What’s Wrong with the Death Penalty

09Jun10

CNN.com has an article about an unnamed firing squad executioner which seems pretty interesting.  He’s a current law enforcement officer who considers his role on the squad to be “100% justice”.

He has already taken part in one execution fourteen years ago where he assisted in the execution of a child murderer.   He has strong opinions about the death penalty and its constitutionality.  He feels that the punishment is much less “cruel and unusual” (if at all) than the crimes that were committed.

He describes the process where the convicted is seated in a chair with a target placed over his heart.  Five marksmen are given rifles and one is given a “blank” for ammunition.  This gives each one the possibility that he is not a murderer, even if that is the job they set out to do.  On the signal, all five shoot at the same instant, again trying to mask who does not have the live ammunition.  The subject of the article feels no guilt, no remorse, and even says at one point:

The death penalty is nothing more than sending a defective product back to the manufacturer. Let him fix it.

So what is wrong with the death penalty in my opinion?  Some say it doesn’t deter crime at all.  Crime statistics don’t go down when the death penalty is an option and they don’t go up when it is eliminated.  My opinion on this is because it doesn’t really exist.  It doesn’t exist in the minds of people ready and willing to commit such a crime.  We see the scenes of prison executions where there are about 20 people behind the glass to watch.  I think this should be something done in public.  Make it widely known what will happen and where and when and invite anyone and everyone to attend.  Let the whole world see what happens when you commit such a crime.  I’m not saying to put it on television.  TV is already filled up with murder and violence.  This would be just another tv killing.  If people want to see this, let them see it for real.  Let them hear the guns fire, let them see the criminal walk in and be carted out in a bag.  Let people see what is the real result of their actions.

The second thing that’s wrong is it takes too long.  Giving these people the years that they get to rot in jail is just too much time.  Let’s speed up the appeals, especially in today’s era of science.  If we have an admission or we have iron clad evidence, like DNA, then skip the appeals and get it over with.

Have you ever done something wrong and then had to face the punishment?  Doesn’t that often make you not want to make the same mistake?  Let people learn by others’ mistakes.  Let people actually see the repercussions.   Then maybe, we’ll have less crime and violence.

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3 Responses to “What’s Wrong with the Death Penalty”

  1. Most people who commit violent crimes don’t think they will get caught. I support the death penalty but wonder, like Governor Jesse Ventura did when he had the final say if I could do it. Jessie couldn’t.

  2. I don’t think I could flip the switch, pull the trigger or push the syringe myself either, but I do support other people being able to.

    It’s true that currently, many who commit those crimes don’t think they’ll get caught and the sad thing is, most of them actually don’t. But if we bring back the firing squad to the center of town for anyone and everyone to see, maybe it will make people think twice that death is real, not like what we see on tv.

  3. 3 Ian Hutchinson

    In Britain, until 1964, any deliberate murder, such as in a robbery, attracted the death penalty. This penalty was carried out within 90 days of the sentencing. In 1963 there were about 53 murders & about 700 armed robberies. The sentence was suspended in 1964 with a change of government & within 3 years armed robberies trebled to over 2,100. The murder statistics for a single London borough were over 50 murders in one month in 2004. Don’t try & tell me it was not a deterrent & I suggest googling the name Angela Wooliscroft to see what happened once the ultimate penalty was removed. Mercy can always be shown in suitable cases, but any law states first the crime i.e. Murder AND the penalty. In the case of callous, deliberate murder the appropriate penalty is death & carried out appropriately quickly. In Britain the sentence, as I said, had to be carried out in 90 days. The hanging took about 10 seconds from door opening to admit the hangman to the cell to the final neck-breaking drop & instant death. That is not cruel but is appropriate punishment for a deliberate murder.


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