The Death Penalty – Much Ado About Nothing

Every time there’s a particularly outrageous crime, the  public fervor – fanned by the media –  for the death penalty as a means to control crime rages higher. Each time the Governor vetoes death penalty  legislation, sycophantic politicians – forgive the  redundancy – go out of their way to assure their  constituencies that they are all in favor of visiting death  on malefactors in order to eliminate the crime problem.

Indeed, hand in glove with the clamor for the death  penalty is a litany of the derelictions of duty by judges  and prosecutors when they fail to mete out the most severe  jail sentences on those convicted of crimes.

Lack of the death penalty and turnstile justice, is  blamed, as not only a significantly exacerbating factor,  but as the root cause of the crime problem.

This clamor persists, despite the fact that the death  penalty and harsh sentences are the last and least  effectual measures in a long line of failures that began  long before the malcontents and neer-do-wells arrived at the  jailhouse.

First in the line of responsibility, of course, are the  parents. Each and every horrific crime is committed by  somebody’s once upon a time baby. Swaddled in ‘jammies, the  little tikes were each raised or abused, treated or  tortured, by parents into being the man or woman he or she  was at the moment they undertook a life of crime or  prostitution.

Are the parents in the crowd of clamorers for the death  penalty even aware of how they contributed far more to the  crime problem and the un-quality of life today? When parents  shout and hoot  for death for some unalterably socio-pathic personality, do they ever consider the fact that  they, or some other parents, started this malcreant on the  road to perdition?

Second in line of responsibility for the crime problem,  are the teachers. Did they not have they hardened criminal  in their hands long before the court system; when their  pupil was far softer, more pliable, impressionable? And  what did they do with the stuff that was entrusted to them  for education and guidance? Did the teachers nurture the  creative spirit? Did they lead he or she onto paths of  righteousness? Was this end product of violence and  criminality then apparent? And if so, did the teachers  fulfill their responsibility, and re-direct the forces  within the then beginning to twist soul?

Do the clamorers in the crowd of death penalty  proponents imprecate the teachers as having failed, as  being responsible for the production of monsters.

Within our education system, there are facilities and  specialists trained to deal with souls taking a wrong  updraft, an ill wind. Did these specialists exert their  full effort to turn about the souls drifting toward the  rocky shore?

Neighbors. Everyone has neighbors. Did neighbors,  seeing the young souls floundering exert any interest, any  direction, seek any help, advise any authorities?

Priests, clergymen, all, what effort was put into the  poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind, to  ensure that they would be saved and protected?

When the miscreants fall into the hands of prosecutors  and judges, it is far too late, the end of the line. All  others have failed, and now the cry is for the prosecutors  or judges to kill or destroy the mistakes and failures of a  long line of others.

Too late!

Those who shall replace the already condemned failures in jails are amongst the children already in yours or your neighbor’s  homes, in the schools, on the road to the courthouse.

Education, not eradication; quality time, not jail  time, would be better spent. Educate the educators; educate  would-be parents. Perhaps restrict procreation of children  until the education of parents is in place.


A monstrous thought, you say? A total violation of  personal rights?

Think about what a violation of personal rights it is to ignore a child until he or she becomes the end product of ill-education and mal-treatment.

Besides, if you can’t say ‘you must be educated and able to deal with children before you have them’, how can you say to some other human being ‘sit down in this electric chair’.