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8 Reasons to Abolish the Death Penalty by Rocket Kirchner


Image by Leo Reynolds via Flickr

by Rocket Kirchner
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rocket Kirchner (blog)
Rocket Kirchner (youtube channel)
November 17, 2013

When the Supreme Court passed Gregg verse Georgia in 1976 it gave the states the right to have the death penalty back again. At first just a few states adopted it. Then many more did. Capital punishment was back in vogue. Here are 8 reasons why it is ethically, constitutionally, spiritually, and practically a disaster, and why it must be abolished.

The 8th Amendment — the 8th makes it crystal clear that it is unconstitutional to have cruel and unusual punishment. If the death penalty is not cruel and unusual then I don’t know what is. Of course many state legislators to sell the death penalty to the voters have tried to make killing more humane. This of course is nonsense. Any way you kill a person, no matter how antiseptic it looks is cruel, and that includes lethal injection.

  • 8 or more innocent men have been put to death. In fact, since we know so much about DNA, you could say that over the course of American history it is more like 80 to 800 to 8,000. Think about it, innocent human beings killed by their own country.
  • 8 children or more have had an older brother executed by the state. What does that teach children? It makes them angry and bitter and teaches them that killing is not only OK but is sanctioned by a governmental body that is an authority figure.
  • 8 wrongs don’t make a right. They never have and never will. Bad math.
  • 8 million dollars and much more it cost the tax payers for endless appeals to those on death row. Seems to me that those tax dollars could be used for something more constructive in rebuilding our country. What a waste of money.
  • 8 rhymes with hate. Americans just love their beloved death penalty, because most of our countrymen love to hate. And the families of the victims actually think that it will even up the score. If they took the time to talk to other families who went through the same thing, they would find out that seeing the alleged killer die actually does not change a thing. It doesn’t even work to even up or end their pain. The closure myth is just that, a myth.
  • The 8th chapter of the Gospel of John. The big wig religious powers that be and a group of men with stones in their hands caught a women in the act of adultery (or so they said). They sought to trap Jesus. Jesus was honoring the Law of Moses, but also preaching love and forgiveness. So they asked him what to do. He said, “He who is without sin, cast the first stone”. Notice, he did not say to not stone her. He said that you must be without sin to do it. Hence the Law and divine mercy move in paradox. Find me a stronger statement against the death penalty and I will eat my Bible.
  • 8 x 8 = 64. The 64,000 question is this? In the light of what I have just written, can you name one good thing that the death penalty accomplishes?

Suggested Links:




The Closure Myth

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3 Responses

  1. […] The Death Penalty — Myself being an anti-death penalty advocate, I was recently at a symposium on the matter, and was really surprised to hear that Kansas was the […]

  2. I’d say you’ve ticked our moral boxes pretty adequately here, Rocket. Seems to me John was an authentic Daoist, wiser than most.

    I don’t believe any human can claim to be an arbiter of final justice. We don’t even know what that can possibly mean, really.

    • David , agreed … Lao Tsu all the way ….. and there is no doubt when someone adds up what is called ”The Hidden Tax” how much money is involved . i left some pretty good links on that and the ”Closure myth” from familys victims that thought it would close the book on the whole nightmare, when it did the opposite.

      John 8 is a real interesting encounter story … as i have referenced from various commentarys . As the religious powers that be tried to trap Jesus with the LAW verses Grace thing , he did not even raise his head to talk to them . he shined them on . in that culture to not raise your head is like saying –i wont dignify this . then he made the famous statement ”he who is without sin , cast the first stone ”, then Jesus lowered back his head.

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