Do you agree with the death penalty?


WordPress asked:

Do you agree with the death penalty? Is it ever right to kill? And under what circumstances? Is it worth the risks of being wrong?

Yes, actually, I do.

And my circumstances are extremely specific. I agree with the death penalty for someone who has murdered more than one person.

You may now wonder, but why not for someone who has been proven to have committed murder once? A fair question. I think that there can be a lot of reasons for a one-off killing. A constantly abused wife. Self-preservation. Jealousy. Financial hardship (a gun going off in a robbery, for example). Snapping over because of psychological problems.

I believe these people should be punished if deemed necessary but also be helped so they have the possibility to one day be a valuable member of the community again.

But a person who repeatedly takes the life of another, in my mind does not deserve to have life themselves. They have forfeited that right by their own actions.

To allow them to live puts the public and also other prisoners and prison workers at risk.

Keeping them in prison, at the tax-payers expense, for the rest of their lives, for me, is not the correct answer.

I also think that the families of the murder victims deserve closure.

They deserve to know that what they have to live with, no one else will go through at that perpetrators hands.

A friend of mine was murdered. He went to a concert, happy, free. He left his friends to nip to the loo. He did not return.

He was stabbed by a ‘high’ teenager in an unprovoked attack.

The perpetrator got life imprisonment, which in Scotland means that he could already be out on parole.

I hope that he’s had therapy and has turned his life around. That he’s suffered the consequences of his actions and now wants to make a go of his life.

But were he to kill again, I would want him quite simply, deleted.

*Wherever you are Colin, I hope you have found peace. You may be gone, but you are not forgotten.*

19 thoughts on “Do you agree with the death penalty?”

  1. Good thoughts, Sarsm. Sorry to hear about Colin. I hope that he is at peace somewhere over the rainbow.

    What about someone who snaps “once” and goes on a killing spree killing dozens of people? He has murdered more than one person . . . but all deaths result from a single “snap, crackle, pop.”

    Do we want to aim for imprisonment, therapy, and rehabilitation? Or view them as a lost cause who has forfeited their right to life?

    1. In recent years, most of the cases I’ve seen in the news, where someone’s snapped over and killed a lot of people, they’ve mostly shot themselves. Or on several occasions the perpetrator has been shot dead by police.

      To make it clear, I’m not at all against someone running around using a deadly weapon being shot dead by the police, for our protection.

      But I still think it’s a good question. It would of course also take into account terrorism, where, for example, a person commits mass murder on say religious grounds. This would fit the profile of purposely killing more than one person so according to my own argument they would forfeit their own life. I’m OK with that. As long as it can be absolutely proven, with no tiny bit of doubt.
      Apart from that as far as I understand, terrorists often see themselves as at war, and of course soldiers of war often lose their lives (and are themselves aware of that).

      I think one single murder brings up the question: why? I am a believer in second chances. Help, support, thus therapy and rehabilitation but also experiencing a consequence for our own behavior. However, unfortunately there are people in our world (very few, but still some) who I don’t think can be helped and only offer danger to our society.

    2. I agree with you. People do deserve second chances . . . most of the time. If we can help them, we should. If we can’t, the kindest thing may be to “put them out of their misery.”

      It’s very case dependent. I’m glad that I don’t have to draft “The Rule” and it’s “Exceptions” ~ for example: that the death penalty would deny terrorists “Freedom of Religious Zealotry.”

      1. I’m glad too. I also agree that it’s very much case dependent.

        I found this to be one of the best WP prompts to date. I think everyone has an opinion on it.

  2. I agree that some should be put to death for their doings. The hard part is putting rules to it. While murder is a serious crime in which a victim is taken there are other crimes in which the victim suffers for the rest of their life although not dead will never truly live due to heinous acts of another. Yet those offenders never worry about being put to death. Justice and mercy is a sticky mess. Better contemplated after more than 1 cup of joe.🙂

    1. You’re exactly right, “justice and mercy is a sticky mess”. I’m glad that I don’t have to decide. I also have a big problem with serial sex offenders, I have to say. Especially pedophiles.

    1. I’ve just popped over and read it. I haven’t seen the film, so I can’t comment on it.

      Definitely interesting to read the different views.

  3. I didn’t turn this into a post because I have covered it before, but I did put an answer under this topic. I totally agree with you & good points on 1-person deal.

    1. Thank you Mindslam. It’s definitely an interesting topic. I do feel quite strongly about and have discussed it with a few people in the past.

    1. It’s a very difficult topic I think.

      And if something happens directly to you or your loved ones then you could easily act a whole lot differently to how you actually foresaw.

  4. I’m not specifically for the death penalty, and especially when it’s used as a crime deterrant, since it clearly doesn’t work for this purpose. But I also believe that some people just don’t deserve to have a life when they have taken the lives of others.

    My specific support of the death penalty in every single case is when a person has killed a child (after an abduction for example). There’s nothing more morally and ethically wrong that taking the life of an innocent person for personal, highly disturbing gratification. And I believe the system has proven many times that sexual offenders/killers, especially of kids, just can’t get better. That’s where I stand on the death penalty.

    1. I absolutely agree that it doesn’t work as a deterrent and I think to argue for it on those grounds (many do) is pointless. I think if someone is a cold blooded killer, then they’ll be so with or without capital punishment. It’s part of who they are.

      I think you’re right, it definitely does appear that repeat offenders cannot get better.

      I recently spoke to my son’s psychiatrist about his aggressive behaviour. The doctor explained to me that there are two types: warm and cold. My son is warm, that means he reacts to an event and then becomes aggressive. However, the ‘cold’ ones (also known as psychopaths) are aggressive in order to get something for themselves (be it recognition/pleasure whatever). I think that’s the point really. If you get pleasure from raping a child, what would make you stop it?

      I once read a BBC article on pedophilia. One commentator really surprised me. He wrote that since he was very young he’d had sexual feelings towards young girls. As he got older he thought perhaps he was just not maturing like the other boys. Older still, he found himself still with a sexual desire towards young girls. He realized that his feelings were not ‘normal’ and went for psychiatric help of his own free will. He also has arranged his life in a way that he has as little contact with young girls as possible. I found it an incredible story.

      Thanks for further opening up the discussion.

      1. I think most pedophiles know about their problem but just don’t get help, for a variety of reasons. There’s also plenty of research showing most treatments don’t work, except maybe chemical castration. And I think when those guys find out it’s their solution, they don’t want it so instead try to resist their urges. Tough but quite irresponsible and unrealistic.

      2. Chemical castration just means the offenders get injected with hormones that are supposed to reduce their libido, but they have to get them on a regular basis and I’m not sure what it does to the urges to overpower little ones (because it’s not all about sex but power also – why do they only go after kids?). I know sometimes it’s court ordered, as part of a plea bargain, but really, just like any serial rapist or killer, if people can’t control their urges, maybe they just need to stay away from society, for everyone’s sake. In older times, the village decided to kill them if they were caught, clearly for safety purposes.

      3. You see I learn things on this blog.

        Years ago, while studying politics, the teacher tried to make us look at it from another angle and told us in some societies past and present, a child chosen to be the sexual partner of a powerful man (king etc) was considered a great honour for the family and the child. And that our thoughts are dependent on the society we grow up in.
        Neither I (or I think the others in the class) could cope very well with the idea.

        Still, I think the point (not the topic) raised an important issue. Try to look outside of the box and put yourself in a different set of shoes before you decide what your opinion really is.

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