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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Stupid Scholarship Sites, and Stupid Me (the death penalty debate)

Wow! I'm not feeling too competent right now, on a day which began with a plan to write about Mother's Day, Mother's Day.
I'm not sure what exactly triggered my burning desire to complete my schooling, but, by noon, I was knee deep in a search for scholarships. Good ole' internet, it was loaded with sites which locate scholarships. You know the routine; do a search and get back a list. I thought I'd hit the essays. Hey, I'm a f___ing pro, shouldn't be a problem.

I found one. I had to write about the death penalty by using a known book on the subject. 750 words, blah, blah, blah, no sweat. I found a book, skimmed through it and began to wield my trusty pen (keyboard, actually), convinced that I had what it takes to snatch this $5,000 prize.
My only problem, as you know, is the word count. I am such a profound scribe that I often struggle to contain my ideas, leading to a verbose piece of work which is confusing to the simpleton.

At any rate, I answered the toll by manifesting, from thin air, exactly what was required, and, when it was complete, I looked upon it and it was good. I had the winning paper. A weight has been lifted. I will go back to school, just like Thorton Melon, and I will show my resilience in hopes that others will follow. It's never too late....................or, so I thought. I edited my final draft
and hit "send". I received confirmation:

thank you for your submission, winners will be announced December 19th, 2009.

HaHaHa............, just missed it. I want to ask why the f--k they'd have that submission page up and accepting essays, but it's kinda like reporting your cocaine stolen. I'm the cannabidiot that didn't check anything passed $5000!!!!!!

So, since I have no other f--king use for this piece of crap, I present my BS paper on Capital Punishment:

Bedau and Cassell's book, referenced above, is basically a collection of eight essays on capital punishment, written by judges, lawyers and other intelligent beings. Four of them are against the death penalty while those remaining go the other way. It’s not that this book was groundbreaking, actually, some of the essays were very average, and four of them, in my opinion, were very wrong.

If this were a book report, I would begin picking each point of view apart, but it isn’t, and I’m on a word count. So, I’ll simply say this: The arguments in which I found merit came from both sides, and vice-versa. Some would take this to mean that I have no backbone, or I was a flip-flopper,. But I'm just open minded and without ideals as defined by U.S. Politics.
Consider Lou Pojman, a professor from the U.S. Military Academy, who stirs up images of Col. Jessup from Guantanemo. It seems his essay might have been inspired by the writings of Hammurabi, as he states that lethal injection is "too good" for the perpetrator off a heinous crime. Pojman represents the vigilantes of society, out for revenge, I mean, retribution. Personally, I don't mind Charles Bronson smacking thugs in the face with a loaded tube sock after his wife was victimized, or The Crow, Desperado, or any other renegade who feels the need to close a painful wound. Avenging wrongs should be kept personal and involve some planning and diligence, enough to bring satisfaction. Perhaps we should allow the victim’s next of kin to do the honors, in whatever manner he/she chooses, of course. Lethal injection is too nice.

On the other side is the ACLU's arguments. For one, there's the DNA situation. As you know, some decades ago, we began solving and prosecuting crimes by matching a person’s DNA to that of the crime scene. This breakthrough was more precise than fingerprinting, although, it also highlighted mistakes. For a while, it appeared as though nobody on death row was guilty. That is a powerful image. I find it extremely difficult to support any mandate that would kill an innocent human being, but that’s an inherent flaw in our judicial system, that is, before we incorporated the use of DNA. Besides, who’s to say that an innocent man, falsely accused of a wretched crime and disgraced before all who knew him, wouldn't welcome an eternal nap as he deteriorates in a cage. The reality of that situation is, of all the people outside his cell, the executioner will be the most compassionate.

Then we see the debate held on another front, namely the church and specifically the belief in an after-life. I’m not sure who benefits here, but the idea is: If a person who believes in God, or is religious, condemns a man to death it is not considered to be an absolute termination of his life because, after the pain, his spirit lives on, and can be saved. The adage is that damnation, not death, is the ultimate judgment and can only be imposed by The Deity. However, when a secular individual brings the death sentence upon another, he is, in effect, playing God, since he believes that this is the final curtain call.

The religious argument is profound, but very complex and undefined. We see the quagmire such an argument causes when we look at the country’s abortion debate. I believe we’ll determine the definite value of Pi before religious zealots and church-hating atheists reach an agreement on morality. What if the judge is religious, but the guilty party is not and neither was the victim, but the victim’s mother is always in church. Do you see the problem here?

Forgive me for not solving the Death Penalty puzzle in 700 words, but I’m exhausted from dealing with the energy crisis and the recession, to which I’ve proposed electric cars and printing more money, respectively. Don’t expect this book to do so either, although it has invited 8 more opinions to the party. Great! That’s 16 cents.

So, until we hammer out a fair and balanced solution that will honor each citizen’s personal mores and satisfy our hunger for a political and spiritual debate, I suggest you don't bring it up at your local watering hole, and, please, don’t find yourself accused of murder in Texas.

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Thanks for reading that. Please add some comments, give an opinion, ask questions, disagree. I would love a healthy discussion on this, not to find a winner in this debate, but to find the truth.

- Professor Plume

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