Commentary on Alabama Law and Society

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Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I Understand The Reasons

Some folks support capital punishment, oppose gay rights, and want to expel or at least harshly punish illegal immigrants.

What I do not understand is the passion which these folks have for these positions. Granting that they are correct, it seems to me that the passion is way too much for the harm that would result from the contrary position.

For example, an Episcopal minister, who formerly served in B'ham, recently said electing a gay man as a bishop would be like:

a terrorist bomb, which is timed to destroy a peace process.

Even if you think it is morally wrong to be gay, this statement should strike you as way out of touch with reality. Ordaining a gay man is like killing hundreds of innocent people? Perspective, please.

Similarly, even people who want to make illegal immigrants felons ought to reject the KKK's support. Given their history, it is more than reasonable to conclude that their position is motivated by racial animus, rather than economics. Anyone who associates with them would face the same charges. If you want tough immigration reform but do not want to be perceived as a bigot, counter-protesting, or at least avoiding, the Klan's Russellville, Alabama rally is a good place to start.

Finally, I do not think sentencing a defendant to life without parole justifies calling the sentencer a "week willed lilly livered tardoliscious jury" as does the commentator to this post. The jury saw all the evidence, we did not. They are normal people, like you an me. I trust their decision. But lets assume they did make a mistake. So what? What is so outrageous about putting this guy in an eight by ten cell for the rest of his life rather than executing him? You may have preferred death for Moussaoui, but he still received a very severe penalty.