Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tennessee to resurrect Ol' Sparky

Yes, it had to be a state in the south to do it.

Tennessee has proclaimed that in the event the state can't find any good death drugs for sale they will dust off the electric chair for future executions. Nevermind that the inmates facing death sentences were sentenced under a regime in which the sole legal method of execution was lethal injection. That's just a nasty little technicality I'm sure.

Interestingly enough, Tennessee hasn't murdered an inmate since 2010 and the next execution isn't scheduled until this November. I get the impression that killing inmates isn't high on the list of priorities in the Volunteer State.

So is this new bill, sponsored by Republican state Senator Ken Yager and signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam, really about murdering inmates or is it just a way to push a few buttons among voters heading into this fall's election?

One thing is for certain, except for those hardcore folks who love to the see the state carry out its power to take the lives of others, most people will be appalled by the prospect of the electric chair coming back to life.

The entire debate on the acquisition of drugs for lethal injection misses the point. It's not about who's making the drugs and where the states are going to buy them. It's not about the purity levels or the efficacy of the drugs. The point is that the rest of world (save the United States, China, North Korea and the Muslim world) has made a decision that it is not just for the state to take the life of an inmate. Those nations who have abolished the death penalty understand that it serves no purpose other than to satisfy bloodlust.

There is a reason that the United States loves to shake its fists at other countries and drop bombs with abandon. There is a reason that our leaders have no problem murdering innocent men, women and children with drone and missile attacks.

It's all about compassion for our fellow man. The ultimate sign of compassion is to allow a person to live after taking the life of another. For those of y'all still wedded to your superstitious beliefs, most of the world's religions teach that forgiveness is divine. Yet, despite the rhetoric from the far right that we are a "christian" nation, the concept of forgiveness is largely ignored.

Our continued insistence on the use of the death penalty is a true reflection of our fundamental lack of compassion as a society.


Lee said...

Just use a sword

bail agent vegas said...

I see "old Sparkey" as a major crime deterrant. I'm for it. Hanging is another form that needs to make a resurgence, even here in the state of Nevada.