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Beyond any reasonable doubt December 16, 2007

Posted by Luca Marchetti in Amnesty International, Human Rights.
Tags: , , , , ,

The forfeiture of life is too absolute, too irreversible, for one human being to inflict it on another, even when backed by legal process.
Let the states that still use the death penalty stay their hand lest in time to come they look back with remorse knowing it is too late to redeem their grievous mistake.

Melbourne activists campaign to abolish the death penalty.
Melbourne activists campaign to abolish the death penalty. ©AI

These words were pronounced by Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of United Nations the December 18th, 2000. 3,213,974 people signed the petition for a moratorium on the penalty death.
This year, on November, the General Assembly voted to back a resolution calling for a global moratorium on executions.

The effort of Amnesty International against the death penalty is great. But people seem to be reluctant up change their mind.

“What would you do if somebody kill your son? Or your sister? Your mom? Would you like to kill him? Forgive him?”

These are my favorite questions. People reply with anger to violent crimes, when some of their relatives are involved in crimes.
But anger is not an answer. Human beings are different from animals. We have a brain able to think over simple natural instincts. Criminal should be judged correctly, with cold blood, they should be rehabilitate, not just punished.
Death penalty is the most cruel, inhuman and demeaning punishment. It never proved to be an effective deterrent. It is used as gender discrimination, against poor, as political repression tool.
It is irreversible and can be inflicted to innocent.

These days a plot from the movie “Twelve Angry Men” is played in some Italian theater. Directed by Alessandro Gassman, son of well-known Vittorio, this plot tells about twelve men, members of a popular jury, called to judge about murderer. The suspect is the son of the victim.
Thorough the analysis of witnesses and evidence, they discuss the fate of the boy. All of them are for a guilty verdict. Just one has a “doubt”. The discussion develops through many different opinion, prejudices, repressed angers, will to revenge against a unlucky past. They discovered their souls and doubts, they find that is not possible to judge the boy guilty, “beyond any reasonable doubt”.

I was very impressed by the power of descriptions, the characterization of member, by their weakness and resentment, they want to go out the room, as soon as possible, without care much the destiny of the suspect. The only man against all these does not try to change their mind. He lets they think deeply on the consequence of their decisions, reflecting upon incongruence of evidences and witnesses, remembering that the life of an human being is on their hands.

It is not so simple to change common opinion and the work of volunteers like me or others, engaged in social activities, seems useless, like a single drop.
That’s true. But the sea is made by drops, isn’t it?



1. andrew - January 8, 2008

very interesting.
i’m adding in RSS Reader

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