Monday, December 05, 2005

Batting a Thousand: Continuing with America's obsession with big round numbers, the news media has been contemplating the death penalty as we execute the 1,000th criminal since 1976, when capital punishment was reinstated.

Opponents are treating this news as a sad event, as if so many people have needlessly died. Am I the only one who looks at the number and think: That's it?

We have had well over 1,000 murders since 1976 -- many times more in fact. We've all heard that statistic that says someone is murdered in the United States every 30 minutes, or about 48 every day. Well, this means someone gets executed for those murders every 15,242 minutes, or about one every 10 days.

The fact that only 1,000 of those killers have been given the ultimate penalty means that we're not overzealous with our use of the death penalty. We're actually using it quite judiciously.

And if we want to compare the number of executions with other big round numbers, there have been more than 2,000 deaths in Iraq since 2003. That means it's many times safer to be on death row than to be in Iraq. I'll let liberals decide how they want to use that one.


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