Friday, March 24, 2006

I want to live

I've just been watching I want to live![^]. Harrowing movie and I don't mind admitting that I sobbed at the end and the tears were streaming down my cheeks.

I don't think I've made any secret of my opposition to the death penalty. I couldn't carry it out personally; and if I can't do it I certainly won't ask anyone else to do it on my behalf.

Don't bother to make comments about bleeding heart liberals. I've heard most of the arguments but my opposition to capital punishment is absolute. If we as a society decide that murder is something to be punished then we cannot be consistent in demanding state sanctioned murder as a punishment. If I hold that position then can I possibly hold the position that other crimes than the deprivation of life deserve the deprivation of life? I don't think so!

My country of origin last held an execution in 1967 and my home state, Victoria, was the last to legally eschew the death penalty in 1974.

As you may or may not remember, on December 2nd 2005 an Australian was hanged at Changi Prison, Singapore. I posted about it[^] a few days before the execution. What I said then still stands; I cannot even begin to imagine how I'd feel if I were in the same position.

The hanging took place at 6 AM Singapore time. That's 3 PM the previous day Phoenix time. I made sure I was outside at 3 PM that day; I remember seeing striated clouds and the odd jetplane flying high overhead; whilst knowing, having been in Singapore Airport at that time, that it was still dark there. I remember picturing, never having seen it, his last walk.

I wasn't fit company for an hour or more afterwards.

Flying out of Singapore Airport early this week, knowing that Changi Prison is close by, I looked to see if I could see it. Not sure. A collection of buildings over there that might have been the prison but could as easily have been a customs depot.

I don't care that Nguyen was caught carrying 394 grams of heroin. No crime is so great that the only appropriate punishment is the theft, by the state, of the only thing that cannot be replaced; life!

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