Thursday, April 24, 2014

Support Capital Punishment? Own It.


I'm fine with the death penalty if it's levied by the victim of a violent crime, or someone acting in that victim's defense, at the scene and time of the crime and consistent with self-defense.

I don't support allowing state officials to kill when it's not "in the heat of the moment" -- i.e. when the perpetrator of a crime has already been subdued and caged. The math isn't hard on that: I don't support letting the state exist or do anything, so killing is definitely right out.

But if you do support state-levied capital punishment, insist that your agents stand up and be counted instead of hiding from their own actions like embarrassed cowards.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has rejected two death row convicts' demands to know who is providing the drugs with which a doctor (in blatant violation of the Hippocratic oath and any sane canon of medical ethics, by the way) will kill them.

One idiot pol, state representative Mike Christian, wants to impeach the court's members for even taking up the case. His fellow idiot pol, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, bellyaches that it's a case of "intimidation used by defense counsel and anti-death penalty groups" (because employees of the most powerful street gang around strapping someone to a gurney and lethally poisoning him isn't "intimidating," right?).

But I think this is being looked at from the wrong angle:

It isn't about the inmates, it's about the public.

Even if you think it's OK for politicians to steal your money and use that money to kill people, surely they should at least have to do so openly instead of secretly -- if for no other reason than that secrecy in state killings looks like a very, very slippery slope to stand at the top of. It's stump-stupid to let sociopaths like Mike Christian and Scott Pruitt dispose of human lives in the first place. It's even more stupid to let them hide their methods.

If a compounding pharmacy doesn't want to lose the business of customers who oppose pharmacists assisting in killing people, that pharmacy shouldn't assist in killing people. Moaning that their company's identity should be kept secret so they don't have to face the consequences of their business practices? World's smallest violin tuning up, people.

If a doctor wants to take a paycheck from the state for killing people, that doctor's picture and name should be pasted up on the nightly news so taxpayers know who they're paying (and so patients who prefer real doctors to pusillanimous money-grubbing killers for their healing needs are forewarned).

Ashamed to be a paid killer for the state? QUIT. Otherwise, own it.

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