The Parkland shooter is facing the death penalty. Is there any reason why premeditated murder of children should not get the death penalty?
Morally. It is unacceptable to sit by and watch someone be killed. Or to actively kill someone. You can’t claim it is wrong to be a killer and then kill someone.
Christianity. “You’ve heard an eye for an eye, but I tell you to turn the other cheek.”
- Jesus -
Fundamental. You should never give the State the power to kill its citizens. The State serves its citizens and has the obligation to protect them. Never extend that power beyond imprisonment.
Philisophical. You never have 100% proof that someone actually did the deed. Killing them makes it rather difficult to reverse the decision when new information comes to light. You only have to look, historically, at the numbers to see this is an actual problem.
Karma. Killing someone actually dents one’s core. Take an extreme example: walk out the house with a brick and murder the neighbour’s cat. Smash its skull in and watch it twitch, then throw the body in a lake.
That act dents you in a way that killing for food doesn’t.
The death penalty is a set situation and thw fibres of the human body experience it more like the cat situation than a hunting expedition.
The difference being: you stumble upon someone trying to rape a kid and in your anger you accidentally kill the bastard… generally fine.
But, if you capture the bastard and can send him to prison, to sit and watch him be murdered… it is different.
Compassion. Everyone does something for a reason. Empathy is what makes us likable. That we cannot accept certain behaviour within a society is a given. It is a good thing to seek security, but revenge isn’t a desirable trait. It makes one raw and nasty. Try to feel and understand the other. Imprisonment is harsh. Why go further?
Statistical. Countries which carry the death penalty (and physical punishment like cutting off the hands of thieves) generally have more violent crime and abuse in the home.
Science and research. Why did he do it? What motivated him. What could have stopped him at what time? What went wrong. What can we learn from him to avert such things from happening in the future?
So, to sum it up, even though every fibre in your body feels that this individual deserves death for his heinous crimes, it is better for you and society to not go down that road.