Re: The pool we're trying to paddle in

From: J Corbally (
Date: Sun Apr 15 2001 - 07:25:22 MDT

>Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 17:16:23 -0800
>From: Lee Corbin <>
>Subject: Re: The pool we're trying to paddle in
>J Corbally wrote
> > Seems to me like the death penalty is more a case of
> > legalized communal revenge than anything to do with
> > justice. The idea that a Govt. can actually kill
> > someone is disturbing.
>Isn't the idea that a government can put you in prison for
>life, deny you any chance to pursue a career, or marry, or
>travel, or even have children equally disturbing to you?

As disturbing as ending that existence? Not by a mile, no.

>You perhaps may want to bring about a situation where
>person A can in fact kill person B, but no government
>can kill person A regardless of what he has done.

Person A can in fact kill person B, but it is violating the law. Why
should a Government be allowed to bypass that law? For the protection of
society? I've yet to see a good reason.

>Also, isn't it better to let ten thousand guilty men
>go free rather than deprive an innocent man of his
>livelihood, his freedom, and his family? (Never mind
>what the ten thousand guilty men may do; apparently
>what's important is that our own hands, i.e., our
>government's hands, remain clean.)

I fail to see the connection between the 10,000 "guilty" men and the one
"innocent" one. We don't decide one on the basis of the other. Let each
one be judged on its' own merits. Justice isn't measured by how many
guilty we discard for every innocent. It isn't a performance ratio. It's
about a process to determine the actual sequence of events and individuals
involved in an incident. And it errs on the side of the accused, for good
reason. If that's having clean hands, be it an individual or Government,
then I can certainly live with that.


"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and
crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures
to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid."
-Q, Star Trek:TNG episode 'Q Who'

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