opnion: death penalty

Hunter Gray hunterbadbear at earthlink.net
Sun Sep 9 15:36:25 MDT 2001

George Snedeker has asked for List opinions on the death penalty. Here is
mine, within the framework of what is called the United States:

Although I'm not a pacifist and certainly support the right of self-defense,
armed and otherwise [e.g., against attacks by racists, company thugs etc], I
am totally opposed to the state [Federal and state] endorsed and sanctioned
and implemented death penalty. My opposition stems from my moral objections
as a humanist, my conviction as a sociologist that the death penalty does
not deter and may well encourage violence, my awareness as an activist that
it is drenched in racial and social class and political and other dimensions
of rank prejudice and discrimination, and my awareness as a person that
countless mistakes are made in the identification and conviction of persons
in capital crimes and otherwise.

Our whole family has, in fact, for generations always vigorously opposed the
death penalty.

Idaho gives the condemned several options, including the firing squad  --
and that frontier touch would certainly be my choice should it ever come to
that.  Of the 4100 Americans who signed a call for a death penalty
moratorium -- published a year or so ago in the New York Times -- only ten
signatories were from Idaho:  myself and eight other individuals plus a
Benedictine Order.  Obviously, we have our work cut out for us in the Gem
State -- as well as nationally.

Hunter Gray [Hunterbear]

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