Musings —02.08.2012 09:55 AM—
I’ve dodged this subject on this web site for many years. Here’s why.
If someone killed someone I love, I’d want to kill them with my bare hands. If someone kills a child, with malice aforethought, I’d want to see them receive the same treatment. That’s the emotional reality, I guess.
Here’s the non-emotional reality, in the form of a short tale. In my first year of law school in Calgary, in Criminal Law, our wonderful prof, Chris Levy, asked us who favoured the death penalty. Most of the hands in the classroom went up. Being a Democrat of long-standing, I – like Bill Clinton, like Barack Obama – put my hand up for that one, too.
Here’s what Prof. Levy said next: “I will ask you again in your final year.”
And he did. In 1987, after three years of trying to learn the law – and, in my case, I had spent a lot of time on the study of criminal law – Prof. Levy asked again for a show of hands. “Who favours the death penalty, now?”
And not a single hand went up.
What you learn in law school, more than anything else, is how completely flawed our system is. You learn that it is in need of continual improvement, and that it fundamentally flawed, much like the human beings who created it.
Reason over passion, Trudeau said. It’s not the world we live in, but it’s the world we should aspire to, I think.
There, I’ve come clean. Now, what do you think?