In my last column, I was critical of the Islamists' rush back to medievalism and their turning their backs on modernity. However, in the aftermath of the capture of the alleged snipers, we have had to watch the ghoulish sniping among prosecutors over who will be able to kill the snipers first. We can't explain the killing spree done by two terribly sick wanton murderers, John Muhammad or Lee Malvo. However, the Byzantine behavior of those entrusted to bring justice to them is totally bizarre and truly regrettable. These prosecutor are well-educated and civilized public servants who have reverted to behaving like a pack of wild dogs protecting their turf-or more to the point, they are protecting the turf of their own state's death house.
Admittedly, I have strong views on the death penalty. We are one of the very few countries in the industrialized West that still has an eye for an eye jurisprudence system when it comes to murder. Nearly 90% of all those executed annually throughout the world come from four countries: Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, and the U.S. What strange and morbid bedfellows we have. That company should embarrass us as a nation.
I would be against capital punishment even if we could guarantee that we only executed the guilty, which we obviously can't and even worse, we haven't. In addition, the argument about capital punishment being a deterrent didn't work with Muhammad or Malvo, to say nothing of any other murderer. There was a death penalty in every one of the states in which the alleged snipers killed.
Nevertheless, the underlying issue for me is what capital punishment does to us as a people. No one who has been murdered has ever been resurrected by society killing the murderer. However, society as a whole dies a little when it kills because someone else committed murder. We victimize ourselves by voluntarily becoming more like the ones we execute. We lower ourselves to the eye for an eye mentality with our desire for revenge. Capital punishment doesn't work to deter murderers, but it does kill us emotionally by making us less civilized and more like China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. On this issue, we have truly moved away from modernity and are rushing back to medievalism.
Prosecutors have gone beyond even the revenge aspect of capital punishment to engaging with turf wars and using these murder suspects as pawns in their political calculations. It looks like Virginia will get the disputed prize of trying them first because that state is only second to Texas in annual executions. Congratulations Virginia, you must be very proud!
What made the snipers kill were sick and demented minds that took pleasure in killing. One needs to ask what makes these prosecutors engage in this morbid contest to kill the alleged snipers. Americans follow this contest as if it was a race to the Super Bowl or the World Series and few are troubled by it. What have we become? The various state and local prosecutors are using public office to be able to return with the charred scalps of the snipers for political advantage back home. Can you imagine what the world must think as this most bizarre and macabre behavior unfolds in the wake of the arrests? Much of the Islamists' criticisms of us are nonsense, but we are guilty of ghoulishness and few of us seem troubled by it.
We need to prosecute the alleged murderers and put them away for life without any possibility of probation. However, we shouldn't allow public officials to parlay this national tragedy into a means to enhance their political careers. In addition, we need to rethink the capital punishment issue, for it neutralizes some of the stellar aspects of our nation. America is a wondrous nation for which we can be duly proud. However, this is a major deficit in our national consciousness.
After we address this cancer on our society, we need to look at gun control. Thanks to the efforts of the NRA, all Americans still have their right to bear arms-even military attack weapons! Now, there is another issue involving modernity and medievalism.