Thursday, December 8, 2022

Death penalty is ok. Infact it’s too decent for my liking

Do people ever pause and ponder over what murder victims would prefer as suitable punishment to those who murdered them? Do we ever put ourselves in the shoes of murder victims? Do we appreciate the pain they go through before they finally take their last breath at the hands of these murderers? I strongly feel murder victims would unequivocally and unanimously rally behind capital punishment for their killers. Of cause I cannot say it as a matter of fact but really, I do not believe I need to be murdered first to say with certainty what form of punishment murder victims would prescribe for their killers. I am not a ghost and as such I cannot claim to know how dying at the hands of another person really feels like. However, the empathy I have for murder victims motivates my thoughts on what they would prefer. It is when I put myself in the shoes of those who have been murdered that I gather no slightest doubt they wish death on those who murdered them.

I know the pain and the anguish that befalls the family and friends of murder victims. It is traumatizing and very terrifying to lose a loved one through murder. That agreed, I still argue that the pain that befalls those who survive the brutally murdered persons can never match the pain that murder victims go through before they take their last breath of air. Before that last gasp for air, I adamantly believe the only wish that goes through murder victims is for their killers to die an equally painful death. To that end, we are failing murder victims.

Look, a guy kills his girlfriend by stabbing her several times with a knife. Imagine the pain that this lady goes through before she eventually dies. The guy goes further to cut the dead lady’s body and buries her body parts in shallow graves. You then have a couple that kills their own 11 year old son by beating him to a pulp with a hammer, tie him to the roof rafters over night and wake up in the morning to finish him off. You go on to hear of a middle aged man who mugged, raped and robbed a pensioner before killing the helpless old woman. My ‘retributive’ mind tells me perpetrators of such heinous acts deserve to die, painfully. This is why I maintain that even as we kill murderers, their death is more dignified and decent than those of their victims. They never give their victims an opportunity to justify why they should not kill them, whereas they are given the opportunity to justify their acts at the courts of law. They never pray with their victims yet chaplains are brought in to pray with them. Murderers are hanged by a thick rope which is not as painful as being clobbered with a hammer or being stabbed with a knife several times. They are given the opportunity to pray to God before they die. They are given the chance to order their favourite dishes before they are resigned to the gallows. They are not raped before they are hanged.

As I have said, through this article I want to put myself in the shoes of those who have been murdered. I want to speak for the dead without much emphasis on those who survive them. In other words, if you have a friend or a relative who has been murdered, rest assured of my condolences but today my focus is not really on you or about you. I want to speak on behalf of that loved one whom you lost through the hands of a fellow human being.

Yes, I fully support the death sentence because I believe the people I’m writing on behalf of would support it too. Let me tell you why I don’t want to seek the views of those who lost their loved ones through murder. You see, I am from a Christian family. A God-fearing family. A family that subscribes to the teachings of the Holy Bible. They probably would not support the killing of any person, including murderers. Now imagine if someone was to kill me today and my family was asked what should be done to the person who murdered me. I bet my Christian family would say only God must be allowed to punish the murderer. Infact they would pray for the killer because to them, he would have only killed me because he has not ‘received Jesus’. They would probably say the killer must not be killed because he will face the music when Jesus Christ comes back to take stock of his flock. Now you see why I choose to write as someone who has been murdered and not someone who has lost a family member through murder? While the people who survive me might be of the view only God should judge my killer, I, the dead man, feel my killer should be killed, not by God but by another man. I strongly believe it is only fair that a person who kills another person must be killed by another person. Let’s leave God out of it. There are plenty of people who are ready to take over the job of the ‘hangman’. There are plenty of legal professionals who are ready to sit as High Court Judges and pronounce death sentences, so I don’t want to buy the argument that the hangman and the Judges are traumatized after condemning murderers to death and eventually carrying out the death penalty. If you are too traumatized to kill a murderer, you are free to quit. If you cannot stand the sight of a wound, why would you opt to become a nurse? The good thing about the death sentence is, when you kill another person you are not automatically destined for the gallows. The Courts of Law appreciate that there are those circumstances when killing someone can be justifiable and in order. When robbers break into my house armed to the teeth with weapons and a fight ensues and I kill one, or luckily all of them, I do not expect any High Court Judge to order that I hang by the neck until I’m pronounced dead. I would have appropriately defended myself. By entering my house uninvited they would have invited death on themselves. That is just an example and we have in abundance cases of ‘justified killings’. You see, Judges are expected to be wise men and women.

When they conclude that the killing was not justified, they pronounce murder (I’m still shocked Kalafatis killers got away) and if they conclude that the killer didn’t set out on a mission to kill, they pronounce man-slaughter. Murder refers to the heinous, often premeditated killing of another person and it is this offence that carries the death penalty, which I support, on behalf of murder victims. In a case where you kill someone because you were defending and protecting your life from being taken by him or her, you end up being let scot-free because the conclusion is, the victim invited his or her own death by first trying to visit death on you. Now after the aforementioned types of killings I am still waiting for someone to convince me why murderers deserve clemency. I mean we already go soft on accidental killers. We set free those kill in self defence. Why should we go further and be lenient on those who brutally, mercilessly and intentionally kill other people?

Look, we all love to live, don’t we? No one likes to die, even those who commit suicide. People only kill themselves simply because they love life so much it frustrates them when life appears not to return the favour. Life, even though it sucks at times, is precious. Now if you take my precious life, why should yours be spared? I don’t get this. People who are against the death penalty always say the same thing and it has now become as stale as Zahara’s Loliwe.

Human rights activists will tell you how inhuman and degrading it is to hang murderers. The men of cloth will tell you how only God should be the one to punish murderers. Those who have nothing really convincing to put forward will tell you how sentencing these murderers to death traumatizes judges and the hangman. Now you see why I stated from the onset that I write on behalf of murder victims? I mean, it’s very clear that murder victims have no one to speak on their behalf. People always say no one has the right to kill. I fully concur. These murderers had no right to kill their victims. When the hangman kills these murderers, he is not killing them as a person per se; he is killing them as ‘Mr Government’. So yes, no person has the right to kill, except for ‘Mr Government’

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