Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Live and Let Die

Sometime late tonight John Allen Mohammad will most likely be executed by the state of Virginia. If his name isn't familiar to you chances are that his criminal moniker, the DC Sniper, probably is.
I honestly don't know if I am for or against the death penalty. I don't believe that Mosaic law has much of a place in today's world. I do believe that the Ten Commandments cannot be replaced, but they can be added onto. But does "eye for an eye" truly hold up? In a world where there are other ways to make equal restitution, I just don't know.
But then I come back to thinking about Mr. Mohammad. And I don't believe he deserves to live among men. What he did was evil, unnatural, and absolutely not human. He has no place among humanity. He deserves absolutely nothing beyond a fair trial to determine his guilt. He is God's son and his punishment or forgiveness belongs in the hands of God, and not among men.
In my humble opinion, Mr. Mohammad is one of the lowest creatures on Earth. Not only did he commit atrocious acts of violence against mankind, but he also brainwashed and corrupted a young boy (John Malvo). Just for what he did to Malvo I believe he has lost the right to associate with other men.
And then I come back to my original argument.
Mohammad is a horrible person. I honestly don't know that he deserves the right to live. When I allow myself to think emotionally (which isn't hard to do- 2 of his attacks were within 5 minutes of my parents' home. Along with so many others I lived in complete fear and terror for my family's well-being during the attacks.) I am convinced he has no right to live. But when I think objectively about the death penatly, I just can't convince myself that men should ever be allowed to take the life of another.
Your thoughts?

To read more about tonight's execution, click here.

We're also discussing this on my Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/erinannie


  1. I'm against the death penalty for a couple reasons, the first and most fundamental being that I believe it's wrong for the state to outlaw murder and then to take a person's life.

    But even if I didn't believe the death penalty was intrinsically wrong, I would be against it because death cannot be appealed after the fact when new evidence arises. And given our flawed, human justice system, it's far, far too likely that the state could put an innocent person to death—a travesty I would label "murder." And I won't be party to murder, even potentially.

    So, do I think Mohammed is guilty, beyond reasonable doubt? Yes. Is what he did unconscionable, heinous, inhuman? Without question. Do I believe he should ever be free to walk our streets and possibly endanger or kill other people again? Absolutely not.

    But I don't think he should be put to death, either. "Beyond reasonable doubt" just isn't good enough when it comes to making such a final decision.

  2. Anonymous8:25 PM

    I am torn about the death penalty. It makes me bitter that the application of the death penalty is skewed by gender, socio-economic class, and race. Until these things are fixed I think that we should put the process in abeyance. But I am not sure about the larger issues of the death penalty being wrong. We do not allow rabid animals to continue to infect the larger population and while people are not animals I question whether it is right to allow the evilness or sickness of one to infect others. Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one? I am torn very very torn.

  3. Anonymous6:03 PM

    I was thinking about this yesterday and came to almost the same conclusions as you. I swing back and forth on whether or not I support it, for your same reasons. It leaves me very conflicted.

    Part of me thinks that if murder is wrong in one case (not meaning war or anything that isn't classified as murder), it should be wrong in all cases. If abortion is wrong on the grounds that it is murder, why is not the death penalty wrong? Because it is state-sanctioned murder?

    I don't know what to think most of the time.


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