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Its Still Murder

Entry 259, on 2005-12-03 at 14:34:55 (Rating 4, News)

I looked up the definition of the word "murder" in a couple of dictionaries recently, and found that, while many definitions contained the requirement of unlawfulness, some just required premeditation and intentionality. The subject of capital punishment has appeared in two major headlines recently: one, the execution of an Australian drug smuggler in Singapore; and two, the one thousandth execution in the US since the death penalty was re-instated.

So is capital punishment just officially sanctioned murder? According to some definitions its is - its both pre-meditated, and deliberate. OK, so it is lawful, at least in some more backward countries like the USA, but that isn't always a requirement, and laws are often essentially arbitrary anyway. The most bizarre thing is that the US, which is such a strongly Christian country, completely ignores Christian values on this subject. Still, this sort of hypocrisy shouldn't surprise me any more.

Some people might say that a murderer (as in the US case) deserves death, but a drug smuggler (as in the Singapore case) doesn't, but do the details support this? The murderer was a Vietnam war veteran. Who knows how his sacrifice for the country that ultimately killed him affected him. And the drug smuggler didn't directly murder anyone, but drugs have an obvious association with violence and death. I'm not saying either deserved to be executed, just that where it is appropriate is not a simple question.

Even though many executions in the US have shown to be of the wrong person, the Republicans still want to speed up the process so that what they call "justice" can be delivered. Well maybe they should realise that there's a difference between the law and justice, as this clearly shows!

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Comment 1 (174) by Anon on 2006-02-10 at 21:33:53:

Come on OJB. Everyone wants murderers to be punished, not just Republicans. You should catch up with the latest news so you know what you are talking about!

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Comment 2 (175) by OJB on 2006-02-13 at 12:30:09:

Latest news? I know what the latest news is - I just don't like it! Neoconservatism is too strong in the US so its right-wing agenda is given too much emphasis. The US needs more political balance.

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