Friday, September 22, 2006
To Much Thought for a Friday
I just had a talk with someone in the office about the death penalty.
Now here’s the thing… I’m an evil conservative Christian… which means, by definition, I’m all for the death penalty. Right? Isn’t that what it says in the vast right wing conspiracy newsletter? I don’t know. There was a time, back when I was a teen, when I was full on against the death penalty. I was a liberal back in the day, but then I grew up, I cut my hair, and realized that there are animals among us that were never going to be rehabilitated and thus should be locked away forever or put to death.
Then I went and became an English Major. I read a book called “Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison” by Michel Foucault. And it made me take a second look at my stand on the death penalty... but on a philosophical level only. The thing I began to wonder was this; by killing murderers, was society looking for justice or for revenge? I’m not sure, but I was thinking that that scale was tipped toward the revenge side more than justice.
And then, not long ago, I read “The Chamber” by John Grisham. Now I’m not a huge fan of Grisham, but I’ll listen to an audio book while at work from time to time. This book hit me on an emotional level that clouded the topic even more for me.
Today, this guy at work told me to read “Dead Man Walking.” I’m not sure that I want too.
Maybe I need to sit in this gray area for a while. I still believe that there are people out there that will never be rehabilitated. Their crimes are so horrendous that they can never be trusted in society again. And if we are not willing to keep them locked away for the rest of their lives, then we might as well put a bullet to ‘em. But then the Christian comes out in me and asks, “Aren’t they children of God as well?”
Just a small quandary as we go into the weekend.