Why we should retain the death penalty

The most vocal opponents of the death penalty will tell you that it is a violation of the fundamental right to live. They argue that the law was set in place in the early 70’s to deter criminals and yet Kenya has seen nothing but an upward scale in crimes, particularly violent and fatal ones.

Civil societies world over say that the death penalty is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. As a coup de grace, these organisations will tell you that it is “The Global Trend” to abolish capital punishment.

The death penalty hasn’t deterred anyone in Kenya because well, no one has been executed for the longest time. Who would fear a law that no one enforces? I remember the first presidential duty after the 2002 elections was to pardon 223 death row inmates. This means that 223 hardened criminals with no professional skills or money are currently roaming your streets. Prison is a tough place, but I am sure they are not using all that experience to do wonderful country building activities.

In Kenya, capital punishment is reserved for crimes such as murder and robbery with violence. My thinking is that if you have no respect for life, why should anyone respect yours? It is cruel, inhuman and degrading to hold people hostage for a few hours to get a meagre Sh20,000 and then shoot them.

I think you deserve to die for it. They say that having two dead people instead of one doesn’t solve the problem. Yes it does, it means there’s one less person who has no qualms about killing off the street. Once again the deterrent angle of this is questioned but let’s face it; there are very few violent robberies in Saudi Arabia even though guns are all around them. Food for thought.

As for global trends, they can go where the sun doesn’t shine. Last week we had a discussion about how much the schooling experience is changing for our kids. We are trying so hard to follow the American way of schooling and disciplining their kids and yet we keep forgetting that America (and the rest of the western world) has lost control of its children. I refuse to let social global trends influence my constitution. If anything is going to influence my constitution, it should be me, not a bunch of foreigners across the oceans.

After the recent flood of news items on paedophiles across the country, I cannot help but support the death penalty. I have been reading through cases of convicted child molesters and the average sentence is about three to six years. A disturbing number of them have received the bare minimum of a year. If nothing else makes the case for the death penalty, I think child molestation is it. You touch a baby, you deserve to die. In my more fanciful moments I had thought of proposing something shocking and deeply traumatic like public beheadings without trial but I remembered that we like to pretend we live in a country under the rule of law.

As an afterthought, muggers should also be on death row. It is a small climb from attacking someone because you can to killing them because you wish it.

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