Originally Posted by mlyonsd
Justice should be equal to intent. Meaning if you're willing to use a weapon to achieve something illegal you should pay the same price as if you used that same weapon.
It's an intriguing idea. In its purest form, I understand the logic and the sense of justice. I think the problems that you run into with something like this are multiple:
1) I was taught certain rules about operating a firearm. Treat every gun as if it were loaded. Don't draw it unless you intend to use it. Don't aim it at someone unless you are prepared to shoot that person with it. Those rules involve discipline and control. I don't believe that most would be robbers/muggers/etc. have actually made the decision to use that weapon. Sure, it's disgusting to me that someone would use a firearm to coerce someone in one of those situations. But you are treading in "thought crime" territory with this.
2) I have no faith in the justice of our legal system. I believe that the death penalty has been improperly used in the past. The very notion of allowing "the State" to legally end the life of a citizen is fraught with danger, and substituting vengeance for justice (which this sounds like to me) is a personally terrifying concept.
3) We already place a lot of power at the fingertips of the police. I don't trust (as a group) their objectivity enough to take every policeman's word enough to introduce more capital offenses. I think we do have a system in place that may or may not sentence someone to death based on the facts in a case by case scenario. Let the juries decide, and let the voters consider death penalties.