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The Mudcat Cafesj

User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Sourdough BS: Is this guy worth a second chance? (52* d) RE: BS: Is this guy worth a second chance? 28 Jun 01

And the reason that we should execute this man is what?

To stop him from doing this again?

To stop other borderline retards from doing the same?

To show the rest of the world the efficiency and justice of state sponsored executions.

To provide vengeance.

Of all the reasons above, vengeance is the only one that makes sense and then only if you make the assumption that the "eye for an eye" argument is more compelling than "thous shalt not kill. An argument, or discussion if you will, like this only makes sense if you are willing to go to your assumptions and look at them. If you believe in vengeance, then killing the perpetrator of a horrendous crime in which there seems no doubt of his guilt is a logical, consistent position even if the perpatrator has the intellectual capacity of an overripe tomato.

So where does vengeance stop? Can you imagine any situation in which someone might commit a terrible murder and not pay with his life? Can you imagine someone so demented, so crazy that it would not make sense to kill him?

If we really are talking about vengeance, doesn't it make sense to make the execution painful? Why is it that we don't? Perhaps one reason is because of the people who have to carry it out. The executioners pay a price, too, that's why there is a blank in one of the rifles in a firing squad. It is why the people throwing the switch to light up the electric chair or to drop the cyanide pellet or to open the IV shunts don't know for sure whether it was their action that actually killed the prisoner. THey don't have to accept full responsibility for killing another person. The full price of that responsibility is too painful but I think, we all pay a price for the execution of a prisoner.

I share the outrage and anger of most people when I hear of a murder such as the one you describe and if it were my child I would be beside myself with black anger directed at the person who did it. I could conceive of killing him, face to face with a pistol, perhaps even a knife. However, I would hope that after a while, I would be able to let go of that anger, that I would come to realize that killing him would not change anything in the past and that executing him would be like demolishing a defective automobile that caused the death of someone I loved - it just wouldn't make any sense to me.

So, when it is all over, I think you, DougR, start from a different set of assumptions and having done that you come out in a different place. I could not get you to change your mind unless you were willing to question your assumptions any more than you will be able to change mine by listing horror stories.


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