and where the offence is let the great axe fall

  1. Do you believe the death penalty is justified and/or effective? Why or why not?
    Well...it is effective in at least one of its intended purposes, which is to end the life of the person convicted of a crime punishable by death. I'm not trying to be all circular and pointless, just to make the point that there is more than one rationale behind any criminal penalty. (Have I ever mentioned that I am nearly incapable of spelling 'criminal' correctly? It almost always comes out 'criminial', which then makes me giggle, which is ridiculous.)

    So, is it effective? Yep: there will be no more crimes committed by that person, the [literal, financial] cost to society will end, the threat of criminal activity will end with that person's death. Recidivism is, essentially, eliminated.

    Is it effective in a more [gag, I hate this word] "proactive" sense, meaning that others will "take a lesson" from the extreme penalty and avoid criminal activity in the future due to the now-serious threat of death? Hmm. Probably not. The threat was, theoretically, always there - these putative criminals simply chose to ignore it. They'll likely choose to ignore this, too.

    Now, the harder question: is it justified? There certainly is a biblical argument to be made, 'an eye for an eye' and all that jazz. And if one asks victims of violent crime (or their survivors), one is likely to hear (from some, if not most, of them) that lesser punishments, e.g. imprisonments or fines, do not "measure up" to the severity of the crimes committed. There are, however, those who will argue that the real punishment is being alive to be punished...for a long time. On the other hand (isn't it nice that in theory we have an endless supply of hands?), who pays for this seemingly unending lifetime of punishment for serious offenders? Are we not all victimized, and the actual victims
    revictimized by the need to feed and house and care for, in a legally-protected manner, those who have (arguably) the least right to that care?

    Yes. It's justified.
  2. Does it sometimes make you paranoid when other people laugh?
    nope - I tend to fly under the radar, so I don't assume it's about me
  3. How many birthdays and/or anniversaries of friends and family will be happening this month?
    Scads. The village idiot was the 6th, my former spouse was the 7th, a FB-only friend's was yesterday, a good friend from Michigan's is tomorrow, my farmer friend's - and the husband of someone I used to know well - is the 25th, a FB-and-then-some friend's is the 26th, and the best cook in the world's is the 29th (she's also a former roommate and a really good friend). No anniversaries, though, that I can think of?
  4. Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.
    [Public Domain Photo]

    It reminds me of my old blog friend, Robert. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I haven't seen him for a couple of years, and it will likely be at least as many more before I see him again. I understand that he is "back home" briefly (that's the photo reference - it looks vaguely like the picture in my mind of there from whence he came), and of course I wish him happy in that as in all else.

[Curious as a Cat, week 243; title quotation by William Shakespeare, from Hamlet, Act IV, scene v]

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