Death Penalty (was Re: Didn't need no welfare state)

From: James Rogers (
Date: Mon Apr 17 2000 - 19:21:35 MDT

On Mon, 17 Apr 2000, Zero Powers wrote:
> >From:
> >Here's another political incongruity:
> >Most people who are pro-life (antiabortion) are FOR the death penalty.
> >
> >I guess it's OK to kill children, as long as you wait until they grow up --
> >unwanted and in poverty -- so they can kill someone else first!
> I'm pro-choice and pro-death penalty. At least I'm consistent, but I am
> kind of troubled about what that says about the value I place on human life.

Actually, I changed my stance on the death penalty (from "for" to
"against") because of a discussion on this very list a few years back.
One of the primary reasons I hang out here is that occasionally someone on
this list will make such a lucid argument that I am forced to reconsider my
positions, which IMO, is a very good thing.

While I am very big on individual self defense, I have come to abhor
state-sponsored killing in general. As things currently stand in most if
not all countries, the state is not held to the same standards of
justifiable homicide as the individual. While creating such a standard
effectively eliminates the death penalty, in the absence of such a
standard I would prefer to explicitly eliminate this ability from the
state. Arguably, only individuals can have the right of
self-defense anyway, since the government is made up of nothing more than
individuals. The primary advantage of holding the government to the same
standards as the individual is that it turns "justifiable homicide" into a
double-edged sword; every time the state lowers the standard by which they
can kill someone, they increase their own vulnerability to getting
legally killed.

-James Rogers

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