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Author: Enilkrennad Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1967348  
Subject: Re: McVeigh execution: Should it have gone ahead Date: 6/13/2001 5:06 PM
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But I bet you would say that humans have the right to sentence someone to life without parole for murder, right? If that is true, what gave them that right?

And if they have that right, why does humanity not have the right to impose capital punishment for the worst crimes. This is not a game. Real humans, including 19 children, had their bodies crushed, shredded, ripped apart in the cruelest and most painful way. Why don't we have the right to say that anyone who does that has forfeited their humanity. And we still gave the bastard a fair trial.


You are correct in your first assumption. The answer to question number two is complex.

The difference between placing someone in a situation where he is unable to do further harm to anyone else and ending his life entirely is enormous. McVeigh was clearly a threat to society as a whole. He believed he was on a righteous mission and wouldn't hesitate to commit further atrocities if given the chance. Our government didn't have the right to lock him up for life, it had the obligation to do so. But ending his life accomplished nothing. It may have made some of the victims' families feel better, but that doesn't make the killing of a human being a morally virtuous act.

Why don't we have the right to say that anyone who does that has forfeited their humanity.

Because we don't define who is human or who has "humanity." I am every bit as repulsed by McVeigh's act as you, but nothing any person can ever do gives me the right to judge the value of his life. There must be consequences for crimes or else we'd have anarchy. I certainly am no anarchist. But the ultimate consequence is not for us to mete out.

Morality isn't always 'nice'.

Quite true. But legal murder is as amoral as it gets, IMHO.
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