Editorial Comment

Capital Punishment for Fun & Profit


Every time Canadians have to deal with particularly heinous individuals; the Robert Picktons of the country, there is inevitably a strong reaction favouring capital punishment. Now, with the allegedly cruel and sadistic Luka Magnotta facing charges in connection with the murder, dismemberment and subsequent mailing of the unfortunate victim, Jun Lin’s severed parts around the country, once more there is a clamour being raised to deal permanently with such evil.
It’s hard to argue the economics of it. Keeping monsters in high security prisons away from the general prison population is pricey. Although figures vary depending on the source, it’s clear, on average it costs you and me, at minimum $100,000.00 per year to house a regular inmate. That goes up substantially when costs incurred to provide extra security for the lowest of the low-lifes are factored in. It’s a lot cheaper to fry them than to feed them, since it’s unlikely we will ever free them. Some even argue state-sponsored death is the humane disposition for those guilty of particularly extreme psychotic or pathological crimes. They believe life imprisonment with no hope of parole can be construed as cruel, although not particularly unusual, punishment. Not only is it less expensive on the public wallet, but the grotesquely warped can rejoice they will get “early release” from the four grey walls that surround them. (Cue “I’ll Fly Away.”)It is a win-win situation for everybody.
So let’s bump off all the real baddies; the guys and gals that appear incapable of empathy, compassion or remorse. Who will miss them? Certainly not the state, or their ever ballooning corrections budgets.  How many of those types are in the system currently? Maybe a hundred? That would be a savings of a cool ten million buckeroos, less legal fees for the endless appeals, of course. That’s not a bad chunk of change. 
Why stop there? What about all the dangerous offenders that are on the rolls of the nation’s jailhouses. According to the Correctional Services Canada (CSC) website, there were, as of April of 2011, (the last year information was provided), 454 dangerous offenders incarcerated across the country. These people have been convicted of particularly brutal assaults “and he or she represents a continuing serious threat to the life, safety or physical or mental well-being of other persons”. Nasty folks, in other words. We can do without them. What we could really do with, however, is the $45.4 million in savings we would realize by “sending them to the farm” like we do dogs that bite people.
Perhaps that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Surely, it’s not just the super-violent and the dangerous offenders that we can’t trust. Surely anybody who is callous enough to take another person’s life should also forfeit theirs. It’s even biblical, you know. Don’t be throwing guys like David Milguard and Sandy Seal in our faces, either. Mistakes happen. This is a government bureaucracy after all. Have you ever seen one that never screwed up? That’s the way it goes, though. If we’re to rid the streets of violent criminals, hard choices must be made. It’s all for the best, right? Besides, given that, as of March of 2012 there were 14916 inmates in Canadian jails, and given that, on average, murderers account for about 20% of that total, that’s about 2984 cold-blooded killers that we are feeding and housing and providing cable TV for (talk about cruel and unusual punishment).  By having these obviously violent people liquidated would save the system close to $300 million. 
We should recognize, too, that there are, again, quoting from the CSC website, about 3000 sex offenders currently being hosted by one of the almost 200 correctional facilities we’re paying for. By helping these sickos shed their kinked and twisted mortal coils, the country will save another three hundred million. With those savings realized, we could save the system enough, we could actually reinstate the retirement age back down to 65.
So now that we’ve opened the floodgates to savings, we should look beyond the violent, the sadistic and the sexually depraved to yet another group of inmates who are not only a waste of skin but our hard earned tax dollars.  Consider the fraudsters swindling old ladies out of their life savings. These are the Bernie Madoff wannabes, with no apparent conscience or consideration for anyone else. They prey on the gullible, the naïve and the greedy and leave broken dreams and shattered lives in their wake. They steal identities, cheat people out of their homes and wipe out their bank accounts and investments.  Although the CSC does not specifically break out statistics regarding fraud, we can conjecture, there must be as many fraudsters as murderers in the penal system at any given time. That will give us another three hundred mill in extra cash. Other than a whopping power bill for “ol’ sparky” we’re almost at a billion dollars in savings, not to mention ridding the country of undesirables that are 100% guaranteed not to reoffend.
I’m sure if we gave it enough thought, we could come up with other heinous crimes for which people should be summarily executed, saving us all a carload of ka-ching, as well as making our streets so much safer than before. These would be crimes that show a predilection toward heartlessness and lack of respect and consideration for others.
For example, that guy in front of you at the light that waits until the light is green to turn on his signal light. It could be applicable to the moron driving the forklift with a top speed of 30K on the Henday during rush hour. Maybe we could even include that jerk who insists on mowing his lawn at 7:30 on a Sunday morning. The possibilities for savings are endless. However, like potato chips, it’s hard to stop at just one.
It makes little sense to send the message that killing is wrong by killing people… even those that deserve it.

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