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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Death Penalty again

Susana Martinez, our governor, has started the crusade to reinstate the death penalty. When everything in the state is falling to pieces because of her mismanagement this is a convenient way to blow smoke up the electorates tailpipes.
About a week ago when Martinez brought the subject up, to deflect our multi-million dollar budget deficit due to her cutting taxes on corporations. TV polls showed the state split down the middle.
Two days ago a ten year old girl was brutally murdered. It's about as bad as it gets. Three people were arrested, one being the girl's mother. Yesterday in her grandmotherly pose, Martinez in one sentence gave the usual politician's lament about a tragic loss of life and in the next one called for reinstating the death penalty. That day's poll showed 97% were now in favor of the death penalty.The police chief was interviewed and mentioned that four police officers have been killed in the state in the last three years and the need for the death penalty as a deterrent.
I work as a legal assistant. Politically the attorney I work for, he and I, are polar opposites. He voted for Susana. The one thing we are in agreement on is the death penalty.
One of his heroes and friend was an attorney who defended members of a motorcycle gang on death row in the 1980's. His investigation found the man who committed the crime and they were released. The person who committed the crime was not given the death penalty, he didn't even get life.
Naturally in over six years working together this topic has come up many times. When I was writing my Fan Plan Trilogy a sub plot dealt with the death penalty so he gave me invaluable advice.
We both have different reasons to be against it. The one argument against capital punishment we both agree on as the most compelling is found in Scott Turrow's book Ultimate Punishment.
My advice is to get the audio book. The prose is rather dry for reading for more than a thirty minutes at a stretch.
In true Sophist fashion he gives the arguments for both sides on every issue remaining neutral until the last page. All weighing in on this issue should read it.
In researching this book Turrow traveled the world and interviewed politicians and law enforcement in numerous countries for their reasons to have or not have the death penalty.
It was Germany that gives the most compelling of all reasons; when he asked why they don't have the death penalty the person answered: "We will never give the government the right to kill people again."

Seems to me with the nastiness in government going on at local, state and federal levels wouldn't it be nice to take the power to execute people out of their hands. I would definitely never want to see Susan Martinez with this power.