Daily Archives: June 20, 2010

THE DEATH PENALTY… REASON AND DETERRENT.

In Utah a fellow human being was strapped in a chair and six men with rifles took aim.

Now as is a custom of formal firing squads, only five out the six had real bullets while one would have a blank. This so that the members of the firing squad can ease their feeling of guilt or reservation by excusing them as they were the one with the blank.  As such the penalty of death was carried out against that human after being convicted and sentenced to death for killing someone in his attempt to escape from his trial for murdering another human being.

A cold and orderly murder by the State and the society of Utah.

Is it the right of a humane society to order and carry out the intentional killing of a human being?

A question that has been discussed and argued for hundreds of years in this country among others.  Some other countries even if the crime does not carry the death penalty will not extradite someone to the United States because we have the death penalty for some crimes.

Is the death penalty a deterrent? In 1973 a survey was done of everyone who had been sentenced to death and were waiting for the sentence to be carried out. They were asked “Did you ever consider you could be put to death for committing the crime before you committed it?”  To the person not one said it was ever a consideration before committing the crime.  So in that aspect it is not a deterrent and for the most part crimes are committed due to emotion and impulse, not with reasoning that comes from a sound mind which would take into account what punishment might result in committing the crime.

The laws, courts and penalties imposed are more a deterrent to those who do not need a deterrent.  They are not prone to or having those circumstance that would make committing a crime a reasonable thing to do for them.

So what is the reasoning for a society to put someone to death for having committed a crime of any degree?

An explanation that I have heard came from a reporter who though she was against the death penalty witnessed an execution.  She described the actual execution as being rather simple and not appearing to be unduly painful.  A needle put in the arm of the condemned, the injection of drugs that seemed to just make the man go to sleep.  The condemned simply nodded off and it was over except for the reality being he was now dead.  Her explanation was, that is was the most extreme example a society has to show that certain crimes will not be tolerated by the society.

Now of course the real deterrent is that this one person shall never again commit the crime or any crime that they received the death penalty for. Once they have died they can never do anything again. Continue reading

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Sunday, 6/20/10, Public Square

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