I need you help here. Trust me, that is not a sentence I utter often. Come on in, pull up a chair. Here is the issue, I don’t know whether to support the death penalty or not. So, let’s look at both sides together. That, by the way, is the most important thing we can do – look at both sides. It is the one thing every human could do but does not. I swear almost everything in our society could be fixed by people seriously considering each side of the argument… and truly consider how their opponent sees things. As an exercise, I tried it here.
On the pro side
there are some really bad people who want nothing but to hurt other people. These are people who will continue to hurt people unless you kill them. I think of someone like that kid who shot up the movie theater. Yeah, he should die. Fuck that kid.
That is just a quick look at a single act of violence. There is also the booby traps kid set up at his apartment to kill as many cops as possible…which was a pretty clever plan to distract cops from coming to the theater in a timely manner. Then, I think of anyone who might hurt my mom. If you hurt my mom, I am coming to kill you. Simple. Hell, if you even cut her off in traffic or say an unkind thing to her, I am coming to kill you. Spend my life in jail? Sure, if necessary. The worst nightmare I ever had as a kid was a horrible recurring dream about her being hurt. I feel like my subconscious has been looking for that suspect for 35 years now. Besides, what is the proper punishment for someone who kills someone? I think – fuck them! kill them right back.
Think of Saddam Hussein. That guy makes Bin Laden look like a girl scout. He killed millions, just for sport. He was a bad person, and needed to die. Why? He didn’t kill for reason, he killed for sport. He didn’t invent that, though. Stalin did. Stalin killed absolutely everyone. EVERYONE. You think Hitler was a bad dude? His numbers are shit compared to Stalin. Stalin makes Hitler look like a girl scout.
Some people you have to kill to keep them from killing more people? Look at Ted Bundy. You had to execute that guy, he escaped prison for a living. Each time, too, he killed more people while out.
then… I think of my stupid compassionate side.
I think of the training that Amnesty International gave me “how can we kill people who kill people to prove that killing people is wrong?” Ouch. That is some solid shit right there, tough to argue. I learned some interesting stuff about the death penalty from Amnesty seminars. One is that killing a prisoner is NOT cheaper than locking them up for life. I know, it sounds dumb. Especially since it costs a LOT to imprison people. Something like $70,000 a person a year. Yet, in schools, we spend about $10,000 per kid per year. Hell, you might as well be a prisoner versus a student. Better health care, better food, free housing, cable, and education.
Then, I think about Texas.
Texas kills a lot of people. I mean a ton. They average an execution once every two weeks. They execute more than every other state combined. When President Bush was asked as a candidate what he thought about the death penalty executions in Texas, he hemmed and hawed and said it was a complex issue. I hated that. Regardless of my personal feelings about the issue, this is what I wanted the President to say
Fuck yeah we kill bad guys in Texas. All day long. Guess what, you come to Texas and you hurt someone, you are going to die. Don’t even consider it. Wanna murder someone? Go to one of those namby pamby states in the North East, where you can get a poetry degree. Here in Texas, we kill ya!
You know? I mean, take a stand on something, man. Note, he said none of that. I wish he did, though.
Then, I think ‘what about crazy people who don’t realize what they are doing?’ I don’t feel enough compassion about it to exempt them. If me killing you keeps you from killing many, many others… than it is the right thing to do. I think.
So, what is my conclusion? I am not going to tell you. I want you to decide for yourself on this issue. Just know that both sides make a fair point and I feel both sides are valid. I think unfortunately at this time the death penalty unfairly impacts blacks over the rest of society. In fact, I bet if I looked at the numbers, it would be overwhelmingly and devastatingly against young black men… because it follows the justice system.
What is your conclusion? Please leave comments. As you may or may not know, I post almost every single comment, no matter how critical of me it is. The only things I don’t post are threats or super super bad grammar. Don’t believe me? Look at this post, they were ALL critical of me, and at least one tried to kick me ass. In fact, here an exercise for you; give me 5 reasons these folks should be killed. Now, give me 5 reason’s why not. If you do this, I will add my own 5 of each down the road.
I only have the reasons not to.
1. there has been no evidence that the death penalty lowers crimes
2. as stated hypocrisy
3. killing innocent people
4. the damage it does psychologically to those that do the killing
5. my stupid compassionate side is louder than the other voices in my head.