Trivializing capital punishment
Q: Was the Utah attorney general wrong to use Twitter, or religious language, to describe an execution? With all our technology, are we losing sight of our humanity? Should matters of life and death be reduced to a tweet?
That the United States is among the few progressive western countries to still use capital punishment is shocking and unacceptable. An eye for an eye, my grandfather, M. K. Gandhi said, makes the whole world blind.
What Utah's attorney General recently did by frivolously tweeting the execution of a convicted murderer is morally and ethically indefensible and shows the erosion of one's own humanity. I am reminded for the second time today of the prophetic words of Booker T. Washington who said: To hold someone down in the gutter, we have to be in the gutter ourselves. These are not his exact words but this is what he meant.
In painting the murderer as a "bad guy who deserves to die" the attorney general has himself become a "bad guy." To be so insensitive about another human life is repugnant. It raises some very important questions that we seem not to want to confront. Does "progress" only mean material progress? Is it enough that we have all the wealth in the world and everything that money can buy? Should one's moral standing be measured by the number of times one goes to a Church, a Mosque or a Temple? Or should it be measured by one's life and actions?
Until we face these questions and resolve them civilization and humanity are going to be meaningless and empty words.
June 22, 2010; 2:51 PM ET
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