I Just Wanted To Say...

What is your problem?

Name:
Location: Georgia, United States

I am me. More than I was, less than I will be. This is difficult. Facts-female, southern, mother and grandmother. Abstract-a Christian, a loner, intelligent, somewhat arrogant, impatient with stupidity, an unusual sense of humor.

5/09/2005

Why is he entitled?

The death penalty.
A topic that is guaranteed to generate discussion. Too often uncivil discussion. I have heard and read any number of arguments on both sides.

There are those who claim religious grounds. Even those who don't really believe in God or the Bible will quote the seventh commandment-Thou shalt not kill. The counter-argument is, of course, the actual word used means murder, which is the willful and wrongful taking of a human life.

There is the argument that if we take the life of a killer, then we are no better than the killer is. Counter-argument is that there no moral equivalence between a person who murders another and the lengthy, careful process of the judicial system deciding what the appropriate punishment is for a person who takes a human life.

There is the "we are too civilized and we should be above killing even a murderer."
Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit wrote, "The notion that civilization equals squeamishness is not supported by history.
Check out a few of the great civilizations. Egypt, the Incans, the Mayans, the Roman Empire, Greece, the Chinese dynasties, the Venetian Doges, France during the reigns of the Sun Kings, England, Spain, Russia. None of them were squeamish about death.

There is the "the death penalty won't really act as a deterrent to other murderers. Counter-argument-It will certainly deter the executed one from killing again.
(One of my personal favorites, because death-penalty opponents will then turn around and argue that if the government sanctions killing, then people will come to believe that killing is okay. Sooo, let me see if I have this right-- people who might murder won't learn anything from the government killing murderers, but regular everyday folks will learn that killing is okay if the government kills murderers. Truly one of the weakest arguments there is.)

The "it costs so much money to prosecute death penalty cases" argument. Excessive costs, but not much different than the cost of maintaining the prisoner over the course of his lifetime.

Actually, there was an attorney in my office not too long ago and we were discussing a recent local murder case involving a two-year old boy who was shot in the head by someone demanding money from his father. This particular attorney said he had no moral objection to the death penalty, but felt that death penalty cases took too much time and money. He felt that people who are found guilty of murder should be locked up for the rest of their lives and forgotten. My expression must have changed, because he looked at me and said, "You probably don't agree, but I think prosecuting death penalty cases is a waste of money."

I nodded and said, "For myself, there is one question I have never been able to answer satisfactorily and that I have never had another person answer satisfactorily. "

He asked me what was the question.

"Why is he entitled to what he denied another?"

There was a look of surprise on his face. He was quiet for a minute. He said, "I've never thought about it that way."

I don't consider that a satisfactory answer, either.





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