December 13, 2004

The Peterson jurors.

I had the TiVo set up to record "Special Report with Brit Hume," a news show I like, and it picked up the press conference with three of the jurors in the Peterson case, I discovered when I came home today. Chris and I had gone out and to buy a Christmas tree--a small one--we got the guys to tie it to the roof of the Beetle, then we stopped for some dinner at the Griglia Tuscany. We drove home carefully with the tree sliding around on the roof, and I went inside to get some scissors to cut the twine that held the tree to the car. In the dark, I managed to snip the end off the thumb of my leather glove. Ack! I whine, then I fix on the belief that this impulsive mistake will teach me a deep lesson that will save me from some dire action that I would otherwise make in the future.

We set up the tree, and I was I putting away some dirty dishes and half-listening to the jurors' press conference. At some point I was overcome with admiration for these people, who had devoted so much time and energy to the trial and were so thoughtful and sensible and human. Earlier today, I'd read that the verdict was coming out, and I'd started checking, surprised to find myself so concerned about the outcome of the long, over-hyped trial.

Years ago, I felt quite passionately opposed to the death penalty, but I hadn't focused on the issue much lately, and I didn't know if my opposition to the death penalty was still in place. But when I clicked on a website and saw the word "death" under Peterson's picture, I cried out in revulsion. Yes, I do think the death penalty is wrong. How can we think it is acceptable to put a captured, caged man to death? Just coldly, deliberately kill a man?

I admire the jurors and think they did their job properly. Their outrage at the defendant is justified. Nevertheless, quite without meaning to, I found myself reaffirmed in opposition to the death penalty.

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