Is this justice?

In April 2000, my dad was shot and killed. I’ve been through a lot of different phases related to this incident and I’ve obviously had a very different life because of it. The police caught the young men who shot my dad about a week after it happened and they went to prison. It was for a few years, the longest sentence was 30 years. As far as I know, the death penalty never entered into the conversation at the trial. In hindsight, I’m glad that it didn’t. At the time I was very conflicted and part of me believed that the death penalty was a means of serving justice and the another part of me believed that it was state sponsored murder.

Speaking in my own experiences and reflecting 11 years after my dad’s death, I don’t believe it would have made me feel any closure to know that the men involved were dead. I haven’t spoken to anyone else who has had a similar experience to mine to know what they would feel, but I’ll go out on a limb and say that I don’t think it provides many people with closure. I don’t think it provides society with closure. I believe that the death penalty is a relic of the old testament. At its core it is an eye for an eye policy. It is state sponsored murder.

I know there are varying beliefs related to the death penalty and its relevance. I’m simply presenting mine. In the wake of the uncertainty of Troy Davis’ execution I needed to make a decision. There are movements going on and activism is taking place. I want to be a part of that change because I don’t believe that murdering criminals does anything for our society.

American Civil Liberties Union

The Innocence Project

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