I often read articles on the CBC page, along with the comments from others readers. Lately I have noticed a lot of opinions about bringing back the death penalty in Canada. I for one am very much against the death penalty, always have been. However, to my own surprise this was altered a few weeks ago.

I went to see the film “The Lovely Bones”; there is one scene in particular that really tug at my emotions. For anyone who has seen the film, it was the moment where the main character performs a monologue (what say you) which recaptured all the past murders, committed by her own murderer. It was quite intense and I found myself hating this character; wanting this character to suffer as well. Then I stopped myself and reexamined my thoughts and feelings to compare what I have studied in school. All the programs and the success/ failure rates on the different forms of “punishment”; simply put: capital punishment is not very effective.

Going back to the CBC article comments, when I read the entries on pro-capital punishment, I could sense a lot of emotion; a direct reaction to what had been read in the corresponding article. This is exactly, how I felt (for a few moments) when I watched “The Lovely Bones”, but then I took a few moments to think. I can understand why individuals might favour capital punishment, and I can even respect their reasoning, if and only if, it is not driven by pure emotion or vengeance, which is how I interpreted many of the comments from the articles as being so.

One thing which remains in the back of my mind, and I cannot escape is the question: “would feel the same way if I was personally affected by such horrible events which warrant capital punishment?” I would like believe I would hold my ground. I absolutely would want the individual to “pay” for the crime, but to end another life wouldn’t reverse anything and I don’t think it would help me sleep better at night. It may sound odd to hear, but I think I would want to understand what would drive an individual to commit such an act. I would want this information to be used in order to deter and/or help prevent others from committing similar crimes.

As for the “punishment” itself, in one way I see it as, the individual who committed the crime does not value others’ lives, so they may not value their own. Execution for some may be a liberation rather than punishment. This may sound slightly on the simple side; it’s only a small theory.

(As a side note, do I really need to play the David Milgaard card?)

Overall, I favour incarceration, hospitalization, treatment programs and many other lists of things catered to the individual (included: harsher guidelines for patrol, community or labour services, and if possible education and reintegration). Sure, I may come off as slightly idealistic, but I will also note part of me believes there are certain individuals who stretch far from being helped, but again, to deprive someone of their life? I don’t think I can argue in favour of it, for now anyways.