No one has the moral authority to kill another human being.
Once we start from that premise and understand that capital punishment rests on a foundation of muck created by men, there’s nothing more that needs to be said. It is legal only because they say that it’s legal. It is legal because of citizens, who ought to be repulsed by shameless lawmakers, who use “tough on crime” to secure votes, permit that. It behooves our electorate to inform ourselves of the history surrounding the subject.
The fact of its immorality means that capital punishment cannot ever be justified and constitutionally acceptable. Running back and forth to the United States Supreme Court, to collectively ponder whether a particular case meets the test, the artificial standard, of “cruel and unusual punishment” is redundant and ridiculous. Being so because the actions of the State create circumstances of suffering that make it cruel and unusual.
But capital punishment extends further in its obscenity, corrupting each individual who facilitates the killing, from the judge who claims she’s only following the law, to the governor whose bloody hand approves the evil, all the way down to the brute that seeks the vein to administer the poison. Each participant, at every stage, makes a personal decision to kill the particular human being. There’s no excuse. Nothing decent can be found in what you chose to do. Stop the barbarity.
By Leyland A. King
July 7, 2017
No need be alarmed or outraged about the title. It really doesn’t matter anymore whether one chooses to be Democrat, Republican, or apathetic; religious zealot or palpably patriotic. It is too late! The hated Washington big government is no more, and the welfare queen has flown. Yes, the government we dismantled. No, we suffocated it. Fact is, it rotted away in plain sight while we called each other vile names and ignored the vile stench of decades-long institutional decay.
Now we can run the government as a business. A family enterprise. Hooray! It is a person with free speech and all the rights and privileges of a citizen, unconstrained by irritants like the constitution, regulations and such. Who needs voting rights anyway, Justice Scalia almost said. Free the Corporate citizen. They already have their own armies. They, in some countries, are called warlords.
Surely, we all heard of the contented frog slow-poached in a pot; about the jealous, happy frogs that prayed for a king to rule over them. The apt, belated comment might well be, they should have known. But there must be a parable somewhere, concerning the day the poor convened a meeting for super-rich men to, by the goodness of heart, discuss being kind to the poor. I can’t find one fitting, but Jonathan Swift’s satirical letter to the British, inquiring how they preferred Irish babies cooked, with what spices and accompanying dressings served, is as close as I got.
Now, like North Korean citizens ruled by a smart cookie, we’ll smile and cheer on sight of Trump, Paul Ryan, Betsie DeVos and so many, many others. Don’t ever stop cheering.