Death Penalty (effective Punishment or Cruel and Unusual)?

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posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 10:22 AM
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I am a pro death penalty person. I have and will always feel that some crimes are so heinous that the ultimate punishment is deserved. All states now offer lethal injection as an alternative to Gas / electrocution / hanging / firing squad. Some people just need to be permantly removed from society after they have been tried and convicted of these crimes.
While it does cost less to put someone away for life, I for one am willing to pay for it.
So what are some of your arguments aginst the death penalty? This is not a mud pit post, I honestly want to hear people reasons

[edit on 11-7-2004 by FredT]




posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 10:26 AM
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I'm a bit ambivalent about the death penalty. While I do believe that there are crimes whose only punishment can be death (as in the case of serial killers), it concerns me that so many cases have been overturned in recent years due to DNA evidence. It's chilling to think how many people may have been killed for crimes they did not commit. Even one is too many, IMHO.



posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 10:31 AM
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Originally posted by Hecate100
I'm a bit ambivalent about the death penalty. While I do believe that there are crimes whose only punishment can be death (as in the case of serial killers), it concerns me that so many cases have been overturned in recent years due to DNA evidence. It's chilling to think how many people may have been killed for crimes they did not commit. Even one is too many, IMHO.


You are correct in that. I wonder if it is possible, that a mandatory DNA test should be done if the evidence warrents it? Barry Scheck of OJ fame (how does he sleep at night) and another lawyer are going through old case files and testing evidence to see and I think they have gotten at least one person off of death row



posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 10:42 AM
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I used to be pro death penalty. I remember a criminal justice class in college - the professor said .5% of all death row inmates are usually innocent. Not sure what number of people that amounts to, however one innocent is really enough for me at this point.

Until they can fix the problem or administer the DNA (agree with you here) testing, I say there should be a moratorium on the death penalty.



posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 10:53 AM
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Is it arguable from nature that we live in a "kill or be killed," world? How much is that so?

Bugs eat bugs, predators eat other animals.

People however have a rational existence, even when deluded into the commission of crimes. There is always a "rationalization," all the way around on the issue.

The reason why most of the civilized world has abandoned the death penalty is because of the lessons of WW II, and because there may be no end to it as an extension of the temptations of tyranny. It is a question of the rule of law verses the "law of the jungle."

We like to think of ourselves as more than only animals, however an elite government too often makes themselves or groups human, and reifies or makes into things or animals other human individuals or groups. It is too easy to resort to the jungle and assent to retribution. What do you do once the sentence goes? Later evidence may prove far beyond a reasonable doubt the State has done wrong. What then do you do?


You already may think you know the direction and flow of history, but if it is not progress over our forebears then what is it? You either accept without question built in reflexes or change.

Probably a most interesting delving into this question is in the novel and movie the Green Mile. Just how we really know what really happened in a court case, verses judicial suppositions "beyond a reasonable doubt."

For me I prefer we live in a human world, not as insects killing other insects, telling ourselves "I am noble, you are marginal, he she or it is an animal." Even the word "dominion," in Genesis is wise stewardship, so why not for ourselves as human beings?

So I rest this case here, what are we, human beings with a soul or animals who live in a "kill or be killed," or actual "dog eat dog," existence?



posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 10:58 AM
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Aside form the innocent factor, and how the justice system disproportionately prosecutes minorities, I just don't see the sense in killing someone, for killing someone. If it was wrong the first time, why is it ok when the state does it? Life in prison seems like a pretty harsh punishment, maybe even worse than death. When they administer lethal injection, they rub the arm with alcohol, before they put the needle in, to protect against infection? They will save a death row inmate from a suicide attempt, only to kill him a week later. The system makes no sense.



posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 11:05 AM
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I think there are times when the death penalty is good, but it is not the answer to everything. There has to be a more effective way to control serious crimes.

If I am ever on death row for kiling someone. I expect to be put to death. Firing Squard preferred.



posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 11:06 AM
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I did a bit of research on the Web, and found out that as of December 9, 2003, there have been 112 death row exonerations. Of these, 13 were the result of DNA evidence. For this source, see www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...

The Public Cause Network claims that DNA evidence is only available in 1 out of 5 cases, though I'm sure that number will be lowered in the next few years. They also make the claim:

We also now know that in at least 286 Death Penalty cases since the penalty has been reinstated, the defendants did not receive a fair trial. The reasons range from incompetent defense attorneys to Prosecutors purposely twisting the truth and hiding evidence---including evidence that the defendant was in fact innocent

TruthInJustice.org's page "Death Penalty Issues" also has some mind-boggling evidence of miscarriages of justice.

It's clear something is wrong with our judicial system when so many innocent people are killed for crimes they did not commit. As I said, I do feel there are crimes that should be punishable by death, but it seems the quest for justice is sometimes turned into a game of "eenie meenie miney mo".



posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 11:27 AM
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I am from Britain, so the death penalty isnt used over here. However I am not really one for the idea of the death penalty. I can see why people are for it however. But seriously how can you justify killing another person because of the actions they have preformed. Doesnt it just come back to the saying, and eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

Additionnally on this subject, I feel that the government is no better than the killers cos at the end of day they are also killing in cold blood. Dont you think that someone who has killed all these people is wanting to be exercuted, cos could you really live with the fact that you have killed set many people :S I dont think I could.



posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by racos
I am from Britain, so the death penalty isnt used over here. However I am not really one for the idea of the death penalty. I can see why people are for it however. But seriously how can you justify killing another person because of the actions they have preformed. Doesnt it just come back to the saying, and eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

Additionnally on this subject, I feel that the government is no better than the killers cos at the end of day they are also killing in cold blood. Dont you think that someone who has killed all these people is wanting to be exercuted, cos could you really live with the fact that you have killed set many people :S I dont think I could.


Pretty much right, but in England you can still be Hanged for Treason although its really uncommon.

Back to the subject at hand I stand by the old saying "A Life for a Life"



posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 11:49 AM
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Originally posted by Hecate100
... While I do believe that there are crimes whose only punishment can be death (as in the case of serial killers), it concerns me that so many cases have been overturned in recent years due to DNA evidence.


I have always been a proponent of the death penalty, but after watching a documentary on Barry Sheck's Innocent Project, I think sweeping reform is necessary.

If a defendant is convicted of first degree murder(s), IMO the only time the death penalty should be instituted is if there is DNA evidence or a "smoking gun." Such as in the cases of Gary Ridgeway, Ted Bundy, or Westerfield.

Will this allow some to escape the death penalty who are completely guilty...probably, but I hate the thought of anyone being put to death who is not 100% guilty.

Look at the Scott Peterson case - Let's assume for a minute that he's guilty. There is absolutely no physical evidence, his conviction will rely solely on circumstantial or connect the dots evidence. If assuming that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, I would still have trouble giving him the death penalty without physical evidence and eliminating ALL doubt.



posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 11:58 AM
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This is how I see it: You cannot justify the incaceration of a person for killing another human being if you are in turn going to take away his life. How can that be moraly justified when you are only creating more pain and death? I can see how people feel the anger and 'eye for an eye' mentality to those who committed such harsh crime and damage to others, but justify more murder as a solution to me? To me it is just a sign of the fialure of society.



posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 12:47 PM
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I'm against the death penalty. I believe that it may be an effective deterrent (although I've seen studies which point either way), and also I feel that some people commit crimes which certainly don't make them fit to remain with the living. But I feel that to place the power to kill its citizens in a government's hands is not a good idea. I really believe in the old maxim that it's better to let 10 guilty men go free than kill one innocent one. Also, it seems to me to be just a primitive instinct for revenge manifesting itself in law, which seems contrary to the purpose of having laws.

-koji K.



posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 02:27 PM
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There have been too many miscarriages of justice to even think of bringing back the death penalty. If someone is jailed for a crime and later discovered to be innocent, he can be released, compensated and can continue with his life. That's not an option if he has been executed.

If you can't give life, you should not give death.


Originally posted by Stuey1221
Pretty much right, but in England you can still be Hanged for Treason although its really uncommon.


Not any more. (See links below)


The death penalty for murder was abolished nearly 40 years ago by the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965, and replaced with a mandatory life sentence. The passing of the Act followed a great deal of debate both inside and outside Parliament over the death penalty.

The death penalty was retained for the capital offences of treason and piracy with violence, however it was abolished in 1998 under the Crime and Disorder Act.

In 1999 the home secretary signed the sixth protocol of the European Convention of Human Rights which formally abolished the death penalty in the UK and ensured it could not be brought back.


Death Penalty

www.belowtopsecret.com...

[edit on 11-7-2004 by Pisky]



posted on Jul, 12 2004 @ 12:52 PM
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I support the death penalty. The problem is, I think it should be put on hold until the process by which it is determined is cleaned up. The justice system is a wreck, completely corrupt and inexcusably incompetent. Money does the talking, not facts. There are people who are caught red-handed... who are absolutely 100% eligible regardless of how bad the system is, and they could fry without a moment's hesitation from me. I'd pull the switch myself. However in cases where there has to be evidence presented and a trail of guilt established, I don't see how it can be given. A confession, perhaps. But otherwise, unless there's absolute proof beyond ANY doubt, not just reasonable, I don't think the death penalty should be given at this point.

As for life.... the murder victim didn't get life, why should the killer? Why should we house, clothe, educate and feed these people for the rest of their lives? If you've done it, and there's absolutely no question that you did it, you should be gone. You have forfeited your rights in the human race.



posted on Jul, 12 2004 @ 01:45 PM
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In theory, the justice system is supposed to offer guidlines of an accepted standard for society to live by.


Unfortunately, not every situation is black and white and other alternatives need to be established.

Offering DNA testing to death row inmates, providing samples are available from the suspect/victim, is a good idea. But, on the flip side of that, what if the samples aren't available? What if the samples are available but are too degraded to offer reliable results?

The last time I checked, the average subject spends an average of 11.5 years on death row with appeals. People opposed to the death penalty scream "The punishment should fit the crime" and claim "cruel and unusual punishment" because the person sits on death row for an extended period of time sitting through the appeals process.

They claim this is "more stressful than the stress the victim's suffered".

Statisically, in the year 2005, we will have more males aged 16-25, the crime prone years. This translated means we need to have an affirmative plan in place to accomodate this projected amount of offenders.

This is an ongoing issue and it's all related as these issues are on both sides of the spectrum.



posted on Jul, 12 2004 @ 02:07 PM
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My opinion is that there are some crimes warrantable of the death penalty. Crimes against children for example. The wackos involved in child pornography and rape of children have no place on earth. Studies have shown that these persons are predators, basically ticking time bombs. They have, and wil strike again if released. They can not be rehabilitated.

Another thought: Let the families of the victims decide how the perp is punished. That will make for some creative punishments!!



posted on Jul, 12 2004 @ 05:57 PM
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Tha argument seems to be assuming the death penalty as the worst option from the offenders point of view. I disagree with the death penalty because it is an easy way out for people who have committed heinous crimes. M ost serial killers and child killers who are sentenced to life attempt suicide. If the death penalty is the punishment, they dont have to face the reality and consequences of the crimes they have committed. There are probably psychopaths who dont experience giult but they are in the minority. If Ian Huntley or Harold Shipman had been given the death penalty it would suit them.



posted on Jul, 12 2004 @ 06:57 PM
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The death penalty should be used for those who cannot be rehabilitated and for those who committ violent crimes.

There's a big difference in someone who gets into a fight with his neighbor about a borrowed tool or lawnmower and accidentally kills him in a heated arguement than someone who kidnaps, rapes, and kills a 3 year old.

These people need to be removed off the face of the earth.

Currently, these people who committ sexual assualts against children, Sex Offenders, have to register with their local Sheriff's Office every year, for ten years, or face jail time. The Sexual Predator's have to register every year, for life, or face jail time.

However, the majority of agencies don't have all the neccessary personnel to be on top of this all the time and some of these offenders slip through the cracks (ex: move to a new area withoout registering, failure to comply with annual registration) due to budgeting.

So, at a local level, improvements can be made, with more funding, to help protect children and reduce the risks from a pro-active standpoint.

Once the offender is incarcerated, their status becomes "protected" and they need to be kept isolated, as the general inmate population would kill them "baby rapers", as they are referred to.



posted on Jul, 12 2004 @ 07:23 PM
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Originally posted by mako0956
Offering DNA testing to death row inmates, providing samples are available from the suspect/victim, is a good idea. But, on the flip side of that, what if the samples aren't available?


So what you're saying is; lack of solid evidence shouldn't get in the way of putting someone to death?


Originally posted by mako0956
The death penalty should be used for those who cannot be rehabilitated and for those who committ violent crimes.


Wow, you really have quite a simplistic view on this. By these standards, you'll be killing off a lot of people. I'm also curious about how you're going to draw the line between those who can and cannot be rehabilitated...

[edit on 12-7-2004 by Durden]





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