Last night, Arkansas executed two men by lethal injection, after carrying out its first execution in twelve years last Thursday, making three men put to death in five days. It seems the state will not achieve its objective of executing eight men in eleven days, but a fourth is scheduled to be put to death later this week.

Is this justice? Arkansas governor, Asa Hutchinson, says it is: “After more than 20 years, justice has prevailed for the family of Stacey Errickson. I reviewed this case thoroughly and determined that clemency should not be granted. I appreciate the patience and long-suffering of the Errickson family through this ordeal. This is a serious and reflective time in our state and it is important for the Errickson family and all Arkansans to know that in this case our laws ended in justice.” Will justice not be satisfied, can an aggrieved family not heal, unless and until a life is taken? Can we only absolve blood by taking more blood?

Aren’t we better than that? Can’t we be better than that?

Here is the roll call of the countries of the world which carried out the most executions in 2016: China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, North Korea, and the United States. Is this the company we want to keep? Are these the nations whose justice systems we want to emulate? Granted, we do not carry out the nearly the number of executions that China and Iran and Saudi Arabia do, but killing is killing. Killing more or less doesn’t make it better or worse.

One hundred and seven nations of the world have absolutely prohibited capital punishment. Because they understand it is barbaric …

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