Time was running out for Kenneth Foster. On Tuesday August 7th, 2007,
the criminal court of Texas had made its final decision and the green light for
the execution of Foster had been given. A man who was 80 feet away from the
scene of the crime.
However, he had been sentenced to death because one of the men in his car
had decided to kill a white man named Michael LaHood. Foster was scheduled
to die by lethal injection on August 30th, 2007. He was now at the mercy of the
Texas Board of Pardons and Parole, needing five of the seven member panel to
recommend clemency. Although both judge and jury say that Foster committed
no crime, the law of parties, section 7.02 of the Texas penal code states; “a
person is criminally responsible for an offense committed by the conduct of
another if acting with the intent to promote or assist in the commission of the
offense he solicits, encourages, directly aids or attempts to aid the other person
to commit the offense or if the attempt to carry out a conspiracy to commit one
felony, another felony is committed by one of the conspirators, all conspirators
are guilty of the felony.” After the debate for clemency, Foster was sentenced to
prison with the possibility of parole in 2036. He is now located at the Roberson
Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Although he had not been present nor participated in the crime
committed by his friend, Texas law had almost sent Foster to his death as
punishment for it. The case makes me wonder whether or not the death
penalty is a fair punishment.
Ask yourself this question and think on whether it’s worth taking the life of
another human being in the name of justice. Although we know God gives us
life and a world, we’re still not happy and wish to take his job; punishing the
guilty with the death penalty.
The first death sentence historically recorded occurred in 16th Century BC
Egypt where the wrongdoer, a member of nobility, was accused of magic, and
ordered to take his own life. During this period non-nobility was usually killed
with an ax. The death penalty came to America with the English colonists, the
first recorded execution happening in 1608 when George Kendall of Virginia
plotted to betray Britian to the Spanish. To date, thirty three states within the
United States offer the death penalty as an option for punishment.
But when we talk about this law, we speak more about the cost of it
instead of whether or not it is a cruel method of punishment.
Using conservative rough projections, the California Commission on the
Fair Administration of Justice (2008) estimated that the annual cost of the
present system ($137 million per year), the present system after implementation
of reforms ($232 million per year) and a system which imposes a maximum
penalty of life in prison instead of the death penalty ($11.5 million per year).
With the economy getting worse, I wonder why doesn’t the government
take that money and try to create better job opportunities and invest in a better
education system? Many people suffer every day in the street because they
either they weren’t afforded a good education and/or were unable to get a good
paying job. Instead of “playing God” and taking lives, why not spend that
money on people who need it most?
The argument against the death penalty is not limited to within the
country. The United Nations has criticized the USA for executing juvenile
offenders since 1973. Since that time, over 160 juvenile offenders have been
Since the establishment of the death penalty in the United States, more
Than 1,300 people have been sentenced to death in states where the penalty is
legal. Thirty-five executions have been carried out in the United States so far
this year; nine African Americans, twenty-three White, and four...
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