Saturday, March 19, 2005

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A few days ago a serial killer was executed in Iran, the mother of one of his victims was allowed to put the hangman's noose around his neck. The brother of a victim was allowed to stab him as he was being beaten and tortured before being executed, in public before a shouting and screaming mass of vultures. This was a horrid excuse for a human being. He was a rapist and a serial killer, he tortured young girls. I do not have misplaced sympathy for this man don't misunderstand me, yet it has made me change my opinion on one thing. For a few years I have thought that if we were to have executions, which I disagree with whole heartedly, then they should be public and bloody and brutal so people could see what state sanction murder was really is: murder. I WAS WRONG. I was wrong. Too many of us give into the darker demons of our human nature it seems for there to be public bloody executions, as a way to deter people from killing each other in the name of justice.

This post by Volokh, a con law professor and a respected one at that this week has shown me this; we have traveled so far down the path of disregard for human life, if we deem it of little value, whether it be because of religion or criminal background or regionalism that not only is the death penalty acceptable it isn't enough. Torture is a healthy expression of our anger, and we can and should amend the Constitution to allow for it. Obscene.

This should have passed as a fleeting fancy on the part of a smart man who had a moment of supreme stupidity. Yet, as we know the right wing blogs spread things like wild fire, and this morning I went to a mixed board where I have debated with people for over a year. There I see that the young girl in Florida who went missing three weeks ago, has been found. She was raped and murdered by a pedophile. The rightwingers on the board are calling not only for his execution now, which is what they would have wanted a week and a half ago, but for his torture as well.

I cannot comprehend wanting to see someone die. I cannot comprehend wanting to see someone tortured. What are we becoming when we are starting to advocate for the torture of a man before we kill him at the hand of the state?