In recent days, Victor Reppert has written a number of posts against imposition of capital punishment (see here and here and here and here and here). I have written a number of responses, and intend to post at least one more (which is already mostly composed), and could no doubt write and post much more than I will.
In the meantime …
Serendipitously, I came across this (lengthy) article, which I urge Gentle Reader to read, and which brings out many important points: If the Death Penalty is Constantly Sabotaged, Should We Officially End It?
One of the things touched upon in the above linked article is this: in refusing, on principle (co-called), to execute the murder, one is declaring that the murdered is not a member of one’s society - is not a member of one’s extended family - to whom one has certain natural and inescapable moral obligations by virtue of that social relationship.
When a polity is organized on this anti-moral “principle”, the decision-makers of that polity have destroyed and abrogated its moral legitimacy: no polity which refuses to execute at least the very worst offenders against the persons of the society it rules can long endure - and, it must and will resort to tyranny in attempting to stave off its inevitable collapse. It would be as though the father of a family refused, “on principle”, to justly defend those souls placed in his charge: what sort of family would that be? how long would it last? what sane person would want to be a member of such a family? how can he hold his so-called family together other than by bullying and personal tyranny, seeing that he does not love them?
Of course, the article's conclusion is exactly the result that leftists aim at with their continuous muddying of the waters; and, ultimately, the leftists’ aim is to bring about the collapse of our polity due to moral illegitimacy, as their acts are geared toward making our state unwilling and unable to uphold and deliver justice.
And here is yet another relevant post on matters raised; Lawrence Auster: A TERRIBLE INJUSTICE IN TEXAS, AND WHY LIBERALS AREN'T INTERESTED (I do not mean to imply that VR, personally, would be unconcerned with this particular injustice; nor do I think Auster would). The main point here is that “liberals” in general, being mostly puppets of the hard-core leftists (and a tawdry sentimentality), don’t really care about justice and injustice. Oh, sure, “liberals” have “good intentions” … and we all know what excellent pavement those make.
And, as chance, or the workings of God, would have it, here is another relevant post by Lawrence Auster: FRENCH GIRL RAPED AND MURDERED BY REPEAT OFFENDER. This one is relevant because it touches upon the “execution is immoral, *because* we can always lock them away for life, instead” objection that “liberals” love to advance.
But, there is no such thing as “throwing away the key”, expect for very special cases, such as a Charles Manson or a Sirhan Sirhan -- that is, for special cases which made special waves in polite “liberal” circles -- and we all know this: the animal who viciously murders you or me may, possibly, perhaps, be sentenced to "life" ... and he will be paroled in twelve or twenty years. This is because, to "liberals", their minds being subsumed by inhuman and inhumane leftism and materialism, a person who has died is no person, doesn't exist, doesn't matter; you know, the same as with persons who are not yet born (and soon, the same as persons who cannot speak for themselves).
If only Victor Reppert could allow himself to understand that knee-jerk opposition to capital punishment is merely another manifestation of the same mind-set and world-view which approves of and pushes for abortion and euthanasia. Knee-jerk opposition to capital punishment, far from being a reflection of one's commitment to life and justice and morality, is an outgrowth of "the culture of death".
It is *because* we value all human lives that we must be willing to execute the murder. In refusing, "on principle", to execute any murderer, we are implicitly asserting that the murderer has the ability and right and moral authority to declare, by his act of murder, who is and is not a member of our society, who is and is not a person, who is and is not real.