Edward Lai Harner, Edward Harner
Andrea Harner
andreaharnerblog AT gmail
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January 21, 2005

Network for Justice needs YOU!!

Stop the death penalty in New York State! Just sign this petition and you can help eradicate this fatally flawed system.

You'll get a cool personal page where you can track who of your friends have signed up, who of your friend's friends have signed up and how far the petition has spread!

Be warned - you might become obsessed with checking up on your friends and reminding them to sign up! :-)

Click to sign up through my page!



Okay… I’m obviously irritable today… And my apologies (in advance) for it… Perhaps it's because I'm a "Rebulican"...

But for some reason, this struck a nerve with me… While violence, including the death penalty, should be abhorred, there are occasions when death is not only necessary but… quite possibly… required.

As a society, Americans (and a majority of other peoples) espouse the belief that, “…all… are created equal, [and] that… [all]…are endowed… with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Notice the absence of gender or deity specific references... Unalienable means that they are inseparable from our being or essence - no one can take them away; they are as much a part of us as is our ability to reason.

Okay… going metaphysical for a few moments here… If Life is one of these unalienable rights, then what or who gives Joe/Jane Smith the right to take mine from me? Simply put – nothing and no one. Joe/Jane Smith took it upon themselves – separate of society or the community - to disenfranchise me from my own right to Life when they decided to kill me. Assuming we are all innocent, we are all equals. Yet Joe/Jane Smith made themselves “more” equal when they deemed their right to Life was more important than my own right to Life and that mine could be usurped by them and them alone.

As a result and by default, they place at risk their own right to Life. For how can we as a society of equals tolerate someone who is so obviously (by their own deeds) more equal than ourselves? We can’t because we would violate the very notion that we are all endowed with the unalienable right to Life… For if we permit Joe/Jane Smith to kill, then we elevate them above ourselves – which they most certainly are not.

Personally, I cannot and will not accept this reasoning. And thankfully, the Supreme Court has agreed. This is not to say that there aren’t problems with the judicial system or that innocent people are not put to death; unlike Pollyanna, I know they are! And these should be addressed by reforming (when needed) the judicial system to more thoroughly defend the accused. But the death penalty should (most certainly) remain as a means by which we as a people or society validate our belief that all are created equal and that no one is more equal than another.

Posted by: |mr|Darcy at January 21, 2005 4:22 PM

Shall we all discuss the death penalty.

It is not a deterrent -- true.
It is biased: race and class -- very true.

But really why should I care?

The Government -- Federal, State, City -- knowingly sentences thousands of innocent people to death every year who have not committed any crimes.

For example, lets not make the flu vaccine free and readily available to each and every child or senior citizen. After all, it would cost millions of dollars. The result: 30,000 dead per year due to the flu.

How about health care? How many americans die from cancer every year because they didn't go to the doctor early enough becuase they don't have insurance. I don't know but lets guess a minimum of tens of thousands.

How about drunk driving? Lower the blood alcohol content by 0.1% and save 3 or 4 thousand lives per year.

Speed limits -- States raise the speed limits to 65 or 75 knowing that the death rate will increase.

I will not even get into issues that infringe on individual choices like cigarettes.

Every day our government makes decisions that directly result in the death of tens of thousands of people. However, since we don't know who or when, it is somehow different then the death penalty?

So, is the death penalty wrong, yes, but, there are bigger fish to fry -- pardon the pun.

Posted by: Bob at January 21, 2005 4:40 PM

I'm going out now to enjoy the evening... but for some unknown reason... that infamous line from Dan Aykroyd to Jane Curtain from SNL is running through my mind (slightly modified, of course, to protect Dan and Jane), "Bob, you ignorant slut..."

"The wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is Tiggers are wonderful things
Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs
They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun
But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is I'm the only one!"

Grrr and TTFN - goin' to take a chill pill!

Posted by: |mr|Darcy at January 21, 2005 4:50 PM

Oh, when I said yes the death penalty is wrong, I meant the process. I have no problem putting to death someone who commits murder. Hell, I would also extend it to rape, kidnapping, attempted murder (why live just cause you screwed up the murder). All of such crimes are "knowing." The dude knew what he/she was doing. I might even extend it to extremely risky behavior, like firing a gun into a group of kids standing on a street corner -- reckless endangerment as a capital offense.

I would also pass legislation requiring that any law firm that pays first year associates over $120,000 has to provide pro bono service to death row inmates. All right, i'm kidding, but i'd like to.

Posted by: Bob at January 21, 2005 4:55 PM
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