Time For Palau To Bring Back Capital Punishment
Race-hate killer and child rapist Amador Osima`s cunning recent escape from prison highlights that sometimes incarceration just isn’t enough to protect society. When it comes to the threat posed by unrepentant, hate-driven murderers and sadistic perverts, only the reinstitution of the death penalty can keep the public safe.
In the late 1960s, amid a post-modernist intellectual revolution in the West, traditional notions regarding the morality of crime and punishment were upended. Suddenly, bearded, almost invariably white, male middle class social science academics in ivory towers colleges in the United States began to preach a distorted world-view, a false gospel of needless self-doubt; In this perverted world-view, the criminals were always the victims of social circumstances, and law-abiding society was portrayed as being to blame for the crimes committed by individuals. Suddenly, it was en vogue, to refer to paedophiles as ‘man -boy lovers’. Serial killers were no longer evil men in need of punishment, but people to treated and mollycoddled by the social and medical service profession. It was in this time that the movement to abolish the death penalty gained serious ground, with the US Supreme Court temporarily suspending the death penalty in 1972, and other nations abolishing it outright. What gave the critiques of capital punishment wider social force was the fact that Western legal systems, steeped in institutional racism and the legacy of colonialism, had often applied the death penalty contrary to its just and moral intent. The concept of the death penalty though was incidental to the racism of these state systems: They simply abused every single means of punishment and control at their disposal, including many forms of non-lethal punishment, to enforce their primitive racial prejudice.
While the intellectual radicals of the 1960s raised very legitimate criticisms of colonialism and systemic racism that pervaded Western culture at the time, the new society they built was hardly any better. Driven by nihilist consumerism, hedonism and moral relativism, post-modern Western society began to resemble a sci-fi dystopia where truth no longer carries any meaning, where defining ideas of an epoch no longer had any relation to real-life reality. It was in the context of this time that wealthy, privileged criminal monsters like TV Presenter Jimmy Saville in Britain and Hollywood Superdirector Roman Polanski in the US could commit their evil acts while in basking in revered positions of cultural leadership. In the long term, the post-1960s shift away from the morality as a defining social yardstick created a rudder-less, hollow society in search of ethical leadership; one where con-men and bigots could gain electoral success by dishonestly trying to claim the mantle of morality and truth as their own. Ordinary voters after all still clung onto the language and symbolism of morality long after the intellectual and cultural elite had poured it callously down the drain.
It is not a coincidence that today, ruthless demagogues, corrupt provocateurs, and racist ‘alt-right’ extremists have scored stunning election victories across the world by repackaging their primitive message of hatred as courageous, politically incorrect truth-telling. The mainstream leaders of society, having scorned the very idea of truth even existing for decades, can hardly pull a straight-face and show up these deceptive tricks up for the rhetorical falsehoods they are.
Today, the world faces an unprecedented onslaught of gory, ultra-violent brutality, global terrorism, and ruthless organised crime. While Palau may seem far-away from the hotbeds of such crises, the internet ensures that it is only ever one mouse-click away from anyone in Koror. The little-reported fact that Amador Osima may have committed his crimes after viewing gory images of brutality on a computer or TV-screen should come as no surprise to anyone.
Osima’s schocking crimes in Koror may seem unusual, and detached from wider global trends. But they are not. Sadistic ISIL-killers beheaded women and children with machete’s out of religious and racial prejudice. They killed needlessly, to satisfy nothing other can a depraved hatred of humanity and a sadistic desire to spill blood, often while high on psychoactive drugs. Organisational affiliation and professed ideology aside, could anyone seriously point out anything that makes Osima, who killed a defenceless, randomly-chosen Filipino woman with a machete, so different from them?
Race-hate killer Osima may be the first such criminal to strike at the heart of Palauan society with his crimes, but given the globalisation of extreme violence and terror, he is unfortunately unlikely to be the last. When the next Osima spills blood on the streets of Koror, what will be do? Will we allow them to relish in the comfort of a well-maintained jail cell, laughing at our judiciary and hatching escape plans? Or will we choose to defend freedom and human rights and hand them – after a full and fair trial – the sentence of capital punishment that they deserve, on a basic level of human morals.
If it is carried out as the result of an unbiased court verdict arising out of a full and fair jury trial based on democratically-made laws and due process, capital punishment does not violate human rights. Rather it upholds them.
As a society, we cannot, sadly, prevent all such crimes. But we can, and ought to try to punish those that happen adequately and morally, so as also to deter future offending. The study of criminal behaviour is inherently determined by imprecise grey zones, incomplete data and inconclusive evidence. Nonetheless, as the Nobel Prize winning behavioural economic Gary Becker put it in 2005 “the preponderance of evidence does indicate that capital punishment deters”.
Across the world, embattled societies are beginning to undergo a sea-change in attitudes. In Mexico, long a home of principled death-penalty abolitionism, even the new-left-leaning Green Party has endorsed the death penalty in recent years, in the face of the devastating suffering caused by cartels and other organised crime. In Britain, the government recently considered dropping its long-standing opposition to the death penalty to allow suspected ISIS-executioners to face extradition to the US, where they could be sentenced to death for their crimes.
Palau is a sovereign country. Inherent in the hard-won national sovereignty of the Palauan People is the right to national self-defence under international law; The inalienable right of the Palauan People to defend their community, their children, and their future against the acts of invasion, terrorism, racist murder, and child rape. Palau is unbound by the whims of politically-correct talking-heads, the lucrative perpetrator-sympathy industry, and self-aggrandising international lawyers who try misrepresent their subjective opinions as customary international law.
Now is the time to make a legislative step into the future; a real chance to set a positive, moral example to humanity as a whole. (Colin C. Cortbus)
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