Here's a Hypothetical Situation:
Lisa is a 33-year-old bank teller from Portland, Oregon. On her way home from work, Lisa decided to stop in a convenience store to pick up something to eat. While standing in line to pay for the item, a man walks in a points a gun at the store owner. While the intruder collects the money, Lisa tries to run. The robber grabs her and shoots and kills her during the struggle. John was later apprehended and arrested for robbery, felony murder, and the use of a firearm the commission of a felony. Oregon has the death penalty. Would you give John a death sentence?
What if Lisa is not some random person but your sister, daughter, or mother? Would you give John the death penalty?
During the course of the trial, it is discovered that John is wooded and recently lost his job. He robbed the convenience store because he needed money to feed his 2 kids. Would you give John the death penalty?
What if John and/or Lisa were white? African American? Hispanic? Middle Eastern? Asian?
What if the roles were reversed?
Some answers these questions without hesitation. Others waiver or are never really sure. How about you? What does this say about our criminal justice system? About our society? About you?
In the Executioner's Shadow is about more than justice. It is about the imprint the death penalty leaves on all of us; a dark shadow that cats in every direction. Whether or not we see it, it's there. And we are all in it.
- Keila Gunter
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