There aren’t many public debates more sensitive and heated than that over the death penalty, so we’re not even going to begin to wade into them. We’d just like to say: Cameron Todd Willingham and Carlos DeLuna.
It’s a messy area of discussion, capital punishment, and there are no absolutes, and a lot of the debate comes down to morality, which is different for everyone. That said, some people wade into the argument with vigor and abandon, people like Philly poet/painter/musician Aja Beech, who has taken an interesting tack with this year’s ‘Execute Art’ program, which is: Let’s look, not at the human cost, necessarily, or any of the stickiness and vagueness, or whether it’s wrong or right for a civilized society in the 21st century to willfully put members of that society to death. Let’s talk dollars. Specifically, let’s talk Pennsylvania’s death row, which has over two hundred people on it, this in a state that’s executed three prisoners in 34 years. It’s demonstrably more expensive to house condemned inmates than any other kind. No one has any money. The state is broke. Why are we still doing this? So, with those thoughts in mind, ‘Execute Art’ is screening Concrete, Steel and Paint at the Ethical Society of Philadelphia tomorrow at 6, and there’s also an exhibition of prisoner artwork on display. (FULL ARTICLE: A.D. Amorosi, Philadelphia Inquirer)