Do People Want Justice, or Just a Good Hanging?
Periodically I see efforts by the government to take away our rights, and I feel I have to speak out about them. However, when I see efforts by people in this country, individual citizens, to take away our basic rights, I have to scream out my dissent.
I am disgusted with the backlash to Mike Farrell’s commentary about why Timothy McVeigh should not receive the death penalty.
His article appeared in USA Today, and discussed the reasons why the death penalty does not work, not why Timothy McVeigh in particular should be spared. The gist of his story was that no matter how heinous the crime committed (in this case, blowing up of a Federal building in Oklahoma City, killing the largest number of citizens in a single terrorist attack in the United States), we should not stoop to the level of the criminal by administering the same punishment.
USA Today voiced two responses to Farrel’s commentary days later.
Glen Jones of Delaware said that we should “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.” Apparently he wants everyone to kill him, then, if he advocates the death penalty.
“These despicable acts Farrell describes are not understandable,” Jones said, “but rather tolerated because liberal peacemakers like Farrell have pressured us to so believe.” The general tide of “liberal” politics in recent years has been to sacrifice others into servitude - in such forms as welfare, charities, volunteerism and altruism - not to value people, but to make them the hand maids of whatever pressure group may happen to demand it.
Scot Ebisch of New Jersey says that the Bible says, “Live by the sword, die by the sword,” and “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” These are, however, doctrines from Judaism, not Christianity - in the New Testament, Jesus asks his followers to reject these tenets and “Turn the other cheek.” Whatever religion (or lack thereof) one may subscribe to in this country, America’s laws more closely reflect Christianity than Judaism.
Furthermore, America’s laws are designed to protect individual rights. If we allow the government to kill someone for killing people, what’s to stop the government from killing people because they are drug dealers? Or committed robbery? Or voiced the wrong opinions in public?
I know that a criminal loses some of their rights when they commit a crime. But I also know that the most basic individual right - the right to one’s own life - it not something to be taken away so easily.
I could also point out that with our current appeals process statistics show that it costs six times as much money to kill a prisoner than to keep him in prison for life, even if they are never rehabilitated. And if prisons serve their jobs, prisoners suffer more by living their days in a cell instead of receiving an injection and passing away. So why are people so determined to kill the killers? If Timothy Mcveigh had no right to choose who should live and who should die, why does anyone else in this country?
If there was ever a chance we could be killing an innocent person, if there was ever that chance, that would be reason enough to not allow capital punishment. If an innocent person is sentenced to life in prison, they may lose some time, but if their innocence is later uncovered they would at least be able to have the rest of their life back. You lose that opportunity with capital punishment. If their innocence is later uncovered they would have lost some time, but they would not have lost their life.
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