Can Personal Experience Change Your Views on the Death Penalty?

Thursday, August 09, 2012

The lethal injection room at San Quentin State Prison. (Wikipedia Commons)

When Matthew Parker found out his brother was murdered there was nothing he wanted more than revenge, and that meant the death penalty for the man responsible. The murderer, however, received a sentence of life in prison.

For years, Matthew Parker dreamt about avenging his brother’s death, until he was placed in the same prison as his brother’s murderer putting him face to face with the opportunity for revenge.

The possibility of him being the person who exacted revenge on the man responsible for his brothers death scared him, and this was an epiphany for Parker. No longer was he a supporter of the death penalty, no longer did he dream of the same murderous revenge that consumed him for years after his brothers death.

Matthew Parker is an author and artist whose latest book is a graphic novel called "Larceny in My Blood."


Matthew Parker

Produced by:

Rebecca Klein

Comments [4]

joe davis

I can't prove it but I think if the Romney campaign super-pac's were launching ads like the cancer one from the Dems or if a Rep speaker of the house were using McCarthyite tactics to smear a Dem candidate the coverage would be 'flood the zone' hysterical. Instead, Harry Ried is described almost admiringly as a wily pol who knows how to play the game and the distance between Obama and the scurrilous ad is not pressed the way it would be if Karl Rove were behind a similar one. Romney is sighted a movie review that takes as it's subject the lampooning of (conservative) politicians for having said 'shiek' instead 'sihk'. Obama for all his gaffs does not fit the profile...indeed, can you imagine the same film that takes as its subject the vanities, hypocrisies and idiocies of liberal candidates? I doubt the reviewers would find it as congenial or funny.

Aug. 10 2012 09:47 AM

My name is Stephen Power. I wrote an article about American Sikhs for the Boston Globe a few years ago. I also wrote a book about American converts to Sikhism entitled, "Spirit Warriors."
An analogy I use to describe Sikhs is to say they are like militant Unitarians. They believe it is up to each person to choose his or her path to God. And they will defend your right to choose your own path with their lives.

Aug. 09 2012 05:53 PM
Julian from Brooklyn, NY

Though I have always been against the death penalty, it angers me that the cost of housing a perpetrator such as Jared Loughner for the rest of his life is passed on to taxpayers. He could live for 50 years and at a price tag of $60 - 70,000 per year that could total as much as $3,500,000.00. His life, according to the horrid calculations he himself made about those he killed and maimed is simply not worth it.

Aug. 09 2012 04:03 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

I think the fear of family members who demand the Death Penalty is that the Murderer will get out somehow or have an easier time in jail.

I don't know how I would react. I respected Matthew Parker's analysis and hope I would come to the same conclusion

Aug. 09 2012 10:06 AM

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