End the death penalty in Pennsylvania!

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On April 29, 2014, Clayton Lockett was executed. It was not a routine execution, if any execution can be diminished to be called in any way routine. His death was injected into his neck, but a vein burst. Forty three minutes after the process began, Clayton Lockett died screaming. Forty three minutes of unimaginable agony. Forty three minutes of terror, pain and impending, shrieking death. Forty three minutes that we can never take back.

Clayton Lockett was convicted of counts of murder, sexual assault, and robbery. He deserved punishment. But he did not deserve to die. Nobody does. Especially not the way he did. It is truly terrifying that a society as advanced as ours, among world leaders in technological and political progress, is so utterly brutal and barbaric when it comes to what we call justice. An eye for an eye? Is that really what we are? Two wrongs NEVER make a right. Not even if the second is done by the government of the United States.

What is murder? It is taking the life of another with intent. There is a reason why we do not sanction murder, and it is not because it can only be done by government entities. It is because murder is wrong. And that is what the death penalty is. One hundred and fifty countries have stopped using the death penalty. Many other states in the US have already abolished the death penalty. It is a primitive, inhuman relic of remorse for past cruelty to them. To us, it is an existent whirlpool of life that we feed human lives every year. Who are we to decide who is to live and die? What right do we have to strike the gavel of death and end lives before their time? How can we justify handing out judgments of life or death to our fellow humans?

We are their equals. We can throw them in jail for years, even for the rest of their lives, but we have no right to decide the fate of their lives themselves. Our justice system is stuck in the middle ages, and it’s long past time we ended this deadly horror that is the death penalty. We owe a greater debt to society than those who the death penalty claimed did, because we have failed to maintain justice; instead of answering crimes with justice, we have answered them with more crimes, crimes that our as much on our heads as the blood of thousands is on our hands.

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