Firstly I apologise for any fuck ups that I’ve undoubtedly made in this post. It’s not light yet, I’m on a bus and on my phone, I’m not going to be able to think clearly. Oh the joys of public transport.
Secondly I apologise for anyone I’m going to offend in this post, it’s not my intention and purely my views. Here in the UK we don’t have to death penalty, and haven’t done for decades, so my viewpoint is purely a hypothetical one, which I’ve never had personal experience of. I’ve never had a proper feeling of what life is like in America, or other countries who still have a death penalty, but the topic interests me nonetheless.
Should we, as a global community, have the death penalty? Plenty of people think we should, and plenty of people think we shouldnt. Does one person have the right to take away the life of another even if thy have done so themselves, and are aware of the consequences potentially being a death sentence? I don’t know.
One of the major arguments is that the death penalty is a deterrent, who in their right kind would kill if they knew they might be killed, or imprisoned for so many years that it’s likely that they’ll die before they see the sun set as a free man again? The problem is that a lot of these people aren’t in their right minds. Someone in drugs, or withdrawing from drugs isn’t thinking clearly, they do things they would never normally do. Hell, I turn into the snappiest little bitch if I don’t get to smoke, was barely talking to or registering my girlfriend, and normally I’m as soppy as a dripping sponge. And that’s just nicotine.
Should one act of a person’s life lead to their whole destiny being laid out before them? I can’t quite say that I think it should, no matter how heinous the crime. Even saying that I sound like a bit of a hypocrite to myself, I haven’t forgiven someone who was supposedly my best friend for years for planning to, and carrying out a sexual assault on me when I was 14. It wasn’t the first or last time he tried it on someone either. Maybe if I could get over it and forget then it wouldn’t bother me anymore, but I can go for months without thinking of him and still hate his guts. On the other hand I forgave my ex for doing everything they could to try and split me and my girlfriend up, including blackmailing me with suicide and with reporting her as a pedophile. I was within about five minutes of him managing to do both of those, and they would of done if I hadn’t hacked my father’s email and replied saying that I would report them to the police for harassment. I forgave them, when they got out of the mental hospital and were on medication.
One thing that a person does does not dictate what they will do for the rest of their lives. I’m a completely different person to who I was just last year. Right now last year I know I would be completely losing my shit and everything and anyone who did anything to irritate me in the slightest. I doubt I would have gotten on the train (I’m on my return journey from college now) but would have just walked off somewhere and sat smoking myself into a misery. Maybe found someone and begged some alcohol off them, or even called up an old friend and convinced them to give me my first joint. I might still go home and raid the fridge or sample the fake Baileys, but I doubt it, I know it’s wrong. Most of the people I’ve seen that are on death row actually seem more rational than a lot of people I know. Maybe it’s being locked up for long periods of time and thinking about things, maybe it’s knowing exactly how and where their lives will end, I don’t know, but they genuinely seem decent people. I know that means sod all, the person who sexually assaulted me was described as “harmless” on more than one occasion, but I’m suspicious of everyone these days – guess why!
On the other hand people need to be punished for their crimes. But on that basis surely life imprisonment (meaning being locked up until they die naturally) would be a problem when crueller punishment, especially if they aren’t psychopathic. When you’re left alone with your thoughts, especially of what you’ve done wrong, the idea of death can almost feel like a blessing. I know which I believe I’d rather.
And anyway, who has the right to decide who lives, who dies and when? Everyone has different moral codes, and every crime is different. I know that things aren’t always treated fairly, two guys at my old school got suspended for three days after being caught with weed in their possesion, I threw a mug of cuppa soup at someone – I missed – and locked a door but they try and suspend me for a week as well. Makes sense doesn’t it? If the same things happen in the real world, which I don’t doubt do, look at that Trayvon Martin case for example, I’m sure everyone knows about that, that was hardly fairly judged unless there were some details that were never related to the press.