Monday, April 04, 2005

Amnesty International is wrong on the death penalty

BBC NEWS | Americas | Death penalty 'at record levels'

According to this report, Amnesty International is against the death penalty because it "it violates fundamental rights and is applied unfairly."

The questions, then, are whether there is a fundamental right not to be executed, and whether it matters if the death penalty is applied "fairly".

There is no fundamental right not to be executed. There IS, however, a fundamental right not to be murdered (and no, lawful execution by the state is not murder). What's more, there is a fundamental right not to be preyed upon, period.

I believe in "three strikes you're dead". Habitual predators ought not be tolerated. They should be executed. The deterrent effect of capital punishment, contrary to what anti-death-penalty activits claim, is real and significant.

As for the death penalty being applied unfairly, sure, it's a human endeavor and therefore imperfect. The correct approach, though, is to improve the process not toss the tool. Where is the fairness in tolerating disproportionately increased murders among blacks (most murder of black people is by black people) simply because of a distaste for capital punishment?

Jack Kevorkian lingers in prison until at least 2007 for helping people out of hopeless situations, yet predatory thugs are released from prison every day to commit more crime, many times murder. That's sick.

In this case, Amnesty International is flat wrong.

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