Educating Both Sides About ONE Issue Regarding the Death Penalty

Personally, I do not support capital punishment.  I also do not support lies being told to support an issue because it renders the entire issue to be fraudulent in the eyes of others.  I also have an aunt who was murdered, so I know both sides of the issue. If one is going to oppose capital punishment and go about protesting it publicly, it does no good to blame the governor of ANY state for an offender getting put to death. I am only going to use TX as the example here, but other states also have the same limitations because there was a day when the mob was buying off commutations for their family members who were incarcerated for murders.

First off, in the State of Texas, the governor only has the power to issue a ONE TIME 30 day stay per offender on death row. ONE time only! That’s it! He or she can recommend a sentence commutation but CANNOT order it.  That has to go through the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. 98% of the time, they do not commute depending upon crime which got the offender sent to death row.  This is especially true if there are multiple victims of the same crime. They will not commute a sentence for such offenders.

Many other states have the same power structure in place to avoid the office of governor from becoming corrupted.  Now it is time to re-work the strategy about how to change things. It cannot be done by spreading lies and half-truths.  I strongly urge Hollywood writers to be careful when trying to make a change in any policy. Do your homework on every case. Look at what the juries saw/heard.  Make sure you stick close to the facts of the case even if there is a tendency to get too creative about holes in the story. Make sure the holes are addressed as HOLES!

However in order to even begin to change things, the very corrupt nature of the correctional system when it comes to addressing officer issues must change. One cannot clean  up a nation-wide issue until he/she starts with his/her own state.  There is a huge disparity between how male officers vs. female officers are treated by their employers about disciplinary issues, and I am quite confident that there is at least a 30 year-long paper trail to back that up–in Texas alone.  One will find the male will get a slap on the wrist 9 times out of 10 but the female will lose her job for the same offense.  If people want to talk about a “War on Women” there is where they should start.

…to be continued…

The Power of One…

One is not a lonely number, despite what the song says.   It can stand alone and be strong. It can be the first beat of many in a song and turn one voice into a throng.  There is a special power in that number at times…

One woman challenged a bus driver who told her to move from her seat to make room for a white passenger  in Montgomery, AL  on 12/1/55.  This led to the  “Montgomery Bus Boycott“.  Her name was Rosa Parks.

A lady who simply took photographs captured images on celluloid that not only brought the pain and suffering of the depression of the 1920’s to the forefront, those images caused leaders to look for solutions to end the problem. Her name was Dorthea Lange.  This is the photograph that she is most famous for:

Joan Ganz Cooney brought education of young children into every home that  had a television set!  She is the founder of the Children’s Television Workshop–and it has forever changed the lives of many children. I mean, who has not watched SESAME STREET?! C’mon!

Helen Keller became the first deaf-blind person to earn a college degree–and she changed how people perceived the disabled by showing that even they can accomplish much.

Gertrude Belle Elion is a name many of you have never heard of.  She developed two drugs that have helped people fight leukemia and in 1955 developed an immunosuppressant agent that made organ transplantation possible…Many lives have been saved due to her discoveries.

There are many others…They are all an inspiration…While these are significant events these women shaped, some events are not so significant–yet they do matter. Sometimes the simplest thing can lead to a chain reaction of thoughts and when acted upon–yes they do become things.

I was a sergeant in a correctional facility. I went into the profession with the full intent of doing well and making a positive difference.  However, as I began to promote,  I began to sink into a deep depression and was becoming very reclusive again.  I was also struggling with whether I wanted to work around people I once looked up to.  I began to go through some really deep thinking processes.  I began to analyze my life.

Many of them were not following ethics.  It is never the job of a corrections officer to punish offenders twice just for being there, but this happens. As I clamped down on some things, I realized that those above me were playing games and talking out of both sides of their mouths.  Then I read THIS short post:

http://www.fizgiggery.com/2009/real-life/a-short-story-about-karma#axzz1ruSGWQMu

After reading this, I asked my self, do I want to BE like these people that gave me this position? I knew I did not want to play their games anymore.  Now Lauren Vasil doesn’t describe karma the way I have learned to view it.  She describes it as a “domino type effect”.  I prefer to think of it more as when someone does something that is kind and right, it goes forth into the universe like the ripples go out when a pebble is thrown into the water.  Better yet, I like to think of it as traveling with the wind to inspire someone else somewhere in the world to also do something that is kind for someone else. I can relate to that more than dominoes because I spend a lot of time on a mountain–where I do much of my reflecting.

I began to sit down and analyze my life.  I asked myself ONE question.  How do I WANT to be remembered?  I ask myself this more with a grandson coming into the picture…There are three things I strive to be…Kind, patient and honest.  Those three traits run contrary to my former profession.  I did not like the creature I felt that I could become.  At least now I can look in the mirror and like the person looking back at me.  Now that being said, if this inspires someone who is in a similar rut that I was in to change their life drastically–I can promise you this.  I sleep a lot better at night since I took that cut in pay and left the corrections field.

The benefits were not worth the bull crap.  Life is good now.  I am truly blessed. Have a great weekend…