A few more thoughts on the death penalty



Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    No moral qualms about killing criminals? Are you sure you don’t want to whittle that statement down a touch?Report

  2. Avatar Scott says:

    I agree. John Allen Muhammad is going to get his well deserved lethal injection today. As a NoVa. native I plan on celebrating.Report

    • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Scott says:

      My absolute opposition to the death penalty notwithstanding, I’m pretty sure that I’ll allow myself a little bit of vindictive pleasure when that happens tonight since I lived in Arlington at the time.

      As I tweeted earlier today:
      “John Allen Muhammed’s execution is freeing my little mind of hobgoblins today.”Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    There is an awesome comment by Shannon Love over at Reason.


    Read the whole thing but here’s the money graf:

    “The death penalty is the State reduced to its essence. We’ve built a grand facade of rationalizations around the idea of the State. An execution strips that away. The white marble and corinthian columns fall away and we see the ancient axeman clothed in bloody furs standing over his victims. Before they draw the curtain once more, we see for those few moments the true heart of the State. For that reason alone, the death penalty should remain. “Report

    • Avatar sidereal in reply to Jaybird says:

      I’m also opposed to the death penalty (on moral, rather than principled libertarian, grounds) and I’m sympathetic to broadly libertarian impulses, but rhetoric like execution being ‘the true heart of the State’ is the sort of hyperventilating Randian nonsense that reduces sympathy for the libertarian cause.

      Since 46 out of 50 European countries have abolished capital punishment, does it meant that those States have no heart? New York state has no death penalty. Is it therefore immune from revealing its ‘true heart’?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to sidereal says:

        “New York state has no death penalty.”

        Tell that to Amadou Diallo.

        This isn’t intended to be the snarky answer it probably reads as. If you think that the cops ought to have these tools and if you understand that we have to deal with such things as the Justice Department not charging officers with having violated Diallo’s civil rights (let alone with Murder).

        The death penalty is something that New York continues to have to this day.

        And that’s the point that (it seems to me) the rest of the comment explores. At the same time that it is hyperventilating Randian nonsense, it’s Maoist nonsense (all political power, etc).

        But, fair enough.Report

  4. Avatar Scott says:

    I feel better knowing John Allen Muhammed is dead and wish his boy Malvo would have joined him. We could have had a twofer.Report

  5. My take on the death penalty is sort of like Israel’s: as civilized people, we shouldn’t have one, but we all know that Eichmann needed killing.Report