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It's Just Capital...Punishment that is

The death penalty has been in the news quite a bit recently. It would seem that some people think that it's not the answer to preventing capital crime. I'm inclined to agree with them for the most part. The thirst for righteous revenge on the part of victims surviving family members seems t be the only logical purpose for capital punishment. (It's funny to me how easily one can replace the word justice with revenge and have almost the exact same meaning in the sentence, but that's another blog entry.)
If the establishment truly wants to prevent people from killing each other then they should set the example and stop killing people. Take some of the money that gets spent each year on newer and better ways to kill and maybe conduct some R&D on some methods for truly rehabilitating and reintegrating criminal minds. Would it be so terrible if we really understood how the mind of a killer (or any criminal for that matter) works and corrected the problems so that they could become productive members of society? Wouldn't that be the best way to make up for the loss of life that resulted from his/her sickness? It is amazing to me that there are any serial killers on Death Row. Because I really didn't think a rational healthy mind was capable of committing such crimes. Shouldn't they have all "gotten off" on the insanity plea?
It begs the question what purpose does the death penalty really serve. It can't be considered a deterrent, since the amount of time that goes by from the commition of the crime to the carrying out of the death sentence is just unfathomable. It's quite surreal that the survivors of their victims can carry a grudge for that long in some cases. Let's face it the way our society deals with criminals, and prisoners in general, is broken. I just wish I had some Idea of how we could fix it. Who was it that said, "You can judge a culture by the way it treats its prisoners?"
So what purpose does the death sentence really serve? It can't be considered punishment, because the moment it's carried out, the criminals suffering ends. Isn't that what punishment is? Suffering. So in my mind it's a release from punishment. They no longer have to live with what they've done; they don't have to be confined to that little cell anymore where they are constantly reminded of what brought them there. And in some cases they've repented their sins and have asked for and received "absolution" from Jesus, so it's not like they are going to suffer in Hell. They can't contribute to our understanding of their psychology anymore cuz they're dead, so I ask again, what is the point of the death penalty?
I maintain that the death penalty is a foolish attempt to hang on to an antiquated sense of justice dating to before Christ. That the only purpose it truly serves is to satisfy a twisted sense of righteous revenge on the part of murder victims' surviving family and friends.

Posted by Frater V:I: at 1:45 PM - 3 Comments

Comments:

Hello, I do agree with you. I think that Capital Punishment is an abomination. Although I do understand the grief of the victims' loved ones - and I CAN understand their anger continuing -, I think that a civilized society should not allow their wrath (however understandable!) to determine the course of the law. Perhaps it is because of my geographical and cultural distance, but I was shocked at how many of the US-based 'Charismatic' Christians within this forum advocate the Death Penalty. I would have thought that they could have been confident in leaving matters of judgement to God. As to Human Justice: in the UK the six men found guilty of the Birmingham bombings in the mid-1970's would have been executed, had we a system of capital punishiment. Their guilt was largely predicated on forensic evidence that incontrovertably 'proved' that they had handled explosives. It was later shown that a positive result would be yielded if they had removed the cellophane wrap from a cigarette packet. I know that smoking kills, but really . Although they had over twenty years of freedom stolen from them, at least the five who were still alive once the truth was determined, are able to enjoy some normality. It needs saying, and you said it Frater VI. Take care

by DeBunkem on Friday January 6, 2006 @ 3:35 PM

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Thanks Debunkem for the feedback. I reread the entry a little while ago and I think I may have implied in some way that what victims of capital crime feel is in some way wrong. I though about editing the entry to remove the wording in question in favor of something a little more accurate, but decided that it wouldn't be fair to the people I've slighted. So instead I opted for an appology. I'm sorry for implying that victims of capital crime shouldn't feel slighted or that it is wrong for them to desire justice or in some cases revenge. I can't honestly say that I wouldn't want the same thing in their shoes and don't feel comfortable passing judgement on them in that way. I simply meannt that society has twisted our sense of justice so that it is just a happier way of addressing our desire for revenge.

by Frater V:I: on Saturday January 7, 2006 @ 1:10 AM

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I fully agree with you, Frater...great post!

by SarahW on Saturday January 7, 2006 @ 1:13 AM

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