Tag Archives: People of Faith against the Death Penalty

Call for clemency in Pennsylvania

Terrance Williams is scheduled to be executed by the people of Pennsylvania on October 3, 2012 for his role in the murder of Amos Norwood.

People of Faith Against the Death Penalty and Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty are partnering to ask Pennsylvania religious leaders to endorse a letter to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons appealing for clemency for Mr. Williams.

Time is of the essence. If you are a religious leader living in Pennsylvania, please support this call for clemency by endorsing the letter here.

If you know religious leaders who live in Pennsylvania, please encourage them to take immediate action.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Death Penalty, Human Rights

The People v. the State

In my musings on the death penalty, I have often used the expression: “the State of X will execute Y” at such a time. Tonight, I took a few moments to explore the People of Faith against the Death Penalty Website.

On their list of upcoming executions, they use the word “people” in place of the word “State.”

The word “State” works on some levels – the State establishes and enforces the laws. The State conducts the trial. The State maintains the prisons where those awaiting execution and held and then put to death.

But – in a democracy, laying aside for a moment the serious conversations that need to take place about the nature and reality of democracy in our country – in a democracy, the line between people and State blurs. As far as I can tell, PFDAP always uses the construction, “the people of State X.” I have pondered the words since. That plays effectively on that blurred line.

One of my prime objections to the death penalty is that when the State kills, it does so in the name of  its citizens. It does so in the name of the people it represents. It does so in my name.

Saying, as PFADP does, “Person X is scheduled to be killed by the people of State Y for and the crime is named and the person against whom the crime is committed is named,” reminds me of that reality. When the State kills, it kills in my name. It becomes tricky in the United States where individual States execute. If I live in State Y, what responsibility do I have for what happens in State Z? A good question. But we are bound together.

Much to ponder. More pondering lies ahead.

See you along the Trail.

 

 

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Death Penalty