Saturday, January 26, 2008

To Kill or Not to Kill (Part the Second)

Having just published my longest post since I started this insanity in 2006, you would expect that I have said all I have to say about capital punishment. Well, you would expect wrong because I just thought of something else.

The legal arguments over the death penalty these days are turning on, of all things, whether the method we use to inflict death is painful. Come on folks, let’s be serious. I realize that a defense attorney has to use every argument he can think of to keep his client alive. But, you can’t execute my client because it might hurt!?

Friends, we (society) have decided that a certain person’s behavior is so reprehensible to our collective sense of right and wrong that we have sentenced that person to be killed. Having decided that, do we now come along and say, but we will only kill him/her if it doesn’t hurt (or at least doesn’t hurt too much)?

This is crazy. We are inflicting the most severe punishment we can conceive of and we have to worry whether it hurts? Damn it, we are terminating an individual’s existence because of a terrible crime. Why shouldn’t it hurt?

Have we come to the point where we are starting to feel a little twinge of conscience over the whole idea of capital punishment? Are we satisfying our sense of guilt by glossing it over with sugar? We’re gonna kill you, you SOB, but we’re not gonna hurt you. Hey, you are going to cease to exist, at least in this world, but at least your last seconds of consciousness won’t be spent in agony.

This is a whole lot of male bovine excrement! I think that if we’re going to continue to inflict the death penalty on people we have to stop worrying about whether it hurts. Let’s make it hurt. Let us appreciate the barbarism of what we are doing. Let’s reinstitute public executions so that we can all see what it is that we are doing. Let’s forget this lethal injection crap! We shouldn’t let a person sleep through his/her own execution. Let’s go back to the electric chair or the firing squad or hanging. Or why don’t we do what the Brits used to do—we can hang someone for a few minutes until they’re nearly dead and then cut them down and draw and quarter them so they really appreciate how mad we are at them. Let’s reintroduce decapitation by axe so we can get to see the blood flow.

We have to stop thinking of ways to make execution seem civilized. Because, dear reader, it ain’t. Let’s start killing with gusto and painfully so we can satisfy our blood lust. But is it cruel and unusual? Who cares! Let’s just get it done.

1 comment:

Paul Hammond said...

I agree with you (don't panic), but not completely(whew!).

We seem to love to engage in absurd debates over what is cruel and unusual. So politically correct we have become that executions have taken on the drama of putting a dog to sleep. Somehow we have mastered that technology. I'm not sure why it is so difficult to apply that to humans.

All that being said, I do not believe in cruelty. The electric chair was a "modern" American invention that was absurdly painful and unreliable. Death, if it is inflicted, should be quick, clean and efficient. As barbaric as they seem, hanging, firing squads and decapitation all delivere an instant, reliable and deadly result.

The "humane" alternative commonly suggested is life without parole. I have a hard time imagining anything more cruel than imprisonment till death. What's humane about crushing the human spirit one day at a time over a lifetime?

I am against public executions, especially in this digital day and age. There's already a well established death fetish on the internet. I'm guessing without too much effort you can find a wealth of crime scene photos, murder victime and plain old snuff films. Death porn, I think is the proper term. The call for public executions is just a thinly disguised call for the end of executions. Let's deal with the subject directly.

To execute or not execute, THAT is the question. Its a fair question. Let's deal with it and stop quibling over nonsense.