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By ATWadmin On April 17th, 2007

Here’s a question for you which I have been reflecting upon having watched the poignant images of all those young bodies being taken away from Virginia Tech this morning. Suppose the killer had not shot himself, but instead had been captured alive. What should happen? I favour EXECUTION under due process, plain and simple. What would you do?

18 Responses to “JUSTICE BEING DONE?”

  1. A tough one David. I’m by and large opposed to the death penalty. I’m equally opposed, I’ll add, to the crazy system we have at present where murderers can be allowed to walk the streets.

    Certainly if he was insane – layman’s use of the term – it would be off to Broadmoor or some equivalent in my book.

  2. I would make an agreement with him, so he can’t be punished for his atrocious past. I might consider letting him become a politician as he could be a good role model for future generations. And if he behaves himself I might just allow him to become a part of his local policing board.

  3. Nothing would be gained killing him, except perhaps some solace for the families of the victims, but that really can’t be allowed dictate the course of justice.

    A life in prison would give him ample time for contrition and possibly even for making some kind of amends.

  4. I would suggest let him go free and keep all the innocent guys at Guantanamo
    Just like what they did with Osama.

  5. But rather more seriously, I don’t think such a person should ever be allowed on the streets again, no matter how repentant. Rather, let him do some form of community service. Killing him is unnecessary because:
    1. It wouldn’t deter another serial killer at all
    2. It couldn’t adequately punish him for his crimes
    3. It wouldn’t even serve as a symbolic execution, like for instance the execution of Saddam was.
    4. It isn’t the most humane way of keeping him off the streets
    5. It may not be the best thing for his victims and his own family. Far better if he were to do compulsory community service and the monetary proceeds were used to help his victims’ families and his own. It couldn’t have been pleasant for his wife, if he had one, to find out that her husband had just carried out a massacre.

  6. Adrian – re your 1:15pm – how are the two related?

    Say, who’s causing more of a stir on the ‘indignant’ front these days in India. Baby Halder or Shilpa Shetty? Did Baby’s story get anywhere meaningfully impactful re life for millions of impoverished Indian women, and aspects of Indian society not usually the focus of attention. Or is the latest Bollywood engagement/snog proving too much of a mainstream distraction.

  7. Handed him over to the parents whose children were murdered and injured.

  8. When you kill someone you take away all he/she has and all he/she will ever have. You take away all their hopes and aspirations. I do not know if I can support a death penalty but a killer deserves life, and I mean life, at least.

  9. 1. I think he’s technically not a serial killer. More of a mass murderer and I don’t think you can deter those people at all.
    2. Perhaps being hung, drawn, and quartered would be a better punishment?
    3. Killing him would certainly be symbolic.
    4. In this case, who cares about humane? This guy has sacrificed any right to humane treatment.
    5. I wonder if the victim’s families really want this guy out sweeping streets (or whatever they do in community service)? Perhaps he might be in a community near a family. I’m sure that would make them just overjoyed.

    Adrian, you are too concerned with the criminal in this case and not the victims.

    I personally think this is a good case for the hanging, drawing and quartering. And yes, the point is to hurt the criminal. A lot.

  10. My opposition to capital punishment has been based primarily on the chance (however remote) a person may be innocent. That would appear unlikely in this case. Someone who could kill on such a scale would likely also attempt an insanity defense which, under due process, be a way of avoiding execution. On a pure emotional level I’d like to strangle the person or turn him over to the victim’s relatives, but neither option is plausible.
    The only hope I have is that he doesn’t gain one of these cult criminal personalities and cause copycats. But I am not that hopeful.

  11. He was "misunderstood" etc etc. It’s a tragic tale, and an insight that man is capable of great evil. That’s why I turn to my God in these circumstances. Sad sad business.

  12. Capital punishment would be right purely because he committed murder. This would be retributive justice in its purest sense. Deterrence and the like would be irrelevant.

  13. Solitary confinement on bread and water for the rest of his life in a cell big enough to lie down in but not much more, with excercise everyday but no entertainment of any kind.

    Better than he deserves but I refuse to give the State the power to kill its citizens outside of self-defence/defence-of-another.

  14. I agree entirely with Cynical Libertarian here. The death penalty is not a punishment it’s a cop out. A dead man can feel no grief pain loss misery at his own wasted life or even sheer bored frustration. Genuine life imprisonment is the only real justice.

  15. A dead murderer never re-offended. I still say that capital punishment is the appropriate penalty in certain kind of cases.

  16. David

    I suppose that depends on whether you believe in an afterlife and the deceased killers soul being tormented. I tend to believe dead individuals simply don’t exist anymore and therefore the punishment is short and ends at the point of death. Life imprisonment punishes and torments the murderer for a lot longer.

    I guess for once our respective stands on this matter that makes me the ‘nasty righty’ and you the ‘namby pamby liberal’ 😉

  17. Alison,
    The connection is that there are a lot of inconsistencies in the American system of justice and human justice in general.

    Osama got away and has been sheltered for almost 5-6 years by America’s ALLIES, the Pakistani so-called intelligence.

    America’s answer was to impound every foreigner they laid their hands on in Afghanistan and put him in Guantanamo so that he could be let free after 4-5 years without being charged at all.

    People both on ATW and off it have defended this style of "justice". I wonder why they are not calling for similar forms of justice to be applied in this case. Why can’t his family be locked up for instance?

    Okay now you explain the Shilpa Shetty and Baby Halder connection. I haven’t heard too much about either by the way.

  18. Adrian

    I hear that Shilpa Shetty has recently been involved in another media controversy after being snogged in public by Richard gere. Hindu fundametalists were outraged and some even held up ‘death to Shilpa Shetty’ banners. She might have to take refuge in Jade Goody’s house 🙂