On the death penalty
Connections with We Are Different and A Better Organization
August 5, 2013
By Lev Shakhmundes
This reflection has been prompted by article The death penalty in section China of The Economist's issue of August 3, 2013, pp 35-36. The factual content in the article demonstrates that China has executed last year several times more people than the rest of the world put together, excluding Egypt and Syria. The annual numbers though are on a trend down. In 2011, 13 crimes were removed from the list of capital offenses. Cases of murder, drug trafficking and violent robbery remain on the list. It is expected that the number of executions may not have much further to fall.
Looking here just into one aspect of criminality, namely the inability of the United States government to reduce the illegal drugs’ trafficking, let us ask the following question. Is there any means, other than the death penalty, for dealing effectively with this nation-weakening problem? If you think there is, it would be interesting to hear from you.
Being among the people who are for the death penalty, I would like to refer to the essay-type writings of mine on the subject. In We Are Different, chapter On the Death Penalty in part Case Studies, pp 87-89, it was conceptually demonstrated that the total number of people killed in a country would be substantially lower with the death penalty than, under other similar circumstances, without it. The total number is the sum of those criminally and intentionally murdered, the executed criminals, and the erroneously convicted and executed. To put it differently, a country with the death penalty is more humane than a similar country with no death penalty. In A Better Organization, Chapter 22, Jurisprudence, p 68, a reference is made to that writing, qualifying the calculations as a mathematical theorem and suggesting to name the theorem as "Death penalty saves lives." Credit for this title goes to George W. Bush, who used this expression multiple times during his presidential election campaigns to justify the death penalty in Texas.
Page created on August 5, 2013