Sunday, December 05, 2004

 

Man Asks for Death Before Murder Trial.

Well, this here sure is unusual:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - In what experts say is a rare occurrence, a man accused of murdering two children and attacking their mother has asked a judge to let him plead guilty and to sentence him to death.

"I only wish the judge to sentence me to death so no one can feel responsible for another's death, including mine," Marco Allen Chapman wrote in a letter to Circuit Judge Tony Frohlich read in court in October.
Rest of the story can be read here.I'm sure anti-death penalty advocates will be all over this case, arguing that it's an attempt at "suicide by state."

I say good on Mr. Chapman.

It's true that his death can't bring back his victims. But, it's equally as true that spending his life in prison can't bring back his victims, either.

If it's possible for a murderer to die an honorable death, this probably comes closest. He recognizes the harm he did, and he is willing to pay the ultimate price to avoid further suffering on the part of the living, knowing that this murderer lives.

Good enough for me.

How can I be so cavalier? It's because I don't support the death penalty for its deterrent value, if it has any.

If anything, the lack of rigorous and constant enforcement of the death penalty renders it less moral than if more murderers were executed. As it stands, endless appeals and sentencing discrepancies diminish the power of the death penalty.

However, even if the deterrent value of the death penalty is reduced, I still feel that there is a place for the death penalty, as a mechanism to render justice.

Only one murderer executed while a thousand survive on death row doesn't make me lament the fate of that one exectued murderer; it means that in at least once case, justice has been served. I don't need justice in every case to justify justice served in one.

And, it looks as if Mr Chapman understands the power of that justice.

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