19 June 2003
I tire of pro and anti-death penalty arguments rather quickly. While some are more clever than this, arguments for and against the death penalty will almost always boil down to a purely philosophical or theological point of view.
This is a poor argument in favor of capital punishment. Yes there is a social cost in terms of deaths from all activities but the failure of his argument is that other activities do not actively seek to kill someone and it is unlikely that the per capita death toll in other socially acceptable activities rises to the level that even a few innocent deaths on old sparky. The second argument - that innocents may die if we don't kill him before he kills again - is actually pretty funny. How often is it that someone from townhall.com argues that we should be concerned about those poor souls who are imprisoned (we can't possibly let other vicious criminal elements prey on them while they are in prison)? And the argument that we should kill him because if he escapes he might kill someone applies equally to anyone who gets a life sentence or a lot of time in prison whether it be from murder or rape or multiple bank robberies or . . . Almost all of these people have shown the ability to use violence and quite often it is just by the grace of God that their victim survived at least a year and a day.
Author: Ken Lammers on 6/19/2003