Monday, October 18, 2004

Homosexuality, the death penalty, and prostitution

A lot has been made over Senator Kerry's remark about Cheney's daughter being a lesbian. Has this been made into too big a deal? Sure it has. Is anyone actually buying it that Kerry said this remark with no political agenda? I hope not. There is an obvious rift when you have a president who wants to Constitutionally ban gay marriage and a vice president with a gay daughter. This has been a tough political issue. Kerry brought it up as a political issue. He used her as an example to push the fact that a conservative has pro-gay beliefs. it was obviously done politically. I think this issue has been blown way out of proportion, but oh well.
The death penalty is a very tough issue. It is extremely hard I think because it is the ultimate in finality. There is no turning back once it is carried out. That means that if you later find out you were wrong then too bad. I don't like all the talk that it is improperly applied and disproportionately affects minorities. This is because we all have the same legal system. We are all subject to the same rules under the legal system. More minorites are convicted of many crimes. They are convicted in higher proportions in many crimes. Does that mean that these laws are wrong? Should we get rid of drug laws because minorities are being convicted more than non-minorities? Of course not. I feel the same way about the death penalty. I think there are very convincing arguments against the death penalty, but this is just not one of them. I would say if you dont' want to face the death penalty than don't commit murder, but I think the strongest argument against the death penalty is that if you falsely execute even 1 person than that is too much error alone. It is a tough issue and I will be curious how the Supreme Court deals with the validity of executing a minor.
That is an entirely different issue. Can we apply (assuming it is proper) the death penalty to someone who is under the age of 18? It is generally accepted that it is cruel and unusual punishment to do this. Also there are culpability requirements that are dealt with differently with underage people. I would find it hard to impose the death penalty on a minor, but I know when I was 16 I understood what murder was and I was capable enough to make the rational decision to never do it. I understand the ramifications. I think it deals with not knowing where to draw the line. Do we draw it at an exceptionally smart 12 year old or what about a really dumb 17 year old. It is tough.
Lastly on a different note some 8th graders were found to be running a felatio prostitution ring. For 10 dollars males would get serviced by different girls taht were in 8th grade. Most of the males were a bit older, but not much older. The 8th grade girl that set it all up would get 2 dollars a 'job'. I am amazed by 2 things about this. The first and most obvious is that who does this in 8th grade? When I was in 8th grade I thought kissing a girl was a major thing. I was just beginning to explore male and female relationships. I think that kids are starting to do things with each other at a younger and younger age, but I am tempered by the thought that all people must think this and I assume that it always starts at a relatively certain age w/exceptions. Secondly I am amazed that the girl set up this organized crime ring. My only business experience in eight grade was selling candy bars door to door. I would never have had the foresight to arrange meetings between people and take 2 dollars for each one you arrange. I don't think i would have fully grasped the concept of the 2 dollars adding up or the concept of being a middle man in an illegal operation. Watch this girl end up a forbes 500 executive or something like that one day. That or an organized crime figure. Maybe i'll prosecute her one day. Wouldn't that be fun.

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