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Do we value life?

By Atilla L. Vekony
Arizona Daily Wildcat
March 4, 1999
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To the editor,

Al Mollo, in his commentary "Death and the Murderer," raises the question whether we have the right to kill murderers. Of course we do. If we didn't, all kinds of other questions might arise, like "Do we have a right to punish criminals?"

We as a society value what we have by the punishment we mete out to those violating it. If we value private property, we not only take back what was taken, but also more, as a punishment. If I steal $10, it would not be fair to give back only $8, and $10 would not even be punishment, but only the status quo. Similarly, if I take a life wrongfully, I should give up at least what I took, giving up less would be unjust.

In the case of murder, capital "punishment" is a misnomer: you aren't even punished, you only give up what you took. Asking only 40 years behind bars for a murder would really show how much our society did not value human life.

Human life is so valuable, so precious, so "sacred" if you will, that if one is violated, the price is so high that the violator should die at the hands of the state. Anything less would diminish the value of human life.

Atilla L. Vekony
Information resources and library science graduate student