Friday, January 28, 2011

Political Decisions

Yesterday I was asked to be part of Oregon Citizen's Against the Death Penalty. This request kind of took me by surprise, because until then I didn't really know where I stood on the side of this issue. The person requesting my membership is one of my professors from Grad School and I had taken a course about Criminal Justice issues in his class over 5 years ago. Perhaps in that class my opinion on this issue was very present. I am thinking that since I became a mommy lots of my opinions have changed. I just got done reading a book this past week written by a lawyer, Andrea Lyons. She is nicknamed the "Angel of Death Row." This book had very many statements that really made me think. It has also made me think in regards to how I feel about the death penalty and the way it supports/doesn't support my religious beliefs. She begins her book by quoting a story from the bible in regards to letting some guilty go instead of one innocent killed. This pulls at my heart strings. Jesus died on the cross for my sins, yet the man was perfect.

This post might be a sort of ramble, however, I am hoping that it causes your mind to process a few minor questions. Should we continue to use a criminal justice system and allow them to execute people when the system continues to have many flaws? Is it better for someone to be killed than to live life forever in prison? What would be a just model for someone that killed a member of your family? I just don't know where I stand on this issue.

Another topic of debate that is swimming in my mind this morning is how to tell kids about prisons. Growing up prisons were where my step-dad worked. Scary guys lived there and he kept them from getting out. How do you explain to a kid that someone they love is in prison? How do you explain to them that they can't go and visit there?