For generations it was one of the most revered and popular of American institutions. The Federal Bureau of Investigation's straight-shooting and straitlaced "G-Men" (short for government men, a moniker coined by the notorious George "Machine Gun" Kelly) were the heroes of film and television lore. They were the relentless and incorruptible nemeses of criminals, spies, and all enemies foreign and domestic. Jimmy Stewart, in The FBI Story (1959), and Efrem Zimbalist Jr., star of the long-running television series, The FBI, personified to many Americans our premier federal law enforcement agency, renowned for its professionalism, efficiency, and integrity.
Will Timothy McVeigh, like O.J. Simpson, walk out of court a free man? Will the perpetrators of "the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil," like the slayer of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, get away with murder? If so, it will be thanks to "incompetence" and "stupidity" so extreme on the part of federal investigators and prosecutors as to defy belief.
Was the recent violence and destruction in Los Angeles the result of spontaneous rioting or careful planning?
Critics of the death penalty would have us lose sleep worrying about the possibility that our system of justice may misfire and execute an innocent person once in a great while, but they shed few tears for the demonstrably large number of innocent people who have died due to judicial (and jury) leniency and erroneous psychiatric evaluation.
The basis of capital punishment is equity. In business, we would call it the just price. Having taken a victim's life, we search for a proper payment for this crime. What can a man give for another's life? We find there is only one payment of equal value: the murderer's own blood.