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Death Penalty Rant

I live in Houston, TX. That is one hour south of Huntsville, TX. What, not familiar with this small town? Well more death row prisoners are put to death there than any other prison in the US.

Do I agree with this? Yes I do. Sometimes I wish they would execute more. Why do I feel this way?

Well… Let’s tell a story:

A known criminal can walk into a donut shop that is full of police “on their breaks”. Pull out a pistol and shoot the single mother of three, behind the counter. Immediately drop his weapon and get tackled by the cops. 911 is called, an ambulance rushes to the aid of the lady with two gun shoots wounds to her chest. Paramedics work to stabilize the victim and then rushes her to hospital. An ER crew works for an hour trying to save her and then loses the fight. There are now three children who will never have a mother grow up with them.

The news reports this awful tragedy. But few people even hear the report. They are more interested in the traffic report for their ride to work, the latest scores on their football team of choice and a funny video of a dog that brings beer to his owner.

Court is scheduled. A jury is chosen. They are paid $6 a day for the six weeks of trial. Taken away from their family and regular job. Shooter is found guilty and sentenced for execution.

This should be a great relief for the family and the public right?

No. For the next ten to twenty years, he sits in prison. Enjoying three meals a day, free college, gym access, free health and dental services, a paying job and free housing. So much more than the average American has.

Meanwhile the three kids have grown up. Married and all have kids by now. Life was tough for them without a mother. Their children never know their grandmother.

The shooter will probably die of health issues or a stabbing before the death penalty is actually carried out.

Thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent on this whole process. Maybe hundreds of thousands. Wouldn’t it have been better if one of the donut shop police men had actually just fired a two dollar bullet at him? Or after such a air tight case, with a dozen law enforcement witnesses, the shooter is just put to death immediately? Maybe using something more simple like a guillotine.

People blame society for this type of crime. Gun companies are blamed for producing the tool that the shooter used. Computer game companies are blamed for creating violent games. Rap singers are blamed for violent lyrics and questionable videos. Movies are blamed for exalting violent lifestyles. Blame, blame, blame…..

Maybe the shooter was just bad. Maybe the single mom cut the shooter off while trying to get her kids to school. Maybe the shooter had nothing to live for and thought that life in prison would be easier.

Hundreds of years ago the man would have been executed quickly and efficiently. But now we are more civilized and think that we can fix them. Or that they have mental issues and don’t really know what they are doing. Are we more civilized? Is the death of an innocent person any different now than it was back then? I don’t think so.

If the case is tight and there is no doubt. Just execute them. This would rid the world of thousands of criminals, save tax payers millions of dollars and there would be less crime.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Tanja October 20, 2011, 1:49 pm

    You make prison sound like a health club Marc. I’ve never been to prison but I went through the public school system and I visited my father who was consigned to a state run nursing home for years. Both of those experiences were close enough to prison for my tastes. The food alone would do me in. 🙂

    I honor your opinion although I choose to disagree. I don’t believe in killing animals or humans. It’s my own weird personality glitch. I think maybe if there were less people arrested the prison system wouldn’t cost so much to maintain. I’m not talking about when violence took place, but maybe for other smaller things. A person can go to jail for refusing to pay a parking ticket.

    • Marc Morgan October 20, 2011, 2:04 pm

      LOL yes I generalized a little on the health club aspect of prison.

      How do we (as a society) make it so that fewer people choose to commit crime?

  • Lisa October 20, 2011, 2:26 pm

    Wow… very well said.

    I know there are a lot of people against the death penalty, and I do get the whole “what if there’s .00001 percent chance that the convicted person is actually innocent” argument against it. That’s a horrible thought. None of us (productive, humane, law-abiding citizens) want to be responsible for the death of an innocent person. I do understand that concern, but I think it’s led us astray.

    We have lost our way. I believe that by dramatically extending and enriching the lives and living circumstances of of the rightfully convicted death-penalty inmate, we are doing more harm than good. Fiscally, alone, we put twice as much money, per person, into the care and feeding of the average Texas inmate as we do into education of our children. Death row inmates cost even more to keep alive. Why are we spending resources we don’t have on people who have forfeited their right to life by brutally and intentionally depriving others of their own?? I bet that statement will garner some objections, but it had to be said. Because some people just deserve to die.

    See, we’ve become distracted. We’ve forgotten the victims for whom justice is sought. We’ve forgotten that this is about public safety. It’s about welfare of our society at large. People who commit crimes worthy of the death penalty are societal threats that should be disposed of immediately after they are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and sentenced to die. My grandparents knew that. So did theirs. Why is it so difficult for people to swallow today?

    I like what you said. If the case if tight, and there is no doubt, just execute them. Because some people really do deserve to die.

    Sources:
    *http://www.texaspolicy.com/pdf/2008-LegeEntry-CorrectionsBudget-ml.pdf
    **http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20110128-texas-slips-in-per-pupil-education-spending-among-states.ece

    • Marc Morgan October 20, 2011, 2:32 pm

      Kind of sad about the spending put into the education of the children that will be our future.

      Thank you Lisa

  • Matt Lindley November 6, 2011, 10:57 am

    I would be more open to the death penalty if it were not for all the mistakes we have made. We, meaning the TX court system. As a general rule, I don’t believe in the death penalty, though, had I been an officer in that donut shop, I probably would have shot the man.

    I prefer a more controversial solution. No death penalty. Instead, people who would normally be executed get to be test subjects for pharmaceutical purposes. Or to try out radical new surgical procedures. At least then, we can get something back for society, rather than just wasting a life. I would even being open to accepting non-death row volunteers for such experiments, in exchange for a reduced sentences for voluntary participants. Is it humane? Not really. But, I don’t see the current system as all that humane either, imho.

    As for how cushy the prisons are… I agree. I always liked the warden who made his inmates do a lot of hard labor, fed them nothing but peanut butter sandwiches. And kept their basic living requirements at an absolute minimum, with no access to tv, magazines, newspapers, etc. His prison seemed to have a relatively low return rate. Can’t remember his name or where that prison was.

  • Honey Lou May 7, 2012, 1:24 pm

    Very good article, couldn’t agree more. Well said.

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