Friday, February 02, 2007

Today is the 40th anniversary of the last judicial execution in Australia.
 
Ronald Ryan was hanged on 2nd February 1967 for the murder of a prison officer as he tried to escape from Pentridge Prison.
 
His execution sparked a social and political uproar resulting in the abolition of capital punishment in Australia. I see this as a supremely positive step in our history. I have always been anti-capital punishment. I see it as nothing more than a revenge killing, an eye for an eye. Whilst I have no problem with revenge in general, I think that death is a little too final and unforgiving, even for a murderer. I would rather know that my tax dollars are keeping Martin Bryant, for example, safely locked away and properly looked after, than thinking that they had funded his death purely because he was mentally unstable enough to shoot a lot of people.
 
When you get into the nuts and bolts of it, you have to wonder who is really guilty, anyway? Man A kills Man B - why? Was Man A broke and needing Man B's wallet? Perhaps Man A was acting in self-defence? Was Man A suffering a mental illness causing him to kill? Social conditions, health factors, third parties, all play their parts in causing a murder. If Man A was so poor that he had to kill Man B to obtain money, why don't we execute the government agency who should have been responsible for Man A's welfare? If Man A killed Man B because he was ill, we should execute the psychiatrist who never bothered with him, and then put Man A into an appropriate care facility.
 
Nobody kills somebody "just because". They may think that's what they've done (eg, Brenda Spencer, who shot up her school yard just because she didn't like Mondays), but there is always a reason. In Brenda's case, her social situation and her schoolmates just drove her until she snapped. We all have a breaking point, and that was hers. Should we execute her school principal for not seeing her needs?
 
In short, despite my frequent daydreams to the contrary, nobody deserves to be killed.

6 comments:

Keshi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keshi said...

Thats such a sad thing.

**I see it as nothing more than a revenge killing, an eye for an eye

I totally agree. Im against the death penalty. I dun believe that death solves anything. It doesn't take away the crime or the pain. It only doubles it.

What happened to good old forgiveness and compassion? What abt life in jail that can truly reform a person, if not make em truly repent.

We can only teach the society by example. If LAW allows to kill, then we r doing the same thing that the criminals do. Who's gonna hang us for our deeds?


Keshi.

Homo Escapeons said...

Stace you are such a nice person and I am thankful that there are sympathetic people like you on Earth to restrain people like myself who would summarily extract any vital organs from serial killers and execute them following a brief 1 hour trial.

I may be a big L Liberal on just about everything but I cannot rationalise wasting $100 grand a year to supply someone who is a complete and utter waste of amino acids to learn another language, get a couple of diplomas and enjoy free medical care and three squares a day...
all of that money could be spent fighting impoverished and uneducated children who are teetering on falling through the cracks and perpetuating the cycle of violence.

If anyone ever threatened any member of my family during an armed confrontation whether it was premeditated or not ...I would not hesitate for a second to ensure their cessation of all bodily functions.

I know I sound psychotic but I am referring to the hard core cretens who have no internal governor, no moral compass, no glimmer of conscience that would stop them from killing Aidan in front of your very eyes and then do the same to you.

What possible advantage could there be for us to warehouse dead enders like that?

Now you know that I love playing Devil's Advocate and I am fully aware that Canada and Australia nixed Capital Punishment about the same time...in the USA there are so many wrongly convicted people that you can't help but be alarmed at their executing Prisoners.

Ok let's limit the punishment to the Hannibal Lecter's, Jeffrey Dahlmers and Son Of Sams for argument sake...
GO..

Aidan said...

HE: in right of reply for my wife... Firstly I believe there is something in everyone in which we can "salvage."

I am in agreement that our prison systems are a summer camp for the criminally insane. But that does not justify the use of capital punishment. Corporal as a deterrent, loss of freedom and reform may create a decent person out of a monster, taking a life is giving up hope of redemption. Giving up hope on changing a socioeconomic environment which breeds greed, theft and hate.

Free Will: as stated ad nauseum I do not believe that man is free and moral agent so punishment will never suit the crime, I do believe however that a prison system should in practice, deter, detain and reform.. If we tackle the problems at the cause, up bringing, genetic, economic etc factor we could remove the problem without a final solution such as capital punishment

"capital punishment does not prevent murders it creates murderers."

Now onto the task at hand "The Hannibal Lector's, Jeffrey Dahlmers and Son Of Sams for argument sake..."

What percentage .0005% percent of the population? Imagine the expense of the direct legal cost alone, from pre hearings to appeals for the convict on death row (assuming that all men are entitled to a fair trial), the cost of a lawyer for that period of time, in relation to cost of housing a villain? For such a small percentage of the populus the infrastructure associated is a larger drain on the public coffers, in comparison to an operational and vital part of the community. (prisons).

Even Hannibal lector had much to teach the world, brilliant but insane, his mind caught others like him, before the damage could be done. Without the study of lector (and we need a live specimen) the repercussions (to Edward Norton alone) would have been catastrophic.

Why a short painless death? for a crime of the magnitude of say son of Sam. 5 min death instead of the loss of freedom for a life time. No steak, no sex on the beach, almost as bad as marriage.

In addition the pure hypocrisy of the state in Justifying capital punishment, the law applies to all and the state is also to be held accountable. How can the state say "thou shalt not kill" then do the same.

OK Stace you can have your blog back now

Homo Escapeons said...

I knew that you would run circles around my logic so I am pulling out the big guns...
I know you are but what am I?

Aidan said...

I am rubber you are glue it bounces of me and sticks to you:)