Death Penalty

This issue is one that has been in the news a lot lately.   It hits home in our family because the rapist that killed my niece is sitting on death row in Arkansas longer than the niece he killed, lived.  He clearly did the crime and through many errors, and administrative moves and appeals by the ACLU is still alive to get to participate as a part of this discussion.   

That leads me to the first part of the discussion.  Does the Death Penalty deter murder?  In the case of sociopaths, it clearly does but not every one that kills is a sociopath.  Eliminate the person who committed murder and that person will not do it again.  In the case on the top of my list, I can tell you that the fact the crime gets brought to mind in a personal way every time some major step is taken in the review of the sentence is hard on the family.  It has turned a group of wonderful women into a pretty hard over group. Several of the men in the family would have just shot the skunk and got it over early.  There is a lot of the "Eye for an eye" kind of sentiment out there  and I understand it well.  Screw mercy we want Justice with a side of vengeance thrown in.

Over the years, there has been a big increase in the way crimes have been solved.  In the past, motive, opportunity and reasonable doubt solved many cases.  Nowadays, there is also the forensic factor thrown in and there have been some convictions found to not be correct.  There is also the disparity of the sentence that clearly tells us that the Death Penalty is falling out of favor.  Yesterday I heard on a News program that there were 31,00 deaths and only about 13,000 people on Death Row.  That number is down one this week when the Kansas Killer of his wife died in Prison of a Heart Attack.   The statistics say kill a white person and you are a lot more likely to get the death sentence.  Kill a minority and not so much.  I think that this topic was a Law and Order program a couple of years ago.  A young white man killed a person and everyone wanted mercy and the show made the decision harder than it really was.  As I recall, justice won and the State where the crime was done is still working on their Death Penalty Statute

Justice, mercy or economics?  It has top be cheaper to put to death a person than incarcerate them for the rest of their life.   I am not sure that we have reached the point where all of our decisions in life should be made on the side of money, but we need to start somewhere.  For the sake of argument, in this case I vote that at least one rapist/murderer in Arkansas gets put out of my suffering.  His own words send him to hell in my book. He said, "I just couldn't let her go home after raping her."  He knew the crime was bad but he was willing to make it worse to try to save his sorry ass.  

I think earlier I said that I tend to side on the Scales of Justice towards Justice not mercy.  I guess where you stand is dependent on what life has handed you. 


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