I’m ambivalent about capital punishment. As a human being, I am disturbed by the planned, ritualistic homicide of another human being; and it’s a bit worrying that The State has the power to kill its citizens. On the other hand, I’ll not shed any tears over the execution of certain individuals. Since it has been demonstrated that people on Death Row can be successfully removed from society, killing them serves no purpose. So put to a vote, I would vote to abolish capital punishment. But there are people who insist on vengeance.
In Monfort’s case, he is clearly a Bad Man. (Or he’s a nut, lashing out at perceived injustices, and he sees himself as a Hero.) His crime was not against an individual; it was against the government. (I think they have a name for that. ) His victim, therefore, was pretty much a random target. That is, unlike a barricaded suspect, he was not fighting to escape or even to be left alone; he willfully went out and hunted someone who was not a direct threat to him. And he intended to kill other people who were not even LEOs when he laid his booby trap. If anyone deserves execution, he does.
But what is the greater punishment? Strapping him to a table and taking his life? Or allowing him to live out his life in confinement, unable to move from the waist down? Once he’s dead, the punishment is over. Alive, he has to live with the paralysis and other consequences of his actions for a long, long time. If we, as a society, want vengeance, would the harsher punishment be life without parole? If so, would that be cruel?
I put this in Great Debates because this is where it would be moved in any case. I’ve laid out my humble opinion on capital punishment in the first paragraph. So I won’t be debating it here. As for Monfort, I’m not taking a position either way and would just like to read others’ opinions.