The issue of the reinstatement of the death penalty is being raised more and more in South African circles these days. It is a complex subject which can consume many pages, but I will try my best to keep it as brief as possible. And I know there is always two sides to a coin, so invite you to join the debate.
Here is my side:
In a society like ours, where violent crime is a daily part of life, people are becoming increasingly concerned about these crimes. It is not just that crime seems to be out of control, but the fact that the crimes are so brutal and savage. It is not just murder, but murder of the most vial kind imaginable.
Take farm murders as just one example. Often only a few cellphones and some money are stolen, yet the perpetrators find it necessary to first torture their victims with hot irons, pour acid on them and smash their brains in with hammers so that they lie there dying slowly.
This kind of savagery not only makes them murderers, but vile creatures who are the epitome of evil and hatred itself. They contribute absolutely nothing to society but are like parasites who feed off their hosts and suck the blood and waste the oxygen of other good people.
They should be permanently removed from a law-abiding society like any parasite or cancer.
These creatures are apparently protected under our Constitution. They have “human” rights. A right to life. But why should such garbage have a right to life or have any “human” rights whatsoever when they cannot possibly be seen as human? Why should they have the right to permanently snuff the life from another, yet retain their own right to life and various other rights?
I am willing to bet my car that should this ANC government call a referendum on the reinstatement of death penalty today, the vast majority of citizens of all races will vote in favour of it. However, this ANC government never will call for such a referendum. Mostly due to our past history and often because some of the current leaders themselves escaped the gallows.
I will never forget President Jacob Zuma's words in December 2011, when he opened the Gallows Memorial at the Pretoria Central Prison. Zuma stated that those advocating capital punishment did not understand how it felt to be on death row.
His statements irked and disgusted me. I countered his comments by asking whether he knows how the families of the victims must feel? The trauma and depression they must go through after losing a loved one to brutality and savagery? What about their feelings?
So once again a criminal's rights weigh more than the law-abiding victims' rights. Absurd and shameful. Stuff the parasite's feelings. In fact, having to await his execution should be part of the punishment so that he can reflect on what he has done and the misery he has caused for the victims and families of the victims.
Zuma also stated, as is the most common argument against the death penalty goes, that there is no credible evidence to prove that re-introducing the death penalty in South Africa will reduce crime.
With that I completely disagree.
In the USA there are studies which showed that capital punishment had no impact on violent crime whilst other studies showed it in fact does have an impact. From the fear-factor to simply removing garbage from our societies to never re-offend again.
What is interesting to note is that those studies opposing the death penalty cannot show us any positive results of not having the death penalty. They can only speculate that there is no impact – therefore their argument remains stagnant, with no movement either positive or negative in any direction.
In the USA, after almost 3 decades of studies, the National Research Council of the National Academies could only conclude that “research to date on the effect of capital punishment on homicide is not informative about whether capital punishment decreases, increases, or has no effect on homicide rates. Therefore, the committee recommends that these studies not be used to inform deliberations requiring judgmentsabout the effect of the death penalty on homicide.”
This does not tell me anything. They only recommended that the studies should not guide judgements. Neither did they disprove the studies.
On the flip-side, the studies which shows there is an impact on crime, in fact has positive results rather than no results at all.
Personally I believe they all miss the point. It is not so much about deterrence (which is inconclusive). It is rather about permanently removing human waste from our societies. Waste who should not have “human” rights to start with.
Those who are convicted only end up in prison, leaching further off the taxpayer. In fact they often come from backgrounds which make prison seem likea free bed-and-breakfast rather than a punishment. Therefore they have nothing to lose should they get caught and convicted. Not only do we suffer the terrible consequences of their heinous crimes, but we are expected to also maintain them. Is that “Justice”? No it is a comedy of the absurd.
There is also the question of wrongful conviction. The true innocents. However, one has to start with looking at the severity and brutality of the crimes first. Not all murderers or rapist should just be hanged willy-nilly. The savagery and brutality should be the overwhelming factor. Raping a baby until its intestines come out, torturing victims with acid or hot irons out of pure hatred before bashing their heads in.
A full bench of judges must decide unanimously. They must be certain beyond all doubt regarding the facts and the evidence. They must be utterly horrified by the extremity of the brutality. Only then do they hand down the death sentence. And then there will still be the right to appeal.
Even if one innocent might slip through the cracks, it will be sad yes, but the chances of that will be minimal and unfortunately it is a lesser evil in the greater scheme of things.
We also have to consider the possibility of the abuse of the system by the Government. In the old days, high treason was punishable by death. In this case, the so-called Boeremag members would all be hanging now. The point here is that it is open to abuse by a Government with a political or hateful agenda. What is to stop them from now simply labelling and framing a certain segment of society to purely get rid of them?
This is a very real danger and should be carefully considered. So called “high treason” should be excluded as a safety measure against this. One will also have to do careful studies on crimes such as “terrorism” and exactly how it is defined. But once again, the brutality should be the overwhelming factor in my opinion. Where is the brutality in treason for example? It does not exist.
To conclude (especially for those who are so arduously pro-life):
When a criminal makes the conscious decision to commit a brutal crime, he also should consciously and knowingly give up his “human” rights when he makes that decision to commit his despicable crime. Just as it includes having to give up his right to freedom (jail term) when caught, so it must include knowingly giving up his right to life. Or just as he knows he might be shot and killed by his victim or by the police.
If you do not behave like a law-abiding human being, then you do not deserve human rights. A criminal's rights should never trump the rights of his victims or their families who must now suffer the consequences of losing a loved one for the rest of their lives. These families are forever traumatised and the victims were forever stripped of their own rights – their rights to life, their rights to safety, their rights to dignity, their rights to freedom.
All these rights forever snuffed out by a savage parasite.
How can these criminals' “human” rights ever weigh more? How come should they have any rights whatsoever when they have just completely and permanently destroyed and infringed upon the rights of a law-abiding person?
The emphasis should not be on whether the death penalty is a deterrent. The emphasis should be on ridding our society of sub-human garbage parasites who serve no purpose other than to cause misery for the rest of us. They contribute nothing to our society other than pain and suffering. They only take up space and steal our oxygen.
In short – We should not have to maintain them in bead-and-breakfast prisons with 3 square meals a day. They should be removed from human society – PERMANENTLY.