Blog of Mass Distraction

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Woohoo! I got a GMail account and Canada won the World Cup. Can this day get any better?
Now, to be fair, my Hotmail account has been with me for many years now; almost since Hotmail was first introduced. And, unlike so many others, I don't really get spammed there. I've never put my email on usenet or used it for signing up on spam-lists or websites. It's actually pretty easy to avoid most spam, though bits and pieces have come through every now and then. Now I get almost none though... maybe Hotmail actually blocks some of it?

On a far more morose subject, the atrocity in Baslan with the school has everyone up in arms. But Putin's response, centralizing power in the Kremlin and cracking down on Chechnya, isn't going to make things better. The cycle of violence is horrendous, but it wouldn't be so horrible if soldiers only killed other soldiers. While all human life has value, killing of civilians, and especially children, is wrenches all compassion and humanity out of you.
I definitely respect and understand the people that object to capital punishment, but I don't happen to fully agree. I think in cases where there is some reasonable possibility that a person is innocent, then it should be out of the question. But some of the more prominent cases here, like Willie Pickton and Paul Bernardo, there are mountains of evidence and trials were merely a formality (to make sure they get due process). While I definitely think they are entitled to due process, I also think that since they have committed these acts and are completely without remorse and don't seek redemption, they shouldn't continue to live. The point of the criminal justice system is to protect people's rights and to reform and reintegrate criminals into society. They have sanctions put against them for infringing on others rights; but if reform is impossible and they have infringed to the extent of taking lives without conscience, then the sanction against them should be their own life.
Again, there have to be a lot of checks in place to make sure this isn't done in error and should only be for the absolute worst offenders. I can't explain all the restrictions here, and I don't think it would be a deterrent, but I do think it should be an option. In fact, in situations where it would be an option, having the bereaved family decide on whether the murderer should be spared capital punishment would be a good idea.

But enough about the sadness in the world. Good things happen too!


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