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.


  1. You spoke the TRUTH to your children, and that is what schooling is all about!

  2. Did you tell them about the Memphis Three? Those three young men who spent so much time in prison for a crime they didn't commit? I have never understood killing as a punishment for killing. I never will.


  3. "Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong ?" a bumper sticker I once saw on a car.

    Simplified of course but, an excellent question, isn't it?

  4. i am glad you are their mother because you told them those things, and more people, not just children, need to understand those things.

  5. so wrong, for so many reasons.
    i wish i shared your optimism that things will change anytime soon.
    i couldnt believe that i thought the Supreme Court would stop it last night.
    i thought if only they can get the Supreme Court to agree to look at this one more time, there's no way, amidst all this protest, that they won't interfere. i really thought that....
    but, still, i am glad you told your kids what you did.

  6. I am so sorry that you had to have that discussion with your children. I am so proud that you had the wherewithal to stand up for your convictions.

    I have never understood the death penalty and I'm sure I never will. I hope someday to live in a world where I don't have to try.

  7. Sometimes the truth is hard and it as sharp as razor blades coming out of your throat and yet, you have to let it out of your throat.
    I feel so ashamed today.

  8. Amen.

    The death penalty makes me cry.

  9. Capital punishment is an abomination. How can one type of murder be wrong while another is sanctioned by the state? Is not murder just wrong in that it takes a human life?

  10. Yep. I'm there. There are 3,251 inmates on death row currently. It is estimated that 1% on death row are innocent. That's approximately 33 innocents awaiting execution. That is if you believe the low estimate of 1%. I think it's higher. Your state is number one. Mine is number two and the state you grew up in is number nine in the number of people on death row. I do not believe in the death penalty because I do not believe the judicial system is pure. People lie. People don't have money for high powered attorneys. And people who should care sometimes just don't give a damn. If you haven't already watched this documentary do so:
    If you don't believe we will all reap what we have sown you will after seeing this one.Chilling.



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