Around the end of March, in another landmark, hasty and cowardly decision, the Colorado legislature decided to table the proposed bill to abolish the death penalty in Colorado. After 9 hours of testimony, and strong legislative support, our Governor stated that he was not in support of the bill and therefore it was tabled.
The issue of the death penalty is a very volatile topic and usually provokes strong argument from both sides. In recent months several states have moved to abolish the death penalty. Why the change now? I can only speculate, however, there has been much publicity over the wrongful convictions of inmates who were currently on death row. How can we, as a nation, justify putting a man to death who may very well be innocent? That is a very logical, powerful and reasonable argument. There is yet a NEW VOICE that has risen that may surprise you. That is the voice of victims families who DO NOT WANT THE DEATH PENALTY. In an interview one man, who's son was killed on the job, told the reporter that in the beginning he wanted the death penalty for his sons murderer. As the years passed and his anger subsided, he realized that the death of one man does not atone for the death of another man. "There is no eye for an eye. It don't make it right and it don't pay for my sons life. Nothing can pay for that."
Many, with strong religious convictions, have sought spiritual counsel and found that their is nothing in most religions that support taking a man's life.
In Colorado two of the three men on death row are responsible for the death of Representative Rhonda Fields son and future daughter in-law. Ms. Fields was quoted, ""I don't think the death penalty should be repealed."
I listened to a few hours of the hearings on the death penalty bill. In the time frame that I listened, no one spoke against the repeal of the death penalty. No one. Many legislators wanted to take time to find out what their constituents desired. Many of those constituents had already spoken through petitions, letters and support of the death penalty bill.
Once again the opinion and desires of the general population of Colorado has been ignored. We no longer want to be responsible for killing anyone, whether a known killer or not. We do not want blood on our hands. There is no eye for any eye. That is a Jewish idiom which simply means reparation for harm done. You cannot repair the harm you have done when you are dead.
Once again our legislature did not represent the will of the people. Once again, when faced with a monumental change that we could be proud of, our legislature shrunk back. Once again we were ignored and now we place the blood on your hands.
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