Death Penalty ; Funeral Hymn Tag

I watched the other night the satiric documentary Penn and Teller : Bullshit ! Death Penalty. Penn and Teller are described as “eccentric magicians with a psychotic twist” and the issue this time around is about the death penalty. The duo supports the abolition of the death penalty in the U.S. The movie documentary contains excerpts of conversations with psychologists, law enforcement officers , politicians – both from the pro and con camp. The disturbing news is this – 122 death row inmates have already been exonerated of their crimes with the aid of DNA evidence! Can we be absolutely sure that the person we execute is the criminal? The answer is an unfortunate NO. Another loaded question is – does death penalty deter crime? Stats show that Texas, the state that executes more people than any other hasn’t seen a drop in the crime rate. Having said the above – is the death penalty nothing more than a medieval revenge mechanism, a system that is likely to kill innocent people and devoid of any deterrent value?


In response to Ipanema’s tag, herewith are my 5 choices :

I attended a funeral of a colleague a few years ago and his funeral hymn was “ ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE” by the Beatles. The funeral scene wasn’t one with people wailing and crying and fainting but rather, a celebration of the life of the departed. Friends and family spoke about the man – sometimes sad, sometimes funny. When you come out of the service, you felt a mixture of feelings of sadness, acceptance, hope and optimism. A drug dealer in L.A.chose jazzy SMOOTH OPERATOR by Sade as his funeral song. Now that speaks of the man’s savvy !

1) I’ll See You In My Dreams – Joe Brown.. the last song sang at the Concert For George Harrison. Joe Brown did an excellent ukulele rendition backed by the whole orchestra. Prefect song I think.

Lonely days are long
Twilight sings a song
Of the happiness that used to be

Soon my eyes will close
Soon I’ll find repose
And in dreams
You’re always near to me

I’ll see you in my dreams
Hold you in my dreams
Someone took you out of my arms
Still I feel the thrill of your charms

2) All Things Must Pass – George Harrison. Poignant, philosophical, hopeful, simple and pure. Life’s journey expressed in the fewest words possible.

Sunrise doesn’t last till evening
A cloudburst doesn’t last all day
Seems my love is up and left you with no warning
Its not always going to be this grey

All things must pass
All things must pass away

3) Just a Little Bit of Love – Curtis Mayfield. Darn, would you believe the lyrics are not available on the net? The author has banned the publication! Curtis is no longer around anyways but the song is great.

4) We Are the Champions – Queen…sounds like my life struggle, a reminder of my persistence, my sharp horns, the trials and tribulations I’ve overcome.

I’ve paid my dues –
Time after time –
I’ve done my sentence
But committed no crime –
And bad mistakes
I’ve made a few
I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face –
But I’ve come through

We are the champions – my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting till the end

5) What’s This Life For – by Creed.. meaningful and intense song by a great rock band. Peace man, peace!

I see your soul, its kinda grey
You see my heart, you look away
You see my wrist, I know your pain
I know your purpose on your plane

Don’t say a last prayer
Because you could never find

What’s this life for
What’s this life for
What’s this life for
What’s this life for

But they ain’t here anymore
Don’t have to settle no god damn score
Cause we all live
Under the reign of one king



17 Responses

  1. I am also against the death penalty. Useless.

  2. I think DNA testing is a help.

    What a selection for your funeral hymn, BW. I like smooth operator by Sade. We are the champion? 🙂

    Thanks for being a sport. 🙂

  3. I’m definitely against the death penalty. I think it’s cruel and backward and I don’t think it deters crime.

  4. i agree with ipanema that dna testing is a great help.

    honestly, i think for some criminals, they deserve something more than just a death penalty

  5. What about “My Way” for a funeral hymn? Yay.

  6. Sidney – interesting use of the word “useless”. When you analyze the benefits of the death penalty towards the betterment of society and come up with no significant improvements, you may just as well use the word!

  7. Ipanema – DNA testing definitely helps. We also have to factor in the lawyers, how money can buy the most brilliant lawyers and achieve the desired result, even if it is not the truth. At the outset, much that we hope for justice to prevail, it isn’t always the case.

    We Are The Champions can be be a tribute to a fallen hero. How’s that for lifting my own chair? LOL.

  8. Toe – you’re right. Killing murderers doesn’t guarantee a safe society and stats continuously prove it. The city of Toronto with a population of close to 3 million has a murder rate of 1.8 per 100,000 people and we don’t have the death penalty law. Contrast that with Houston, Texas with a rate of 13.3 per 100,000 people. The state of Texas executes more people than any other U.S. state.

  9. Tin – true. some criminals can be rehabilitated wile others can’t. The ones that kill out of compulsion like the serial killers need to be locked up their whole life because they are likely to commit the crime again. I happen to think that serving time in prison is much worse than dying.

  10. Abaniko – ha ha.. that’s a nice one. The first line fits the bill indeed.

    Do you know of a song that works both for wedding and funeral? The question is also open to other posters.

  11. OK.. Here’s one that might work for both wedding and funeral – My Heart Will Go On ( Theme from Titanic)

  12. One must also think of the cost of keeping those who are known murderers alive. Besides, there’s always a chance that these freaks will escape…

  13. No doubt, there is a cost associated with keeping criminals in jail and this induces more stress on the finances of governments. However, one must not make this as the main reason to promote the death penalty. No matter what, man’s life is priceless.

    I guess my beef with the death penalty is on the side of justice. If we can’t be absolutely certain that every death row inmate we execute is the culprit, then the legal term ” guilty beyond reasonable doubt” is a farce. Not killing the person but keeping him in jail does not mean that he got away with the crime. If he is truly not guilty, he still has the chance to exonerate himself. If he is then he rots in jail fro the rest of his life.

    The documentary also featured an interview with former inmate who got exonerated after 5 years in the death row. The witnesses lied, causing him to be handed the death sentence. His lawyers appealed and with new evidence proved that the witnesses were the actual murderers. He is now a staunch advocate of the movement against death penalty. If they hastened his execution, they would have executed an innocent person.

  14. Based on the Texas stats, that should be a strong case against death penalty and the fact that DNA testing relieves many of previous criminal culpability shows how imperfect is the common legal prosecution. Doubt, no matter how minimal, should make death penalty a nonviable mode of punishment; not in a supposedly civilized world that we live in.

  15. a part of Streets of New York song by Alicia Keys… the living should be left reflecting he he

  16. Major Tom – you’re right about the common legal procedure being imperfect. Unfortunately, executing a human being demands perfection for a man’s life is priceless. As one supporter in the documentary said, even if we execute one innocent person we will be murderers ourselves.

  17. Bing – how true and the living upon their reflection must create change if needed. I can see you’re an avid fan of Alicia Keys. She’s a great artist.

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