Tag Archives: The Death Penalty

No justice system should have a one hundred percent permanent punishment

If we put all moral and ethical aspects of the death penalty aside for a moment, I still land at this: For a one hundred percent permanent punishment to be justified in any way, shape or form, the least we should demand is a one hundred percent error free and fair justice system.

If you’ve been around people, other than imaginary friends, you know no one is one hundred percent perfect.

But that’s what a one hundred percent error free justice system lands in. One hundred percent perfect people one hundred percent of the time.

No witnesses getting things mixed up, no police mixing up evidence material, no lawyers with bad days. Not to mention, no forensic methods (2, 3) with questionable scientific value. Just to mention a few of all the places where justice systems can fail.

One hundred percent perfect people, one hundred percent of the time.

Or the death penalty should be off the table…

Unless, of course, the reasoning is that you have to accept some losses. A few innocent deaths are the price we have to pay…

And… if that’s the argument, why not just save all that money and apply it to the victims in the first place?

What’s the difference between a murder victim and an innocent person that has been executed?

What if it was your kid?

Have you ever heard someone say, “what if it was your child?” in a discussion about the death penalty?

Let’s examine that sentiment…

As a parent it’s your moral duty to protect your child’s life, right?

What if your child committed a crime that would result in a death penalty, and you knew where the only witness lived? Is it now your moral duty to silence that witness permanently?

Would it, on the other hand, be moral if you killed that witness if you child only risked a long prison sentence?

Post-Truth Discussions

Post-Truther (after someone posted a link to an article about a convicted murderer smiling contemptuously and giving the camera the finger): This guy must die violently!

Me: It’s easy to talk about the death penalty in these situations. I once had a friend that was a strong supporter of the death penalty. Then the father of her kids committed murder. And she totally changed opinion…

Post-Truther: Bullshit!

Me: What part of what I just wrote do you think is bullshit? That I know someone that changed their opinion when it got personal? Do we know each other?

Post-Truther: What if it were your child that got robbed? I can’t understand how you can write what you’re writing!

Me: …

The Death Penalty: Almost as Dumb as Letting Murderers Off Without Consequence

The death penalty is almost as dumb as letting murderers get off without a consequence.

Here’s the reasoning:

The death penalty is a 100% permanent punishment. You cannot take it back. Once a person is executed they are dead.

So, it stands to reason that if a country wants to use the death penalty the judicial process for sentencing people to death in that country should also be 100% — correct, fair and fault free.

This means 100% correct and honest witnesses and evidence. 100% honest and competent police officers, judges, lawyers, and prosecutors.

In case you were unaware; the people listed above are also human beings. They are not gods, so, they are not 100% correct 100% of the time.

So why use a 100% permanent punishment and allow people and systems that aren’t 100% fault free decide when and on who to use it?

Is the reasoning that a few innocent people sentenced to death and executed are an acceptable cost?

If you answer yes to that question, remember the murder victims were also innocent.

Why spend all this money on a justice system, trials, and retrials, lawyers and prosecutors, just to risk sacrificing some more innocent people?

Why not just drop the whole prosecute-murderers-thing and tell the victims families that some innocent people dead is an acceptable cost?

OK. That’s obviously an exaggeration. I am sure in most cases actual murderers are executed.

The problem is that nobody knows who’s innocent and who’s guilty with a faulty justice system (not 100% correct 100% of the time, you know, like, run by imperfect humans).

I think it’s common sense and decency to not dole out 100% permanent punishments in an imperfect world.

We would never have…

Perhaps you’ve seen a discussion about how justice was performed in the old days, where someone says “we would never have done it like that” or “if it had been today, that case wouldn’t even have gone to court.”

The latest such discussion I came across was on the execution of Joe Hill :

Like many historians, Gibbs M. Smith, author of a Hill biography, said the trial was unfair. “Under today’s laws of evidence, he never would have been convicted and executed,” Mr. Smith said.

Then it hit me. If we say these things today about things that happened a century ago. People a century from now will most definitely say the same about things we’re doing today.

And that’s why I will never ever under any circumstance believe in the death penalty.

Why the death penalty is wrong

anti-death-penaltyI’ve spent some time thinking about the death penalty and why it’s such a bad idea. Some of my reasons are:

  • People aren’t one hundred percent perfect one hundred percent of the time, and the death penalty is a one hundred percent permanent punishment
  • You can’t give life back to the dead, so maybe you shouldn’t be so eager to take it from the living?
  • Isn’t the death penalty just another kind of murder? And what gives the executioner the right to do something no one else is allowed to do?
  • You can’t compare murderers to wild animals in order to justify the death penalty because people aren’t animals!
  • Neither religion nor nature really grants us the right for revenge or any other way to kill someone else
  • Personal reasons and lust for revenge is not a valid reason to ask for a perpetrator to be executed–personally involved people aren’t even allowed to serve as judges or in any other official capacity in the court proceedings, the sentencing or the punishment (the term is “disqualification,”) why should personal reasons be used to demand the death penalty?

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