When they eliminated the gas chamber in California death penalties, they deprived me cruelly and unusually of the chance to publish this bit of Nashian doggerel:
After the appellate
in water, a pellet
It sank, went in
at San Quentin.
All that's left for me now is to inject a thought, or two.
Here's a nosh:
If it is true that he was a profound penitent, that his lectures and his children's books have been effective in curbing violence, then this is certainly laudable. If we preach a gospel that precludes murder from redemption because the victim's life cannot be retrieved, then we remove from the one-time murderer any motivation to restrain himself from killing his next annoyer. Instead, we hearken to one of the first stories in the Bible, where Cain, although banished as a penance, was given the opportunity to repair the rest of his life and achieve a measure of redemption. His children built cities (Genesis 4:17), invented the system of mobile cattle herding (4:20), instrumental music (4:21) and metalworking (4:22). Indeed, according to the Jewish tradition, Noah's wife was Naamah, a descendant of Cain, which makes him our maternal grandpa.