Saturday, July 5, 2008

My position on the death penalty

In one of my recent entries on my Golden Dawn blog, I said that I was semi-pro death penalty. This disturbs both camps---for some reason, people believe that this is one of those issues that you either have to be all in or all out on.

At one time, I was completely pro-death penalty. To be quite honest, I brought into the argument that the death penalty acted as a deterrent.

One can rack up the loosing up of my opinion to college. A few semesters ago, I took my public speaking (speech) class, and one of the speeches we had to do was an emotional issue.

Personal experience in the past has taught me that people are emotional about the death penalty; in fact, one of the members of one of the rival Golden Dawn lodges here in Denver refuses to sit in lodge with me because of my views on the death penalty (someday, I might go into more detail on my GD blog).

One of the things that I discovered while researching the subject is that it does not actually work as a deterrent. Most murders turn out to be unplanned, spur of the moment affairs.

So if that justification for the death penalty does not hold up, is there any reason to have a death penalty?

This question recently arose when a court overturned a death penalty for a child rapist, calling it cruel and unusual punishment. In the court’s opinion, only crimes resulting in death merit the death penalty. I bet the child’s mother and father beg to differ. I know some witches who would beg to differ (which is another reason why some people will not sit in lodge with me).

Death penalties give comfort to the victim’s relative. Yet, in the end, beyond the fact that it makes victims relatives feel better, is there a purpose to keeping the death penalty as an option. In the end, we have to say yes.

The government wants to keep it as a punishment for treason. Personally, I understand that.

But I would insist that certain terrorists, who want to become martyrs by being executed (with the added bonus of going directly to a happy afterlife), be excluded. Sorry, if you really want to die for your political cause, I vote that you become a lab animal for testing the latest longevity treatments.

Back to treason, there is more than open threats to the American people and the government that the death penalty should be reserved for.

Recently, a jury here in Colorado decided that there was a case that deserved the death penalty. It involved the killing of several witnesses to a crime. Unfortunately, the sentence’s purpose may be simply symbolic based on the research that I have done; people on death row are more likely to die of old age than anything else. But nevertheless, this is one of those times when I think that perhaps the death penalty is the proper punishment. I know that the victim’s parents think so, and an entire jury; I guess that none of them are suitable lodge members either.