Lots of articles making the rounds this week about death row inmates, executions, etc. Here’s some of the more interesting ones.
- Anti-Death Penalty Activists, Exonerated Death Row Inmates March to Texas Capital: Hundreds of activists and 25 exonerated death row inmates participated in the 12th annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty in Austin. The demonstrators marched through downtown Austin, ending up outside the Texas State Capitol. The article has quotes from two Florida exonerees, David Keaton, who I spoke to for one of my video stories, and Delbert Tibbs. There’s also video from the march.
- Finding Forgiveness on Death Row: This is the story of Mark Stroman, who went on a shooting rampage after the September 11 attacks and shot several men he thought were Arabs in a string of convenience stores. It’s also the story of one of Stroman’s victims, Rais Bhuiyan, who was blinded in the shooting, but forgave Stroman and became friends with him, fighting for his life up until Texas executed him on July 20.
- State’s Execution Machine Readied: There’s a lot of news and speculating right now about California and the state of their death penalty system. California boasts the largest death row in the country and has been under an unofficial moratorium for years. But now as warrant eligible inmates pile up and budgets are strained, it’s possible San Quentin prison could begin executions again. They even have a shiny new death chamber prepped and ready to go. There’s pictures from the prison and the new death chamber here.
There has also been a great deal of commentary on the death penalty this week in editorials and columns, as a number of executions draw near. Here’s a roundup of what I’ve come across in the past few days:
- Capital Punishment No Solace to Survivors: Similar to the story I posted yesterday from CNN, this is another article focusing on family members of murder victims who oppose the death penalty.
- A ‘Lead Cocktail’ or Old Sparky Not a Laughing Matter: Carl Hiassen from the Miami-Herald responds to the recent suggestion from Florida Rep. Brad Drake that Florida do away with lethal injection and start using a firing squad. Hiassen writes “Every time Florida starts to fade from the national spotlight, somebody like Brad Drake comes along and gets everybody laughing at us again.”
- A Buddhist Perspective on the Death Penalty, from Tibetan nun Lobsang Tendrol for the Washington Post:
“Both murderers and supporters of the death penalty deserve our compassion because they will experience the karmic effects of killing…Buddhism does allow ending the life of another when it is done in self-defense, and the argument could be made that, sometimes, capital punishment could be viewed as a society’s attempt at self-defense. But when there are other means available to prevent a person form harming others, such as imprisonment, it would seem that the less lethal option should be favored.”