Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cook 'em, Dan'l

The DC Sniper John Allen Muhammad was executed by lethal injection a few minutes ago.

From a man who loves dogs and has ethical considerations about whether to eat beef or pork or not, I think as much justice was served as allowed in this case.

As soon as the Military Tribunal finds Dr. Nidal Hasan guilty of premeditated murder for his rampage at Fort Hood -- and it would certainly seem to be cut and dried that he did it -- then probably he'll be stood up in front of a firing squad and shot, too.

I hate to sound less the bleeding heart liberal than some of you think I surely am, but that one won't cause me to lose any sleep, either.

Some argument about the death penalty in some cases, especially if there is any doubt. But not for these two. I expect they could have made a small fortune selling raffle tickets to be allowed to push the plunger in the former, and a bigger one to pull a trigger in the latter. By rights, the families of the murder victims should be allowed first crack.

Yeah, I know, that's not rehabilitation, it's revenge. But it works for me.


Jay Gischer said...

The problem I have with the death penalty is not that we execute criminals like those you mention or my favorite, Ted Bundy.

It's that it's impossible to write a law that allows the execution of the likes of them, and doesn't allow for the execution of innocents, or perpetrators of lesser crimes.

Steve Perry said...

I'm aware that as it stands, the death penalty isn't always applied properly. Some poor black guy convicted of murder on circumstantial evidence by an all-white jury in Backwash, Texas? He maybe gets life, so if he turns out not really guilty, there is some redress.

In cases where there is no doubt, open-and-shut, like Hasan? Only question is why he did it and not if?

Smoke him.

jks9199 said...

The consistent bias found in the death penalty is NOT the defendant.

It's the victim. I haven't rechecked of late -- but for quite some time, the numbers showed that the death penalty was more likely if the victim was white.

I've got mixed feelings on the death penalty. On one hand, we have the ability to really incarcerate someone for life, with a fair likelihood that they won't get out. But -- what if they do? How do you explain that we had the guy, we locked him up, and he got out? (Heinlein covered this point much better in Starship Troopers)

Currently, I reconcile it by saying that I'm only in favor of it for a restricted list of heinous offenses -- killing a cop being on the top of the list. And I'm not happy with the way that list has been extended in Virginia over the last several years...

Steve Perry said...

Not to be argumentative but, why is killing a cop worse than killing somebody's grandma? Or child? Or the high school nurse?

Homicide is what it is, and Murder One and NDHDI -- no doubt he did it -- is the litmus test for me.

The law recognizes intent, and so an accident doesn't get the same treatment as taking your sniper rifle to the top of the tower.

Yeah, if I was a cop, I'd want the deterrent factor there -- kill a police officer, you die for it -- but why not across the board? Kill anybody on purpose, you fry.

Torture killings are more heinous than "ordinary" murders, but the victims are just as dead. That the killers go to jail but get to keep breathing, eating, working out, and having something of a life, however constrained, doesn't seem enough punishment. As was pointed out in the vegetarian thread, is a short and not-so-happy life better than no life at all? What about a long and less-than-ideal life? Lot of third world folks who have lives worse than federal or state prisoners ...

jks9199 said...

Why is killing a cop worse? Gut level -- 'cause I'm a cop.

More rational (note similarity to rationalize...) reason? Police are the most visible representatives of public order; assaulting or killing one is an attack on the public order. A person who will attack or kill the face of public order will also kill a grandmother or child... They've attacked order itself.

I'm in favor of capital punishment for specific instances of murder: the deliberate & willful killing of another human with malice aforethought. Murder by torture, murder in connection with kidnapping, murder for hire, serial & multiple murder, murder of a LEO or CO in performance of their duties, and some others. Virginia's list is up to 15 classes now (see VA code 18.2-31 for the entire list). I think some are redundant and some were kneejerk additions.

Capital punishment, to me, is the ultimate direct or personal deterrent. John Allen Muhammad is never going to hurt anyone else today. Capital punishment should be reserved for those offenses that we as a society feel should never happen again...

kdorian said...

Deserved or not, Hasan is almost certainly not going to be executed, for the simple reason that he's in the military.

Believe it or not, the military makes California look bloodthirsty in comparison when it comes to the death penalty. The last execution in the military was almost 50 years ago. The last soldier sentenced to execution (a serial killer and rapist) has been waiting over 20 years for the sentence to be carried out.