being pro life because the child is innocent 100% of the time.

    I think I know how to get this country pro life.
    1) Make movie about a botched abortion “the unborn” staring jimmie “fetus” malone
    2) In said botched abortion, make child very likable through showing scenes growing up
    3) Show childs first steps, first words, first B-day, friends and family, first girlfriend
    4) Show child at first day of college, building more friends and effecting more people with his magnetic personality
    5) Show childs first job, as a cancer researcher.
    6) Show child getting married to his high school sweetheart
    7) Show childs first child being born and grandparents rejoicing
    8) Show child growing into his 40s with a successful family,
    9) Show child with the nobel peace prize for finding the cure for breast cancer
    10) Show a mother who had an abortion with the resounding guilt that will never go completely away.

    I have struck genius! I cant argue reason with pro choice people. I can only draw on their heart strings! Thousands of teenage girls would say I dont want to have an abortion because remember that movie “the unborn”.

    MOVIES WILL MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER (Just like Tombstone- now that was justice)

  7. Clint:

    I don’t claim to be a “bible scholar.” I grew up around plenty of religion, so I read the bible a lot. I am sure I have forgotten many things, but the things I do remember such as the Beatitudes don’t smack of hatred and revenge.

    As to your idea in showing the life of a successful child, would you show the same movie if the child grew into a killer? Or would it be okay to abort that child if we knew ahead of time what heinous crimes the child would commit? Reminds me of the movie “Minority Report.” And speaking of minorities, the death penalty is disproportionately applied against minorities. While blacks make up about 12% of the population, over 50% of those on death row are black.

    The death penalty is simply revenge. Again, I thought the New Testament was to be taken differently than the Old Testament. And, yes, if one innocent person is spared, then abolishing the death penalty is worth it.

  8. wickle says:

    Clint, I happen to be pro-life … Some of us apply our principles with at least some sense of consistency.

    I’m sure that it would streamline things if we got rid of those “endless appeals.” Of course, how many people have we killed that we now know were innocent?

  9. Race has nothing to do with this. By the way, roughly 85% of men commit murder, does this sociaty favor women based on this statistic. Because I always thought men had it easy, especialy those white guys. And yes, if you give the opportunity of life to someone and they screw up….they should be brought to justice.

    Your statment ” As to your idea in showing the life of a successful child, would you show the same movie if the child grew into a killer? Or would it be okay to abort that child if we knew ahead of time what heinous crimes the child would commit? If ifs and buts were candy and nuts it would be Christmas everyday. I like to deal in reality

    Wickle: consistancy is only good if you are right!

    Now you two go rent “the unborn” co starring bobby “embryo” smith

  10. Clint:

    Race has a lot to do with the death penalty. We are talking apples and oranges in the commission of crimes as opposed to handing out the death penalty. If 85% of men commit crimes, that statistic shows that 85% of the men are brought to justice in some way. They get caught, they are brought into court, and they get some form of punishment.

    The imposition of the death penalty cannot be compared to which gender commits crimes. If 50% of one race whose men receive the death penalty is receiving the death penalty and that race only constitutes 12% of our population, then something obviously is happening that skews the imposition of the death penalty.

    Your response on showing a child’s life shows that you are not willing to be serious about my question. You use an example and then when the example shows a flaw, you dismiss my response by using a “candy and nuts” quip. Your example is just as much based on “ifs and buts” as mine.

    You conveniently avoided answering my question – would you show the same movie if that unborn child were to grow up a serial killer, rapist, etc.? Are you going to answer that?

    As Wickle said, to be pro-life means to be more than just anti-choice. This is where the anti-abortion foes have co-opted the terminology. They really aren’t pro-life in many aspects but are still determined to hang the pro-life label on only one aspect of life – that of the unborn child.

    Supporting the death penalty is anti-life. The Catholic Church is at least consistent since it opposes the death penalty as well as abortion.

  11. The movie as a child growing up as a killer happens everyday. And as I said, If GIVEN THE OPPERTUNITY OF LIFE, if a person screws up, punish them! That is part of the beauty of life–you never know what will happen. A young white lady got knocked up about 47 years ago by a black fella (pretty stressful time). The family was not for the relationship, the child was conceived out of wedlock. What would have happened if that young lady didnt have the baby? I guess maybe abortion should remain legal? But only for democrats

    So is my movie that far off base? I dont think so. Obama certainly dosnt think so!!!!!!!

    If you say you are pro choice but against abortion you dont show it. My point to all of this is—–Dont use the bible as an argument. Dont use Christianity.

    If you want to use the bible, abortion would be illegal. It is that simple.

    This deals with innocence.

  12. Arthur L says:

    I can think of at least a dozen reasons that the death penalty should be abolished. But what it comes down to is this:

    Our judicial system is not reliable enough to determine whether people should live our die. Look at the 17 people who spent time on death row, only to be exonerated by post-conviction DNA evidence. And these are just the ones we know about. Who knows how many innocent people were executed before the first DNA exoneration, in 1989? Are you comfortable enough with that margin of error to risk executing an innocent person?

    There’s so much injustice in the legal system that it’s almost impossible to comprehend. If conservatives are so distrustful of the government, they ought to remember that law and order is a part of that government.

  13. I am comfortable with that.

  14. Clint:

    I can personally be against abortion yet support another woman’s choice. There are many things in the Bible that are illegal or violate a set of moral principles yet have been found to be legal by human beings.

    For instance, sodomy. The Supreme Court in its 2003 decision, Lawrence v. Texas, said what adults do in the privacy of their own homes is their business. All states that hadn’t already abolished sodomy laws were brought in line with those that had.

    If I had been born during World War II in Germany, I would probably have been put to death because of my physical disability. I wasn’t. But we can always argue “the ifs and buts” of what might have been.

    Arthur makes a good point about the unreliability of our judicial system. One of the types of evidence that is commonly used – eyewitness testimony – is wrong about 50% of the time. Yet we continue to see eyewitness testimony as a critical method of convicting alleged suspects.

    The following site has a number of stories on it of wrongful convictions.

    http://www.truthinjustice.org/witness.htm

  15. Would you perform an abortion if you were qualified? If yes you support abortion, If no it should be illegal.
    I can list 1000x rightful convictions.
    I cant believe we are debating abortion and criminal rights when the biggest govt takeover in the US history is taking place. What caused this mess?

  16. Clint:

    Again with the speculation. I am not a doctor, therefore, I will not be faced with that decision. It is not my decision whether or not to perform an abortion that should control. I said I would not have one myself. I choose – yes choose – not to impose my will on another woman who may have to make that choice.

    As to the bailouts that are occurring in unprecedented numbers, why debate? Your position, my position, and the position of millions of other hardworking Americans don’t matter. Today’s financial chaos is a result of greedy capitalistic corporations being allowed to run roughshod in their business practices as well as Americans being addicted to credit and looking for an easy – yet unacceptable – deal (living beyond their means).

    The reasons are complex, and I don’t even pretend to know the ins and outs of the financial markets. The following site is from one of my fellow Fort Wayne bloggers. The contributors range from a democrat to a libertarian. You might find some of the postings and articles interesting. Mike Sylvester – the Libertarian and an accountant – has done a series of why this happened.

    http://fortwaynepolitics.com/

    I don’t favor the bailouts. If so many truly believe in capitalism, then the correct path would be to let the corporations fail just like small and large businesses fail every day. But, on no, these corporations have become so big that to let them fail will impact Americans in every walk of life – from jobs to pensions.

    My question is not how this happened, but rather why wasn’t the government watching ahead of time and making sure these corporations didn’t get to the point that this was the only way out.

    So, we either accept regulation of these entities – which is not socialism – or we can let them fail and take our chances.

    Personally, being a conspiracy theorist, I think there is an underlying reason. You will notice that now many of the other “big” lending institutions are now being bought out by even bigger entities. No one is paying much attention to that collateral aspect since eyes are focused on the bailout process.

    What is to prevent this from happening all over again?

  17. I think there are greedy ceos out there that bust out numbers to get their bonus. I dont think that is why we are here. I think lending money to those you know are not capable of paying it back would be the biggest factor. Was this money lent because of Raines and Johnson wanting big bonuses or where they also lending because the govt made it manditory to relax lending policy to succumb to acorn and other groups. For once I agree with bill clinton on this

    I truely believe this is what happens when people feel they are entitled to things they cant afford, and govt makes bad lending regs

  18. I suspect that there are many reasons for the chaos that is now occurring. But the bottom line is why are we not letting these institutions fail pursuant to capitalistic philosophy?

    Businesses fail every day, and no one steps in to help. That is capitalism. To now argue that we have to save these corporations that made bad deals goes against capitalistic principles.

    I guess I am also having a tough time understanding how this can be so urgent when 95% of mortgages are on track and only 5% have failed. This fact leads me to thing that failing mortgages aren’t the only or the biggest reason for the failures on Wall Street.

    Your last statement leaves out fault by Wall Street. Blaming government or people may be what is in vogue, but if the corporations had decided to be more conservative in their lending decisions, buyers couldn’t overextend. And why weren’t they more conservative? Because they knew they could get away with it.

  19. Dont forget the govt got involved in “making the american dream come true”.
    It is hard for some lenders to be conservative when groups like Acorn are protesting and calling them racists for being “too selective”. But you are right, Corps felt secure because that great govt was backing them with mac and mae both GSEs

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