Wednesday 24 January 2018

Kevin Myers: Legislation must be based upon logic, not emotion

Are you against capital punishment? You probably are. Very well. If Hitler or Himmler -- he of the Final Solution -- had been captured alive, should they have been executed?

Would it not have been a revolting insult to the millions of dead for those men to have been allowed to remain alive? No doubt they could have penned exquisitely thoughtful essays on the meaning of guilt in the long years that mercy might have allowed them, but really, the world is always a better place without such creatures. A Pierrepoint with purpose can often do wonders.

So I'm probably not like you. I accept in principle the right of the state to execute. The practical objections are many -- so much so, indeed, that capital punishment might even become impossible in practice. But if I were to hear of capital punishment for heinous crimes elsewhere, I am unlikely to sign a petition for mercy. A serial child-killer in Texas really can go his own sweet way to the chair, as far as I'm concerned.

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