Last part, sale then I’ll write something funny again, promise.
Last week I wrote about my views on the execution of the retarded, and received only one violation of Godwin’s Law. I did see some debate in my comments section going both ways.
I want to clarify my position in a couple of ways. Some people feel that the retarded, like children, are not completely responsible for their actions. I agree with this sentiment, but feel that this is a factor when determining innocence or guilt. In order to be guilty of a capital crime, there is generally a requirement that the guilty party knew what they where doing, otherwise it would be manslaughter, rather than murder.
Now having said all that on the subject, I have to add one last part. Although I believe in executions in principle, I am actually against the death penalty.
I understand all of the arguments for the executions, and I agree with most of them. Simply put, an execution is a dynamite way of preventing repeat offenders. And I believe that once somebody crosses certain lines, they are saying “I do not value this society, and I shall place my own selfish desires ahead the lives of my fellow citizens”. And I think once that line is crossed our society has better things to spend our recourses on than providing for people like that.
In fact, I think the list of crimes that deserve execution should be expanded to cover rapists, child molesters, corrupt politicians, and some of the more nefarious shenanigans practiced by corporate executives run amok.
The problem as I see it, is not a matter of whether or not certain crimes deserve it.
The problem is that our judicial system is *really* bad at separating the innocent from the guilty. It’s just horrible at it. And even though it sucks to spend ten years in jail for something you did not do, at least they can un-incarcerate you. They can’t un-kill you.
My belief is that our legal system was founded on the principal that it is better for the guilty to go free, than for the innocent to get punished. And no matter how rare an occasion it is for an innocent man to be executed, once is far too many for me.