Friday, May 11, 2012

Bring back the death penalty

The trial involving the murder of eight-year-old Tori Stafford, not unexpectedly, has reopened the debate  over use of the death penalty in Canada.

In January, the Toronto Star published the results of an Angus Reid Public Opinion poll that showed a majority (61%) of Canadians believed capital punishment is warranted for murder. I’m one of them.

Also, a 2011 Abacus Data survey found that two-thirds of Canadians said they support the death penalty in certain circumstances. Even Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he believes capital punishment is sometimes “appropriate.”

For me it is both a common sense issue and a question of basic justice. Why burden society with the cost of “warehousing” brutal killers like Paul Bernardo, Karla Homolka, Robert Pickton and those who perpetrated the infamous Shafia Murders? And surely the nature of their crimes justifies the forfeiture of these monsters own lives.

Many discount the use of the death penalty because they do not believe it acts as a deterrent. Well, I’m not looking for a deterrent in cases of first degree murder, I’m looking for a punishment and a way of ridding society of these blots on the human race. If the death penalty can do that—and I’m convinced it can—then I’m all for it.

The one argument against capital punishment I find persuasive is the finality of the death penalty. Since we began using DNA in solving crimes, we’ve seen several murder convictions reversed, something that, obviously, could not have happened if those convicted in error had been hanged. I think, however, we could reserve capital punishment for the clear-cut cases with little or no chance of error.

Moreover, think of the victims of those horrible crimes. Have they no right to justice? And what punishment best suits the crime of murder if not the death penalty?

Capital punishment may not be a perfect way for society to respond to the crime of murder, but it is the most just way I know of.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell




  1. It's even more than "Warehousing Murderers" is providing a greenhouse so that their evil may grow and infect others. A bullet in the back of the head for the disgusting set.

    The worries about killing an innocent man are miniscule in this day and age. All of the overturned murder convictions are from a decade or more ago (and most of them were guilty as hell for other things),

  2. You make some excellent points Mr. Campbell, and I agree. The details of this case are so vile and repugnant it's hard to believe some people would desire mercy for these two sub-human pieces of excrement, Rafferty, and McClintock. My heart breaks for that little girl and her family, the horror of it all is simply overwhelming. God help them. Society has a duty to protect the children from these kind of deranged monsters. God bless that jury for doing the right thing, one can only imagine the emotional toll this case has taken upon them. Rafferty and McClintock should take their last breaths at the end of a rope, which would be a lot more merciful then the sickening horrors they inflicted upon that young child.

  3. Yes, but when offered the choice between death & "life imprisonment without the possibility of parole" only 38% chose death.

    // I’m looking for a punishment and a way of ridding society of these blots on the hu­man race. If the death penalty can do that—and I’m convinced it can— //

    Heh. Can't argue there.
    [Yet many who do support death, do so because they think it is a deterrent.]

  4. The 20th and 21st century has witnessed thousands of unspeakable crimes against vulnerable innocent children. It's a global phenomenon, but notably prevalent in the developed world -- in identified, supposedly "civilized societies."

    Such crimes if they are preventable, require a death penalty in line with the perpetrated acts. In Tori Stafford's case, the convicted should be bludgeoned to death with a hammer.

    Incarcerated for life, wastes public dollars and affords the incarcerated life continuing with all basic needs met.

    The above would be a deterrent going forward. Written into international laws for widespread implementation. Applied retroactively so that the presently convicted of such crimes can be eliminated in numbers. The message is delivered in a mass event.