Notes from the
General Assembly (GA)
Open Forum Meeting
Spencer Plaza, Wilmington
Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, they’ll probably rule the same.
We live in a society now where many of us can afford
to distance ourselves
from the pain that others are feeling.
Meeting started: 1414 hr
I have a bag of party favors if we want to sprikle some around.
The death penalty vigil the other night in Smyrna: Very interesting. a lot of legal wrangling, the judge issued a stay for more evidence of mental compentence, 5 pm Thursday the federal district appeals court overruled the stay, so all the vigils had to be restarted. There were 15 people people there and 4 more on the pro-death penalty side. Around 10:30, 11, [link to article in NJ] [another] Around 11:30 there was another stay. At 2:55 am the execution was carried out.
There’s an effort now to introduce a bill after the election to repeal the death penalty in Delaware. Connecticut has repealed the death penalty, but instead imposes life in solitary. There’s a glimmer of hope that things are moving to get rid of the death penalty.
Do we want to put as Occupy a news release condemning what has just happened? It hasn’t been a proposed demand, there may not be consensus. We could bring this up at a GA. We could write a release as a committee of Occupy Delaware.
My experience at these vigils, it’s horrible, a sickness of society. The way the vigils are handled by the authorities is horrible. We should never forget this and we’re all a party to it. They’re going to kill you for what they want to, we must remember the Holocaust.
Even visiting a prison you see how racist, classist the justice system is. If you’re unsure about the death penalty, visit a prison and see how our justice system works for yourself.
My daughter’s been in prison, I go see her every 2 weeks, prison doesn’t serve the purpose it’s supposed to, it’s nothing more than a money-making scheme. I’m shocked all around by the justice system.
My experience in jail, 3 days seemed like 3 years.
I encourage people to think of reasons for the death penalty. It’s inhumane, it’s not rehabilitating, there are no monetary benefits. Solitary is just as barbaric.
There’s revenge, and then there’s the issue of justice. I’m not for the death penaly, there has to be a better way to do it.
Justice is subjective. It all depends on how you define justice. I define justice as making it right. In the end the death penalty just creates more murder. Justice would be rehabilitation and restitution. There are many ways we can make things right.
The money would be better spent in education, social work, to prevent murder.
The key is defining constituencies and reaching out to them in different ways. Moral, economic…
Justice for a family who has lost their daughter, who’s idea of justice applies? It’s hard to see things through the eyes of the people who have experienced the loss.
Some people who are family members of victims feel revenge, retribution will bring them peace, but some feel that killing somebody else doesn’t bring them peace. Also, in the system, 20 years pass in the process of appeals punishes the family of the victims.
Just to say that somebody wants blood lust doesn’t mean that that is justice. Where do we draw the line?
The protracted process and lack of resolution…Pacem in Terris had a speaker talking about restorative justice, reaching out to the families who had not “healed” and having them meet with other survivors and…restorative justice is something that can be used to bring healing to family members. With the death penalty there’s no option for restorative justice.
Justice as defined by the state, with which you may or may not agree, is not resolvable. Turkey has been trying to join the EU but the only issue left is the death penalty. Death penalty is claimed to be a deterrent but it has been shown clearly that it isn’t. If we take a position we have to take the pragmatic position that it doesn’t deter murder.
I’ve thought of an option, instead of putting someone to death issue a false report of death to the family and then educate them and put them to work for the state…
If you actually are guilty and you don’t get life without parole, a lot of murderes get out in 20 years and kill again. What do you propose for repeat offenders?
There are crimes of passion, and then look at that guy in Denmark.
People I want to hear from are the families of the victims, to find out what their emotions are and their arguments for justice.
I stand behind calling it blood lust, “you killed mine so I’ll kill you,” if we thought that wanting someone to be dead was wrong so why should we kill more? Where do we draw the line?
You need to be able to make a non-emotional decision about how you’re going to deal with it. “How would you feel if your son was killed?” Well, how would you feel if your son killed someone?
I am a pacifist and I am completely against murder and the state is murdering in our name, so it does affect all of us. I was on a jury trial for a murder case, it was very, very intense, very difficult to deal with, even though it wasn’t a death penalty case. It does touch us as citizens, we have to live with the decisions we make.
If someone is given a life sentence without parole or to 20 years in solitary would it be fair to give them the option to choose the death penalty if they don’t want to live out their sentence, or is the fact that they have to live with their actions more of a punishment.
In terms of legislative choices that assumes that incarceration is punitive and not protective of society. The system would argue (incorrectly) that it’s not intended to be punitive but to protect society.
Isn’t death the whole idea of the punishment?
Suicide is illegal. That’s state-assisted suicide.
As far as justice, killing another person is not the solution. Is justice burdening society with the expense? Justice is also not havnig tax payers pay for this person’s sentence.
I do not support life without parole, that’s death penalty by waiting. I believe one has a right … The reason we have parole hearing is to evaluate if a person should be released. It’s also insanely expensive the death penalty and incarceration. We can come up with better alternatives.
Theater N, a movie next week, Forgiveness of Blood. [read the movie description] It’s not a deterrent, the concept of justice we’ll never agree on. It can’t be fairly applied. We should leave the moral part out of our public position. See the movie.
A drunk driver just let out of prison killed my family members and his niece took the blame for it for letting him drive. Where’s the justice?
The discussion of justice, what do we do with people who are guilty? What are alternatives? It’s beneficial to discuss justice when we want to develop alternatives.
This is the kind of open discussion I’d like to see more of. This is a great GA.
The bus hub. The change is scheduled to happen.
OWS has called for a general strike May 1. There’s a bus trip going up. We have 200 posters to put up, let’s put them up all around.
Trebs’ bonfire is tonight, 7 pm. Come to Jen’s house and follow her to Treb’s place.
I started a National Gathering working group on Facebook to focus what we want to take to the National Gathering. Let us know if you want to join this.
At 7 tonight also Andy Groff is playing with the School of Rock adult band at IBEW on Basin Rd., a fund raiser for the Green Party.
Back to the bus hub discussion.
June 17 the bus hub will be removed.
That is part of the proposal, but public hearings are also part if it so they can cancel the move.
My feeling is it’s a done deal anyway.
The locked porta-potty has been kept pristine!
The 2nd part of Crash Course was so discouraging, angering, the 3rd part is this Sunday! See it, it may depress you but it will really warn you! See it together with people. We could do it as teach-in ourselves. We could do an Occupy movie night.
I made some changes to the Web site so check it out. If anyone is in a picture who doesn’t want to be there tell Jen. I’ve started a resources page, with flyers and links, and other research things, please suggest resources.
Meeting adjourned: 1520