Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tucker Carlson is a Gary, and I Investigate Capital Punishment

I don't know if any of you caught this little piece of news last night, but Tucker Carlson has a pretty unique perspective on the whole Michael Vick dog-fighting thing.  Carlson, in a panel discussion on Fox News, was discussing President Obama's praise for Jeffrey Lurie, the president of the Philadelphia Eagles, for giving Michael Vick a second chance.  Carlson disagreed, saying: 

"I’m a Christian, I’ve made mistakes myself.  I believe fervently in second chances.  But Michael Vick killed dogs. And he did in a heartless and cruel way.  And I think, personally, he should have been executed for that."

These comments took me completely by surprise.  Not because Tucker Carlson would say those things, but because Tucker Carlson had a platform from which to say those things.  I was under the impression that Tucker Carlson's career was pronounced dead shortly after the whole Jon Stewart-Crossfire thing.  Unfortunately, I see that Fox News has decided to scoop his bow-tie wearing ass up and put him back on the air.  Please indulge me by allowing me to teach Tucker the error in his ways.

First of all, relax Gary!  You're getting way too bent out of shape.  After all, Michael Vick didn't kill a human being.  He killed a few dogs.  As much as the canine lovers and the PETA freaks would like you to think its the same thing, its not.  In fact, there's a pretty big distinction to be made between the two.  Human beings have all kinds of abilities and emotions that animals don't have, which is why we can justify killing cows, sheep, and pigs every day.  If we actually thought about a pig's feelings just before it dies, we'd all be vegetarians.  So why is it different with dogs? 

Its different with dogs because we invite dogs into our homes, they grow up with our children, they become part of our families.  A cow is nothing more than a few steaks and baseball glove to us, but it has as much ability to love as a dog does - its just kind of tough to keep in the family parlor.  We don't execute butchers, so why would we execute a guy who killed a few dogs?  Vick served an appropriate sentence, is a permanent public pariah, and will forever be remembered as 'the dogfighting guy'.  Isn't that enough?

Don't get me wrong, I would prefer it if we could start executing more people.  It would rid society of some burdensome individuals, clear out some room in our nation's over-crowded prisons, and save a lot of tax-payer money.  Its a win-win-win situation.  I don't want to execute drug-addicts, thieves, or animal-abusers.  Hell, I don't even want to kill most of the murderers.  I just want to execute dangerous people who have absolutely no chance of being rehabilitated.  That's supposedly the purpose of the penitentiary system - rehabilitation.  If a person does not have the capacity to be rehabilitated, why should he or she continue to burden us with their existence?

Think I'm being barbaric?  Let me show you the logic behind my ideas using the guys from MSNBC's "All Prison, All the Time" documentary series. 

This guy in the picture to the left bashed his parents' heads in with a baseball bat, then he ate their brains.  He's schizophrenic, so he hears voices that tell him to do crazy shit.  The impression that I got from the LockUp interview was that if he were to get out of prison and forget to take his pills one day, he'd end up doing it all again.  You might think that I'd want to see this guy executed. 

I don't. 

He's serving a life sentence and will therefore spend the rest of his life appropriately medicated, so he's not a danger to anyone.  He's remorseful for his actions, and he's able to interact constructively within his isolated environment.  There's no reason to execute the guy.  His state of mind can be corrected with medication, and he can live the rest of his life as meaningfully as one can in a penitentiary.  The problem is addressed.

Troy Kell
Troy Kell, on the other hand, I would love to see get the chair.  The other night I watched Gladiator Days, a documentary that tells the story of Troy's life in Nevada, where he murdered a guy for hitting on his girlfriend when he was 17 years old.  In the time since he went to prison, Troy has become an active white supremacist and murdered a fellow inmate who was serving 2 years for a drug conviction.  When I say that he murdered the guy, that's not nearly strong enough.  Troy had one of his buddies hold the guy down while he stabbed him 45 times with a shank.  He's currently being held in solitary confinement because he's suspected of having planned the murders of several other African American inmates in the time since.  

This asshole is clearly unredeemable.  Its not like he's going to wake up one day, realize the error in his ways, and devote his life to the Lord.  Can't we just agree that society would be better off without him, strap him to a gurney, send a few cc's of potassium chloride into his arm, and call it a day?