Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Death Penalty

Sowing what you reap. Seems like a simple concept, doesn’t it? You kill someone, you get killed. One of the fundamentals of our society; the eye for an eye concept. I was behind it for a long time. The equation seems clear, you break the social contract and present a threat to that society, we no longer have the obligation to care for you, so you must be removed.

Then, one of the rottenest sons of bitches in American history, a fine example of why we have the death penalty in the first place, didn’t get a fair trial. That bastard Timothy McVeigh was sitting on death row and the Federal Court that tried him admitted that they withheld evidence about a possible second bomber (John Doe Number 2) from McVeigh’s defense. Look, no one thinks any of that would exonerate this monster, but in the interest of fairness, let us delay that execution until the defense team can analyze these 3000 withheld pages, and then we’ll burn him at the stake. We’ll do this because we are interested in making up for our mistakes- we are not the oppressive government people like McVeigh claim.

Only we didn’t. We went ahead and executed Timothy McVeigh, delaying not an hour, despite the fact we the State were wrong. We did not allow a fair assessment of the evidence under our own laws.

That steps out of the range of execution, and becomes murder. Worse yet, it help validate people like McVeigh who claim our government is out of control. The Bastard didn’t argue, because he knew this would make him a martyr to his like minded ilk. It sickens me that we gave him such ammunition, we gave him validation, and I can only hope we didn’t create a dozen more such monsters. It would seem, the Federal Government has lost its moral superiority, and therefore is not longer justified in issuing the death penalty.

Furthermore, let’s take a look at the quality of juries these days. Our same responsibility-shirking citizenry sleeps in the juror box, and falls to the same legal chicanery one sees on television. Look at your neighbors- how many of them are you willing to trust with your life?

As forensic science progresses, we find more and more people on death row (or already off death row if you know what I mean) who are proven innocent after years of imprisonment. I find myself coming to a certain conclusion. The system is no longer competent enough to wield the power of life and death.

At the very least, it is incumbent upon us as the citizenry and the Government to place the highest standards of evidence upon cases that may result in the death penalty, perhaps reserving this punishment only for those cases where there is confession. There must also be a strict adherence to whatever rules we decide to apply here- we cannot be arbitrary with life. The system must work, or when it does not, those who are responsible for the failure must be held accountable. There will never be a perfect system, but this can only be ameliorated by taking responsibility when mistakes are made and working as a body to set the consequences in balance.

If we can claim we are responsible enough to kill as a State, then we must wield that power with the utmost caution; remember, the same Bible that we like to quote Eye for and Eye from also states that any court that sentences more than one man in 7 years to death is bloodthirsty.

And I really don’t want us to validate the monsters.

1 comment:

Rob said...

We liberals could've told you the State applied the death penalty unfairly decades ago. Thanks for finally getting the message.