Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Let's suppose I proposed a several million dollar state and federal program that would result in the loss of a hundred lives a year nationwide. This program would involve lots of lawyers and court proceedings, and give the state the right to take a life. The main purpose of this program is to make people who have had bad things happen to them feel better.

Guess what? That's the death penalty, or at least the case George Will made for it in Sunday's column.

I'm sure most conservatives would say that the government shouldn't be in the business of making people feel better. But not Mr. Will. No, Will writes that because Ryan commuted the death sentences, "his cavalier laceration of the unhealable wounds of those who mourn the victims of the killers the state of Illinois condemned."

So, Mr. Will is admitting that the wounds are unhealable, yet the government should keep the program in place in a vain attempt to heal them.

Mr. Will is right about one thing, the death penalty is a government program. A failed one, as its goal is to do the undoable, heal victims' families of their grief over a loved one. Its fate should be the same as any other costly government program with impossible goals -- elimination.
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