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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.