25 October 2002
I have never been able to make a decent case either for or against the death penalty; while I have no trouble thinking up a list of people I think deserve it, there's something vaguely disquieting about the process.
Woundwort is a bit less conflicted than I am, but only a bit:
I am somewhat indifferent of the death penalty, I donít really mind when people are put to death for horrific crimes, but I donít always wave the banner for them to be executed either. This is different for me and Iím not sure why.
There have always been killers in America, and a number of them have been put to death. I neither cheered nor mourned when these persons lost their lives, although it is a bit frightening to think of all the people put to death for crimes they might not have committed. But I find myself truly wanting the persons responsible for the shootings in the D.C./VA area to die for what they have done.
Certainly they'd make my list, and for about the same reason:
I wish my motivations could be described as being based on moral principles, and a greater understanding of the common good of community and man, but I fall well short of these things. I think I want them to die because I was able to picture myself in the situation that many of the victims found themselves in and it frightened me.
There, but for the grace of God, and all that.
Making the punishment fit the crime is one of the primary duties of the criminal-justice system; about the only way to make this one fit, I think, would require that we drop the perps on an island somewhere and then hunt them down with a varmint gun.