...It's hard to speak about "the greater good" when you're talking about the death penalty.
The state of New Jersey has outlawed the death penalty, and as a result the man who is responsible for the death of Megan Kanka, for whom "Megan's Law" is named, will live forever in prison as a ward of the state. No parole, no chance to ever pass GO and collect $200.
"Megan's Law", for those who don't know, basically states that sex offenders have to register where they're living and anyone can find out who the offenders in the area are. It came about because of a little girl named Megan Kanka who followed a nice man (who happened to be a pedophile) who promised a puppy or kitty or something and ended up raping and killing her.
Basically, a monster.
I'm on two sides of the fence about this abolishment of the death penalty. On one hand, I'm distressed to hear that it's gone because there are those who have earned that penalty and should be made to answer for their crimes. On the other hand I'm glad it's gone, because we shouldn't need to kill people for their crimes. It's sad anyway that you look at it because people have been sentenced to die for heinous crimes.
But then I interject my own thinking into it. I have two little girls and while they know not to talk to strangers, I worry that something will happen. They know all the rules about making a huge fuss, and fighting back if they were grabbed by someone they don't know. But if someone violated and killed my child...
Yes, I'd want blood. The death penalty absolutely, if I wasn't allowed to kill them myself. And yes I'd probably go to watch them die to make sure it stuck. The death penalty has been around for years - probably as long as humankind has walked the earth. Certain crimes were always punishable by death. Sometimes even small crimes in more stricter environments were punishable by death.
So why abolish it when it's been going on for centuries? Are we just trying to be more enlightened and less cruel? No, probably not. It's probably more like we're realizing that the threat of death isn't a deterrent to crime anymore. Almost as if living the rest of your life in maximum security on the state's dime wouldn't be too bad.
Unless you're a child killer. Then you have a target on your back. But that aside, I'm not sure what to think about the death penalty anymore. I have always been a strong supporter of it throughout my life. After all, if you committed a crime then you should have to pay the consequences of it, whether it just be guilt that weighs on your mind, or time in prison. And New Jersey has decided that it will be time in prison, lots of it, for anyone worthy of the death penalty. Everyone gets to live, and that makes sense since they haven't executed anyone in that state since the 60s...
...I just wish they'd execute the guy who killed Megan Kanka. For old times sake.