|I've x posted this, please help get this around
||[Dec. 2nd, 2005|07:06 pm]
The Fellowship of Reconciliation
End the Death Penalty: 1,000 Executions Is Enough
2 a.m. today, December 1, 2005, the state of North Carolina carried out the 1,000th execution since capital punishment was re-instated in the United States in 1976.
The death of Kenneth Boyd is a tragic landmark that will likely be followed tonight by the execution of Shawn Humphries in South Carolina. And there are four more executions scheduled through December 14, making it a very busy season for the legalized killing business. (For upcoming executions, see the Web site of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
The Fellowship of Reconciliation joins people of all faiths in declaring the death penalty to be immoral, arbitrary, ineffective, and deeply flawed. The death penalty makes fatal mistakes: 122 people have been freed from death row due to evidence of wrongful conviction. The death penalty makes it possible for human error or prejudice to send innocent persons to their deaths and the likelihood of an innocent person being executed is almost a certainty.
The death penalty is expensive when compared to its alternative - life without parole. And it clearly doesn't deter crime. More importantly, it discriminates against poor people and people of color, who comprise the overwhelming majority of death row inmates.
But the most compelling arguments against the death penalty are moral, ethical, and religious. The death penalty requires humans to assume a power that belongs only to the divine being. The death penalty eliminates forever the possibility of redemption, rehabilitation, or hope.
"It dismisses forever the healing possibility of love and respect," said Pat Clark, executive director of FOR. "As people of religious and ethical conscience, we seek the restoration and renewal of wrongdoers, not their deaths."
One of the people scheduled to die in the next ten days is Stanley "Tookie" Williams, the former Crips gang leader who transformed his life while in prison and dedicated himself to ending gang violence and steering young people away from criminal activity. Williams has written nine children's books, been nominated many times for the Nobel Peace Prize, and received an award for his volunteer work from President Bush.
Only California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger can save Tookie Williams. The governor has agreed to a clemency hearing on Dec. 8 - five days before the execution. Time is therefore of the utmost importance. Please go to www.savetookie.org for information on how to reach Gov. Schwarzenegger and to sign the online clemency petition. Help end the death penalty nationwide by working in your community. See www.ncadp.org.