Neil.....it's obvious killing is "right" under certain circumstances. Self-defense is one, finding yourself involved in a war is another. IMO....suicide is another, if you feel you cannot bear the pain any longer. Mercy killing ( a badly injured creature for instance) is sometimes justified.
Self defense by killing a person is pretty extreme, and I would think that such a case would have to be decided in court. I am not able to say that in all cases, it is okay to kill to defend yourself -- because one's judgment is distorted in a stressful situation, and overreaction is too easy.
War -- in a declared
war such as WWII is possibly the only time I would not be a pacifist. But in just about all other wars I can think of, especially
or current wars, killing -- and therefore war itself is completely wrong-headed and counterproductive; actually reducing our security.
As for euthanasia, I agree with you -- this is an important option that should be allowed, with the proper controls of course.
So yeah, I see what you're getting at. You think the life of a murderer is more valuable than his death under a legal execution. I disagree.
As to "he may be innocent".....the man admitted his guilt, and he wasn't being tortured. What more proof do you need?
A good, well written law must work in all situations
. So, what is obvious in one situation may not be so easy to judge in another. You say this person admitted his guilt -- do we know the full circumstances of his admission? Was it coerced in any way, or is he suicidal and thinks this is an easier way to end his life?
The main point I'm trying to make is that there have been numerous mistakes made in convicting some people. Not just technicalities -- real and substantial errors, and some of these have shown that a person was innocent of the murder that they have already been executed for!
In these cases, the existing laws and the justice system have utterly failed. And when we fail at this level, the entire capitol punishment sentence should not be allowed. As I wrote before: you can exonerate a living person, if new evidence or mistakes are discovered.
There are other very strong reasons why I think capitol punishment is wrong: it doesn't deter crime, as is often claimed. It costs more money, and it has a high cost for the poor souls who have to carry out the execution. And it can't "teach" the murderer a lesson -- they get killed. OTOH, if they are forced to reconsider their actions for all the remaining days of their lives, they may choose to repent -- and even if they don't, why should we give them an easy out? I want them to suffer the guilt of what they have done.
Lastly, it seem that revenge
is the only reason we execute people. Revenge is a ugly thing, and we should not lower ourselves. Nothing will bring the victim(s) back to life, and revenge is a false satisfaction.