Murder

"And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in
the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."
(Genesis 4:8)

Back in those days, murder was pretty clear cut. If you killed someone, it
was called murder. Of course, if you had a reason, then it was justifiable. Back
then, it was an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Or a life for a life. But
in these fast paced and politically correct times, is there justifiable murder?

Webster\'s Dictionary says that murder is "the unlawful killing of another human
being, especially with premeditated malice." Unlawful killing of another human
being. And most people would tend to agree, that there are circumstances in
which killing someone else is just fine, and even desirable. But what are
those circumstances? What exactly is justifiable killing? Is abortion OK?
How about war? Euthanasia? These are topics that are in hot controversy these
days, as civil rights groups battle political standings that have been around
for dozens of years.

Capital punishment is among those instances of justified killing that has been
debated for years, and continues to be an extremely indecisive and complicated
issue. Adversaries of capital punishment point to the Marshalls and the
Millgards, while proponents point to the Dahmers and Gacys. Society must be kept
safe from the monstrous barbaric acts of these individuals and other killers by
taking their ability to function and perform in our society away from them. At
the same time, we must insure that innocent people such as Marshall and Millgard
are never convicted or sentenced to death for a crime that they did not commit.

In February 1963, Gary McCorkell, a 19 year old sex offender, was scheduled to
hang. But just days before his execution, the then Liberal cabinet of Lester
Person commuted McCorkell to life in prison. His actual term was only a
percentage of that. Less than 20 years later, McCorkell was arrested, tried, and
convicted for the kidnapping and rape of a 10-year old Tennessee boy. He was
sentenced to 63 years in prison. Once again, his term was reduced, and he moved
to Canada. Prior to leaving Canada, he was sought by Metro Police in the
attempted murder of an 11-year old boy. What has been gained by this? Had
McCorkell been executed in 1963, two boys would never have gone through the
horror of being sexually abused. He killed two boys, and assaulted two others,
leaving one for dead. He knew exactly what he was doing. What right does this
man have to live? He ruined the lives of 4 children. What kind of a life would
the state have been taking away in this case? An innocent life? A forgiving
life? No; a life that was beyond the realm of reform, and did not care to be.

There are those who claim that capital punishment is in itself a form of
vengeance on the killer. But in the same light, locking a human being behind
steel bars for many years is vengeance as well. Adversaries of capital
punishment claim that incarceration is far more humane than having the state
execute that individual. Is it "humane" that an individual who took the life of
another should receive heating, clothing, indoor plumbing and 3 meals a day
while the homeless who has harmed no one receives nothing?

Capital punishment is not murder. Murder is "unlawful killing." Should it
remain lawful? Definitely. Capital punishment is retribution. Capital
punishment is a penalty for actions a person has committed. Will it reform
criminals? Perhaps, perhaps not. But capital punishment should not be
dismissed because it might not effectively reform criminals. Capital punishment
should be kept, in fact, because it removes from society permanently those
individuals which are undesirable and unhealthy to the rest of the community.
Capital punishment should remain lawful, and therefore, not murder.

Abortion has also been hotly debated over the years. Is abortion lawful killing?
Although both sides seem to be in utter disagreement, there are many agreements
that neither realize. Both would agree that the life of a child is a precious
thing that must be protected to the fullest extent of the law. They would also
agree that it is a woman\'s exclusive right to make decisions concerning her own
body.

But what determines whether or not abortion is murder or not is: Is the fetus a
person? That question is what has been fought over for decades. In 1981 the U.S.
Senate Judiciary Subcommittee held hearings to discuss the question of when
biological life begins. The