Friday, October 15, 2010

Death Penalty for Buddhist convert

Our blessings to Mr. Wackerly, Mr. Sayakhoummane, and the guards who by approving, killing, and delighting in killing have committed grave offenses and demeaned life.

Oklahoma Executes Now-Buddhist Killer
McALESTER, Oklahoma (Oct. 15) — A Buddhist chant of ultimate compassion echoed through the death chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary as the state executed its 176th inmate.

Donald Ray Wackerly, 41, who converted to Buddhism while in prison, along with his spiritual advisers and attorneys, repeated the six-syllable mantra — "Om mani padme hum" — as Wackerly received a lethal injection Thursday for the 1996 shooting death of a fisherman in eastern Oklahoma. He was pronounced dead at 6:12 pm.

"As I understand Buddhist tradition, the good feeling and good spirit in the heart and mind at the time of death is related to their belief of a good reincarnation," said Micheal Salem, one of Wackerly's attorneys. More>>

When the "State" Kills, We Kill
(And there's no taking it back). Exactly why we think killing is so bad as to deserve a terrible penalty is why we are wise not to kill or have the state kill for us.

"Hate begets hate and is never appeased by hate. By the opposite of hate [kindness, compassion, sympathy, and impartiality] is it immediately appeased" (Dhammapada I:5).

Because anger, temper, and fear are not reasonable, no would-be killer is deterred by the prospect of a revenge killing on him if caught. Yet, people are drawn to compassion by the compassion they expect at least from society if not from individuals.

During a clemency hearing last month, Wackerly said his ex-wife gave him...items taken from the victim and claimed they came from her brother, who hoped to settle a debt with Wackerly.

He said she gave authorities a statement implicating him after he became abusive with her. Wackerly has maintained his innocence.

"I did not kill him....I did not shoot Mr. Sayakhoummane," Wackerly told board members during the hearing.

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