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Thursday, 03 December, 2020

The Death Penalty

Date: 15 April, 2006

By: Chief

Imageell they're buildin' the gallows outside my cell and I got 25 minutes to go. And in 25 minutes I'll be in Hell ... I got 24 minutes to go." (25 Minutes to go, Johnny Cash)

Should we have it or should it be abolished

That is the question on the minds of many people. There are other questions pertaining to the death penalty as well. Questions such as do we, as in We the People, through our sovereign state, have the right to take another person's life? Or does the death penalty reduce crime? Those are just two questions of many. But those questions do go hand in glove with whether or not we, as sovereign states, should have — and use with vigor — the death penalty.

In fact let us take a quick look at those two questions and see what shakes loose.

I submit before that question can be answered this question needs to be answered — does a person have the right to commit murder? Not self defense mind you, murder. The cold wanton killing of another human being. That is what I am talking about right here and now. I do believe that most reasonable people would answer that question in the negative. A person does not have the right to commit murder. And there is a reason for that. If people were allowed to commit murder then chaos, fear and retribution would ensue and nobody that I am aware of wants that to happen. People have no desire to live in fear. On the other hand people do expressly desire to live free.

Hence, while nobody has the right to commit murder, We the People have the right to set reasonable rules of conduct for ourselves, our posterity and those who travel within or through the boundaries of our sovereign state and punish those who do not adhere to our rules of conduct.

It is not as though we could ask a murder victim whether or not the thug that killed 'em should be sentenced to death for killing them. They're dead remember?

Therefore yes We the People, through our sovereign state, have the right to take another persons life.

Absolutely. You had better believe it does. Once old Joe Criminal gets his neck stretched and is subsequently and permanently planted in the ground it becomes ipso facto that the now very dead Joe Criminal is not going to commit another crime against anybody or anybody's property. Case closed.

However, the death penalty could and would, in my view, be far more effective in reducing crime if:

I fully believe that criminals sentenced to death should be executed:

"Well... I call out to the Warden to hear my plea. 17 minute to go. He says, 'Call me back in a week or three. You've got 16 minutes to go'." (25 Minutes to go, Johnny Cash)

The reasoning behind this method, it is surely not madness, is as such. It provides for:

If nothing else a state which does not mess around with the death penalty will send criminals and would be criminals heading for, shall we say, greener pastures. In other words if New Mexico were to do as I outlined above and Arizona did not I suspect there would be a migration of less-than-desirable people from New Mexico to Arizona. Which, by the way, would not hurt my feelings one little bit.

The most important aspect of the death penalty, which tends to be forgotten over the course of time, is the victim or victims of heinous crime. An innocent person or persons murdered by Joe Criminal is dead, buried and forgotten. Life goes on so to speak, at least for Joe Criminal. Joe Criminal sits, quite alive, in prison for 10, 20 or 30 years because Joe's attorneys are busy filing one motion or petition after another in an attempt to keep Joe from having to keep a state sponsored date with the hangman. That is not at all right. Not in the least.

The key and singular issue here is that Joe is alive while his victim or victims are dead.

Now I fully agree with the concept of once dead, always dead. You simply cannot bring a dead person back to life. I am not arguing with that. What I am arguing about is the very dead victim of a homicide should not have become very dead courtesy of a homicide in the first place. Had old Joe Criminal not committed murder said dead victim would not be dead. At least not because of Joe Criminal. The non-dead, non-victim would be quite alive doing his or her 'thing' and die of natural causes which is — natural — and a fate we all shall, at some time, partake in.

Death of a person is natural. Murder of a person is not. As such, Joe Criminal needs to pay with his life.

Those who oppose the death penalty claim that it is brutal or barbaric or inhumane. Well all three of those arguments may or may not be true. You can't ask a dead guy. But, like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder. Further, if the death penalty is indeed brutal, barbaric or inhumane, an argument which I strongly disagree with, then what is murder or kidnapping or rape? A party at the beach? No! Of course not. Are not those crimes brutal, barbaric and inhumane? I most certainly would think so. I suspect that those victims who have been through something vile and lived to tell the tale would agree with me.

My feeling is this — had old Joe Criminal not committed the heinous crime that he did he would not be on his way to the gallows and his victim would not be a victim. However, Joe made a decision and then executed his decision all the while knowing the penalty that awaits him for committing a heinous crime. As such Joe Criminal has his punishment coming to him in spades.

I now raise the specter also raised by those who oppose the death penalty quite often. The 'he or she has been rehabilitated or has been redeemed' syndrome.

I don't care

I do not give one rat's behind if old Joe Criminal has, during his lengthy stay on death row (which would not happen if left up to me, one year remember?) gotten a PhD, had his poetry published, renounced crime and sprouted wings and halo. I simply do not care. The facts are these:

As such —

Joe should die

Joe's murder victim or victims are still dead. They cannot be rehabilitated. They are absolutely tagged on the toe dead, buried and pushing up daisies. What about them? How about their redemption?

A perfect example is Joseph Smith. He was convicted last December of the rape and murder of Carlie Brucia. Carlie was only 11 years old. After his conviction a jury recommended the death sentence for Smith. Brucia's mother, after the recommendation for death had been read said:

"He may be condemned, but he's still breathing, and my daughter is not. He couldn't be dead fast enough for me. I want him dead. I want him dead now."

She gets no argument from me. Indeed I don't believe she would get an argument from any sane person.

Another example is Robert Gonzales. Gonzales stands accused of the rape and murder of Victoria Sandoval. She also was 11 years old. Albuquerque, New Mexico police state that Gonzales confessed to the crimes he committed. Once the court system has run its course and if he is found guilty Gonzales needs to meet his end swiftly at the end of a rope. (See I have compassion, I believe in suspended sentences.)

A victim of a heinous crime only has one course of redemption — swift execution of sentence. Period. End of story. End of Joe.

Lastly comes the question of should the death penalty be used only as a punishment for the crime of murder? Truthfullly, as far as I'm concerned that is up to the people within a given state. I do, however, have my very own 'little list':

I figure that pretty well covers the waterfront, like 'em or not.

Comedian Ron White (Tater Salad) during one of his many hilarious routines talks about his native state of Texas (you have my sympathies Tater) and the death penalty. He says:

"While other states are abolishing the death penalty, Texas is putting in an express lane."

Well said Tater.

"I can hear the buzzards ... I can hear the crows. 1 more minute to go. And now I'm swingin' and here I gooooooooo... ." (25 Minutes to go, Johnny Cash)

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