Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Death is Not an Answer

At 9 o'clock tonight, the state of Virginia will execute "DC sniper," John Allen Muhammad, convicted of killing Dean Harold Meyers. While his conviction was for one murder, Muhammad was responsible for killing 10 people, along with his young accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo.

I want to acknowledge the pain and suffering that Muhammad brought on the victims and their families, as well as on the entire District of Columbia in 2002. Along with Malvo, he terrorized the city; he made residents feel unsafe, and traumatized. He should be punished for this.

However, I think there is a problem with a civilized society sanctioning death as a punishment, no matter how grave the crime. I completely agree that we as a society need to punish Muhammad for his crimes. I would argue that as human beings in the United States, we lack creativity and a clear moral compass if our punishment for someone who killed is to put that person to death in return.

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