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12/28/04

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McQuigly and Moss

   


Death to All Humans


By Anna Moss

How many times have we heard that? The Scarrans said it. The Romulans said it. I can go on. Good thing we have people like Superman and Sky Captain around to prevent this. The death penalty has been in the news a lot lately and it seems to be a hotly contested issue. I am against the death penalty, or any killing for that matter. I still haven't forgiven my dad for "accidentally" forgetting to feed my goldfish while I was away at a Sliders convention.

I think the death penalty should be outlawed because killing is wrong. Although if I had my choice of being assimilated by the Borg or blowing up my ship, I would blow up my ship and kill everyone aboard with no regrets (I'm pretty sure when you're dead, you can't have regrets. My paranormal-believing friends may differ.)

Take, for instance, the original Star Trek, episode #79. Dr. Janet Lester manages to exchange bodies with Kirk (I won't go into the details because you all know it by heart). After a somewhat convoluted plot, Dr. Janet Lester (as Kirk) orders the death penalty for Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty -- even though an unspecified general order 4 is the only crime for which the death penalty is still in effect. As usual, Kirk and crew find a way out.

In episodes 11 and 12, where Spock Kidnaps his former captain, Christopher Pike, to take him to Talos IV, it is mentioned that visiting Talos IV is "the only death penalty left on the books" in Starfleet. There has been much discussion in my various Sci-fi groups whether this is the general order 4 mentioned in the earlier episode I cited.

Remember, we are the same species that used to have women executed for bearing a daughter instead of a son. The same species that burned women at the stake for being witches (I've consulted my Wiccan friends on this. Those women were Not witches).

Lastly, Q sentenced the whole human race to death because they are barbarians in the very first episode of Star Trek: TNG. Q lets Picard prove otherwise to save the human race, which he does.

There is already too much killing going on. Remember: People don't kill people. Romulan disruptors do.





Death Is the Right Penalty


By Dirk McQuigly

Now that Scott Peterson has been convicted, the jury has recommended he be put to death for murdering his wife and unborn child, and some think that in itself is too harsh a penalty.

Frankly, I think being thrown in the pit of the Sarlac where he'll be slowly digested for the next 1,000 years isn't punishment enough. Certain naysayers feel the death penalty isn't a strong enough deterrent when it comes to preventing criminals from committing horrific crimes and that a life spent behind bars would scare them into being good little boys and girls. I say it's time to start changing the setting of our juries from "stun" to "kill."

A lifetime of imprisonment is certainly more expensive, more costly and more time-consuming to the state than strapping them to a chair and injecting them with whatever cleaning fluid we happen to have lying around Death Fow. It would be as effective as injecting them with one of the Agent's tracking worms and letting them wander through the Matrix so they can be tracked down after perpetrating their next computer crime.

Of course, some people just commit crimes so heinous, they don't deserve the right to live -- and that's why we need the death penalty, especially in Peterson's case. I still can't watch Superman II because I'm convinced the destruction of the world could've been avoided if the Krypton High Council had forgone entombing the outlaws in confinement dimension and simply shot them into the sun.



(Transcribed by Danny Gallagher and Jeff Rabinowitz)




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