For centuries the death penalty, often accompanied by barbarous refinements, has been trying to hold crime in check; yet crime persists. Why? Because the instincts that are warring in man are not, as the law claims, constant forces in a state of equilibrium.
Albert Camus (1913–60), French-Algerian philosopher, author
The New York Times article on the Supreme Court’s Death Penalty decision was very curious: …people who had faced capital prosecutions for crimes they committed as juveniles can now be sentenced, at worst, only to life terms. Only? Living in a cage for the rest of one’s natural life does not seem to me a picnic.
I don’t favor the death penalty, but I have moments when I think someone should received it. Unlike Michael Dukakis, who ran for president in 1988 against W’s father, I would not only want the death penalty for someone who harmed a member of my family or a friend, I would want to torture them and ripe their heart out and stomp on it.
I have pondered from time to time, how I would handle such a situation, but because I have a superstition I’m not going into any detail, yet, I wonder if I would say who cares and take justice into my own hands. On an intellectual level, I know that my act of vengeance would not replace the lost and the revenge would make me not much better than the killer. I might even hate myself for stooping so low. I glad I don't live in a state that finds killing teenagers acceptable.
The Washington Post pointed out that the states most affected by the ruling are Texas, where 29 juvenile offenders were awaiting execution and Alabama, where there are 14. No other state has more than five. There have been 22 executions of juveniles since 1976, 13 of them in Texas, and George W. Bush was governor during a number of those -- our conservative passionate president.
A key part of the decision was that the court's considered of the role of international law in their interpretation. Many will criticize our basing laws on anything other than our system such as Justice Antonin Scalia did, but how can we judge other countries when we practice such barbaric practices? But, it is apparently okay for us to enforce our laws on other countries, oh say, Iraq.
I would be interested in your thoughts on the death penalty.