A very common argument against capital punishment is that many innocent persons are executed.
The difficulty with that argument is that the execution of innocent persons actually performs a useful function.
Those who are executed are frequently black (unless they happen to be wealthy) or poor whites. I haven't done any research on this, but my general impression is that when someone of wealth or high social standing is tried in a case where capital punishment is possible they get off the hook, like O.J., Leopold and Loeb and others.
All of which works out well from society's viewpoint. The poor person who commits a capital crime is far more likely than a wealthy person to commit similar crimes if he escapes the chair or gas chamber or firing squad. The wealthy person who gets out from under that threat is unlikely to commit a capital crime again.
So, executing innocent persons may actually be an argument FOR capital punishment.
Jaybees, Freethought & Rationalism DB 40 Comments
[12/15/2010 12:30:58 PM]
Fundie Index: 50