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The Death Penalty.

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Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:25 pm
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Blink says...



If we ban guns then stories like the one I posted above would become more common. Instead of the relatively quick and painless shot to the head, people would be stabbed (We can't exactly ban knives), beaten to death, etc because unless we put every single person on Earth into a clear steel ball for all their lives, the murder rate will never be 0%.

I don't want to get too sidetracked on guns (as I said, it was a passing remark) - but you're completing misjudging why people murder. In cases like this, yes, these people probably had some sort of mental issue (and you have to ask whether we should be killing the mentally ill) or whatever. But a great plurality of murders aren't planned - if people have a moment of utter outrage, and there's a gun in the draw or handbag or whatever, it's just so easy - isn't it?

The US murder rate is three times that of the UK. It's fallen dramatically over here since handguns were banned. There's a distinct correlation (and almost certain causation).
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Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:59 pm
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Jas says...



What about robbers? Shouldn't Americans have a right to protect themselves and their families?
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Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:04 pm
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Matt Bellamy says...



I'm against the death penalty. I don't think that anyone has the right to murder another person, regardless of that person's actions. And I think it's hypocritical for a person to be sent to prison for killing, for example, the man who murdered their sister, while if a government decided that the murderer should die, that would be completely okay and they'd go ahead and do it. And yes, yes, the government can do whatever they like because they are the government, but we're all human, we're all the same, and just because the government can do something doesn't mean that they should or that it's right.

And then there's the whole issue of what if the person in question is innocent, and so on. What happens when someone realises that actually, the guy didn't do it? Well, now he's dead, and there's nothing that can undo that.
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Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:11 am
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AuroraOrodel says...



Blink wrote:No, and it was a passing remark. I was pointing out that the death penalty as a deterrent doesn't work to bring down murder - your story supports this. But banning guns would be far more effective because the most common murder weapon in the US would be made much harder to get!

And calling them "sickos" is again a way of extracting emotive responses in order to blind rationality. No, I don't believe that they should be executed. I think they deserve to be locked up in a prison until they die.


The death penalty is not meant as a deterrent to future murderers. It's meant to remove one dangerous member of the society. There are degrees of murder, and the US legal system is structured to recognize aspects like intent to kill, mental state, and situation, thereby (in theory) crafting a punishment to fit the crime. The death penalty is reserved for the true murderers: serial killers and serial rapists, domestic terrorists, people who choose to kill out of their own free will. In short, people who do deserve death. Keeping them locked up will have zero effect. They will not suffer because there is no guilt to make them suffer. Furthermore, why should my tax dollars go to feed and house and educate someone of this nature? Life imprisonment is expensive. Some folk just need killing, and anyone who kills for enjoyment or murders hundreds out of some deluded politico-religious agenda needs it. People who have killed in self-defense, out of insanity, in fits of rage, or unintentionally deserve very long or life imprisonment, because those people have the capacity to feel remorse for their actions. (and even then, self-defense killings are not murders).

Banning guns would do nothing. Banning them would make it impossible for law-abiding citizens to obtain them and doubly possible for criminals to do so. Banning a thing does not make it disappear, it only makes it less visible to the public eye. Besides, if a thief is looking to hit some houses and he knows the man in the blue house owns and knows how to use a gun the thief will avoid that house. The problem with firearms isn't that they're available, it's that there are no requirements to obtain one beyond age and lack of criminal record (in some cases). The problem is people, not the weapons they use. Ban guns, we start using knives. Ban knives, we start using sticks, rocks, fire, our hands and teeth.

Matt Bellamy wrote:I'm against the death penalty. I don't think that anyone has the right to murder another person, regardless of that person's actions. And I think it's hypocritical for a person to be sent to prison for killing, for example, the man who murdered their sister, while if a government decided that the murderer should die, that would be completely okay and they'd go ahead and do it. And yes, yes, the government can do whatever they like because they are the government, but we're all human, we're all the same, and just because the government can do something doesn't mean that they should or that it's right.


Except that the man who murders for revenge is no more justified under our society's rules than the man who killed the sister. He knows this. His murder of the man, however justified in his own mind, is an intentional, pre-meditated act, which makes it the most heavily punished kind. Unlike our ancestors, our society does not permit revenge killings. It's a nice plot line for comic books and shoot 'em up films, but it does not work in real life. He would most certainly be given a jail sentence, but would a man who killed for revenge be given the death penalty? That's up to the jury, the judge, and the state: the society he is a direct part of. He chose to murder the man in full knowledge of the consequences, therefore he will accept whatever his community deems fit. It's not "The Big Bad Government" deciding his fate. It's his immediate community.
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Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:23 am
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Kyllorac says...



Blink wrote:If you care about civil liberties and want fewer murders, the answer isn't to use the death penalty - it's to ban guns.

Hello non sequitur.

Also, I think you might be interested in the 2008 statistics of crimes involving firearms placed in perspective with other weapon types in the USA. With the exception of armed robbery, firearms are about level with the percentage of armed crimes involving knives or other weapons. Now, considering that the term "firearms" includes handguns, rifles, shotguns, and various other types of gun, it becomes pretty clear that crimes involving handguns aren't as prevalent as they're made out to be.

As for the death penalty, I believe it's justified in certain cases, such as with serial killers, but that it should be a penalty of last resort. Each person has a chance of redeeming themselves so long as they are alive, but death is permanent. At the same time though, although there's always a chance for a person to redeem themselves and change, if a person has murdered and continued to murder, then I think it best to remove them entirely from society. The most economical way to do that is to kill them. Prisoners need to eat, food costs money, and I would rather my taxes not go to pay to keep someone alive who, should they escape (and there is always that possibility while they are still alive), would likely commit murder again.
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Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:24 pm
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Blink says...



There are degrees of murder, and the US legal system is structured to recognize aspects like intent to kill, mental state, and situation, thereby (in theory) crafting a punishment to fit the crime. The death penalty is reserved for the true murderers: serial killers and serial rapists, domestic terrorists, people who choose to kill out of their own free will. In short, people who do deserve death. Keeping them locked up will have zero effect.

1) "Mentally ill" doesn't just mean crazy, and it certainly isn't as narrow as psychology laws specify. Furthermore, no one just kills for the sake of it - there's always a reason and it's impossible to pin blame entirely.
2) Saying that the death penalty "fits the crime" is subjective and irrelevant. Most of my argument is saying how it isn't.
3) I don't believe any of the people you mentioned "deserve death". Again, that's subjective and irrelevant; I take the view that punishment should be justice and not revenge.
4) The US isn't the only country to have the death penalty. It's used by countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East for a variety of purposes; Iran quotes the Qur'ran when it hangs 15 year-old boys for being gay. As you can see, it's very easily abused.
5) Imprisonment is intended to be the way of removing criminals from harm's way, not just to stop them re-offending.

They will not suffer because there is no guilt to make them suffer.

I don't mean suffering by guilt, but suffering from the fact that they will locked up in a cell everyday for the rest of their lives. If they get guilty, great. But I doubt they always do.

Furthermore, why should my tax dollars go to feed and house and educate someone of this nature? Life imprisonment is expensive.

If you had read my first post, you would have read this:

C) Expense:

Source: http://deathpenaltyinfo.org/news/past/16/2009

County estimates in Texas indicate that the death penalty system is much more expensive than sentencing inmates to life imprisonment. Gray County spent nearly $1 million seeking the death penalty against Levi King, even though he pleaded guilty to murder. Moreover, these costs do not include the cost of appeals, which will further increase the cost of the capital case, nor the costs of cases in which the death penalty is sought but not given. By comparison, a non-death penalty murder case in nearby Lubbock County typically costs about $3,000, court officials estimate. The average cost to house an inmate in Texas prisons is $47.50 per day, according to Michelle Lyons, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Thus it would cost about $17,340 to house an inmate for a year and $693,500 for 40 years, far less than even part of the death penalty costs. The regional public defender's office estimates that just the legal costs for a death penalty case from indictment to execution are $1.2 million.


So. It's expensive. And the problem is that if you start saying that appeals could be cut down, you'll get a stronger response saying that suspects, if you will, do not get a right to put forward their case - in which case we will never be certain whether A) we're killing an innocent person or B) the murder is still out there. The fact that it can be wrong is a matter on its own - hopefully this doesn't need explaining too much.


Now:

Banning guns would do nothing. Banning them would make it impossible for law-abiding citizens to obtain them and doubly possible for criminals to do so. Banning a thing does not make it disappear, it only makes it less visible to the public eye. Besides, if a thief is looking to hit some houses and he knows the man in the blue house owns and knows how to use a gun the thief will avoid that house. The problem with firearms isn't that they're available, it's that there are no requirements to obtain one beyond age and lack of criminal record (in some cases). The problem is people, not the weapons they use. Ban guns, we start using knives. Ban knives, we start using sticks, rocks, fire, our hands and teeth.

Again, I covered this in original post. But this isn't a debate on guns and I apolgise for mentioning it. I'll just leave it at this:

The firearm-related death rate in England & Wales is as low as 0.38, whereas in the US it's as high as 15.22. Like I said, murders aren't just about people going out to kill - if there's a moment of rage and there's a gun their pocket, they'll use it.
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Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:14 am
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AuroraOrodel says...



Blink wrote:1) "Mentally ill" doesn't just mean crazy, and it certainly isn't as narrow as psychology laws specify. Furthermore, no one just kills for the sake of it - there's always a reason and it's impossible to pin blame entirely.


It's entirely possible to pin blame. If the perpetrator pleads insanity and is found to be truly unaware of their actions or their consequences, life imprisonment under psychological care is often the outcome, and that's as it should be. A man who serially rapes then murders young girls has a reason for what he's doing: he enjoys it. Is he mentally unstable for doing so? Yes, by layman's terms. But unless it can be proven that he has a specific mental problem, he's doing it because he wants to and feels he should. Lawyers plead insanity all the time, even when the client has full awareness of their crimes, and that's wrong.

2) Saying that the death penalty "fits the crime" is subjective and irrelevant. Most of my argument is saying how it isn't.


Any punishment is subjective. One jury may send a drunk driver to prison for two years, and another may not send them at all. It's subjective based on the people who happen to be in the jury and the judge presiding.

3) I don't believe any of the people you mentioned "deserve death". Again, that's subjective and irrelevant; I take the view that punishment should be justice and not revenge.


The death penalty isn't a revenge killing. In my view, removal of people who blow up buildings full of children or keep the severed heads of their many victims in the fridge by means of death is justice. Is that subjective? Of course it is, because it's my opinion but that doesn't make it any more subjective than anyone else's.

4) The US isn't the only country to have the death penalty. It's used by countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East for a variety of purposes; Iran quotes the Qur'ran when it hangs 15 year-old boys for being gay. As you can see, it's very easily abused.


So is the prison system. Corruption and abuse of power are unavoidable in every aspect of the legal system.

5) Imprisonment is intended to be the way of removing criminals from harm's way, not just to stop them re-offending.


Thereby making them a burden on society. The US prison system is massively overloaded right now, and it's being privatized because the State can't handle the financial burden of everyone it puts in. That doesn't mean we should start offing prisoners, of course, just that chucking everyone in jail isn't exactly fixing crime issues.

I don't mean suffering by guilt, but suffering from the fact that they will locked up in a cell everyday for the rest of their lives. If they get guilty, great. But I doubt they always do.


Prisoners, especially lifers, adjust to being there. Prison is it's own little micro-society, and long term prisoners can grow to like it, gain positions of respect that they never would in the outside world. There are cases where people who have been inside for a very long time are released and repeat their crimes just so they can be put back in prison because that is where they are comfortable. Besides, it's not like US prisons are horrible, torturous places! They get fed, clothed, and housed and provided with better medical care than most law-abiding citizens, all at the expense of the community, the people they've harmed. Prison is not a great loss of freedom for many criminals. It's only a loss of freedom for criminals who have something to go back to on the outside. Life imprisonment essentially says to certain criminals "Yeah, what you did was really bad, so we're going to punish you by giving you free food, free housing, free medical care, and the possibility to have a position of power within your society". That's not a punishment. That's a reward.


So. It's expensive. And the problem is that if you start saying that appeals could be cut down, you'll get a stronger response saying that suspects, if you will, do not get a right to put forward their case - in which case we will never be certain whether A) we're killing an innocent person or B) the murder is still out there. The fact that it can be wrong is a matter on its own - hopefully this doesn't need explaining too much.


Life imprisonment can be wrong, as well. But there's an interesting point in here: why does the death penalty cost so much? Because it's the last resort, or at least it should be. Texas is a little death penalty happy, IMO. Besides, if the person pleads guilty to murder of a very heinous variety, why are there so many appeals? The case has been presented, the suspect given full chance to speak, and still maintains guilt. It's wasteful. I'm speaking only of crimes we deem especially terrible, like serial murder or cases like Oklahoma City. Now, if it's say...a guy who murders his pregnant wife in the heat of rage and he pleads guilty, if I were on his jury I would suggest a very long imprisonment. If during the case it came to light that he had murdered three pregnant wives before this, I would at least consider the death penalty and I would sleep well after. It's reserved for the crimes we as a society find most heinous. At least we don't hang 8 year old boys for stealing bread anymore.

Now:
Again, I covered this in original post. But this isn't a debate on guns and I apolgise for mentioning it. I'll just leave it at this:

The firearm-related death rate in England & Wales is as low as 0.38, whereas in the US it's as high as 15.22. Like I said, murders aren't just about people going out to kill - if there's a moment of rage and there's a gun their pocket, they'll use it.


I think that's a problem with society's mores more so than the availability of firearms, but that's another topic. People who kill in a moment of rage, no matter the weapon, are unlikely to be sentenced to death. If there's a moment of rage and a knife on the counter or a rock by their foot they're going to use it and it will be just as effective. The problem is one of social conditioning. Guns have a mystique now that they didn't 40 years ago. When my dad was a kid, he could go pheasant hunting before school, go to school, and keep his rifle in his locker. No problems. No questions asked. His gun was a tool for acquiring food, and that's how people thought of them. As tools. Now, people think of them as though their only purpose was for killing other people. This isn't a new problem. Before guns it was bows. Take away Americans' firearms, and not only will there be a political firestorm, but we'll adapt to a different tool of choice. How far down the line should they be banned?
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Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:58 am
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Light_Devil! says...



I'm against it, simply because it's counter-productive.

Why bother killing a killer?

I mean, that would be granting them a freedom from their conscience. And even if they don't feel guilty about it... well too bad. Being stuck in a prison for the rest of their life is the punishment and that would sure as hell annoy me.
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Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:34 am
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shiney1 says...



Being a strong believer in Christ, I do not like the death penalty. I do not believe it is our place to choose who gets to die and who does not, no matter the reason. Sometimes the penalty is even easier than living w/ the crime itself.
But even with this, people still have to pay their dues to men, not to mention to God when they die, and people think this is one way to do it. It is sad, but this world is not exactly "heavenly". if I were to take a vote, I would vote No Death penalty.
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MeanMrMustard says...



shiney1 wrote:Being a strong believer in Christ, I do not like the death penalty. I do not believe it is our place to choose who gets to die and who does not, no matter the reason. Sometimes the penalty is even easier than living w/ the crime itself.
But even with this, people still have to pay their dues to men, not to mention to God when they die, and people think this is one way to do it. It is sad, but this world is not exactly "heavenly". if I were to take a vote, I would vote No Death penalty.


There's another more current thread for this higher up on the page, Punishment rather than this bumped one of yours. I'd advise responding to it, not one that is almost two months inactive.




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laurawillrock says...



Absolutely not. These people may have commited great crimes but death penalty might not be the answer. being locked up for life is enough to help a population and for them to learn their lesson. Some of ways of the death penaly such as lethal injection and electric chair is painful. Some of these criminals have a mental illness and no idea what they do when they do it.
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MeanMrMustard says...



laurawillrock wrote:Absolutely not. These people may have commited great crimes but death penalty might not be the answer. being locked up for life is enough to help a population and for them to learn their lesson. Some of ways of the death penaly such as lethal injection and electric chair is painful. Some of these criminals have a mental illness and no idea what they do when they do it.


Please read my above post, I don't think it's worthwhile to have two threads active that are essentially discussing the same thing. We should get a mod to lock this one.




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Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:06 am
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PenguinAttack says...



There's nothing wrong with keeping this thread open.

The one MeanMrMustard has linked is on Punishment - which can cover many aspects - while this is solely about the death penalty and what people think of it.

If people choose to continue with this thread, I hope they enjoy their debate.
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shiney1 says...



Oh, okay. Thanks for clearing that up!
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Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:38 pm
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Confictura says...



Blink wrote:(updated)

If you care about civil liberties and want fewer murders, the answer isn't to use the death penalty - it's to ban guns.

Making something illegal is depriving the general populace of the item, right? So by depriving the populace of guns we deprive them of a tool of defense.

And what about this scenario?
A burglar and possibly a murderer breaks into a house in the middle of the night, the owner of the house get's his gun out and defends his property by shooting the burglar. he calls the polizist and is congratulated and awarded.

WHAT.

Most people say "Self Defense", but isn't the defense of others more honouralbe than self defense? By killing a killer we are removing a risk that the killer will kill again!

And of course there's the cost of maintaining prisons full of killers. the security, the food, the equipment.

Better to just put a bullet in them and give them a nice funeral.

Not to be insensitive or anything, though :)
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