The Right to Live or An Eye for an Eye?
What with all the media coverage of the Timothy McVeigh execution, as well as the debate on the ethics of executing John Paul Penry, it's only natural that I feel like meditating over a report I did on the death penalty for my 11th grade English class. My stance is, and has always been for the death penalty.
Now before you e-mail me and leave asinine messages in my guestbook telling me I'm a murderer and I'm going to burn in hell, save your virtual breath. When I read my report to my class, they all gave me compelling reasonable fights about why the death penalty was wrong, and I shot each one of them down in flames. My opinion on it shall not change, and I will tell you why I feel that it is neccessary.
Reason #1: Jail is not a deterrent. If I know that I can kill as many people as I want for whatever reason, and all that will happen is I'll get sent to jail, I'd go into the mercernary for hire business without a second thought. Jail is not as scary to most people as you might think. Hell, here in the US we give our prisoners cable TV, fresh clothes, good food, heating/ac, educations, jobs and all the other comforts you can get on the outside and you don't even have to pay for it because we do. Why in the hell should I have to pay for somebody else's delinquent son to watch HBO? Besides all of that, jails are already greatly overcrowded because hardly anyone is scared to go to jail anymore.
Reason #2: For some people, a second chance does more harm than good. You let someone get away with murder once, and what's to stop them from doing it again? Both John Wayne Gacy and Albert Fish had been imprisoned before because of other deviant crimes. Apparently they learned nothing in jail other than the fact that our legal system is a fucking joke, because as soon as they got out they decided to start killing people. Oh, and that pleading insanity thing is such a load of shit. Being insane is no excuse. Insane or not, you are still a danger to the lives of others. All the more reason you should be executed in my opinion: since you cannot be held accountable for your actions, rehabilitation will do you no good.
Reason #3: An example needs to be set. I believe that when you take the lives of others without just cause (i.e. self defense), you forfeit your own right to live. If we stop letting the murderers off with a slap on the wrist, it'll make people think a little harder before they decide to go out and kill somebody. Why is it that if I kill three people, I'll probably get out of jail sooner than if I sold a bag of cocaine?! Some priorities are seriously screwed up right there.
Now I can hear the whining already...
"How can you say that?! How is self defense a just cause?" It is human instinct to defend yourself. If someone is trying to do you harm, you are most likely going to fight back to some extent. Should you happen to kill them in the process, you should not be subject to severity from the law, provided they were posing a serious threat to you, and left you no other alternative. In other words, if some nut breaks into your house and attacks you while you sleep or something, you should be allowed to blow their brains out, no questions asked.
"Capital punishment is unethical!" So is even murdering someone in the first place. I will not try to get around it, I know damn well that capital punishment is murder plain and simple. I do not give a shit. It's lawful and rightfully deserved murder, as opposed to smashing little kids heads in the back of an alley because your mommy beat you as a child.
"Thou shalt not kill, heathen bitch!" Suck my ass, bible thumper. Let's see how righteous you are when some psycho rapes and mutilates your five year old daughter and shows no remorse. I'll bet you'll scream for his blood and spit in his face when they take him in the courtroom. It's interesting how just as with the abortion activists, anti-death penalty activists have never been in the position to experience what it's like to have to go through what they so heartily condemn. Just like the pro-lifers have never had to be that raped college student who cannot afford a baby, and doesn't want another reminder of her ordeal, the anti-death penalty people have never had to know the pain that comes with the phone call telling you the murdered body of someone you love has just been found, destroyed almost beyond recognition. They don't know the emptiness one feels after that, and the cold rage that you harbor toward the killer. They are oblivious to the heartbroken frustration that person feels when they see that murderer get off with a mere prison sentence instead of having the life zapped out of his body. And while I have not been the pregnant woman, nor the bereaved family of the victim, I still know that I would prefer that woman have her abortion than bring yet another unloved child into this world just as I know that if the law would not grant me justice, I would get it myself... one way or another.
"The death penalty is expensive!" It doesn't have to be. Personally I think the electric chair is depraved and sick, and no one should be subjected to such cruelty. Gunshot wound to the head will suffice. No lethal injection, or gas. Just pop a cap in their ass and call it a day. Then again, I have always entertained the idea that they chose their own poison beforehand. For example, McVeigh liked to blow things up? Explode his ass. Put him in a field, strap some dynamite to him. There you go. Dahmer liked to strangle people and hit them with hammers? Choke him and beat his ass. You have some guys that like to skin people. Make me a nice purse out of his ass, a matching belt, shoes even. Okay, now that's just sick, but you get the idea. This will never happen of course, because we have laws against "cruel and unusual punishment." I will always think however, that the bullet is simply too merciful for some people.
"It's inhumane!" Only when you do it to people, eh? When people inject chemicals into dogs & cats and give them poisoned food, it's called being humane. How interesting. I find the death penalty to be very humane in fact. With the exception of the chair, it's damn near painless. For crying out loud, it's not like we stone and crucify them! They're not getting drawn and quartered!
"But, isn't it more fitting to let them rot in jail?" Rot? In jail? In the US? Ha ha ha. No. Jail is for basic crimes like grand theft auto, blackmail, conspiring, and even rape. I don't think that rapists should be executed. I do think that they should be sodomized and or castrated however. But back to the matter at hand.
My *only* qualm with the death penalty is that the innocent may be killed along with the guilty. Which is why I don't think that it should be dished out quite as freely as George "Angel of Death" Bush Jr, has been doing. It should be given only if the person confesses or if it can be proven without a doubt that they are guilty. Never on basis of heresay. No proof, no death. Toss their ass in the slammer until some sort of definate conclusion is reached. You are either guilty or you are not.
As far as executing the mentally retarded, I'm not sure on that one. I think that it's wrong in the way that executing a child is wrong. Still, the severity of the crime should be taken into account before anything else. About a year or so ago around here, these teenage girls pulled this woman out of her car and beat her to death for no apparent reason other than she asked them to move out of the street so she could drive pass. There was a great hoopla over whether they should be tried as adults. Their lives were just beginning, and was it right to end them so soon? They made a mistake, they need a second chance, blah blah. I say, if you're old enough to kill, you're old enough to be killed. You forfeited your young lives the moment you took someone else's and if you want a second chance, you'd better hope for reincarnation, for so help me if I was in charge of this country I would've executed those girls that same damn day without so much as acknowledging any damn protestors.
Bottom line: You break in my house, I'll shoot you. You murder my kid, I'll shoot you. In some cases two wrongs sure as hell do make a goddamn right. This world is far too fucked up to argue against capital punishment by saying that the person will get their due in an afterworld that may or may not exist. I'd much rather prefer to give them their justice right here on Earth thank you very much.
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