You know, with all this renewed talk about the death penalty, I am reminded of the part from "The Lord of the Rings" where Frodo and Gandalf are discussing Gollum:

"I can't understand you. Do you mean to say that you, and the Elves, have let him live on after all those horrible deeds? Now at any rate he is as bad as an Orc and an enemy. He deserves death."

"Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."

There are instances where the death penalty may be appropriate, but it gives me pause when every year or so there is another highly publicized story where someone was wrongly convicted and jailed. There are certainly instances where innocent people have been put to death. I fear that the death penalty is more motivated by revenge than justice.

Nathan Searcy