Our expert says:
Very carefully engineered and rather manipulative, but a very moving film. Yes, Sa did have the death penalty in the olf days, indeed I think it was one of the most busily executing countries on earth. But often for the wrong reasons, which gave it a really bad reputation.
Its difficult to talk about rights in the sense you do. TO say no government has the right to kill its citizens, as you point out is contradictory Oh, and when they conscript kids into the army and send them to war to get killed ? Doesn't that count ? The SA constitution didn't ban war or close the army.
And in a way the death penalty is based on an even larger view of rights, that every citizen has the right not to be killed, and that no citizen has the right to kill any other. And if they ignore that right in others, do they have a strong claim to have that right themselves ? ( I can kill anyone I fancy, but nobody must be allowed to kill me ? )
What I find puzzling is that, though all surveys seem to show that a great majority of people in all communities favours having a death penalty, and we are supposed to live in a democracy where issues are decided by the will of the majority, the state and constitution has decided this is to be the one great exception, where nomatter how great a majority want it, they cannot be allowed to have it.
Many aspects don't get explored. For instance, is genuine life imprisonment really better for the individual than a death penalty ?
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