Michael Totten

Israel Needs a Death Penalty for Terrorism

I hate the death penalty and always have, so I do not say this lightly, but it’s high time even opponents of capital punishment start thinking seriously about executing convicted terrorists. Unlike even the worst criminals such as serial killers, terrorists remain dangerous to societies at large even after they’ve been locked up with life sentences because innocents outside the prison walls are frequently kidnapped to secure their release.

The Israeli government just struck a deal with Hamas to free Gilad Shalit, a soldier who was kidnapped five years ago near the border with Gaza. In exchange for Shalit’s release, hundreds of Hamas prisoners will also be freed. All the hard work that went into capturing these people and removing them from the field has now been undone. Not even the most violent terrorists are executed by Israel because the country removed the death penalty from the books in 1954. Those hundreds collectively will almost certainly end up being responsible for more Israeli casualties.

Read the rest in Commentary magazine.