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Thank you for this thoughtful, well-articulated post. Of course we need to ensure our safety and keep dangerous criminals in prison, where they can do no more harm. But killing them simply satisfies a dark, ugly desire for vengeance. It is the opposite of refraining from casting the first stone.

When I heard Sister Prejean speak many years ago, and she signed my copy of her book she wrote just two words: "Choose life."

Why do we find that so hard?