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The Death Penalty: More Opposition Less Justice? Part II March 8, 2007

Posted by Daniel Downs in economics, freedom, law, news, peace, politics.

Yesterday, the reasons why more lawmakers seek to abolish or curtail the death penalty were considered. In this post, I want to comment on several issues not addressed in “More Lawmakers Take a Stand Against Death Penalty” by Vesna Paksic.

What our judicial systems does and how much it costs effects every citizen and taxpayer. A civilized society should seek to treat all imprisoned criminals humanely. We all need an effective system of rehabilitating men and women for a productive life in society. When necessary, the most effective and were possible humane means of executing convicted murders should also be utilized.

An issue not addressed in Jaksic’s article is social costs. The rationale for opposing the death penalty neglects the victim as well as others. In economic terms, the worth of a life taken by murder is incalculable. There is no replacement price. Economists may be able to figure the economic benefit of a productive life is lost, e.g. how much was lost in taxes revenues, product consumption, and the like. What is beyond any dollar amount is the value of lost relationships to spouse, children, parents, grandparents, friends, associates, co-workers, employers, local communities. And, what about the loss to God? Murders rob God of his purpose for the victim. No human can possibly fathom the loss of all the good a person might have accomplished in society.

Another issue not address in the article is the cost of insecurity. When government fails to protect law abiding citizens from murder and assault, they fail the primarily reason for existence. That was the claim of John Locke. In his Treatise on Government, Locke wrote the establishment of civil government is for “no other end but the peace, safety, and public good of the people.” This is also part of America’s national compact.

As witnessed on nightly news, murders and assaults creates an environment of insecurity. Some of the costs are distrust of government, distrust of others, and distrust of society. It also results in the inexcusable loss of freedom. Fear and distrust do not increase liberty, it diminishes it. No matter that most of the crimes occur on the other side of town, the affects are still pervasive. By releasing murderers and other violent offenders who repeat the same crime, government further aggravates social insecurity and loss of liberty. Therefore, the only reasonable conclusion is the American government following liberal ideology fails in its Constitutional obligation to preserve the lives and safety of its citizens.

America had a fair justice system until liberal urbanites screwed it up. Terrible problems of the past do not make a person murder. An individual has two choices: kill or run away from the driving impulse to get help. Convicted murderers made a choice. Premeditated murder has no excuse.

One final issue still needs mention, imprisoned murders are still murderers. Putting them in solitary confinement is merely a different kind of cruel and unusual punishment. After all, humans are social creatures, and the essence death is separation. If murderers are allowed to socialize, the rest of the prison population will be endangered.

Because the current state of America is one of insecurity, the death penalty must be supported by all. Only then can we expect to live in a larger measure of peace and freedom.



1. Niambi A. Murray - March 9, 2007

The article may not have covered the areas that you have addressed, but the current campaign to end the death penalty does.

There are many areas of your piece that I can understand, however your facts may require a little further investigation. There opposition of the death penalty takes into consideration the life that has been taken, the existing lives of the family members as well as the life of the criminal as well as the family of that criminal.

In regarding the cost of life I agree with you whole heartedly that it’s value is in fact incalculable. That also stands for the life of the convicted. We are not in the Divine position to determine what transition will or will not take place while a person is incarcerated. Nor are we to determine whether their life loses value to the point where the state should determine their right to live. The state did not create life, nor has it earned the Divine right to determine when it should be taken. The prison population is not in any more danger than it already is. The issue that you are referring to does not deal as much with the death penalty as it speaks to the issue of violence in our society. The mind of a murderer is one that I dare not say that I understand or justify. the issue is not the justification for their actions as it is about LIFE and JUSTICE in the application of law.

From the first colonial voyage to this country to the application of the Constitution, America’s justice system has constantly needed to be corrected of its wrongs. The death penalty is another wrong. The origin of the death penalty had nothing to do with justice and its application now has nothing to do with justice. People must begin to understand that.

Baltimore city has the highest homicide rate in the state. However, since 1978 only two of the death row inmates have cases from that area. Why do you think that is. Are the murder victims in Baltimore city any less valuable of a life than those of Baltimore County where the majority of the state’s capital cases have been fought. The death penalty does not make our communities or our prisons safer. The fraternization on prison by no means can be compared to everyday social interaction, because it is a far far cry from civilization.

Because the current state of America is in fact insecurity, that also means that the risk of executing an innocent life is very real. It has also happened. The death penalty must not be supported if we are to seek a true civil society and begin to correct the wrongs that currently exist in our criminal system. Peace and Freedom is a human right. Huamanity is not to be determined by the state. The Most High makes that decision. The Most High makes the final decision on life not the state. Not man. We are to be vessels of peace, love, life and justice. Let us stay true to our God given purposes for life.

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