Gerald (Jerry) Zezas

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Archie Bunker and the death penalty

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After the third, by my count, screwed up execution by a state against an individual today, I’m reminded of a TV show from years ago.

Edith Bunker, Archie Bunker’s wife in the hit 1970s TV show, All In The Family, best described the feeling that most Americans have regarding the death penalty. It seems that lots of us believe in it, but we don’t want it to look too brutal to our sensitive eyes. We want to believe that it isn’t barbaric, lest we be thought of as, well, barbaric.

Here’s the actual dialogue from the show…

Michael ‘Meathead’ Stivic: Do you believe in capital punishment, Ma?
Edith Bunker: Well, yeah, I guess so.
Gloria Bunker-Stivic: Mother!
Edith Bunker: Well, so long as it ain’t too severe.

Yup, OK, to kill the bastards, as long as it “ain’t too severe”.

How many of us believe that lethal injection, irrespective how long it takes to slowly kill the prisoner, “ain’t too severe”.

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