I overheard a feasible argument, at least for me, over a local public broadcasting radio station today defending the State’s use of capital punishment. I do not subscribe to Biblical morals nor the Code of Hammurabi, in this instance that an “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, will advance society’s interest. The argument supports the view that The State’s defense is advanced by meting out capital punishment so that convicted murderous felons are no longer able to recommit serious crimes against it. This argument addresses punishment and justice issues although deterrence continues an unresolved matter. Cost issues were mentioned but an expert panelist declared life in prison versus execution costs to be comparable. However, by taking the life of the convict s/he will no longer be able to commit any crime in the future. Thus, there is finality (punishment) to further wrong doing committed against The State by this person. Also, an individual set on committing a serious crime, may not intend or desire to kill others, but s/he should have foreseen that individuals may loose their lives during the commission of the unlawful act and is therefore blameworthy for any deaths that result. The guilty verdict, of course, is decided upon by a jury of the defendant’s peers.
This being satisfactory to my current outlook on the matter, I continue to dread war (both undeclared, declared, and civil rebellion – to wit, the U. S. War of Independence & Civil War; the French Revolution; the Russian (communist) Revolution of the early twentieth century, etc.), collateral damage, and State sponsored murder. Life’s lessons are up to each of us to contemplate, rationalize, and heed.