- I was once a registered Republican (didn't just vote that way, I identified that way).
- I was once a staunch and abiding supporter of the death penalty (as in, I was willing to say so loudly and in public).
Which is to say, I was stupid.
If I was successfully taught anything as a child, it was that being selfish is wrong. Wanting more for yourself than for others similarly disposed is just unfair, hence wrong. Doubly so when someone's life is on the line. These days, I call that evil.
I have been accused of being a tad judgmental on occasion, though.
The death of Troy Davis at the hands of the Georgia Supreme Court has finally left me bereft of defenses for the death penalty, and so against it, as loudly and publicly as I was once for it.
Understand, this has nothing to do with the logic of the death penalty. I fervently believe, still, that guilt beyond a reasonable doubt of certain crimes-- murder in all its glorious forms first among them-- is cause for the State, acting as the agent of the people, to kill the perpetrator of said crimes.
I just don't think we're up to deciding beyond a reasonable doubt.
It is a demonstrated fact that people recall very poorly the events that traumatize them (Note: this is one among many sources). Despite this, eyewitnesses are treated as being reliable purveyors of information while on the stand. The defense cannot even legally argue this fact in some states.
Thus, our judicial system is perverted. Horribly. 214 people have been convicted and sentenced to death all over the country, and DNA evidence has shown to the satisfaction of the courts in these cases that the conviction meets the legal standards to have it over-turned. This is not a trivial standard.
The idea that these people were even in jail-- never mind on death row-- is frightening. I can't imagine the Kafkaesque horror of being sentenced to death when I knew I was innocent. I believe enough in the Golden Rule to not wish it on anyone else.
Seriously. Put down the needles, or take your hand off the switch, or whatever, and walk away. And start demanding justice for your fellow human beings. Otherwise you'd best stop expecting it for yourself.