Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Serious Problem

I realize this topic is politically controversial, but it shouldn't be political.  This is a moral issue and a spiritual issue.  The topic today is, capital punishment.  Sadly, I don't have a solution for this problem.  Complaining without offering a solution or at least an alternative is not usually my style, but we have a very strange view of our use of capital punishment compared to other countries who use it.  It may simply be our method seems less barbaric to us.  China, I believe uses a firing squad, and Saudi, decapitates or stones.  I believe several countries flog, but that's a topic for another day.  Back to America's use of the death penalty.

Torah does address capital punishment, and instructs it to be done for a number of crimes.  Torah actually refers to several sins as punishable by death, usually stoning, but there were other methods specified as well.  To get to the actual point here, America has carried out the death penalty, mistakenly.  American courts have  pronounced the death sentence based upon circumstantial evidence.  The system of justice does not always carry out justice and the fact of the matter is, capital punishment carried out by a non-Torah observant people is murder, whether we admit it or not.  America is simply an extension of the Roman Empire, while we claim spiritual superiority over other countries.  We are looking at serious blood on our hands, if we claim Biblical approval.

I followed a case in Texas, some time back.  The father of three little girls was on trial for their death by arson.  That was back in my Funeral Director days, so I was no stranger to investigating death.  There was just something that seemed to be missing in this case.  In a murder case, three aspects are supposed to be established to obtain a guilty conviction.  Those are means,  motive, and opportunity.  I don't remember all the details, now, but I was just sick when he was found guilty and sentenced to death.  Something was simply missing in this case.  I then remember when he was executed.  Our country doesn't seem to have a consistent time table for capital punishment, either.  He was on death row for 12 years before his execution.  Now, all these years later, it's been proven that the prosecutor withheld crucial evidence that would have cleared him, and the key witness confessed to lying.

In the article, Governor Perry, is mentioned as having no regrets that he didn't grant a stay in the execution.  When the Forensic Science Commissioner determined the investigation was faulty, he was replaced.  The prosecutor went on to become judge, and retired three years ago.  He is now possibly facing disbarment for what he did in the case, but a retired judge has no need of a law license, Governor Perry has no struggle with this injustice, yet an innocent man is still dead.

Although the man mentioned in the link below was not executed, 30 years of his life was literally taken from him.
http://news.yahoo.com/confessions-prosecutor-sent-innocent-death-row-111500910.html

Since we are not a Torah observant nation, even Israel is not, it seems we'd be better off to simply have life sentences imposed.  I've even given some thought to perhaps an island, where those convicted for life would live out their days, working to survive in their own societal standard.  A life sentence, not only leaves room to be overturned in the case of error, but also saves the exorbitant cost of appeals in the process of capital punishment.  We cannot claim Torah authority to judge, if we are not living by Torah.
Thou shalt not kill.  Torah of Holy Scripture
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