As you’ve probably heard, a 24 year old woman was tragically murdered during Lil Kim’s birthday celebration last week in Manhattan. The individual who is allegedly responsible has confessed to hitting her with a lead pipe after she refused his advances in the elevator (by the way, a lead pipe? Really? What is this, a game of Clue?). This occurred shortly after she was removed from the club due to being heavily intoxicated, and the man who apparently killed her — a bartender’s assistant at the club — offered to help her find a friend. Of course, everyone is now calling for this man’s head. Miss Info proclaimed that he should “burn in hell,” a statement I found somewhat disturbing. Sure, it’s natural to be angry at such news, but let’s take a step back and think about this logically. As flawed as we all are as human beings, do we really feel comfortable condemning others?
This situation has sparked more debate about the death penalty. I’m going to provide some of the exchange that occurred between Miss Info, EJ, and myself on the matter and I’d like to hear your opinions.
Miss Info: in cases where the guilty are really guilty…I’m sorry to say, but I don’t morally disagree with capital punishment. For one, I dont think some people will change (not can…but will). And I also dont feel comfortable taking care of them for the rest of their lives.
EJ: I gotta agree with Info, this cat should get fried if he did this. Then again, I’m from Texas.. soo.. haha. On some real shit though, this state (I recently relocated to NY) is just too leniant. Dudes can get away with anything here, so they do. Granted, there’s been some flaws with the system. I can’t argue that. At the same time though when the chair is involved a lot less people go out and act like they lost their marbles. So eventhough they fuck up and kill one innocent man every now then.. they probably saved a hundred in the process. Then again, thats just my opinion.
This is a very unfortunate situation, and I know our animal instincts tend to take over in times like these, but let’s not abandon morality.
The death penalty is unconstitutional and should be abolished as it falls under cruel and unusual punishment. Word to Nas: it’s simply barbaric and the fact that it’s allowed in this country is telling of the fact we’re not very far removed from third world savagery. EJ, you’re my boy and all, but you know I’ve done my research on this subject. There is no actual evidence that the death penalty discourages anyone from committing heinous acts. The fact is that if you have the capacity to commit such an act, you lack rational thought — either permanently or in the heat of the moment — and you don’t stop to think “I wonder what the consequences of this would be.” Anyone with that kind of reasoning would not be capable of that level of brutality. At that point, the same kind of primitive impulses that have people calling for the death penalty in this case takes over, and common sense goes out the window. If anything, the death penalty sends the message that killing is an acceptable response to unwanted actions. It’s the same principle behind kids getting the living shit beat out of them growing up to be abusive… because you’re supposed to hit people you love, right? If murder is wrong, then we cannot allow exceptions for the government.
Furthermore, the system itself is so flawed that it cannot be trusted to determine who lives and who dies. Info, you said you support capital punishment in cases where the guilty is “really guilty” and presented that as some sort of ideal. In actuality, it’s up to regular ass people to make the decision of who is “really guilty” and that introduces corruption and human error. Often, the defendant will not have the money to build a strong case, and he’s up against the DA who represents the entire state and has endless resources including the media on his side. Attorneys are supposed to “be fair” and if they come across evidence that would discredit their argument, they’re supposed to hand it over to the opposing attorneys. How often do you think that happens? Lawyers are in the business of winning cases for prestige and their own personal gains. As such, the entire process is largely bullshit. Shouldn’t the prospect of killing one innocent person be enough to realize something is fundamentally wrong? It is wrongful killing we’re so worked up over in the first place, right? Everyone says to imagine if it was your innocent daughter who was murdered by the bartender. That would suck, no doubt… Now imagine it was your innocent son who was murdered by the state.
RIP Ingrid Rivera.