Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Death penalty- they don't do it again.

I have been following the debate on the death penalty, sparked by the termination of another oxygen-thief.

I didn't always support the death penalty, but within a week of working in a prison, I had re-examined this point of view!

Firstly, this is how I believe it should work.

1- The evidence must be incontrovertible- DNA match, video , multiple eye-witnesses- 'smoking gun' scenarios.

2- It should only be for premeditated murder, or murder in the commission of another crime

3- There should be a mandatory jail term, to allow for the appeal process or new evidence to surface- say five years. Time to pray that there is an all-forgiving God out there.

Back to the 'why's'

My experience is that those who fit this category have seldom lead a life of virtue. They generally have at least a couple of pages of convictions for lesser wrongdoings, before doing the big one. Of interest, I often would see 'theft of a bicycle' as the start to a career in crime.

The sort of murderer who has lead a useful life, then snapped one day and took the tomahawk to the mother in law doesn't fit the criteria for a hemp necktie. Nor the lad who at 18 and no dealings with the police, got into a brawl in the pub and hit someone a bit too hard. They are due serious punishment, but not death.

One comment that surfaces is that 'No person (or the state) has the right to take another's life'

That would be their opinion, as mine is to hand the bastards. I don't see it engraved on a mysterious prehistoric black obelisk. Even the line in the other mysterious object 'Thou shall not kill' is accepted to mean 'thou shall not murder'.

I suspect many of the 'no executions' camp have little experience in crime or criminals, outside of books.

The 'rough men that keep you safe, at night' have a different outlook. A much more pragmatic one. Dead crims don't cost money or reoffend. And justice is served to the victim.
Something not happening now, where the concern is for the 'rights' of the criminal. Something that should have been severely curtailed when the judge said "Guilty!"

I would love to see some of the 'crims are humans too' crowd spend a few day behind bars, in a high security unit. They may find their objectivity shifts, as the go from theorizer to prey.

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