Statement: Executions of McVeigh and Garza

 

June 19, 2001

Since its inception, the Seamless Garment Network has been opposed to capital punishment.

In that spirit, the Seamless Garment Network opposed the June 11 execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, and opposes the execution of Juan Raul Garza on June 19, 2001.

We believe fighting violence with violence is not a logical way to solve problems, or as the slogan says: "Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?"                                                                                                                                                                        
As the United States' government returns to the business of executing people, the Seamless Garment Network continues to say no to all killing, be it perpetrated by individuals or by
the state.

The Seamless Garment Network abhors all violence and calls on all people and governments to turn away from violence as a means of solving our problems and to embrace creative, nonviolent means of conflict resolution.

We decry the violence inflicted by Timothy McVeigh resulting in the deaths of 171 people (168 born and 3 unborn) in Oklahoma City. These people were mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters. Their families, and indeed, the world, will grieve their losses forever.

We decry the violence inflicted by Juan Raul Garza as he took part in drug smuggling, leaving at least three men dead.

We also decry the violence inflicted on Timothy McVeigh and Juan Raul Garza by the U.S. Government. As President George Bush travels to Europe we ask him to consider how our allies view capital punishment. None execute their own citizens. All have moved beyond this barbaric form of punishment.

For 38 years the United States' government had left this kind of retribution to the states.

The federal government, although allowing states to make their own decisions about executions, had not used the death penalty until Timothy McVeigh.

As more and more death row inmates are exonerated and freed from prison, the fairness of capital punishment is being questioned by many, and several states have enacted or are considering enacting moratoriums on executions. It is a sad irony that the federal government has once again returned to the business of state-sanctioned killing.

We call on the people of the United States to make their voices heard in demanding an end to ALL executions. We call on people of all races and creeds to stand together in respecting ALL life, innocent and guilty, born and unborn, young and old. We must work together to bring about a world where violence is not used to resolve conflict or right wrongs.

In the words of Mohandas Gandhi, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

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