Part 55: Riley Shepard's Essay On Capital Punishment
Today is Sunday, December 6th. Our 45th president still claims wide spread voter fraud, and that he actually won the election. He has pardoned Michael Flynn (Flynn lied to the FBI), the junk bond king Michael Milken, and other rich, powerful white men. There seems to be an attempt to "pre-pardon" his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and his three eldest children. I made up the term "pre-pardon" because the whole concept is confusing and I had no idea that was even a thing.
POTUS, in an unusual move, (and I must say, during a pandemic an odd thing to focus on. We had our highest death rate in the US on Wednesday at 3,157 dead in one day) green lighted the execution of five people on federal death row during the transition period. Trump, a man who was once a reality TV star and is still POTUS for 45 more days, is all in for capital punishment and approves of hanging people, gassing them, and also firing squads as a method to kill convicted criminals.
I found this essay Riley wrote about capital punishment, and I've posted it below. The paper is old and yellow, although the massive amounts of cigar smoke blowing around Dad's office could have added to that hue. Still, I'm guessing he wrote this in the 1980s. But that's just a guess, since it isn't dated. I hope it's easy to read. There are a few typos and Riley must have been low on his favorite product, Wite-Out.
I have many things to be grateful for, but the main thing that I feel fortunate about is that my parents discussed what was going on in the world, including civil rights issues and other inequality issues that are only now being discussed more frequently in this country. With the crazy in our household, we talked about everything, as I've mentioned. My parents discussed Nixon's wrong doing, they discussed the feminist movement and the ERA, and they also talked about unfair housing practices and other inequalities in our country.
Perhaps Jan and Riley could've sheltered me from some of the world news, as I was pretty young to be hearing about some of these events, (The Manson murders, that Getty kid getting his ear chopped off, Patty Hearst being kept in a closet, you name it) but it's probably better than raising a sheltered dumbass. They were certainly far from perfect parents, and my sister and I now regret being pulled out of school constantly with each move, the food insecurity, and the ability to have access to solid dentistry among other things. However, when I realize that many of my friends had no idea about our flawed justice system until recently, and some have admitted to me that their parents were full blown racists, I feel I dodged a bullet.
Speaking of bullets, let's look at what Riley has to say about the death penalty. I hope it's not too hard to read.
If you would like to write the White House to save the life of Brandon Bernard, a 40 year-old black man who has been sentenced to death by Bill Barr and Donald Trump, here's a link and more information.
Next up, blog 56: Marion, my long lost half-sister writes in her own words about being adopted, how she found her biological mother, Shirley, and how she kept searching for our father. Also, bonus material---more videos from Riley's cable access show.