All humans have the right not to be killed, except to defend life. Because I believe and defend this right, I hate the death penalty. I’m not sure that “punishment” is an ethical element of “capital punishment.” Ethicists and philosophers, as well as religious leaders, disagree about whether human life is endangered more by allowing killers to live versus execution.
This 2001 article about the 1998 kidnapping, rape, murder by stabbing, and dismemberment of 16 year old Jennifer Long takes my sympathy away.
While on parole after serving 17 years for shooting a robbery victim in the head twice, the man whose name I won’t give, killed two women, one 16 years old and the other, 80.
Jennifer’s murder was the first of at least two. Convicted and in a Kansas prison for beating 80 year old Mary Ruth Bales, a frail survivor of childhood polio, to death with a claw hammer, the murderer tried to game the prison system. He offered to trade information about an unsolved case – Jennifer and her death – for a transfer from a State to a Federal prison.
The murderer of two, attempted murderer of at least one, was executed by Federal authorities, 22 years after Jennifer and Mary died at his hands.