3 responses

  1. Because violence begets violence. And we are better than they are.

    I like what Patton Oswalt said about all of this on his Facebook page:

    “But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in a while, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.

    But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evildoers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

    So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, ‘The good outnumber you, and we always will.'”

  2. Because “[i]t is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”.

    The taking of an innocent citizen’s life by the state through legal process, is, in my mind, the most grievous error a government can make. I’m sure most agree the legal process is not infallible. If that’s true, and if the death penalty is an available punishment, it is inevitable that an innocent person will be executed by the state for a crime he or she did not commit (according to the Innocence Project (I think), it seems this has already happened). This alone is enough to convince me, and there are many other persuasive arguments about the inefficacy of the death penalty (ineffective deterrent, expensive, corrosive effect on social mores, etc.).

    Also, my personal feeling is that while the desire for retribution is natural, it is trait that we should be discouraging, not indulging. The sort of bloodlust exhibited after horrible events like the Boston bombings is understandable but frightening. The mis-identification of suspects online and general pre-judgment by the public, coupled with a desire to see justice done is a bad combination. Like the poster above said, violence begets violence.

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