I never cry in movies, but no matter how many times I watch “Dead Man Walking” I feel like a pregnant women I’m so emotional inside. It evokes emotion and forces you to question your very beliefs about religion, good and evil, the death penalty, and the nature of man itself. If you have never watched this movie I strongly suggest you get a box of tissues and give it a go.
I’m reminded that men, despite their most evil actions, are effected by factors one cannot understand unless they have gone through it themselves. Though their actions are not justifiable this movie does associate unique and human qualities with a person we may otherwise view as a monster.
At what cost should we put a man to death? At the cost of losing our own humanity? At the cost of emotionally damaging everyone involved the in the procedure? I’m not sure and though I have never experienced the loss of a loved one at the hands of a criminal I can’t help but feel it is wrong. Not the desire for revenge, not the desire for closure, but the fact that our Government – the supposed shining example of justice for planet earth – has the power and desire to put any human being to death. Cooler heads should always prevail when given the option to preserve humanity.
Though I am not religious this scene always evokes emotion.
I’ll admit it. Years ago I was in support of the death penalty. I thought that keeping an inmate on death row was a terrible drain on tax dollars and dangerous to other inmates and the guards. That part is still true. After watching this movie my ideas changed though. I do not think killing a man helps anyone. It certainly can’t do the families of the innocent any good emotionally, it destroys the guilty party’s family, and is cruel overall. What should we do with people like this? I do not know. Maybe we should work harder to stop it happening in the first place.
Sure many of these men never become reconciled and never feel sorry for what they did like in this movie, but that changes nothing. Why do we turn ourselves into murderers to punish one? What is the right course of action – I have no idea. I just feel like for our own humanity’s sake – the death penalty does us as individuals no good at all. I know all the reasons to support it, but a lesson in humanity, forgiveness, and love is enough for me to feel like the death penalty isn’t worth it.
If you still disagree or just want to hear someone say it much better check out what Ron Paul has to say about the death penalty in his book liberty defined. Another great advocate of liberty who’s views about the death penalty changed over time.