GUEST: Scott Langley, lead organizer for The Abolitionist Action Committee, an organization devoted to ending the death penalty in the US., talks about this summer's vigil and fast in front of the US Supreme Court.
How to make the right argument against the death penalty? We have all used different tactics with different people. Not interested in considering racism against African Americans? Look at the expense of killing someone versus long term imprisonment. It is a waste of taxpayer dollars!
Perhaps building a constituency for any reform is done this same way. Conjure up enough good arguments, and we have built the critical mass of people needed to force a change in governmental policy.
But what if all murders were treated in the same way? Murdering our neighbor might be considered economically bad for the community, and therefore a crime. I don't think that is the reason why almost all societies have banned the killing of neighbors. It has more to do with the collective lessons of civilization as expressed through religion and philosophy. Thou shalt not kill.
America has made so many exceptions to this basic principal that we have ended up being a murderous state. Obviously, the killing of Native Americans and Blacks have been tolerated for hundreds of years, and sometimes even encouraged by politicians looking for votes. Our ever expanding empire has more and more enemies, all categorized as violent terrorists and placed on the President's drone hit lists. In a country so obsessed with whom to kill, why should we be surprised that our state officially murders people, and in large numbers.