With regard to capital punishment, I'm generally in favor of restraint. When a life is at stake, I don't think being sure beyond a reasonable doubt is enough. I think executing someone is only justified when guilt of a capital crime has been proven beyond any doubt.
Having said that, I can't think of anyone who deserves a swift and sure execution more than the assailant who gunned down Representative Gabrielle Giffords and killed six other people last Saturday.
Some crimes are just so heinous that the perpetrator forfeits any further right to exist. And given the overwhelming number of eyewitnesses – and his own writings – the killer's guilt and premeditation are clear. So why do I have this unsettling feeling we'll still be talking about him in the present tense years from now?
This isn't about punishing the shooter. It's about protecting society by permanently removing him from our midst. And while that could be done through life imprisonment, I don't think society has any obligation to incur the massive expense of housing and feeding him for the next 60 years – nor to invest massive resources into attempting a rehabilitation that has no chance of happening.
In my perfect world, capital punishment would be extremely rare. But this murderer would be tried and convicted this week and executed the next.
What do you think? Call and let us know.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.