I resist not so much for the sake of Shawna Forde's "right to life" as for the sake of our collective humanity, though - I have no sympathy for Forde. We are punishing her for devaluing human life by extinguishing human life, and it does nothing to stem the tide of violence and hate crimes against Latinos in this state...if anything, it lulls too many citizens into thinking that by executing a perpetrator, we've done what we need to do about it until we execute the next one, and the next. How, then, does the victimization and crime end in the first place, if all we do is react with pure vengeance after the fact?
It's not difficult to see that this little corner of the nation is a hotbed of hypocrisy, simple-mindedness, vindictiveness and greed (no wonder the Tea Partiers are having their summit in Phoenix). Plenty of the same people who will readily condemn Forde to death for her sins are blind or indifferent to the real harm they themselves perpetrate on immigrants by supporting our current government; many will continue to actively seek to do maximum damage to people's lives. I won't lend my voice to any of it, nor will I consent with my silence.
The rest of the nation is evolving around us, while Arizona mires itself deeper and deeper into repressive government policies and the people - with a few notable exceptions here - do little more than bleat an objection when their own interests are threatened, then fall back in line with the other sheep to get comfortable again.
Below is the way the state finds witnesses to its executions. Here is our Death Row. At least one woman sits there who has a strong case for exoneration, Debra Milke. Hopefully she will get a fair hearing in court before we decide to proceed to execute her. A Texas judge ruled the death penalty there unconstitutional last year because of evidence that an innocent man was executed, among other things.
What's taking us so long to catch up? I think all these rich white men holding the reins of power have something to do with our inability to make any social progress in this state. They're trying to figure out how to make us the least progressive state in the nation, in fact, even looking at cancelling Medicaid for citizens and forming some crazy committee to declare whether or not federal laws are constitutional and obligate Arizona to follow them (seriously...). They're also using all our tax dollars here suing - well, suing US, the People.
Tuesday, March 1, is International Day to Abolish the Death Penalty, by the way. Here are a few useful resources towards that end:
Coalition of Arizonans to Abolish the Death Penalty
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Equal Justice USA
JANICE K. BREWER GOVERNOR
1601 W. JEFFERSON PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85007 (602) 542-3133
CHARLES L. RYAN DIRECTOR
For more information contact:
Feb. 23, 2011
Execution witness requests
Phoenix, Az – The Arizona Supreme Court issued a March 29, 2011, warrant of execution for inmate Eric J. King, #46518.
Members of the media may submit a written (email) request to witness the execution to the Media Relations office. Each request must include the name, social security number and birth date of the journalist requesting access. Five members of the media will be selected to represent the media pool. The media pool consists of representatives from the AP, television, radio, print and the local media where the crime occurred. Witnesses will be selected 15 days prior to the execution.
The execution is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday March 29 at the Central Unit of ASPC-Florence. Selected witnesses must be in the media staging area by 8 a.m.