Debating the death penalty on GRIPT MEDIA
In the wave of disgust, horror and revulsion which has cascaded over us with the revelations of the barbaric treatment of Kevin Lunney (earlier this month), angry questions come spontaneously into our mind. Among those are questions about the very humanity of the perpetrators. We also ask what kind of punishment is appropriate for those who dream up and execute such cruelty.
This was not, thank God, a case of murder. Nevertheless, there is very good reason to see it as notice of intent to commit murder – even multiple murders. We then ask if, by removing the death penalty from our statute books all those years ago, we have not deprived ourselves of the fear factor which might deter these monsters from such acts.
But this is not the response we need. This is not the solution to the moral depravity of these people, no matter how desperate we feel in their presence.
Sometimes good and compassionate people are scandalised by the views of those who are vehemently opposed to abortion and euthanasia but who also defend the principle of the death penalty for murder. They maintain that there is no moral difference between those who take the life of the unborn and those who are prepared to condone the state taking the life of criminal in certain circumstances.
There is a difference and this confusion of moral categories is unhelpful for anyone who opposes the death penalty on reasonable grounds. Equating, morally, these two human issues is not going to help us deal with the real moral problems associated with capital punishment in our time.
(Read the full post here on GRIPT MEDIA)