The Death Penalty vs. Abortion

death-penalty.pngTim Pool just published the video Bill Barr has Just Reinstated the Federal Death Penalty and Ordered 5 Executions on his bitchute/youtube channel. He immediately came under fire because he’s against capital punishment but largely pro-choice. One commenter claimed that his stance was cognitively dissonant (i.e. contradictory). I disagree, and largely agree with Pool, though I’d say I’m far less pro-choice than he is.

The big difference between the death penalty and abortion is that the death penalty is executed by the state, while abortion’s are performed by a doctor, at a patient’s request. I don’t believe that the state can be trusted with my life. I would put slightly more faith in a doctor to do the right thing by an unborn child.

My big problem with capital punishment is that death is such a final punishment that even guilt beyond a reasonable doubt seems insufficient to me. There are many well documented cases of men who were wrongfully convicted and later exonerated who, had they been subject to the death penalty, would have been murdered by the state. Killing, other than in self defense, is immoral no matter who does it.

On the other hand, if a doctor believes that a pregnancy is putting the life of a mother at risk, I find it hard to censure the doctor for trying to do the least harm to the mother by killing her unborn child. While the child has no say in the matter, weighing a good chance that the mother will survive vs. a good chance that both mother and child will die seems like something that should be left to a medical professional.

So what should be done with someone you’re almost certain has committed murder, and might be expected to do so again? Does the state have the right to decide on our behalf to spend our money to incarcerate a murderer for life? In the past, communities would simply banish murderers, but that left the murderer free to kill again, albeit in someone else’s town. Is there a solution to the problem that doesn’t give the state the power to commit murder?

A two strike rule seems to be a step in the right direction, in that the guilty party is less likely to be wrongly convicted twice, and has shown that they were not deterred from committing crime by their first prison term. In the case of murder, this means that the death of the second victim could have been prevented, but assuming that the murderer’s previous crime wasn’t a capital crime, that would be true in any case.

If you believe the right’s of the innocent outweigh the rights of a murderer, its hard to argue that either the murderer must be prevented from committing further crimes by incarceration or that they should be executed. Perhaps this is one of the rare cases where handing power to the state really does make sense. Maybe a jury trial that finds someone guilty of murder and sees no chance of their being able to rejoin society in future should be able to refer a decision on the death penalty to a higher court.


About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
This entry was posted in philosophy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s