Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Capital Punishment in the Caribbean PT 2- Just pay for it!

In response to a letter posted in regards to the first part of the "Capital Punishment in the Caribbean" series (the article posted on Caribbean Net News on the 8th of Dec 2008 and the letter on the 9th, 2008), I took the liberty of hastening the second part of the material to deal with a third part of the Capital Punishment proponents' debate, which was left unaddressed.

While I admit the first article was extremely lengthy. This follow up, would promise to be as intellectually fulfilling as well as respond to the letter and present the second half of my stance against Capital Punishment, to a tee--and respond to the focal point of the author of the letter--while not being as fustian as the former

I would just like to start off on his letter, first, with what the author stated as his main point; "No one is suggesting that the death penalty is the solution to crime in the Caribbean"....in fact, yes, yes folks were and are trying to make the deterrent argument. And, hence, my rebuttal on that line of argument on the debate, especially in regards to the Caribbean and saying quite loudly, again, that it is not an argument--along with all of the relevant points mentioned. End of story!

The letter stated, quite candidly, Capital Punishment--while persons agree that is no determinant as it being a deterrent to crime-- is not about deterrence, but, about "justice". Sounds allot like president G.W. Bush after 9-11, doesn't it? To this date, the persons wanted and sought for for "justice" have not been caught. While that part of the argument is tangential, of course, I would advance to say, as well, that "justice" in that sense and in the sense of murder and Capital Punishment, is subjective.

This leads me to the crux of my position in this second part essay: since capital punishment, is rooted in the idea of justice to the criminal and for the victim who lost their life, then who's to say that everyone feels that capital punishment, should be a tool for everyone and for every victim's family who where killed?

Are the mouth pieces for capital punishment, speaking on behalf of all persons who were murdered and their families? I happen to think not. Also, are they speaking, especially in the Caribbean, from their King James version of the New Testament? "Christians" following the true teachings of "Jesus Christ"?? I don't think so either. I thought Christ taught us to love and forgive? Perhaps its not the same bible we share and not the same brand of "Christianity" we ascribe to.

Since, folks like me, and, the proponents for the death penalty, like Dudley Sharp- the author of the letter response to my first article- have differing views on what's "just" in the penal codes world wide, perhaps, the proponents would do something that would be palatable to me, as an anti-death penalty proponent and a tax paying citizen who would have to pay for the execution and that is, simply, pay for their killer's execution--if they want added value to the punishment, as capital punishment is. The pro-death folks should; assist with the legal proceedings; administer the lethal injection; throw the switch on ol'e sparky and/or; pull the lever on the gallows. Sounds fair to me. Don't let the tax payers who are not in favour if the death penalty, pay for your justice the way "you think" it should be applied. The pro-death penalty proponents, should start a little kitty in the corner of their homes for death day prep-- sort of like a "swear jar". That sounds reasonable. We, as tax payers, pay for enough "stuff" we have no value for, we should not pay for individual brands of justice for folks who don't have the guts or the ability to kill a murder for themselves and rather, choose to let the tax payers and the system, do it for them.

Here is where we are now with this debate, as Mr. Sharp has just admitted to- 1. the debate is not about what deters crime and 2. it is not about what's "just" as it is subjective-- more so, who knows what exactly the "true" victim would be feeling? After all, they are dead and at the point of the great beyond-- or where ever you believe people go after they pass away! (Condolences to all the victims who have been slaughtered and their families, and in no way am I being flippant about murder)

Just pay for it i say. Every red cent and every hair follicle on that rope and for every volt charged, pay for it. Participate in it, if you wish and if that makes you feel complete. However, don't tell me, ever, that in the Caribbean region in particular, where we seem to create more criminals than we do college graduates, all in a system handed down to use to our disadvantage, that capital punishment--especially in regards to the persons pre-disposed to commit murder and crime; young adult males-- don't deserve justice for being a product of their environment and working within a system which was not created for them primarily.

That is the underlying theme of my argument--we in the Caribbean, have an economic and social system, that works against young adult males. Black America has that issue as well and White America, has just now come to grips with the issues regarding their social and economic frameworks for exclusion which binds many a folk.

Yes. We have a president Obama. Yes. We do have a host of other prominent black men. They are, for the most part, exceptions--and extraordinary exceptions at that--to the rule. They too understand that all don't make it. They too understand, or, at least we hope so, that some will never have the opportunity to see the light of day on their face, let alone have an opportunity to reject it's radiance. This is why president elect Obama and people like him, resonate with the people--he too knows, he too felt and he too knows what to do about some of the systems of injustices, which most are non racial, but, seem to effect race and gender more than anything else.

Regardless of the excuses and exceptions to the rule some of us may have, in the words of the Rev. Jesse Jackson--and I am in no way a supporter of him-- "we have more work to do"...(this was after he had dealt with the situation of the Jena six)

Let's not, especially in the Caribbean, neglect the issues to how do we go about preventing crime and reducing the levels of criminals, fit for actual punishment and quite sadly after the fact--when all sides know, full well and very clearly, it is not a deterrent and never will be a deterrent. We don't save lives that way at all. And, don't waste people's time and money. Point blank!

To say again, we have a problem region wide and black males, in particular, have an issue with ingratiating themselves into the normal society in the western world. Why would I want for anyone, to take their eye off of not working towards rectifying the wrongs they have inflicted upon these urban young males and not have ear to what is the real solution?

And, no, don't cry me a river. And, no, I won't cry a river for myself. I'm a lucky one- at least so far. However, there are those out there, who need someone to articulate and speak for them, who understand the issues, rather than someone who will not. And, at the same time, neglect duties to make for a better life as opposed to making clear way for the destruction and discarding of human life in totality. Such a pitiful waste!

No Sir, readers. Mr. Sharp is wrong on this one. Dead wrong, indeed!

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