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The Death Penalty -What's The Most Humane Approach

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posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 03:15 PM
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Diseria:

I hadn't considered people having a need to be taught human rights. They seem self-evident to me-kind of like your mothers' idea of parenting skills. (My mother was the same way).
"We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal...." By commiting a heinous crime such as murder, the criminal denies his/her own humanity as well as that of their victim. The "lost boys", as I refer to the prisoners I care for, never had a chance due to savage upbringing or genetics or both. Life in prison for them is enough to keep society safe. Actually, most of them function well (enough) in such a structured environment. It's when they get released back onto the streets with a criminal record against them and no real structure to their lives that they get into trouble again. For the rest of the criminals that are not mentally ill, they are criminally minded and carry on their criminal thinking even behind razor wire fences.

Budski:

Eventually, these criminals have finished serving their time and DO get released. There are mandatory sentencing laws. They get time off for good behavior, etc. An 18 year old comes in for his 3rd DUI, gets 2 years, serves 85% of that 2 years and when he leaves he has spent enough time with the monsters that he now knows how to hot wire a car, make bathtub gin, who to sell it to, best time to rob a drug store, etc. Prison is "finishing school" for monsters. Because the young ones are the preferred rape victims on a prison yard, they have to toughen up quickly if they hope to survive at all. Our prison is a little bit progressive in that it separates the youthful offenders from the rest of the yard. On the other hand, a lot of the older ones have mellowed out and become petty cons whereas the younger ones (usually gang members) want to "prove" themselves by starting fights, etc. They quickly get recruited by the older cons who haven't mellowed out.

When a person steals something from you, they owe you that thing or its equivalent value. Extending that to the death penalty, someone has stolen from you that which is priceless-your loved one. They HAVE nothing of equal value with which to repay you. The life of a monster for the life of your track-star high-school daughter is still not equal but it's the most they have with which to repay your loss. (Not that anything could ever repay your loss but it will guarantee that no one else suffers such a loss). Life in prison for the rest of their natural life is still LIFE. It only adds insult to injury to be forced, through taxation, to pay for your daughter's killer to have 3 squares a day as well as free health, vision, dental care, pay for their "work", canteen, library, gym access, clothes, etc.
The gene pool does need a little chlorine from time to time and the death penalty ensures that at least one germ won't be polluting the water for the rest of the swimmers.




posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 03:38 PM
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Originally posted by whitewave

Eventually, these criminals have finished serving their time and DO get released. There are mandatory sentencing laws.

The gene pool does need a little chlorine from time to time and the death penalty ensures that at least one germ won't be polluting the water for the rest of the swimmers.


In answering, my belief is that life should mean life.

I'd also question just where economics of keeping someone inside come into it?
If it's just about money, then don't send petty offenders to prison - just bring back the birch - that's pretty much what you're saying, that it costs too much money to punish through prison terms.

I'd also raise the question of what happens in prisons in the US - this is more of an indictment of the prison system than anything else - and by extrapolation, keeping a person in prison for the rest of their natural life would be more of a punishment than death.

I believe that in the US, it's not about justice or punishment, it's about retribution.

As for cleansing the gene pool - I find that quite offensive, after all, isn't that what the nazi's were trying to do?



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 04:10 PM
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That's not what I was saying at all. Let me clarify. It's not that it costs too much to keep them alive in prison (although it does), it's that not only does one have to suffer the loss of their loved ones but they also have to pay year after year to pay for maintaining the life of someone who has no respect for life.
As for what goes on in prison-what do you expect? You put a bunch of murderers, rapists, child molesters, thiefs, drug abusers, spouse beaters, hit-n-run drivers (usually drunk) all together in one place, they're not going to turn into choir boys. They're going to swap war stories and try to prove that they're "heroes" in the criminal world. There are strict rules in place and some prisons have "lockdown" 23 out of 24 hours a day and they still manage to have riots, drugs and alcohol on the yard, games and cons being played to the detriment of all dupes caught up in them. I am continually amazed/shocked at the criminals ingenious creativity for breaking any and all rules. I guess everyone's got to be good at something. Not having a criminal mind, 9/10ths of the stuff they come up with never would have occured to me. One has to be continually on the defensive and expect that if an inmate is talking to you at all then he's scheming and if he asks for some small favor, he's definitely setting you up even if you can't see how it would hurt anything to grant his request.
We just had a bunch of officers (and 1 nurse) get busted at McAlester prison (a maximum security facility) for bringing in contraband to the inmates. One officer was 11 days away from retirement and now he'll be going to prison himself. Part of our orientation training is learning all the various ways that inmates snag DOC employees into doing their bidding. They'll use blackmail, threats of violence to you or your family. (That's why I don't have any pictures of my family at work). These guys aren't in prison for singing too loudly in the choir. They are true criminals. Considering that our current justice system allows people every chance before sentencing them to prison (probation, community service, house arrest, etc.), they have to have repeatedly shown that they are a real threat. They don't quit being a threat just because they've graduated their criminal training in prison.
Your comparison of what I said about the gene pool needing chlorinating to the Nazi's genocidal pogram is offensive to me. The Nazi's exterminated people who were no threat to anyone except the Nazi's overinflated ego. You're comparing apples to oranges. It's a common fallacy in logic used frequently in emotionally charged issues.
I appreciate your passion in your personal convictions, I just don't share your convictions on this particular issue. (and it's not necessary that I do).



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 07:11 PM
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Originally posted by whitewave I hadn't considered people having a need to be taught human rights. They seem self-evident to me-kind of like your mothers' idea of parenting skills. (My mother was the same way).


Hand a child a pair of knitting needles and a ball of yarn, and have him/her make you a sweater -- without *anyone* explaining how to hold the needles or what a knit or purl stitch is...

It's self-evident to me how to make a sweater, because I know how. I was taught.


Also, (considering this from a world-view), understand that there are *many* cultures that a) have never heard of 'human rights', or don't have the language (word/definition) to understand what is meant by it (which is a trippy thought), or b) have not gotten to the point in their moral development that the term 'human rights' is even applicable. Granted, with the advent of the internet, the chances of finding such a culture are decreasing... but that doesn't mean that every human being has access to the internet, or lives in a country that has the means to provide such, et cetera. India is a fine example of a country that is just now having internal debate over their cultural behaviors/actions...

Returning to America... If it's okay to exploit people (here and elsewhere) in the name of profit, if it's okay to engender competition in the name of consumerism and materialism, then it's okay that people haven't been taught proper morals.

Seriously, if this is the example set, how can we expect anyone to magically act any differently? How can we expect people to be compassionate towards each other when we're constantly competing for paychecks?

My dad used to be a landlord, and he told me about a family that had padlocks on every single bedroom door because otherwise the family members would steal from each other. My dad talked with the oldest son (who explained the situation) and asked him why there was a nice stereo, yet they were behind on rent. The boy said (paraphrased): "That's because that's my stereo. I paid for it, it's mine. I ain't givin' my money to no one else -- not my mama, not my sister, no one. I earned it, it's mine."

The example is extreme, but it's not the first time I've heard it. If a son won't help out his own mother, how can we expect him to help out (or care) about anyone else?



"We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal...." By commiting a heinous crime such as murder, the criminal denies his/her own humanity as well as that of their victim.


Created equal, but not treated equally...

It seems self-evident that people have become only worth as much as their financial viability. (If you're broke, don't even bother going to the hospital...) It's self-evident that justice can be bought, sold, and traded.


....what does it mean to be human? Do we remember that class discussion?



When a person steals something from you, they owe you that thing or its equivalent value.


More is owed than the material object's worth. They owe me time to re-establish the trust they shattered with their wrong action. Likewise, I owe them the chance to redeem and change themselves.



Extending that to the death penalty, someone has stolen from you that which is priceless-your loved one. They HAVE nothing of equal value with which to repay you. The life of a monster for the life of your track-star high-school daughter is still not equal but it's the most they have with which to repay your loss. (Not that anything could ever repay your loss but it will guarantee that no one else suffers such a loss).


I'm trying to put myself in the position where some crazed person has taken, say, my parents from me. First, I have no choice in what happens to the criminal. It's not up to me whether he/she gets prison for life, or put to death. It's not my choice, but the state's choice. Second, no matter which was chosen for me (life or death), neither would be any form of recompense. There's absolutely nothing that they, or anyone, could do or pay to make me feel better. There is no 'equal value' to be had.

I don't know which I'd prefer. The best form of exile that we have is imprisonment, so I guess I'd rather the killer was permanently exiled. (Interesting tangent: In shame cultures, the killer would be subject to whatever punishment the victim's family thought fitting. If the criminal wasn't killed, they would give all their worldly possessions to the family, be striped of all honor (which actually meant something), and (usually) be a slave to the family until the family decided their debt was paid.)

Besides that, killing the killer only guarantees that no one else suffers such a loss from that killer... There's few guarantees in life, besides death. (I've decided that taxes are, indeed, optional.) The state killing a killer does not guarantee that I, or anyone else, won't be murdered... unless I murder someone.



Life in prison for the rest of their natural life is still LIFE. It only adds insult to injury to be forced, through taxation, to pay for your daughter's killer to have 3 squares a day as well as free health, vision, dental care, pay for their "work", canteen, library, gym access, clothes, etc.


The part that adds true insult to injury is the 5-star treatment the prisoners get that the citizens may never realize. *That* is insulting to *everyone*.

Prisoners are (supposed) to be striped of their rights the moment they are convicted. They are (supposed) to be non-citizens, and barely human (entirely due to their own choice of actions).

Life in a cage (no frills, perks, or benefits) is NOT life. Eating, sleeping, #ting -- that's merely surviving.

The way it's set up now, they're walking into a life that's better than the one they left. In fact, prison life was so much better that there was a rash of people committing crimes just to get in! (#, I'm a 'free' citizen, and I can't afford to eat 3 meals a day. I hafta save my pennies to get my cavities drilled & filled. Health insurance?
)

If that, by itself, doesn't give the true state of affairs in this country... nothing will.



The gene pool does need a little chlorine from time to time and the death penalty ensures that at least one germ won't be polluting the water for the rest of the swimmers.


This is assuming that the prisoners haven't had kids before being imprisoned... Besides that, their kids might turn out better than their parents -- so long as they've a better role model to follow. (Okay, there's no guarantee that any child, no matter the parents, will turn out decent. I still maintain that their environment/nurture plays a huge part in their development.)

Trying to add some humor to this topic: germs are good for ya. Gives the immune system practice so that it's strong! It's those sweaty boys playing various sports that stink up the water...
(Never mind that chlorine doesn't kill all the germs.)

[edit on 7-8-2007 by Diseria]



posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 04:38 PM
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Thanks for sharing, Diseria. Being one of those people that had a savage upbringing, I find it hard to believe that there's a spot in the world where human beings don't instinctively understand what it means to be human. Even at an early age, I understood that the rage and frustration and emotional pain I felt in my daily life was a result of instinctively knowing that what I was living through was wrong. I had no examples, no role-models, no validation of my reality that the way I was treated was not the way humans were meant to live. Everyone I encountered treated their fellows with the same lack of respect and mutuality that I knew must exist even if I needed to invent it. I made a lot of wrong turns looking for that path and I can understand how people can make mistakes that land them in prison. What I can't understand is how one can not want something better for themselves or how they can lack the understanding that the "something better" must be shared/available to all.

The irony in prison is that the same attitudes and behaviors that the inmates reveled in on the "outside" are the very things they complain most vociferously about on the inside of prison. "Dude stole my bag of chips. Gonna have to kill 'im". The guy that actually said this me seemed genuinely surprised when I pointed out his hypocrisy (he was in for armed robbery). Can't believe he hadn't figured out that nobody likes being ripped off.

One of the guys I take care of killed his mother and father (he was 16 years old), dressed their corpses in their wedding clothes, dragged their dead bodies to the dinner table and sat down to a nice meal. (No, he didn't eat them). Then he killed his girlfriend (also 16), beheaded her and drove around with her head on the front seat for 2 weeks before he got busted. Does anyone want to give this guy a second chance and invite him over to your next backyard barbeque? Does anyone think he can be "rehabilitated"? Even in prison, he is a danger to the staff. He once sneaked up on one of the 6'2, 220# staff members from behind and raked a plastic comb across his throat. The staff member was shaken but unhurt. The killer said, "I just wanted you to feel what it would be like if someone did that to you on the street." This guy has no concept of what it is to be a human being. He's in his 50's now and has served most of his time. He'll be out in a little over a year. Cheery thought, eh? He's still young and healthy enough to be an effective predator. He's on about 5 different psychotropic meds. Can you imagine when he gets out and quits taking his meds? *shudder*

He's just one of thousands of examples of true monsters from which the rest of us need protection.



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 04:37 PM
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I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. I appreciate your point of view, but I can't accept some aspects of it - namely the DP, but also the idea that some people are animals.

Granted, some people are savages, but animals? No, I don't accept that.

The DP and some proponents of it, look at people as livestock, and weigh them as worthy or not, of life. This is something that I find unacceptable on a moral, philosophical and personal level.

One of the ten is, "Thou Shalt Not Kill" and I believe that it's applicable in every situation - not just the ones that suit.

However, I accept that you have your own belief and point of view, and I accept that your arguments are heartfelt, and this is something you truly believe in.

Most humane DP? shot in the back of the head whilst being taken down to the cells.

Most inhumane? Pegged out in the hot sun, covered in honey and left for the ants with your eyelids cut off.


[edit on 10/8/2007 by budski]

[edit on 10/8/2007 by budski]



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 05:01 PM
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Well, I don't think we need to part company over this issue. IF a "life" sentence meant the rest of the criminals' natural life then I'd say, yes, the death penalty could probably be abolished but since it does not, then the DP is still a necessary option.
According to evolutionists, we are all animals. Some are just more animal than others.
The commandment about not killing is a slight mistranslation but since providing the correct translation wouldn't help my point, I'll skip it.

I believe gallopinghoards works at a prison; maybe we could hear another viewpoint?



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 05:41 PM
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Oh no, there's no need to part company - I'm rather enjoying the conversation.
I don't agree with it, but you have a lot of feelings for the subject, so it's interesting to hear.

I would like to hear another point of view - no offense but I find your view a tad militant, and you probably think mine are excessively liberal.

In the meantime, I'm gonna do some more research to prove that it's retribution rather than deterrent.



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 07:58 PM
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WW,

Short and sweet. (I promise.
)


Being one of those people that had a savage upbringing, I find it hard to believe that there's a spot in the world where human beings don't instinctively understand what it means to be human.


I agree that every human being (all other things equal) has the instinctual understanding of right and wrong, what it means to be a human being.

However, via habituation (external or internal), we can change our understandings of... pick a topic.

It also demands something great of the individual's character to change themselves 'back' (if you will), to go against the habits (no matter the habit's origin) to the instinctual understanding...






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