These are my opinions. I tend to rant about this subject. At length. My opinions aren't linked to my religious views in any solid way. There's some relation between the two, sure, but it's not a causal relationship.
I am rabidly anti-death penalty. Because it is hypocritical
. "You are not allowed to kill people. But we can kill you, and we don't get punished for it, because we
are the good guys."
It just.... ugh.... no. It's self-righteous. I mean, if you murder someone, most of the time you're not saying "this is right and just". You might be saying "this person deserves it" or "it is a good thing that this person is dead", but in the majority of cases you're not actually saying "this is just". The idea that the "justice system" can kill people and say that it's the right and correct course of action makes me feel physically ill and very, very angry. I am very glad we don't have it here and I hold execution as a worse crime than murder.
Now me, I'm a fan of personal revenge. Okay, that guy killed your sister? Here's a knife. If you can catch him, then you can kill him. Have fun! Oh, you can't stomach that sort of thing? And yet you'll stand there quite happily and watch the guy be slowly killed by the state? EXCUSE ME?!
I also believe that if you're quick enough and clever enough to escape from jail, you should be allowed to stay free until (unless?) you commit another crime.
Now if I ruled the world, I'd release everyone and say "if you had a good enough motive, you can go free. Just don't do it again, kthx". If they did it again, back in jail they'd go.
I mean, why do we stick people in jail? We do it so they won't do it again. If someone kills ONE PERSON, for a really decent reason, he's not likely to do it again, is he? No. He might do, but you have no evidence to say he will. So why put him in jail? Okay, okay, for the appearance of the thing, we don't want people going around killing people because they're allowed a freebie or something. But to kill him? For killing ONE PERSON? Who DESERVED IT?! That's just insane.
Now, your average psychopath, they're very logical people. They really believe that the ends justify the means. But they won't go out and kill someone for no reason unless they have like another mental illness. But, they need money. Person on the street has money. So they mug person on the street, maybe seriously hurt them or even kill them. But they don't notice. They have the money, and that's what they went out to get. Do we put them in jail? But no, we can't do that. They have a personality disorder. They're mad. They have something wrong with their brains in that they can't see that what they've done is wrong in any way. What's more, you can't actually punish them, because they don't feel much in the way of sadness and they don't feel fear. If you're insane, then you should go to a nice comfy asylum. Otherwise, why have the criminally insane? Just because they're not frothing at the mouth doesn't mean they're not insane. And if they feel no fear, you're not punishing them for what they've done. Shut them away somewhere, okay, but why prison? Anywhere would do, really. As long as they had no reason to harm someone, they won't harm someone. Because that wouldn't make any sense.
And if you killed someone like this.... why would you do that? Basically what you are doing is looking at someone and saying "this person is not worthy of living on this earth". I mean, talk about arrogance. If we're going to do away with everyone we don't think is worthy of being alive... well first off, we all have different standards. I personally would kill everyone guilty of being terminally stupid. I wouldn't kill a psychopath. He was just behaving in a logical manner. The problem is that the logical manner was at odds with society. Um, what was my point again? Oh yeah... okay, would you kill a tiger for eating a human? No, because a) tigers are endangered, and b) tigers are doing what tigers do. Yes, it's unfortunate that the human died, but why kill the tiger for it?
If someone murdered me and they had a good reason, I'd be cool with it. I might want them to, you know, feel guilty about it or something. If they were a serial killer I wouldn't mind if they didn't feel guilty, because that's not what they do. I was unlucky. If a cannibal ate me, I'd probably be amused. I mean, Peter Blake was killed by pirates. How cool is that?! They weren't proper
pirates but even so. I'd have that on my tombstone. Made of awesome. Cannibal is cool too, although not quite as cool. "Windwalker, 1986-2007, eaten by a cannibal. She gave him indigestion." Eh, whatever, I wouldn't be happy about it but there's no call to go killing the guy. Stick him somewhere nice where he can't do that sort of thing. (Now, if the world was full of sensible people, you could say something like "Hey man, that's not cool, don't do that" and they would actually listen. Alas, that is not so.)
Now, we come to something unfortunate known as animal cruelty. You can be cruel to people and I won't really care, because people have opposable thumbs and tend to be rather unpleasant. If you are cruel to an animal - something that relies on you for food, care, etc and probably loves you anyway - then I will become EXTREMELY angry, as most people tend to. There's a guy in Christchurch who drowns cats and thinks he's doing the world a favour. People throw bricks through his windows. If something really unfortunate happened to this guy, no one would mind, least of all me. I reckon if you abuse an animal, you should get a taste of what you've done. I wouldn't particularly mind if you killed an animal abuser. Think of that animal testing facility in the UK that used to torture their beagles. That guy should have had something really unpleasant done to him.
BUT it shouldn't be done in a homogenised, false way, like with a needle or gas, with everyone sitting around thinking of how humane they are. Really? Would you not be afraid if they came up to you with a needle and you knew you'd feel death closing in on you? Okay, you can have faith in a good afterlife, but that doesn't stop death being SCARY. If you're going to punish someone physically for something, it should be preferably done by the victim or the relatives of the victim. (They want the punishment, so they can exact it. That's sensible.) You want to scrape off his skin and then dunk him in lemon juice? That's fine, go ahead and do that. But afterwards, let him go. And don't let some sadisitic bastard do the deed, because I really get the idea that people who work as executioners enjoy their work too much, and probably are no different from the people they are killing. Get someone sensitive to do the job. An empath or something. Because revenge can be sweet, but you should know every second exactly what it is that you're doing. No hot-blooded revenge. It's best served cold, remember.
Basically, I tend to care more about your average criminal than your average victim, unless it's an animal. I don't much care for children, but child abuse is rather pathetic and cowardly and it makes perfect sense that they get the short end of it in jail. And if you kill your own kid, something rather nasty should probably happen to you. In an evolutionary sense, it's very silly. I mean, that's your genes being carried forward. Killing it is really going against nature.
We had this great idea for a TV show. Death Row Survivor. Stick all your death row convicts on an island with no food, a few hidden traps, and some hidden weapons, one of each type. The last one alive wins his freedom! You could have a sniper rifle hidden up somewhere high, and the person who finds it gets to pick off everyone else one by one. Tiger traps that claim the odd person. A flame thrower, a machete, a pistol etc etc etc. It'd be good times. And whoever won his freedom would really deserve it, ne? And if you're going to die, which would you choose? In a sterile room with a group of people who hate you watching through a window? Or fighting for your life? I'd rather be stabbed by someone on an island than gassed by someone who really believes they are doing a good thing. P
I'm not against death in general, because in my opinion there are any number of people that I'd prefer weren't alive. However, if I had them killed, I wouldn't pretend that I was doing the world a favour.
There was an episode of boston legal where they tried to get this guy off the death penalty. It didn't work. So Alan says to the guy, "fight it. Everyone else just goes in and lies down and lets it happen. Sure, they're doing it to prove that they're strong and go out a man. But if you really want to be strong, fight it." So he fought it. He struggled and cried. And suddenly the people watching it realised "hey, this guy is actually going to die and funnily enough, he isn't to happy about it". It was heartbreaking. (I always cry at executions anyway, but this one had me bawling.) I was so thoroughly traumatised by the Green Mile that I had to turn it off after that guy got fried. You know it takes you five minutes to die in the chair? Your eyeballs boil. True story. At least if you get the guillotine, you're only alive for ten seconds after your head is severed.
Okay, I got so wrapped up in this that I burnt my pizza. Don't worry, it's still edible. Kinda.
I'm the person who cheers for the bad guy. I'm the one in the slasher movie who vocalises my joy every time the slasher brutally massacres someone in an entertaining and hopefully ironic manner. I'm the one who gets upset every time a villain leaves Bond to escape from a trap. I'm the one who thinks the Rogues Gallery is the main reason for watching Batman and mopes every time they end up back at Arkham Asylum. Hey, someone's gotta stick up for the bad guys. Eh, call me naive. I'm under no impression that they'd thank me for it.