The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Dzhokhar Tsarnaev death sentence

The jury in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev case has made their decision — and sentenced him to death. I, for one, applaud. I was fearful that in Boston, a city with a high proportionn of the population opposed to the death penalty, the jurors might include some who were sufficiently opposed to it that they could not sentence Tsarnaev to death. But fortunately this did not occur.

There are some who argue that sometimes a person gets convicted who is not truly guilty, and a death penalty applied to such a person is irreversible. I certainly do not deny that wrongful convictions do sometimes occur — there was a case that recently cane to light where a man in Virginia served 28 years for a rape and it was finally established that the perpetrator was a man who looked uncommonly like the prisoner. But nobody claims that Tsarnaev is the wrong man. Not even he nor his lawyer. The only defense that anyone has offered was that Tsarnaev was a pawn of hs older brother. And Tsarnaev's own actions after his arrest make it clear that he mas acting consciously. The jury did not buy that argument.

Giving a murderer anything short of the death penalty, in my opinion, says that the lives of the murderer's victims are less important than the life of the murderer. And I cannot accept such a valuation. So Tsarnaev's sentence is absolutely justified, and, as I said earlier, I applaud it.

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