No right way to do the wrong thing

By: Pat Foley

On June 30, 2009, the state of California held a federally mandated public hearing in the State Capitol building on the issue of changing the lethal injection procedure.

Over 100 people spoke for over six hours, and many more sent in written comments.  CEDP Bay Area members were there to give comments, and we brought comments from family members to the hearing. Below are three excerpts:


My name is Claudia Serna-Silva. To be honest with you, I have never really given the death penalty and its process a second thought...  Until, however, my brother Herminio Serna was sentenced to death in 1997. Immediately after began my struggle to comprehend what exactly the “death penalty” meant to myself and my family.

I researched and realized that the process which they use to murder the inmates on death row, was a heinous crime within itself.  If any one  individual administered such a dose of poison to anyone else, this person would in fact go to prison themselves for such a cruel act. We would call it murder.

Hello, my name is Neena Flores, and I would like to explain what I believe about the lethal injection process. I now understand and completely disagree with this process. I believe it is unfair. I know that some people sentenced to death by way of the lethal injection process more than likely committed a very serious crime, such as taking another person’s life.

Whoever is participating in the lethal injection process, aren’t they just as guilty as any murderer?  People who believe in this process are more dedicated to revenge rather than justice.

And from Jamy Serna: In 1997, my husband Herminio Serna was sentenced to death. If this new cocktail passes, he and his friends will be forced to take this lethal injection.

How can a society bent on preserving life attempt to snuff it out so easily?  This is an inhumane treatment forced upon a living breathing human being. We as a society would not consider doing this to a defenseless animal, so how is it we can to a fellow human? How can anyone think something so wrong can be the correct solution?