First off, I don't have a problem executing a person for certain crimes. I believe we should add rapists and pedophiles to the list. The problem I have is in the execution, so to speak. Personally, I'm for harsher sentences rather than more lenient ones. But if we're gonna put people to death, let's be honest about it. Let's just say some crimes are so bad you deserve the ultimate punishment if you commit them. The death penalty, the way it's practiced in the U.S., it's no deterrent.
If you want a deterrent, do it the way it's done in countries where it works. The death penalty works when the public makes the connection between the crime and the punishment. How many people really remember the headlines when Tookie Williams was arrested 26 years ago? They're gonna torch his ass any day now. How many people remember what this last guy did? There's no connection. If you want a deterrent, you gotta put 'em down sooner.
Take this guy in Florida who abducted, raped, and killed the little girl. By the time they stick the needle in his arm, the only ones who'll remember is the girl's family. If you want to make the cause/effect relationship stick, ya gotta do it soon. Like next week, while it's still fresh in people's minds. Ya also gotta do it publicly.
Fuck this middle of the night thing with 10 witnesses. Do it in prime time, like right before Monday Night Football. Make it good too. Shit, the kids are desensitized from playing Grand Theft Auto, let's go back to hangings. Nothing brings the point across like seeing somebody twisting at the end of a rope. Beheadings are good too, just ask the Arabs. Put it on every channel too, so everybody has to watch it. It's like the Lotto drawings. Once a week, every Monday, just before Al and John 'git ya ready fer some football', there'll be the weekly hangin' hour. And then people will make the connection.
Rape and kill a little kid = Monday night.
Until that happens, let's call it what it is. It's not a deterrent, it's just a way for the powerless to believe they have some measure of retribution.
Note: I gotta stop waxing satirical. Judging from the comments I received over night, either I do satire really badly or you folks don't get it. I'm going for the former. You guys take me far too seriously sometimes. For the record:
Okay, I'm done now.
Go see the guy in the fancy suit too.