The latest course at Prager University explores a subject ripe for talk radio. The death penalty remains a steady area of interest for both the culture at large and ideologically driven radio programs.
“It’s one of those issues that if you’re a new talk show host and all you want to do is light up the lines, you can do abortion, gun control and capital punishment,” Prager tells Breitbart News.
The death penalty debate matters far more to Prager than just an easy radio show crutch.
“Keeping every murderer alive only cheapens human life because it belittles murder,” he says in the course video. “When it come to the death penalty for murder, the gulf is unbridgeable between those of us who believe some murderers … should be executed, and those who believe that no murderer … should ever be put to death.”
Prager University courses run roughly five minutes each. They’re designed to be short, powerful and conclusive. The talk show host says he could do an entire series of lectures on capital punishment alone, but he feels confident he’s hit the essential elements regarding the societal need for the death penalty.
Prager says he’s evolved on various issues over the years, but his stance on capital punishment never wavers.
“It’s one of the rare issues that the more experiences in life, the more knowledge, has not changed me intellectually or emotionally on this issue,” he says. “Every time another grotesque murder takes place, I get sick to my stomach.”
The arguments against the death penalty rarely change, and Prager says they’re easily debunked.
“There are a handful of people who are true abolitionists,” he says. Those folks won’t recommend the death penalty no matter how horrific the crime. Other anti-death penalty advocates trot out both the cost of the process and the possibility of the wrong person being put to death.
“I find this argument that it’s costly to be truly immoral,” he says. “The abolitionists make us spend a fortune on appeals, then they says, ‘look how expensive it is.'”
The latter scenario is certainly possible, Prager says, although given modern technology it’s “become virtually impossible.” That doesn’t mean you build social policy around such minute odds.
Others point to research studies indicating the death penalty doesn’t serve as a deterrent, but Prager flatly rejects that data.
“Any study that concludes that is a phony study. I’d risk my reputation on that assertion,” he says, adding every other penalty serves as a deterrent. Why should the death penalty be any different?
The talk show host is agreeable by nature, and his syndicated radio program lacks the vitriol found in other political venues. He wishes his opponents on this issue could say the same. He sadly recalls a televised debate he had with former “M*A*S*H*” star Mike Farrell on capital punishment.
Prager is ashamed to admit he yelled during the exchange, but given the arguments leveled against him by the far-left actor it’s understandable.
“You sit there and lick your lips about the death of a human being, you disgust me,” Farrell railed against Prager.
“This is the level of discourse I frequently, not always, encounter,” regarding capital punishment, he says.