No, you’re on the right track here. The distinction I am getting at is to look at these things from the potential victim’s point of view, not the perpetrator. We often build up sympathy for the crime-doer after they’ve done it. For we too know we are and will be guilty of crimes later, and we just hate to think of people suffering. But are sympathies best go out to the more innocent, the potential victim, who is yet to be plowed into by the perpetrator. We have that chance to go back in time, as it were, and attempt to prevent the most horrible offense from occurring — the offense of a willful taker of another’s life unexpectedly to that more innocent one. I think it’s better to start from this point. We make a decision about what is best, before later becoming confused by the sympathies and complexity’s which will later come when we have to look in the frightened face of the one who took someone’s life violently earlier and now fears the taking of their own.
Punishment, the way I’m thinking of it, is more about doling out the wages of an act. Thhere are sort of three things actually going on in this idea we are talking about:
Correction, Punishment, Deterrance.
I am mostly focused on the deterrance piece. Most people who are opposed to Capital Punishment are focused, I think, on the punishment piece.
Correction is when a parent, a governor, or God, is yet trying to train us to do well, to protect and promote and celebrate life, not deviate into places of darkness and deception and death.
Punishment is the final pronouncement of this what you’ve done, you would not alter from it, this is what you must now deserve, pay, experience, be consequenced with.
Deterrance is more interested in protecting the most innocent and vulnerable.