Sunday, March 8, 2009

Racism in New Hampshire

Even as I write this, I know that people may read it and be insulted, annoyed, maybe even furious. However, the fact is, in many cases there is a double standard that comes down to skin color. Why can't we judge people based on their merits (or lack thereof) rather than letting something as irrelevant as the way they look come into it?

First and foremost, I have mixed feelings about the death penalty in general. I mean, I think the idea of putting someone to death as a punishment sort of defeats the purpose in that who are we to decide on that ultimate a punishment? In foreign countries, for example, "crimes" such as adultery which are virtually accepted here are punishable by death. Who gets to make that call? Society? Which society is right? Are any?

If you want to follow the Bible as the guiding force here, Jesus Christ taught and lived forgiveness (the guy was crucified yet cried out to God, "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do") while the Ten Commandments state explicitly, "Thou shalt not kill", and then there's the whole "eye for an eye" thing.

This is a level of philosophy that I waver on--I am so unsure as to my own views on the death penalty that I can't come down on either side in writing. I'm curious as to what others think, so feel free to comment. I'm open for debate, since it depends on the day with me, in many ways.

A man named Michael Addison was sentenced to death in New Hampshire today. Addison shot a police officer named Michael Briggs and unquestionably deserved severe punishment. The family and friends of Officer Briggs have suffered a loss they will never recover from, and that's a crime that Addison will have to answer to a higher power for no matter what we do to him here on Earth.

My issue is that in August of 1997, another New Hampshire police officer, Epsom's Jeremy Charron, was killed in the line of duty by two men named Gordon Perry and Kevin Paul. Perry, who did the actual shooting, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole while Paul received a 16-50 year prison sentence.

Did I mention that Michael Addison is an African-American?