Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Spare Saddam

Saddam will probably swing.

Wish they wouldn’t do it, though.

Yeah, he’s a monster. If anybody deserves a long drop on a short rope he does.

But still can’t figure out the long lasting upside of killing bad guys in spite of all the understandable emotional reasons for doing that very final deed.

Can most of us agree that governments usually have too much power? And that killing people rarely if ever produces a good outcome?

Why encourage governments to exercise the power to kill convicted criminals?

I mean, lots of folks here in the states believe that governments are normally so incompetent and self-advancing that they can’t be trusted with tax dollars or with regulating business or personal morality.

How come most of those same people are so enthusiastic about giving such an incompetent state the power to take people’s lives?

And wouldn't exercising mercy toward people who showed no mercy to others demonstrate the greater moral legitimacy and greater power--from a Christian point of view--of the state?

Wouldn’t life imprisonment in isolation do the retributive justice trick while at the same time making an important statement about the limits of state power?

Spare Saddam.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Jon said...

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101030714-463094,00.html

Can you read that and share what you think (by email if you want) of Earle's position? This article actually changed how I thought of the death penalty to some degree.

1:35 AM  
Blogger Samer Farhat said...

Amen Tom. I think that argument is true in any death penalty case anywhere but even more important when we are talking about former government officials.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Eddy E said...

Do we really want him to be remembered as a martyr?

10:43 PM  
Blogger Wordcat said...

Really an impressive article Jon That DA sounds like the real deal. When you're dealing with somebody who will continue to kill people even in prison you really push the abolitionist envelope.

We're on the same page, Eddy. I know the Shias want to see this guy hung every which way but loose (along with most of us on the emotional level), but hard to see how it will produce anything but greater Muslim hostility in general and more young men who want to blow themselves and others up.

11:53 PM  
Anonymous jon said...

Yeah. I was a very strick abolitionist before reading that article. Now...it's a harder issue for me. I would certainly prefer abolition to the current situation, but I'm not exactly sure that I can say the death penalty is always, always bad. There's a small chance that I would prefer a DA like that to abolition. But...even saying that makes me feel weird. I'm just not sure.

9:54 PM  

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