This Things I Believe… Part 2

 

            Sorry no talking about inspiration in general or Star Trek specifically in this one. I halfway finished the final part of our Trek discussion but other things have been on my mind and I need to get one of them off of my chest. Next time I will hopefully be back to talking about lighter things and wondering why the fuck we all had a naked Spiderman.

 

            I have been laying low on the religious and political talk lately. Not because I’ve been avoiding it but because my mind has been fixated on the loss in our family, an outbreak of plague in the community, and working on my real job while doing my best to forget the day job. But that does not mean I’ve been ignoring the goings on in the world. If you follow or are friends with me on social media you are probably aware of that. Today I want to talk about a few things that have caught my attention lately.

            I have no desire to fight about any of this, these are my opinions. I am always willing to discuss things but I am getting really tired of fighting with people who have no desire to actually consider the possibility that they might be wrong. I will be backing this up with the revelation that I have recently changed a long held belief.

            Close you damn mouth before you catch flies.

            Okay then, without further adieu let’s tackle my ever evolving beliefs.

 

 

The Death Penalty

 

            I am not burying the lead. This is the issue I’ve changed my stance on. For as far back as I can remember I’ve been a proponent of the death penalty. I’d listened to all of the arguments for and against it and even when I was at my most liberal I still held to the belief that some people just deserve to die.

            Between the ages of eighteen and thirty I considered myself a conservative. I had no idea for many years that being conservative had nothing to do with being a Republican anymore. I flirted with being a Libertarian but I have to be honest I agree with about 50% of what they stand for and think the rest is a bunch of crazy talk (this will be discussed more when I dive into the insanity in Nevada). Now I consider myself a Progressive, not a Democrat, with a serious Libertarian slant. Last week Oklahoma killed any support which lingered in me for capital punishment.

            Horrible pun intended.

            Oklahoma attempted to execute a serious scumbag and botched the job. He eventually died but only after going through a long painful process and eventually dying of a heart attack as opposed to the “Humane” lethal injection. I know some of you are thinking that it’s good that he suffered and he should have been tortured before he died. I would like to know if you’ve ever read the fourth amendment of the United States Constitution? You realize the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment is one of the foundations of our Republic, right? But really you are one of those people who don’t care about the law you just want a Biblical level of vengeance and the harm it does to our society and our children be damned.

            I used to be one of those people.

            A recent study has shown that as many as one in twenty-five of people on death row are innocent of the crime they were convicted of. If you doubt the results of the study and question its validity just look at the dozens of people on death row who’ve had their convictions overturned when DNA evidence was tested. There are a lot of people in prison who’re innocent.

            You don’t believe any of that?

            Okay, you know what why don’t you just stop reading this. Close whatever web page you are reading this on. Then I want you to find someone to help you pull your head out of your ass.

            Buh-Bye!

            For the rest of you who have open minds I apologize for that asshole… moving on.

            These are the reasons I think we should end capital punishment:

 

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution – What we are doing is wrong legally, the pain people have been experiencing when they’re put to death is wrong. The convicted are anesthetized before they are poisoned but the manner of their deaths is painful and torturous (Google it if you don’t believe me). I know this argument has been made many times. Some courts have agreed and some have dissented. But in the end this is my belief.

 

Morally Wrong – Look let’s leave law out of it. Let’s leave the minutia of legal debate in the other room. Let’s ignore the Religious tomes because I think they are as real as Lord of the Rings and a lot less interesting. Let’s just look at it in the terms of right and wrong. To me, and yes I know I’m in the minority, state sanctioned murder is wrong. I don’t want my kids thinking that strapping someone to a table and pumping them full of poison, or into a chair for electricity or gas, is a good or right thing. Look if someone attacks you and you are forced to kill them I’m cool with that, that’s self defense. But murdering criminals is a rot in the heart of our nation and peoples.

 

Crime Deterrent – This one is short and sweet. Are you ready? Pay attention because I’m only going to say this once. The death penalty is not an effective deterrent for crime. Look into it. I’m not your nanny so do your own leg work.

 

Wrongful Executions – I need to explain that one do I? There are way too many cases of people being executed only to be exonerated years later. I would rather let every vile piece of shit in the world live the rest of their natural lives behind bars than have a single innocent person executed.

 

            That’s it boils and ghouls. Those are my reasons for making a major change in one of my views. That doesn’t mean I think we should be soft on crime, although I have become a serious proponent of prison reform. But this isn’t about prisons. That is for another essay. Before I end this I feel the need to address the elephant in the room. When I express this belief I am usually met with one question. The question has many variations but it all comes down to one point. Are you ready for it?

 

“What if someone you loved was raped and murdered, wouldn’t you want the son of a bitch who did it dead?”

 

            Want to know my answer to that question? Yes of course I’d want them dead. I’d want to be the one to strap the mother fucker down, slit their belly open, and turn the starving rat loose. And that is why we’ve eliminated mob justice (more or less) in this country. It needs to be left to cooler heads to decided the guilt or innocence and commiserate punishment. Anything else is anarchy or a dictatorship.

 

            Alright that’s it for today. Next time we will either return to the worlds of Star Trek or I’ll have something else stuck in my craw that needs to be worried at. Until then get laid, get drunk or stoned, and don’t be a dick.

 

 

            -Josh

 

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Josh Hilden

When I was born on August 3, 1976 in the great state of Michigan the hills shook and the sky was swept with fire. These were portents of the greatness for my future that was written in the stars ... I'm still waiting for that greatness. My name is Josh Hilden and I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a son, a friend. These are all important things but at my core I am an artist and the medium that I work in is words. I am a writer of Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, and Role Playing Games. I worked for Palladium Books (www.palladiumbooks.com) and Third Eye Games (www.thirdeyegames.net) before striking out on my own and founding a small press publishing company Gorillas with Scissors Press (www.gwspress.com). I also work for Fat Goblin Games (www.fatgoblingames.com). In the everyday world I can be found spending time with my family and friends. I have been married to my lovely wife Karen since 1996 and we have six amazing children. We tend to be a family of unabashed geeks and gamers who were geek before geek was chic. If you are really interested in me I am very active online with a personal and a writing blog along with a plethora of social media outlets. If you have any questions or just want to chat hit me up!