Friday, May 2, 2014



As a liberal caring person that attempts to follow the teachings of the Buddha, I abhor the state executions of human beings.   Any incident of people executed by a government is a crime against humanity.   Even though it is kept secret – removed from the view of the public – it is still barbaric; whether administered by hanging, stoning,  beheading, shooting, electric chair, boiling in oil, dismembering or lethal injection.

But then:
The prisoner recently executed in the state of Oklahoma was sentenced to death as the result of a home invasion where he raped a young girl, shot her and then buried her alive.   Had this happened to someone I cared for I would gleefully kill him myself – slow and painfully. 

My dilemma

the Ol’Buzzard 


  1. Well, he died slowly and painfully. I am also of two minds. Punishment/revenge vs rehabilitation/permanent lock-up. Locking someone like that up then letting the other prisoners take care of him is an option but a cop-out. I never want to have to play god in that manner.

  2. In the USA, this is a state sovereignity issue. Each state is it's own little republic in a sense. France used the guillotine until the 1970's then abolished the death penalty along with most western countries. An interesting fact, if considered as a sovereign state, Texas would be in the top 10 countries for death penalty statistics. What do we know? The death penalty kills people, but it doesn't deter crimes. In the states that use the death penalty, you really have to look at the socio economic statistics in the way it is applied. I would like to believe that I can rationally say I oppose the death penalty, but as you tow fellows emotion and anger couldn't guarantee that I would. Sometimes the easiest solution is to just take 'em out in back of the barn. In the long run, it is the standards a society holds it self to which enobles it. By agreeing to live in a more humane society, we create a more humane world for ourselves. So, yes, I am morally opposed to the death penalty, but errr, well, Yer, Honor, the feller was cheatin' at cards, so I just had to do away with him!

  3. One More Thing: Have you ever served on a jury in a murder or attempted murder case? I have 3 times in NY City and I have to admit I found the experience fascinating, frustrating and rewarding. Normally, I cannot stand the concept of "group think", but this is different, there is the first, the law and then you have to be able to argue your viewpoint as to how you believe it applies to the letter of the law.

  4. No dilemma here. If they are caught in the act and witnessed by more than one party, execution on the spot is called for ! No trial just quick sure justice.
    However ,if it has to be proven in a court of law...reasonable doubt will always exist and life in prison is the only fair punishment.

  5. I was always an advocate of the death penalty until Indiana executed somebody I knew. I now favor life without parole but in a super-max environment. Plus, there is the cost to the taxpayers for the constant appeals of the death penalty that may take over twenty years to consider.
    Here in Indiana - We had a case up in INDY where are habitual criminal killed a IPD officer and Marion County went for life without parole in a plea bargain to avoid a costly death penalty case. I think that was wise - the prosecutor could have easily gotten the death penalty in this case and he knew it.

    But I agree with OB on one thing - You hurt someone I love and the next hand wiping your ass will be a mortician's.


  6. I'm thinking karma had a hand in his death...imagine what that child went a pagan I have problems with my indifference when he had a slow agonizing death...I'll just double up on my good deeds..

  7. Before white man's law in the Eskimo villages if a man killed another man it was accepted that the family of the victim would judge the killer and decide his punishment - including death. Non-lethal punishment consisted of publicly shaming the perpetrator.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  8. One more thing...I think we all arrived at the same emotional response...If I was the one making a snap reactive decision, I would probably be the judge, jury and executioner. That is exactly why we need compassionate laws and a functioning just legal system I liked the eskimo law story. The same kind of tribal justice is pretty much a part of the creeds of most North American Indian tribes. There is a big, big difference between self defense and revenge. Revenge is a trap.

  9. It seems the idea of the death penalty can bring out the very worse in people who support it. They just turn ugly when they talk about it and I do not get them. At all!
    I think killing someone yourself because they hurt a person you love is completely different than the systematic killing by the state for the people. I could also see myself killing someone if they hurt my son, but that is not the same thing. It would be killing from passion and not being able to think or choose at the moment.
    Killing people by the state is thought out, supposedly rationally, and done as revenge or retribution, two very nebulous ideas that only bring out hate and the very worse in people supporting these ideas. I saw a very good movie last week, "The Son", about a man who helps the boy who killed his son. Forgiveness helps heal pain while anger and revenge only bring about more pain. Killing has nothing to do with justice.


COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."