There are aspects in the modern mode of thinking which do not follow for me. In this case, one of my life’s recurring themes is the antagonism of all my peers toward the death penalty, an antagonism absent in me. Not only does it seem incumbent by nature, history, and philosophy that justice demands certain crimes be punished by death, but the counterarguments have never made a lick of sense.
The case does not feel overly complex to me: By nature, at our youngest age, we understand Lex Talionis, though we know not the name, understand that an eye for an eye is just; by history we read and learn of the great lawmakers of the past, in my case I turn to Moses, and see that he who takes life must loose his life; and by philosophy we put these together and weigh the evidence. The scales tip in favor of the death penalty, as far as I can see, but because it is itself somewhat a part of nature, it is hard to express: There are certain things one cannot explain by reason which are in themselves reason. I know of no argument to prove that one and one is two, and the justification of the death penalty seems very much in this regard: A man kills with evil intent an innocent man, and therefore he should die. Reasons, small reasons, can be given which are not the reason: A dead man cannot murder again, the grieving may find comfort in revenge, and other evil minded men may remember their brother hanging from a tree and find it a deterrent from similar crimes. But these are not the reason. The reason is simpler: He took an innocent life and he took it with intent. I think, should all the smaller reasons I listed above be somehow reversed, even then it would be just to end the life of a murderer.