Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Perspective on the Death Penalty

Radley Balko at the Agitator does a great service by questioning from a libertarian perspective, many of the short comings of the criminal justice system. I don't always agree with him but he is thought provoking.

He has recently started me thinking about why I oppose the death penalty. As a matter of background, I am a conservative (sometimes lean libertarian, sometimes I think Rush is too liberal) and a christian.

I do not oppose the death penalty because we could get it wrong. There are many untimely and unwarranted deaths of innocent people.

While I believe that life is a precious gift from god, often that gift is cut short. A quick reference to early christian history is all that is necessary to confirm that a life is not overly precious. So I do not oppose it because life is precious.

I oppose the death penalty because to unnecessarily end a life prematurely, reduces the total amount of time that the person has to reconcile with god. To deny anyone the opportunity of reconciliation, is a tremendous sin. One that I could not bear as a christian.

This leads me to the rather odd position in which I now find myself. It is better that an innocent be executed if he is reconciled with the lord and that a guilty person be spared in order to have an opportunity for reconciliation over the days, months and years left in their lives.

Amazon and State Taxes

Karl Denninger at Seeking Alpha has an interesting post on the future of Apple and Amazon. While I don't have sufficient knowledge to comment on the analysis of the valuations of the two companies, I do think that Amazon has at least one strategic move that it can make.

It would be very simple for Amazon to develop a reporting tool for its customers to calculate their sales tax liability and remit it to their individual states as required by state law. Amazon accommodates both the states and their customers without any change to current law at either the state or federal level. This would provide Amazon a defensible position and would put pressure back on the states.

It would be interesting to see if states would try to require Amazon to provide purchasing information to their revenue departments so that they could make sure to collect. (via Instapundit)