The State Should Never Have the Power To Kill People | Opinion

The following is a lightly edited transcript of remarks made by Beowulf Rochlen during a Newsweek podcast debate about the death penalty. You can listen to the podcast here:

There are horrible people who should never be in touch with the rest of society again, and who cannot interact well with the rest of humanity. That being said, I do not favor the death penalty. I understand that there are circumstances; Hitler is at the Eagle's Roost and he's firing a revolver at you? Take him out under those circumstances, but it's not necessary. There were members of the Nazi regime who were in jail for decades, Albert Speer among them. Not all of those people who were considered to be criminals were killed.

House Committee, Federal Executions, Pentobarbital
The gurney in the death chamber at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Va., March 24, 2021. The House Oversight Committee is demanding the Justice Department provide answers about whether Biden administration officials plan to procure the drug used in federal executions despite an ongoing moratorium on capital punishment. Steve Helber/Associated Press File

The horrific mass murders that many of them were responsible for — why were their lives not taken? Every human being understands that response. It's essentially retribution, and retribution is not an effective way of managing basic criminals or mass murderers in society. Stop them from doing what they're doing and prevent them from committing further crimes. That's the key. Anything else is just basically trying to exact revenge and I don't consider it to be particularly moral.

Beowulf Rochlen is the host of the Facepalm America Podcast

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.