Friday, September 23, 2011

Death Penalty is Murder

I never could understand how two wrongs make a right.  Remember when you were a kid and some other kid did something stupid – and you did the same thing.  Your mother probably said something like “if Johnny jumps off a bridge, I guess you would jump off the bridge too.”  Well, it turns out old mom was pretty smart.

Think about it.  The police are supposed to stamp out corruption – not be corrupt.  You wouldn’t expect firemen set fires.   How many people would go to a doctor if he purposely made the patient sicker?  All of these are obviously absurd scenarios.   

Yet, our states and national government make it illegal to murder someone, but have no problem committing murder themselves.  Yes, I am talking about the death penalty.  Why does the government feel they should be exempt from this crime?  Maybe it’s because of religious views, in which case I'm glad I am an atheist.  Maybe it’s because it makes you feel safer – even though there is no evidence that the death penalty serves as a deterrent to murder.  No, I just think people like the idea of revenge. 

My problem is that we sometimes get it wrong.  Innocent people on death row have been cleared by DNA in recent years.  There’s no telling how many innocent people were killed before this technology.  Georgia recently executed a man who had seven of his nine witnesses recant their testimony.  After a while, it appears expediency is more important than due process and mercy.

When I am King, I’ll eliminate the death penalty in all 50 states and the federal government.  Two wrongs don’t make a right.  Murder is murder.


  1. It amazes me that humankind can erect such grand intellectual structures as our legal system only too often to use them to divorce ourselves from the consequences of those systems for the individuals who become entangled in them. (Of course, we do the same with economics.) Why so much effort to justify murder? Perhaps because premeditated murder is really quite unnatural for us.

  2. I am an Australian, and we have no death penalty, however throughout highschool I was asked to prepare arguments for and against what is aptly described as 'state sanctioned murder'.
    The most interesting data I found at the time was that in US states that have the death penalty the homicide rates are higher than those that don't. I used to analyse and argue that when the legal authority sanctions murder, it changes the way the society or community considers the crime and makes it less abhorrent.
    That somehow, if the government justifies murder, there is more likely to be a higher murder rate due to some extension of that justification.
    If Australians voted for an American king, I'd definitely consider you. :P