"I'm sure he does deserve to die. There are many who live who deserve to die. There are many who die, who deserve to live. Can you give them that, also? Then do not be so quick to judge!" (Gandalf, LOTR)
For myself, no, I don't believe he does deserve to die. How does it punish someone to kill them? The families of the victims will still be suffering, and the culprit is then feeling nothing at all. (Which, at worst, is no different from what they were feeling when they were alive.)
So, who, in truth, is being punished? Seems to me that the culprit isn't suffering, feeling remorse, repenting of their wrongdoing, or doing very much at all, once they're dead.
On the other hand, you're closing the door forever on the victims ever understanding their loss or grief. You're forever denying them any real closure, but inprisoning them in a fantasy world. You punish people, through Capital Punishment, alright. You punish the victims of crime, not the perpetrators.
Who else suffers from this? People rarely become dangerous or deadly, for no reason. There's often an environmental cause. "The Truman Show" and "The Prisoner" might not have been "real-life", but they reflect the way many people really do live. In closed-mouthed, closed-minded, deny-everything worldlets. Such environments created the Columnine kids. The abuse they lived through, the denial of reality they experienced, so twisted their minds that the only way they knew to get out was to destroy as much of that world as they could.
These people aren't "poor, innocent victims", but they had a LOT of help getting to where they went. You willing to execute those who taught them to become murderers, et al? Or are you willing to keep the cause in society? After all, keeping the cause around means you've a steady stream of business for Death Row.
If you want to punish, then don't discriminate. Punish ALL involved, EQUALLY. But you won't do that, will you? That would likely mean looking at yourself, seeing if YOU would deserve such punishment, and you're not going to take that risk. (Let's face it, who would? That's why the causes DON'T end up in jail, and why those they twisted do.)
If you want to get past the philosophical angle, though, then you punish every tax-payer, by having a Death Row. The security and all the other costs involved are significant. The inmate isn't going to be saddled with the bill. It's everyone else.
"But locking them up would cost more!" Says who? And since I'm opposed to incarceration in any form, since it DOES breed crime, such logic is fallacious to start with.
So, what would I suggest? I'd suggest some form of "prison commune", where each prisoner is alloted a certain amount of land, and sufficient resources (given the person's abilities) to make that a livable place. That's it. Anything beyond that, they have to make/do for themselves, or barter for with other prisoners.
You'd need relatively few guards, and most of those you'd want for air defence and air patrol. There would really be no need for anyone else.
"Escapees?" If your air patrols are any good, there wouldn't be any. Prisoners escape from prisons, not because of a lack of guards, but for the same reason anyone's attention lapses. Routines kill attention. Random, low-level flying is a good way to keep alert. Because if you don't, you're a pancake. And nobody weeps for pancakes.
"It would still have costs!" Not necessarily. If the commune idea were feasable, it would be as profitable as any original Settler community. Since America is hardly poor, it's pretty obvious that such communities could do pretty well. That "surplus" could pay for such a system, AND offer perpetual financial ammends to all victims of those inside.
The problem with such a system is that it would need people who were NOT corrupt themselves, to run it. "The Untouchables" of the penal system. And finding such people today, in ANY system, is difficult. Ours is a world that thrives on corruption and power-plays.
As for Texas, the State of G.W.B., the State eager to kill innocent Spaniards, I'm afraid there's no hope for it. The population there is too far gone to be helped. I'd wish God's mercy on you, but you're probably better off if God doesn't look too close. I doubt even one good man can be found there.
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