Sunday, December 31, 2006

The State of Things

I hate capiitol punishment, because I can't see what purpose it serves. Granted that it costs society a lot to house, protect, guard and feed a criminal for twenty to fifty or more years, but the criminal has to die anyway, and a quick--sometimess painless--execution may be an easier way to go than if he suffered from, say, lung cancer or muscular dystrophy for years.
I'm thinking about this now, because the butcher of Bhagdad has just received government assistance in departing this life. Maybe he suffered for five minutes, and perhaps he was scared to death when he saw that noose. So what? Think of the thousands he murdered or caused to be murdered and the fear he put into millions more. Is Five minutes of suffering sufficient payment for that? If anyone who reads this can come up with a more fitting punishment, please let us know what it is. I've thought about dog food, naked in barbed wire enclosed , outdoor quarters and such, but why punish others by forcing them to look at him. Oh, well. Have your say.
On January First, Congress will be led by Democrats. However, this change seems to have escaped the president, who is hell bent on ignoring the fact that a majority of us want the young women and men in the armed forces of this country to have a sporting chance at dying in bed at a great age, instead of being blown to pieces in somebody else's country before they reach age thirty. Mr Bush, please take heed.
I had a banner 2006. Harlequin/Kimani Press published two of my books (romances), Her Secret Life, and McNeil's Match. Kensingto publishing/Dafina Books published a mainstream novel, WHEN YOU DANCE WITH THE DEVIL, and a mainstream novella, "The Journey," in DESTINY's DAUGHTERS by Gwynne Forster, Donna Hill and Parry "Ebony Satin" Brown. I hope you had a chance to read them. Genesis Press reissued under new covers AGAINST THE WIND and NAKED SOUL, romances first published in 1998 and 1999. Unfortunately, the reissues contain innumerable printing errors that did not occur in the first edition. I had no role in this, but I apologize to all who got a copy with the errors.
I wish all of you a blessed, prosperous New Year.


At 9:36 PM, Blogger Shai said...

I am surprised by the post Gwynne. Dog food, naked and sufferring.

I feel ya. Part of me feels kind of bad that he was executed that way. I am not saying he did not deserve punishment, I just don't know which way would have been best. I think something was missing before he was killed and now it is gone. Don't ask me what was missing, just something does not sit right.

It was too quick a punishement.

At 10:51 PM, Blogger Donna Hill said...

The one thing I must say about foreign justice is that it is swift. Had he been in the states, the would have wrangled dozens and dozens of years more for his life with innumerable appeals. The whole notion of capital punishment is skewed... especially here in the states. Countless individuals were gassed or administered a lethal injection only to discover years later that they were't lying when they said they didn't do it. Then there are those who everyone damned well knows is guilty of horrific crimes yet they wallow in jail, free food, room, shower, exercise, tv, books and visits from those who choose to stop by. Hmmm, how bad could that be considering what real murderers, rapists, serial killers have actually done?
One suggestion.. I would think that the whole notion of walking that last walk would be enough to nearly give you a heart attack or the very least, in need of a change of underwear.
So... what if the punishment for a truly convicted killer was to periodically strap him to the electric chair, or in the gas chamber... pull the switches, or load up the injection... but there's not electricity or no lethal dose!!! This could go on for years with the culprit never really knowing if "today is the day." I think that would simply drive them mad!!! Now that is punishment.

Happy New Year.

At 1:09 AM, Blogger Dee Savoy said...

I feel you, too, Gwynne, but I also believe that Hussein received more than five minutes worth of punishment. I don't doubt that he was tortured during his detention and there are reports that others taunted him even as they put the rope around his neck.

Not enough? Perhaps not. Perhaps all the people in the world who feel cheated by how little he suffered in relation to his crimes are right. But if punishment must be meted out, let it come from somewhere other than this earthy plane.

I would not wish it on any person to have to mete out the level of retribution that might come close to being commensurate with what the man has done. That kind of cruelty, whether it comes in the form of orders or is dictated by the perversity in one's own psyche only corrupts, only damages.

Besides, is vengeance really ours to deliver? Most people around the world believe in some sort of afterlife in which they must account for their lives. Whether this comes in the form of reaching everlasting glory (or eternal damnation), karmic reincarnation, the atheist's eternal nothingness or whatever, that ultimate judgement is not ours.

Supposedly Hussein's last word was Allah. So let Allah judge Hussein and let the rest of us learn to live in peace without him.

At 4:15 AM, Blogger MsJayy said...

I don't know what to think, feel or say about this. I have no doubt that Saddam committed some atrocious acts. But I also believe that the United States helped "create" this monster to some degree as I think we have done with other leaders who "we" now consider to be enemies. I don't think our role in any of this bodes well for peace for any of us.

At 10:24 PM, Blogger franceonisland said...

Hi Gwynne,

How about making Saddam listen to hours and hours of Pres. Bush's speeches? Or unending hours of some really annoying singer's greatest hits?

But seriously, I am also against capital punishment. Keeping Saddam alive, perhaps to give him time to reflect on his own life, maybe even to change his mind about what he has done to folks, might have been better. Who knows.

Take care, Francine


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