Let me say first that I'm opposed to the death penalty as it is actually practiced in the United States. In theory, I support the death penalty. I have no problem with the execution of a person who has taken the life of another. It is not that I'm a vengeful person, actually quite the opposite, but I do believe that ones life becomes forfeit when they take the life of another. It might be better said that I don't necessarily care what happens to someone after they commit the most unforgivable of sins.
However, I do not condone the death penalty as practiced. My reasoning is thus:
- It needs to be applied uniformly and fairly and it is not. Minorities and the poor face a much larger percentage of executions.
- Mistakes happen. Innocent men have been executed. And as soon as you execute someone, there is no taking it back. I believe that if one innocent man is executed it is one too many.
- I don't think its all that bad. Maybe it's because I don't really fear death, but to me, it would be much worse to waste away in prison for the rest of my life.
Christian groups have been calling for compassion. But if we as a society are going to condone the death penalty, I see little reason why the state should show compassion. If Tookie is indeed reformed, than these Christian groups should take solace that he will find compassion in the eyes of God. But lets let God make that determination, not the state.