As you may or may not know, New Jersey has decided to abolish the death penalty in our state. This is probably a good thing.
Why do I say "probably", you wonder? How can someone who treasures human life as much as I do not rejoice at this news? Simple- I'm human, and I've had tragedy touch my life. When I was younger, someone I cared about was murdered. Yes, murdered. She was shot by someone who wanted her to give him her purse. It was someone she knew. It was someone I knew. He used to throw rocks at girls waiting for the school bus. I didn't know what made him the way he was, he just was. When I found out, I wanted him dead. I wanted his toenails pulled out and his feet set on fire while he watched. I wanted him to suffer the way he had made so many other people suffer by snuffing out the life of a wonderful woman.
My point is, that when you're touched by crime, you lose your ability to keep a clear head. These feelings can pretty much stay with you for life. I was 14 when that happened, but I still remember the hate. This is not a good reason to make a decision, but it's why I've never opposed the death penalty being on the table. Often I'm not in favor of it - I can't be. Killing others is wrong, with very few exceptions. Exceptions do, however, exist, and the part of me that still wishes for revenge wanted the option open.
So, like I said, not having a death penalty in New Jersey is probably a good thing, but I find myself curiously detached from the news.
The teenager who shot my teacher, by the way, came to a bad end. The story I heard was that he "shot himself" when the police came for him. Yes, it was told to me with those quotation marks. I was glad, and I'm ashamed of that.