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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Why not the death penalty?

The uproar from opposition members in Ottawa over comments made by Conservative senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu may very well turn out to be a good thing for Canada. I agree that the senator’s suggestion we offer the choice of suicide to certain inmates of our penitentiaries may not have been the best choice of words. If this leads to the opening of the debate on the death penalty, however, that will be a good thing.

The last execution in Canada occurred in 1962, which was 14 years before the death penalty was officially abolished in 1976. Since that time, first-degree murder has carried a mandatory life sentence with no parole for 25 years.

A death penalty would be quite moral and justified for murderers such as Clifford Olson, Paul Bernardo or Robert Pickton—the concept of, their life for lives they took, seems just to me.

It seems odd that a country that funds abortion on demand, regardless of the term of the pregnancy, shrinks from taking the lives of its most heinous criminals. Is it just or moral that an unborn child is considered only tissue that can be discarded on the whim of it’s mother, yet a murderer’s life is sacrosanct?

Banning the death penalty is not moral, it’s just modern.

Senator Boisvenu became a victim’s advocate after his daughter, Julie, had been kidnapped, raped and murdered in June 2002. The 27-year-old woman had been out celebrating a job promotion in Sherbrooke, Que., when she disappeared.

The senator is just the sort of advocate we need to re-open a debate interim NDP leader Nycole Turmel says has been closed in Canada for decades. Ms. Turmel also claims, incorrectly, that Canadians are generally against capital punishment. The fact is, a 2010 Angus Reid survey of global attitudes on capital punishment found that 62 per cent of Canadians endorsed the death penalty for homicide convictions.

Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae, ever the opportunist, is no better than the inept Nycole Turmel. He chose to ignore the thrust of the senator’s words and take them literally, saying the senator’s comments were “suggesting something [counselling suicide] that frankly is criminal.”

This is why we need a debate on the death penalty. Too many of our politicians are out of step with the majority of Canadians.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

10 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. It is Harper that took this off the agenda when that Conservative senator brought it up. If sharper wanted a death pensty he would use his stable majority conservative machine to do it.

    The real question is why do you support Harper when he clearly is shutting down social and fiscal conservatives. Does your hate of liberals run deeper? although liberals do not deliver for social conservatives they definitely deliver for fiscal conservatives ( 8 straight balanced budgets ).

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    1. Just what I need, Anon, another ignoramus telling me I hate something. Once more for the record, I do not hate Liberals, or anybody else. If you really want to find hate, look into your own heart, you are more likely to find it there than at this blog.

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  2. While I have no moral objections to the death penalty, I find that the increasing power of the state over it's citizens is making me wonder if we want to give the state the power to kill us.

    Stan

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    1. The state already has the power, Anon, but not the license. I don't plan to kill anybody, so I'm not afraid of the death penalty [smile].

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    2. Well, what about home invasions or robberies? You are not Planning to kill but someone else may put you in a situation of self-defence. If some bleeding heart judge thinks you went to far itself-defence then you could be guilty of murder.

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    3. Any thoughtful person would only have the death penalty for extreme cases of premeditated murder. I'll take my chances.

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  3. I believe most politicians and maybe most liberal Canadians are against the death penalty out of the fear of sending one innocent person to his death. They may have a point.

    When one considers the incompetence of the people who administer justice in this Country,handing them the power over someone's life may be a bit too much.

    For the record,I AM pro-death penalty,especially in light of the Shafia trial,but am skeptical about the administration of it.

    There have been too many David Milgaards to just have the civil service given carte blanche to take someone's life.

    But, what we should do,is change the system that permits serial killers and mass murderers to apply for parole,once convicted,the key should be thrown away. And as for Olson's accommodation,that was an absolute disgrace.

    Instead of cable-TV including the movie channels,and open access to the internet,how about four walls,a bunk,a toilet and sink,and lots of good literature from the classics to read, plus of course, three meals a day,the same meals any old age pensioner would have.

    Add an hour per day's exercise outside the cell,and that's it, nothing more. Olson was set up in a holiday park,only thing missing was a swimming pool and some youngsters to murder. And all at over 60 thousand a year cost to US.

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    1. Let's be clear, dmorris, Canadian prisons—none of them—are pleasant places. I have visited some and am sure of what I say—they are ALL tough, unpleasant places for inmates.

      If we are going to warehouse our worst criminals, we need to do so in a humane and modern manner.

      I hold fast, though, that the worst criminals should be put to death for their crimes. And while I share your concern about hanging an innocent man, we would be pretty safe if we started with Clifford Olson, Paul Bernardo and Robert Pickton.

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  4. And Pat Martin shows what a dick he really is

    F-bomb-dropping MP defends his verbal attack on Tory senator Boisvenu

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/f-bomb-dropping-mp-defends-his-verbal-attack-on-tory-senator-boisvenu/article2324074/

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    1. Oh dear, the precious snowflakes are melting because of the f-bomb. Grow a pair bro.

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