Social and Political Commentary

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A rebuttal to: 'Is lethal injection the way to go?'

... capital punishment is murder

by Ed Boyd

The State should never be given the right to commit murder. Whenever the State decides to murder via electric chair, guillotine, lethal injection or whatever means, a human life is lost. There is little question that if an outrageous crime is committed the rest of us need to be protected. You have only to think of the vile crimes committed by Manson and his cutthroats to know of his unspeakable assaults on human life. Manson is locked away from the rest of us, forever.  We have a right to be protected but we should not expect that the State would accomplish revenge on our behalf. This is like taking comfort in that the State is committing murder for us. The overriding principle is human life should never be given away to anyone.

When I was a young man in my middle twenties, I read “Resistance, Rebellion, and Death” by Albert Camus. I was thoroughly persuaded after reading his “Reflections on the Guillotine” that capital punishment should be abolished. After reading Dalton’s outrageous “Is Lethal Injection The Way To Go?”, the ideas in “Reflection on the Guillotine” still strongly apply. Dalton feels that lethal injection is too “wimpy” and we should revert to the good old days when the electric chair could give a measure of pain.

Consider, “The death penalty as it is now applied, and however rarely it may be used, is a revolting butchery, an outrage inflicted on a person and body of man.” Moreover, if we cut away the seventy pages it took Camus to write his protest, here is the guiding concept: “We know enough to say that this or that major criminal deserves hard labor for life. But we don’t know enough to decree that he be shorn of his future-in other words, of the chance we all have of making amends.”  

May 2, 2008

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