Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Fear Continues To Masquerade As Justice (

Quote: The jurors would have been more convincing had they just come out and said they were seeking revenge on behalf of all who wanted it, people such as Marion Lewis, father of Lori Lewis Rivera, who was killed Oct. 3, 2002.

"I think I'd like 10 minutes alone with [Muhammad]," he said. "They wouldn't have to worry about an execution."

But we all know that it would be wrong to let him do that. Why, then, is it right for the state to do it not just on his behalf, but for the "public good"?

Fair enough, up to the last of those paragraphs...had Marion Lewis had the chance to kill Muhammad immediately following the shooting of his daughter, he might have stood a good chance of walking away a free man...wrongness is a variable thing.

I can't really buy the "for the public good" argument, either, unless it's "for the good of the public's sense of fairness". What is right and what is fair are often at odds, and many people feel that it's fair for Muhammad to die, even if it's not "right", in the sense that killing people is wrong.

I know that I would feel similar to Marion Lewis, were I in his shoes, and in a sense, because of the fact that the media carries events like this to everyone at the same time, I *was* in his shoes. I imagined how it would feel to have one of my children taken from me that way, and I got very angry...not a good argument for the death penalty, but an indication of how deeply the killings affected everyone, including myself.

The death penalty may be vile, but one could argue it is far less so than the crimes of those who receive it. I don't know if it's right for Muhammad to die, but it seems fair to me.

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