Sunday, December 4, 2011

Capital Questions

The argument for or against the capital punishment has barged into many an amiable conversation or dinner party. It is an old argument and the opposing sides vehemently defend respective points of view, convinced it is the right one.

I am against capital punishment. But not for the reasons you might think. 

Death is the last refuge. It is the ultimate destination each of us reaches with each step we take throughout our lives. It is the culmination of existence. The final price one pays for being born. Death is final.

Yes some may believe that there is life after death but since that is yet to be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, I choose to believe death is IT. End of story.  Working on this premise we can be assured that once one dies once simple ceases to be; they merely rot in the ground, or disappear if they are ashes. 

How is death, then deemed punishment? How is killing someone, ending the slow plod to that inevitable end punishment? Sure, person’s life will be unceremoniously (actually the execution of the death penalty is quite the ceremony) shortened but he will not live to regret the things he may have done had he not been killed. He will simply end.

Who is punished by the death sentence; the perpetrator or his family? Because when someone dies, it is those left behind who mourn his death and are hurt by his demise. So when the justice system calls for capital punishment, who exactly is it is punishing? Yes, the condemned man might worry and fear death but when the deed is done the fears are gone.

Does it serve any purpose? This forms part of the core argument against capital punishment; killing the perpetrator will serve no purpose other than usage the victim’s family’s grief, if even that! Killing the perpetrator will not bring back the victim; it will not reverse the damage that has already been done. If anything, it creates further anguish for those who might have loved the murdering son of a bitch.

Here is where I come in with my brilliant plan. Punish the son of a bitch. Make him wish for death because he knows that in death there will be relief. He knows there will be no pain beyond that curtain. Instead of life sentences in cushy jail cells, three meals a day, TV, libraries, exercise, sex and an occasional reprimand from the warden, I think we need to overhaul the entire prison system. Prisoners are allowed visitors, mail, and an education for crying out loud! Why? And in our beautiful country they are allowed to bloody well VOTE! 

A person who commits a heinous crime like a murder should be stripped of his humanity, fed only enough to keep him healthy and bathing enough to ward off lice and the like. He should be isolated from any human contact except with the wardens. He should spend the duration on his prison sentence with only a few thoughts, revenge/remorse, thoughts of the deed that landed him in prison and wishing for death or escape.  

Now THAT is punishment!