Much has been said regarding the morality and need for the death penalty. Many have remarked that the cost to the public of maintaining an individual in confinement for a lifetime is less than that associated with the many appeals of a death sentence.
I have, I admit, overtime, gone from one stance to another on the morality and need for the death penalty. I went from staunch supporter of the penalty to the opposite camp. Now… I am re-evaluating that position.
I am concentrating this opinion solely upon the individual habitual criminal. This is directed only at those people who cannot be reformed, cannot become empathetic, cannot, if you will, see their evil ways and relent. The question I pose is: Is it moral to maintain the existence of such a person?
I have always said, in reference to suicide, that as long as one is not terminal and suffering great pain, that existence trumps non-existence every time. (If you are suffering in great pain or terminal, my opinion of euthanasia is that it is moral and should be available to all.) The most terrible punishment society can exact then, despite objections to the contrary, is the death penalty: depriving the person of existence.
Monetary costs aside, the scum of society is using up space, food, air, water. Space, food, air, and water are commodities that are in finite supply. By eliminating the useless dregs of society perhaps an equivalent number of people will be able to eat a meal, breath clean air, have a drink of water, or space to live. One is torn here, seeing callous disregard for the convict’s life on one hand, or callous disregard of quality of life for the good decent person on the other.
The despicable scum of society that travels in and out of the penal system as if through a revolving door is affecting the lives of everyone he/she (yes, women can be scum too) meets. They, since they are amoral, must necessarily affect the behavior of everyone they influence in a negative way. Such un-redeemable people are, regardless of financial measures, a subtraction to society. They are a negative, draining element of society. It would improve society if they were removed.
To kill a killer? Does that not make society as evil as the evil it seeks to expunge? If the resources of this earth were inexhaustible, cheap, abundant, then perhaps we could afford to keep every piece of excrement living and still maintain quality of life for the rest. Without quality of life, what good is life?
In my opinion the penal system’s efforts should all be directed toward reformation of the incarcerated. Those who over the years are found to be incapable of reformation need to be eradicated. Those who make no effort to reform need to be excised. This would not be punishment. This would not provide deterrence. Its benefit would be to improve the morality of society as well as the quality of life for those who remain.