Re: Escaping Planet of the Apes: was [MEDIA] Chicago Suntime's death penalty poll

Joe E. Dees (
Wed, 2 Dec 1998 23:05:46 -0600

Date sent:      	Wed, 02 Dec 1998 20:27:06 -0800
From:           	Paul Hughes <>
Organization:   	Planet P
Subject:        	Re: Escaping Planet of the Apes: was [MEDIA] Chicago Suntime's death 
	penalty  poll
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> "Joe E. Dees" wrote:
> > Most death penalty opponents have never had a family member
> > murdered; the change in their opinions that occurs when this
> > happens is remarkable. And just exactly how would you rehabilitate
> > a Ted Bundy, or a Jeffrey Dahmer, or a John Wayne Gacy? Joe
> > >
> Surprise! I used to be a supporter of the Death Penalty until I read Robert Anton's Wilson's Book
> "Cosmic Trigger" in which he adamantly opposed the death penalty for the person who killed his
> daughter. Consequently, one of my closest friends also argued to spare the life of a person
> convicted of killing his FiancÚ.
> However, your observation is *not* remarkable at all. I highly suspect that most people who are
> against the death penalty will change sides as soon as one of their own is murdered. This is not
> proof of their rationality, only proof that they are operating on a primitive emotional-terretorial
> circuit's need for vengeance.
> I agree with Michael Lorrey, that a "well armed society is a polite society" - that's why I own two
> guns myself. Lets be clear about one thing, I am against state sponsored executions, but I
> strongly support the the right of an individual to defend themselves by any means necessary. One is
> done for irrational vengeance, the other is done as a matter of immediate survival.
> Paul Hughes

I reiterate that deterrence is a rational reason to support the death penalty, and restate that deterrence does work in the case of the murderer who, once executed, will never kill again. You may not like the fact that it is both rational and true, but your emotional reaction has nothing to do with the logical consistency of this position. Joe