The death penalty: for me, it’s PERSONAL.


Last week, I opined on Troy Davis’ execution and my thoughts on capital punishment. His case illustrated why, in practice, I must stand against the death penalty.

MY case illustrates why I’m still for it, in principle.

This is a CT scan of my head taken just after midnight on Sept. 25, 2006. About 3.5 hours earlier, I’d been shot once, at point-blank range, by two young men on my doorstep claiming to need to use my telephone. The dark spot in the yellow circle, appearing to shine like a solar eclipse, is the .22 bullet lodged in the back of my right eye socket.

It remains there to this day.

I have no scarring, no visual or mental impairment and no pain from the injury. Heck, I didn’t even pass out. After the initial shock and terror of the incident, I was remarkably calm and even cracked a joke or two to the paramedics.

But all that’s due to God’s mercy and power, because by rights I should’ve been killed on the spot. Close-range shots to the head by a .22 pistol are usually highly damaging and lethal.

To date, I have no idea what precipitated this crime. All I know is that two highly out-of-order young men tried to kill a complete stranger for no good reason — they didn’t even try to rob me (or my visiting brother).

Had I died that night five years ago, this would have been an incredibly senseless murder. And I ask you: would these people deserve to live? Should they have gotten the death penalty, had I not survived?

Discuss! I’d love to hear your opinions. Pop back in later this week to read the conclusion I’ve drawn.


One Response to “The death penalty: for me, it’s PERSONAL.”

  1. I’m not against the death penalty. But I’m a little taken aback by the joy some people take in its application. And the lack of seriousness when it comes to the idea of innocent men dying by the hand of “justice”… because that is a far greater crime. It destroys the very fabric of justice. But obviously, on a personal level, there may be no one on earth I’d like to do grievous bodily harm to more than those two young men.

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