I’ve been thinking about all the executions scheduled in the state of Arkansas. Families and some lawyers say the deaths will give the victims families closure.
If the courts eventually allow the executions to take place, the families and friends of the killer’s victims must once again face their sorrow and see if execution and the witness of it, will ease their pain. I suspect there will always be an emptiness, a piece of their hearts they cannot mend and we should do what we can to comfort them.
It’s unlikely there will ever be a consensus on the efficacy of the death penalty. There is no way to satisfactorily compile statistics as to whether death is a deterrent to murder. The destiny of agreement may be a perennial debate.
Perhaps the question we should ask ourselves, after every execution, is not whether the person deserved to die, the law decides that, but how do we individually react to it. In the vastness of attempted understanding, there are many valid emotions; tears, anger, fear, and even relief.
Vengeance, however, is one active emotion to which we must give prayerful thought before we choose to embrace it, for it is consuming and eternally unsatisfying.