Thursday, February 16, 2012
Dear Sis~Yesterday the prison was locked down all day for the standard "mock execution", the practice run which occurs a week prior to the actual premeditated killing. For the mock execution they lock down the joint, bring in an array of big wigs, and go through a dry run to make sure the death machine is in working order, everyone on their toes. The big wigs are just voyeurs, here to vicariously kill someone while allowing themselves the bare moral cover of not actually pushing the knife between the ribs. Their minions do the actual dirty deed while they can go home with technically clean hands. These mock executions are as depressing as the real thing, in the sense that it's dispiriting to watch an entire organization (a prison, with all its constituent parts) so seriously dedicate their time and energies to practice killing a fellow human being, as if this is a good and natural thing to do. It takes some peculiar mental (not to mention moral) gymnastics to justify this to oneself, but we humans have proven ourselves immensely adept at self-delusion and hypocrisy, especially when we bring religion into the equation. We are really, really good at killing others in the name of God. We are a strange species, aren't we? To those who argue that the death penalty isn't killing (or murder, which is merely a legal definition) because it is all done "according to the law", I'd remind them that the Nazis did everything they did "according to the law". The Nazis, for all their terrible deeds, were sticklers for following the law; they found their refuge in the law, meticulously following the letter of the law before they enslaved and/or executed their victims. "We were just following the law" is a lame excuse when you are the one writing the laws in the first instance...
Godspeed to Gabby Gifford who is retiring after her term expires. I hope one day she'll resume her life of public service 'cuz this nation needs a lot more like her.
Gotta go, Sis, I've got work to do. Be good and keep smiling!
Light & Love,Bill