There’s a new fad sweeping the nation, and for once I’m ahead of the curve. It’s called the death penalty, and it’s the reason you woke up this morning with your face intact. Where at one time an escaped serial killer would more than likely have murdered you in gruesome fashion while you slept, you’re now probably going to live, so you can finally relax. No more revising your last will and testament every night. No more questioning why you’re setting your alarm when you’ll probably be long dead by the time it goes off. No more putting on your best-looking clothes before bed so you’ll look nice in case you die and an attractive stranger finds your body. And who can we thank for these lifted burdens? Well, there’s some debate as to who created the death penalty, but it’s probably safe to say they got the idea from YouTube.
But what is the death penalty? Well, here’s how the whole thing works: A guy kills somebody, the government kills him, and now the guy can’t kill anybody else, see? Sure, the government keeps killing, but they stop once all the killers are gone, except for themselves. So it’s not a perfect system, but it reduces the number of killers in the world from millions of disparate, elusive individuals to a single, unstoppable nationwide entity with utter legal supremacy. Get it?
But some people oppose it. Why?
First, some people say that the death penalty is a “cruel and unusual” punishment. But what’s so unusual about it? People die every day and sometimes they haven’t even killed anybody. And did you know it’s a crime to tamper with a smoke detector on a plane? What’s more unusual than that? It’s like geez, I’m not gonna break it or anything, I’m just tampering. Lay off already. As for cruel? A lethal injection causes about as much pain as a herpes vaccination, and it’s way more effective. Plus sometimes cruel is what’s necessary. It’s called letting the punishment fit the crime, like when Michael Vick killed those dogs for killing other dogs in the ring.
Second, some folks claim that the fact that people could receive the death penalty doesn’t effectively deter them from committing capital crimes. And I agree—woulda, coulda, shoulda. The fact that people will get the death penalty would be a much better detergent. Sorry, deterrent.
Third, everyone worries about an innocent man getting the death penalty. Well, that’s simple, just don’t give out the death penalty unless you’re, like, really sure. Plus if we just get rid of the death penalty altogether, then many guilty people won’t get killed. Isn’t that way worse?
Better to kill a thousand innocent men than abolish the death penalty, as the saying goes.
Finally (okay, there are other “arguments”, but they’re all even weaker than the ones I listed), people say that the death penalty is racist and socioeconomically biased. This is the only legitimate critique of the death penalty, but it’s hardly grounds for abolishing it. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like ever since slavery people just want to abolish anything that’s racist. Overreact much? But before I’m accused of ignoring facts, I will admit that the death penalty is given out more frequently to ethnic minorities and the poor. And I will readily concede that because the death penalty is a suitable punishment and an effective deterrent against violent crime, these subcultures are better served by justice and eventually become safer and more law-abiding, which is egregiously unfair to the white majority. But this is a matter of misapplication; the problem isn’t fundamental enough to warrant that type of ban.
So next time someone tries to bully you for embracing new-age criminal justice, just stick to your guns and remember: capital punishment is fine in theory, it’s only becomes a problem when it’s not…properly executed.
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