Conscientious Objectors Not Excused

Choosing the death penalty for another human being is a serious matter. Unless and until there is a direct connection between those on the jury who impose the sentence of death and the actual carrying out of that sentence, this barbaric and immoral practice will not cease to exist.

There is a way to end the death penalty. If it were up to me, this would be mine:

The following wording would be added to each summons for jury duty:

Effective immediately and retroactively, please be advised, any person serving on a death penalty jury wherein the death penalty is imposed, shall be required by law to attend the execution of the one convicted. Conscientious objectors will not be excused. Every reasonable accommodation will be made for those needing medical assistance in order to attend. A lottery will be held to select one member of the jury to carry out the execution, with oversight from medical and prison staff. Conduct yourself accordingly while serving on a jury!

In preparation to understand and appreciate the full scope of the consequences of rendering a death penalty decision, those chosen for the jury will be required to attend a one-day class prior to the start of the trial. This class will expose those in attendance to the testimony and experiences of a former executioner and warden where statements such as the following will be discussed at length:

“If you care about human life, it isn’t just the fetus you care about. You care about all human life. An execution is the most premeditated murder you have ever seen. A lot of people were complicit in the execution – the governor, the parole boards, the courts. But they call on a very few to commit the actual murder with the sanction of the state. Let me tell you that the first one shook me to the core… And after the fifth execution I could not do it anymore. I couldn’t rationalize it anymore.”
Dr. Allen Ault, former Warden, Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison

“There is nothing commonplace about walking a healthy young man to a room, strapping him into a chair (or onto a gurney), and coldly, methodically killing him.”
-Donald Cabana, former Warden, Mississippi State Penitentiary, from his memoir, Death at Midnight: The Confession of an Executioner

“At night I would awaken to visions of executed inmates sitting on the edge of my bed.”
– Ron McAndrew, Retired Warden, Florida State Prison

One woman likened the decision to choose death for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, if convicted, to the decision she had faced in the past to fire employees. That woman, if memory serves me correctly, became the jury foreperson. And if I am further correct, she was the one seen glaring at Judy Clarke as she delivered closing statements at the trial.

I firmly believe if what I proposed here had been in effect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev would most certainly not be facing the death penalty today.

As it stands now, not only did the jurors make a decision to take a life, but they did it with total anonymity, thanks to an unprecedented, unsupportable decision by one Judge O’Toole, whose own remarkable bias before, during and since the trial has gone unchallenged though not unnoticed.

I wonder: will the jurors ever get honest with themselves? Will they ever admit, even privately, that they did not see or hear evidence at the trial, only graphic reminders of the carnage and tearful stories of the suffering from victims who themselves did not see the one who caused their suffering?

If the jurors ever reach such a place of self-awareness, will they then realize that they handed young Dzhokhar Tsarnaev a death sentence based not on evidence but on how those stories and images from the trial made them feel?

I would not want to have to face my mirror every day knowing I sent a young man to his death who had never been in trouble with the law before to satisfy the anger and bloodlust of a – what were the judge’s words again? – a community aggrieved…

If and when they do realize their mistake, I wonder… will the jurors still seek mercy for themselves, knowing that when mercy was theirs to give, they could not find it in their hearts to give it?

9 thoughts on “Conscientious Objectors Not Excused”

  1. Amen, Lynn. Well-written and to the point. If one is going to sentence another person to death then they should be prepared to go all the way through the process, particularly not hiding in anonymity. This jury won’t even attach their names to their own decision. Craven.

  2. The halls of government and the courthouses across this land are heavily populated with monsters. I believe the only reason these monsters are still walking and breathing is this scripture “He is patient, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3: 9

  3. This is incredibly powerful!!! Totally honest and so truthful! This is the way it should be Lynn! Of course there would be the odd messed up hater who would love to do it, but for most people they couldn’t possibly do it. I think another thing that should change is what this is called-the death penalty. That does not accurately describe what it really is. A penalty is like a time out in hockey, a fee for an over due bill, not a death. A person with terminal cancer could call that, a death sentence. But the death penalty as we know it should stand apart from other kinds of death, it should have an appropriate title. It should be called, the barbaric, evil, premeditated government murder sentence.

    Why is it that when citizens kill someone it’s a terrible crime and they go to prison or get killed by the gov. for it? But when the gov. does it, it’s ok, no problem. George O’Toole even asks the whole courtroom to stand in “respect” of juries who decide this murder sentence, including the defendant! If that isn’t a heinous act in itself of a complete sociopath or maybe even a psychopath, I don’t know what is. The gov., prosecutors, judges and juries actually conspire together to kill someone, yet they don’t go to prison, why??

    The words death penalty are thrown about by so many as if they are just ordinary words to be decided on, with no consequences. The time and place for a person to die is God’s business, not anyone else’s. For a first world country with supposedly intelligent and civilized people, that boast of freedom and justice for all, and expect God to bless America, they should open their eyes and minds to the reality of who the US gov. really is. An arrogant, delusional, power and money hungry, bigoted, war mongering, unjust bunch of evil hypocrites and liars, who care nothing about the sanctity of life. Jurors who decide on a murder sentence and those who have conspired with them, will have much to account for some day, and will be punished, and rightly so. God’s laws always trump man’s laws.

  4. OMG…Lynn. Chills. I loved it! Everyday I post death penalty stuff and sometimes no one dares to touch it. When is it they will realize the man they know is innocent is on Death Row. If we ALL put our focus on abolishing the death penalty..maybe just maybe one day it will be abolished. You are right…death penalty is cruel, inhumane, degrading, discriminatory, in denial of human rights. It is inevitable and mistakes sometimes happen. They end up ‘murdering’ an innocent person. It does not deter crime. My view it is also used as a political tool. Being an advocate against death penalty I have read and studied many death row stories. I have read about the executioner seeing lost souls whom he has executed. Sad stories. Sometimes they end up losing their families due to depression that captures their life like a fisted grip and doesn’t let go…but hey that is their job right. I bet if it was any of the jury pressing that needle against the skin of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev…they couldn’t do it. Cowards!! Easy to hand out the death penalty but not so easy to strap him into that gurney, load up that liquid of sin into that needle and poke the very skin and veins that God made to that young man. Is it over… No. Then watch the young man gasp for air as that sinful liquid passes through his blood flow and kills him. Can they do it? I say not. Can any of the corrupted prosecution do it. I say not. Can O’Toole do it…or Ortiz..or even one victim. I say not. Death penalty is the killer of the US….were America the beautiful right? I say not….The death penalty NEEDS TO STOP!!!! Great blog Lynn! I loved it! You blogged about a subject I’m familiar with. Great writing Lynn!!!

      1. I know you are Lynn and that is why you are very much respected by me…and that usually takes a lot. I never give my respect away so easy. With you… It came easy.

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