Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Debate on The Death Penalty

The media is reporting on the execution of convicted killer Clayton Lockett and calling it botched. They report it took around 20 minutes for him to die after receiving a lethal injection. Reportedly the drugs used for the execution did not spread properly because of a problem with the killer's veins and he died of a heart attack after possibly suffering as evidenced by him eventually clenching his teeth, writhing and trying to lift his head. While the time it took him to die may have been much longer than expected because of a flaw in his veins, and while he may have suffered without intent by authorities for him to have unreasonably done so, why should anyone claim that to be a point against support for the death penalty? If in fact he was the killer as accused and convicted, I think it is good he is dead, justice has been served.

I disagree with any though who may say, in essence, that either it does not matter that he suffered greatly or that it actually is good he suffered (or in other words that it does not matter how justice is served as long as justice is the end). That he may have suffered more than was reasonably necessary would be sad if in fact he suffered. I do not think an execution should be gruesome to achieve justice and I believe that unreasonably horrendous executions should be illegal but I do not think for a moment that the death penalty should be banned, instead I think it should be accepted as law throughout every state. As for macabre executions, I am opposed to them but not out of ay sympathy for the convicted killer. I think that the reason behind not allowing them has little to do with the convicted and more to do with those who serve justice and they who live by it. I think that when justice is meted out in a gruesome and horrible manner it may well have become what it seeks to have ridded us of - namely a vile and heinous killer. Thus justice will have defeated its own purpose and we will have become no better than heinous killers should we execute in a hideous manner and then take perverted satisfaction in having done so. On the flip side, we would become little more than they who would sheepishly allow killers to run rampant, should we not execute convicted killers.

A problem, with executions in this country, seems to be that somehow all too many people have become convinced that a firing squad or hanging are terrible types of executions or that executions in and of themselves are cruel and unusual. Blame that on defense attorneys and on bleeding hearts. In fact, death by hanging and firing squad are usually quite swift executions if performed by someone following long tried and true methods. They are certainly more tolerable and give less of the horror effect, I think, than do electrocutions or gassings (but maybe that's just me as I see it). Regardless of what I think though, the fact is that there was, in past decades, a lot of argument about one type being more ghastly than another and that resulted in the call, from the bleeding hearts and eventually from the public, for something less objectionable. The answer was supposedly lethal injections. While they seem less horrendous than, and as efficient as, hangings or firing squads to me, the anti-death penalty crew has grabbed ahold of everything about them they can to try to abolish them as well as other forms of executions. When one goes wrong in method, it gives the 'antis' a lot to scream about. When they who support the use of the death penalty apparently take some sort of perverse pleasure, as opposed to merely taking satisfaction that justice was carried out, the antis have even more ammunition to try to shoot down the death penalty.

I, and I think most folks, would take satisfaction in knowing that the killer criminal was executed instead of taking the same satisfaction or more in knowing that he was executed and had suffered greatly as he died. That, if only, because it would give me satisfaction to know that while we sought justice and justice had been done, I and others had not become a horrible piece of turd like the convicted killer, who got his jollies by killing and/or who had absolutely no regard for his victims. Note, I am not saying that those who get satisfaction or even pleasure out of seeing justice done by way of a convicted killer being executed are the same as the criminal. They certainly are not the same if at the root of it they want justice to be carried out and that having been done is what satisfies or pleases them. I am saying though that getting pleasure out of seeing another man die in agony, and it is the agony that adds pleasure, while you in essence sit back and watch, with glee, as it if was a spectator sport is abhorrent.

As for the death penalty though, I fully support it in cases of convicted murderers and would find it even more abhorrent should we do away with it and allow them to live without just retribution.

All the best,
Glenn B
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