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Victoria Thorpe

Interviewed by Sarah Berentson

May 2012
My view of peace is intertwined with my view of justice. My sister has been on death row for 17 years, without a strand of tangible evidence, no body, no weapon, nothing. She was addicted to methamphetamines, and her accuser was also a user. With a tangled web of police involvement and cover up, the case is confusing, and insubstantial. In my heart I know that this is a serious injustice. I have been writing a book to tell my sister’s story, and to unveil the injustices in our justice system, and the danger and hypocrisy in capital punishment. Capital punishment is arbitrary and unfair. It is not equally dispersed to all people, and they are not equally represented. My heart has learned so much about what is wrong with the system and capital punishment. Though I am outraged at the system, and those working unjustly against my sister, I have learned to humanize everyone involved. I want to treat them how I believe all humans should be treated, and how I want my sister to be treated. In a sense, treating everyone as a human is a part of peace.

    Capital punishment creates problems because it is used as a career builder. The public thinks of those who win cases resulting in capital punishment as tough on crime. It seems to me that capital punishment is hypocritical and unjust. People treat prisoners like they are an animal in the zoo and then expect them to behave like a nice little human. We take a life because someone took a life. The state, essentially, captures, plans, and decides what to do to kill convicts. They strap them down and invite people to watch while they inject them. That is insanity. Capital punishment is cruel and unusual.
    Though I have an instinct to defend, physically if the circumstance calls for it, I also have a sense of humanity, and what humanity means. We should all be treated as humans and the justice system, at times, does not engender humanity. I think the best way to promote peace and justice is to get educated. If you are educated about what is going on around you, then you can truly make a difference. You should get involved with Peace and Justice Action League; sign up for emails from the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Read books, memoirs, and articles, anything you can about the issues you are motivated about. Once you are educated then you can spread the word, and you can help others become educated to work to make a difference in society. To abolish the death penalty we need support and word-of-mouth to educate the general public that killing is wrong no matter who does it. We can keep society safe from violent individuals without abusing them; compassion is key to humanity and peace. Abolishing the death penalty wouldn’t endanger our communities; it would send a message that would stimulate empathy, growth, true humanity, and peace.