New Mexico Abolishes the Death Penalty

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
New Mexico Abolishes the Death Penalty
11
Mon, 03-23-2009 - 9:55pm

Yay New Mexico!! What a great thing for pro-life causes! Apparently Governor Bill Richardson made the decision to do this after going to Mass. I wonder if he got a nudge from the Holy Spirit. . . The Church will be happy about this! We have always been a solid voice standing out against Capital Punishment. Let us as Catholics NEVER forget that.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/03/18/new.mexico.death.penalty/index.html




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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2006
Mon, 03-23-2009 - 10:15pm

YAY!

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Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Tue, 03-24-2009 - 8:52am

That's a natural feeling. Forgiveness is hard for minor things for most people - when someone does the unthinkable, it can take a lifetime to forgive.

But we always hold out the hope that the Holy Spirit will reach these people before they die. That's why there are prison ministries.

And on the practical side, it costs about 3x as much to keep someone on death row as in prison for life, due to security and court appeals (I just read this somewhere reputable, and darn, I wish I knew where it was so I could quote it).

Thanks for telling us, Sofia!

Kelly

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 03-24-2009 - 2:30pm

That is totally understandable and, to be honest, I feel the same way. I know for a fact that if someone hurt one of my children, or did something heinous to someone I loved, and I had a gun in my possession, I would shoot them without hesitation. That is just my human nature. . . Do I think deep down in my heart that I would be doing God's will? I admit with some reservation that probably not. After all, when we look at Christ's incredible message of love in the Gospels---a message that was put out to the world in just 3 short years' time, yet was so transforming that it changed the course of history and stirred human hearts in a way that no other message ever has---I don't honestly believe it is His will that we kill. Ever. Except maybe in the rare case of justified war---for the greater good of humanity. Because what were some of the things He left us with? He said "You have seen it written 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth', but I tell you---turn the other cheek" (and forgive me---I have no Bible with me and my cat is on my lap, LOL. So my quote is not verbatim!). He healed the severed ear of the temple guard who was arresting Him to have Him tortured, and then rebuked St Peter for chopping it off. Then He went on to forgive those who were nailing Him to the Cross AS THEY DID IT. And as He was hanging there in agony and dying, He forgave the thief dying beside Him (And that in itself is a good message to Christians about Capital Punishment). Such love we have never seen. Even the greatest of saints don't quite compare. So while I might be the first to whip out a weapon and kill if my husband were being tortured in front of me, for example, I cannot say with certainty that if I were sinless enough to look into the Face of God, that that would be His will.

But I think the Capital Punishment issue is a bit of a different thing, too. Sure, society looks at it as revenge (And God said "Revenge is mine" ), but isn't the official reason to "keep society safe" by making the punishment such a deterrent? We re really NOT talking about self-defense here, then. The crime(s) have already been committed. Putting the criminal to death does nothing to bring back the loved one who was murdered. It might temporarily fulfill a need for revenge, but that is not of the Christian God that we worship.

We had a very interesting speaker at our parish not long ago. Her young brother was brutally murdered by his wife and his wife's clandestine boyfriend for life insurance money, leaving a 3 year-old daughter. When he didn't die from the wife's baseball bat to his skull, the boyfriend came in hours later and stabbed him multiple times! After the wife and her boyfriend were brought up on Capital murder charges and found guilty, the speaker's family wrote the judge and jury, speaking out AS A CATHOLIC FAMILY, and asked that the perpetrators---the ones who had so horribly killed their loved one---NOT be put to death. Her speech reduced many of us to tears, because you could feel the power of God behind it. It was truly a saintly act on their part. It seems that selflessness like that is from God, and only seen in our saints and those who emulate them.

There is another story that sticks out in my mind from my Orthodox roots ;) I don't remember the specifics, but a young woman in Stalinist Russia's husband was arrested and put to death. They had very small children. Word got out that the woman was next, and that they were coming for her the next day. Her next-door neighbor came to her house and told her "I'm single, I have no kids. Run for your life, and I will stand in your place. Let them arrest me instead." Now this isn't along the same lines, but it demonstrates the kind of love and self-sacrifice I'm talking about. The kind of love that is so very hard to do, but is what we are called to do as followers of Him Who is Love.

So with every controversial issue, I try and sit back and truly, truly ask myself: "What would Jesus do?" The Jesus Who loves every single one of us---criminal or not, murderer or not, sinful or not---enough to lay down His life for that person and that person alone, and be tortured and put to death in their place. And if it does not seem to be of Him, then I can't agree with it.

;)




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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 03-24-2009 - 2:47pm

And I totally see your point! I, myself, have an INCREDIBLY hard time with forgiveness, and that's why it is actually kind of ironic that I felt compelled to even write this thread, LOL. And I don't know the answer because I also readily admit that I am no Greek Oracle into the Heart of the Trinity (In fact, I'm no oracle at all, Greek or not!! LOL ;) )

But my inclination, and the first thing that came to my mind when I read your post (And maybe that was of the Holy Spirit??), was this:

The Blessed Mother WAS tortured. She was tortured in seeing her beloved Son tortured. She was tortured because she adored God, and knew Who her Son was. I cannot even FATHOM the agony she went through, standing at the foot of the Cross. She suffered beyond where I can go. And Jesus knew this, because He was also God, and He was omnicient. So maybe, just maybe, we are all asked to be there at the foot of the Cross too??

Just a few last thoughts. . .




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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 03-24-2009 - 3:20pm

Wow -- that's faith in action. Now let's keep praying that more Catholic politicians get a nudge from the Holy Spirit. My heart tells me that Biden knows what he should do, but he sure is resisting that nudge.


Polly

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 03-24-2009 - 3:29pm

I just (meaning, one hour ago) read about St. Maria Goretti, because I'm on a DVD quest (see other thread) and saw one about her. I decided against it, because she was raped and stabbed, and I don't want to introduce that story to the kids at their ages.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-20-2008
Wed, 03-25-2009 - 4:07pm

This is really good news, and an answer to prayer for many. I'm wondering though, if it could be reversed later under a different govrernor? It says they only put one person to death in 2001 since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, but I guess even one is one too many. The whole death penalty thing to me just strikes me as so very archaic, like we're living in the middle ages.

I really enjoyed the well written and enlightening things everyone had to say on this. Thanks for sharing this Sofia! :o)

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