Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's been almost two months to the day since I've posted... mainly because I can't justify being on the computer for long periods without working on my graduate school applications. Unfortunately, that does not translate to completed applications, but instead endless revisions combined with fewer hours in front of the screen.

I spend the rest of my time working one of my two jobs... oi so much work lately.

I am posting today however in response to an intriguing post my friend Geoff made on his blog (which you can visit here)

I don't really know how to feel about the death penalty. I can see its benefits, but I can also see how it is a huge responsibility for the people carrying it out. What if the jury got it wrong? What if the execution is botched? I read of one man who waited so long for a medic to find his veins that he actually needed to be given a bathroom break. How horrible would that be?
The reason I started thinking about this is because I was reading a story on about a man who was executed this morning in Texas. The story lead me to the webpage of the Texas department of criminal justice and I began to read their facts about executions. They proudly report that, "Texas leads the nation" in executions, as if that is something to brag about. They've executed 17 people so far this year, with three more scheduled for next week alone.
I would agree that the people who are on death row in all likelihood deserve to be there. Most have led violent lives and if nothing else are a huge risk to prison populations and the general public. What concerns me is the express lane atmosphere that executions in Texas seem to take. What do you think?

There were two also interesting comments:

Blogger Lolakun said...

I have an internal conflict with the death penalty too. I'm a big fan of the adage, "An eye for an eye makes the world go blind." I think life imprisonment or some alternative punishment is more humane and effective than capital punishment.

Also, I think despite whether the person is religious or not, it's important to allow the criminal and the victim time to repent and forgive.

6:33 PM

Blogger Litzner said...

The 'express lane' death row thought is a bit disturbing.

But one thing that gets me is people being on death row for extended periods of time. You read stories about them being on death row for ten or fifteen years. What are they waiting for? If they are going to be in prison for that long, why not just give them a double life sentence?

6:37 PM

I felt compelled to reply... So I responded:

Blogger trace.dominguez said...

I would have to agree with both of the top two, the Death Penalty is something I think many people struggle to justify in themselves.

Unfortunately, it is obscenely expensive to keep prisoners in prison, and death row prisoners (who can spend decades on death row) are very expensive as well. There is an easy way to deal with that - the express lane - but its also a disturbing way in that our system does have it's flaws.

Bottom line? I feel like the "deterrent" is invisible with the Death Penalty because you have a chance of dieing of old age anyway, and with prisoners getting cable tv, a gym and other amenities that people on the outside would have to pay for: I feel like there are other ways to make our criminals regret, repent and reform.

If you are going to use the Death Penalty, use it so it holds weight, if not, why not find another way to make prison more punishing? Maybe go back to making license plates or clearing fields.

9:20 PM

Now, I ask what YOU think just as Geoff did. I am hoping for some interesting insight into an what is truly a modernized yet archaic method of justice. Thoughts? Comments? I encourage them even if it's short and sweet (though if it is too short I might ask for clarification).