Welcome to #90mStrong Mondays. Each week we’ll share a story from one of the 90 million people who opposes the death penalty. Are you one of the #90mstrong? Raise your voice to put an end to the death penalty! Share your story at NCADP.tumblr.com.
This morning I read the line, “Anyone can stand for their truth in a closet,” (T. Lescher). The implication being, of course, that whatever closet I’ve been in - whatever beliefs I’ve not been brave enough to share and stand up proclaiming - now is the time to open that door and stand tall. Even if it means being vulnerable.
OK, I’ll bite. Something I’ve been hesitant to share, but am beginning to feel compelled to speak about: A growing interest in the movement to abolish the death penalty. Recognizing that this ultimate eye-for-an-eye punishment does not “fix” anything. It doesn’t solve anything, it doesn’t heal anyone, it doesn’t deter crime, it doesn’t bring back victims, and it costs a LOT more than life in prison... It circumvents and effectively prevents restoration of the web, and, in my opinion, with our system of delays of years and years with death hanging over one’s head, constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
Close to home: In the Missouri case of John Middleton, scheduled to die on July 16th, according to Middleton’s attorney Joseph Perkovich, in February 2014 an eyewitness came forward exonerating Middleton. However, due to a variety of reasons, including potential conflict of interest of those involved in that prosecution, an independent Board of Inquiry has not yet been convened. Why not? The wrongful death of one man is too many. What if it were me, or you, sitting in that cell, with all that I’ve done for ill brought to public light, and the weight of wrongful prosecution tied around my neck? Would you speak for me? Would I speak for you?
I would not circumvent justice or try to escape responsibility or accountability for that which has been done, for myself or for any other. But I would ask for restorative justice, so that true healing may begin for all involved.
Kansas City, Missouri