Doug my friend, I can understand your feelings although to experience themis certainly something else. But to continue our dialogue, I cannot nor would not try to justify the crucifixion of Jesus, nor could I view his "crime" as really being a crime at all. But in those times they were real and the punishment given by a "justice" system that I cannot justify either, was appropriate also to that time.
But as I said earlier above, we have to some degree progressed. And as we continue this process, we are starting to see a worldwide change in ideas and attitudes regarding capital punishment. In these times it is still viewed as suitable, but the times they are a changin'. Good, fine, intelligent people still support the death penalty as good, fine, intelligent, folks believed in crucifixion in the times of Jesus, and as good, fine, intelligent, people believed, not so long ago, that ownership of other human beings was an okay thing too.
Times change. Cultures change. Religions change. Civilization evolves. Sometime down the road, perhaps others will look upon us as we view those from previous times today.
Zonahobo......If you point a gun at me and I have a gun, I am going to try to kill you before you kill me. Doesn't make it right though. I will rationalize your death and I will try to remain mentally well, but it will continue to bother me. If the situation was as compelling as the one you describe, I will feel better, but the angst will still be there. A percentage of vets were troubled like that after WWII, but far more after VietNam. Point being, self-preservation is a basic need, but the reason will determine how well we adjust.
Times are times.......death is death........We still are not far from the trees.