Interesting Thought on Jeffs

I came across an interesting essay on the capture of Warren Jeffs, the polygamist leader captured near Las Vegas last week. This little piece contains the following assertion:

Although the proverbial horse is long out of the barn, we have to cut our losses and wipe him out of the gene pool permanently before any more damage is done.

What is interesting about this suggestion is that the essay seems to be written by a liberal: it opens with an obligatory swipe at Ann Coulter and runs the gamut of criticisms of the Bush Administration, from the failure to capture Bin Laden so far to the issue of domestic wiretapping. (This is not to say that a conservative cannot and does not also criticize these things — to the contrary, I know many who do.)

I have no idea whether the author opposes the death penalty or not but if, consistent with the tone of the article, she leans left politically, then that would imply opposition to the death penalty, as a general matter. But it seems inconsistent to oppose the death penalty when a convicted murderer is at issue but to suggest wiping out a religious sect leader for accusations of accessory to rape (arranging marriages of underaged girls) for the purpose of preventing further damage to the gene pool! This reference to eugenics is particularly troubling. We should be troubled whenever anyone endorses killing for genetic purposes — to prevent the offender from reproducing and passing certain genes along to children. Such a view condemns the children absent any incriminating actions of their own. If the death penalty is just it is because the offender him or herself is being punished in a measure proportionate to the crime committed: murder.


One comment

  1. I think she means that it is a good thing that he is in prison where no more “genetic damage” can be done. Still, will he have to be there for life (=life) in order to negate any future “damage”? It is a curious suggestion.


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