DATE: 12/14/2004 12:28:00 AM
Insomnia-Blogging - I can't sleep, so I'm flipping around the cable channels, looking for something interesting. I usually default to either Fox News or the Discovery Channel. Discovery is showing an episode of "Monster Garage" that I've already seen, and Fox's new motto seems to be "All Peterson, All the Time."
I didn't follow the trial of Scott Peterson and was a little irritated at the media's attachment to the case. As you have doubtless heard, the jury that convicted Peterson of death recommended that he receive the death penalty. I was a little surprised by the sentencing recommendation, to be honest. I wasn't sure they would do it.
I'm not a supporter of the death penalty. After the O.J. Simpson trial and my own brush with lawyers, judges and juries, I lost faith in the judicial system. The Simpson trial was a blatant case of people making a political point at the expense of justice for two dead people. One can hope that the jury who acquitted Simpson feel some guilt over their decision, but such emotion would require a recognition of their error. My own "trial" was a civil case that never should have made it as far as it did. I lost control of my car on the interstate and was struck by another vehicle. The driver of that car sued me, and it went to trial.
The case was a ridiculous one, which is why my insurance company decided to fight it, rather than settle. I won the case, but only after two days spent in a courtroom. Not to mention the hours I'd spent in giving depositions to both sides and the rather unpleasant experience of being served a lawsuit. There were eight jurors in my civil trial, and one of them found for the plaintiff. I shudder to think of what would have happened had three other morons voted with that particular juror. (I'm pretty sure I know which one it was - the lady in the purple sweatshirt scowling at me during the reading of the verdict)
Those two examples have given me a jaundiced view of the legal system, and I'm uncomfortable with it having the power to sentence a fellow citizen to death. I have other reasons for my opposition to the death penalty - religious reasons and the fact that I'm just too libertarian to like the thought of the government having that much power - but such arguments have been hashed over again and again by those on both sides of this emotionally charged issue.
Is Peterson guilty? From what I've heard, probably. Does he deserve to die? That's a decision I'm glad I didn't have to make, and hope I never will.