2:01 AM

In two hours New England will commit murder for the first time in 45 years. Which, coincidentally, was the same year that Michael Ross – the man Connecticut is set to murder this morning in a few hours – was born.

I am not sure that Michael Ross does not deserve to die. I am not sure it is not better for humanity that he will no longer be alive. It is very likely that the families of the women he raped and murdered think so.

But I am uncomfortable with the idea that the state of Connecticut, under order of our federal government, is having to play G-d. How can any human being – by our very essence, flawed and imperfect – can say for certain that any other human being deserves to die? Our justice system presumes that we can’t – hence the concept of “beyond a reasonable doubt” that is our litmus test for determining guilt.


~ by realsupergirl on May 13, 2005.

6 Responses to “2:01 AM”

  1. I detest the death penalty in all its forms…but I would point out that this seems to be happening in Connecticut, not Massachusetts.

    It doesn’t matter, I know, but thought I’d say it.

  2. Good point. I’ll correct it.

    How is it justice when Texas kills dozens of prisoners every year, and no one from ALL OVER New England is excuted for 45 years? Should whether you live or die really be determined by what freaking state you live in, or commit your crime in?

  3. Of course not.

    I worked for Amnesty International for years. I worked really hard against the death penalty, and I’ve come to the highly uncomfortable realization that some folks just like the idea of killing people.

    All the rational arguments for the death penalty can be easily refuted — it’s not a deterrent, it’s not justly applied, etc. — with simple research. It’s not even hard. There have been studies that show that crime rates RISE in states that adopt the death penalty.

    I don’t think there’s anything truly rational about the urge to punish by death. I think it’s irrational and based in the old reptile brain/limbic system reactions.

    For that reason, I’ve stopped trying to justify my stand to those I run into who remain in favor of it. I just tell them it’s a religious thing for me — you know, like the folks who don’t believe in abortion rights?

    That usually shuts them up.

    And then, I keep working on abolition wherever I can.

  4. I have serious doubts about the death penalty myself, but this particular case seems a bit different to me – namely, it seems like he *wants* to die. I’m generally okay with assisted suicide, and that seems closer to what’s going on here. There does seem to be the argument that being under the death penalty screwed him up, but I guess they spent a bunch of time trying to figure it out.

    I guess now I can sort of see the argument against assisted suicide, because it places the assistent in a position of deciding “is this a good reason to die or not?” Which is going to be a flawed decision, because we’re all human and flawed.

  5. Does he want to die or has he accepted his fate – that he was sentenced to die? I’m not sure we can ever know at this point. But when sentenced to die I imagine you only have two choices – accept it or fight it. And he fought it, and then ran out of fight. If he really wanted to die, would he have fought it at all?

  6. People can change their minds, so I don’t think this change of mind necessarily indicates whether he actually wants to die or he was just tired of fighting. But, yep, no way to know for sure, and certainly not at this point.

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