Saturday, January 29, 2005

Wait, that death doesn't count

The train derailment in California was a horrible tragedy. Apparently the government is considering making it worse. Here we have a guy that (selfishly) tried to commit suicide by train. He apparently was not able to go through with that attempt, and has been charged with murder for causing the deaths of others. So far I'm okay with this. The man probably should be in an insane asylum, given the train attempt and new attempts to slash his wrists and stab himself in the chest. Where this becomes bizarre is that the government has this man under a suicide watch while they decide whether to kill him.

I'll make it clear: I oppose the death penalty. A society that sanctions killing loses some of its humanity. The punishment is not a detriment according to studies I've seen. Financial costs are greater for death penalties than for life imprisonment. The protection of society is no different from death or imprisonment. So all we have is the desire for vengeance, the need to satisfy bloodlusts. And so killing is made acceptable as a means of solving problems, not a good lesson for any society.

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