The measure of a civilisation

Unlike some countries, enlightened western civilisations are supposed to be above treating human life as cheap. The display of state-sanctioned murder and torture by the various governments in the USA can often seem to prove otherwise though.

We teach our children to learn from us: “do as we do”. Why then are Americans surprised that murder is so popular in their country?
September 22, 2011

I often fail at showing example to my children, I know. But because I know they learn from us by copying our behaviour, I do my best to avoid the worst type of behaviour. When human life is considered cheap, how can anyone believe it’s unusual for people to behave accordingly.

There are many justifications given for the practice of executing your own citizens. As part of a justice system there appear to be mainly two key reasons; as punishment and to deter others.

If you discount the bibilical eye-for-an-eye revenge of killing someone who has killed, then deterrent must be the core factor.

But you shouldn’t believe bleeding hearts like me if we tell you judicial slaughter acts as no deterrent. Have a look at the USA’s own FBI data instead.

The Death Penalty and Deterrence

Amnesty International USA’s Program to Abolish the Death Penalty

The History of each country I’ve lived in tells us how far society can progress despite the harshest of challenges.

Troy Davis isn’t alone in dying today, however just like too many before him he is dead at the hands of his own people. I believe you measure the level of a countries civilisation by how it treats it’s own people.

How long before other supposed civilised western democracies attain a level worth celebrating too?


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