6.26.2009

Can of Worms

Welcome to my First "Can of Worms" Post. To read about "Can of Worms" posts, go here.

Capital Punishment
Did you see this one coming for a first topic? I didn't. The Man and I watched The Chamber last week. It had been a while since I'd watched it and/or read the book. If someone had asked me prior to watching the movie my thoughts on Capital Punishment, I probably would have said I think there are better ways to handle those who break the law, but I'm not completely opposed to it.
Hmmm. What a difference a couple of hours makes. After watching that movie, seeing a couple of news programs on people who were wrongly convicted and exonerated by DNA evidence later, and giving it some thought, I would now have to say I am completely opposed to Capital Punishment.
Because I like lists and bullet points, here is a bullet pointed list of my reasons:
  • I've come to strongly believe that our justice system is extremely flawed because it is run by humans, imperfect humans. Well meaning people can make mistakes; it is really not our place to judge another's acts and determine if they should live or die.
  • IMHO, the justice AND penal systems need complete makeovers. Beginning with education and prevention of crime! Prevention of crime that isn't based on the threat of the death penalty. Obviously that's not working out so well!
  • While, I've never been the victim of a horrible, violent crime and I can't begin to imagine what the victims feel like, I do not feel that by taking another life society, as a whole, has done a good thing.
  • I've certainly said things like "They should do to him what he did to others." Specifically, the cases of Michael Vick (who I think got off easy, but that's another Can of Worms Post) and Scott Peterson, come to mind. But does putting Scott Peterson to death right the wrong he committed? Doesn't Lacy Peterson's family have to live every day with he did regardless of if he lives or dies. And won't the day he is put to death just create a new wound while ripping open another? And won't it just put all the attention back onto Scott Peterson?
  • Doesn't the Death Penalty in some way 'glorify' the violent act. It puts and keeps attention on it. For example, the DC Snipers. Until I started to type this post, I had not thought much about them in recent years (though I am sure those affected directly think if them daily), but you better believe when the shooter is put to death, he (and his actions) will be all over the news yet again. And I'm sure there will be at least attempted copycatting somewhere.
  • We, as Americans are supposed to be progressive, and forward thinking. We, as Americans are supposed to be a good example for the rest of the world. Yet, there are countries who will not release criminals to us because of our Death Penalty laws.
While I don't have a perfect solution - I think we need to START OVER in regards to our system of dealing with crime and punishment and generate NEW ideas - I do think that Capital Punishment is not the answer.

The "Can of Worms" has been opened, what do you think about Capital Punishment?

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