Re: virus: Re: FAQ ideas (fwd)

Joel Bradford Klammer (
Tue, 7 Nov 95 13:28:50 MST

I wrote:

> >Regardless of whether the death penalty is a deterrent, the cost
> >is that the state will probably eventually execute an innocent person.
> >IMO, this is _the_ decisive argument against it.

David "Spock" McFadzean replied:

> True, the state will eventually execute an innocent person (probably
> already has). But this is a decisive argument against capital punishment
> only if you assume a human life has an infinite value. Are you prepared
> to defend that assertion?

The value of a human life doesn't have to be infinite, it need
only exceed the social benefits of capital punishment. Thus, the
proponents of the death penalty must demonstrate *unequivocally*
that its benefits outweigh the near-certain cost of committing an
occasional atrocity.