I think that the Kenny Richey case is a perfect example of why on a practical level the death penalty is totally and utterly wrong. Apparently there was an occasion when he was an hour away from being executed before being given a reprieve. Surely there is no justification for executing an innocent, or even possibly innocent, person. One of the many things that the American right-wing red-necks and Daily Mail readers have in common is that they confuse Justice with Revenge. Justice is only justice when the higher and pure moral ground is taken. State murder is just as wrong as murder by an individual. What right has any person to take the life of another? If you say ‘none’ then you are arguing against the death penalty. If you say ‘some’ or ‘plenty’ then you are saying that murder is acceptable, therefore why are you making it as a crime and one punishable by death at that?
For those of a religious disposition, who believe in a creator god, to take the life of anyone is a blasphemy. You are setting yourself up as an equal to your god. From what I know of the mainstream religions it’s not the done thing. For those of us that don’t need the crutch that is religion, but care about humanity, it would be hypocritical to preach that something is wrong and then go and do the self same thing. Legitimising it under the framework of law doesn’t make it any more justifiable, or any less abhorrent. And for those a little more intellectually challenged (Sun readers etc.), two wrongs don’t make a right!
As I write this blog, Kenny Richey is apparently quite ill it would be a bitter irony indeed if he did not make it to become a free man.