It’s fascinating that, whenever the death penalty is discussed, a ton of people rush to remind me that death row inmates committed terrible crimes as if my position would change once I learned that they weren’t sentenced to death for unpaid parking tickets or being disrespectful to their parents.
And then their argument is that certain murderers are actually sub-human animals or monsters who have to be killed (and sometimes in violent fashion):
I’ll never excuse or condone the terrible harm these men have inflicted on others. It can’t be done and there’s no reason anyone should attempt it. But I explicitly reject the argument that some people aren’t fully human and thus can be exterminated; that’s an incredible dangerous claim that has historically been applied not simply to murderers.
And thus I reject the thinking that our government should be involved in killing people to avenge these crimes in our names:
One can vehemently oppose the terrible crimes that people commit without giving in to the worst elements of our nature by bringing ourselves down to the level of people whose actions we find reprehensible. When our government tortures someone to death, as Clayton Lockett was tortured to death last night, we’re also brutalized, we turn our back on some part of our humanity.