Industry colleagues often tell me they appreciate the ballsiness of The Good Men Project. Not only do I love the phrase “ballsy”, I love the fact that every person who writes for The Good Men Project is not afraid to put themselves (and their reputations) on the line by telling the world how they truly feel.
We don’t bullshit around here; we boldly speak what’s in our hearts and our minds. The Good Men Project is a visceral experience. We passionately write about what it means to be good, a lack of goodness, individual darkness, morality, gender, equality and everything in between.
What I’m about to tell you is not good. However, it is a good conversation to have, and The Good Men Project is the ideal forum. (Even though it’s frightening to publicly admit my feelings on this topic.) I wrestle with what I’m about to say. Perhaps someone will change my mind? Or maybe you privately identify with my truth and it will be cathartic to hear your sentiments spoken by another?
Days after the Aurora movie theater shooting, my husband and I hosted a dinner party. The topic of conversation eventually made its way to capital punishment and the possibility of James Holmes receiving the death penalty.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a proponent of the death penalty. Yes, I believe in putting someone to death if they have unequivocally committed a heinous, unconscionable crime. I don’t believe a sadistic sociopath has the right to life. I don’t want my tax dollars keeping him or her alive in a maximum security prison. I don’t care that there is a tacit code amongst prisoners and that they “take care of” the worst of the worst in lock down. Furthermore, I don’t care that certain guards look the other way and allow prisoners to eliminate those deemed most vile. I wouldn’t want to take that chance. I would need to know that my loved one’s killer was put to death by the state – after a trial and conviction.
At times, when I’m shaken by the brutality of my emotions, I push myself further to confirm my truth. I delve deeper into my soul and consider these scenarios: if I had a child, and my son or daughter was raped and murdered, would I honestly want the perpetrator put to death? Yes, I would. If my daughter or sister was a victim of Ted Bundy’s inhumane atrocities would I have sincerely wanted him put to death by the electric chair? Yes, of course; I would have wanted him electrocuted. If one of my loved one’s was a victim of the Aurora movie massacre, would I seriously want this madman to face the death penalty? Yes, I definitely would.
What I’ve confessed is not good, but it’s my truth. Given my upbringing – and my attempt to live altruistically each day – I’m tormented by my thoughts. Cognitively, I know I should not feel this way; yet emotionally, I can’t ignore my primitive disposition.
I will always feel conflicted by my views on capital punishment. If you feel differently, I’m in awe of your goodness. I wish I could be more like you.
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