"Mistrust those in whom the urge to punish is strong." Friedrich Nietzche

"Any and all non-violent, non-coercive, non-larcenous, consensual adult behavior that does not physically harm other people or their property or directly and immediately endangers same, that does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, and that is done in private, especially on private property, is the inalienable right of all adults. In a truly free and liberty-loving society, ruled by a secular government, no laws should be passed to prohibit such behavior. Any laws now existing that are contrary to the above definition of inalienable rights are violations of the rights of adults and should be made null and void." D. M. Mitchell (from The Myth of Inalienable Rights, at: http://dowehaverights.blogspot.com/)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Death Penalty

The death penalty . . . are you for it or against it? I'm against it, but only because it has been shown in many cases that innocent men have been convicted and sent to death row. And how many innocent men have we executed in the last 100 years?

I think that a woman or child who is kidnapped, raped, then murdered is a horrifying image. I also think that a man on death row who is actually innocent and is executed is another horrifying image.

It is my firm belief that the only just cause for the use of force against another is in defense of self, loved ones, or innocent others. A murderer loses his rights to life when he, with premeditation, kills another person. If I,or anyone else, caught the murderer in action and killed him, that would be justified. If he is caught later and the State, acting on behalf of the victim and all citizens, kills the murderer, that too is justified.

I don't see the death penalty as punishment or as a deterrent to others (obviously it isn't or there wouldn't be any murders now, after thousands of years of the death penalty for certain behaviors). I see it as getting rid of the garbage. I don't care how bad a home life a person might have had, a murderer, unless truly insane, knows that what he or she is doing is wrong. More, they would not want the same thing done to them. (That's what "do unto others as you would have others do unto you" is all about.) A truly, or completely, insane person doesn't know right from wrong.

But, because our criminal justice system is, at best, flawed, and in many instances corrupt, then innocent men get convicted and sent to death row. I think about how it would feel to know that you were innocent and sentenced to death. I shudder. You should too. Therefore, until we have a foolproof way to know if a particular person committed a particular behavior, which would calling for the death penalty, I think we should just put it on the shelf.

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