Tag Archives: politics

We need to put the death penalty to rest…again

 

Art by Sam Haney

Story by Gracie Vanover

For many countries world wide the death penalty is not something inmates fear anymore. In the last 16 years the death penalty has been a true rarity. But now those numbers are going to see a tremendous rise.  

President Donald Trump reinstated the federal level of capital punishment just a few days ago. In reversing the death penalty hiatus Trump has caused people to line up already to face their end. According to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) 62 people are on federal death role and approximately 2,600 for state death penalty. Although some see this as an eye for an eye, it appears to be more of an improper solution. 

In seeing this punishment as an eye for an eye many forget a crucial part. The inmate’s backstory. In many cases details of abusive childhoods or other factors are thrown out the window and forgotten in a trial. For example, in 1994 a man named Scotty Morrow murdered his ex-girlfriend and other women. To no surprise he was sentenced to death row, but there are, of course, always complexities. 

In Morrow’s case he was violently treated as a child and never received therapy or any form of mental health booster, leaving him unstable. In the 20 or so years he spent in prison he became a rehabilitated man and would have been released back into the world had it not been for his lethal injection. Many officers in the prison said he was the best behaved inmate and was one of the kindest people they had ever met. 

Of course, Morrow is just an example of many other prisoners in the states. Had it not been for his death penalty he would have been free to go back into the world a changed person. In using these lethal punishments second chances of life are completely squandered. 

In revamping the death penalty we are stooping to the level of serial killers or murderers. We are no longer fighting for justice and in the end doing exactly what the accused are. What makes us so much better than them? 

Many supporters of the death penalty, like Trump, claim to be pro-life. If pro-lifers are fighting for an unborn life, then why are they trying to end one that is well on its way? Sure this life commited a crime but is one life not as precious as another? If an unborn life is worth as much as people draw it out to be then why is an inmate’s worth less? The simple answer is if the unborn life is precious, then so is the inmate’s. 

As a society we should condemn this distasteful penalty and work towards better solutions. We in no way have authority to take the life of someone even though they took someone else’s. Rather than ending their lives we should try to turn their lives in the right direction. Morrow corrected himself but never saw the light of day again much like others charged with the death penalty. So what exactly stopping us from amending these prisoners’ lives? Nothing but our own laws.

 

School Board candidates share future plans and inspiration behind running

By Quinn Fitzgerald

Editor’s Note:

These comments for candidates for next week’s election of the New Albany-Floyd County Board of School Trustees were submitted from each candidate. To see more comments from each candidate, read the news section of The Bagpiper for Friday, Oct. 31.

Election Day is  next Tuesday, Nov. 4

Continue reading School Board candidates share future plans and inspiration behind running

Political disagreements cause disgust

By Bailey Hussung

Amid a mass of ill-fitting corduroy, cheap cologne and unfortunate sweater vests, I observed the current state of American politics. I, along with others from the charity I work with, was invited to a Republican Party dinner, a great opportunity for a small charity like us to get the word out. Many influential community members would be there, and I was excited to mingle and chat with local movers-and-shakers. However, what I found there was almost sickening.

Here I had come in, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to launch into my spiel about the service I do and ways to get involved. Instead, I found that the people were only concerned with their own accomplishments. I can’t say how many times the topic was turned from our charity to what college they went to, how much they’d done for the party, how much money they’d raised, how many times they’d spoken with the governor, etc. I stepped back just to look at the crowd. Conversations like the one I had just had were happening throughout the room: tight, fake smiles, petty compliments and judgemental eyes, none the genuine care for the community I had hoped for.

Being a teenaged girl, I am no stranger to gossip, but what these people did put our gossip to shame. Old women in hushed tones pointed their long, hypocritical fingernails at an unlucky victims across the room, telling their companions of divorces, bankruptcies and personal failures.

But nothing in the world was worse to them than being a Democrat. These disgusting, vile people, they said, were Communists, corrupt and needed to be impeached. Talk was of ways to dethrone Democrats, not fixing our community. While we were eating dinner, a crude gif of various Democratic Party members with their heads photoshopped onto gyrating bodies played on a projector screen. I might have expected this out of my 13-year-old brother, not the leaders of our state.

These kinds of things happen in both parties, which is the problem. Here we were, active and involved young people, and none of the many politicians in attendance even bothered to speak to us. They were too concerned with shaking the same hands over and over, and complementing the same cheap brooches. Young people are undeniably the future of the country; and if I was a public official looking for vote, the three impressionable young girls standing in the middle of the room would be who I would go for. Politicians are too disconnected with the sentiments and desires of the younger generation.

The parties, in addition to hating each other, are not even united from within. Harpies and dispassionate elderly men looking for reelection tore each other apart, then asked about the grandchildren.The backstabbing attitude was not even put aside for a small fundraising dinner. Instead of self-serving, public officials should look to build others up, that way truly the strongest, most qualified candidate from the party gets the job, making the whole party look good.

The hatred of the other party was just downright ridiculous. So what, they have different views on tax reforms, budgets, and healthcare, but does that really qualify them as “America-hating anarchists?” No. We all live in the same country and want what is best. Simply acknowledging that fact is something both parties fail to do. They get so caught up in arguing with each other, they lose sight of benefitting the American people.

With disfunction in all levels of our government, it’s easy to see why bipartisanship is almost nonexistent. Teamwork and compromise, principles this country was founded on, have been forgotten in the self-serving environment of politics. After seeing where this disagreement and grief has gotten us, can our generation do any better?

Meet The Candidates: Ron Paul

By Eli Bolus

Candidate:  Ron Paul

Political Party: Republican

Qualifications: Congressman of Texas

Website: www.ronpaul2012.com

Stance on Issues

Economy: Wants to restore America to a world economic power by eliminating income taxes, capital gains, and death taxes, and refusing to raise debt ceiling.

Energy:  Remove restrictions on drilling so companies can drill in the U.S. and repeal the federal tax on gasoline, saving 18 cents per gallon.

Education:  Believes that shutting down the Department of Education will improve the quality of education by encouraging homeschooling and private schools.

Environment:  Wants oil drilling in America and believes that global warming is not “a major problem threatening civilization.”

National Security:  Avoid long expensive land wars, abolish the TSA and ensure veterans receive the care, benefits, and honors when they return.

Abortion: Pro-Life

Immigration: Against amnesty, deportation, and a fence on the U.S. Mexico border but thinks the 14th Amendment should be altered to not allow automatic citizenship for people born in America.

Meet the Candidate: Rick Santorum

By Eli Bolus

Candidate:  Rick Santorum

Political Party: Republican

Qualifications: Pennsylvania U.S. Representative, and U.S. Senate

Website: ricksantorum.com

Stance on Issues

Economy:  Create jobs by rolling back job killing laws, lowering taxes, and increasing innovation and entrepreneurship.

Energy: Decrease dependence on foreign oil by drilling in Alaska and other oil possibilities in America.

Education: Attempted to include the “Santorum Amendment” in No Child Left Behind; it was an attempt allow Intelligent design to be taught in public schools.

Environment:  Supported drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska and in 1999 he worked to strip the Energy Department of 65 million dollars tagged to solar energy research.

National Security: Recognize Iran as a serious threat and to combat Iran by working with Israel to determine the proper military response to stabilize the region.

Abortion:  Pro-life; wants to take funding from Planned Parenthood and birth control.

Immigration: Feels the strong influx is damaging to the nation and a strong advocate of former President George W. Bush’s U.S.-Mexico fence initiative and guest worker program.