Shelley asks what we think of the death penalty…that’s an easy one to answer. I am absolutely against it; I think it brutalizes the culture, puts untoward power in the hands of government, and since I have little trust in the reliability of the court system, allows irreversible and tragic errors. I don’t have to go on about it, though: just read Wilkins. I’ve decided to let him think for me this month.
One other thing I’d add, though: the death penalty isn’t even an effective deterrent. For it to work, you have to assume that death penalty offenses are committed in a rational state of mind, and further, that there are no rational grounds for assuming one will be able to get away with it. Neither condition is true.