a reply to: VoidHawk
First post here, VoidHawk. That said the death penalty issue has always interested me. On one hand, when a fellow citizen has killed, raped or
otherwise gone on a criminal rampage, one must carefully examine the need for said individual to be forcibly prevented from doing so again. Enter the
ancient practice of confinement, or prison terms. Then again, I also believe no individual should have the right to take the freedom of another, which
conducts me cleanly back to the death penalty--the ultimate insurance a "bad man" will never kill or maim or rape again. Of course family loss
enters the picture as well--that is the terrible weight of loss the killer inflicts on his victim's surviving loved ones.
When considering this issue it's quite easy to contradict oneself. A hard, final conclusion or stance is difficult to reach. On the other hand, I do
not believe a government should be permitted to or have the "right" to kill its own citizens. That's a power that once wielded and awarded mass
appeal leads to the execution of many innocents.
Additionally, in our society, killers come in many forms and from many levels of "caste" and profession--even station. When a civilian kills be it
in the heat of passion, in cold blood, or even for the thrill of it, our justice system calls the act murder or homicide. However, when a law
enforcement officer kills it is called "in the line of duty" and labelled either a good or bad shooting. Alas, when the decisions of our "elected"
leaders result in the deaths of thousands or millions, here or overseas, such killing is found to be collateral damage, diplomacy, or regrettable but
necessary. And yes, I have indeed gone off on a tangent ... somewhere.
When killing happens within the confines of our compartmentalized cities, counties, neighborhoods, most Americans seem to agree with their ruling
class that extreme punishment is due, and they want the government to carry it out for them. My only thought: where does the killing end?
At length, assuming a killer, etc. can be proven guilty far, far beyond a reasonable doubt, then perhaps I'd support some kind of personal
retribution system whereby the surviving family members are offered the right of revenge. Something like that because after all when a person is
murdered who loses the most? The family and friends. Adversely, I do not believe the government should be pulling switches or making lethal injections
... not ever. Likely I've contradicted myself somewhere.
In closing, some killing is sanctioned some of the time in the name of many causes and professions but not all killing is considered wrong either.
It's--for me--these distinctions of good killing versus bad killing and maiming which are most frightening.
As for the savagery of the populace in general, well we left the eighties behind a long time ago (sadly) and the public hunger for blood really
wasn't that much less even then.