This is the second of three essays on how Ed Snowden has been very helpful in bringing matters to our attention outside of the area which he intended, e.g. surveillance. In this part we discuss the issue of how the death penalty is perceived in the world, something brought up because of Snowden's applications for amnesty in which he mentioned his concerns about being tortured or executed should he return to the United States.
"You remember Jack. He was always drunk. Never did a day's honest work in his life. When he ran over Sam's dog, I had enough and I shot the good-for-nothing sonofabitch until he was dead".
But the world is filled with a bunch of damn foreigners. Damn it, its true, I have seen them myself. And many of them look on in horror at our death penalty, seeing it as barbaric, as "cruel and unusual punishment" and drawing far too many conclusions from the trivial and irrelevant detail that it is only the poor people who get executed while the rich go free. Oh yes, and that there *may* be a correlation, some say, between race and wealth and therefore of who gets the axe and who does not. Of course this isn't true! P'shaw I say! Certainly not in Florida!
I believe that there is. What if we amended the law so that only the rich would be at jeopardy to being sent to "Ol' Sparkey" (the electric chair) for their crimes? Its only fair after all, they are the only ones who can afford the legal system in this country; a poor man or woman certainly can not.
I think that world opinion would respond to this change and recognize that we had significantly made progress on the issue of the death penalty and furthermore that we were taking a very progressive step on the issue of the very wealthy people in a world filled with unbelievable poverty.
1, "Old Sparky" -- The Electric Chair