Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Can People be Born Evil?

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

There was an interesting response today to an old posting that I made regarding spree killer Levi King.  Levi was convicted of killing a total of five people in Missouri and Texas, and both states sentenced him to life in prison.  I argued that Levi received an appropriate sentence because the death penalty is a flawed concept, and much of who Levi is today is the result of his environment while growing up.  In many respects, he was channeled into who he ultimately became by forces that were largely beyond his control.

The person responding to my post said, in part:  "People CAN be born evil, and he (Levi) and his father are examples of that"

Levi's crimes were heinous.   He committed five murders calmly, in cold blood, and showed little remorse.    Yes, he is a killer, and his crimes were awful beyond measure.  And no, I wouldn't want to see him set free and living next door to one of my grandkids.   But I believe that given a different set of circumstances growing up, Levi King could have been a positive and productive member of society.

No one is born evil - regardless of how comfortable it makes one feel to think so.

I also believe that capital punishment does nothing but soothe the bloodlust of vengeful people.  There is absolutely no reputable research to show that it deters crime.  The only thing the death penalty does is make angry people feel better.  Right now the United States and Japan are the only two modern industrial nations in the world that use capital punishment, and Japan is quickly backing away from the practice.

In America we value our guns and our vengeance - and seem eager to conflate both with religion.  But vengeance isn't ours.   God needs to handle vengeance, and the rest of us should concentrate on helping each other.  If a few more people had stepped forward to help Levi King as he was growing up, he wouldn't be where he is today.

Babies are born innocent.  Society imparts the evil.


Don said...

There is no way to fix "mistakes" created when innocents are executed for crimes they didn't commit.

In an era where DNA evidence has compelled the release of eight death row inmates in Illinois and hundreds across the country, we should not we satisfied with our place alongside North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia and China as purveyors of a practice long abandoned by civilized nations.

In the lower tier of death-penalty nations are listed: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Botswana, Equatorial Guinea and Libya.

Some company we're keeping!

Debbie Hessee said...

I realize this is an old post but I just found it. I don' t care if the death penalty is a deterrent . It is not meant to be a deterrent , it is a punishment. If someone takes the life of an innocent person they deserve to have their life taken.