In a few hours, convicted murderer Stanley "tookie" Williams will be executed in California’s San Quentin prison. His execution has been the cause de jour for bleeding hearts all over the US for the last year. It’s funny how the smallest group (anti-death penalty zealots number less than 20% of the overall population) can influence media the way it does.
I know one of the many arguments that anti-death penalty zealots often use is the idea that the death penalty isn’t a deterent to violent crime. I was completely unaware it was supposed to be… I mean, theoretically anyone who murders other people tends to have a very low regard for human life and I doubt very many things could deter them from their chosen path. I tend to look at the death penalty the way I look at cancer.
I mean cancer is something that doesn’t just get better if you ignore it. Quite the contrary, it gets worse. If you want to survive, you have to address it agressively. You excise it from your body. There is no guarantee that this will cure you, but you stand a better chance of surviving if you take it out. The same thing goes with someone who has proven through action to have little regard for the laws of that society. If you want to use the argument that the death penalty isn’t a deterent to violent crime, you also have to admit that incarceration isn’t a deterent either. All things being equal, i’d rather just get rid of your ass permanently.
While we’re on the subject, modern prisons are little more than criminal universities. If you go to prison, you’re not a good criminal (well, cause you got caught, right). Prison actually is where bad criminals (bad as in not good at their chosen craft) learn to be better criminals. Only the dumbest criminals go back to prison for the same offenses. Which means that the streets are full of the best criminals who have learned, through trial, error, and education, to excel at their chosen profession.
I think the utopia people wish our world to be is impossible without realizing that crime can’t be eliminated through incarceration and behavior modification. The only way to stop crime is to eliminate criminals. Make crime, all crime, an untenable position to hold. If you just kill criminals, all criminals (i’m not talking jay walkers here, I’m talking muggers, thieves, murderers, drug dealers, rapists, pedophiles, etc), eventually there won’t be anyone who is willing to commit crimes.
Don’t even get me started on the justice system in this country…
12 thoughts on “clocks”
I am not a fan of our current Governor, but I found his response to the request for clemency quite thorough and reasonable, and I consider it recommended reading for those who think Mr. Williams has grown angel’s wings in the last 24 years.
hmm. . yea that might just do it. But unfortunately probably not practical. And what about the people falsely (is that the right spelling? That looks weird.) convicted? Then again I saw ‘American Me’ so death might be preferable to a life in prison even if you really are innocent.
well, I love it when you get all liberal…..
If you live in a country that is barbaric enough to utilise the death penalty then the idea of clemency is a bit of a nonsense. Therefore Arnold’s decision was appropriate.
agreed. There are several countries that just don’t have crime for fear of what could happen.
So we register our outrage and disgust at the taking of human life by…taking a human life. Like so many things in the USA, hypocrisy wins the day.
I have a lot of gripes about living in the UK, but we have got two things absolutely spot on in this country: our gun control laws and the abolition of the death penalty in the 1960’s.
It’s not “bleeding heart” sentiment. It’s the sheer ridiculousness of a state sanctifying human life in one breath, then committing murder itself in the next. But hey, if America wants a justice system that is comparable to such enlightened and progressive regimes as Saudi Arabia, China and Iran, then who are we to argue?
See, like a lot of anti-death penalty people, you’re mistaking the punishment with the original crime. Anyone who is capable of killing another human being isn’t really capable of living within the laws of a given society. I’ll make a better analogy for you KOTH.
If you owned a chicken farm and you had a dog that was vicious, by no fault of your own, what would you do? Give it away so it was someone else’s problem? Would you chain it up? Would you just lock it up? Chances are you would have it euthanized because it serves absolutely no purpose to keep it alive. None. It isn’t a contributing part of the farm, it just takes up space and resources. All things being equal, keeping it locked up is actually more inhumane than putting it down.
At least that is the way a rational person views it. Others, who function on a misguided sense of emotion might see it differently.
And lets be honest about the UK. Do you really think the UK is a safer place to be than the US? Gun control laws do nothing more than prevent self-infliced gunshot wounds… just outlawing guns means that the only people who have guns are the ones most likely to use them in the commission of a crime.
We’re not talking about dogs. We’re talking about human beings. Therein lies the problem with the (thankfully small) pro-death penalty lobby worldwide. Equating humans to dumb animals displays a disturbing lack of humanity in itself.
In 2004, 37 people in Great Britain died as a result of gun crime. How many people died because of guns in the USA that year? But to paraphrase the late, great Bill Hicks, there is no connection. There is no connection between having a gun and shooting someone with it, and not having a gun and not shooting someone. And you would be both a fool and a communist to say there was….
Hopefully you can disagree with me and not think less of me. I can do it, but I find few people who are passionate about certain topics (religion, animal rights, human rights, etc) have a difficult time separating intelligent discourse from personal attacks… in that vein:
I used vicious dogs as an analogy. I don’t believe any human is a dog… unless of course you prove through action to be an animal… See, you can still believe that someone who can kill another human being without cause is still human. I don’t. I think that when you act like an animal (killing people for profit, for love, etc) you should be treated no better than an animal. You, as someone who is opposed to the death penalty, do not think rationally. You think emotionally. I’m not making fun of you nor do I think less of you, but I do believe you are not thinking rationally.
I never said there weren’t any gun crimes in the US. Giving me a tally doesn’t really support your argument against the death penalty. I said that gun control laws (which I am in favor of by the way) do nothing more than prevent self inflicted gun shot wounds (theoretically, these are people who shoot themselves out of sheer stupidity and not during the commission of a crime). Of the remaining thousands of deaths during the commission of a crime in the US, do you think that the only reason they committed the murders was because they had access to a gun? Now, you like stats… so tell me whether gun control laws prevented murder in the UK. The UK by your own example has gun control laws and 37 people died as a result of gun crime. Does that mean that losing 37 people to gun crimes is acceptable? And those criminals who committed these crimes are human?
My point in all this is that anyone who willfully kills another human being in the commission of a crime does NOT deserve to live. If you take a look at the types of crimes that are subject to the death penalty, we’re not talking about the types of people you’d have over for tea KOTH! In fact, most people on death row are multiple offenders. They have proven beyond a shadow of doubt that they can’t live by the same laws that govern a peaceful (arguably American’s on their own soil are peaceful) society.
There are currently 38 states that have the death penalty. Of the entire US population, 2/3 support capital punishment. Nearly 1/3 of the british population believes that execution should be the penalty for murder (scroll down to the bottom: http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/news.htm).
The death penalty is an incindiary topic, but if you look at the problem of violent crime pragmatically and rationally, execution of violent criminals is not only a viable alternative to life in prison, it is actually more humane.
There are more holes in your argument than a Swiss cheese. But you know, you aren’t going to convince me, and I’m not going to convince you. So let’s concentrate on dating tips!
Holes? Where? The stats I provided are easily verified and the opinions can’t have holes since they’re opinions… technically a hole to begin with if the old addage about opinions being like assholes is true 😉
Dating tips, e. I need dating tips!
And by the way, yes, fewer guns = fewer people dead through gunshot wounds. Pretty straightforward.
(Sorry, couldn’t help myself).
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