Friday, March 6, 2015

The Death Penalty and Jodi Arias: Why Execution Should be Better

Some people are monsters and we can only wish that they were chosen for deselection.  If only Jodi Arias had died of a childhood disease, stepped in front of a bus, or overdosed on drugs, then we wouldn't be hearing about how she brutally murdered her ex-boyfriend, and cost taxpayers millions of dollars in court costs.

ABC News reports (click here for article) that Arias' trial has cost taxpayers an estimated 3+ million bucks, while a judge now decides whether or not she should someday be released on parole.  Paroled?  Really?  Some would claim that the reason the court costs are so high is that it was a death penalty trial; they'll follow that up with a rant about how we should abolish the death penalty.  Reasons for abolishing the death penalty range from its ineffectiveness as a deterrent to its alleged brutality.  I'd like to address both of those points.

I wholeheartedly agree that the death penalty, in its current state, is not an effective deterrent to crime.  The reasons for this are simple: The sentences are not carried out swiftly or publicly.  The current, much backlogged, system of appeals allows a convicted killer to live on death row for decades, probably dying of old age, after costing taxpayers an extravagant amount of money.  Death sentences that are carried out are done so in the dark of night, behind closed doors, with no televising of the event.  While there is typically a small group of witnesses at executions, the event is not seen by the general public.  Would-be killers don't ever see their peers being put to death, and know that their sentence for killing someone won't be much different than their last stint in prison, with gyms, television, and college degrees at their disposal. What about the alleged cruelty and unusual nature of the death penalty?

For all of recorded history, humans have killed other humans that represented a viable threat to their neighbors, and society in general.  In later centuries, we required trials prior to the elimination of the vermin.  As we became slightly more civilized, we refined the methods that we've used to kill the monsters in our midst.  Recent methods in our nation include electrocution, hanging, firing squads, and inhalation of poisonous gases.  Of late, we have mostly chosen to use injections of a lethal combination of drugs.  The combinations used for lethal injection executions typically involve a starter drug that ensures the killer's lack of any pain, distress, or discomfort.  I cannot fathom why anyone would consider lethal injection to be cruel and unusual punishment, especially when compared to the punishment inflicted upon the killers' victims.  Please engage in a wee bit of research as to the methods that death row inmates have used to slaughter their victims, and then compare that to the methods in use to, someday, execute those killers.  The claims of execution being brutal, inhumane, or cruel are downright insane.  

The death penalty, in our nation, is not currently an effective deterrent to crime, but it could be if we choose to eliminate the obstacles to its effectiveness.  Streamline the process, stop the absurd number of appeals allowed, and get it done.  Publicize it; put it on television with a parental warning.  Make it a real and visible punishment, and it will be a deterrent.  Make it harsh; if it involves a modicum of pain and suffering, such as that inflicted on a killer's victim, it will leave a lasting impression on those that view it.  Wastes of skin, such as Jodi Arias, might think twice about ruthlessly killing someone, if they know that they would face swift and severe punishment and have some idea of what that punishment entails. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those opposing the death penalty appear to forget about the victim. If the lethal injections are 'cruel and unusual punishment', my suggestion is do to the killer what was done to the victim. Victim was shot, stabbed, and/or slaughtered, do the same to the perpetrator – what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Mmmm... another idea: broadcast via pay per view TV.

An off topic subject: Are you still in touch with Gunny John (your used to be scribbler at this site?). Hope he is well.