It’s not often Sparrow Chat has much to say that is good about the United States of America. While many of its people are warm-hearted, caring individuals, the nation as a whole has developed a plethora of undesirable habits, and shown a capability for inhumane behavior that stretches back way beyond the vagaries of the present Administration.
Just occasionally, however, instead of continually slipping backwards down the tall, steep, ladder that does eventually lead up to the far-distant objective known as “Civilization”, America manages to make one fumbling step in the right direction, raising hopes that one day – probably far distant – it may just make it all the way to the top.
Today, America – or, at least, that bit of it known as New Jersey – took one of those fumbling steps.
Congratulations to the State of New Jersey.
Today, the State of New Jersey joined North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, Hawaii and Alaska, as another state to have finally evolved out of the slime of legalized murder, and onto the verdant shores of “Humanityville”.
Nevertheless, any sense of finality should be tempered with a degree of caution. Flip-flopping over the death penalty, often at the whim of current governors, has become something of a pastime in America over the years.
Oddly, those who cry out most vehemently against abolition are the Christian far-right. Only this evening a New Jersey resident, when asked for his opinion, vigorously stated his support for capital punishment by announcing that he followed the Bible teaching, “Do unto others…..”. Fortunately, he failed to finish the quotation, thus saving himself from the embarrassment of looking totally stupid in front of three million NBC News viewers.
The question on everyone’s lips, then: will the rest of America follow New Jersey’s lead?
It’s highly unlikely.
Take the State of Texas as a prime example. The good people of Texas have much in common with the French revolutionaries when it comes to executions, though state law prevents public access, so the good ladies of Texas are denied the privilege of sitting knitting in the execution chamber – at least, at the time this article goes to press.
Texans are so imbued with the idea of capital punishment it probably ranks as the number one most effective means of population control in the state, outdoing chastity belts and religious abstinence. Abolition would remove four-fifths of Texans’ conversation, leaving only the price of beef and whether George W Bush should eventually be canonized.
So, while some states may follow in the footsteps of New Jersey, it’ll likely be a cold day in Hell before Texas gives up its all-time favorite hobby.
Filed under: Death row tears