Thursday, September 22, 2011
This is what I told my children
when they glanced at the front of the paper this morning and asked, what happened here? And I told them that that man was executed in Georgia, the state in which I grew up, the state where their grandparents live and that many people, including the man himself, believed he was innocent and had been tried unjustly.
I told them that the Supreme Court decided that he should be killed, despite these claims of his innocence.
I told them that the state of Georgia killed him with lethal injection, a poison that is put in his veins, late at night. I told them that a person killed him, actually put the poison in the needle that went into his veins and killed him. I told them that was the job of that person, to kill him. I told them that while many people were upset over this, many people were glad.
I told them that the death penalty is something that our country, America, should be ashamed of having and that killing a person, no matter what they have done is wrong.
I told them that most countries in the world have thought long and hard about this issue because it's difficult to know what to do about people who break the law and do terrible things, but most countries have decided that it's wrong to kill in return and have gotten rid of the death penalty. I told that there are still millions of people in our country that believe the death penalty is justice, that torture is right and necessary, and I told them that killing and torturing our enemies is absolutely, unequivocally wrong.
I told them that I do not respect those people who believe otherwise about these particular things.
I told them that despite being ashamed that our country institutionalizes killing, I believe that eventually we will abolish the death penalty because it is the right thing and the right thing happens, eventually.
And then I sent them off to school.