I believe that, where it exists as a punishment for unlawful killing, the death penalty deters some potential murderers. I believe that, perversely, it can also make those who have already killed more likely to kill again. I believe that states should not execute their citizens. I believe that culpability for a crime should depend on an offender’s understanding of right and wrong and not on his or her age. I believe that the extent of an individual’s responsibility can be extremely difficult to determine. I believe that the USA’s federal system is, in many ways, a fine model for the government of a large nation. These are some of the reasons why thinking about this makes my head hurt.
14Oct04 — 4
I’m all for choice. He should be given a few days to ponder if he
wants to spend the next sixty years as an unpaid toilet attendant
in a maximum security mental hospital. If he doesn’t, we just leave
a strong rope in his cell, lock the door and wait.
That way, the state wouldn’t be executing anyone. In fact, you might even call it empowerment…
Note how the BBC report doesn’t give any details about quite what
he did to his victim. God forbid we should have any details that
some people might find emotive.
Indeed, ish. I’ve long felt that trying to stop whole-life-sentence prisoners from killing themselves is gratuitously cruel…
I find it curious that I read this post of yours and this news item on the same day, a rather poetic coincidence.
“I beleive that states should not execute their citizens.” …”their”… That’s funny, my government doesn’t “own” me or anyone else, we own them (although they do need reminding on occaission). The death penalty exists because we want it, not because the government does. The government tried to abolish it under that idiot Carter, and failed to keep it so. A strong majority of We the Owners believe that people like this are utterly undeterrable, and therefor un-rehabilitatable, and ultimately quite disposable. Much more disposable than his known victims (who knows the real number).
If we still used ‘Ole Sparky down here I’d throw the switch myself, or gladly join the rifle squad. I really mean that, I wouldn’t hesitate. But there just isn’t any romance in injection, it just seems to rob justice of its imperative.
Here is a relevant summary of a legal brief on this case now before the SCOTUS. What do you think?