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Monday, November 12, 2007

Death Penalty - to Kill or not to Kill

There are two sides to the issues of the death penalty. There are those who say that under no circumstance should society deal out the punishment of death, we have no right. There are those who say eye for an eye - burn 'em all and let god sort 'em out.

Both groups are very passionate about their stances. Pro death people will argue that life imprisonment is very costly to the tax payer, and serves no purpose. They argue that the death penalty is a few cents in electricity or chemicals or a bullet - and serves as a deadly deterrent to would be criminals. Pro lifers side with a societal reason for criminal behavior, and that we should do all we can do to rehabilitate.

Arguments can get rather loud emotional on both sides of the fence.

I'll save everybody time and pain by saying this. Just like everything else on this earth, there is no such thing as opinions in blacks and whites. Everything is a shade of gray.

To the pro lifers: Rehabilitation is all well and good, and should be the first course of action. After all, a productive member of society is an excellent payoff to reasonable attempts at rehabilitation. But when reasonable rehabilitation attempts do not work, how far is too far? How much money, time and effort, at the expense of the rehabilitation of others, should be spent on a truly criminal or insane person? Out of all the violent offenders, how many people can truly be rehabilitated? Perhaps most of them, but what of those who just cannot be saved?

To the pro deathers: Relax Texas Jim, and put your guns away. People make mistakes. Some people, through the way they were raised or various mental conditions, cannot see a reasonable way out of a situation and do things when they think they have no alternative. Many of these people can be helped, can pay their debt to society, and can become productive members of that society. Is it not our duty as reasonable human beings to try? Would not an eye for an eye attitude make YOU a murderer?

Here is the way I see it. Make a reasonable attempt to rehabilitate a violent offender. If every reasonable attempt is made and they do not show remorse for their crimes and are at a very high risk of killing, raping and torturing people when they get out, further punishments should be carried out. If these people cannot ever be set loose in society again, why is society paying millions of dollars to feed, clothe and house these people, for decades and decades, until they die of old age?

I believe this is the best way to help the errant correct the path they are on, and help mitigate the every growing vacuum of tax dollars.

The death penalty. Let's do it, as a very last resort.

4 keen observations:

Anonymous said...

Fuck 'em! I'm totally and eye-for-eye kind of girl.

Mike said...

You did say you were from down south originally, right?????? :P

Hungry Mother said...

I think that the punishment should go with the crime. Hmm...that sounds familiar. There should also be circumstances built in somehow. Only a jury would be able to call for death. Death penalties should automatically be reviewed all of the way up the chain.

Mike said...

I think that any violent offender that is a virtual certainty of re-offending after spending jail and rehabilitation time is a candidate.

If some guy likes raping little girls, and will certainly do it again no matter what if let go, why keep him fed and housed in a jail cell for his entire life? Exactly what purpose in society is he serving just by breathing, eating and turning food into poo?

Some crimes (like the above) are even more heinous than straight murder and leave lasting effects on the victims.

But I do agree that there should be some massive checks and balances and no one person should decide that sort of punishment. The death penalty should be absolute last resort when all other reasonable efforts at rehabilitation have failed, and when it is best for the rest of society both financially and safety wise.