Thursday, March 29, 2012

Update: Texas kills again (and again and again)

Rick Perry can put another notch in his belt and his wingnut supporters can whoop even louder the next time he brags about how many people he's killed.

Jesse Hernandez was convicted of a heinous crime. He killed a baby. His actions ruined a family. There is no excuse. There is no way to get around the fact of what he did.

But it doesn't mean the State of Texas was justified in committing another murder.

It's easy to stand up to challenge the death penalty when the man strapped up to the gurney is innocent - or if there's enough doubt to raise serious questions about the proceedings that got him to that point. It's much harder to raise your voice against the death penalty when the man strapped to the gurney committed a horrible crime.

I would hope that at some point in the near future we, as a society, can get over our bloodlust for Old Testament revenge. What separates us from the other animals on this planet is our ability to think and reason. But when it comes to state-sponsored murder, we retreat back to our caves and our fires.

The murder of Mr. Hernandez did not magically bring anyone back to life. His death did not fill the hole that child's mother will live with the rest of her days. It didn't erase the memory of that tragic event.

It was just another killing. It was one killing too many.

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