Friday, May 1, 2015


One day, two young men - residents of Boston, Massachusetts - decided they would go into the city center and kill some people.  As many people as possible. There was a marathon sporting event being held that day and many had come to enjoy the event. Men, women and children. The young men took home made bombs and placed them where they thought the most people could be maimed, injured or killed. In fact, three were killed, hundreds were injured. Some lost their legs, some lost their arms. Later on, the two killed a policeman. They bragged that they had achieved all their goals. Kill a policeman, check. Kill a child, check. Kill a woman, check. Thrilled by their achievement, they planned to travel to New York City next and continue their spree. As it happened, they were tracked down. The older brother was killed in a firefight with the police. The younger was caught, convicted of murder and now faces either life in prison or the death penalty.

And so we face the question in America of whether the death penalty is right, just as Indonesia has recently faced the same question.

The only way I can find of answering this question in my own mind is to very honestly ask myself whether I could face any of the victims - mother's of the deceased, fathers, brothers and sisters, strong young men who are now crippled for life, young women whose future has been cursed forever by the careless, twisted acts of these killers - to ask, in my heart of hearts, whether I could tell any of them, face to face, that the person who planned and coldly carried out their ruination should be spared from death.

And I conclude that I could not. I cannot. It was the young men themselves who decided their fate when they decided to murder innocents. It is not yet known whether the State will or will not be merciful. What is known, however, is that these two were not.

1 comment:

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