Thursday, June 7, 2012

Why Libertarians Oppose The Death Penalty

Here's something from the Coyotote Blog, taking a Tampa Bay Times writer named Robyn Blumner to task for opposing the death penalty and government intervention in lifestyle choices, while advocating for government intervention in economic matters. 
Robyn Blumner’s column highlighting the wrongful executions of Carlos DeLuna and Cameron Todd Willingham was a very compelling argument against the death penalty. I am a Republican who rarely agrees with Blumner, but in this case she was spot on. While I believe that there are individuals who certainly deserve to lose their lives for the crimes they commit (John Couey comes to mind), I simply do not trust the government to administer such a process fairly or accurately. This is because the government is run by human beings, who like the rest of us are motivated by narrow self-interest and restrained by limited knowledge. Because those in government rarely face the consequences of their decisions, they often make the wrong ones, even if their intent is pure.

Do you trust the government's mail system to deliver important documents, or do you trust FedEx or UPS?  What about hospitals?  I know that during a recent emergency, I was glad to be in St. Joseph's rather than a VA facility. 
The only thing that government does better than the private sector is blowing up strange-looking people overseas. 

What I find puzzling is how Blumner can so effectively articulate these failings of government when it comes to civil liberties in one column, and in the next champion its abilities and competence in economic matters. A criminal trial is a grueling and exacting process that seeks to administer justice in a very narrow, specific instance. If government doesn’t deserve our faith in doing that correctly, how can we trust it to control and coordinate the countless decisions that hundreds of millions of Americans make each day in our economic lives?
All of those questions are legit, but here's an even better one for Matt Curran, the guy who wrote this little gem.  In the first paragraph, Mr. Curran says . "I am a Republican who rarely agrees with Blumner..."

But Republicans voted for TARP.  They promote subsidies, bailouts, quotas, tariffs, set-asides, corporate welfare and crony capitalism of the worst possible sort.  All of that, and they want to interfere with what you can smoke, who you can sleep with, where you can gamble, and whether or not you should have to listen to some redneck witch doctor pray before a football game or city council meeting. 

Matt, why are you still a Republican? 

The Libertarian Party awaits!!!

1 comment:

Hot Sam said...

Delivering the mail hardly has the checks and balances of the death penalty.

First of all, they have to actually arrest you. Then there's got to be like, evidence and stuff.

Then attorneys will argue over facts, the slightest of which can raise a reasonable doubt.

A jury of 12 people too stupid to get off of jury duty will have to come to a UNANIMOUS decision of guilt. They must also come to a UNANIMOUS decision for the death penalty. The judge must affirm the verdict.

Then the convict will be able to go to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Then there is the possibility of commutation, set aside, or pardon.

You're more likely to die of pneumonia in prison than die in the manner prescribed by law.

There are about 15,000 murders each year, and only about 100 people are put to death each year (for crimes committed many years ago). That's about 1/2 of one percent.

The biggest problem with the death penalty is that we don't have one. Getting executed is almost like an accident.

Sad story. I went to traffic court recently. A young man was being arraigned for his second offense of driving on a suspended license. his fine was going to be several thousand dollars. When the judge asked if he could pay it, he said, "Nah, I'd rather go to jail." The stunned judge said, "Well, uh, that's not really an option. How about community service?" He got 1300 hours of community service, and I'll bet he doesn't perform an hour of it.

Oh, and illegal aliens and their court-appointed translator got to go first. No licensia. No insurance. Of course, and not a single call to ICE.