Montana: Commute the Death Sentence of Ronald Smith
Salem-News.com Eye on the World report.
(DHAKA- Bangladesh) - Ronald Smith's life hangs in the balance of a system that makes mistakes, fatal mistakes... The cornerstone of human rights is respect for the inherent dignity of all human beings and the inviolability of the human person. Race, poverty, and geography are inexorably intertwined with the death penalty.
Our goal with Eye on the World is to illustrate and highlight politically oriented problems and tragedies that traditional media channels don't have time or interest in covering.
Gov. Brian D. Schweitzer
The world has its own set of laws that were agreed upon by the ruling nations in 1948, and many people are not aware of this simple fact. At the root of the concept of world citizenry itself, is the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an overriding and supreme law that ensures many essential human rights that governments today fail to observe. Also central to any hope of human success, is the understanding of the human hierarchy of needs, as defined by Abraham Maslow- more information on this at the conclusion of this entry. We must use the Internet as a tool of justice at every junction, and we need to assist all human beings, everywhere, and not allow cultural, racial or religious preferences as determiners.
In this appeal, William Gomes strongly urges Brian D. Schweitzer, Governor of the State of Montana, to commute the sentence of Ronald Smith. It is true that the U.S. stands increasingly alone among democratic countries in its continued use of the death penalty.
By retaining capital punishment in a world that has largely turned its back on this barbaric practice, the US damages its reputation, causes friction with its closest neighbors and allies, and undermines its efforts to promote human rights at home and abroad.
March 10, 2012
The Honorable Brian D. Schweitzer
Governor of the State of Montana
Office of the Governor
Montana State Capitol Building
P.O. Box 200801
Helena, MT 59620-0801
Re: Montana: Commute the Death Sentence of Ronald Smith
Dear Governor Schweitzer:
I write to urge you to commute the sentence of Ronald Smith.
The cornerstone of human rights is respect for the inherent dignity of all human beings and the inviolability of the human person. I oppose capital punishment in all countries and in all circumstances because the inherent dignity of the person is inconsistent with the death penalty.
Those responsible for serious crimes should be fairly and appropriately brought to justice, and the victims of crimes and their families should have access to the mechanisms of justice and redress. But it is increasingly recognized around the world that the death penalty is a fundamental assault on the right to life found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights treaties.
The death penalty is unique in its cruelty and finality, and it is inevitably and universally plagued with arbitrariness, prejudice, and error. Innocent people have been sentenced to death in the United States. The inherent fallibility of all criminal justice systems assures that even when full due process of law is respected, innocent people are likely to be executed. Because an execution is irreversible, such miscarriages of justice can never be corrected.
Race, poverty, and geography are inexorably intertwined with the death penalty. Defendants whose victims were white are more likely to be sentenced to death than those whose victims were members of a minority group. Poor defendants are generally represented by government-appointed counsel, who are often overworked and underpaid for the weighty responsibility of defending a person faced with the possibility of execution. Prosecutors in certain counties are more likely to seek the death penalty than those elsewhere in the same state. The accident of geography, and no other aspect of a particular crime, can mean the difference between life and death for the defendant.
The United States stands increasingly alone among democratic countries in its continued use of the death penalty. By retaining capital punishment in a world that has largely turned its back on this barbaric practice, the US damages its reputation, causes friction with its closest neighbors and allies, and undermines its efforts to promote human rights at home and abroad.
For these reasons, I strongly urge you to commute the sentence of Ronald Smith.
William Nicholas Gomes
Maslow's hierarchy of needs
As children we are educated in right and wrong, we are told how to conduct ourselves; we learn both expectations and limitations, and from that point we go forth with these tools, and our individual personalities, and fail or succeed accordingly.
In school we quickly understand that without paper, there is no place to write. Once we have paper, a pen or pencil is required to move to the next point. There is a great analogy that exists between this simple concept of paper and pen, and what we know today as Maslow's hierarchy of needs- the theory in psychology proposed in Abraham Maslow's 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation.
He demonstrated how without the correct necessities, a person can do little good for themselves, and has none to offer for others. However when people are housed and have clothing, heat, food, health and security, anything is possible. However if just one of these dynamics is removed from the mix, the chance for success can be adversely affected.
Wikipedia describes Maslow's hierarchy of needs as a pyramid consisting of five levels:
The lowest level is associated with physiological needs, while the uppermost level is associated with self-actualization needs, particularly those related to identity and purpose.
The higher needs in this hierarchy only come into focus when the lower needs in the pyramid are met. Once an individual has moved upwards to the next level, needs in the lower level will no longer be prioritized. If a lower set of needs is no longer be met, the individual will temporarily re-prioritize those needs by focusing attention on the unfulfilled needs, but will not permanently regress to the lower level.
For instance, a businessman at the esteem level who is diagnosed with cancer will spend a great deal of time concentrating on his health (physiological needs), but will continue to value his work performance (esteem needs) and will likely return to work during periods of remission.
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