Capital punishment is an absolute necessity. I’ve been for it from the time I first asked myself the question – somewhere in my early teens.
I think it went something like this…
Me: “What would be a good reason to not kill someone that just kidnapped, raped, and cut off a child’s head with a butter knife?”
So, that’s the reality – I just couldn’t come up with any good reason. I believed in God at the time – or thought I did. My family and environment growing up all told me I did. So, effectively I did.
Now I ask myself the same question and unremarkably, with god not in the picture anymore, I come up with exactly the same “Uhmmmm” response. There is no good reason to allow someone to live after they step over the line like that.
A person like that is anti- social, whether or not it’s true according to any clinical definition or not. A person that does something to harm a member of society that doesn’t deserve such a thing – is antisocial and not contributing to society in the big picture. One must weigh the contribution to society…
Lets say the person above that cut the head off the child is volunteering time at a children orphanage, unpaid and working 90 hours a week to help kids without parents enjoy the best life has to offer. Let’s say he is also donating $700,000 per year out of his own deep pockets to fund college tuition for moneyless high school students to attend nursing school. This person also has written six books about helping kids with cancer live meaningful lives.
Should we give him the death penalty for the crime he committed?
Absolutely – and as fast as possible.
There just isn’t any worth to an individual like this in my mind. No worth to me at all. Any thought we apply about him is wasted thought beyond how to eliminate him from the big picture, forever. He’s of no worth to society.
There isn’t anything he could do that could possibly balance the scale or tip them toward allowing him to live more life after what he did. A person like this is a problem from that day forward. Are we all to pull together to deal with this problem continually for years and years to come? Should we be expending that kind of energy for such a thing? For society to go forward we need to move forward and not look back at this issue. We expend hundreds of millions of hours of energy about these criminals instead of eliminating them immediately.
The energy I’m talking about is:
- All the thought that goes into worrying about how to prevent this one individual from ever hurting another innocent person again. We think of laws. Psychologists create rehabilitation experiments they think will generalize to reality – and it doesn’t. There’s no way to predict future behavior of antisocial people, and the fact that they were antisocial once is the best determining factor for whether they’ll do it again.
- All the legal motions that will be gone through as this jackass searches for anyway to get out earlier than what he was sentenced.
- All the emotional pain the family of the victim will go through as long as this idiot remains alive. Can you imagine knowing that this guy would be alive somewhere after what he did to your daughter or sister? I can’t fathom the pain and rage that would be inside each family member… each friend she had… for so many years…
There are no second chances in my mind for anyone like that. If there is a god and if it gives second chances – great. That’s all out of our hands. What isn’t out of our hands is how we deal with degenerates that cross the line here in our US society. We could make a serious difference by eliminating every single one of them as quickly, cheaply, and unceremoniously as possible.
When I lived in Clearwater, Florida there was big news about a guy named Lawrence Singleton. Years before he had raped a 15 year old girl and cut her hands off and left her to die in a ditch in California. She lived instead. He was sentenced to prison instead of being killed immediately after the trial. After just 8 years he was paroled.
There was big news because the idiot moved to Tampa, Florida. It wasn’t long before he killed a woman with 40+ stabs of a screwdriver.
There are some actions that don’t deserve another chance. I’d be glad to work with a national committee to draft that list that defines “the line” not to be crossed. I’d be glad to pull switches or inject drugs or whatever I needed to do to help sort it all out. I have no morality issues with that at all.
Why is the decision about whether to mete out the death penalty made at the state level? Do we go to war at the state level?
We need to make war with people that have chosen to destroy someone else’s life. When a criminal chooses that action, it’s not only the victim that’s affected, but the lives of each and every family member and friend of the victim are put through hell also. The criminal decided first to make war, and now we must make war back to resolve the issue, or we’re losers.
When we face war with war on this macro level we are going to war against someone that has caused grievous harm to other members of our society – and, unlike Iraq or Afghanistan, or the war on terror, it’s a war we can win.
We wouldn’t put up with that from a foreign enemy, and yet some states who’ve abolished the death penalty want us to put up with it from an enemy living within our borders… on our streets. Next door to us.
To me, someone that murders someone else, rapes someone else, kidnaps someone, or tortures someone in the USA is a terrorist operating on our own soil. Terrorists in Afghanistan responsible for the World Trade Center incidents must be killed. Americans don’t seem to have a problem with that at all.
Americans that kill other Americans for no good reason at all, terrorists at heart, must also be killed.
With this, there is a problem?
Now – I qualified that statement two sentences ago by saying “for no good reason at all.” In my mind there are justifiable reasons for a member of the public to kill someone else. Thankfully the laws allow for that in some instances of home invasion and being threatened with deadly force. However, my idea of what is justifiable is more loosely constructed than what the law currently allows – and it’s something I’ll get into in a future post about revenge and vigilantism. I’ll make a note to write that up soon.
In this discussion I’m talking about enforcing the death penalty for everyone convicted of committing murder, rape, kidnapping, and some other crimes.
Here’s a partial list of what criminals should die for:
- killing a child
- raping a child, woman, or man
- maiming a child or adult (cutting off a finger, an ear, whatever. Stabbing, cutting, burning, electrifying, etc.)
- emotional torture
- forcing drugs on another person
Now – what about the innocents?
That’s a good question, and one we can’t ignore. The court system is not infallible. It’s pretty good, but not beyond mistakes. Reality tells me that life is full of mistakes… we live with them. I’m proposing a national death penalty to be carried out immediately after a trial with a jury. The jury only decides – guilty and deserving of death, or not. The onus is on the jury to decide whether the person is guilty or not. Juries make mistakes all the time based on what evidence they can and can’t see.
In the big picture any innocent people dying for crimes they didn’t commit is a function of society and something we live with. Sentencing someone to death as a result of genetic proof difficult to refute is something more people can believe in. I’m more for it.
Having more false negatives is better in my mind than more false positives. I’d rather see one innocent person set free even if it meant also freed were 6 guilty, or even 100 guilty. Because I think eventually the guilty commit some other crime they’ll receive the death penalty or lengthy jailtime for. Sure some of the guilty that were released will kill others when they get out – but no system is perfect. To sentence an innocent person to death is one of the most tragic events I can think of.
Is it tragic enough to eliminate the death penalty altogether? Not in my mind.
Best of Life!
As of October 2009 thirty-five United States have the death penalty. Hawaii does not.
Photo: Flickr user, Andrew Petro