D. and I just sat and watched the end of a CSI episode and we came to talk about which states in America has the death penalty, since the program takes place in Nevada. I had to google it, to answer his question, and we were totally appalled when we saw the map, and how many states actually have the death penalty still in the US. Even worse, is the fact, that lethal injection seems to be regarded as a humane way of killing a person. Humane? How can the killing of a human being be humane?
When one googles the fact, it turns out that most of the drugs used, are manufactured in Europe and the companies making them, does not want to sell to the US, when it has become apparent to them what they are being used for. Good for the EU! But what method will the United States of America resort to using then, to kill their citizens? An electric chair which does not guarantee death? Gas chamber like the Nazis did to the Jews? Firing squad like in WWI, when you had deserted the front and the battle? Or hanging, the way which has been used throughout centuries?
Whichever the method, it is ghastly. What punishment can equal the crime committed? And what if the crime was not committed by the supposed criminal executed? D. asked me what the age of execution must be. So I searched and found out that 10 days after D-day, in 1944, a 14-year-old boy was executed in South Carolina. A child in other words. In the middle of fighting in the Pacific and in Europe, there was time to have a child killed. His life, for the lives of two girls. But when one looks closer at the boy, one realizes that there will have been a gross injustice done. One of these cases, where you can’t give a person his life back, once you’ve taken it.
George Stinney, was 14 years old and out in his garden with his sister. The two girls, an 11-year-old and one of 8 years, stopped and talked to them. Shortly after that, the two girls were murdered and it was decided that George was the murderer. Because the girls were white. George was black. Three grown police men, got him to confess, down in South Carolina. And after a two-hour trial, he was sentenced to death. Even though there was no evidence what so ever, that he had been involved. And he was electrocuted, sitting on a Bible as a booster seat. He was so tiny that the mask put on him, slipped off and he slipped out of the restraints when convulsing.
What could a little frightened 14-year-old do when three scary policemen intimidated him, but confess to whatever they wanted him to confess to. Worse than the inquisition. Even Galileo denied that the Earth circles around the Sun, under that sort of pressure. Now, 70 years after the execution, his sentence has been “vacated”. In other words, had he been sitting in prison, they would finally have released him on insufficient evidence. But he has been dead for 70 years. He has been declared innocent but for what purpose? Who cares? What is the point? It’s like if Hitler had suddenly said, a weak little “sorry” after killing millions of Jews. Its pointless. It doesn’t bring the person back to life. It doesn’t change a thing. But there is still time to do something about the death penalty. It is an outdated form of punishment that teaches nothing but that it is alright to kill your fellow human being!