someone stopped by while I was working the aches out looking for “should the florida school shooter get the death penalty.”
As a first let me point out that neither life nor death is a deterrent to murder, so whatever is done, with an exception mentioned later, will deter the next potential school shooter. What would is media silence, since even adverse publicity is glorifiction to a mind broken enough to wantonly murder students.
In principle, I am opposed to putting any offender to death whose guilt has not been proven beynd any possible doubt. And yes, “reasonable doubt” is not enough. Since many witnesses have identified Cruz as the killer, that objection does not apply.
Well, if he gets the needle he will not kill again. Other than that, I have no great opinion, either way once I observe that I see little difference between a useless life spent in a cell or a quite death spent in a pine box.
However, a two to six percent difference, shifting one way and then the other, is not statistically significant. Using a phrase I seem to use too darn often, “Before gun control,” the percentage of convicted murderers who got the death penalty, the “hot squat in the electric chair,” was within a few percent of those who drew life without parole.
As the 1960’s wore on and the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 was enacted, death became less popular as a punishment and more life sentences were imposed. Life sentences that were imposed. By 1980 the electric chair was seldom used because it was in some way “cruel.”*
At present, there is still a substantial bias toward life imprisonment, with the result taht approximately one third more life than death sentences are handed out.
Of course, that is a societal issue. Several states have killed the death penalty entirety, others seem to reserve it of cases of depravity.
But life sentences have problems as well, beginning with paroling an offender who shows no sign of remorse, and who still poses a danger to the remorse. Cruz is 19, and can be expected to survive for more than 65 years in prison.
Assuming there is no increase in the cost of keeping the public safe from a prisoner, it will cost some $5,000,000 to warehouse Nikolas Cruz for the rest of his life. The temptation to stop that burden on the taxpayer and release Cruz on parole will begin about three years into his sssentence, and be there every day he remains in prison. Hence a high percentage of those who should never be released are soon back on the streets.
How much injection of pentathlon?, or a cyanide tablet?
A lethal shot of electricity will not cost enough to buy a penny candy.
And the “cruelty?” A never impulse takes an appreciable time to travel to the brain. Around 100 milliseconds from toe to top for one test subject I know. Electricity travels the same path, shocking nerves into inactivity all the way, in less than 5 Microseconds. In theory then, the “hot squat” should be painless.
Talking to linemen who have been “hit” by as much as 13,000 volts, none remembered pain until they awoke in ICU.
so that is most of what I know on the subject. For my opinion, either the death penalty or life in prison is fine with me – so long as everyone concerned realized the actual cost so the parents of a victim do not run into Cruz in the grocery.