Progressives juxtapose justice and compassion as opposites because they overlook victims’ families. The death penalty for a convicted murderer is both just AND compassionate. It’s a compassionate signal that our government shows to victims; it’s a sign that we attempt to right wrongs fairly.
To allow the murderer to live in tranquility is UNjust. On a one-to-one calculation, the equation is STARKLY in favor of execution: the murderer gets to live with his sins, while the victim is dead. Nobody has been able to satisfy me with an answer to this simple question: why does a murderer DESERVE to live?
On a Benthamite “greatest good” calculation, the scales of justice weight even more strongly in favor of execution. The murderer has not taken just one life. He has taken away a loved one from family members; he has taken away a co-worker, and he has taken away someone’s friend. On top of all that, he has exacerbated fears in every member of the community that they might be next.
The death penalty is compassionate. It’s compassionate to all society, the victims of one murderer’s greed. The death penalty forcefully states to society that we DO want perfection, and that every good member of society is worth fighting for.
To those who say “it’s not our place to take a life; only God should do that”, we must reply that the best word from God that we have is the Bible, wherein it says (5 times) that man shall administer the death penalty for murder. “Whosoever sheds blood, by man shall his blood be shed”.
Compassion is the best argument FOR the death penalty. That the death penalty, if invoked swiftly and regularly MAY deter, is a pragmatic plus. Those who doubt the pragmatism should consider the following experiment: in states that allow the death penalty, let a convicted murderer whose crime was committed on an even numbered day be condemned to a 30 year prison sentence, but let a murderer whose crime was committed on an odd number day know that