Assessing the Death Penalty

What types of crimes are punishable by death? What crime does one have to commit to even warrant the death penalty? The crime has to be a violent, malicious and even vicious act usually resulting in someone’s death.

Now think about what kind of person is CAPABLE of committing such a crime? There are really on three:

1. The person who has no regard for life or death
2. The person who is certain they can never be caught, harmed or taken into custody
3. The person who gets some pleasure out of such actions

How can the threat of death affect either of these people in any way? The death penalty is an attempt to use compassionate and logical reasoning to persuade people who are callous and illogical. And that simply does not make any sense. An unsympathetic sociopath is not going to pursue a logical and benevolent course of action. If he did, he would not BE an unsympathetic sociopath.

Take your average, horrendous, all-too common death penalty case where a guy walks into a convenience store at 3 in the morning with a Saturday-night special and ends up killing the cashier. Now, let’s look at each personality type:

Scenario A:
This guy knows fully well that it is very possible that he will die during the commission of this crime. He knows that the man behind the cash register could have a shotgun behind the counter or that the police could be waiting for him when he walks outside. He knows that the very instant he takes out that gun, his life is on the line and he may die. And with this knowledge, he has decided that a six-pack of beer, two packs of cigarettes and $58 in cash were worth the risk of death.

Now let’s call this guy before he goes out that night and tell him “You know, if you are caught, apprehended, taken to jail and then convicted in court, you might spend years in prison and then receive the death penalty.” How in the world is that supposed to stop this guy? He has already accepted death as a possible outcome.

Scenario B:
This guy feels that he is invincible. He can not and will not be shot or killed and he feels that the law will never catch him or take him to jail. He is invincible. No one can touch him. If the police catch up to him, he wont go quietly, he’ll just shoot his way out of the situation and he believes that in an all out gun fight with the police, that he will win. This person simply does not believe that apprehension is possible and if so, that he cannot be die.

How is the threat of the death penalty going to affect him? If he cannot even conceive the notion of apprehension, then how can he ever imagine the electric chair? Not only will the threat of capital punishment do nothing to prevent him from committing the crime; but also the very fact of such a threat against him, may INCREASE his desire to commit the crime.

Scenario C:
This guy is going out to kill somebody tonight because that is what he wants to do. He enjoys the power and seeing someone beg for their life. Or he is angry at the world and has decided to kill someone and has no regard for the consequences. He has no regard for life or death including his own. This person will kill without conscience, thought, or remorse. Murder does not even seem to be happening in realty and life is almost like a movie or video game.

Yeah, threatening this guy is really going to change his mind. Please.

The only people capable of committing crimes that are punishable by death are people who have no FEAR of death. Therefore, the death penalty is not only illogical, it is stupid.

Ok, how about revenge? I believe that almost everyone will agree that government sanctioned killing should NEVER be and has never been about revenge. I mean, let’s face it, that would make us just like the criminals who kill for the same reason.
Finally, let us consider the fact that there is not one shred of evidence that the death penalty is or has ever been a deterrent in any way shape or form at any time for any state.

So, if it is not a crime deterrent and not about revenge then the question arises: Exactly why does capital punishment remain on the books in so many states? There is only one answer:

Man’s natural and insatiable desire to see people suffer and die.

This form of “entertainment” has been a hit since the beginning of time, from crucifixions to the Roman Coliseum, to public hangings to the electric chair. It seeks only to satisfy the morbid desires of the flesh and it is wrong.

Thus, the “earthly” reasoning behind the death penalty does not measure up and I wont even begin to get into the Spiritual reasons.