Thursday, April 05, 2012

Reasons To Believe

I've long theorized, and I'm not alone, that politics in the United States is a long Foucault pendulum, and that momentum shifts slowly. You have to pay attention to small stories in order to see where things are headed.

A proposal to abolish capital punishment in Connecticut has cleared a major hurdle with approval from the state Senate.     

The bill passed early Thursday by a vote of 20-16 would make life imprisonment the maximum punishment for future cases.     

Connecticut would become the fifth state in five years to abolish the death penalty.

My long-time readers know I stand foursquare against the death penalty. I don't think it's smart to give the state the right to kill citizens, for one thing, for another it prevents nothing that life in prison can't prevent. And of course, there's the whole Jesus-forgiveness thing.

Like with gay marriage, overturning the death penalty is a slow, long slog to try to enact, and must be done state-by-state. A critical mass is needed, as with so many things in politics and governance.

Once we've gotten rid of the barbarism that is the death penalty, I'd love it if America turned its attention to the unnecessary use of our prisons as centers of economic activity for depressed rural communities. It's sick that we put people away for minor offenses, just so we can prop up communities where farms were gobbled up by our greed, and where people don't pay attention because there's nothing else to pay attention to.