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Wednesday, February 05, 2003
The death penalty
I have followed the story of Jackie Elliot with some interest. Now that he has been executed, it is impossible to correct a mistake, if one has been made. Still, this is a minor objection. Like the argument that killing people judicially is the most brilliant way to teach citizens that killing people is wrong. Like the barbarity of the process. Just notice the effect...
One of the best ways to ensure that we are law-abiding is not, of course, the certainty of detection. It is the certainty that retribution will follow. And it is clear that such retribution works in Texas: production line executions have completely eliminated murder. What an amazing achievement.
The Nazis had a policy of shooting citizens at random if there was significant resistance to their occupation of other countries. The policy worked: resistance groups were greatly inhibited from sabotage, knowing that their actions were certain to lead to the deaths of tens, perhaps hundreds, of their fellow citizens.
We should do this here: we have pussy-footed round the death penalty problem for years. We need to eliminate our massive annual murder toll (is it currently about one or two hundred, every year?) and get it down to the miniscule annual level to be found in the USA.
It is no argument to point to the case of Stefan Kiszko - imprisoned for 16 years for a murder he most certainly didn't commit. I mean, if the appeal process goes on long enough, 'mistakes' are bound to be avoided, aren't they?
Bring back the rope.
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