killing bad people


Makagutu is my best blogging buddy. His blog is fast-flowing stream of thought-provoking posts and fascinating comments. But I was more than a little surprised to find one such comment indicating carefully considered support for the death penalty. Shudder me horrors!

Questions I consider important for evaluating how society can deal with dangerous criminals are below, with my kindly researched, yet probably thoroughly biased answers in brackets:

  • What sort of life did they have that lead them there? [often abusive and seriously unloved childhoods]
  • Do they sinfully or otherwise choose to be violent criminals? [no]
  • What is the understood error rate in convictions? [enough to make you worried]
  • Are there examples of meaningful rehabilitation to be found? [yes]
  • If there is a chance of error or a chance of rehabilitation, what’s stopping societies that have the tools to remove dangerous people from society, for life, or until their behaviour has been assessed as safe, from doing just that? [no idea, money isn’t even an issue]
  • Is there any evidence to suggest that the death penalty serves as a useful deterrent against serious crime? [no]

What am I missing? Anyone care to enlighten me on the logical reasons for having a death penalty?