The Death Penalty Makes Killers of Us All

The Death Penalty Makes Killers of Us All

The Death Penalty Makes Killers of Us All

Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong? Jesus said, “You have heard it said, ‘An eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist one who is evil.” (Matt. 5:38-39).

As the use of capital punishment is on the decrease and being abolished around the world, why is it on the increase in the United States and in South Dakota? Only three countries in the Western Hemisphere still actively use the death penalty: Cuba in 2003, St. Kitts & Nevis in 2008, and the United States 40 – times this year, including two here in South Dakota. As we mourn the victims, the wife of one, the mother of the other, as well as their families, and are concerned for the executioners and the effects that these executions have on all who are involved, where is our concern for the mothers and families of the more that half million babies under the age of two who died in Iraq from lack of medication and proper foods because of the sanctions that we placed on Iraq in the 1990’s? Where is the concern for the families of the more than a million people who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq because we attacked them after we were attacked by 19 hijackers, 15 who were Saudis, one Egyptian, one Lebanese and two from the United Arab Emirates? Where is the concern for our troops and their families?

It has been said that Misters Robert and Moeller asked to be executed. They were both suffering from long incarceration but had never come to grips with the wrong that they had done. I asked recently at a medical conference and also a couple of times at Doctor on Call from South Dakota Public Television, why, when a patient is terminally ill and suffering greatly, do we not allow assisted suicide? No one wanted to address this question. So I ask, if assisted suicide is not right for a terminally ill person who is suffering, why would the State assist in suicide with these two persons who were also suffering, mentally?
From where comes the culture of violence that permeates our country and state? We like to call ourselves Christian and wear that Christianity on our sleeve, but when will we practice the teaching that Jesus gave us?
–Lannie Stricherz is a friend of the South Dakota Peace & Justice Center and a resident of Sioux Falls
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About sdpeacejustice

The SD Peace & Justice Center connects a grassroots network of South Dakotans working for social justice and against violence and oppression.
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