Friday, January 21, 2005

Talking to the other side

We got a lot of hate mail recently around the Beardslee execution in California. Which is fine -- this is a democracy and people have the right to express themselves. And, certainly, the death penalty is one of the most emotional issues out there.

But I always like to see efforts made by both sides of this issue to at least talk to the other side, even when agreement is not possible. That's why I was encouraged by this article in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Grieving brother's pain gives protester pause

It was a chance meeting outside the gates of San Quentin prison late
Tuesday as hundreds of anti-death-penalty protesters milled about, waiting
for the midnight execution of Donald Beardslee.

A college student carrying a candle walked past Ernest Montano, whose
grief has consumed him ever since Beardslee killed his sister, Patty
Geddling, nearly 24 years ago.

"Why don't you light a candle for my sister?" Montano said to the student,
Neil Ferron, a 20-year-old senior at Santa Clara University.

Given the tension of the moment, it might have been the overture to a
slugging. But on Tuesday night, it turned out to be the opening of a
conversation between the protester and the victim's brother, a dialogue
that drifted in and out for nearly 2 hours.

To read the entire article, go here.

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