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On the Death Penalty

I agree with the Supreme Court that there ought not be a requirement that execution of criminals be painless.  I also oppose the death penalty.  

I suspect that death is for many murderers neither a punishment or a deterrent. 

Arguments against the death penalty are overwhelming.  Certainly our court system is unfair and the thought of an innocent woman dying for a crime is unacceptable. But, we do have the death penalty and the reforms neededi n the courts extend way beyond just capital crimes.  My opposition, however, is not based on the need for a better court system.

Criminal penalties need to be distinguished from therapies.  The penalties should hurt.  If we can reform a criminal, then of course we should do that. But  lets be honest.  Therapy is not the only reason our society has penalties for criminals.  We PUNISH crimes.  Our motivations are  revenge and the hope that punishment will act as a deterrent. Penalties should be painful.  I do not think the death penalty can be seen as a therapy but I also think it is not a punishment,
My skepticism is not limited to the death penalty.  I am skeptical the many of our current punishments are painful.   For example I suspect Martha Stewart did just fine in prison.  Iadvocate impoverishment for whiten collar crimes. Imagine Madoff condemned to live on $7/hr for the rest of his life or Stewart condemned tp penury for five years.  I also believe in other punishments .  Why not brand sex offenders?  I have even wondered about banishment.way Russia used to send its criminals to Siberia.   If we can designate a mountain in Nevada to hold our nuclear waste, could we find some place in the desert or Alaska for a compound where we could  dump people, maybe for life? 

So, if we have a death penalty, it should be painful.

Eichmann was hanged. Hanging is quick but it is liley very painful for a minute or so. Should he have been given an opiate? Was he happy to escape his tortured life?


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