Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Thank Arnold He's Off the Street!

What is the purpose of capital punishment? Is it about justice or is it about revenge?

If it is about justice, how is it just to execute a blind and deaf 76-year-old man in a wheelchair? I'm just asking.

Oh, and I know the conservatives bristle at the idea that the United States should be a part of the world community, but I thought you'd like to see the list of the twelve countries who executed (state sponsored murder depending on your point of view) the most people in 2004:

  1. China 3,400+
  2. Iran 159+
  3. Vietnam 64+
  4. United States 59
  5. Saudi Arabia 33+
  6. Pakistan 15+
  7. Kuwait 9+
  8. Bangladesh 7+
  9. Singapore 6+
  10. Yemen 6+
  11. Egypt 6+
  12. Belarus 5+
You read that right. We executed more people than Saudi Arabia last year, and one can be executed there for being pregnant. Look at that list. Should we be proud to be surrounded by that group of countries? Aren't they supposed to be the uncivilized ones (except for our BFF, of course), while we're the bastion of freedom and enlightenment?

Doesn't look like it to me. Maybe this year, we'll be able to top Vietnam. Keep your eye on the prize.


Matthew Smith said...

Not only are we #4 with a bullet on the world-wide charts, but the US is the *only* Western country to still have legalalized state executions ("westernized" South Korea doesn't count). But that's OK -- even if statistics tell us otherwise, my gut tells me that the death penalty is a deterrent.

Michael Grant said...

"We are divided between those who think with their head and those who know with their heart."

Courts said...

I'm not sure if Matthew Smith was being sarcastic (it's hard to tell in writing), but I guess this is just a general response to the "deterrent" school of thought: The death penalty is as much a deterrent of murder and crime as cancer is a deterrent of eating junk food. Our current legislature loosely promises "justice" through a sentence of death, but it takes so freakin' long that I'm positive the criminal doesn't even consider the consequences at the time of the crime or shortly thereafter. Or much at all. Like there are many of us that know that eating crap is horrible for us, but we do it anyway. The threat is not present enough till it's too late.
What I know is love conquers all. We can end a long chain of murder and faux justice with compassion and the urge to heal instead of seek vengeance.