Capital Punishment - Right or Wrong?


Most all human progress has been achieved by people who were idealists as opposed to those who are mentally, emotionally and spiritually captured by the status quo. How dare Columbus challenge the status quo belief that the world was flat and had four corners! The nerve of Galileo to postulate such a radical idea that the sun rather than the earth is the center of the universe! The ancient Greeks and Romans believed they could build a better civilization, but once they felt they had achieved same, their idealism withered and so did their civilization. I wonder just how idealistic the greats of science, religion, politics, the
arts, literature, etc. are? It seems to me that most all real achievement has been by idealists. Thus, with the position developed herein, I hope it will be seen as a balance between
reason and idealism.

As children, we all remember the bully and the fight. One swing or hit fostered another swing or hit whether it was by two individuals or two gangs. Personally, I believe the same thing goes on between our society and the criminal element. 'You kill us, we kill you. We kill you, you kill us.' Where will this cycle of violence end? I am not sure it will ever totally end, but I am certain it can be greatly diminished. Do you remember the peacemakers on the school yard who insisted they stop swinging and talk out their differences? It seems only logical to me that if we want to move in the direction of nonviolence in our society that we must first say, "We do not believe in violence, therefore we will not kill". We must stop this eye for an eye mentality even if we have the might to carry out capital punishment. We must remember that might does not make right.

If we believe killing is wrong, what kind of perverted logic is it that then says it is okay for us, as a society, to kill? I am also not so sure I would ever want the responsibility of doing something that is so permanently irrevocable as execution. In the last 30 years we have executed approximately two dozen people who were later proven innocent. Even one innocent person being executed is too much. What kind of subliminal message are we
sending to the criminal element of our society? If those people were still in prison we might still have the possibility of some form of recompense. Do we not demean ourselves as a society whenever we stoop so low as to place ourselves on the same level as murderers? Personally, it seems only logical to want to strive toward a better society by giving the idea to all our citizenry that murder of any kind is wrong and totally violates respect for life that we expect from the 'civilized' human animal.

Once a murderer kills, there can be no justice. You cannot compensate the deceased, but maybe we can send the perpetrators of capital crimes a message that murder is wrong. Criminals have a self image and code of ethics too. Remember, the fate of Jeffrey Dahmer in prison? Fellow prisoners apparently felt demeaned by having him in their presence. His death probably added to their self respect and this is probably almost as
dangerous as the genocide in Germany from Hitler's final solution. Killings and/or executions bother me as it seems they should to anyone civilized. Could it be that the violence of our legal executions somehow rationalizes and justifies the criminal's violence subconsciously? Thus, it only seems logical to send a message to all eLemertt.s of our society, not just the criminal element, that violence of any kind is wrong. Perhaps this generation can help the next generation to inherit a world less violent in every way. No one can conjure up a truly ethical system that can justify capital punishment. It promotes the very thing it supposedly finds abhorrent. Capital punishment may be as much of an indictment on us as a society as it is on the criminal. After every war, peace has come as the result of sacrifice. Let us wage war against violence. Let us sacrifice capital punishment on the altar of sanity and look for a less violent world; a world of peace. All propriety demands that we do such.

Ross Sloan                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       PLEASE NOTE THERE IS A 10 MINUTE VIDEO ON BOTTOM OF VIDEO PAGE ABOUT    CAPITAL PUNISHMENT THAT YOU MAY NEVER FORGET.     THANKS, ROSS

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