Monday, October 25, 2010

Barbara Kay is so wrong on the death penalty

She writes:
I see the death penalty as justice served, as the extirpation of a cancer in the social body. Imprisoning a monster for life is, to me, analogous to maintaining a tumour with low-dose chemotherapy or radiation simply because it is made of flesh and blood like the rest of our body. We are deliberately isolating but nurturing something we loathe on the grounds that every human life is sacred. But that is nonsense. Many of the same people who would denounce the government as barbaric for taking Russell Williams’ life support the killing of unborn babies on demand, and have no problem with soldiers killing our enemies in combat.

Yes, every human life is sacred. And her argument is kind of interesting, considering that she supports legal abortion (I think).

A human being is not a tumour. This makes me think of the "fetus is a parasite" argument.

We don't like that particular human being, so we dehumanize them.

There is no real justice in the face of murder. True justice would be bringing back the victims to life.

How is paying with your life justice? Your life is not the lives of those who were killed.

All you can really do is penalize in a very imperfect fashion. Human dignity is absolute. Aggressors must be disarmed with only the necessary force. Otherwise, they must be allowed to live. Every human being is a little bit of us, even if we don't want to admit it. We all share in that nature. If we respect who we are, we should respect the humanity of others.

I am in favour of harsher sentences. A life sentence should be just that. I would be in favour of hard labour, of more arduous conditions. Because we must send society the message that killing is absolutely untolerable.

But we must not kill in return.

I don't think the death penalty debate will be reopened. But should there be a campaign, I pledge to fight it.

I want killing to stop.