The Death Penalty

I’m putting myself on a limb here because this is a very controversial topic. I wonder if knowing that we are all eternal beings influences opinions out there, but that being said, the jury is still out for me. 

Me:  So, what about the death penalty and it’s consequences? What do you think about it, Erik?

Erik (sighing): You know, it’s so odd. I think sometimes—and it’s on a rare occasion—

Jamie: He’s standing up; his hands are in his pocket; his thumbs are sticking out. He’s just kind of pacing. He’s really thinking about this one!

Me: Yeah, it’s a tough one. I don’t think anyone should be put to death, but I guess it could be a pre-designed exit point for some. I don’t know.

Erik: Right. It definitely can be a pre-designed exit point that somebody else is to take their life, and so many people put themselves in harm’s way so that happens. It’s the same way, but it’s just done in a little more public way.

Me: Yeah.

Erik: Um, but there are very few cases—there are some—that actually fit the whole definition and lesson and learning and cleansing of having their life taken from them in this way.  Over all, no.


Jamie (laughing): Erik!

Erik: Now I do like the idea of an eye for an eye but not so much for death.

Jamie and I laugh.

Jamie: Erik! He’s giving me an example.

Erik: I feel if some woman was raped, I think we need to bring in some big ol’ guy to rape the rapist.

Me: I can just hear it. “You gon be my bitch!”

Erik (laughing): Can you fucking imagine that? How—

Me: Well, that’s not very compassionate, Erik!

Erik: No, that’s not very compassionate. Yeah, maybe the rapist was abused as a kid or something. You never know! Or maybe it was a spiritual contract between the rapist and the woman to, you know, experience that for some reason.

Me: Hm. I don’t know about that.

Erik (belly laughing): I know, Mom, take a joke! Take a joke!

Me: Ha. Ha.

All three of us laugh.

Erik: No, I totally agree with you, but, um, going back to the death penalty, there are those small cases, but honestly, I think the better way to handle it all—death is such a release, keeping them alive is more of a punishment.

Me: Oh, yeah.

Erik: And for the jail structures, great. Someone came up with, you know, a thousand years ago, how to lock someone away as a punishment, but what you really need to be teaching them is how to make a community. You know, we should lock them together as a community—

Me: So they can teach each other?

Erik: Correct. The more dangerous ones can be in a more solitary environment, but the others, we have to reform them; we have to teach them even the simplest things like how to respect their linens and make their beds, how to take pride in the small things they’ve done and what they’ve learned from it.

Me: Yeah.

Erik: And if they earn a larger amount of freedom, then they move into a different part of the community so that they interfere with others or evoke jealousy. Again, another opportunity to learn.

Me: It just seems like an awful lot of responsibility to give the collective to actually put somebody down, to kill somebody just so that person can have their exit point, oof, you know? That would be a sacrifice on the side of the executioner or the system overall.

Erik: And there’s a lot of narcissistic people who want their names in the paper, who want people watching them when they pass away! It’s just the saddest thing, really. It’s messed up.


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Elisa Medhus

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  • steveatl

    I’ve always thought that punishment by death is an easy out for very violent criminals.

  • Kathy Dench

    Good topic! I know a Free Soul Method instructor who wants to do work in the prisons to teach those who are incarcerated to meditate and get in touch with their true self and source. Love that idea to rehabilitate! Erik is amazing and Elisa, your questions are so compelling!

  • Marla

    I used to believe in death as punishment but now I have changed my mind. Levels of prison and moving up in that type of community is a good idea. I don’t want rapist to ever get out…..especially if they rape a child.

  • Léon Vrins

    But who is to decide somebody deserves the death penalty? How much wisdom is needed for that? In my opinion a society that uses death penalty is very primitive . Think about all the innocent people that were executed, I mean murdered by the government and all those who are still waiting, knowing they didn’t do anything but convicted by stupid jurys and judges.

  • HelsBels

    I agree with steveatl, death is too good for some criminals!

  • Stanley

    I am also one of those who feel that the death penalty is wrong. Here we say it’s wrong to kill, but yet here we are (the state) killing. Doing the very thing we say is wrong/against the law. What happened to “lead by example”? That’s just like hitting a toddler for hitting and saying “don’t hit”. Talk about confusing. And another mentioned about all those who are wrongly accused. Sure many in jail claim they are innocent when they actually did it. But it’s also true that out justice system isn’t perfect. So innocent people go to jail for something they didn’t do while the real criminal walks away. I have thought about this topic from time to time and wondered why we couldn’t have mediums appointed by the court to ask the criminal’s guides if they in fact did commit the crime. ESPECIALLY when it’s someone being put to death, to make SURE they did it. I know I would be eaten up inside if I put a innocent man to death. But at the same time, I couldn’t do that job anyway. I just cannot take the life of another. Same reason why I never became a cop. I was wanted to when I was a kid. But choose not to because of a few reasons, one big one being I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to shoot someone dead. And sometimes, it does come to that in law enforcement. So I went into the next best thing, security guard. I wanted to be a cop to help people. And in security I worked at the old folks homes. I got to do that for 5 years before I ended up on disability. But anyway, back to the topic, I wonder if in the future we can have court appointed mediums to make sure that the criminal is guilty. Start out with the major cases, and one day have a medium be consulted for all criminals, down to suspected child abusers. For one thing, criminals couldn’t lie saying they didn’t do it. And with the subject of the death penalty, I too think it’s a easy way out. Having to live with what you have done is a much harder punishment than just getting to die and be free of the guilt and free of having to do time in jail.

    • Audrey Rowland

      Here, here, Stanley!

  • Lelabelle

    “…..death is such a release, keeping them alive is more of a punishment.” I agree.

  • Laura M Beritich-Drahos

    Yes its more of apunnishment to make them live with the results of there actions till they die naturally

  • Judith F.

    OK, I’ll be on my “soap box” a bit here. Erik’s “joke” about “maybe it was a spiritual contract between the rapist and the woman to, you know, experience that for some reason…” isn’t necessarily untrue or just a joke. Erik has commented in the past that there are soul contracts related to abuse and other forms of violence. Robert Schwartz has written two very detailed books (Your Soul’s Plan and Your Soul’s Gift) with each chapter on specific soul contracts: rape, abuse, alcoholism, suicide, etc. I have never, since I was a teenager, been able to abide capital punishment; possibly my “higher self” told me it was wrong. And after living in Texas for 27 years, my God!! Texas has NO problem putting people to death who are not even US citizens, who are mentally disabled, who come from terribly violent backgrounds and who may have even been innocent of the charges against them! When it comes to we, the public, putting people to death, if we may make mistakes, then it’s doubly wrong. And what about the unconditional love, the “all that is” who creates souls where there is no distinction, the “we’re all worthy of love, we’re all divine,”… I feel saddened by the “let them live in suffering the rest of their lives…” type of reaction. I’ve worked all my life through various means to inform people about the unfairness of the death penalty and the prison-industrial complex – mostly poor folks, many with terrible or no legal representation (in NY). The prison-industrial complex, because that’s what it is, is a money-making enterprise. Many newer prisons lock up people 23 out of 24 hours, have tiny cells where they are often not allowed any humane treatment or books or stimulation, they cannot have the luxury even of human contact of loved ones and loved ones often cannot travel to other states or the far distances where these prisons are located. Now this country even throws children in such institutions. Prisons have also become the US’s mental institutions. We no longer have state facilities to house the mentally ill, or very few of them; so people who exhibit unacceptable behaviors are usually locked up. Erik is absolutely on the mark when he talks about how it’s incumbent on a society to help teach imprisoned people structure, and to build communities within these areas. I believe we can’t just pick and choose “oh, we’ll be humane and loving with these people, but these people over here are not worthy of that, so lock them up and make sure they don’t have any opportunity to evolve.” As Leon said, countries who use the death penalty are “primitive.” Very few countries still have the death penalty. Let’s hope that WE can evolve as a species to change this awful system in the ways that Erik suggests.

    • Judith F.

      Ha-ha-ha!! The laugh’s on me! After all my so-called “eloquence” and effort, this topic has just disappeared from the Home page. Oh, well…

    • Audrey Rowland

      I agree, Judith.

      • Judith F.

        Wow! Some quite strong feelings here, Audrey. I think this has veered a bit from the spiritual. Like Elisa foresaw, “I’m putting myself out on a limb here…” but at least she doesn’t shy away from the controversial.

      • Audrey Rowland

        On the other hand, how we view and treat other people could be seen as the essence of spirituality. The only way I’m able to do my job, which involves listening to the horrible things people have done and had done to them, is to believe in the ultimate justice of the universe itself.

      • Judith F.

        Yes, Audrey, you’re right. I understand exactly what you’re saying. Given the role you’ve accepted, for now at least, you would have to pass that knowledge over to that belief in universal justice.

  • Samson

    It may be the easy way out for a criminal but I bet they wont be hurting anyone else ever again.Serial rapists will never stop commiting rape on children and woman. Serial killers are this way too. Its like a wild beast that got a taste of blood. The only way to stop the rampage and adding to their victim counts is to put them down for good For those of you that want to keep criminals from the death penalty and complaining about how bad we treat them need to get your head of your arse and quit watching shawshank redemption, green mile, and murder in the first. These criminals who you show so much compassion and love would just as quickly lie, use, steal, rape, or kill you if that is their intention. No amount of you caring for them will make them change their lifestyle. I will gladly let you take the tax burden of keeping them alive and you can go play mommy and daddy to them until they snap one day and turn on you violently. Lets see how fast you change your mind about that. Our US prison is a joke: 3 hot meals, weight room (great idea lets make them bigger, stronger, faster criminals! Awesome!!), sports activities, tv, internet, movie theaters… might as well throw in a swimming pool, hot tub, massage parlor, and a bar. This is not punishment but encourages more repeat offenders. The main focus should be for the victim (if their even alive) AND the victims immediate familys helping them thru their endless griefing and pain reintigrate into our society that these p.o.s. criminal stole from them. Is our system perfect? No system is perfect and you should know that. The innocent make up probably 1% but does that mean we should also entitle the whole criminal population (99%) to all the amenities mentioned above. Will there always be a gray area? Im sure in everything there is. Im sick and tired of people feeling sorry for criminals when we should be focused on our own familys, communities, and the victims. Our growing prisons is a testament that our community is sick and lost its moral compass. Dont blame the prison for that or the death penalty. Blame poverty, uneducation, dead beat parents, drugs, domestic violence, and a prison that looks more like the YMCA/Days Inn Hotel then a prison.

    • Marisa

      I agree, Stanley. When you know you have the right person who has violently taken the life of another, I am for the death penalty. I watch a lot of true crime shows and although the killer had no problem taking the life of another, they will fight tooth and nail when it comes to having THEIR life taken. And when dealing with these killers, some people think their punishment is living with their crime for the rest of their life. Unfortunately, they usually couldn’t care less! Many killers who raped/killed and got out of prison early (happened a lot in the past), just went on to kill again.
      ‘Why do we kill people who kill people to show killing is wrong?’ Rubbish. It’s a consequence. Makes me sick when I see do gooders protesting outside a prison when someone gets the death penalty. Where is the sympathy for the person who lost their life and are six feet under? For their families? After life or no after life, I don’t agree with this liberal approach to dealing with sick, violent minds who brutally take the life of another (the Hillside Strangers come to mind as an example).

      • Marisa

        Sorry, typo- Hillside Stranglers. If ever there was a case for the death penalty, it’s for sick f****** like that.

  • Maya

    I believe in death penalty, because if we keep the murderers alive, they may kill more innocent people. I believe in protecting the innocent.

    • Jane

      If you’ve ever looked into capital punishment cases, it’s very rare that you see serial killers on death row. In fact, a large amount of people that are sentenced to death received unfair trials, experienced evidence being withheld/tampered with, coaxed to falsely confess, and honestly…all the DNA evidence in the world won’t free 95% of Death Row prisoners if there has been a confession – false or otherwise. That’s why the appeals process takes years, sometimes decades. What makes someone less deserving of their life if they…let’s say, accidentally kill a police officer in a struggle, vs. someone who stalked a victim for years and them killed them? I can tell you one thing about these scenarios, the accidental one would be considered capital murder, and punishable by death. Accident or not. The stalker who purposely murdered their victim would NOT be eligible for prosecution to seek the death penalty.

      • Maya

        I am talking about the serial killers, not the accidental ones.

      • Marisa

        Jane- I am just saying that I feel that serial killers or potential ones SHOULD get the death penalty, along with stalkers who kill their victims. In some states, they are eligible for the death penalty- like Jodi Arias or cases in Texas or Florida (Ted Bundy and Danny Rolling) – so I don’t understand your last sentence.

  • I agree…Death penalty takes away an opportunity from someone to learn and grow in this classroom of physical existence and these are the people who need it the most. The only way they can learn and grow is by living their lives and rehabilitate to be their original loving self.

    • Marisa

      And how often do serial killers rehabilitate to their original loving self? They usually don’t. They would kill again if they got out of prison. Many people (usually women) have been brutally raped and murdered in the past because some killer got out of jail after already killing someone and went on to do it again (such as Paul Eugene Rowles, who most probably killed Tiffany Sessions).
      I have always been interested in life after death which is why I come to this site. But it hasn’t turned me into a liberal! The truth is though, no one knows what happens when we die, if reincarnation or soul contracts exist.

  • Léon Vrins

    Too many innocent people have been executed. In my Dutch newspaper there was this message, copied from the Washington Post. In 1944 George Stinney, a fourteen years oldt black (of course..!) boy was the youngest ever convicted for murder in the U.S.A. Seventy years later he is rehabilitated. He was accused of having murdered two girls and forced to confess it under high pressure in a trial without any assistence of a lawyer and without his parents. His sister, who could give him an alibi was not interrogated… A white (of course..!) jury neede only ten minutes to declare him guilty. He was executed, in fact murdered, and things like this are still happening in the U.S.A. When will you ever learn….?

    • Marisa

      I’m talking about killers where you know, 100%, that they’re guilty. LIke Ted Bundy, Danny Rolling, the Baton Rouge serial killer etc,etc . I know innocent people were killed in the past but I’m not talking about the past. I’m talking about CURRENT DAY where you KNOW a killer is guilty.
      Maybe if a loved one of yours was brutally raped, strangled or stabbed to death, you’d sing a different tune, not quote a case from flipping 1944.

  • cyndi wilkins

    I agree with the notion here that keeping a violent criminal alive is more of a punishment…Don’t give them the release they are looking for at the expense of innocent lives. We are dealing with this now with the Boston Marathon bombing trial…All over the news now…We shall see how this one plays out…

    • I heard somewhere that it cost more to have someone on death row than to give them the penalty of life without a chance for parole. Is that true?

      • cyndi wilkins

        I’m not sure of that, but I suspect it is accurate…I remember the day of the bombing very clearly…I was vacationing with my family when I woke that morning with a sick feeling in my stomach. Not a hangover sick, but rather a deep foreboding…It was later that day I saw it on the news and immediately went into panic mode. One of my friends was running and her estimated timing would have had her approaching the finish line at the same time those bombs exploded…with her partner and young son waiting to greet her there. It was several hours before I was able to contact her…horrible day. When I finally heard from her, she was safe and sound, on a plane to DC with her family…She said she had become sick to her stomach halfway through the race and was unable to finish…Divine intervention? I’m a believer…As for the young man on trial now…I think he should sit in a cell and play it out…At 22, he’ll have many years to contemplate the consequences of his actions.

  • Dani Sarah Spare

    This is a little off topic but the joking about rape part of this conversation made me uncomfortable and a bit angry actually. I was raped and assaulted a few years ago. I healed from it but then my mum was violently raped, it broke my heart. She was mentally ill and killed herself 6 months ago. I tried so hard to keep her in the world but so many horrific things happened to her, including the rape and I couldn’t compete with all that negativity. I have really got on board with channelling Erik and everything but the joking about about rape part of this, I don’t get it. It’s not a joke and I’m still trying to make sense of why all of this happened. Nothing but love, I just needed to put that out there. X

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