Capital Punishment At Gleason's Boxing Gym
Luke tells me that he is against capital punishment. He has just fought five hard rounds with Dmitri.
"I don't think you know yourself very well," I say. "You just tried to kill Dimitri."
"No, I didn't," he says. He is Irish socialist and can only think good of himself. He is against wartime killing and capital punishment.
"If I killed someone I would want to die. I would deserve it," I say. "I think the family of the victim would deserve my death as quid pro quo."
"If someone killed and raped your sister, you'd want him dead. If you didn't, you would be an unfeeling beast," I say. "Furthermore, your not wanting to execute the murderer of a stranger shows that you can't identify with a victim unless he or she is part of your family. You don't care about anyone but yourself."
"It's more of a punishment to put the killer in jail for life," Luke says.
He's obviously never been to jail. I did a two year bid and liked it. It's only a punishment if you have no imagination; if you accept society's easy definition of jail as a cruel punishment. If you regard jail as an escape from the pressures of real life, where you get room, board and exercise, it's pretty good. To me it was Fighters- Writers Camp. I worked out two hours a day and wrote five hours a day. That was a lot better than my job on Wall Street.
"If jail's so bad," I say, why is everyone on death row petitioning to get their sentences commuted to life?"
That's it -- life. Life is sweet. That's why, if you have any humane feelings, it should be taken away from those who have robbed it from others. The death penalty does not bring justice, it just eliminates its being egregiously miscarried by the killer on the river bank of life and the victim turning in the river of death.
"I think I'll do a few more rounds," Luke says.
"Don't kill anybody," I quip.