Why capital punishment doesn't work

Whenever we hear about the futility of the death penalty from the liberal oracles of neo—modernism, they always conclude by saying that capital punishment has been around for a long time but has not stopped people from committing murder. A common tactic of liberals is to use every dilatory tactic available to keep a law from being enforced, after which they will characterize the law as ineffective because it 'doesn't work.'

Suppose we take a look at why it doesn't work. The average person who ends up on Death Row can look forward to about 14 years of appeals, that may end up with new trials; leniency appeals from family members; demands from political and civic organizations to commute the sentence; and even Hollywood types on picket lines to pressure prison officials and government leaders to show mercy. When a person commits a crime, they do so with the expectation of getting away with it. That's why crimes are generally not committed in front of a police officer.

Whether it's petit larceny or homicide, the perpetrator weighs the odds of eluding capture before he or she does the dastardly deed. When a person contemplates taking a life, they don't want a quid pro quo with their own life in the bargain. That's why they generally don't like to leave eyewitnesses. In other words, while they're busy taking someone else's life, they are ensuring that their own lives are protected. Part of their consideration when preparing to murder includes the odds of being captured, now or in the future, the odds of being convicted, especially if they can afford skilled counsel, and if convicted, the odds that they will ever inhale a lungful of potassium cyanide gas. The fact is that more prisoners are dying of old age on death row than are dying from the penalty prescribed by law.

With that in mind, how can anyone honestly say that capital punishment doesn't work? If the law worked properly, a person who was convicted and sentenced to die would go directly from court to the gas station, gallows, hot seat, or hypodermic insertion. Employ the death penalty that way for a while and then we'll see if it works as a deterrent. Sadly, what many people don't realize is that the inveterate criminal knows exactly how the system works and uses it to his advantage. Very often, when I had a prisoner in handcuffs on the way to the station house, he would tell me how he was going to plead in court, what the offense would be reduced to, and how much time he would inevitably serve. Much to my dismay, he was very often right. In addition, prisons have become crime schools where the sociopath can study to become a psychopath.

One thing is certain; the justice system is misnamed. Take for example the penalty of life imprisonment. Common sense would tell us that it means the person will spend the rest of their natural life behind bars. Ah, but there's the rub: who ever said common sense had any relationship with penology or jurisprudence? The whole system becomes ludicrous when a court rules that a person is sentenced to life plus 99 years, or 3 life sentences plus 150 years, or some other ridiculous judgment. Recently, on CNN, a trial lawyer stated: 'Life in prison doesn't mean the person must die in prison. It generally means somewhere between 15 and 20 years before parole.' Huh? Then why call it life? Perhaps it's because the public feels placated if they think the bad guys are getting their just desserts.

After a few years pass and the public has forgotten, the guy comes up for parole and voila, he's out stalking his next unwary human prey. The only people who still remember are the victims, or in the case of homicide, the relatives and friends of the violently deceased.
If you want a small idea of what people go through when some creature takes a life that was close to them, go to www.murdervictims.com and read some of the spine chilling stories. Then, if you really care enough to send the very best, write a letter to your representatives in Congress and to the editors of some of the newspapers around the country, and tell them you are sick and tired of providing country clubs and special diets for people who are supposed to be getting punished.

Furthermore, tell them you want some sanity in sentencing and a more sensible period of time between a death penalty and its enforcement.  Be indignant! Be outraged!! Think of what it must be like for those lonely, heartbroken families of victims whose lives have been shattered by their loss, and then frustrated by the phlegmatic pace of an apathetic system. Don't wait until it happens in your immediate family. We are all part of the human family. Take action now! It may directly or indirectly save the life of someone you love.

Bob Weir writes the syndicated column, "Weir Only "Human." The author of 7 books, he is a retired NYPD sergeant, living in Flower Mound, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com

Whenever we hear about the futility of the death penalty from the liberal oracles of neo—modernism, they always conclude by saying that capital punishment has been around for a long time but has not stopped people from committing murder. A common tactic of liberals is to use every dilatory tactic available to keep a law from being enforced, after which they will characterize the law as ineffective because it 'doesn't work.'

Suppose we take a look at why it doesn't work. The average person who ends up on Death Row can look forward to about 14 years of appeals, that may end up with new trials; leniency appeals from family members; demands from political and civic organizations to commute the sentence; and even Hollywood types on picket lines to pressure prison officials and government leaders to show mercy. When a person commits a crime, they do so with the expectation of getting away with it. That's why crimes are generally not committed in front of a police officer.

Whether it's petit larceny or homicide, the perpetrator weighs the odds of eluding capture before he or she does the dastardly deed. When a person contemplates taking a life, they don't want a quid pro quo with their own life in the bargain. That's why they generally don't like to leave eyewitnesses. In other words, while they're busy taking someone else's life, they are ensuring that their own lives are protected. Part of their consideration when preparing to murder includes the odds of being captured, now or in the future, the odds of being convicted, especially if they can afford skilled counsel, and if convicted, the odds that they will ever inhale a lungful of potassium cyanide gas. The fact is that more prisoners are dying of old age on death row than are dying from the penalty prescribed by law.

With that in mind, how can anyone honestly say that capital punishment doesn't work? If the law worked properly, a person who was convicted and sentenced to die would go directly from court to the gas station, gallows, hot seat, or hypodermic insertion. Employ the death penalty that way for a while and then we'll see if it works as a deterrent. Sadly, what many people don't realize is that the inveterate criminal knows exactly how the system works and uses it to his advantage. Very often, when I had a prisoner in handcuffs on the way to the station house, he would tell me how he was going to plead in court, what the offense would be reduced to, and how much time he would inevitably serve. Much to my dismay, he was very often right. In addition, prisons have become crime schools where the sociopath can study to become a psychopath.

One thing is certain; the justice system is misnamed. Take for example the penalty of life imprisonment. Common sense would tell us that it means the person will spend the rest of their natural life behind bars. Ah, but there's the rub: who ever said common sense had any relationship with penology or jurisprudence? The whole system becomes ludicrous when a court rules that a person is sentenced to life plus 99 years, or 3 life sentences plus 150 years, or some other ridiculous judgment. Recently, on CNN, a trial lawyer stated: 'Life in prison doesn't mean the person must die in prison. It generally means somewhere between 15 and 20 years before parole.' Huh? Then why call it life? Perhaps it's because the public feels placated if they think the bad guys are getting their just desserts.

After a few years pass and the public has forgotten, the guy comes up for parole and voila, he's out stalking his next unwary human prey. The only people who still remember are the victims, or in the case of homicide, the relatives and friends of the violently deceased.
If you want a small idea of what people go through when some creature takes a life that was close to them, go to www.murdervictims.com and read some of the spine chilling stories. Then, if you really care enough to send the very best, write a letter to your representatives in Congress and to the editors of some of the newspapers around the country, and tell them you are sick and tired of providing country clubs and special diets for people who are supposed to be getting punished.

Furthermore, tell them you want some sanity in sentencing and a more sensible period of time between a death penalty and its enforcement.  Be indignant! Be outraged!! Think of what it must be like for those lonely, heartbroken families of victims whose lives have been shattered by their loss, and then frustrated by the phlegmatic pace of an apathetic system. Don't wait until it happens in your immediate family. We are all part of the human family. Take action now! It may directly or indirectly save the life of someone you love.

Bob Weir writes the syndicated column, "Weir Only "Human." The author of 7 books, he is a retired NYPD sergeant, living in Flower Mound, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com