Yesterday’s state-sponsored, cold-blooded murder of John A. Muhammad unquestionably made the world a better place. Think about it: children throughout this country have just been taught (or in some cases, retaught) the most valuable lesson a child in America can learn. That is to say, murder–pre-meditated, cold-blooded murder–is allowable if endorsed by the proper authority.
It’s fantastic and valuable for the youth of this country to learn at a young age that if the right person says, “kill,” then the act of murder becomes acceptable. This indoctrination creates a citizenry–the only citizenry in the developed world–who at least tacitly support capital punishment.
It also prepares kids for future military service, wherein if the correct person says, “kill”–be that a low level officer or the President–then, by god, God wants you to kill. This lesson is especially important for poor kids to learn, as they are more likely to either join the military or be murdered by their local government.
Those of us who don’t serve in the armed forces are constantly reassured that when the United States kills people, it is for a righteous cause. And we briefly learned about the exciting stories of the CIA torturing Bad Guys, 100 of whom died in US custody. The architects of those policies will almost certainly never face domestic prosecution, which should be no surprise to anyone. As we learn as a child, the State is allowed to kill.
Can we blame this country’s tragic obsession with violence entirely on the death penalty? Of course not. It’s more of a chicken and the egg problem. Murdering citizens and waging endless war feed into each other quite nicely–see: History of Texas.
For further reading on capital punishment, I recommend the website for The Campaign to End the Death Penalty, and for general information about wrongful incarceration–which can easily lead to wrongful execution–check out the Innocence Project.