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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Death Penalty

Gib has a post up on Roper vs. Simmons, the Supreme Court case where it was just ruled that it is cruel and unusual to execute someone for crimes committed prior to turning 18. I agree with this ruling. I am conflicted on the Death Penalty. I do think that society as a whole has a right to execute people for serious enough crimes. However, because of human falibility, there will always be a chance that an executed person will be innocent. If 'Life in Prison without possibility of parole' meant exactly that, I could probably be convinced that the death penalty was unneeded. Unfortunately, all to often extremely dangerous criminals are paroled and in some cases innocent people lose their lives. Society should way those innocents against the innocents that are executed. One thing I am not conflicted about is trying minors as an adult. The entire phrase seems silly to me. Yes, I acknowledge that minors commit heinous crimes and many of them are fully cognizant of their actions. They deserve to be heavily punished for them. If though, you have one set of rules for people under 18 and one set for people over 18, you need to follow your own rules. If minors are getting off too lightly for crimes they commit then raise the maximum penalties for minors, don't just say well, in this case we will ignore our rules because we don't like what the outcome could be. Honest Partisan has some other thoughts on the death penalty. Update: Random Gemini also has thoughts on this and growing up in general.


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