main idea: capital punishment is trusting the state to make life and death choices for citizens
Benjamin Franklin once said “There are only two things certain in life: death and taxes”. With the 2021 tax deadline just behind us in our rearview mirrors it seems fitting to talk about the other certainty, death. Or, more specifically the death penalty.
This has been a topic of conversation in South Carolina for several months now. Last year, 2021, our legislature passed, and our governor signed, a bill that would allow for Death Row Inmates to choose how their execution would be carried out if lethal injection drugs were not available. They could choose either the electric chair or a firing squad. Yes, you read/heard that correctly- a firing squad. On March 18, 2022 (last month) the South Carolina Department of Corrections announced that it had finished its preparations, and that it is now able to carry out execution by firing squad.
And so here we are. It was announced on April 15 that Robert Bernard Moore, who was convicted and sentenced to death in the 1999 killing of a convenience store clerk, had chosen the firing squad as his method of execution and the date was set for April 29. Yesterday the South Carolina Supreme Court issued a temporary stay of execution, blocking South Carolina from carrying out its first ever execution by firing squad. Moore’s attorneys cited pending litigation in which they are challenging the constitutionality of the State’s execution methods. As they should.
So I (Kasie) wrote two blogs on this for the SCLP. One, last February (2021) I was crazy pissed. Here’s the link. The second was today, and while I was less angry with lawmakers, I was just as angry with the hypocrites (link). This afternoon, sitting by my neighbor’s pool, I talked about the topics of both blogs with H. A very astute nearly 14-year-old, HB observed:
- The state gets shit wrong a LOT. So how can we trust them to get this right? (I, Jessica, personally know a Death Row survivor. Charles Wakefield, Jr. was framed, charged, convicted and sentenced for a crime he did not commit. He spent 35 years in prison waiting to be executed before finally being paroled. He is actively working with a group of attorneys to clear his name. You can read more about his story here, and be sure to check out the Murder Etc Podcast)
- The punishment doesn’t fit the crime here. Why haven’t we appealed the sentence?
- Addiction is a sickness. Shouldn’t we try to help people who are sick?
Okay, so on the taxes bit, we just want to mention this having been the week we supposedly rendered unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. And yet …
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