Monday, May 18, 2015

State-Sponsored Murder

Kind, gentle-natured Americans are shocked, appalled and horrified every time the Caliphate slices off a hostage’s head.  It is a barbaric act that must be condemned.

But these same kind, gentle-natured Americans can sit on a jury to decide whether the death penalty should be applied and vote to sanction state-sponsored murder.

It won’t be a grisly beheading.  It will be a kinder, gentler act.  We’ll just put the person to sleep – forever.  And yes, in this case the person is guilty of committing a heinous crime.  He’s not an innocent as was the Caliphate’s hostage.  But as for the result, in the end is there a difference?  The state, rightly or wrongly, is committing murder.

I am one of those people who are instinctively repulsed by the notion that it is OK to deliberately kill another person.  The guise that it is an appropriate and legitimate act because our justice system (or the bible) allows it carries no weight with me.  Our proud history of frontier justice notwithstanding, there is no justification for state-sponsored murder.  It is not an act that has a deterrent effect on bad people.  It is an act of vengeance or revenge that diminishes us as human beings.


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