Posted by: Betty | January 14, 2010

So I’ve found my Cause

The Innocence Project

I’ve pondered for a very long time wanting to volunteer but not sure what to do. So many ideas … so little motivation? I thought of many things; homeless, food banks, habitat for humanity.. Never sure and always hesitant.. I decided tonight and found a site on line for volunteering.  A Group that is working to abolish Capital Punishment in America.  I can’t do much and certainly on a very limited basis; but I think it’s important that I do , do,  what I can do.

As an adult I voted for the first time (20) when the “revised DeathPenalty” was on the ballot – I got inside the booth and couldn’t bring myself to vote for it. I couldn’t do it..  (silly me — I did vote for Nixon’s re=election)   The amendment to CA’s constitution passed anyway but got over ruled by the courts ( a very common CA thing) and was re- voted on later, won and stuck…

I was raised  and educated Catholic … in the 50’s and 60’s..  ( My experience  with this upbringing and education was heavy on Social Justice)… I was also until very recently a Republican. When I was leading a Religious Education Program at my parish in Murrieta during the 90’s, I went to the Religious Education Convention in Orange County, where I heard a speaker more powerful than I’ve EVER heard .. before or after .  Sadly for me, I’ve forgotten his name. He was also a singer. He spoke on the “Lordship” of Jesus and how Jesus spoke against killing under any circumstances as Our Lord.. I understood then finally,  in my early 40’s what had always eluded me.. WHY couldn’t I support the Death Penalty…

I suppose if someone broke into my home, meaning  to harm me or a loved one, I would have no problem  ending their life… given that I could find the gun, load it, aim it and actually fire the thing. I have no problem with military fighting or killing in the line of duty..  (I’m not talking genocide), I have no problem with Law enforcement officers, being HEAVILY armed. I am hard pressed to view Capital Punishment as self defense.  To be fair; I’ve never had a family member murdered either. I like to think I wouldn’t change my opinion but to be fair……

I have a problem with people who are AVID anti- Death Penalty yet support “pro choice”/abortion rights for women.. I have the same problem with people who are very anti abortion but who support the death penalty. … Their reasoning is that  the babies are innocent while the people killed in Capital Punishment aren’t innocent.. Uh HELLO, the innocence project???  By whom, so  many have been exonerated by DNA evidence.. On that premise alone, I think we should abolish Capital Punishment..   Just Saying

While I don’t “practice my faith” as they say, these days, I do believe what I learned as a child and later in Theology classes for my volunteerism at the Church.. I do believe in the “thou shalt not kill” thing..

I’d like to think my position on all things life, isn’t all about  my “religious” thinking;  that beyond all my religious “thinking” that I believe a society is judged on how we treat our weakest.  The unborn and the  sick and the elderly.. And clearly I extend that notion to prisoners. Not everyone in prison or on trial is guilty.. I’ve watched Court TV WAY too long now to buy that one. I’m not sure we’ll be judged very well on that criteria I’m afraid.

A woman in CA who didn’t “grieve properly” for her dead Marine husband was convicted of killing him with arsenic a couple of years ago.. Evidence wasn’t forthcoming until her defense ran new tests proving there was NO arsenic in his system.  The very first scientist’s report saying no Arsenic  was available to the prosecution, but they found another scientist because I guess they didn’t like what his report said….The Marine, apparently  wasn’t even murdered.

For those of you still reading my endless post.. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog today.

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Responses

  1. I think as you do. One innocent person put to death is one too many. I do believe that life in prison should mean just that. Life. No chance of parole. I do have a friend who disagrees. Her stepson was murdered in Detroit and she wishes there was a death penalty here. Since I don’t walk in her shoes, I can’t say how I’d feel, but I like to think I’d be satisfied knowing the criminal was in prison for the rest of his life.

    You’ve picked an interesting cause and I’d say you’ve already started working.

  2. I’ve been against the death penalty for as long as I can remember. I just don’t trust the human race, individually or collectively, to make a true, honest judgement, taking full responsibility in their own hearts for taking a life. Myself neither.
    Nor do I trust the institutions which give us a framework for such decisions.
    And clearly, we never know enough even to make an accurate judgement about guilt, never mind culpability.

  3. I like this cause you are involved in. I feel much the same way as you, in that if someone was trying to hurt my family or neighbor, I would do harm to them, or have the instinct to do so.


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