John Ferguson was executed by the State of Florida on Monday, August 5 at 6:17 p.m. ET. He killed eight people thirty years ago, and many people can't get too excited about his own death. I understand that. As a Christian, I am grieved that my nation kills people to show that killing people is wrong. But I get it.
The civilized world does not get it. The United States of America is a member of an elite club, forty-three nations that have executed people in the last ten years (brown in the map below, along with China, Syria, Libya, North Korea -- our good buddies, all of them). We bear the distinction of being the only member from among the developed nations.
We do place limitations on the death penalty. Our constitution, since its first passage, prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, the eighth amendment. Over the years, the Supreme Court has ruled that all forms execution are cruel and unusual, except for lethal injection, the method that Florida used to kill John.
For readers unencumbered by the facts of the matter or any understanding of them, Allen Frances' book Saving Normal is an entertaining romp through the world of psychiatric diagnosis which will support your deepest held suspicions: that there are a few seriously wacko people out there who are very different from the rest of us, but for the most part, mental illness is a sham and you need to just snap out it. Not to tip my hand, or anything. The claims made without benefit of facts will take some time to sort through. And a later post will support part of Frances' agenda. In fact, support it enthusiastically. But not this one.
Summer seems like a good time for farmer wisdom, filling in while I am filling out forms for my new psychiatrist appointment. It's a repeat from a year and a half ago. It has been getting a few hits lately, bringing it to my attention, and reminding me of two good therapists from my past. Michael and Liz may or may not be on vacation right now, as they were when I first posted. In any case, their offices are 2000 miles away, so they may as well be. I am grateful for my time with the both of them. I could still use double teaming.