Death Penalty, the endless question


log in

Advanced search

Message boards : Politics : Death Penalty, the endless question

Previous · 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · Next
Author Message
bobby
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 22 Mar 02
Posts: 1962
Credit: 14,634,995
RAC: 3,105
United States
Message 1156059 - Posted: 25 Sep 2011, 19:05:52 UTC - in response to Message 1155845.

I don't think of the death penalty as a deterent. To me its the "punishment fitting the crime".

I only advocate it for particularly horrific crimes such as the one I referred to earlier.

To me, people who commit such crimes have abrogated all their rights as a human. If a person wants their "rights", they have to respect the rights of others.

T.A.


And how would you address the concern that some may be put to death erroneously? What makes one crime particularly horrific compared to another?
____________
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

Message 1156085 - Posted: 25 Sep 2011, 21:11:47 UTC

Its easy to feel that way when you've already stated that when you look into a mirror, you see the most ugliest person in the world, suggesting that you certainly don't have much love and respect for yourself, so certainly we couldn't expect you to love and respect something you don't understand.

I am sure there are ugly people who are as you describe above.

And there are those who are not.

I understand one thing. Murder certain people and the murderer will not have to wait for Judge, Jury, and The Sentence.

Their Kin/Posse/Clan/Whathaveyou will see to it, The Sentence, will be carried out before The Law gets near them.

For Most of Us, We Hope The Law will be on Our Side and Swiftly do to them, what they have Done to Us.

The World will Not Turn to Favor letting them Die in Prison.

Think about Them. In Prison. Murderers. Laughing, Eating, Smoking, Watching The Box, Reading, Getting Great Health Care, etc., Living and Enjoying-Something.

The Dead they Killed. Ash or Rotting Flesh, or Cryoed. Dead. Enjoying-Nothing.

Dull

OzzFan
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 02
Posts: 13541
Credit: 29,306,805
RAC: 14,900
United States
Message 1156101 - Posted: 25 Sep 2011, 22:21:18 UTC - in response to Message 1156085.

I understand one thing. Murder certain people and the murderer will not have to wait for Judge, Jury, and The Sentence.

Their Kin/Posse/Clan/Whathaveyou will see to it, The Sentence, will be carried out before The Law gets near them.

For Most of Us, We Hope The Law will be on Our Side and Swiftly do to them, what they have Done to Us.


What you are talking about is the same philosophy of "an eye for an eye", which is the basis for human emotion, and is no way to run a lawful justice system.

The World will Not Turn to Favor letting them Die in Prison.

Think about Them. In Prison. Murderers. Laughing, Eating, Smoking, Watching The Box, Reading, Getting Great Health Care, etc., Living and Enjoying-Something.

The Dead they Killed. Ash or Rotting Flesh, or Cryoed. Dead. Enjoying-Nothing.

Dull


I do think about them. No outside contact. Fear of being murdered by their cellmates. Unable to have a family. Unable to live as a free human. Unable to hold a job, use their income as spending power. Unable to vote and have a say in their future.

These are the things people should be deprived of when being punished.

I could care less if they can eat, smoke, laugh, read, watch TV. I don't know about the "great" health care. And I'd seriously doubt that they are enjoying anything... and if they do, so long as they are away from the rest of society, I don't care.

OzzFan
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 02
Posts: 13541
Credit: 29,306,805
RAC: 14,900
United States
Message 1156103 - Posted: 25 Sep 2011, 22:25:47 UTC - in response to Message 1155845.

I don't think of the death penalty as a deterent. To me its the "punishment fitting the crime".

I only advocate it for particularly horrific crimes such as the one I referred to earlier.

To me, people who commit such crimes have abrogated all their rights as a human. If a person wants their "rights", they have to respect the rights of others.

T.A.


Again, "punishment that fits the crime" is the basis for human emotion and is no way to run a lawful justice system.

I'm fine if you want to take away all the rights and freedoms afforded to most under their respective national laws and lock them up away from society, missing out on the things I mentioned in my reply to Darwin/Wormy/Dull.

I just don't see how killing them is going to bring justice.

...and as Bobby said, what happens when our science is good enough to where we can prove we killed an innocent man through the death penalty? Is the loss of even one innocent life really worth it to have "justice"?

Terror Australis
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 14 Feb 04
Posts: 1666
Credit: 203,440,938
RAC: 26,139
Australia
Message 1156158 - Posted: 26 Sep 2011, 1:09:29 UTC - in response to Message 1156103.
Last modified: 26 Sep 2011, 1:14:57 UTC

I don't think of the death penalty as a deterent. To me its the "punishment fitting the crime".

I only advocate it for particularly horrific crimes such as the one I referred to earlier.

To me, people who commit such crimes have abrogated all their rights as a human. If a person wants their "rights", they have to respect the rights of others.

T.A.


Again, "punishment that fits the crime" is the basis for human emotion and is no way to run a lawful justice system.

I'm fine if you want to take away all the rights and freedoms afforded to most under their respective national laws and lock them up away from society, missing out on the things I mentioned in my reply to Darwin/Wormy/Dull.

I just don't see how killing them is going to bring justice.

...and as Bobby said, what happens when our science is good enough to where we can prove we killed an innocent man through the death penalty? Is the loss of even one innocent life really worth it to have "justice"?

"Justice" is the perpetrator being brought to trial and found guilty then being given an appropriate penalty. In some cases this will be capital punishment. e.g. Troy Davis should NOT have been executed, the Anita Cobby murderers should have been.

Some people do better in jail than they do on the "outside". Inside they become a "kingpin" where as on the outside they had no status. As for the threat of being assaulted on the inside, the "lifers" are usually the ones doing the assaulting, probably because they have no fear of the consequences. If you are a "lifer" and you assault/murder someone in jail, what further punishment can be applied?

I would like your comments on my last paragraph.

T.A.

PS - I know I will not change your mind on this (and am not trying to) but that does not prevent me debating you on the subject.

Edited for clarity

OzzFan
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 02
Posts: 13541
Credit: 29,306,805
RAC: 14,900
United States
Message 1156176 - Posted: 26 Sep 2011, 3:16:53 UTC - in response to Message 1156158.
Last modified: 26 Sep 2011, 3:40:25 UTC

"Justice" is the perpetrator being brought to trial and found guilty then being given an appropriate penalty. In some cases this will be capital punishment. e.g. Troy Davis should NOT have been executed, the Anita Cobby murderers should have been.


There are some people that are very upset that the Casey Anthony trial didn't go the full distance and believe she should have been given the death penalty. The problem is we are fed information from the media and have no access to any factual data - and most of us wouldn't know how to interpret the data even if we did have access to it.

But it seems we have a slight disagreement in how justice should be applied. I've taken the time to answer your questions directly, yet you haven't answered mine:

What happens on the day we find out we sent an innocent man to his death? Are you OK with the killing of even a single innocence in your thirst for "justice"?

And what of the capital punishment paradox? If we define murder as the killing of innocence, and the punishment for murder is the death penalty, why should we not put to death every supporter of the death penalty in accordance with our own justice system once we discover that we have killed an innocent human?

Killing is just too irreversible for such an imperfect society that tends to value "swift justice" like our own.

Some people do better in jail than they do on the "outside". Inside they become a "kingpin" where as on the outside they had no status. As for the threat of being assaulted on the inside, the "lifers" are usually the ones doing the assaulting, probably because they have no fear of the consequences. If you are a "lifer" and you assault/murder someone in jail, what further punishment can be applied?


Solitary confinement. If they show no remorse, no interest in their own development to become a useful member of society, and they are indeed uncaring about their status as a "lifer", then lock them up in a cell alone where they cannot make "kingpin" status and cannot hurt other inmates.

PS - I know I will not change your mind on this (and am not trying to) but that does not prevent me debating you on the subject.


I'm not sure why people feel the need to state things like this, as this should go without saying. However, I do believe that truly open-minded individuals can change their minds through open intellectual discourse where the stronger ideal survives. After all, that is the point, isn't it? It shouldn't be two people blathering opinions. It should be a search for the strongest ideas to advance us in our evolution. Our intellect is what puts us at the top of the evolutionary food chain on this planet, our penchant for debate is an extension of our evolutionary process.

Though we don't have to become angry with one another even if we don't change the viewpoint of our debate opponent. Civility is key. ;-)

Terror Australis
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 14 Feb 04
Posts: 1666
Credit: 203,440,938
RAC: 26,139
Australia
Message 1156271 - Posted: 26 Sep 2011, 13:45:34 UTC - in response to Message 1156176.
Last modified: 26 Sep 2011, 13:53:55 UTC

Hi Ozz
Without quoting your entire post.
As I said before Capital Punishment should be reserved for the most heinous of crimes. Crimes of passion or a single "quick" kill should be excluded. Everybody has the capacity to take a life, the only difference between us is the amount of provocation required.

In order to prevent an innocent person from being executed there must be strict guidelines on the quality of the evidence. Instead of being proved beyond reasonable doubt, the evidence must prove it beyond any doubt. Such evidence could include Video footage, testimony from multiple eyewitnesses (preferably with no connection to each other), a confession that is verified by the rest of the evidence and so on.

At this time, for imposing a death sentence, I would exclude DNA evidence unless it's there in quantity. One hair or a cigarette butt, from either the suspect or the victim, is not enough to execute a person on. Nor is testimony that merely places them in the vicinity of the crime. The proof must be totally incontrovertible.

It's interesting how opinions vary, to me, long term solitary confinement is akin to torture and is a more "cruel and unusual" punishment than execution. While I support capital punishment in certain circumstances, I am totally against torture. (Although I did like Jessie Ventura's comment that if you gave him Dick Cheney and a waterboard he'd have the man confessing to the Sharon Tate murders within an hour)

I do not seek "swift justice", I believe in "true" justice, where, whether you like the term or not, "the punishment fits the crime" and this judgement needs to be made carefully.

I used to think that the criminal should be executed in the same manner they used to kill their victim, till I realised that, in the type of crime I support CP for, this reduces the executioner to the same level as the murderer and the only person the state would be able to find to carry out such a sentence would be a fellow psychopath.

Re Casey Anthony. I had to look it up as the case did not make the news here but it seems to me it was a textbook case of trial by jury. Whether she murdered her daughter or not I don't pretend know, but it looks like the jury, who had heard all the evidence, decided there was not enough to convict her "beyond reasonable doubt" and, voted according to the oath they took when they were sworn in.


As for the disclaimer, I agree with everything you said. It's just that some people take disagreement with their ideas way too personally.

T.A.

edit:

To me, people who commit such crimes have abrogated all their rights as a human. If a person wants their "rights", they have to respect the rights of others.

You didn't comment on this, I'd appreciate your thoughts.

Profile Chris S
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 19 Nov 00
Posts: 31017
Credit: 11,210,447
RAC: 19,454
United Kingdom
Message 1156272 - Posted: 26 Sep 2011, 13:49:18 UTC

Everybody has the capacity to take a life, the only difference between us is the amount of provocation required.


This would include being under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

Terror Australis
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 14 Feb 04
Posts: 1666
Credit: 203,440,938
RAC: 26,139
Australia
Message 1156275 - Posted: 26 Sep 2011, 14:16:14 UTC - in response to Message 1156272.

Everybody has the capacity to take a life, the only difference between us is the amount of provocation required.


This would include being under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

Alcohol and most drugs only reduce the amount of provocation required and then only for some. There are people who can be totally "off their face" yet still not kill while others can do so sober and without a thought.

The only substances I would allow this to be used as a mitigating factor would be the strong hallucinogenics such as LSD or PCP as people under the influence of these are totally divorced from reality and not "aware" in the normal sense of the word. It's akin to insanity.

But then, they knew the effects of the substance when they took it.......

OzzFan
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 02
Posts: 13541
Credit: 29,306,805
RAC: 14,900
United States
Message 1156276 - Posted: 26 Sep 2011, 14:17:21 UTC - in response to Message 1156271.
Last modified: 26 Sep 2011, 15:05:46 UTC

As I said before Capital Punishment should be reserved for the most heinous of crimes. Crimes of passion or a single "quick" kill should be excluded. Everybody has the capacity to take a life, the only difference between us is the amount of provocation required.

In order to prevent an innocent person from being executed there must be strict guidelines on the quality of the evidence. Instead of being proved beyond reasonable doubt, the evidence must prove it beyond any doubt. Such evidence could include Video footage, testimony from multiple eyewitnesses (preferably with no connection to each other), a confession that is verified by the rest of the evidence and so on.


The problem is there's too much human involvement. Mistakes are made. A prosecutor that doesn't win cases won't be a prosecutor for long. Video footage can be manipulated. Eyewitness testimony is considered the worst of scientific evidence. A confession can be coerced.

I'm not trying to just argue the details of your stipulations. I'm trying to point out the realities of exactly what you are asking for.

For review I submit to you the trial of Alan Gell. It had several eyewitness reports, sloppy prosecution, swift justice, and no DNA evidence.

It's interesting how opinions vary, to me, long term solitary confinement is akin to torture and is a more "cruel and unusual" punishment than execution. While I support capital punishment in certain circumstances, I am totally against torture.


So you value human contact as an important part of life, and lack of human contact is akin to torture, so its better to kill them? I think keeping them alive is far more humane than simply disposing of their life.

I do not seek "swift justice", I believe in "true" justice, where, whether you like the term or not, "the punishment fits the crime" and this judgement needs to be made carefully.


I never said I didn't like the term (or phrase), its just that I disagree with your proffered solution or application of punishment. I do not believe any sane human being should be given the power to decide if another human being is to live or die as a form of punishment (hopefully it goes without saying that this excludes wartime). The fact that we wish to give certain people the ability to choose to decide whether someone is to live or die makes us no better than the convict.


But in all this, you never actually answered my question. You said that you are only for the death penalty under certain circumstances. My question was how would you feel or what are your thoughts after it is discovered that we have sent an innocent human to their death? [Edit] Do you think the ends still justify the means if even a single innocent life is destroyed in this pursuit of justice?

To me, people who commit such crimes have abrogated all their rights as a human. If a person wants their "rights", they have to respect the rights of others.

You didn't comment on this, I'd appreciate your thoughts.


Actually I did comment on this, but perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I disagree that someone who has committed heinous acts have abrogated all rights as a human. To be human is a result of biology, not action.

A statement I could agree with would be "People who commit heinous acts of inhumanity have abrogated all freedoms as afforded by their respective laws. If a person wants their freedoms, they have to respect the rights and freedoms of others".

Terror Australis
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 14 Feb 04
Posts: 1666
Credit: 203,440,938
RAC: 26,139
Australia
Message 1156328 - Posted: 26 Sep 2011, 16:38:21 UTC - in response to Message 1156276.
Last modified: 26 Sep 2011, 16:49:34 UTC

The problem is there's too much human involvement. Mistakes are made. A prosecutor that doesn't win cases won't be a prosecutor for long. Video footage can be manipulated. Eyewitness testimony is considered the worst of scientific evidence. A confession can be coerced.

I'm not trying to just argue the details of your stipulations. I'm trying to point out the realities of exactly what you are asking for.


But in all this, you never actually answered my question. You said that you are only for the death penalty under certain circumstances. My question was how would you feel or what are your thoughts after it is discovered that we have sent an innocent human to their death?

If all the checks and balances are in place (and the system should be a lot tighter than it is now). I don't think an innocent person could be executed.

If it was found that an innocent person had been convicted on fabricated evidence, then the investigating police officers and the prosecutor should also be charged with murder. As this would count as a cold, calculated plot to kill someone, these persons would be eligible for the death penalty themselves

So you value human contact as an important part of life, and lack of human contact is akin to torture, so its better to kill them?

In effect, yes. While to some it may be an attractive thought to some to torture somebody by keeping them isolated till they commit suicide or go totally insane the line has to be drawn somewhere. Their "humaness" is recognised by giving them a quick clean death, quite unlike the one they gave their victims.

To those that oppose the death penalty for the reasons you do. I say consider what you are actually sentencing the person to. Is locking someone for the term of their natural life (30 to 50+ years depending on their age at conviction) in an 8 x 10 cell really a "humane" thing to do ?

From another point of view. Humans have always been ready to hunt down and kill predators that threaten them and their relatives, man eating animals, sharks, crocodiles etc. are all disposed of as quickly as possible. Apart from the few that finish up in zoos they are not locked away.

I never said I didn't like the term (or phrase), its just that I disagree with your proffered solution or application of punishment. I do not believe any sane human being should be given the power to decide if another human being is to live or die as a form of punishment (hopefully it goes without saying that this excludes wartime). The fact that any human can choose to decide whether someone is to live or die makes you no better than the convict.

Rather a sane one than an insane one.

A trial is a "due process" with many checks and balances, that can take months or even years to reach a verdict. The judge is not sentencing the convict to death to get a thrill, for material gain or for whatever reason the original murder was committed.

The judge's job is to listen to the evidence and after a guilty verdict, sentence the convict according to their culpability based on the evidence. This is not a spur of the moment decision or the convict a person chosen at random (as the victims most often are).

Actually I did comment on this, but perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I disagree that someone who has committed heinous acts have abrogated all rights as a human. To be human is a result of biology, not action.

I disagree, there is more to being human than appearance or genetics. Evolution has given us the brain power to develop moral codes, ethics and an ability to try and formulate these into a legal sytem (if it hadn't we wouldn't be having this discussion). I do agree that morality and legality are nor necessarily the same thing

A statement I could agree with would be "People who commit heinous acts of inhumanity have abrogated all freedoms as afforded by their respective laws. If a person wants their freedoms, they have to respect the rights and freedoms of others".

"Do as you would be done by" has fewer words and fewer loopholes.

I think one of the reasons for our disagreement is the difference between our legal systems. In Australia the Public Prosecutor is a career public servant, not an elected official as the US District Attorneys are. The position here is nowhere near as political as it is over there. There is no pressure on the Public Prosecutor to get the big win in court to ensure their re-election. Therefore the PP is less likely to push the boundaries of the legal system to get a conviction or push for the maximum penalty in order to appeal to the voters.

No Australian state has had the death penalty since the mid 1960's. I think it still exists under federal law for crimes such as Treason but this has never been tested in court.

To those reading this for the first time, may I point out Ozz and I are debating the fate of those at the worst end of the legal system. i.e. serial killers, those who have tortured their victims to death and so on. The ones who are totally amoral and without remorse.

T.A.

OzzFan
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 02
Posts: 13541
Credit: 29,306,805
RAC: 14,900
United States
Message 1156339 - Posted: 26 Sep 2011, 17:06:30 UTC - in response to Message 1156328.
Last modified: 26 Sep 2011, 17:22:12 UTC

If all the checks and balances are in place (and the system should be a lot tighter than it is now). I don't think an innocent person could be executed.


Making the rules tighter only allows for extensive manipulation by those who understand it best.

If it was found that an innocent person had been convicted on fabricated evidence, then the investigating police officers and the prosecutor should also be charged with murder. As this would count as a cold, calculated plot to kill someone, these persons would be eligible for the death penalty themselves


Wouldn't it simply be easier to do away with the death penalty than to lose all this life?

So you value human contact as an important part of life, and lack of human contact is akin to torture, so its better to kill them?

In effect, yes. While to some it may be an attractive thought to some to torture somebody by keeping them isolated till they commit suicide or go totally insane the line has to be drawn somewhere. Their "humaness" is recognised by giving them a quick clean death, quite unlike the one they gave their victims.

To those that oppose the death penalty for the reasons you do. I say consider what you are actually sentencing the person to. Is locking someone for the term of their natural life (30 to 50+ years depending on their age at conviction) in an 8 x 10 cell really a "humane" thing to do ?


I often fantasize that living without human contact would be preferred than some of the people I deal with on the internet or in my everyday life (present company excluded thus far).

I can't state that solitary confinement, especially after they have shown no value for the lives of innocence nor the lives of their inmates (remember, I suggested solitary confinement as further punishment after additional crimes committed while incarcerated), is really an inhumane punishment. If they go insane from it, they already incarcerated so I fail to see how that affects society. There must already be something wrong with them if they end up in solitary confinement, so I would think it is an appropriate place given the permanence of the alternative.

From another point of view. Humans have always been ready to hunt down and kill predators that threaten them and their relatives, man eating animals, sharks, crocodiles etc. are all disposed of as quickly as possible. Apart from the few that finish up in zoos they are not locked away.


Sure, you're talking about our hunter instincts. We also have gathering instincts as well. However, much of that is quite primitive and should no longer be necessary in an advanced civilization. There is a better way to live, and the only way is to advance our understanding of ourselves, not become more efficient at killing that which we don't understand.


I never said I didn't like the term (or phrase), its just that I disagree with your proffered solution or application of punishment. I do not believe any sane human being should be given the power to decide if another human being is to live or die as a form of punishment (hopefully it goes without saying that this excludes wartime). The fact that any human can choose to decide whether someone is to live or die makes you no better than the convict.

Rather a sane one than an insane one.


...I'd rather it be none. No one should hold that kind of power.

A trial is a "due process" with many checks and balances, that can take months or even years to reach a verdict. The judge is not sentencing the convict to death to get a thrill, for material gain or for whatever reason the original murder was committed.

The judge's job is to listen to the evidence and after a guilty verdict, sentence the convict according to their culpability based on the evidence. This is not a spur of the moment decision or the convict a person chosen at random (as the victims most often are).


Sure, that all sounds good in theory, but we all know that justice is not applied equally to all citizens regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or creed.

Your faith in the system argument might hold more water if it weren't for the fact that so many mistakes happen almost commonly. When we have a perfect system, I might be open to the idea of the death penalty as a form of punishment. Otherwise, I don't seem to possess the same faith in our system and I think death is too irreversible.

Actually I did comment on this, but perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I disagree that someone who has committed heinous acts have abrogated all rights as a human. To be human is a result of biology, not action.

I disagree, there is more to being human than appearance or genetics. Evolution has given us the brain power to develop moral codes, ethics and an ability to try and formulate these into a legal sytem (if it hadn't we wouldn't be having this discussion). I do agree that morality and legality are nor necessarily the same thing


So someone who doesn't possess higher order mental functions, share the same moral and/or ethic codes, or hold the same values is somehow not human? I'm afraid that definition is too narrow and would exclude many people that are indeed human regardless of your limited classification.

I think one of the reasons for our disagreement is the difference between our legal systems. In Australia the Public Prosecutor is a career public servant, not an elected official as the US District Attorneys are. The position here is nowhere near as political as it is over there. There is no pressure on the Public Prosecutor to get the big win in court to ensure their re-election. Therefore the PP is less likely to push the boundaries of the legal system to get a conviction or push for the maximum penalty in order to appeal to the voters.

No Australian state has had the death penalty since the mid 1960's. I think it still exists under federal law for crimes such as Treason but this has never been tested in court.


I don't think our disagreement is in the differences of our legal system, but rather our disagreement on the following basic precepts:

a) What defines us as human?

b) How valuable is life, be it innocent or guilty?

c) What punishment is considered most "humane"?

Until we find common ground on these, it will be difficult to come to agreement on the death penalty as a form of punishment.

I can't say I'm willing to budge much on the first two as I've defined them, but I might concede the perceived "inhumanity" of solitary confinement, however I still believe its better than an irreversible alternative form of punishment.

Terror Australis
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 14 Feb 04
Posts: 1666
Credit: 203,440,938
RAC: 26,139
Australia
Message 1156376 - Posted: 26 Sep 2011, 18:48:30 UTC - in response to Message 1156339.
Last modified: 26 Sep 2011, 18:53:24 UTC

Making the rules tighter only allows for extensive manipulation by those who understand it best.

Disagree, the tighter the rules the fewer the loopholes

I often fantasize that living without human contact would be preferred than some of the people I deal with on the internet or in my everyday life (present company excluded thus far).

That one I agree with :-) But you'd have the choice to return to the world if you so desired and as humans are social creatures the odds are that eventually you would

I can't state that solitary confinement, especially after they have shown no value for the lives of innocence nor the lives of their inmates (remember, I suggested solitary confinement as further punishment after additional crimes committed while incarcerated), is really an inhumane punishment. If they go insane from it, they already incarcerated so I fail to see how that affects society. There must already be something wrong with them if they end up in solitary confinement, so I would think it is an appropriate place given the permanence of the alternative.

There are some whose crimes are so bad that they revolt even the other prisoners (even the hard core ones) and are kept in solitary confinement from the first day of their sentence for their own "protection" because if they were sent to the main yard they would last less than 24 hours

Sure, you're talking about our hunter instincts.

No, I'm talking about our instinct to protect ourselves and our families

Sure, that all sounds good in theory, but we all know that justice is not applied equally to all citizens regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or creed.

You forgot wealth. Maybe I haven't made it clear enough but if Australia were to reintroduce the death penalty I sincerely hope the system would be a lot tighter than the one in Texas. Possibly even with a Court of Review to ensure that the law is applied equally across the whole society.

So someone who doesn't possess higher order mental functions, share the same moral and/or ethic codes, or hold the same values is somehow not human? I'm afraid that definition is too narrow and would exclude many people that are indeed human regardless of your limited classification.

You are now splitting hairs.
1)Someone who doesn't possess higher order mental functions is obviously suffering from a birth problem or serious injury and needs to be cared for by society. For the purposes of this debate the question is, Do they understand the difference between right and wrong?
2)Irrespective of their place of origin, all religions, philosophies and moral codes say basically the same things (with some slight variations). All of them have some form of "Be nice to each other" and "Thou shalt not kill". Apart from Buddhism all have some loopholes that allow killing in certain circumstances. The persons who don't have any moral code, regardless of their origins are the ones we are discussing.

I'll answer the rest of your points later. It's now 4am here and I need some sleep

T.A.

OzzFan
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 02
Posts: 13541
Credit: 29,306,805
RAC: 14,900
United States
Message 1156380 - Posted: 26 Sep 2011, 19:03:58 UTC - in response to Message 1156376.
Last modified: 26 Sep 2011, 19:59:25 UTC

Making the rules tighter only allows for extensive manipulation by those who understand it best.

Disagree, the tighter the rules the fewer the loopholes


That's the general philosophy, but not always the case.

I often fantasize that living without human contact would be preferred than some of the people I deal with on the internet or in my everyday life (present company excluded thus far).

That one I agree with :-) But you'd have the choice to return to the world if you so desired and as humans are social creatures the odds are that eventually you would


You don't know me very well. ;-) If I ever left, I would bet my own life that I would never come back. I'm not nearly as social as most, if at all.

But you're right, I would have the opportunity to come back if I wished. Those who are put to death wrongly do not have the same option.

There are some whose crimes are so bad that they revolt even the other prisoners (even the hard core ones) and are kept in solitary confinement from the first day of their sentence for their own "protection" because if they were sent to the main yard they would last less than 24 hours


...and I'm OK with that. It works both ways.

Sure, you're talking about our hunter instincts.

No, I'm talking about our instinct to protect ourselves and our families


At what point do we feel safe? After they're incarcerated or only after they're dead? The primitive instinct wishes to destroy any threat. The civilized instinct wishes to isolate the problem and prevent it from having the opportunity to harm again, which doesn't necessarily equate to death.

Sure, that all sounds good in theory, but we all know that justice is not applied equally to all citizens regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or creed.

You forgot wealth. Maybe I haven't made it clear enough but if Australia were to reintroduce the death penalty I sincerely hope the system would be a lot tighter than the one in Texas. Possibly even with a Court of Review to ensure that the law is applied equally across the whole society.


Still misses the point. We are a fallible race, and our laws will always be fallible by definition. Death is permanent and leaves no room for error.

You are now splitting hairs.


Wasn't attempting to, but the accusation always seems to come up when someone tries to gain common ground by digging into the details.

1)Someone who doesn't possess higher order mental functions is obviously suffering from a birth problem or serious injury and needs to be cared for by society. For the purposes of this debate the question is, Do they understand the difference between right and wrong?


Choices of right and wrong do not define a human, those are social constructs. Biological makeup does determine what is human. Anyone classified in the race of homo sapien is a human being.

2)Irrespective of their place of origin all religions, philisophies and moral codes say basically the same things (with some slight variations). All of them have some form of "Be nice to each other" and "Thou shalt not kill". Apart from Buddhism all have some loopholes that allow killing in certain circumstances. The persons who don't have any moral code, regardless of their origins are the ones we are discussing.


How we treat the worst of us says a lot about us as a society. I would rather the message say we are a race of great compassion and do not condone finality as a form of punishment for any crime.

I think it makes it easier on the human psych to avoid thinking of these people as human beings so that we don't feel bad about killing them. Those in favor of the death penalty prefer to move the bar on the definition so that it excludes those who are put to death, which helps them when doling out justice on these individuals.

Many dictionaries define "Human Being" as "any individual of the genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo sapiens." Obviously, even convicted murders fall into this definition, regardless of what we think of the correctness of their actions. I don't think that definition is up for debate or disagreement, for if we disagree with the definition of words than all communications begin to fall apart.

Take care and rest well. :-)

Message 1156403 - Posted: 26 Sep 2011, 20:07:21 UTC

to gain common ground by digging into the details.

Well, a bunch of 'em got murdered in Indiana-now being reported. Five? or more? dead.

Guess they got in the way of some bullets or whathaveyou. So, don't know if they were murdered or just unlucky. Like getting hit on the head by a falling school bus.

Indiana will spend 10s of Millions investigating, prosecuting, imprisoning whomever until they are Old and Gray. Keeps people on The Payroll I suppose.

Being Murdered, The Endless Occurences.

Murderers living out their lives. Good for them.

Dull



OzzFan
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 Apr 02
Posts: 13541
Credit: 29,306,805
RAC: 14,900
United States
Message 1156409 - Posted: 26 Sep 2011, 20:22:25 UTC - in response to Message 1156403.

Indiana will spend 10s of Millions investigating, prosecuting, imprisoning whomever until they are Old and Gray. Keeps people on The Payroll I suppose.


I'd say it is necessary to find the right perp.

Being Murdered, The Endless Occurences.

Murderers living out their lives. Good for them.


Good for us to recognize that putting them to death will not bring back those whom they murdered, nor will it deter anyone else from committing the same acts of violence.

bobby
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 22 Mar 02
Posts: 1962
Credit: 14,634,995
RAC: 3,105
United States
Message 1156532 - Posted: 27 Sep 2011, 4:25:59 UTC - in response to Message 1156380.
Last modified: 27 Sep 2011, 4:28:22 UTC

Making the rules tighter only allows for extensive manipulation by those who understand it best.

Disagree, the tighter the rules the fewer the loopholes


That's the general philosophy, but not always the case.


Indeed, and no error proof method for assessing a person's guilt has been found. There was a case in the UK in which there was expert testimony indicating the chance of innocence was 1 in 73 million, only later did it emerge that the chance of guilt was between 4.5 and 9 times less than the chance innocence, i.e. "the a priori odds of guilt were between 4.5 to 1 and 9 to 1 against". With a jury being provided such astronomical chances of guilt, was their any doubt that they'd return a guilty verdict? If they'd been provided the chances of innocence compared to chances of guilt, is there some doubt that they may have returned a different verdict? In this particular case there was no question of the proximity of the accused to the "crimes" in question, though when there is doubt DNA evidence for all its use in blunt force dramas, may not be the solution it is widely portrayed as being.

Consider the far less than hypothetical situation of a group of very closely related individuals, their allele matches will be very high. One of these individuals is arrested, DNA sampled and entered into the database. This one person's DNA profile may be very different to that of everybody else in the database, but very similar to 100s, perhaps 1000s of others that are not in the database. The person was innocent of the original crime, proven by no matching DNA, though another crime is committed some time later where DNA evidence was discovered matching the previously innocent person, the database will show that this match is almost unique (1 in the size of the database). It will be this number that is presented in court, rather than the chance of one of the 100s or 1000s with very similar DNA committing the crime, as the database is unaware of these potential matches. Such mismatching is not addressed by increasing the size of the criminal DNA database, all that will do is increase the chances of a random match being found.

Video images may provide evidence that a person was at the scene of a crime and performed the actions of which they are accused. Very rarely do these images provide motive, and crimes by proxy are committed on a reasonably regular basis.

At what point do we feel safe? After they're incarcerated or only after they're dead? The primitive instinct wishes to destroy any threat. The civilized instinct wishes to isolate the problem and prevent it from having the opportunity to harm again, which doesn't necessarily equate to death.


I'd feel safer knowing I cannot be executed for a crime I did not commit, than knowing others will be executed for crimes they may have committed.

You are now splitting hairs.


Wasn't attempting to, but the accusation always seems to come up when someone tries to gain common ground by digging into the details.


Tell me about it :-).
____________
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

Profile Chris S
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 19 Nov 00
Posts: 31017
Credit: 11,210,447
RAC: 19,454
United Kingdom
Message 1156601 - Posted: 27 Sep 2011, 11:58:01 UTC

You are now splitting hairs.

Wasn't attempting to, but the accusation always seems to come up when someone tries to gain common ground by digging into the details.

Tell me about it :-)


Oi! I heard that!

Personally I would rather live in a country that had life imprisonment for murder than the death penalty. But I'm grateful I don't live in some Middle Eastern countries where they chop your hand off for stealing.

As humans are fallible, there will be times when despite all due care and diligence, an innocent person may be executed. But, if you choose to have that system of capital punishment and it gets it right 9 times out of ten, then some might say that was acceptable.

Are there any figures for cases where it was conclusively proved after the event, that there was new evidence that proved innocence?

Profile Uli
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 6 Feb 00
Posts: 9576
Credit: 5,292,613
RAC: 4,292
Germany
Message 1170904 - Posted: 14 Nov 2011, 4:17:27 UTC

Too many Chris.

No clue how to fix this issue....

All I know We all bleed red.
____________
Pluto will always be a planet to me.
Order your 15th Seti Anniversary Shirt today. Just PM me for details.
Cash Donation Specialist

Seti Ambassador

Profile soft^spirit
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 18 May 99
Posts: 6374
Credit: 28,628,452
RAC: 1,056
United States
Message 1171141 - Posted: 15 Nov 2011, 7:29:25 UTC

... And too many wealthy have skipped away free that should have been executed.


____________

Janice

Previous · 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · Next

Message boards : Politics : Death Penalty, the endless question

Copyright © 2014 University of California