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October 09, 2006

World Day against the Death Penalty

Ever since I was quite young, I have had a visceral hatred for capital punishment. I freely admit that this predates any intellectual response to the issue, which over the years, when I can bring myself to even contemplate such barbarism, I have developed.

I feel profoundly fortunate to live in a country without the death penalty. I doubt I could ever live in a society, which whatever its strengths and virtues, was capable of such barbarity as the calculated, institutionalized taking of human life.

Tomorrow is the fourth World Day against the Death Penalty organized by Amnesty International.

I am utterly complacent about this issue, despite my strong loathing. I know there is much more I could do. But if you feel like me - do something eh?

john

October 9, 2006 | Permalink

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Comments

It's unfortunate murderers, rapists and other such criminals don't share your loathing "...of such barbarity as the calculated, institutionalized taking of human life."

Posted by: Tricia | Oct 10, 2006 7:34:17 AM

Tricia,

yes, it is a terrible shame of course. But it does not make it right to murder them back.

Posted by: Sara Lander | Oct 10, 2006 7:51:51 AM

Tricia,

this is the unfortunate false dichotomy we get trapped into when we start trying to debate the issue.
If executing people is justified because of their behavior, and we in effect replicate their behavior, then, what justification is there for condemning that behavior?

If we are to be considered civilised, it is where we deal with the most difficult challenges we face as a society by which we will be judged.

john

Posted by: John Allsopp | Oct 10, 2006 7:56:41 AM

Agree with John,

When sentensing you should never think of them that might be guilty, but of the people that might be inoncent. I think ICJ or a similar organization had a good argument: "No matter how long you sit in prisson, innocent and wrongly accused, you can -- in the end -- be freed. When executed, there's no alternative."

Posted by: Anders Dahnielson | Oct 10, 2006 7:15:55 PM