Hanging Judges

hanging judgeAn interesting conversation is happening over on  at Debs’ blog about the problems with capital punishment. The consensus seems to be that even though it is possible to condemn innocent people to death  and that it has happened before and is likely to happen again, there is no need to be hasty. Generally speaking, capital punishment works.

One commenter, more or less opposed to capital punishment, agreed, saying:

…we should not throw out the system, until there is more evidence that it is not working.  There are very few instances where the individual was found to be innocent after they we executed. It has happened however, so we need to keep improving our judicial review process.  It will never likely be perfect.

And if it can never be perfect, if the system can and will execute innocent people, how much different than this is murder?  Sure it’s a mistake, but unlike negligent homicide, here the intent of the state is always to kill the accused.  The state now becomes an ipso facto murderer.

So here’s my solution: keep the death penalty, because some people certainly deserve to die for their crimes and at the very least should not be allowed to harm others (including inmates). And maybe, just maybe, there is an effective deterrent working here (though I personally doubt it). But….whenever an innocent man is executed, then execute the judge and the prosecuting attorney. For murder.

Can’t fail to work. Deterrence. Won’t know unless we try it.

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  1. #1 by Debs on October 28, 2009 - 7:04 pm

    Hey! Thanks for the plug!!! 😆 This is a very interesting conversation, like I was mentioning at my blog, I don’t see how there can be the same mistakes that were in the past because of all of the DNA testing etc. Have no idea what the answer is. 1 innocent life lost is one too many. And to answer your question on my blog, I don’t know that DNA testing is mandatory, but I’ll look into it. I think the 3700 innocent lives lost every day through abortion is the other side of this equation….

    • #2 by Christian Beyer on October 28, 2009 - 7:39 pm

      Yeah. It is tragic. And I will admit that, even though you can’t put a price on the loss of one innocent life, 3700 is… barbaric. So I don’t know if this is a case of apples vs. apples as so many would like to say. I really think that the ‘liberal’ element is being disingenuous by pulling up the old capital punishment canard every time someone of faith opposes abortion on demand (or even the horrific practice of ‘partial birth abortion’). It’s not equitable with capital punishment. I’m opposed to both – where do I squeeze in?

  2. #3 by ambrosia on October 28, 2009 - 11:58 pm

    You’re right about one thing–a person who is killed will never kill again.

    I know a punishment worse than death–force a prisoner to watch reruns of the Nancy Grace 23 hours a day, with one hour off for a recreation period. No, wait, that would violate the 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

  3. #4 by Christian Beyer on October 29, 2009 - 6:11 am

    Was I making that point? Anyway, who’s Nancy Grace?

  4. #5 by ambrosia on October 30, 2009 - 10:48 pm

    Nancy Grace is a CNN commentator who has been prosecuting Kaylee Anthony’s mother on the air (Grace is a former prosecutor). She is extremely irritating–sort of a female version of Glenn Beck.

    Being forced to watch her is a fate worse than death.

    Seriously, I think many conservative evangelicals like to think the Bible mandates the death penalty in most cases of homocide. However, even in Bible times, two or three witnesses had to be present for a person to receive the death penalty–and for less than first degree murder, provided for exile rather than death.

    They also (don’t) seem to remember that David and Moses, both perpetrators of first degree murder (or at least conspiracy, in David’s case) were never killed for their crimes. So, either we accept the whole picture of Scripture, or we end up inconsistent.

  5. #6 by Christian Beyer on October 31, 2009 - 9:29 am

    A female version of Glen Beck? What a great costume for Halloween.

    Your points are excellent. Why not go share them with the folks over on Deb’s blog?

  6. #8 by ambrosia on October 31, 2009 - 10:15 pm

    No, anything but that.

    I only feel comfortable on your blog–call me a Silo Maker–when I venture out, I feel like I enter a maelstrom of darts and barbs and irrational and unfounded conclusions.

  7. #9 by ambrosia on October 31, 2009 - 11:12 pm

    It’s Anne Coulter, not Nancy Grace.

    Come on, Chris, you need to get off the internet and get some of your information from more reliable sources, like CNN.

  8. #10 by Christian Beyer on November 1, 2009 - 8:15 am

    Oh, I got her mixed up with Ann Sawyer. I watch Fox. (NOT!) You’re right – watch nothin’. Except The Office and 30 Rock.

  9. #11 by ambrosia on November 1, 2009 - 12:48 pm

    So, you watch a show about a bad and obnoxious manager, and bosses of an evil television network?

    No wonder

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