Evolving Standards Of Decency
The Supreme Court ruled today
that people convicted of child rape cannot be executed. In their opinions, Justices discussed the relative impact of first degree murder and the rape of a child. They discussed the impact on the victim and the patterns of the offenders. Justice Kennedy wrote that the death penalty in this case would violate the Eighth Amendment and "evolving standards of decency" in this country.
I am waiting for the day our country's sense of decency evolves to the point that we don't execute people at all. Kennedy wrote about "proportional punishment." Being killed at the hands of your government isn't punishment; it's vengeance. This is just a nice way of saying "an eye for an eye." Yes, sometimes it feels f*ing good to know that a psychopath has been permanently erased. Especially if that psychopath has directly impacted your life.
But that kind of barbarism doesn't have a place in government. Take a look here
, at the list of countries that permit the death penalty. If you go here
you can read the abstract for a fascinating article in UK medical journal The Lancet
(if you can get your hands on the full article, it is worth a read) about how inhumane the process of lethal injection is, and if you don't really care if the psychopaths suffer, consider that there are lots of mistakes
that have been discovered--wrongful convictions that were overturned before the accused could be executed. Then there's the dubious claim that the death penalty is a deterrent to crime, which is not exactly debunked, but certainly crimped, here
As far as overcrowding in our prisons goes, maybe if mandatory sentencing for non-violent offenders didn't make this particular industrial complex so profitable
, there would be more room to pen away--and truly punish--those who cannot be allowed to participate in society.