Is America ‘Civilized’? Not as Long as It Sanctions the Death Penalty. truthdig 10.24.2018

By Kevin Cooper.

“There is no place in a civilized society for capital punishment. That’s why actual civilized societies around the world do not have, use or endorse capital punishment. Twenty U.S. states ban capital punishment, the latest being Washington, whose Supreme Court ruled Oct. 11 that the ultimate penalty was “invalid because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner.” A University of Washington study found that black defendants are about four times more likely to get the death penalty in Washington than white offenders. Racial disparity in sentencing is common throughout the criminal justice system nationwide.

People in the federal government and some U.S. states that endorse capital punishment, along with death penalty advocates, actually believe that they are civilized, even though they use an uncivilized method of murder. They have been historically fooled into believing that civilized people do not do uncivilized things to other people. However, no one should doubt that capital punishment and all of the mental, emotional, psychological and physical torture that is done to human beings using this form of killing is uncivilized.

Many people around the world and in this country are dumbfounded by the hypocrisy of this line of thinking, including me. In order to learn the true meaning of the word “civilized,” I had to go to my dictionary, because civilized people do not knowingly first torture and then murder their fellow man or woman; they just don’t. That’s uncivilized.

The death penalty by its very nature is meant to torture people, no matter what its form. This man-made evil, this torturous death, has everyone who is facing it, especially when they are strapped to a chair or a gurney, asking the same question that Jesus Christ asked when he was strapped and nailed to that cross: “My God, why have you forsaken me?”

How do I know? Because I asked God that same question when I was being mentally, emotionally and psychologically tortured in 2004 by the prison guard executioner at the prison where I have been detained, when the next step for me was the last step, the actual physical torture by lethal injection. When a human being is put through a sick state ritual of legal murder by the staff of a prison—that is truly uncivilized.”

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