Thursday, September 22, 2011

Release of Bauer and Fattal was a Bright Moment in Yesterday's Dismal News

Last night, Troy Davis was executed in Georgia.
I waffle between accepting the death penalty and then am vehemently opposed to capital punishment.

With almost certainty,  innocent people have been executed in this country and of course executions will not bring back the victims of the crime.

Today, some of the guilty that were executed or are awaiting execution did some horrendous crimes and in reality it is very difficult to have sympathy for their impending doom.

However, when I hear of China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the few other handful of countries which still impose death penalty sentences, I cringe because I like to think the United States is a far better nation than those aforementioned autocratic nations.

Davis was found guilty for the killing of off-duty police officer, Mark MacPahil. However, with witnesses recanting their recollections and some jury members questioning their verdict, Davis’ execution was troubling, as there will be no clear-cut closure as to the question was an innocent man executed.

Regardless, despite Davis’ execution, MacPahil’s mother will always be grieving the death of her son and now the Davis family will go through the same process of grief.

The other sad event was the apparent suicide of very young gay activist 14 year old Jamey Rodemeyer. Jamey taped many messages for the It Gets Better Project but apparently a combination of bullying, deep seeded depression and history of suicidal thoughts caused the young teen to kill himself. The cards were just stacked against the young teen.

With bullying, someone is always hurt---gay or straight, fat or skinny, black or white ---- bullying is just wrong and does not need to be a passage for any young person (or old)  to go through as a way to  learn how to develop a "thick skin."

Suicide, at any age, is a selfish act. Probably most of us personally knew of or will eventually know of someone who has killed him or herself. Suicide is an unnecessary permanent solution to a short-term problem that leaves the survivors feeling sad, angry and questioning what they may have been able to do to prevent the act.

Despite the sadness of the previously described events, there was the very good story regarding the release from Iran of the two American hikers---Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal. These two young men and their other earlier released friend, hiker Sarah Shourd, were pawns in an international pissing contest.

After the payment of a $1,000,000 ransom, to the Iranian despots, these young Americans were released.

However, unlike the MacPahil, Davis, and Rodemeyer families, the Bauer and Fattal families are now reunited with their sons and can now hold their children in their arms and hope these men will have in the future good, prosperous, and long-lived lives.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal

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