On Cruelty and Punishment

I am not opposed to capital punishment in cases where a person has been found guilty of murder and cannot claim any defensible reason for the action. But I refuse to support the use of cruelty in the process.

The state, being a representation of the people’s will, should not lower itself to the level of the criminal by instituting a vindictive, eye-for-eye system of emotional satisfaction. It is my opinion that doing so would establish the state and the people represented as being no better than the criminal.

The state that I want to be associated with is a civilized state that can execute an irreconcilable murderer in the quickest and most humane way possible, simply as a means of eliminating the logical problem of a murderous person living in our midst. This function has absolutely no need for excessive cruelty.

Good people have always been able to recognize this concept which has been embodied in legal systems since at least 1689 when the phrase “Cruel and Unusual Punishment” was added to the English Bill of Rights

excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted;

…and a century later adapted, almost verbatim, by the American Bill of Rights, specifically, in the 8th Amendment.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

To the millions of Americans who seem to have a problem accepting this legal and moral standing because they think criminals “deserve” the worst, I suggest they turn to Jesus for guidance.