Death Penalty vs. Life Penalty?
I was really struck while reading Doing Life this week, especially Tyrone Werts' assertion that the criminal justice system is something akin to slavery--we can oppose certain elements of it, like the death penalty, as cruel and unusual punishment, but we are complicit in allowing the whole, flawed system to continue. I have always considered myself very against the death penalty, since I think it is entirely inhumane and torturous, as well as hypocritical. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, and so on. I'd always just figured that the better alternative was to keep someone imprisoned for a life sentence, where they wouldn't be able to get out and commit another heinous crime, but where they would have a chance to continue their lives and better themselves. Tyrone Werts complicates this for me. Is it really ever okay to lock someone up and throw away the key for the rest of their life? I am still fully against the death penalty, and hope to work to see it repealed in all states across the US, but maybe more attention should also be paid to an anti-life sentence movement--as we have seen, it is an incredibly damaging and often unfair practice, almost as much so as the death penalty is.