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The Death Penalty.

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Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:28 pm
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MeadowLark says...



I suppose I'm old school. Canada doesn't have the death penalty and I know people who believe we need to bring it back. And I'm among those. Life was a whole lot simpler when murderers were hanged. They didn't clog up society and money wasn't wasted on building prisons to house them.

1) Taxes. We as a people have to pay taxes to keep those buggers in prison fed, clothed and basically make their life nice and easy. They did a crime, sure they're behind bars, but everything is provided to them through the tax payers money. They even get to keep their pension checks when they're older. We hard workers pay for their needs in prison. And what right do they have to live, if they killed a person? They took a life away. I'm going to quote Leonardo Da Vinci here:

"Let not your rage or malice destroy a life, for indeed, he who does not value it does not deserve it."

Simple as that.

2) I remember, either two or three years ago, on a Greyhound bus headed from Alberta to Manitoba. A man killed another, beheaded him and did I can't remember what else to the poor kid. And, the man was claimed as "mentally ill." Now that just made my family and I sick to hear. It was horrifying what he did to that kid. And rightfully, if we had the Capital Punishment, that mentally ill sicko should have died. If the law would have allowed it.

Now, is that fair? Did that guy deserve to continue living after what he did to that man who was only a few years older than quite a few of us on here?

3) Rape, murder and child molestation should all be punishable by death. 'Cause honestly, does the world need that many sickos out there? "Life without parole" really means a whole lot of nothing. For there is always a way for someone to get back out onto the street and start doing it again.

But of course, this is all just the ramblings of a farm kid. And they're not well explained and put through. My mom could have put out better points than I, and a few others that I know. I think I'm going to stick with Da Vinci on this one.
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Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:10 am
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Amfliflier says...



Well this needs to be viewed from both sides. If someone killed a family member that you were close to, would you want the death penalty? Most likely yes. But if someone, lets say a close family member, killed someone, would you want the death penalty for them? Most likely no. I'm neutral really, because it depends on if my close family member was the killer or the victim...
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Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:36 am
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Confictura says...



Amfliflier wrote:Well this needs to be viewed from both sides. If someone killed a family member that you were close to, would you want the death penalty? Most likely yes. But if someone, lets say a close family member, killed someone, would you want the death penalty for them? Most likely no. I'm neutral really, because it depends on if my close family member was the killer or the victim...


Are you saying that our judiciary system should hinge on whether it's our family member on the line?
If a family member killed someone then yeah, we would mourn, but we might be ashamed for him/her, but we can accept it and move on, unless it was man slaugher and if it was then I highly doubt the death penalty would be acceptable.
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Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:12 pm
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Amfliflier says...



No, I'm just saying that different people will have different views on whether or not the death sentence should be enforced.

I'm still neutral, just bringing up a point.
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Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:34 am
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Confictura says...



Amfliflier wrote:No, I'm just saying that different people will have different views on whether or not the death sentence should be enforced.

I'm still neutral, just bringing up a point.


But, it's an obvious point, Of course I'm going to feel more about the death penalty if it was my mother instead of some guy that I don't know, and just because it's your family member doesn't mean you're automatically AGAINST it. what if the family member killed a very good and kind family member that everyone loved? Some people won't forgive him/her for that.

We also have to look at the cost of having a death penalty versus the cost of not having one.
We can:
Spend thousands a year feeding people in prison FOR LIFE.
Or, we can pay for the price of a single bullet.

Hmm?
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Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:37 am
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MeanMrMustard says...



Confictura wrote:We also have to look at the cost of having a death penalty versus the cost of not having one.
We can:
Spend thousands a year feeding people in prison FOR LIFE.
Or, we can pay for the price of a single bullet.

Hmm?


Humanism and International Conventions generally stop most countries that follow them from using bullets for executions. China isn't going to be bothered though since they have bullets and bodies to spare. However, the judicial system in China is infamous for trumped up charges and sham trials, but again, who's going to force China to retain more bodies? It makes sense in that case why Humanism isn't being practiced there.

Humanism would look at your argument and think: you don't value life or rehabilitating people and assume one is guilty with no chance of re-trail or possibly having the wrong person, and that you value life rather cheaply to the price of a bullet. Therefore your mission in prison and jail is cheap execution with no punishment and complete faith in conviction of the "guilty" and courts always getting the right person for the "crime". That's a highly manipulated and faulty system.

Popping a bullet in someone's head isn't going to stop crime or help an economy. History shows that you'll just pay a lot for bullets with no shortage of fresh bodies to put them in, which you'll need money to burn those bodies or bury them, someplace to store them after execution, etc. Prisons are meant to rehabilitate, but they hardly do that it seems, and instead become holding cells for the usual suspects caught on the fringes. It would be worth society's time to change this system rather than simply make it more "economical" and hope we get the "right" people all the time.




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Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:03 pm
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Amfliflier says...



Actually Confictura, I believe they kill people with a lethal injection, not a bullet. Just letting you know. And I didn't mean that you were automatically against it because of the family member, it was just an example.
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Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:01 am
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Kamas says...



Just because I'm rather bored:

The issue with people saying we should execute those who "deserve" to die due to their actions is that deserving something entirely subjective. All the murderers in this world will never murder the same person (with the same family, friends, etc) in the same place, in the same way. They will not be placed in the same cell, with the same officers, same detectives, same judges, same jury. Time will have moved, things changed, even if slightly. Nothing in life repeats itself exactly as it did the first time, things change constantly, moment to moment. The (uncorrupted) law is not subjective, ever. It is a set line that when crossed, punishment will be faced. Determining who deserves to be killed is left to the judgement of individuals who have lives, and by being a person who has experienced things, there is immediate bias. So, if there is to be a death sentence, by no means shall it be to kill off the "sickos" who "deserve" to die for their actions.

People who kill, rape, torture, the whole shebang, are disgusting in my opinion. There is absolutely no justifiable reason to kill another human being, ever. Life is something we do not understand, so, we do not touch it.
The very same applies to a murdered victim, a teenage girl or boy you perhaps knew or heard of. But this also applies to the creepy person who smiles in court when on murder trail.

The system of executing criminals, has to do with the age-old tradition of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. This, in older times, or even if you look at sibling fights, or everyday fights. I hit you, because you hit me, but then the person you hit wants their revenge and it creates a cycle of escalating violence. Now, executing is slightly more effective because the person who would try to hit back is now dead. But will it bring back the dead victim, or take away the hurt another victim might be suffering from. Will it give you satisfaction? Honestly, hopefully not, because being pleased, or relived at the death of another being at someone else's hands is comparably disgusting. I remember when I used to fight bitterly with my brother, my mother would always tell me to not lower myself to his level when he came looking for a fight.

All that personal voicing aside. If you do consider it, capital punishment is the epitome of hypocrisy. Murdering a murderer. Violating the Universal Declaration of human rights (that states the right to life) as well as constitutional guarantees to the protection of rights and laws because a person did so themselves.
Resorting to the barbaric natures that were used at the beginnings of penology, (alongside slavery, branding and other punishments used at the time) that this person resorted to when murdering their victim.

We also have to look at the cost of having a death penalty versus the cost of not having one.
We can:
Spend thousands a year feeding people in prison FOR LIFE.
Or, we can pay for the price of a single bullet.


Capital punishment wastes intellectual resources just as much as it does money then anything else. Wasting not only time and money, but attorneys, judges, courtrooms, juries and the energy of all of the above. All of these must be used extensively, but the person just gets killed in the end. Then the killing requires a doctor, the lethal injection itself, more court processes. It's a horrifically wasteful and inefficient process.

General worldwide trends show that the abolishment of the death sentence is the way of the future. And with much hope, it shall be so soon.

My two cents.

Kamas
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Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:10 am
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AuroraOrodel says...



Because I'm equally bored... :smt001

Kamas wrote:Just because I'm rather bored:
The (uncorrupted) law is not subjective, ever. It is a set line that when crossed, punishment will be faced. Determining who deserves to be killed is left to the judgement of individuals who have lives, and by being a person who has experienced things, there is immediate bias. So, if there is to be a death sentence, by no means shall it be to kill off the "sickos" who "deserve" to die for their actions.


What? I'm lost here. Who is supposed to judge the accused, then? I don't follow your progression.


People who kill, rape, torture, the whole shebang, are disgusting in my opinion. There is absolutely no justifiable reason to kill another human being, ever. Life is something we do not understand, so, we do not touch it.
The very same applies to a murdered victim, a teenage girl or boy you perhaps knew or heard of. But this also applies to the creepy person who smiles in court when on murder trail.


All of this may be true, but it's also entirely dependent on how you define your community, how you define who is a person, and how you define what rights that person has. As a general society, we agree that killing someone is wrong. Taboo. Against our way of things. However, murderers have willingly broken this taboo in full knowledge of its wrongness in the eyes of the community. Depending on the community, that can mean the murderer's rights are forfeit.

The system of executing criminals, has to do with the age-old tradition of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. This, in older times, or even if you look at sibling fights, or everyday fights. I hit you, because you hit me, but then the person you hit wants their revenge and it creates a cycle of escalating violence. Now, executing is slightly more effective because the person who would try to hit back is now dead. But will it bring back the dead victim, or take away the hurt another victim might be suffering from. Will it give you satisfaction? Honestly, hopefully not, because being pleased, or relived at the death of another being at someone else's hands is comparably disgusting. I remember when I used to fight bitterly with my brother, my mother would always tell me to not lower myself to his level when he came looking for a fight.


Actually, it has to do with keeping dangerous idiots out of your population. In days past, if Bob down the street killed someone and it was judged by the community to have been murder (as in not self defense or for other provocation considered reasonable by said community) he'd be hanged, not as punishment to him, but as a protection to the community. If it was really "eye for an eye", the family of the victim would be allowed to kill someone important to the killer. As for being glad the killer is dead...there's probably more people who would be glad for that than you would expect.

All that personal voicing aside. If you do consider it, capital punishment is the epitome of hypocrisy. Murdering a murderer. Violating the Universal Declaration of human rights (that states the right to life) as well as constitutional guarantees to the protection of rights and laws because a person did so themselves.
Resorting to the barbaric natures that were used at the beginnings of penology, (alongside slavery, branding and other punishments used at the time) that this person resorted to when murdering their victim.


Perhaps I'm barbaric, but it's my belief that criminals lose some of their rights. Isn't that the whole basis on which prison is built? That you commit a crime, you lose some of your rights? The Universal Declaration of Human rights is lovely, but it doesn't get followed, even in democracies. Rights are always qualified by something. Everyone has a right to life, why not a right to kill? Couldn't it be said that a killer was just exercising his/her right to kill? I doubt that would hold up in court. Who gave the killer the power to take away the victim's right to life? We value life, and when that life is taken without our consent, we are upset. It's that simple. (That's the difference between murder and war. One gets a rubber stamp of social approval, and another doesn't.) Murder is the taking of a life without provocation or (understandable) reason, while killing is the taking of a life with provocation or reason. For example, going on a cross-nation trip and kidnapping and poisoning a person in every town you stop in according to your own internal logic system is murder. Shooting the thief who just broke into your house and is threatening your family is killing. One is punished while the other is commended.

Rights are for members of a society, not outcasts, and breaking the rules of the society makes one an outcast. I don't agree with the death penalty for everything, not for most things actually, but I will always believe that sometimes, the crazy nutter who chopped up 12 kids and kept their eyeballs in his pillowcase over a period of 10 years just needs to be ended.

I think more people approve of the notion of just plain killing the bad guys than will admit it. Why are vigilante heroes so popular? We enjoy seeing characters get revenge for the murders of their families by horribly slaughtering everyone that stands between them and the murderer. It's satisfying on some level.

Here's a question: Say we have a murderer of a particularly depraved variety who has committed the crime beyond any shadow of a doubt, and if ever given parole/escapes, will commit the heinous crimes again. They have been convicted of it. Everyone is in agreement, there would be no use for an appeal. Brace yourselves, this may sound harsh: What's the use in keeping them around? To make ourselves feel better, like we took a moral high ground? We put down beloved family dogs for nipping our neighbors when startled, and yet we will fight tooth and nail to keep someone alive who is far more dangerous, just because they're homo sapiens? What's the difference between killing an animal who poses a threat to the community and killing a human who poses a (more serious) threat to the community?
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Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:16 pm
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Kamas says...



AuroraOrodel wrote:What? I'm lost here. Who is supposed to judge the accused, then? I don't follow your progression.


I did this late last night, I was probably not in a state to write anything up. But, that was more a rant towards the term deserve in this debate, as it has no place in this, as it's subjective. Because you can't have select situations in which you can execute someone, it has be a set line that is passed. In the justice system, there are said set lines, then variables such as time you spend in jail.

So basically - Set line: You steal something, you go to jail. Variable: You commit a petty theft, you'll get a month, or perhaps a night then community service. You're a jewel thief who has stolen millions of dollars worth, you'll probably get life.

The set line (for areas that have abolished capital punishment) - Set line: You kill, you go to jail Variable: You kill one person out of say protection that was not determined as an adequate reason and it is determined you won't do it again, you're released and followed closely. You're a person "who chopped up 12 kids and kept their eyeballs in his pillowcase over a period of 10 years", you'll get life, with no parole. You'll never get out.

Capital punishment (as you imply) - Set line: Crazy nutters who murder X amount of people and do something else that's disgusting.

It doesn't work with the law. We can't determine this, it's a subjective set line, which is not how the law works.

All of this may be true, but it's also entirely dependent on how you define your community, how you define who is a person, and how you define what rights that person has. As a general society, we agree that killing someone is wrong. Taboo. Against our way of things. However, murderers have willingly broken this taboo in full knowledge of its wrongness in the eyes of the community. Depending on the community, that can mean the murderer's rights are forfeit.


"how you define what rights that person has", these are already defined for us in constitutional papers that democracy are based on. These papers are where freedom and right of life, equality, to have a home and make yourself a living is made legal. Laws are built around these rights, to protect them.
The ONLY times rights can be taken away, is in time of war. Or by sending a person to jail.

"define who is a person", this too, is defined for us in law. A person is legally defined as a living human being with basic rights to life, liberty, equality before the law and everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. There are no exceptions to who is and is not a person.

"define your community", I don't see what this has to do with determining whether someone who broke the law has to do with the community. A community cannot determine what is to be done with a murderer in their community, because ever community is different. We aren't living in the middle ages.

Actually, it has to do with keeping dangerous idiots out of your population. In days past, if Bob down the street killed someone and it was judged by the community to have been murder (as in not self defense or for other provocation considered reasonable by said community) he'd be hanged, not as punishment to him, but as a protection to the community. If it was really "eye for an eye", the family of the victim would be allowed to kill someone important to the killer. As for being glad the killer is dead...there's probably more people who would be glad for that than you would expect.


I'm an optimist and would hope that those seeking revenge through the legal death of the murderer who killed someone in their family would have some moral soundness and not be happy at the circumstances they find themselves in. But hey, I could be wrong.

And in fact it is "an eye for an eye", they take a life, we take one back. What if they kill someone without friends, or family? What would you do then, in the way you stated. This revenge thing is far more simpler then who they kill, it's a life for a life, and since you only have one to offer and it would be their own.

If there was no shadow of a doubt he was guilty, he would face a judge and jury and be sent to jail, therefore removing the threat from the community, for the rest of his miserable life.

Perhaps I'm barbaric, but it's my belief that criminals lose some of their rights. Isn't that the whole basis on which prison is built? That you commit a crime, you lose some of your rights?


There is a difference between jail and execution is one they do not touch basic rights, the other they do.

In jail, you're removed your right to vote (in almost all the states in the United States) and your right to mobility.
You still have the liberty to talk, associate, face fair trial and stay alive.
Execution takes away all the above.

The Universal Declaration of Human rights is lovely, but it doesn't get followed, even in democracies. Rights are always qualified by something. Everyone has a right to life, why not a right to kill? Couldn't it be said that a killer was just exercising his/her right to kill?


Nonsense. Without the Declaration, someone could attack you, persecute you for talking to them. They could decide that they don't like you, therefore depriving you of your home. You couldn't state your opinion freely in a community if someone decided you were wrong.

The general assembly proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.


The U.D.H.R is the set standard for civilized society. It's disregarded in democracy? Absolutely not. The laws we are under the scrutiny of uses this document as well as many like it for the basis of the justice system. Why is killing a taboo? Because every person has the right to life. Thus a law is made to protect that, where if you kill you face punishment. It's not something you can shake off so easily and say we don't care about it anyways.

As for the right to kill another human being, there is no right, therefore no basis they can stand on saying it was their right to kill this person. So this doesn't hold up anywhere. Laws have a basis, the only right to kill is with a hunter's license and with birds, and other animals.

We value life, and when that life is taken without our consent, we are upset. It's that simple. (That's the difference between murder and war. One gets a rubber stamp of social approval, and another doesn't.) Murder is the taking of a life without provocation or (understandable) reason, while killing is the taking of a life with provocation or reason. For example, going on a cross-nation trip and kidnapping and poisoning a person in every town you stop in according to your own internal logic system is murder. Shooting the thief who just broke into your house and is threatening your family is killing. One is punished while the other is commended.


Actually, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be commended. The laws to self defense are extremely strict.
I don't think war has a place in this part of your rebuttal, but, war itself is under the ranks of "justified killing". (Which is a whole different pond to delve into).

Rights are for members of a society, not outcasts, and breaking the rules of the society makes one an outcast. I don't agree with the death penalty for everything, not for most things actually, but I will always believe that sometimes, the crazy nutter who chopped up 12 kids and kept their eyeballs in his pillowcase over a period of 10 years just needs to be ended.


The law does not look at members of society, and outcasts. Everyone is a person and has the right to be considered such in trail. The issue with not agreeing with all cases goes back to what I said at the beginning of my post. You can't determine who dies and who is sick enough to die. Where is the line drawn between these sickos who chopped children and a simple one time murderer?

I think more people approve of the notion of just plain killing the bad guys than will admit it. Why are vigilante heroes so popular? We enjoy seeing characters get revenge for the murders of their families by horribly slaughtering everyone that stands between them and the murderer. It's satisfying on some level.


If you're referring to the media. It's all twisted, these justified revenge killings. They don't face the punishment one would normally face, they tend to face extreme situations against "evil" people who are hell bent to do the wrong thing.
We enjoy watching people who work outside the law because we wouldn't dare to do so ourselves.

Here's a question: Say we have a murderer of a particularly depraved variety who has committed the crime beyond any shadow of a doubt, and if ever given parole/escapes, will commit the heinous crimes again. They have been convicted of it. Everyone is in agreement, there would be no use for an appeal. Brace yourselves, this may sound harsh: What's the use in keeping them around? To make ourselves feel better, like we took a moral high ground? We put down beloved family dogs for nipping our neighbors when startled, and yet we will fight tooth and nail to keep someone alive who is far more dangerous, just because they're homo sapiens? What's the difference between killing an animal who poses a threat to the community and killing a human who poses a (more serious) threat to the community?


Society looks at animals differently then they would a human. Our culture makes it so. You can't compare an animal to a person in the eye of the law. (I feel terribly redundant.)

If someone, without a shadow of a doubt committed a murder, they'll get life. And chances are, if it is seen that they'll commit the crime again. They WILL NOT be released again. This threat to the community you continuously bring up is non-existant when they're in jail, just as it would be if they were dead. Why reduce ourselves to the repulsive hypocrisy of execution when we can remain on this high moral ground as you say with the same outcome.

Kamas
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Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:11 pm
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AuroraOrodel says...



Kamas wrote:
It doesn't work with the law. We can't determine this, it's a subjective set line, which is not how the law works.


Yes, it is. All law is subjective to the case and to the culture that established it, and in the US it is even subjective by state. What gets you 10 years in Texas might get you 2 or less in say...Idaho. Or it may get you nothing at all depending on how good your lawyer is and how much money and power you possess. The law is based on a few overriding national standards which are in themselves subjective to the times and culture in which they were created.

"how you define what rights that person has", these are already defined for us in constitutional papers that democracy are based on. These papers are where freedom and right of life, equality, to have a home and make yourself a living is made legal. Laws are built around these rights, to protect them.
The ONLY times rights can be taken away, is in time of war. Or by sending a person to jail.

"define who is a person", this too, is defined for us in law. A person is legally defined as a living human being with basic rights to life, liberty, equality before the law and everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. There are no exceptions to who is and is not a person.

"define your community", I don't see what this has to do with determining whether someone who broke the law has to do with the community. A community cannot determine what is to be done with a murderer in their community, because ever community is different. We aren't living in the middle ages.


You're thinking of community as small and the origin of law as modern. Community started small when our laws were written. Community has EVERYTHING to do with determining culpability and guilt! That's what the whole phrase "a jury of your peers" means. It means you will be judged by those from your community, not some strangers from across the country. We like to think of a jury as totally impartial, having no familiarity with the accused, but back in the late 1700s when this law was new, there was no way to avoid the jury being familiar with the accused. The communities were small, you would at least know of the accused in passing if not personally. Now, though, communities are much, much larger. I could be called for jury duty at any time to pass judgment on someone I've never heard of for a crime I know nothing about. The federal government gives individual states, counties, and towns the liberty to deal with criminals as they decide to a certain degree. That's why the death penalty is not federally enforced one way or the other, and it's a state decision. Whether or not a state has the death penalty is subjective, dependent on the cultural views of the state.

I'm an optimist and would hope that those seeking revenge through the legal death of the murderer who killed someone in their family would have some moral soundness and not be happy at the circumstances they find themselves in. But hey, I could be wrong.


Moral soundness is inherently subjective. In this case, you're hoping the person would have the exact moral soundness that you would like them to have, defined by the same sets of principles you follow, when in fact that is highly unlikely to be true. Not everyone takes the "moral high road".

And in fact it is "an eye for an eye", they take a life, we take one back. What if they kill someone without friends, or family? What would you do then, in the way you stated. This revenge thing is far more simpler then who they kill, it's a life for a life, and since you only have one to offer and it would be their own.

If there was no shadow of a doubt he was guilty, he would face a judge and jury and be sent to jail, therefore removing the threat from the community, for the rest of his miserable life.


IF his lawyer didn't appeal and get it commuted to an insanity charge, and IF that's what the jury decided, and IF in twenty years time the case wasn't appealed for parole...there are a lot of Ifs. And while in jail, what use is this person providing, to himself or to the community he harmed? Nothing. He's not making amends, he's not being rehabilitated (because that's expensive), he's just festering in a box until his sentence comes up for appeal.

There is a difference between jail and execution is one they do not touch basic rights, the other they do.

In jail, you're removed your right to vote (in almost all the states in the United States) and your right to mobility.
You still have the liberty to talk, associate, face fair trial and stay alive.
Execution takes away all the above.


Depending on the prison you are sent to and what for. Solitary confinement takes away pretty much everything except the right to eat and sleep, and that's considered perfectly acceptable humane punishment.


Nonsense. Without the Declaration, someone could attack you, persecute you for talking to them. They could decide that they don't like you, therefore depriving you of your home. You couldn't state your opinion freely in a community if someone decided you were wrong.


No, we'd still be fine without the UNIVERSAL Declaration, as each nation would still have its own rules. My point is that as nice and lofty as the UDHR may be, it's for politicians to banter with. It's a means for judging nations and meddle in their ways. It's just an agreement between likeminded nations, nothing more.

The U.D.H.R is the set standard for civilized society. It's disregarded in democracy? Absolutely not. The laws we are under the scrutiny of uses this document as well as many like it for the basis of the justice system. Why is killing a taboo? Because every person has the right to life. Thus a law is made to protect that, where if you kill you face punishment. It's not something you can shake off so easily and say we don't care about it anyways.


Civilised society is subjective. What is considered civilized is dependent on cultural views, and cannot be decided by someone outside that culture.

Killing is not taboo because everyone has a right to life. Killing was around ages before the right was written down or thought of. Take this back to a tribal society: when one member of the tribe kills another, it causes problems within the tribe. If a member of the tribe kills someone from the tribe next door, it's fine because it causes no problems within the tribe. In a modern sense, we are trying to define all of humanity as the same tribe. The value of human life is not constant. It changes based on cultural definitions of personhood, which change themselves over time.

As for the right to kill another human being, there is no right, therefore no basis they can stand on saying it was their right to kill this person. So this doesn't hold up anywhere. Laws have a basis, the only right to kill is with a hunter's license and with birds, and other animals.


Well, who decided that? Who decided that killing wasn't a right? Why did they decide that?

Actually, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be commended. The laws to self defense are extremely strict.
I don't think war has a place in this part of your rebuttal, but, war itself is under the ranks of "justified killing". (Which is a whole different pond to delve into).


Whether or not it would be commended and the degree of punishment (if any) would be dependent on the community in which it took place, which makes it subjective.

The law does not look at members of society, and outcasts. Everyone is a person and has the right to be considered such in trail. The issue with not agreeing with all cases goes back to what I said at the beginning of my post. You can't determine who dies and who is sick enough to die. Where is the line drawn between these sickos who chopped children and a simple one time murderer?


The line is drawn in the circumstances. That's what trials are for, and that is why the law is SUBJECTIVE to the case. Punishment is not set in stone for each offense. The situation, the mental stability of the accused, the motives are all taken into account. That's why we have variations of murder, between intentional and unintentional. Why can't we determine that a serial murderer dies? They obviously decided their victims should die. The difference is that the judge and jury have been given the social power to make that decision.

Society looks at animals differently then they would a human. Our culture makes it so. You can't compare an animal to a person in the eye of the law. (I feel terribly redundant.)


I was asking philosophically, not legally. I know the legal difference. If you have a rabid dog and you lock it up to keep it from injuring someone, that's considered cruel while killing it is "putting him out of his misery". If you have a mentally deranged serial murderer and you lock them up, it's considered just, while killing them is considered "cruel/bad/evil". I'm just wondering what the moral switch is between these two.

If someone, without a shadow of a doubt committed a murder, they'll get life. And chances are, if it is seen that they'll commit the crime again. They WILL NOT be released again. This threat to the community you continuously bring up is non-existant when they're in jail, just as it would be if they were dead. Why reduce ourselves to the repulsive hypocrisy of execution when we can remain on this high moral ground as you say with the same outcome.


A subjectively defined high moral ground. And they'll get life maybe. Again, I don't advocate killing off everyone who kills someone no matter the circumstance. I think the death penalty is overused and applied when there is still doubt in the case, which is why it wracks up such a bill. I also think that at an entirely subjective point, a person who commits particularly heinous crimes does deserve to die for them. I recognize that's an entirely personal and very subjective view.
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jok101 says...



So before I get to my point, which won't be long because there is point where people just start ranting and repeating themselves and are not really getting their point across, I just going to point something out which I know most of the writers probably realised.
The argument to murder a murderer. It's not murder they are executed.

Executed: Put to death as punishment

Executed: A means of socially sanctioned punishment

Execution: Putting a condemned person to death

Murder: Unlawful premeditated [or with malice afterthought] killing of a human being by a human being.

Now just so someone doesn't go look up the definition and try to be smart by writing

Execute: Murder in a planned fashion.

It's different and trying to use that would just be a cheap attempt of you to try and play with words. It's like if some one said "that was sick" I could mean that was sick in the literal sense, I could mean it the sense that was sick in it was great, or I could mean that was sick in the sense that it was disgusting. Words in the english language can have lots of different meanings. Picking the one you like to serve your purposes doesn't actually make your point your not fooling anyone.

Anyway their are others things I could point out but what ever because its counter productive.

I don't have a firm standing on the whole death penalty thing in some sense I understand the argument. A human life is special and we shouldn't have power over it. On the other hand I understand that some people are just sickos and truly deserve to die. Well actually they deserve the worse punishment you can give to a man. Castration. If every rapist was castrated they're would be a lot less rapist. You know they're wouldn't be any of this low level raping were a boyfriend rapes his girlfriend because he's tired of waiting. You know and then the sickos you just kill.

It's not a good argument but I'm tired so I can't be asked to counter argue all the flaws I've already seen in my own idea.




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Razcoon says...



If a man kills, he should be locked up for years. If he kills again, he should be locked up for life. If escapes and kills yet again, a death penalty is reasonable. The man would likely kill again, and by taking the killer's life, more have been saved. This is short, but it sums up my opinion of this fairly well.
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Kamas says...



Capital Punishment is unconstitutional, inefficient, and remains in my mind, the epitome of hypocrisy.

But, it's not an issue that can be resolved from the opinion of outsiders. It up to the people living within a place with capital punishment to determine if they wish to keep it or not. The death sentence itself is an age-old argument.

The questions you can ask yourself is say, is execution by state just as immoral as the killing of a private citizen? Does it deter from crimes to be committed? Does it punish criminals for their actions?

You murder a murderer. Alright, sure. So therefore you would steal x amount from a thief, beat up a abuser, rape a rapist, burn down the home of an arsonist. Then it's fair, you've done back to them as they have to society. So to remove a dangerous individual from society through their death, by giving them a taste of their own medicine. What would you do with the rapist, the arsonist, the abuser once they've had theirs? Send them back into society, when you have no doubt they'll commit the crime again? Course not. You put them in jail.

Does jail not remove a threat from society? Is the purpose of law rehabilitation rather then destruction?

Isn't it the same if someone in a community went out with a hand gun and shot another person and claimed they were a threat to their family so it had to be done. They'll still go to jail, they'll still be murderers themselves despite this same reasoning.

The killing of anyone is wrong, irrelevant of their reasoning or whether it's done by a person or a person working for the state.

Not only this but the methods we use are known to go wrong. Becoming inhumane very quickly. Jimmy Lee Gray (1983) was put to death in the gas chamber. Eight minutes later, the gas was not killing him and Gray was still alive banging his head against a steel pipe.

Joseph Tafero, the electric chair, he remained alive for six minutes and as flames began shooting out of his head.

John Wayne Gacy was still alive for 18 minutes after he was given a lethal injection. Potassium chloride is inserted with three times the medical dosage. The process is difficult and a ridiculous amount of things could and have gone wrong. Even administering the drug too quickly stops the heart before the brain stops working, leading to seizure like reaction for several minutes and immense burning pain before the inmate subdues.

And that leads to the point that, what in the world do we do if they're innocent?
In the past 4 years, 17 people that were on death row were exonerated due to DNA evidence. Combined these people spent a combined 207 years in prison out of which 187 of them were on death row. And if you think about it, only 29 people were executed in 2010. These are people that were cleared before their sentence, who knows how many innocent men and women have been executed for crimes they haven't committed. What do you do then, how can you give them back their life, how can you take away the hurt you gave the families in the death of their loved one, how can you cure the emotional distress they endured in all the trails and the money they paid. What do you do then? Say oops and continue as is?

Capital punishment is ineffective. 29 people in 2010 were executed in the United States. As of 2008, 3,263 criminals were awaiting execution in the United States.
It's complex, expensive (far more so then life in jail.), and time-consuming appeals procedures mandated in some jurisdictions. The condemned spend years before the execution actually happens, the longest serving recently executed inmate served 33 years on death row before being executed in 2008. Not only that, a quarter of the deaths that occur on death row are from natural causes.

So make them wait to be killed, but they die in the waiting line? Why pay more when they could just rot until they died in regular, less expensive prison?

Death row itself violates just as many constitutional agreements as the criminal themselves did. Not only through the taking away of a person's (despite their actions) right to life. But sitting in a cell, awaiting your death is a form of mental cruelty and torture on a basis. Torture is in violation of many constitutional agreements, as well as the U.D.H.R you regard so causally.
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AuroraOrodel says...



Kamas wrote:
Capital Punishment is unconstitutional, inefficient, and remains in my mind, the epitome of hypocrisy. But, it's not an issue that can be resolved from the opinion of outsiders. It up to the people living within a place with capital punishment to determine if they wish to keep it or not. The death sentence itself is an age-old argument.


Can you cite Supreme Court rulings or Constitutional passages that state capital punishment is unconstitutional, or is this a statement of opinion?

The questions you can ask yourself is say, is execution by state just as immoral as the killing of a private citizen? Does it deter from crimes to be committed? Does it punish criminals for their actions?


I don't know what a private citizen is, but you and I clearly operate under different sets of morality. If someone is guilty of really awful heinous stuff (not just murder, but serial rape/torture/mutilation for example) I, personally, would have no moral qualms about sending said person to their very painful death. Crimes of this nature are often committed out of some sort of psychosis and those who commit them are unlikely to be deterred by much of anything. By executing someone convicted of such crimes, honestly convicted with no doubt in anyone's mind, the guilty party is got rid of.

In my opinion, the hypocrisy that is the death sentence should A. Be abolished B. The mindset of this law to be applied to all other forms of justice.

You murder a murderer. Alright, sure. So therefore you would steal x amount from a thief, beat up a abuser, rape a rapist, burn down the home of an arsonist. Then it's fair, you've done back to them as they have to society. So to remove a dangerous individual from society through their death, by giving them a taste of their own medicine. What would you do with the rapist, the arsonist, the abuser once they've had theirs? Send them back into society, when you have no doubt they'll commit the crime again? Course not. You put them in jail.


Or, since they'll have already been punished, instead of tossing them in prison to fester and become part of prison culture, you honestly rehabilitate them. Besides, sending them back into society when we have no doubt they'll commit the crime again is exactly what we do now with the criminals you mentioned. I happen to think forcing a thief to pay back the amount stolen would be smart...

Does jail not remove a threat from society? Is the purpose of law rehabilitation rather then destruction?


You have a very rosy opinion of the prison system. Rehab programs are the first to be cut under economic strain. Prisons right now (in the US anyway) are grossly over crowded and underfunded, so much so that prisons are becoming privatized, and being private means there is little to no action take to protect or rehabilitate prisoners. Prisoners aren't rehabilitated, they are simply chucked in and chucked out because that's the way the criminal-industrial system profits. The current US prison system is not set up to rehabilitate prisoners or put an end to crime, it's set up to ideally support the revenue the states earn from crime.

Murder is a mortal sin, the taking of a life is never ever justifiable. But, if you get down to the nitty-gritty, isn't the doctor that administers the poison into a criminal's veins, or the person who pulls the switch for the electrical chair, just as much of a murderer? Murderers kill for their own justified reasons, which in all cases are false. But then those people involved in the death of this criminal, their justifiable reason is justice? Getting rid of a threat?


Mortal sin is a value judgment that not everyone holds to. The doctors who perform the executions are enacting the wishes of political bodies beyond themselves, political bodies which, according to our laws, have the social power to make this order. Their justifiable reason is we, the community, have deemed the accused's actions to be so heinous and irredeemable that he/she can no longer persist among society in any fashion. The execution is provoked by the guilty party's actions and justified by the judge and jury who made the conviction. Murder, as has been previously stated, is the taking of a life without provocation, unlawful, and premeditated. Execution is provoked (as has been explained) and lawful, and committed without malice.

Aurora, you may say it is removing a threat from society. Yes. It is. As that person will never come back to harm another being. But is that justifiable? Isn't it the same if someone in a community went out with a hand gun and shot another person and claimed they were a threat to their family so it had to be done. They'll still go to jail, they'll still be murderers themselves despite this same reasoning. The killing of anyone is wrong, irrelevant of their reasoning or whether it's done by a person or a person working for the state.


And in a court of law, that person would be sent to jail, but would most likely not be given a death sentence. He would be punished even if he had removed a legitimate threat because there are other, legal avenues of dealing with the situation. You continue to see this issue in stark black and white, as if any crime which involves a murder or death is automatically a death row case. It is not. Every case is dependent on the situation and particulars of that case! It is always, always subjective.

Having the backing of the law, which is a social contract whereby the community of the governed gives power to the elected bodies, makes all the difference in the justification of taking a life. By our own legal code, the situation you present here and a death row execution are not the same thing. As I said before, you and I operate under different moralities, and in mine killing off a dangerous crazy bugger who has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt to be a dangerous crazy bugger is morally acceptable.

Not only this but the methods we use are known to go wrong. Becoming inhumane very quickly. Jimmy Lee Gray (1983) was put to death in the gas chamber. Eight minutes later, the gas was not killing him and Gray was still alive banging his head against a steel pipe.

Joseph Tafero, the electric chair, he remained alive for six minutes and as flames began shooting out of his head.

John Wayne Gacy was still alive for 18 minutes after he was given a lethal injection. Potassium chloride is inserted with three times the medical dosage. The process is difficult and a ridiculous amount of things could and have gone wrong. Even administering the drug too quickly stops the heart before the brain stops working, leading to seizure like reaction for several minutes and immense burning pain before the inmate subdues.


We kill beloved pets by lethal injection, why not detested criminals? Besides, if the person did something horrible enough to incur a death sentence, why should they get a peaceful death? Their victims sure didn't. This may be a harsh view, but its a view that exists.

And that leads to the point that, what in the world do we do if they're innocent?
In the past 4 years, 17 people that were on death row were exonerated due to DNA evidence. Combined these people spent a combined 207 years in prison out of which 187 of them were on death row. And if you think about it, only 29 people were executed in 2010. These are people that were cleared before their sentence, who knows how many innocent men and women have been executed for crimes they haven't committed. What do you do then, how can you give them back their life, how can you take away the hurt you gave the families in the death of their loved one, how can you cure the emotional distress they endured in all the trails and the money they paid. What do you do then? Say oops and continue as is?


The past is the past, and we can't change what was done in it. We can only learn from it. Situations like this are the reason I think death sentences are given in haste, but it doesn't make me think the practice should be nationally abolished. A death sentence should be for the absolute worst of the worst, those clinically beyond rehabilitation who have no remorse for the crimes they willfully committed. And yes, I believe the judge and jury, informed by the testimony of licensed professionals, have the right to decide if the accused belongs in that category. Our laws and legal system give them that right.


Capital punishment is ineffective. 29 people in 2010 were executed in the United States. As of 2008, 3,263 criminals were awaiting execution in the United States.
It's complex, expensive (far more so then life in jail.), and time-consuming appeals procedures mandated in some jurisdictions. The condemned spend years before the execution actually happens, the longest serving recently executed inmate served 33 years on death row before being executed in 2008. Not only that, a quarter of the deaths that occur on death row are from natural causes.

So make them wait to be killed, but they die in the waiting line? Why pay more when they could just rot until they died in regular, less expensive prison?


Which to me begs the question: why? Why is the process so long? I keep seeing the history of the lengthy process, but no clear reasons why it can take upwards of 30 years. The slowness of it is caused by exhausting every possible avenue to ensure guilt. Add to that, why do they need special prisons at all? What's the justification for separate housing?

Death row itself violates just as many constitutional agreements as the criminal themselves did. Not only through the taking away of a person's (despite their actions) right to life. But sitting in a cell, awaiting your death is a form of mental cruelty and torture on a basis. Torture is in violation of many constitutional agreements, as well as the U.D.H.R you regard so causally. The mental illness that often inflicts those waiting on death row is called the death row phenomena which can then grow into death row syndrome. Inflicting further mental pressure on these criminals is in itself unconstitutional and the process could lead to claims of insanity, which is very possible, to which death row will be rendered even more useless. Because they drove all the wackos conscience of their actions crazy, therefore in law have to send them to jail.


This, however, we are in agreement on. If a man is convicted and sentenced to death in 1960, why why WHY wait until 2010 to carry out the sentence? If there is even any doubt in a case, if appeals are ongoing, there is no reason to place the accused in a special "death row" prison or to confine them according to a different timetable. Let them exist in normal prison while the lawyers deal with each other.

Yet on the flip side, if a murderer on death row is guilty and knows it, has been convicted, and yet keeps choosing to prolong the appeals, as is his/her right, whose responsibility is that, really? It's still being debated:

(from 2009)
In the capital case, Thompson v. McNeil, No. 08-7369, two justices said the delay in executing William L. Thompson, convicted of a participating in the gruesome torture and murder of a woman in 1976, warranted attention from the court.

Justice John Paul Stevens, who has been increasingly vocal about his discomfort with the death penalty generally, said that Mr. Thompson’s confinement in “especially severe conditions” and two near-death experiences as executions were stayed at the last minute were dehumanizing.

“Executing defendants after such long delays is unacceptably cruel,” Justice Stevens wrote.

Justice Breyer added that Mr. Thompson’s accomplice may have been more culpable but did not receive the death penalty. At a resentencing hearing, a jury that heard evidence on this point recommended, 7 to 5, that Mr. Thompson be sentenced to death.

Justice Clarence Thomas disagreed with his two colleagues. Justice Thomas set out the details of the crime in vivid detail and said that Mr. Thompson, who had twice pleaded guilty, was the source of the delays and so should not be their beneficiary.

“It is the crime — and not the punishment imposed by the jury or the delay in petitioner’s execution — that was ‘unacceptably cruel,’ ” Justice Thomas wrote.


I read up on the oldest man to die on death row, and his is a very interesting story. He led a life of crime, was in and out of prison constantly, and was given ample, ample opportunity to change his life: he chose not to. He chose to be a criminal, he chose to fatally shoot people when he, an experienced criminal, could easily have shot to wound. The crime that got him the death sentence (a murder during a robbery; not his first murder) was committed when he was 62. Personally, even given his con-man, armed robbery, escaping from prison record, I don't believe a death sentence was justified, and after a certain point there's no point to keeping a death row inmate on death row. His story has been used to rile people up about the inhumanity of capital punishment because of his age and poor health when he died. However...look at the man's life. His last crime was at 62 after a lifetime of imprisonment. How many chances to change did he get? He could have chosen to redeem himself at any time, but instead he continued as an armed robber and murderer. I'm not bringing this up to prove that he "deserved" his sentence, because I've already stated that I don't believe he did. I'm bringing this up to show that sometimes prison isn't effective. And to pose a question: At what point does it stop being the legal system's responsibility to "fix" criminals and start being the criminal's responsibility to fix themselves?

As many of the examples make abundantly clear, criminal trials are never cut and dry, never black and white. Would it be more humane to keep our especially depraved killers in death row-like conditions for life, being driven slowly insane? Or should everyone be tossed into the same prison, irregardless of their crime? If you're going to advocate for ending one method of dealing with the most heinous criminals, what do you suggest in its place?
"You cannot pronounce as knowledge anything you cannot demonstrate."
~Margaret Atwood

"The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies."
~Fahrenheit 451