It has been my view that most people who support the death penalty seem to have some sort of religious view, usually one that believes that evil people recieve some sort of punishment in the afterlife (Hell, Purgatory, what-have-you), something that is worse than the prison system can provide. This was reinforced by hearing the comments made my the relatives of the victims of the Oklahoma city bombing following the recent federal execution. Phrases like "Burn in hell" "now he's getting what he deserves" all point to this view.

Those of religious mindsets that do not hold this world-view, or those who are atheistic see death as less of a punishment than life within the prison system. Some even hold the belief that death may even be more humane than life in a penitentary.

As I watched those who protested the death penalty during the execution, I saw signs extolling human rights and promoting the idea that "Life is Sacred". We could debate the nature of human rights until we are all blue in the face. Groups like Amnesty International have laied down their ideas as to what constitutes "human rights". However all documents that have been drafted concerning the exact rights of humans have had one thing in common. They've all been written by humans. Of course humans have a lot of ideas about what human rights should be, it's called self interest. One fact must be pointed out. The taking of one more life will not bring back the hundred-plus that were snuffed.

Look around you, are they back? Can you see them smiling? They are all still dead, you must still carry the loss. Nothing has changed. You cry for the blood of the murderer like a feral animal. You ask for "justice" when what you want is "revenge". As much as we preach about the progess we have made as a society, we are still blinded by our own base instincts. We've come up with the idea that life is sacre, even though it stands against all logic. Death and life are all part of the same process, one cannot be without the other. This planet is without mercy or compassion. We try to put ourselves above it, but still we cannot. We scream for blood when the world takes someone close to us away, we yell for justice when we are wronged, we kill for money, power and just because we don't like the look on another man's face. We kill for food, we kill to make rooms for our homes, our cedar panel walk-in closets, our SUVs. Life is not sacred, but it seems hypocracy is.