posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 10:39 PM
I'm firmly opposed to the death penalty.
I really couldn't care less about murderers-- that's not the point. The death penalty is irrational and counter-productive.
The underlying concept is that murder is such a heinous crime that the person who commits it has given up his/her right to live. Let's look at that
In effect, what we're saying is that killing people is so wrong that we must kill the people who kill people.
If killing people is wrong (as it self-evidently is), then it's wrong. We simply can't legitimately say that it's okay sometimes. Why not?
Because that's the same logic that the murderer uses. Murderers generally don't believe that they're objectively wrong-- they believe that, for
whatever reason, they're justified in killing the person(s) they kill. And why shouldn't they? Society teaches them that killing people is okay
sometimes-- if only one has a good enough reason. So they believe they have a good enough reason, and that it's therefore okay.
If our goal is to eliminate killing, then obviously the first thing we have to do is stop killing people ourselves.
So what do we do with murderers? Obviously they have given up the right to live in our society, so I would suggest essentially an "Escape from New
York" solution. We should take a piece of unused land-- say an old Air Force firing range or something of the like, and put a wall around it. All
we'd need to do is to make sure that there's a water source there, and maybe post a few guards on the outside to keep an eye out for tunnels and the
like. It shouldn't even have a door or gate or anything of that nature, since nobody other than the criminals are going in, and NOBODY is coming
out. Ever. They'd get dropped over the side-- lowered from a helicopter or such-- and would have to make their own way in whatever world existed
inside the walls. They could live out their lives (or not) surrounded by their fellow murderers. If they died, then that would be their own tough
luck, but the point is that WE would not be killing them. We would successfully remove them from society without the expense of housing them in
regular prisons, we would force them to socialize only with people who had the same disregard for life that they had, and we would do that WITHOUT
giving official sanction to the killing of people.
But-- that would never happen. Why not? For the same reason, in the end, that capital punishment exists-- because the power-mongers in government
happen to like being able to kill people. That's an enormous power, and one that they're absolutely NOT going to give up. As a matter of fact, I
would bet pretty much anything that anyone wants that the range of capital crimes is only going to increase over time. There's no greater power that
a government can hold over its people than the power of life and death.
That, in itself, is another reason why capital punishment should be banned, but, as I said, that is actually the reason that it absolutely will NOT