“And death shall have no dominion…”


:: For the poem of the same name, click Here ::

For many years Americans have struggled with what is acceptable punishment for a crime. Judges use a guideline to have flexibility in their decision process, and guidelines are given to jurors when they decide the fate of one convicted. Today the sentencing of Scott Peterson (convicted of killing his wife and baby) is in the news, and again there is conversation about what will be appropriate punishment for the crimes. There are those that don’t agree with capital punishment, and those that do. There are lawyers who wrestle with the law and plea bargain until some sort of “justified” compromise has been reached to reduce the possible severity of a conviction. In the end, a sentence will be handed over.

I, for one, have had many thoughts on this issue about capital punishment, and penalties for crimes committed. At one point I felt a punishment for a crime should be the very act of the crime itself, such as, if a person has been convicted of starving another human being to death, then the punishment should be starvation for the convicted. If a person is convicted of battery and maiming, then the convicted should be battered and maimed in the same manner (i.e. an eye for an eye). Then I realized this was nothing more than treating a barbarian in a barbaric manner, and it wouldn’t apply to crimes of materials such as stealing or embezzling. In this respect, punishments for material crimes seem suitable. However, we are faced still yet with capital punishment. A life for a life.

Is it justified to take a life for a life? I pose only one view of many views on this topic. Jails are overcrowded, the cost for jail management is incredible, and quite frankly, there are many criminals getting away with reduced sentences for time served or good behavior because of the lack of space to house them for a full term of their sentence. A person receives a death sentence for the crime of murder, and spends years in prison on death row costing millions in tax payer money and taking up space in a jail cell. One of my opinions is to drastically reduce the costs, and free up the space by eliminating death row. When a death sentence is handed down, they have 24 hours left to live. Sounds drastic? Sounds unfair because they didn’t get to appeal? I agree. But, why waste time and money on the inevitable once the sentence is handed down. Just to name a few benefits, it is a great deterrent if those contemplating murder knew before hand that the consequences are swift and sure. What about those that kill “accidentally” such as from being drunk while driving and killing someone as a result? Well, again, great deterrent for those thinking about driving while intoxicated or not having a plan for a way home before drinking (since I don’t believe a good defense is “I was too drunk to stop myself from getting behind the wheel, I didn’t know what I was doing”). In this respect I don’t believe a “life sentence” should be given to anyone that has killed. This also reduces the chance of the criminal educating themselves behind bars until they have attained enough skill to manipulate the law until they are free. A life for a life, swift and sure, to me, is far more humane, effective, and a deterrent, than the present manner in which punishment is delivered.


6 responses to ““And death shall have no dominion…”

  1. Having worked in the medical profession in corrections, I am sure that there are some folks that are incarcerated for crimes that they didn’t commit. But I do agree at some level that there are people that “can’t be fixed.” I have a friend who thinks that crimes of passion are different from other crimes. An example that he uses is a guy in our area that killed his wife because he thought she was leaving him for another man. I insisted that since he beat her with an aluminum bat to the brink of death, and then snuck into her hospital room to finish her off with cyanide (he was out on bail), it wasn’t exactly like “catching her in the act.” The deps that had to guard him said he was a sociopath, not your average guy upset over catching his wife “in the act.”

    Personally, I might have wished my ex dead, but actually carrying it out was not up to me. I guess that’s why I get to leave the facillity every night.

    PS, good website!

  2. Thank you for your comment Rose. I think we all enjoy the “insiders” look and perspective on any topic.

    You bring up a good point about those incarcerated for crimes they did not commit. I fully understand there are a great many to this day that are innocent of the crimes they are charged with and serving time for but I still feel that 24 hours is all anyone should have after a conviction.

    Even if they are innocent, there are issues that surround the innocent being convicted. One such issue is that in order to be innocently convicted of a murder, ones lifestyle, habits, and social circle and circumstances must be fairly implicating.

    What I mean by this is, if you are the type of citizen that socializes with the criminal element, display questionable judgment and character continuously, are deceitful, dishonest but have never been convicted of breaking the law, then this only means it’s a matter of time, and no loss to society if convicted.

    In stark contrast are those citizens that are honorable, trustworthy, decent, law abiding, always there to help others,, would give the shirt off their back for the sake of others, type citizens, then it is unlikely they will be in a situation to be framed or guilty by association.

    There are reasons why some people can be blackmailed and others are impossible to blackmail. It is because of the kind of life they lead, and their conduct in society.

    Yes, if we were ever to come to a 24 hour life after conviction rule in this society, I would expect quite a few innocent people get caught in the transition. At some point, however, less innocent people will be convicted because of the deterrent factor and the strictness of the punishment. It would also way heavily on lawyers to be better at their jobs, be more discriminate and honest, as well it may way heavier on the conscience of the juries before passing judgment. It would cause change in a great many ways that would eventually lead us to a lessor crime ridden society.

    This is just one of my views on this topic and I must note that I also have views on the opposite side of the coin as well with just as effective solutions that are non-extreme, but also would never come to pass.

    Thanks again for your comments and thank you for the kudos. 🙂

  3. Hi everyone!
    All of the recent talks of the down fall of the economy and loss of jobs has been driving most americans crazy!
    I started searching online for a way to get help and found that the government gives free grants.
    What I want to know is…. does anyone know what website I can find free grant applications at?

    Thank You!

  4. Thank you for your comment Ancerry. I think your comment would have been better suited in another topic, however I am curious, if you searched and found free grants from the government, why are you asking if anyone has links to free grants?

    Also, for anyone else interested, here is the best place to find out about anf get government grants http://www.grants.gov

  5. Hi everyone! 😀
    Im new to dragontail.wordpress.com.
    I hope I can be a regular here!

  6. Hi Jenneech,
    I am very pleased you are here with us. I hope you return often and enjoy the pages within.

    Please feel free to share this blog with friends.

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