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Timothy McVeigh Must Not Die
"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind"

By Mario Giardiello

3/15/2001

I oppose capital punishment. No, let me rephrase that. I oppose the death penalty. Politicians are even trying to sterilize death. Taking death out of the title can almost make one forget what it means: a man (usually of brownish color) will die at the hand of the government.

There are many worthy arguments against the death penalty. Some argue that it is arbitrary, or it has never been proven to be a deterrent for crime. It definitely is racially and economically biased. There are not many rich people dying from the death penalty. It has also been proven that innocent people have been killed: “Saccho and Vanzetti must not die.” It certainly is a human rights abuse that mocks justice and sanctions violence, and all the while it doesn’t do a thing for the victims except satisfy an evil impulse towards revenge.

My main concern however does not fit into any of those categories. Simply put: I am against killing of any kind because it is never right to kill. Let God be the judge of these poor souls and let us be more concerned with being better role models for our children.

As a teacher, I believe instituting the death penalty teaches our children that sometimes it is okay to kill. I disagree. I think it is always wrong and we should send out a consistent message to our children: it is always wrong to kill. Killing people can never be good for our children. Not even for the “unapologetic and unflinching in the face of death” Timothy J. McVeigh. For the sake of the nineteen children killed in the blast, let’s teach all others that it is never okay to kill, not even for the government. Beating a child for hitting is giving our children mixed messages. So is showing them that some people, in some situations deserve to be murdered. Let’s be consistent in teaching our children.

What’s with these murder monger politicians? Are they just getting too power hungry? Some politicians are trying to play God, again. Letting them tell women what they can do with their uteruses and how we can make love to our partners in private isn’t enough for these megalomaniacs. No, they won’t rest until they have the complete power to take life at their own will. Instead of judging, let’s work together to find real solutions for our problems including education and training for our poor, rehabilitation for our prisoners, and “work for retribution” programs in our jails.

Our country’s fearless leader, (fearless because he is a rich, white, male, and so will never have to worry about being put to death by the state) President George W. Bush governed a state that has murdered more men in the last 25 years than Timothy McVeigh. Since 1976, Texas has murdered 242 people, over half of which were ethnic minorities and 100% God’s children. Were all these people guilty? We will never be sure. Were there white men who committed the same crimes and received lesser punishment? You bet. I believe future generations will look back on the death penalty as barbaric, and will teach their children about this primitive practice and how inhumane it was.

I for one will take a few moments of reflection on May 16, 2001, the day that the nation will increase the body count to 169. Two hundred and fifty survivors have asked to be present at the execution. When they look into his eyes (probably for most of them by way of closed-circuit television) I hope they see a lost soul that is their brother.

Let’s keep in mind the wise words of President Bush when he said during the dedication of the National Memorial Center in Oklahoma City: “Tragedy can never touch eternity. Beyond the gates of time lie a life eternal and a love everlasting.” Let the love begin with us. Forgiveness of this man’s soul is a step toward eternal life for us all. We can never forgive his deeds, but his soul is not ours to decide if it deserves to live. His eternal life may be ruined, but ours can be too if we consent to murder. Let the killing stop and let the love be everlasting. As Ghandi said, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” Let’s not blind our children to the unlimited lessons that love and forgiveness can teach us. Forgive, but never forget. Love, but never underestimate the power of forgiveness.




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