Sunday, December 18, 2011
Lifer should mean Life.. .again
It never ceases to astound me just how many prisoners contain fascist urges, advocating law and order policies which might make Himmler wince.
Cornered by two such proto-fascists, I was berated ("nothing personal...") with the concept that "life should mean life" for murderers. Haven't I heard that dim-witted slogan a thousand times before? And addressed it in previous posts!
The problem with that idea is that the definition of murder is far, far broader than the common mind appreciates. No intent to kill is necessary. All that is required is an intent to cause serious harm, and death resulting. That intent can be inferred from the circumstances.
The legal conception of murder, then, encompasses old ladies who administer a lethal drug at their dying husbands request; through to the craziest of serial killers. And this is where the "life should mean life" chant begins to waver.
It turns out that, faced with these facts, what people actually mean is that Life should mean Life only for the murders that they themselves find particularly awful. And grannies bitten by the euthanasia bug are not included. Odd, that.
These glitches in the argument aside, I argue from a more heartfelt position. That no person is irredeemable. And that no amount of suffering inflicted on a murderer alters the endless fact that a person is dead.
Labels: life sentences