Image by BlatantNews.com via FlickrFor years, I was a staunch supporter of the death penalty. As for the argument that the death penalty really wasn't a deterrent, I was in agreement with Don Imus. It would serve as a deterrent to the person who was executed because they would not have the opportunity to kill again.
There was a period of time when I was reading a lot of Buddhist literature, and I tempered my thoughts on the death penalty somewhat, but not completely. I was sometimes conflicted in my stance that abortion was wrong due to my sanctity of life views, and my support of the death penalty. I still support the death penalty, especially for the most egregious offenders.
The reason that I bring up the subject of the death penalty is because of an article I saw on The Daily Caller email that I received this morning. The article was about an execution that took place in Georgia a couple days ago. The inmate, Brandon Joseph Rhode, was executed, a week after he tried to commit suicide by slashing his arms and throat. He was rushed to the hospital, stabilized, and retrained so that he could do no further harm to himself. The original execution date was postponed because of the attempted suicide.
The story brings to mind a couple questions that I have in regards to the entire justice/prison system in regards to capital cases such as Rhode's. It is not that I question the validity of the execution. That is the punishment that the state decided to mete out to Rhode's for his heinous crimes, and the punishment he deserves. My question is this. If the goal of the state is to kill the perpetrator of the crime, and said perpetrator tries to kill himself, then why should the state take extraordinary means to save the perpetrator only to kill them a week later?
The other question would be those occasions where there is a high profile arrest and they put the suspect on a suicide watch. Again, if the person decides to kill themselves because they got caught, then why not let them? Save the state the expense and hassle of a trial and imprisonment. I don't mean to sound cruel or callous, but seriously, what is the point? I understand the idea of justice and having their day in court, but if the state wants them dead, and they try to kill themselves, then let them die.