First of all, what was this guy on when he wrote this article advocating torture to replace the death penalty (“Damn Skippy: Death Is Overrated; Just Torture ‘Em,” Daily Nexus, Nov. 23)? Put down the water pipe and stop cutting lines with your credit card. Let go of the childhood fascination with the magnifying glass and burning ants. Seriously, Loren, what were you thinking?
Suggesting that torturing inmates would solve the problem is not only ignorant, but is also simply idiotic due to its inhumanity. In no way am I challenging anyone’s intelligence, but to suggest that someone be willing to torture another human being just to teach them a lesson or to frighten them more than what the death penalty already does, reverts our society back a few centuries. Back then it was the norm to punish people utilizing torture methods that now would be considered inhumane by most standards.
Having people answer to boiling oil is not the answer to rehabilitate individuals. Death is still a viable consequence that frightens people when their lives depend on a jury, but scarring people for life with boiling oil or chemical burns has permanent societal consequences.
How do you expect these people to be rehabilitated when their bodies are being scarred? Due to our societal fascination with outer appearances, these people would be referred to as freaks. All you have created is a criminal with tremendous bodily disfigurement, not a rehabilitated individual willing to forfeit his criminal life. Living a life with major scars does not constitute a normal life; therefore we cannot just turn our cheek and let them go.
More importantly, who would be the sadistic “American version of the SS officer” willing to torture and inflict pain on another individual? We are still confronted by the stories of SS and their actions during WWII. They are seen as barbaric monsters that lacked all moral fiber. It is highly doubtful that Jesus would torture or murder someone. Human beings on the other hand, according to Christ-based doctrines, have free will. It is detrimental to society to advocate torture. Society needs to see the moral backwardness of promoting torture for inmates.
Given the recent scandals in Iraq, advocating torture has further implications. Do we want to be known as the nation that tortures other human beings? No matter what the crime, those people are still in fact people. Society should be moving forward. There is a reason why torture is outlawed: It’s inhumane. Have we not learned anything from past centuries? In the present day, wouldn’t most people stand against torture as a method for rehabilitation? The death penalty, in many ways, is considered more humane. Loren, torturing others also cheapens society’s view of human life. By advocating for torture you are taking away from the moral base of society. The two-month program of excruciating pain advocated by Williams would not have the results he expects. If anything, the results would be detrimental.
Carlos Magana is a senior political science and history major.