DURST: The Death Penalty

Timothy McVeigh has been found guilty of the slaughter of 168 people in the Oklahoma City bombing, and jurors in Denver, Colorado have decided to slaughter him in response. I don't know how I feel about the Death Penalty. I know Clinton endorses it, Newt Gingrich embraces it and Trent Lott wants it applied to anyone who makes fun of his hair. Perhaps the word penalty doesn't quite convey the entire picture here. It sounds too much like a minor setback. A temporary correction. A puddlish oilslick on the highway, rather than the head on crash into an anonymous big rig hauling deteriorating cannisters of combustibles. Everyone I know feels strongly one way or the other about capital punishment, except me, and I feel strongly both ways. My theory is, the Bible says "Thou shall not kill", not "Thou shall not kill unless he's an egregious squeezebag who deserves to be taken out just for the sake of the gene pool". Might have been a translation problem; I think not. But then I hear of a crime like the Oklahoma City bombing: so heinous, so despicable, so... go to horrid, take a left, that I'd be willing to take the guy out myself with nothing but salad tongs, sandpaper and salt. Don't ask, but it works. I've just always been afraid that if we get too strict with this "eye for an eye" business, it won't be very long before we're all pretty much blind. Will Durst already can't see that well.

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