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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5809/thoughts-on-rolling-and-capital-punishment/

Thoughts on Rolling and Capital Punishment

October 26, 2006 by

Being a University of Florida Sophomore, the Rolling murders strike very close to me. Yesterday evening the state of Florida put to death the notorious murder Danny Rolling. Though there is little evidence that Rolling didn’t murder the students, there is still much debate with respect to capital punishment. Capital punishment is by no means the most gruesome form of state punishment. There may be other forms of punishment more degrading that may not cross the line of “cruel and unusual” but I am not here to discuss which type of punishment for serious murder crimes there should be but instead why capital punishment is incorrect.

There have been many individuals who have been executed by the State just so that a few years down the road investigators find out the accused did not commit the crime. The State, I believe, does a clumsy job of almost everything it tries to take control of. If we are to believe that monopoly privilege of law should remain in the hands of the State then we must understand the fact that the system is not flawless and that there will be tragedies. That said, we can not look the other way when addressing the problem of the State executing innocents. Instead, we must look for alternative ways to punish those convicted of heinous crimes without stripping them of life so that if evidence emerges that they did not commit the crime, perhaps they can at the very least regain their right to life.

Rolling was an evil man and quite haunting. His dying words was singing a Christian hymn in a way that witnesses found demonic and eerie. There is little question that Rolling did the crimes and that he received the proper punishment. That said, there have been far too many individuals put through this pain due to the State’s carelessness and inefficiency. Capital punishment, especially when it is unmerited, does not only effect the victim but also their families. It must be difficult to deal with the fact that your son or daughter was executed by the State for a crime they did not commit.

It is time to leave execution behind and embrace a more sensible solution, possibly plans that involve hard labor and restitution. In addition, this should also call for a loosening of the government’s tight hold on gun rights. There is no doubt in my mind that if these kids were allowed to own handguns or if the ownership of firearms was more easily accessible to the law-abiding citizens that Rolling would not had to have been executed by the State but instead would had received just punishment by his would-be victims. When a killer comes through the door it is going to be my gun, not the State, the will protect me.

{ 34 comments }

Brad October 26, 2006 at 10:03 am

Capital punishment is the perfect example of the ineffectual governance we get from the “balanced and moderate” system of Statism we have today. Half the people want people who commit terrible crimes to be dispatched, while others don’t. What we get is a back and forth that allows people to be dispatched, yet consume hundreds of thousands of dollars of legal time at taxpayer expense to be absolutely sure it’s o.k.

Either have capital punishment and accept the error rate with a shrug, or if any error rate is unacceptable, don’t have it all and keep the demons in a box, and let the innocent go if proven so.

Illogical policy in the name of balance is one of the poor results of Statism.

RogerM October 26, 2006 at 10:56 am

“There have been many individuals who have been executed by the State just so that a few years down the road investigators find out the accused did not commit the crime.” I would be interested in seeing some evidence on this. My casual following of the death penalty has uncovered none.

I’m curious as to how anarchism would hand murder. Does it allow capital punishment and if so, who would carry it out? Can anyone point me to posts?

Kent Gatewood October 26, 2006 at 10:57 am

Would some private law societies carryout executions for murder, other private law societies imprison murders, some impose fines, while others would try to prevent murder by building barriers?

Mark Brabson October 26, 2006 at 11:56 am

I oppose the death penalty in all cases.

1. Even one innocent person put to death is one too many.

2. I have witnessed too many corrupt policemen and too many corrupt prosecutors to even consider allowing the state to decide a question of life and death.

3. State execution fosters a bloodlust in those wishing retribution towards the defendent. The state should not be in the business of fostering vengeance.

4. The recent events involving the Amish demonstrate that the quality of forgiveness, leads to a better personal quality of life. Forgiveness is very hard, particularly in the case of the murdered students, but the Amish showed great character in forgiveness and even attending the service for the shooter. Letting go of personal hate and forgiving should be encouraged, as it is far healthier.

Bottom line: I favor the following amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

Section 1. Capital punishment shall not exist in the United States nor any area subject to its jurisdiction.

Section 2. The United States shall not permit the extradiction of any individual to any jurisdiction where the individual may be in jeopardy of capital punishment, unless such jurisdiction has waived the possibility of capital punishment to the satisfaction of the United States.

Section 3. All individuals under sentence of capital punishment shall be deemed to be under sentence of life imprisonment without possibility of parole, pending resentencing by the appropriate jurisdiction. All death warrants shall be null and void.

Section 4. This amendment shall be effective immediately upon ratification.

Section 5. Congress and state legislatures shall have the power to enforce this article.

Kent Gatewood October 26, 2006 at 12:14 pm

Mark–would you kill to protect your child’s life? Would you let a police officer or private law society agent kill apprehending a murder suspect? Would you let a prison guard kill? How many more innocent people die in the absence of a death penalty?

Reactionary October 26, 2006 at 12:22 pm

Mark:

Why not let the 50 states decide for themselves whether they want capital punishment? If you are the type who believes we’re all slaves so long as one man is unfree, then your next step is world government. No thanks.

Re: the Amish, they enjoy the luxury generally of having other people enforce punishment for crimes committed against them and specifically in the school shooting case, they do not have to decide the murderer’s fate. Which leads us to this: how far do you want to take forgiveness? It’s certainly also vengeful to lock a man in jail for the rest of his life. Does forgiveness require that he be set free to prey on others?

Kent:

It would depend on the community’s ideals. But in an economic sense, for there to be a “private society” which did not have the death penalty would mean that the members would agree to pay for the criminal’s food, board, and medical care after his conviction. Since, given their druthers, few people will agree to this then the most likely scenario is that prisons would cease to exist and all punishment would be corporal, capital or financial. If the criminal defaulted on the penalty, I expect he would be killed by the victim’s family. Exile would be another option if the community agreed to let him go, but the criminal would probably have to pay another community to accept him.

Mark Brabson October 26, 2006 at 12:48 pm

Let me clarify:

I most definately DO support the right to use force in immediate self defense. I carry a concealed weapon and would use it in self defense or defense of others if it came to that. Please do not confuse my philosophy with pacifism. I am not pacifist in any way.

Sanctioning the state’s use of violence as “Justice” is a totally separate issue altogether. It is not related to the use of force in self defense.

Kevin October 26, 2006 at 5:44 pm

“members would agree to pay for the criminal’s food, board, and medical care after his conviction”

couldn’t the criminal perform work after conviction?

Ole Hertzog October 26, 2006 at 6:16 pm

Isn’t the greatest crime any one individual can commit deserving of the greatest punishment? Some state that the killer, as judged by his peers through multiple—and I underscore multiple—trials, has, regardless of his past actions, dignity, and, as retaining that quality, deserving of life. But who here among us would leap to defend the members of the Wermacht who executed genocide on such an unparalleled scale? We’re not many of them, their cohorts in the Nazi Party, deserving of death? Doesn’t the very act of murder entail the betrayal of human dignity? And, by committing murder, has not a deep red line of demarcation been crossed: a behavior whose appearance just once confirms rather than denies the possibility of yet another manifestation? The state, in administering capital punishment, is a disinterested party, that, though not faultless, nevertheless transcends the mere blind rage and desire for and exercise of retribution on the part of those who loved the victim. I can think of no better recourse.

dennis shoup October 27, 2006 at 12:33 am

Near the end of his “History of Sexuality vol. 1″ Foucault posits that the state is less likely to use capital punishment nowadays, not out of a newfound respect for life, but because a dead man has escaped its grasp. If you think about it this is actually very likely the case. The state will gladly kill those who are not under its jurisdiction (Iraqi civilians for instance) or those who openly reject its authority (Waco, Ruby Ridge.) In the USA executions are performed in the spirit of the old Roman spectacles, they serve to pacify the public and send the message that the state controls life and death. I don’t think capital punishment is compatible with libertarianism, but I am aware of vigorous debate on this.

nicholas October 27, 2006 at 5:45 am

CP is fundamentally useless for a variety of reasons.

PARA I. As fair and as good as we would like it to be, the legal system is vulnerable to mistakes and/or abuse. RogerM: Please consult Barry Scheck’s (sp?) and Neufeld’s Innocence Project for the approx 15 percent DNA exoneration rate on death row inmates.

PARA II. CP instituted in a State results in no significant decrease in homicides or violent crimes. This would appear to make no sense because (as any prosecutor will assert) most murderers have the power to reason, and at least some murders (or other capital crimes) are certainly premeditated. So then why doesn’t a consideration of the awfulness of such a terminal punishment give even criminal types some pause? Why doesn’t it get results? It is because some people are _more_ motivated to commit a brutal and violent crime as the result of a state-sponsored homicide policy. It is, after all, a sign of extreme machismo to ignore such a threat! The outcome: a sort of balancing-out of the statistics!

PARA III. While the Constitution is somewhat vague, the word “unusual” is more telling than the word “cruel.” The idea, after putting up with the whims of feudal lords who could decide on any punishment, no matter how lenient or horrible, was to create a professional penal system, fair, reasonable, consistent, etc. Oddly, the public believes that mere detention is not particularly punitive. But this is vastly ignorant. Freedom is not viewed as particularly valuable until one loses it. A prison sentence of any length at all is a horrible punishment. Prisons are loud, monstrous, bureaucratic, boring awful places. Moreover, ex-convicts can tell you that freedom, when you don’t have it, is something sweet beyond measure. That is, detention by itself, esp. a life sentence, is at the very least an utterly adequate punishment for any crime.

PARA IV. State-sponsored homicide provides a model that any schoolchild can deconstruct: Revenge in the tooth-for-tooth sense can work. If you have a good reason, it’s okay to kill someone. Violence solves problems.

ktibuk October 27, 2006 at 6:26 am

I am an anarchist and also FOR capital punishment.

If the victims relatives or close ones ask for the capital punishment instead of forced labor I think it should be done.

The reason is simple. If the victim could use self defense and killed the attacker, this would be ok. But why should the attacker live just because the self defense wasnt succesful. The attacker shouldnt be rewarded for being succesful in a crime like murder.

On the other hand. If the suspect was wrongly accused and this is understood after the execution people responsible should also be tried for murder.

Then the first suspect’s familiy can ask for capital punishment for the ones responsible for the first trial and execution.

Then it wouldnt ve that easy to send some innocent person to the chair.

Reactionary October 27, 2006 at 8:41 am

Kevin,

He could, but what if he refuses? And how does someone with minimal or no marketable skills pay off a judgment for murder?

Kevin October 27, 2006 at 11:47 am

Reactionary,

I’m sure even unskilled labor can work 14+ hours a day and produce enough to provide for room, board, and security.

ktibuk,

I doubt anyone would get CP if the jury could get the same thing when they’re found to have misjudged later on. :)

Reactionary October 27, 2006 at 12:07 pm

Kevin,

Can they? The convict is going to be in indentured servitude and will have to find somebody willing to cook, house and guard him for a price. Where is the motivation for the convict/slave at that point? So you’re back to the threshold question of what to do with criminals who refuse to work or are otherwise unable to pay the judgment.

This is why I think in a libertarian society prisons will be abolished as uneconomic and criminals will either have to pay blood money or undergo corporal or capital punishment. A somewhat different scenario would be that criminals who can’t pay off the victims end up in outlaw status, where the community simply refuses to extend the same protections to their person or property as it does to its law abiding members.

Kevin October 27, 2006 at 12:28 pm

Reactionary,

Good motivators – pain, brainwashing, etc.

If the person who had committed a crime “worthy” of capital punishment desires not to be punished with a loss of life, then they would probably be willing to work.

Plus, I don’t see how you could get rid of prisons. Where would these outlaws wander? The streets? And if you separate them somehow from society, then that place is their prison.

These questions brought up on this blog can be tough and the answers may not come easy. Thankfully you and I wouldn’t have the burden of central planning.

Reactionary October 27, 2006 at 12:45 pm

Kevin,

What I am driving at is that prisons are really only possible with coercive taxation. In a market-based system of criminal law, prisons are just too uneconomic for people to support them voluntarily. They could possibly be supported by the prisoners themselves but again, the motivation would have to be that the prisoners are doing it to avoid outlaw status, where they would be subject to retribution from the victims and their families.

Kevin October 27, 2006 at 1:08 pm

Reactionary,

I do not know of any historical systems where market-based prisons were attempted.

Where would these outlaws be put after being deemed outlaws?

Reactionary October 27, 2006 at 1:23 pm

Kevin,

They would probably end up on the highway, after being tarred and feathered and carried out of town on a rail.

Kevin October 27, 2006 at 2:14 pm

Reactionary,
On whose highway would they be put?

Reactionary October 27, 2006 at 2:16 pm

Kevin,

On whatever public way that particular community used to trade with its neighbors. Failing that, the outlaw would probably die at the hands of his victims.

Kevin October 27, 2006 at 2:41 pm

Reactionary,

The victims would tend to kill someone for stealing a big screen TV?

Reactionary October 27, 2006 at 3:01 pm

Kevin,

Probably not for stealing a big screen TV, but that would depend on how much they valued the big screen TV.

Rapists, murderers and pedophiles would undoubtedly find their lives forfeit without government to enforce a whole panoply of theoretical rights.

Kevin October 27, 2006 at 3:23 pm

Reactionary,

I cannot forsee a free civil society stringing up people who could not afford to pay their utilities bill. Regardless, we are quite a ways away from a free society to worry about such particulars.

Kent Gatewood October 28, 2006 at 1:06 pm

If prison is worse than death, a jury will have to live with sending someone to a 50 or 60 years possibility of rape, murder and degredation.

I’ve been on a jury and voted guilty; it is a serious act. We/I can be wrong when in the jury room. If we accept the premise of prison being worse than death, depriving someone of their liberty can do great harm than taking their life.

Vincent Bemowski October 28, 2006 at 6:38 pm

DEMOCRATS HAVE NO REAL ANSWERS

Democrats have no real answers to charges of moral corruption within their Party, and within their souls. The difference between the rhetoric of a Democrat and a terrorist is almost non-existent.

Democrats claim that although they are critical of President Bush, they support our troops in Iraq. But they are liars. Our troops are volunteers who believe in their mission, and have great respect for their Commander-in-chief, whom they overwhelmingly voted for in the last Presidential election. Cowardly Democratic politicians won’t go to Iraq and speak-out against our President because they know they would be booed off our military bases.

Immoral, hypocritical Democrats also believe people have the “right to kill” millions of unborn human beings through abortions (a “death penalty” without a trial), yet they consider themselves “good” people! I voted for John Kennedy, and would have voted for Bobby Kennedy, but after these great men, a moral sickness corrupted and darkened the soul of the Democratic Party, and that “soul” gets more corrupt and darker with every passing year.

Veteran, U.S. Army
Website: Catholic Messages USA
http://www.catholicmessagesusa.com/

Vince Daliessio October 31, 2006 at 9:22 am

Hi Vincent,

As a Catholic myself, I think you are being selective in your condemnation of Democrats. Sure the last two popes, particularly, have condemned abortion, rightly so, but they have also condemned the current Republican wars, and have seriously questioned the admissability of the “Just War” doctrine.

Comparing the number of abortions with the number of born humans killed under the current Republican regime will not, unfortunately help your case. The Republican Party has been making noises so as to appear to be against abortion since 1973, but have advanced no effective measure to prevent it. Meanwhile, they have effectively ‘aborted’ hundreds of thousands of already-born humans with their wars and sanctions.

As far as I’m concerned, as bad as they are, the Democrats are slightly less bad than the Republicans. If that’s the choice on offer, I’ll vote for some Democrats just to interfere with the horrors being unleashed by Republicans.

As to the death penalty issue, the state cannot be trusted with the power of life and death, period. They are only really, really good at killing people, which means that the net effect of any power given the state will result in more dead people. The state has no track record of protecting lives, none, not for living, walking adult humans, and certainly not unborn ones.

Kevin October 31, 2006 at 1:39 pm

Shall I cut off my left foot or my right?

Instead of trying to vote for the lesser of two evils, how about voting for None of the Above? It feels good knowing you voted for good because you didn’t vote for any bad.

J Clarke November 8, 2006 at 10:05 am

The death penalty is a wonderful and perfect system. When a person commits a crime, it is treason to the state and the nation. By choosing to not follow the law they forfeit their rights as a citizen. Therefor they should face the punishment due to all traitors. If an innocent person is convicted and killed, then they obviously did not defend themselves well enough and to bad for them. The states should choose because those liberals on capital hill decided that they didn’t want to handle the issue. It is my personal opinion that we should remove the “cruel and unusual punishment,” clause because traitors deserve to die a terrible and painful death.

William S. Wilson November 9, 2006 at 10:53 am

The penalty of death for a convicted criminal has become unconstitutional because an execution is a religious event. Killing a person violates the separations between secular government and religion, those widening separations which have become constitutional. If “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” then legislatures shall make no laws establishing the penalty of death because capital punishment is religious.

In Euro-American societies a purpose in life has included making a good death, as with a death-bed conversion, a death-bed confession, or a dying declaration. Many guides to life were written to teach how to make a good death in order to achieve salvation and Eternal Life in God. A bad death was to be dreaded, as with the murder of the late King Hamlet, whose ghost laments that he died:

Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhouseled, disappointed, unaneled,
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head:
O, horrible! O, horrible! Most horrible!

A purpose of an execution has been to send a soul toward eternal punishment, or at least to throw the salvation of the soul into doubt, surely a cruel punishment to a person under penalty of death. An execution within a religion may be usual, for the execution has a religious meaning consistent with the values of that religion. But an execution is “unusual” in a government which is not an elaboration of religious values, structures, functions and meanings. An execution threatens a bad death, in spite of the presence of a chaplain. Thus an execution can torture a person with turbulent fear for his or her soul, an anxiety that has nothing to do with a secular punishment which should not have religious implications. Now, in 2006, a penalty of death is a religious penalty which nevertheless is applied within a secular government which must have no legal interest in the relations of a soul with heaven or with hell. These themes overlap euthanasia, abortion and suicide, none mentioned in the Constitution, all of them, in some religions, pertaining to the eternal existence of an immortal soul, rather than to the finite and temporal citizen. A finite and temporal government is legally justified in punishing a citizen within the finite and the temporal world. But a person in government who decrees something or someone to be evil, hence to be destroyed, has abandoned secular government for the religious government of souls. On this plane, a judgment of spiritual evil authorizes religious torture and a religious penalty of death. But even in some Christian theology, a human judgment of evil can be a demonstration of pride, and of the sin of presumption, as in presuming to know the judgment and will of God. Such presumption of knowledge of the will of God over-reaches human powers, hence manifests a pride not consistent with religious faith, punishable in religious but not in secular terms. A secular execution commits the religious sin of presumption. In its wisdom, Christianity as a system has sometimes sought truth and justice with a trial always open to a re-trial, where a retrial may come closer to the mysterious judgments of God. In religions, posthumous retrials can continue, with the trial and execution of Joan of Arc in time corrected by the re-trial of Joan of Arc in eternity. In contrast, a civil execution prevents a civil retrial.

The announcement of a penalty of death, followed by the execution of a person, is a religious act which is unconstitutional in a secular democracy. Without knowing the scholarship on the penalty of death, I can at least quote Herman Melville describing the execution in “Billy Budd.” Sentenced to die by Captain Vere, Billy offers a blessing: “God bless Captain Vere!” Because Billy is being negated, he qualifies as a mediator between God and humans: “At the same moment it chanced that the vapory fleece hanging low in the East, was shot thro’ with a soft glory as of the fleece of the Lamb of God seen in mystical vision, and simultaneously therewith, watched by the wedged mass of upturned faces, Billy ascended; and, ascending, took the full rose of the dawn.” In “Benito Cereno,” the body of a man who has been executed is burned to interfere with his resurrection in the flesh: “Some months after, dragged to the gibbet at the tail of a mule, the black met his voiceless end. The body was burned to ashes; but for many days, the head, that hive of subtlety, fixed on a pole in the Plaza, met, unabashed, the gaze of the whites; and across the Plaza looked toward St. Bartholomew’s church, in whose vaults slept then, as now, the recovered bones of Aranda; and across the Rimac bridge looked toward the monastery, on Mount Agonia…” So again, if “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” then legislatures shall make no laws establishing the penalty of death because capital punishment is religious.

Michael Hargett December 20, 2006 at 12:30 pm

ATTENTION J CLARKE:

“The death penalty is a wonderful and perfect system.”

Designed and operated by horrible and flawed people.

“When a person commits a crime, it is treason to the state and the nation.”

First point, treason is all a matter of dates. Second point, crimes are committed against individuals. Acts of war are committed against states.

“By choosing to not follow the law they forfeit their rights as a citizen.”

By making laws arbitrary and subjective, and in violation of the natural law of rights to life, liberty and property, governments forfeit their rights to exist.

“Therefor (sic) they should face the punishment due to all traitors.”

Translation: Allegiance to the state and all of its whims, good. Allegiance to the ideals of liberty, even if those are contrary to the views of the state, bad.

“If an innocent person is convicted and killed, then they obviously did not defend themselves well enough and to (sic) bad for them.”

Because a government court system looking for somebody upon whom to pin the crime never would pursue prosecution upon somebody when there was reasonable doubt.

No judges, wanting to be recognized as “tough on crime,” would bar evidence. No DA looking for re-election and attempting to up his batting average in court is going to bury evidence in order to help his case against a man who is arguably not guilty. No. That would be silly.

And what if one can’t afford to defend oneself? Can it be justice if we abduct a vagrant from the streets to act as a sacrifice to the god of public blood lust and outrage? It’s his own fault he wasn’t smart, wealthy, or liked enough to defend himself. He clearly deserved to die for that.

“The states should choose because those liberals on capital hill (sic) decided that they didn’t want to handle the issue.”

Actually, they’re pretty much universally CONSERVATIVES on Capitol Hill, from Ted Kennedy to George W. Bush and everywhere in between. They’re all for growing the power and authority of the state. They just want to grow it in different areas and at different rates.

The states deciding to kill people is no better than the national government deciding to kill people. It isn’t their place to decide who lives and who dies and woe be upon anyone who gives them that power.

“It is my personal opinion that we should remove the “cruel and unusual punishment,” clause because traitors deserve to die a terrible and painful death.”

Let us see how you’ll react if the government changes hands and determines that those who hold your any or all of your beliefs are enemies of the state, traitors against the nation and with your newly minted Constitutional amendment, you’ll be tortured to death.

Sam December 20, 2006 at 7:00 pm

Surely if someone commits a violent crime, that’s it, game over. If a society cannot execute someone because it believe capital punishment to be wrong, then the offender should be incarcerated for the rest of his/her life. There can be no excuse for letting a violent offender to walk free to attack innocent people all over again.

Michael Hargett December 22, 2006 at 10:31 am

To Sam:

“Surely if someone commits a violent crime, that’s it, game over.”

Sure, game over. Violent crime to what extent, however? What about death through fraud, or even negligence, instead of force? What of manslaughter? What of involuntary manslaughter? What of rape or assault? Where is this magical line drawn?

“If a society cannot execute someone because it believe (sic) capital punishment to be wrong, then the offender should be incarcerated for the rest of his/her life.”

I don’t believe in “society.” I believe in individuals. Your premise, therefore fails on its first point. However, for the sake of argument, let’s substitute for society, a farce, its actual meaning: groups of individuals. Thus, your statement becomes:

“If (individuals) cannot execute someone because (they) believe capital punishment is wrong then the offender should be incarcerated for the rest of his/her life.”

All lives are not equally valuable. Take, for example a man defending his home from an invader. He can kill the man, correct? For the record, I believe this to be true because the invader is caught in the act of invading.

How about another man who could not thwart a home invader? He encounters the known invader a month later in the street and beats him to death with a crowbar? Let’s say the invader, rather than being a burglar, raped and murdered his daughter while the helpless man watched. The man was his own eyewitness. He saw the invader in his home, recognized him plainly. He studied the intricate details of the man’s face as he watched his loved one tortured. The justice was his to take into his own hands, right? He needed no higher authority, because, in a free society the state has no greater authority than he. Is this justice?

What greater authority have thirteen individuals in a courtroom (judge and jury) who are capable of being misled, lied to and from whom facts are obfuscated both in suggesting guilt and innocence than a single individual who is, in fact, the victim of the crime?

To clarify, I do not believe the man killing the invader in the street with a crowbar is any better than the jury killing the invader in a prison with a gas chamber.

To make it all the more interesting, the man killed in the street turned out to be the twin brother of the invader, from whom the criminal had stolen both his identity and his credentials.

“There can be no excuse for letting a violent offender to walk free to attack innocent people all over again.”

Other than the fact that you cannot prove the past. There is always a possibility of error whether there is videotape, eyewitness, or a boatload of circumstantial evidence. Thus, to extend the authority to take another man’s life based on that which cannot be proven completely, is bad policy and wrong thinking.

For this reason I exclusively propose incarceration due to the potential that the man in prison may, in fact, be innocent.

Reactionary December 22, 2006 at 12:04 pm

Michael,

If you only believe in individuals then your scheme of life imprisonment, or any punitive measure really, lasts only as long as any individual gives his consent to it. That being the case, then I as a murderer am exercising my individual right to secede since I don’t recognize any obligation to “society.”

And how do you finance the prisons and the prisoners’ medical care, meals, etc.? And what are the rules of evidence and procedure? How are they decided? How are objections resolved? And what if my legal code tells me “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” and I proceed to execute my Wiccan next door neighbor? Do you see why your individualism is wholly useless for anybody but a hermit?

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