Put It To Death

This essay has several rotten sentences in it  (all of them include the word “populism”), but it’s a worthy topic. For decades I have maintained three points about the death penalty.

  1. The argument that it “deters crime” is the most transparently juvenile and untrue excuse ever offered for anything. It’s like believing if you cross your fingers you aren’t telling a lie.
  2. It persists in large part because too many people can live their whole lives and not know executions are happening on their watch. There should be mandatory, all-TV-channel broadcasts when they occur. And the murderers should be killed exactly the same way they killed their victims — shot, strangled, stabbed, etc. “Eye for an eye” is lots more brutally honest than what we do now.
  3. Humm. Must be tough to find executioners who would do this, right? Oh no no — the most pissed-off, vengeful relatives and/or friends of the victim are asked to do the deed, no penalty. If they can’t do it — no execution. If they do, all-TV-channel broadcast and everyone gets to see what a primitive, barbaric system we are endorsing.

2 thoughts on “Put It To Death

  1. In Nebraska I recall the repeal of the DP was mostly for economic reasons. If tax payers have to foot the bill for all the appeals what’s the sense in dangling a poisonous carrot for years and years? Aside from all the moral and ethical debate, the money trail seems as good a reason as any to not have the DP.

  2. I think you need a combination of economic appeals and ironclad moral disapproval. I mean, the DP was reinstated in the ’70s in the midst of a panic about serial killers and militants. We could have a situation where some tyrant (ahem) wiped out all the appeals process and hollered about “let’s go back to ‘kill ’em quick’ like Charlie Starkweather.”

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