Thursday, November 13, 2014

Crime and Punishment

Cruel and unusual punishment.

That's the current buzzword associated with the 75 year sentence handed down on the Mountie murderer Justin Bourque.

The only thing I find cruel and unusual about the punishment is the fact that taxpayers have to pay a hundred grand a year to keep this jackass in jail. That's 7.5 million over the course of his sentence.

In fact, probably a lot more than that. A hundred thousand is a modest sum.

It's not the sentence I have issue with. It's the question of whether the death penalty is relevant any more. In Canada, in 1963, the death penalty entered a period of being commuted as a matter of policy. While death sentences could theoretically be carried out, they weren't.

Interestingly enough, On November 30, 1967, Bill C-168 was passed creating a five-year moratorium on the use of the death penalty, except for murders of police and corrections officers.

This was extended in 1973 and in 1976 the a narrow vote to abolish death penalty was a carried out, with an exception for certain circumstances under the Canada Defense Act. The act was upgraded in 1998 and the death penalty in Canada was abolished completely.

There has been one motion to reinstate the death penalty, which was defeated handily in parliament.

A discussion on the PROS and CONS of the death penalty can be found here.

The supreme questions I ask myself aren't, Does he deserve to die for what he did? Is the world a better place without him?
My answer to both of those questions is, yes, absolutely.

The three big questions I ask myself are...

Do I want to be the judge who sentences a man to death?
Do I want to be the man who carries out that punishment?
Would either of these make me a murderer?

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