Whew. Let's take as many 5-4 decisions as we can get
and vote in November to make it 6-3 or better. Fast.
I mean, I know America's embrace of the death penalty gives us common ground
with Libya and Iran, but really.
(image from here
and also on my bulletin board)
this was a tough one for me as i imagine it was for a lot of people - i am categorically against the death penalty, as i am uncomfortable with the state having ultimate power over the life and death of its citizens; on the other hand, on an emotional level, whenever i see the words "child rape" i want to find me a huge assed cinderblock and crush somebody's fucking skull. and right there you have the difference between a "law and order" conservative, whose logic might be condensed down to something like "get the government off our backs...that is, if we're trying to make money; but if it wants to kill people, hell, let 'er rip"; and conversely, a more liberal state of mind, which might be condensed as: "i fucking hate you and want to watch you die, but i don't want to live in a society which encourages that impulse as a means to enforce authoritarianism; therefore, i will take part in a social contract which hopes that a fair and just legal system can prevent you from harming anyone else."ReplyDelete
the one point of view is founded in fear and revenge; the other one some other value i hesitate to name. maybe "forgiveness", although that sounds dangerously gloopy to the cinderblock side of my brain.
I hear you r@d@r. My thought about this is that "child rape" induces such a visceral, and understandable, reaction from human society that of course it would be used as an excuse to endorse the death penalty. But I believe, as a member of this human society, that, as you say, we can get behind a "social contract with a fair and just legal system that can prevent criminals from harming anyone else."ReplyDelete
That, plus the FACT that the majority of child rapists are friends/family members of the victim, and that victims are far less likely to come forward knowing that they may be sending an uncle to their death if the victim speaks up...leads me to the conclusion that no death penalty period, even in this awful instance, is the way to go.