09 June 2006

nothing more to lose

Oklahoma expands death penalty

Oklahoma just became the fifth state to introduce lethal injection as a punishment for certain categories of sex crimes, including rape, sodomy, or lewd molestation of somebody under 14. Personally, I support the death penalty, and most efforts to streamline appeals. However, I agree with the following quote by David Brook, a law professor at Washington and Lee University "The last message you want to give an offender who has the life of a child in his hands is you might as well kill the child because he's already got the death penalty". As appealing as it is to throw the book at certain people, it's not good to inadvertently cause them to do more damage because they have nothing more to lose.

I just don't know, though. In Singapore, people are executed for drug posession and other non-fatal crimes. I'm not sure the murder rate there, and I'd be curious, as it may add something to the U.S. debate over the death penalty as applied to non-murderers. All I do know is that most prisoners are hanged (by maybe a 4-1 ratio) for drug posession, and not murder.

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