Thoughts on Capital Offenses

I support the death penalty. At a minimum I believe that all pre-meditated murders, and probably a large portion of the remaining murders should carry at least a possibility of a death sentence. As I mentioned in my ealier entry, I believe that the death penalty provides some deterrent, and making it a real possibility for crimes makes it an effective deterrent.

Beyond murder, I believe that several other crimes are deserving of this most severe punishment. The next crime that immediately jumps to mind as deserving a sentence of death is Child Molestation, or Child Rape. This crime may not leave a dead victim, but in nearly every case leaves one who is so severely damaged, that they will never fully recover. There will be many mitigating circumstances, including the difference in the age between the aggressor and the victim.

Rape, like Child Molestation, deserves death in some, but probably not as many cases.

Perjury leading to an execution should be treated as pre-meditated murder, and be subject to the death penalty. Even if the perjury doesn’t lead to an execution, but does lead to a death sentence which gets overturned when the perjury is discovered, I wouldn’t want to take the death penalty off the table.

There are a number of other crimes, such as Kidnapping, Arson, Aircraft Hijacking, and Train Wrecking that could carry a death penalty in some circumstances. Major crimes against the national security, Treason and Espionage, also should carry a death penalty.

One crime that still carries a death penalty in many countries that I cannot support is Drug Trafficking. There are two things that keep me from supporting a death penalty for drug trafficking. First, I’m not sure that it should even be considered a crime. Second, I believe that making drug trafficking a death penalty crime may lead to police officers being killed since cornered drug dealers will not have any remaining deterrence against killing.

However, if I could be convinced that drug trafficking should be a crime, and required maximum deterrence, I might support a death penalty for it since I know that drugs are very damaging to individuals, and to society.