Thanks to Jeremy Golant for making this video explaining his reasons for considering the death penalty to be immoral, out-of-touch, negligible as a deterrent against crime and financially inefficient, and congratulations to him for positioning the subject material as open to debate. I thought he did a great job of making some very difficult points. Maybe The Optimism Club will have the courage to make a video response some day soon…
As I commented on the video site, I particularly liked the fact that Jeremy drew attention to the fact that the death penalty is NOT just all about the USA. To my mind this accentuates two things: firstly, the gross inconsistencies in what marks a crime out to be ‘heinous enough’ to warrant the death penalty; secondly, the continuing weirdness of the United States, a supposed world leader and role-model in democracy perpetuating a form of punishment that is considered barbaric and humanely insupportable to the rest of the western world.
I would also commend Jeremy for addressing the question of ‘if not execution then what else?’ – a subject I see getting very little treatment. He discusses how prisoners convicted of the worst crimes could be put to use generating incomes for the state and as compensation for their crimes. This opens up a very powerful thread of discussion: the value of the individual; the topics of restitution, remorse and rehabilitation; and perhaps most importantly in the short term, the negation of the line of pro-DP argument which says ‘why should I pay taxes to keep murderers alive?’
Please take the time to view Jeremy’s video. I welcome your thoughts and comments on the content because I believe it raises some very good points and paves the way to contextualise others. Of course – there are a good many points Jeremy has missed but let’s face it, there are countless lines of argument AGAINST the death penalty – far too many for one short-form video (even Amnesty’s Jeremy Irons informational piece)