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November 28, 2005

A Gulag In Our Time

Gitmo doesn't cut it of course.

I've not been able to locate any of my previous writings on my support and qualifications on the matter of the death penalty, but I do have this brief set of axioms and corrollaries.

People have the right to make life and death decisions.

That is consistent with me being FOR legal abortion, and FOR assisted suicide, and FOR second amendment rights and FOR the raising of armies under civilian control and FOR the death penalty and FOR authorization of police to use deadly force under certain circumstance, and generally FOR a man or woman to spill their seed on the sidewalk if they damned well please.

Perfectly consistent to me.

However, I believe equally strongly two corrollaries from this. One is that people have the right to shirk this responsibility and punt it off to a proxy. That is to say, that if you feel squishy about guns, you can pay taxes to have cops carry the guns. If you feel squishy about torture, you can extradite prisoners to third countries. Everybody is not disciplined to the responsibility of their natural right to make life and death decisions. Some people I wouldn't trust to take care of a three legged dog.

Secondly, if you live by the sword, you damned well better be prepared to die by the sword. In other words, you have to have a warrior code if you're going to be a warrior. Otherwise, you're just a criminal. I'm not a warrior. I'm a writer. There are plenty of days when I feel that I should be a warrior, but that's another story.

Before I get to the core of my argument, I want to take this out onto a religious tangent. I have heard people suggest that Christians cannot take life, that this is a power reserved for God. Clearly it's not. If God didn't want man to have the power to shoot people in the head, he would have given us monkey brains. So far as I know no monkey has ever leveled a shotty at a human being and pulled the trigger. That aside, God has indeed given us the capacity, and thus the responsibility for killing. We can do so, therefore there must be some moral case for us to do so, unless biting the Apple didn't actually give us full moral capacity or maybe God forgot something when He created free will, namely a moral reason for everything we are capable of. Discussion for a later date, those sins which are unredeemable - ie something the Blood of Christ is incapable of washing away.

In the meantime, specifically, it has been suggested that a life sentence without the possibility of parole is more acceptable than a death sentence. I suppose there are some ethics which support that, but both of these punishments fulfill the same role to my way of thinking which is the permanent removal of an individual from society. I'm all for that. In fact I have dreamed up a number of Capital Punishments of that sort. We'll leave most of them for another day, what I'm thinking of right now is Permanent Exile.

Does anybody remember that gay movie 'No Escape' with Ray Liotta? Sure you do. A bunch of sweaty dirty macho men out on a prison island? Well I think that's a perfect solution for those who have some queasiness around lethal injection, electric chairs, firing squads, gas chambers and gallows. Our job? Ferry the miscreats to the prison island and make sure no females ever get there. Then we leave them there to rot, kill each other and/or otherwise create whatever sort of society a desert island full of serial killers, kidnappers, rapists, murderers and terrorists figure out for themselves.

For the record, let's talk about rehabilitation. I would rather move the whole of Palestine into East Texas than rehabilitate American criminals who have been convicted of multiple felonies. Can that be any clearer? Send us your hungry who are willing to work peacibly under the law, we'll send away those who have decided to be violent predators and flaunt the law.

Posted by mbowen at November 28, 2005 04:46 PM

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