Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Conflicted.

So, Johnny Muhammad is smoking a camel turd in hell this morning.

You know, I have reflexive problems with capital punishment simply because I don't trust the same organization that can't get a letter across town in less than a week to kill the right dude 100% of the time, plus I don't like what it says when we acknowledge that "society" (read: 51% of voters) has the power of life & death over any one lowly individual.

On the other hand, Johnny Muhammad is smoking a camel turd in hell this morning, and I'm having a real hard time being all tore up about that.

20 comments:

Ian Argent said...

Thanks for saying what I didn't have the words for.

(There are people better dead. I just don't trust the .gov to decide who that is).

pdb said...

For me, the death penalty is something I oppose when working from first principles (if the powers of the state flow from the powers of the citizens, and I don't have the right to execute someone who's surrendered to me, then either does the state), but I have to admit it works out pretty good in practice.

Usually it's the other way around, in that something that sounds great in a BS session turns out to be an unholy clusterfark in practice.

Marko said...

I think John Allen Muhammad said it best when he said..."That one's for H1N1, right?"

Anonymous said...

I agree completely. Well put Tam.

LCD.

George said...

Agreed. The same entity (I was gonna say organization-heh)that runs BATFE, IRS, etc. However, if WE did in the dirtbag, we'd be up on charges. SO, bye-bye, no tears on my pillow...

Steve said...

I believe in capital punishment - in theory. When there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever.

John Allan Muhammad was one.

Nidal Malik Hasan is another who deserves it and for whom there is no question as to whether or not he is the guilty party.

Much as I hate to admit it, though I'm almost positive he's guilty, OJ would have probably skated on the standard I'm setting.

Mark B. said...

You and Kinky Friedman, huh Tam?

"I ain't against capital punishment, but I'm for damn sure against killin' the wrong guy."

Like Steve, I have no problem with the theory; as practiced in, say, Chicago, however, well . . .

'Berg

wv: pronkili -- hmmm, UseNet rapspeak for workplace firewalls?

Jennifer said...

What's that they say about stopped clocks? Even the.gov is right occasionally.

perlhaqr said...

*sigh*

I remember having such high hopes when I heard there was a sniper on the loose in DC. And then they said he was shooting people instead of politicians. :(

TJP said...

I note that many popular pistol calibers have sufficient power to penetrate the sheet steel of a car's trunk. It's just a shame that this option was not exercised when the body count was significantly less than ten.

As it is, though, the death penalty demonstrates the legitimacy of the state, and placates the masses by giving them the satisfaction of revenge--which is a clean sort of revenge, since most of the people enjoying it are strangers to both parties.

My own sense of revenge makes me wonder when the planets will be so aligned that the next group of McJihadis puts a grazing hit across a SWAT van full of decked-out, angry officers who have just been informed that, upon their return to the station, they will be placed on suspension for failure to keep testosterone levels within reasonable limits.

WV: "unabile"; the simultaneous physiological reaction that occurs inside a SWAT van when it is grazed by a bullet from a camel-turd-smoking McJihadi.

Alan J. said...

‘Kill the right dude 100% of the time…’ is an interesting statement, Tam, because it begs the question of asking if you’re OK with the idea that government always locks up the right guy 100% of the time. It all comes back to where do we draw the line on what constitutes ‘Guilty beyond a Reasonable Doubt.’ I agree with you that the major concern is ‘Do we have the right guy?’ and if we don’t then we shouldn’t punish him at all, much less worry about executing the wrong guy. As a sane and compassionate society, we’re all concerned about making sure that the right guy is punished for the crime. Being on a jury, convicting a person of crime, and then voting again to have them executed is one of the hardest and most soul wrenching decisions that any rational person can ever make. But in this case, I think they’ve got the right guy and I think that Death is the appropriate punishment.

Mike Gallo said...

"What's that they say about stopped clocks? Even the.gov is right occasionally."

Jennifer, the only problem is the government is more like a broken digital clock, and I don't even mean one that is flashing "12:00..."

Ride Fast said...

[..] Now playing in hell [...]

One time I agree with not wasting a bullet.

reflectoscope said...

Interesting perspective...

Jim

daddyquatro said...

As a resident of Harris County, TX (AKA Death Penalty Capital of the World) I think it is overused, especially in cases where there is some question of the person's guilt.
That being said, I hope Johnny is enjoying his Camel Turd Cobanna and I hope Nidal Hassan will be joining him soon.

WV = devinwa. Sounds French.

Kristopher said...

pdb: If some asshole who you watched personally torture and murder someone decides to surrenders to you

... as far as I am concerned you have a right to cap his ass.

The Geneva convention is about giving soldiers who are forced to fight by the state ( or forced to defend their homes ) an out ... it has nothing to do with murder.

Robert Langham said...

My take on the death penalty is would I personally be willing to kill them over whatever the offense was.

In this case, yes. On the edge of a shallow unmarked grave or dumpster with either one of them looking me in the eye.

And the good major? No problem.

Ian Argent said...

The death penalty is so ... irreversible. To a certain extent, rotting in jail for x years is as well (there's a nice depressing story in the original callahan's bar collection that makes that point - Spider Robinson may be a leftist @#$@$# but he can write); but at least we can let the wrongly convicted out again. Short of Z-day or Judgement Day, the wrongly executed aren't walking out.

Said it upthread, there are people better off dead, and some that aren't. I don't trust the political or legal systems to make that kind of irrevocable decision.

As for method - put the "better dead" down quickly, cleanly, and without fuss or bother. Your dog goes rabid, you don't punish him for it, you just put him down. Insanity shouldn't be a defense, but it's not an excuse for the mentally healthy to inflict cruelty, either.

Kristopher said...

Ian: Yea, that's why most of us ( me included ) don't like the death penalty .

But I will bend on that when the identity of the perp is obvious.

Active shooters being a good example.

Ian Argent said...

If the ID on the perp is obvious, and what he did was obviously a crime, that's "better dead" in my book as well.

But the Corey Maye case did severe damage to my support for the death penalty, and the Cameron Todd Willingham case has put me on the fence.

Since it's not unconstitutional (clearly not, IMHO opinion given the wording of the 5th amendment) and there clearly *are* people who are better dead; I can't say I'd fight to abolish it. I guess I just think it's overused.