Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Yahoo! News - Lethal Injection Execution 'Cruel'

I have mixed views on capital punishment. On the one hand, I believe there are certain people who really should just be removed by society, because no amount of rehabilitation will help. But...I have problems with how capital punishment is meted out in this country (race, age, and mental capacity are all issues, not to mention the fact that DNA evidence has cleared some inmates), plus the fact that apparently it is cheaper to keep a prisoner locked away for life rather than going through the process of Death Row, appeals, and execution.

What would I do? Unfortunately my ideal requires Star Trek technology, and would no doubt be seen as terribly cruel. I would have the criminal experience their victim's experiences--as the victim--over and over, allowing time for reflection between experiences. So it's really not tenable.

I think our system has never quite figured out if its purpose is to rehabilitate, punish, or just simply hold inmates. It has its own brand of justice that's meted by prisoners, not guards, and in some cases becomes a criminal training ground, which is scary. I'm all for allowing an inmate who will get out to better himself through education or legitimate training, in exchange for work. I don't particularly see any reason for such ammenities as cable TV (gee, I and lots of other people who work and pay taxes and try to just make ends meet don't have cable). Unfortunately, I don't have the answers for how to fix the system, but the privatisation of prisons seems to be a generally bad idea, since profit shouldn't be in the equation.

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