Connecticut just became the seventeenth state to abolish the Death Penalty, but as I understand it there are two men they want dead first. Those two men may or may not be executed, but many people inside the legal system have given up on trying to beat the appeal process and tossed in
the towel not to moral or ethical issues, but that of red tape.
My support of execution is a personal issue. I lived in South Georgia during the Alday Murders and Kimberly Leach lived just over an hour from where I live now. A close friend of mine was murdered in the 80’s, and I cannot help but feel the world would be a safer place if there were fewer people out there who were willing to kill other people for the fun of it.
The “Deterrent Argument” states that the threat of execution does not deter crime. After his execution in 1986, Theodore Bundy did not kill or mutilate anyone else. He had escaped from prison to go on his last killing spree, but Old Sparky put an end to the threat of his escape, and the end to his killing.
I do think the way execution is handled in my home state of Georgia, and the United States is flawed, perhaps fatally flawed, and as such, it is more or less some sort of bizarre game of chance as to who we kill, why we kill them, and even sometimes, how we kill them. There are so many appeals people have died of old age waiting to be killed. Our recent Georgian adventure in the death penalty saw Troy Davis die with a tsunami of conflicted witnesses and last second appeals and drama than a high school girl’s bathroom.
We have to do better than that if we are to call execution justice. If we cannot, then we should not.
At this time there are a half dozen or so human beings that I would gladly see die. Charles Manson would be one of those people. Billy Isaacs would be another. Oddly enough, however, I do not think we did ourselves any favors by the execution of Timothy McVeigh. There are more to that bombing than just one man, and he went to the grave with that secret.
The legal system is broke. Execution is not helping any of the problems facing the justice system and we spend more money trying to kill people than we do keeping them alive forever. I think there are crimes so heinous the punishment ought to be death, swift and clean. But we cannot seem to be swift and the process cannot at all be called clean.
The crimes they commit preclude any act of humanity being offered to them but the sheer stupidity in how we wrangle our laws of punishment ought to preclude the presumption we know well enough when to pull the trigger, any more than they did.
If we cannot kill people in a more civilized fashion we ought to stop doing it altogether.
Mike writes regularly at his site: The Hickory Head Hermit
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.