Blood on our hands
by Capt Fogg
"summa awilum in mar awilim uhtappid insu uhappadu"
If a man destroy another's eye, his eye shall be destroyed.
-Code of Hammurabi, 1795-1750 BC-
It's funny in a grisly sort of way, to listen to the moral absolutists try to avoid the fact that if you kill a man for a crime he didn't commit, you are a murderer; A murderer with an excuse perhaps, but a murderer none the less. Of course some versions of morality insist that if you kill anyone you were not forced to kill, it's murder. Morality is no more absolute than any other opinion.
In my opinion, arguing for the Death penalty by saying that most of the people you kill are guilty, aren't worth the rebuttal; it only takes one to make it murder and one to make us all accessories, and the fact seems to be that it's been quite a bit more than one. Arguments that justify the probability of killing at least a few innocents, or indeed for killing anyone because doctrine says it's a deterrent are simply arguments for expedience and from fear, not from reason. Arguments that depend on some cosmic system of double entry book keeping are arguments from an ancient religious tradition with no basis in the actual cosmos. I'm fed up with all these attempts to justify hate crimes and so apparently are others.
It's New Jersey however, and not some Bible Belt state that has taken the lead by stepping away from blood sacrifice and away from the totalitarian notion that a life can be taken in cold blood by some committee of citizens made sufficiently angry by paid professionals. To this writer, it provides a glimmer of hope that the United States might some day follow the path of enlightenment, but just a glimmer.
Cross posted from Human Voices