Jonah Goldberg admits that whenever perpetrators of especially heinous crimes, such as Oklahoma's Clayton Lockett, are executed, they are "entitled to a relatively painless and humane execution under the law." ("Clayton Lockett: A just execution, regardless," Opinion, May 6)
He also acknowledges that "deterrence may have some validity, but it alone cannot justify the death penalty. It is wrong to kill a man just to send a message to others."
He even says that "innocent people have been sent to death row. Even one such circumstance is outrageous and unacceptable."
Although he explains why he's not persuaded by some arguments against the death penalty and states that he is a death penalty supporter, it is remarkable that he fails to express even a single rationale for that support. If it's revenge, I think he should have the courage to admit it and then present a justification for his belief.
In his column on the botched Oklahoma execution, Goldberg goes over the arguments for and against the death penalty. Unfortunately, he did not include what I consider the most compelling argument against its use.
The use of the death penalty by government legitimizes violence as a solution to problems. This endorsement of violence sets a tone in society that is counterproductive and damaging.
Murder is a problem for society. That we attempt to solve the murder problem by killing people reflects the same simplistic logic used by so many murderers.
Stephanie Neiman presented a problem to Lockett: She refused to say she wouldn't report Lockett to the police. He tried to solve his problem by killing Neiman.
Solving problems by killing didn't work for Lockett, and it has not worked for society.
John La Grange