If there was ever a case of I can say what the Hell I want and never get any hate mail because I make such good arguments, or no one really cares, then this is probably going to be a good example of that. This post is inspired by fellow blogger YeamieWaffles (sadly NOT his real name. He should consider changing it) and a post of his that included a short piece on Mark David Champman. Otherwise known as the guy who took out John Lennon. Chapman has recently been denied parole for the seventh time, and has now been in prison 31 years. Not bad considering his initial sentence was 20 to life.
Now, there are some people who do deserve a life sentence. I'm not here to really say this guy should be out by now. He got 20 to life, if the parole board really thinks he hasn't changed, and it's not safe for him to be out in society, then the "life" stipulation comes in, and he very well could spend the rest of his natural life in jail. Like I just said there are some people that deserve this. There are some people who never show any remorse, or guilt, or any kind of recognition that what they did was wrong. There are some people who can never truly be punished for their actions because they will not see something as a punishment. Does this mean then, that they should die? Does this mean that we should have a life for a life? No, it does not. I understand the arguments for a death penalty. I understand how frustrated people can get that people they think deserve death are allowed to live, and worst of all, their taxes are paying for it. But I can never agree with the death penalty.
Killing people is wrong. It's why it's punishable by law. It's universally accepted that to take another's life is one of the cruelest things you can do. It's also been a punishment for a long time as well. There are plenty of places that still have the death penalty. America is probably the most well known. It's not the only one though. Because someone took a life is no reason to take theirs. I've felt the anger that makes me want to kill a person, I've felt like given the chance I really could do it, and I've spoken to people who have killed. I've spoken to a guy that told me that after the first time he killed someone, he cried. He even told me to make sure I never kill anyone, because it really messes with you. It can destroy you emotionally and mentally. You need to have a predisposition towards that to be able to kill someone, and if you don't have it then you will by the time that you're done.
I would not want to be an executioner, I would not want to be a judge who sentences someone to death, I wouldn't want to be a leader who orders a war. I wouldn't even want to be a lawyer who failed a case, and had a client put to death. To know I could have saved someone's life, and failed. You can hide behind "justice" all you want, you can say you did the right thing, but when you're alone, there's the truth. The thought that you as good as killed someone. That you became no better than them. If you can accept that you are no better than the people you condemn, then well done. At least you're honest to yourself.
There are also fates worse than death. The denial of freedom is one of them. If I was to be put in prison, and denied my freedom like that, I don't think it would take long for me to wish for death. To not be in control of your own life is something I know all to well, and it's not something I particularly enjoy. Death is a sweet release. Death absolves you of all pain and suffering. Chances are more victims and victims relatives wished for death, not for the accused, but for themselves. If anything, you're sparing a criminal the pain by killing them, while you continue to live in sadness and despair.
I'm not really sure how to finish this, but I do want to stop writing. I would just like to say that Matthew, I have no problems with you, honestly. I just don't like the view that it should be a life for a life. I don't really have anything against the people who think like that, just the idea of it. If you feel personally that you have been attacked, then my apologies, it was not my intention. I also accept that there are people who kill in self defence. There are people who are left with no choice but to kill, such as the victims of attacks or spousal abuse. I will not condemn you, but I will be sad that it came to that.