Tuesday, November 10, 2009

John Allen Muhammed executed tonight

Yes, Beltway Sniper John Allen Muhammed was executed earlier tonight, and I was, as always, extremely dismayed at the sense of celebration I've seen from press releases and even among my friends. For the record, as I've stated many times before, I oppose the death penalty. I can't see that it's about anything but revenge. The most disturbing comment was a post on Facebook wishing that not only Muhammed but his accomplice Lee Malvo got the chair. The electric chair was a terribly cruel method of execution, and I've stated before how I feel about Malvo's involvement in the crimes. But, of course, I didn't support the death penalty for Muhammed either. All that happens is, as Camus wrote in his essay "Reflections on the Guillotine," is the barely cloaked sadism of the masses, relieved that the usually hidden part of their psyches finally has an outlet against a "bad" person, and the chance to revel in the thought of a now-dead criminal burning in hell, and wishing that he had a more painful death. There is something extremely troubling about otherwise decent human beings wishing pain and suffering on another human being, even if that person is a murderer. There is a very simple saying, but it's so true: two wrongs don't make a right.

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