Generally I am against the death penalty. I don’t have a moral problem with putting killers to death- truth be told if I could be 100% certain I would put many violent offenders to death. My problem with the death penalty is history shows us there is too much corruption with police, prosecutors, and even judges to trust them with the power to take a life. That isn’t to say there is necessarily a lot of corruption, but even a little is too much when someone’s life is on the line. There’s no way to phrase a law to say and ensure “only if we’re really really sure” someone is guilty can we use the death penalty, so I’m forced to just be against it.
It has always surprised me that so many conservatives, who claim to be in favor of small government and for individual freedoms, are so often for capital punishment. Giving the government the power to take a citizen’s life, legally, is the ultimate power after all.
Back on topic, the death penalty is still the law of our land and a case like this where there is no doubt the guilt of the individual is exactly the situation I would allow it. If he wants it, like McVeigh, give it to him. Don’t make a spectacle out of it, just do it. I hear people say he should spend life in prison instead because that will be more punishment. I don’t care. This isn’t about punishment at this point. If he’s dead no one can take hostages and execute them one at a time until he is released. People who think he’ll just live quietly in prison for the next 60 years aren’t thinking clearly. He isn’t the Unabomber- he may not have friends but the terrorist community knows what he did and he is a hero to them. Every day he lives is a risk to innocent people. Whether it will be a plane, a cruise ship, a train, a bus, or even a school- somewhere, somehow, innocent people are probably going to die in his name if he lives.
I headlined this post “Fry The Boston Bomber” but truthfully frying isn’t the method of execution I’d use. Ironically of all the methods used over the years in this country, hanging, firing squad, gas, lethal injection, the electric chair is probably the most cruel and unusual punishment. The fact it even still exists is a testament to how little the general public cares about our criminal justice system as a whole. The Electric Chair was a stunt by Thomas Edison to scare people away from using alternating current and instead use his, inferior, direct current for lighting homes. Direct current has its place (your computer or phone is using direct current right now) but it certainly isn’t ideal for for long distance use. How and why the Electric Chair remained in use is beyond me. Edison also electrocuted elephants but we stopped doing that once his war was lost. Good for the elephants, bad for us I guess.
A single large caliber bullet to the head is fast, humane, cheap, and most importantly, effective means of execution. Setup the gun so it is point blank, no risk of missing the target- and be done with this. Our economy is spending millions and millions of dollars on litigating whether doctors can legally perform executions or who can legally buy and sell the chemicals used in lethal injections- it is a joke. All of a sudden when it comes to execution it’s like we forget how to kill people. All of human history people have had no trouble killing other people. But call the killing capital punishment and it has to be delayed, maybe cancelled, because they can’t get some weird chemical only sold in Europe. If a bullet is too messy then use carbon monoxide. Most US homes have at least one carbon monoxide detector to prevent accidental tragedy of dying in their sleep from this odorless gas and even still we occasionally see an entire family wiped out. But we can’t find a way to kill people in non-messy ways.
Bottom line… Maybe only have capital punishment for federal cases when there is a real risk of someone attempting to get them released by terroristic means. However if we’re going to do it lets stop worrying about how it is done and just do it.