It is with great reluctance that I inform my libertarian friends that this will not be a rant dedicated to the intolerable and highly corruptible members of our respective governments. You’ll just have to wait on that. No, my learned fellow corporate prisoner, I am talking about the sort of capital punishment that involves those convicted of crimes in a court of law (as opposed to those beaten to death by over-exuberant members of our fine police force – note my sympathy).
I could bore you with facts and figures, which may appeal to basement dwellers who have made themselves believe that soiled underwear is their form of “style,” so if that is your thing, stop reading, scratch your ass and smoke a doobie. There is nothing for you here. I promise I will wake you up when I am finished.
It must suffice to inform my reader that, based on extensive research the results of which can be found online, capital punishment, beyond a biblical need for revenge, does not, nor has it ever, been a deterrent to violent crime. It is also far more costly than housing such offenders for the duration of their natural lives.
Beyond the statistics, I find it odd that people who call themselves “pro-life” (most of whom are pro-death penalty) are so eager to see TWO lives lost instead of ONE. Many of our violent crimes are perpetrated by people who should be mental health consumers, yet many are left undiagnosed and/or untreated and fall between the cracks. This is true of both Canada and the United States, with the latter country having the far bigger burden for reasons I will not discuss here. I should have the National Rifle Association displeased with me already, and making enemies of such people seems inadvisable.
Based on my extensive research into this topic, I have come to the conclusion that some people have very little if any interest in solving these problems and protecting the public. Their only concern is punishment: reacting to a heinous crime rather than preventing it. We are all simply sitting ducks to such people. Pawns for the sake of someone’s inane need for religiously-motivated retribution. Since people are simply either “good” or “evil,” the latter must be stamped out without question. Prevention is a lost cause to these warriors and defenders of the faith (what faith I have yet to determine, since it hardly matches any teachings of Jesus Christ that I can recall from Sunday School). If you are going to commit a violent crime in the future, nothing can save you. I respectfully disagree with my learned televangelist friends and their soon to be broke followers.
If you euthanize a violent criminal for the mere sake of punishment, something tells me they’re not going to get that message – and I don’t think Hell has a postal service. If the goal is to protect the public, why wouldn’t you look into prevention? Oh right, I forgot. There is no hope for such people. If all human life is sacred (at least as Christians claim it is – and by human I mean to the exclusion of all other forms of life), why wouldn’t you want to at least attempt to save one of the people involved in such crimes? The murderer is responsible for taking the life of one person, but so is a system that exercises capital punishment. And who decides who lives and who dies? Forget religion, even atheist politicians believe that such decisions fall under their area of expertise. Texas Governor Rick Perry (he of “oops” fame) is lauded by many for his participation in capital punishment in his own state, but that shouldn’t be a surprise, since murder overseas tends to arouse many on the Far Right – why not murder at home? If you respect your Maker in any significant way, leaving it up to that higher power to sort out these things seems preferable than the disrespect in thinking that God is some kind of invalid (as opposed to all-powerful) and needs human help to correct such injustices.
In my view, arresting and punishing someone for the most despicable crimes in the way that is promoted by some of my conservative friends uses fellow human beings as guinea pigs. Someone has to die so that others can fulfill some kind of modern sacrament. I mean, we can’t let a murderer have all the fun of killing someone. And if you are one of those people too chicken to watch a bloody battle first hand, observing the wonders of electrocution should be right up your alley.
The whole culture invokes the thought of violence. Everything from such manly men as Wayne LaPierre to films that are banned for sexual content while violent ones are permissible demonstrates this. Capital punishment is one of those primitive forms of violence that is permissible in some societies.
I am not, however, advocating the notion that some members of society and their violent impulses aren’t incurable. Once every method of rehabilitation has been exhausted with little or no signs of improvement, life sentences seem to be reasonable in some cases. But if you call yourself “pro-life,” forgetting the theme of redemption that encompassed much of Jesus’ teachings seems more than a little ignorant.
We are told by certain members of society that life is sacred. When I hear such things advocated by those who seek to take life through a flawed system of justice, forgive my scepticism.