Posted November 18, 2007 09:43 PM (EST)
I was having drinks with a group of attorneys who represent clients on death row after a lecture I gave when one of them described the conclusion of one of his cases as "killed by the government". Hmmm. Kind of a different way to think about it. Now I have to admit I had some qualms about going to give a lecture to a bunch of attorneys who are trying to get murderers off scott free.
But after talking to them I realized that wasn't the case. I mean their clients usually weren't denying that they had killed somebody. And in all of the cases there were long histories of abuse, neglect, often courtesy of botched child health services and failures to intervene, courtesy of, you guessed it, the government. So what does the government do? It tries to kill them. You see for every homicide case out there there is a wacked out Eliot Spitzer wannabee attorney who gets off on trying to get a needle of lethal drugs into the guy's arm. I mean they should make those guys actually go watch the execution. Maybe they wouldn't get so excited about it then.
And here's the daily example of why they shouldn't let future newspaper reporters for the NY Times fall asleep in math class. In an article today about so-called studies by economists about whether or not the death penalty had a deterrent effect on murder, a Professor Weisberg of Stanford was quoted as saying "These are sophisticated econometricians who know how to do multiple regression analysis at a pretty high level." What a bunch of bull. I know how to do multiple regression analysis, and I know that it is what you do when you want to use statistics to make up fairy tales. I mean when there are 16,000 people murdered every year and only 65 executed, you want me to believe that is a deterrent?
Here's another quote (same article) from two chowder-headed professors, this time from Harvard: "Capital punishment may well save lives. Those who object to capital punishment, and who do so in the name of protecting life, must come to terms with the possibility that the failure to inflict capital punishment will fail to protect life." Hmmm. So I guess that means that the guy in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment who killed that person was right after all. Taking that line of thinking to its logical conclusion, why don't you just have guys with swords stand on street corners and cut off anyone's head whom they suspect of a crime? Since the Bush family are such good friends with the Saudi royal family, maybe the government could ask the House of Saud to loan them some of their sword wielding executioners, at least until the US government gets their own people properly trained.
You say, Blue State (not) liberal (maybe). OK you Red State people, the Bible says "thou shalt not kill", not "thou shalt not kill unless you work for the government," right?
Here's another reason why you shouldn't give the government the right to kill you. Capital punishment is patently unfair. Here in my home state of Georgia, the Atlanta Journal Constitution ran a series of articles that showed that whether or not you get executed depends on the color of your skin and the race of your victim.
Oh, BTW the Europeans think we are barbarians for killing our people. They got rid of capital punishment years ago.
They're right. We aren't. We should get rid of the death penalty. Why? Because it's wrong.