Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Death Penalty

In the news is the impending execution of the main DC sniper.

Now, this "wild-eyed liberal" used to be a firm believer in the death penalty: some people are just too mean to be allowed to live. "Kill 'em." that was my attitude.

Since we no longer live in communities of such isolation that we can expel those sufficiently anti-social people who refuse to comply with the general rules of the community, I used to feel the death penalty was an acceptable solution. The Amish--and others--still practice shunning. So what are we to do?

I had an epiphany. The moment I became convinced the death penalty was a bad idea. I changed my mind in an instant. It was before the extensive exposures of the Innocence Project (although, their work has added to my certainty that the death penalty should be discarded). My insight came when Timothy McVeigh stated that he wanted to receive the death penalty.

At the place in time when I heard that, I knew with sudden and complete clarity that he should be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. No quick, easy out for someone who had killed and maimed that many children. He should be kept alive for a very long, long time. Alive, in a cell where photos of the mangled bodies of his victims are displayed for him to view. (I guess I can be a very vengeful person.)

Anyway, a life sentence: give those that are guilty a good long time to consider their sins; give those that are wrongfully convicted time to have their innocence proved.

Change the laws. Abolish the death penalty.


  1. the ONLY problem with this senerio is that the do-gooders insist we make prison life far too comfortable for prisoners. I am all for giving them time to have their innocence proved, especially given the Gilcrest fiasco here in our great state. I do have a problem with lifers getting a better education at the taxpayer's expense than what most parents pay for their children's college education, among other things, the list is too long. can we hang them by their toes??

  2. OK, if you don't want them "too comfortable," you must walk among them. Been to BJCC? No air conditioning. Not comfortable in my book. And those that are someday going to get out had better have more life-tools than when they went in or, once again, "we" need to fear them.

    The point of incarceration must become to keep them away from "us." I said McVeigh should have to look every day at pictures of those children he harmed so grievously. But I am a little uncomfortable with actual physical harm--physical torture is just not something I am prepared to put my stamp of approval on.

    It is a thorny problem--with no easy answer. I was relating how I came to change my opinion on the subject.