Monday, January 01, 2007

The Execution and Erudition

Andrew Sullivan links to Stephen Bainbridge's blog in which Bainbridge shares some thoughts on execution which have been developed by leading Roman Catholic thinkers.

It's erudition; it's fascinating reading. (There's a difference between revenge and retribution which I find a bit precious, but probably defensible.)

In the final analysis, though, the point discussed in the last Logorrhea posting, is not discussed by Bainbridge.

Somehow, somewhere, unless he was a sociopath from birth, Hussein learned a lesson which allowed him to make decisions which ultimately led to the gallows. Societies need to learn how to spot the dangerous lesson, and we need to learn how to undo the damage they cause.

Until that time, executions will continue, and they are, nevertheless, evidence of social failure. We are diminished by the death penalty.

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