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Death Penalty For the Weak
I decided to write this piece after reading a well written hub, be it one I believe to be misguided, posted by tonymac04; please read http://hubpages.com/hub/Revenge-Reason-and-the-Death-Penalty In advance you should know this isn’t going to be a short post, this subject is much too important to society to casually give it a nod or disapproving glance.
Essentially the anti-death penalty advocates argue over value of all life, evolution of reasoning, and against the purported “spiral of violence.” They state pro-death penalty citizens are not solving any problems associated with murderers, we are enabling revenge, and the end result still does not deter violent crime.
I make no overtures to bridging any differences between these two camps. For all practical purposes of agreeing on one thing, “Justice” has a separate meaning, defined differently and administered disproportionately as by our value system. I am sure to come off as abrasive and dispassionate against those who wish to abolish capital punishment globally. My tone is stern and maybe even a little condescending, but I guarantee you it is nothing as compared to differing professors critiques. Shall we begin?
I wish to invite the audience of anti-capital punishment advocates to paint for me a virtual world where your form of “Justice” is administered with alacrity and high minded reason. Show me how you take an unabashed murderer out of your society and apply to him your human value while equally meeting the need of a consoling family. Oh yeah, you do not get to start your utopian society from scratch, nor can you use AmherstNY, Mission ViejoCA or NewtonMA. Try something a little more real like Detroit, San Francisco or CamdenNJ. Even better, below is a link to a recent triple homicide in New Haven. Please read it and then tell me about your justice.
I am an imperfect being that is not without many a sin, and know that I have to answer to my maker for actions and lack of actions in my life. I have free will and therefore exercise it based on moral values, life experiences, and accumulated wisdom. My judgment of others actions is applied on a sliding scale from jubilant celebration to detestable contempt in need of intervention. Needless to say, my brand of justice is much swifter and less confused with right and wrong. Moreover, in my world, lines are not to be crossed or you will pay with your life.
I will make this portion simple for defining my line; premeditated murder for want of any gain, you’re dead. Manslaughter by DUI with any priors, you are dead. Murder by rape, or even violent rape with the victim still living, you’re dead. Convicted pedophiles of any kind, I would execute you twice. Terrorist…scratch that, unsuccessful terrorist are dead in my world. I am sure those of you who deeply empathize with any of the above are already shaking your fists and staring at your life size poster of John Lennon trying to center your chi. As I stated, I am not trying to change your mind, and you are certainly not going to change mine. I merely covered off on the bulk of offences in which I merit the death penalty unblushingly. Now let’s dive into the nitty gritty.
Seldom, if at all do I see the argument for which I’m about to make; because I believe in Christ our Lord, I do not feel compelled to defend the actions of any groups I mentioned above. Because I cannot judge what is in men’s hearts, only their actions, I feel no responsibility for empathizing with a cold blooded killer. Since I believe in an after life, I lose no sleep in worrying about the death of a murderer; I am more concerned for the grieving family and safety of society. God’s justice in the afterlife is very different from ours, only he can right that wrong under his terms. In our time, you have limited choices so you should make the best of them, and not impede the life of others. Do not misquote that statement, once you are a murderer, you have no more choices, you decided to forfeit your rights in society and gave society the right to do with you as “justice” sees fit.
I do not want to philosophize with the possibility that had Charlie Manson been hugged more, or had a greater sense of self-esteem he wouldn’t have committed those heinous crimes. Or better yet, Charlie Manson sitting in some cell proselytizing to other ‘valuable prisoners’ is proving our society more just and Manson’s life righteous. Forgive me, what value is a rotting murderer adding to society? How would a still alive Ted Bundy enrich our environment and say to the world “we American’s honor the life of homicidal maniacs, but not those of the meek and innocent?” Can you logically answer that or is this another one of those self congratulatory “feel good” moments where sparing the life of someone who didn’t murder your family is honorable? To those who do forgive their loved ones killer or rapist, I hold you in high regard; however, I am still going to remove that individual from the pool of life to protect the rest of society’s hard working, law abiding citizens.
There are something’s that were enduring about the way old school justice was meted out. If you wronged a neighbor you had to do something in return to make it right. Today we have insurance policies. If you have a stolen item, it is returned or you are compensated. If you are involved in a not at fault auto accident, their insurance compensates you and tries to make you whole again. You can sue in court for wrong doing or libel. In the military there are stated grievances. But what sort of justice is given to the family of the murdered? What kind of assurance is available to the family of the slain? I will never understand why making sure the perpetrator can never do this again to anyone again, be it in prison or in society is such a foreign concept to those who claim to value life. To me, it says you value the life of the victim and victim’s family less than you do that of the convict.
Since I know this is only the beginning of this dialogue, I will save some subjects for later. Be honest, tell me your justice, not that of any outside pressure left or right of the scales. Thank you.
Would you hire a known murderer out on parole?
Out of necessity, I have the optimistic viewpoint holding to the possibilities of grace, forgiveness, justice and peace of mind. [addendum added 4/07/12]
1. Grace; we handle those harmed with exceptional tenderness. The condemned need not anything beyond what due process is owed and innocent until proven guilty. No need for brutalization tactics, no need for draconian treatments.
2. Forgiveness; the family of those whom have had a loved one taken from them, they have full leverage to offer forgiveness to the convicted and condemned. This process belongs to the victims not the state.
3. Justice; conviction of murder without a shadow of doubt should remain clear and concise, forfeiture of citizens’ rights and revocation of the pursuit of happiness. Isolation from all persons and places until sentence is carried out.
4. Peace of mind; this comes to the families of the victim and society as a whole. This is achieved via the removal of the convicted from society permanently. Thus doing so ensures that individual can never harm another living person on this planet, ever, so help me God.