Death penalty not tough enough

Matthew White

Bleeding heart liberals should be condemned for their “soft-on-crime” opposition to the death penalty.

The death penalty is offered as punishment for those who commit the worst possible crimes against society — extremely violent acts that terrorize victims and victim’s families during and after the crime. These are not Boy Scouts, instead they’re dangerous, scary individuals who prey on the rest of society, and we must take steps to ensure that they can never again commit a crime.

It’s pretty simple: When one person decides to take another human life, in a malicious and unjustified act of violence such as premeditated murder, he or she has given up his or her own right to live among peaceful citizens. Capital punishment is justified because it represents a proportionate (but not quite equal) response to the horror these individuals caused. I say not quite equal, because the death penalty is often administered in a much more humane way than murderers slay their victims.

The people who feel the death penalty is cruel or unusual would do well to remember that these people are terrible criminals and had no problem with cutting, stabbing, slashing, raping, sodomizing, beating, pummeling and slowly and painfully killing their victims, and we should have little problem sending them to the hell of their choice.

Quite simply, debating the cruelty of the death penalty is misguided; it takes the focus off protecting the victims of crimes and onto making the way easier for those who commit the crimes, something they don’t deserve.

While harshly condemning those guilty of capital offenses, it is important to remember they have not gone without a proper hearing. Anti-penalty activists are numerous and provide extensive legal support for those found guilty of capital offenses. Examples of these organizations include the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Capital Defense network and the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, among many others. And, the appeals process for those sentenced to death row is often lengthy.

I reject on its face the notion that our justice system is unfair or that it is racist. This sounds to me like more of the same whining for lesser standards because the system is somehow “built up against us.” After interning in a courthouse, I have seen firsthand the integrity and honor displayed by judges. And we should remember that in a capital case, many different judges at multiple levels must come to the same decision. No one biased judge could corrupt the entire process.

Edmund Burke once said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Simply putting our most horrible offenders in prison for the rest of their lives isn’t enough.

And, while the weak-kneed liberals with no integrity will fail in their duty to provide justice for the victims of crimes, the only justification I can find for opposing the death penalty is that it isn’t tough enough for certain people, such as child murderers.

Matt White is a senior magazine journalism major and point/counterpoint columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].