The death penalty – a radical or even more radical approach
We want to abolish the death penalty altogether – not to manage its details more sensibly. We do not want to stabilize the system through reform, not discuss methods of execution.
Our enemies are not people, but institutions and habits in which people have never learned to refuse their role within the prevailing order or are unwilling to do so. It is not individual politicians who are the source of inhumane acts, but the systems themselves that allow them to exalt themselves over fellow human beings using valid law.
It is not enough simply to propagate, to reclaim, to discuss. It is not enough to appeal or even just to wait that the heart attitude and the view of others may change. We do not want to remain abstract and theoretical, but to actively implement ideas for abolition.
Unlawfulness of the death penalty
We want to prove the illegitimacy of the death penalty and refute and challenge the justification for its use.
We want to encourage institutions, regimes and systems to take a public stand on their actions and force them to justify them. At the same time, we want to create public awareness that life is precious and that the power to end life by law is not allowed and must not be allowed to continue.
There is no humane form of execution. Killing itself is not a humane act.
Correctional officers are not legitimized by anything to kill. They themselves indicate their wrongful action by ‘hiding’ in an adjoining room during their act and the poison seems to flow through the supply lines to the vein of the condemned as if by itself. Even behind a nowadays computer-controlled administration of the lethal injection, the performers cannot hide. Their act remains murder and they remain the perpetrators.
And they make of their heart a murder pit, from which the poison they have administered will rise into their soul life. The suffering adds up at all levels and for all involved.
Doctors and industry
Nor may the physician participate in supervising the killing of those legally condemned to do so. For he has sworn the Hippocratic Oath.
Nor may industry participate in carrying out the institutional killing of human beings, through the manufacture and provision of killing machines such as gas chambers, recumbency devices, electric chairs, tribune-like execution sites, and more. The use of any industrially manufactured goods to carry out state-mandated killing must be illegal and prohibited by the manufacturers. Also, the use of medical equipment, such as syringe instruments, should be explicitly prohibited from being misused in the killing of (fellow) human beings by the manufacturers.
Pharmaceutical industry and pharmacies
The pharmaceutical industry worldwide must not participate in killing, must not remain or become a stooge and supply governments or regimes with the chemical agents. Drugs developed for the purpose of curation and not for abuse by science.
Under no circumstances should pharmacies be involved in the production of chemicals designed to kill people.
Likewise, a clergyman who respects the gift of life may not accompany a person sentenced to death in collaboration or even on their behalf with the systems that carry out the death penalty. He declares himself in this moment in agreement with the death penalty and conveys to the condemned that it would be God’s will if he/she would be killed now immediately in accordance with the law. This clergyman makes himself against better knowledge common with the system implementing the death penalty.
Spiritual assistance of every religion should therefore be provided on a voluntary basis and independently of the state, in the best case by a religious community that is firmly and publicly opposed to the death penalty.
Investigation is necessary in the fight against the death penalty. People, companies and manufacturers, institutions, systems and regimes that participate in the death penalty we want to make public.
People who go to “their” pharmacy, to the clergyman “they trust,” consume the media or read “their” newspaper, give their vote to a political party, and trust their country’s government to govern justly….
All these people deserve unconditional transparency. And they are entitled to form an objective opinion on the death penalty and its illegitimacy, and to remain informed about its existence, regardless of suggestive machinations. Until the death penalty is abolished – worldwide.
We do not want the goal to be less than that all countries in the world include the death penalty among the no-goes of their constitutions as incompatible with human values. And to adopt this in the best sense as a worldwide community agreement.
And finally, we want to express our respect to all those states and institutions that have abolished the death penalty. We want to communicate their just decision to the whole world and hold up their decision on humanity as an example of true justice.
Peter Brauer – German Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty