Feb. 22nd, 2011

clumsy_optimist: (FOCUSED)
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Yes! There should always be some leeway in terms of punishment. I don't think it should be an immediate option, because then people would probably choose it out of fear without fully assessing the situation. I would say a minimum of five years, and then after that point give people the option. There are people out there who are being kept alive and don't want to be, and it'd cost a lot less to be merciful to that.

But, then again, there's the question of their loved ones. Keeping them alive would grant their loved ones the opportunity to still see them or communicate with them in some way if they're allowed. It would be unfair to them to provide such an easy way out. Why should criminals who want to die be given an advantage over good people who want to die? Is it even an advantage? Good people who want to die often change their minds. By giving legal suicide, are we being merciful, or are we denying people the chance to turn around?

I guess now I'm leaning more towards no. Even if you require the consent of loved ones, there's no way to do that without any room for bitter feelings. A family may sign off on someone's assisted suicide and then regret it for the rest of their lives. It's difficult enough for them knowing someone in their family is deserving of life in prison. It's not just like signing a DNR. There are a lot of other emotions involved and it can skew the ability for justice to take place. A family could either be in denial and want to hang on to their loved one as long as possible under the belief that they're innocent, or they could be bitter and sign off on their death impulsively.

I'm not against the death penalty, per se. Not at all, really. But it should be given objectively, not subjectively. It's not to say that the person sentencing shouldn't be intimately aware of all the details involved, because they should. But it needs to come from someone who has no attachments. And I guess that would also exclude the criminal himself.

So, no. Probably.

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March 2011

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