Friday, 12 April 2013

Death Penalty Morality

Morality is not the issue with me over the death penalty. For example, I wouldn't lose a moments sleep if the animals on death row in the US were all taken out and hung tomorrow. Their crimes are usually so horrific (often after a life of increasingly violent crimes), that only an idiot would consider it worth shedding a tear if they died (and I include their mothers in this).

The only reason why I don't support the death penalty, but do support whole of life sentences, is because occasionally there are cases like this one.

Franky Carrillo - Innocent Man

Franky Carrillo was just sixteen when he was convicted of murder. He spent the next 20 years in prison in California for a crime it eventually transpired that he did not commit. He was eventually released after eyewitnesses admitted they had lied. He is now at university .... if he had been executed at the time as many would have advocated, then this man would never have been able to be freed as innocent.

Mick Philpott Cries Crocodile Tears

It is my only argument against the ultimate sanction, certainly as I have stated above, I have no moral objections to that punishment as I believe that some crimes are so horrible in nature, like the killing of six of his own children by Mick Philpott, that they should be punished with the death penalty (even for so called 'manslaughter')

.... but nag, nag, nagging thought, what if they are innocent?


  1. " is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent one to death." [Maimonides, a 12th century legal theorist]

    It's unfortunate that this principle seems to tip the scales in the guilty's favour, but perhaps this is not a bad thing as, when you look at the average IQ and backgrounds of inmates, it's not been much in their favour most of their lives.
    Let's not forget also, that this principle protects the innocent from the ultimate injustice.

    1. How would you think about it if he had said that "it is better and more satisfactory to convict a one innocent person than to let a thousand guilty ones get free".

      One can at least make the argument that you can't 'make an omelette without breaking eggs' i.e. If you want law and order and not anarchy then you have to accept that occasionally an innocent will suffer. If this includes the death penalty, then so be it.

    2. If he'd said that it is better to convict one innocent person than let a thousand guilty go free, I'd say 'what if that one innocent was you?'

      We have to accept that occasionally an innocent will suffer, no system is perfect. The death penalty however is final, with no recourse if someone is indeed innocent.

    3. Which I why I advocate "Whole of Life" sentences.


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