The new government of Afghanistan has decided to resume executions. Undoubtedly, most of us view that practice by the Taliban as barbaric.

We need to remember, however, that the United States is also a nation that practices capital punishment. But our executions are justified, you say, saved for the irredeemable?

Death row inmates, like all of us, are not only defined by the worst acts they’ve committed. They are human. They have loving family and friends. Whether American or Afghan, those deemed worthy of death by their governments have the capacity for generosity, love and change. That has been the case for the many men convicted of murder who I have known through my work as a publisher and an educator.

A “legal” execution is about the country doing the killing. It has no place in our nation.

Julie Zimmerman

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