Are we executing those who most need our help?

Many people will look and say . . . “You’re just trying to justify what he did.” But every single system has failed them. The family has failed them, the schools have failed them, the juvenile justice system has failed them, the mental health system has failed them, the religious systems have failed them. Every single system. . . . People are groomed for death row like the Kennedys are groomed for congress.

Aundre Herron (Attorney, California Appellate Project)



8 thoughts on “Are we executing those who most need our help?”

    1. Yeah, absolutely not… Many people forget that when we talk about the death penalty, we’re not talking about executing heinous crimes — we’re executing people. And the people who committed those crimes are complex. If you tell a lie, you’re not just a liar. If you kill somebody, you’re not just a killer. Then there’s also the big question, nicely encapsulated in the quote, about what led them to kill in the first place. Definitely not just a matter of motive.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I must respectfully disagree here. At what point do we hold adult people responsible for their adult behaviors that cause pain and damage to others? The last thing that people with no conscience need is more people to make excuses for them. The belief that people who have reached the point where there is a government-sanctioned execution awaiting them are fixable (not the innocents screwed over by the legal system of course) is rather naive in my opinion. Of course it’s never “that simple” but how much havoc must one wreak before you overstay your welcome on this planet because life isn’t fair? Just a differing opinion, no malice intended.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries, this is absolutely a valid point. I think it’s all about trying to find the fine balance. I would surely never advocate of stripping perpetrators of all blame, except in the case where their mental state is completely ravaged by something like severe and untreated paranoid schizophrenia. After all, we have free will. Not everyone dealt with a bad set of cards will end up taking the same course of action. On the other end of the spectrum, we also want to avoid a criminal justice system that callously disregards the complex factors that have led a criminal to that state. It’s a call to address root causes such as racial inequity, the ailing juvenile system, lack of access to mental health care, etc…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Absolutely! If the roots of the problems would be addressed then the “end game” (so to speak) wouldn’t be very much of an issue. I’ll gladly hand over my checking account balance and my favorite teddy bear from childhood to the genius who can formulate and put into action a workable solution everyone can agree on. Honey Bear is a really great bear! *she says enticingly*


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