The late A. Leon Higginbotham, the first African American judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, elaborated on the death penalty double standard in his book, "In the Matter of Color, the Colonial Period." If a slave killed his master or another white person, or raped a white woman, the penalty was automatic death. If a white person killed or raped a slave, the punishment might be imprisonment or a fine. Most crimes by whites against slaves went unpunished.
Recently, when we discussed this issue, I mentioned how Ms. Rust-Tierney had helped me realize something. The idea that capital punishment is wrong just doesn't work for many people. For me, it's the chief reason for opposition, but for those who don't agree with that, the racial disparity in its application, the possibility of executing an innocent person, as well as the exorbitant cost involved can be persuasive. What do you think about that? If you believed capital punishment is acceptable, could you be swayed by these other considerations?
In the HuffPo article, there's a Martin Luther King quote, which I found delightful. Of course I would like it because it perfectly supports my view. The death penalty is just plain wrong.
In the 20th Century, death penalty abolition was embraced by major civil rights movement figures. Ebony Magazine quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1957 as saying, "I do not think God approves the death penalty for any crime -- rape or murder included. God's concern is to improve individuals and bring them to the point of conversion. Even criminology has repudiated the motive of punishment in favor of reformation of the criminal. Shall a good God harbor resentment? Since the purpose of jailing a criminal is that of reformation rather than retribution - improving him rather than paying him back for some crime that he has done -- it is highly inconsistent to take the life of a criminal. How can he improve if his life is taken? Capital punishment is against the best judgment of modern criminology and, above all, against the highest expression of love in the nature of God."What's your opinion?