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Death Penalty (effective Punishment or Cruel and Unusual)?

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posted on Jul, 15 2004 @ 06:54 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
The record of people recieveng psychological treatment is mixed at best. How can you be sure that treatment was effective. From a therapy standpoint yes it has to be tailored to the individual, even if money was no object, how could we ever be sure the individual was treated. You are also making an assumption that these are individuals that want treatment as well. How many do not? How many are simply sociopaths for the lack of a better word and the deaths simply do not bother them. How do rehab a Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Ted Bundy, Larry Singleton, et al? No amount of good thoughts and finding our happy place was ever going to convince me that these people are safe.


Whereas you doubt offenders of serious crimes can be treated, I doubt they can't. I think the importance of a slight doubt in a question like this one can't be stressed enough. When in doubt, don't kill. Keep the offender away from the streets, yes, no doubt. But don't murder them in the name of the law. It does more harm than good to a civilized society.




posted on Jul, 15 2004 @ 07:17 AM
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Originally posted by Durden
Whereas you doubt offenders of serious crimes can be treated, I doubt they can't. I think the importance of a slight doubt in a question like this one can't be stressed enough. When in doubt, don't kill. Keep the offender away from the streets, yes, no doubt. But don't murder them in the name of the law. It does more harm than good to a civilized society.


How does it do more harm? The no death penalty stance is a recent development in our civilization. But has been an accepted practice for thousands of years. Has it harmed civilization? Even the most civilized for thier times had the death penalty. In hindsight we can look to our past and lable actions barbaric, by our current standards, but who knows how future will view our society. When impaneled for a jury you can only convict if you feel there is no resonable doubt. Yes there have been abuses of the system in the past, and I fully support the Barry Scheck Innocence project (I don't know how he sleeps at night). IMHO it should be mandatory, but after that, then they should face the penalty they deserve.



posted on Jul, 15 2004 @ 08:32 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
How does it do more harm? The no death penalty stance is a recent development in our civilization. But has been an accepted practice for thousands of years. Has it harmed civilization? Even the most civilized for thier times had the death penalty. In hindsight we can look to our past and lable actions barbaric, by our current standards, but who knows how future will view our society. When impaneled for a jury you can only convict if you feel there is no resonable doubt. Yes there have been abuses of the system in the past, and I fully support the Barry Scheck Innocence project (I don't know how he sleeps at night). IMHO it should be mandatory, but after that, then they should face the penalty they deserve.


Whether or not you think the capital punishment, which in my opinion only speaks to our worst instincts, does more harm than good, I think concerns the personal ethics of every individual in a society. I can only state my personal opinion. You have to make up your own.

And as you correctly stated about the no death penalty stance being a recent development. I think that's what it really is; a development. And a positive one at that, IMO.

Obviously, I can only guess how future civilizations will view our current society. But I highly doubt they will consider us not using the death penalty on our citizens as barbaric or uncivilized.

However, if in the future I were to be proven wrong; meaning a more evolved society than ours looking upon not using capital punishment as a mistake. Well, then I'd rather make the mistake of not killing someone I should have than making the mistake of killing someone I shouldn't have.

IMHO this is not a question about either killing a dangerous criminal or letting them out on the streets so they can cause even more harm. If we can't rehabilitate them (today), we have to keep them locked up till we can.



posted on Jul, 15 2004 @ 09:58 PM
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Thank you for sharing that with us. You are a very brave woman to come forward on a public forum and share your personal experience with us. By God's grace you are here to talk about it and not be just another statistic.

Mako



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 12:26 AM
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I approve of the death penalty. I would like to see the death penalty used more often, and much more swiftly.

For example, I would support the use of the death penalty for:
1. 1st conviction of 1st degree murder
2. 1st conviction of 1st degree rape
3. Child molestation (not to include statutory rape)
4. 3rd conviction of any violent and/or sex crime
5. 3rd conviction of any drug trafficking crime
6. 10th conviction of anything. (stop wasting our time and money)
7. Espionage
8. Treason

No plea bargains, no exceptions.

I agree that there is a problem with old death penalty convictions, and would support a moratorium on executions while those cases are investigated and/or retried. But with the advent of DNA testing and better defense, I think wrongful convictions will happen far less, and in the cases where they do, it would be sad, but rarely do you see a "nice guy" end up in prison.

Vigorous execution of criminals may deter future crime, will cut prison costs, and will remove these animals from society and/or prison where they are a threat to criminals who might have a chance at rehabilitation.



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 09:57 AM
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Vigorous execution of criminals may deter future crime, will cut prison costs, and will remove these animals from society and/or prison where they are a threat to criminals who might have a chance at rehabilitation.


Each year, about 150 prisoners committ suicide, about 70 perish in deaths "caused by another", and 400 die of unknown causes that were apparently "not natural, self-inflicted, accidental, or resulting from homicide". In recent years there have been about 25,000 assaults by other inmates (USA Today, August 8, 1997, pg. 1).

Approx. 25% of parolee's are re-arrested during the first 6 months, almost 40% within the first year, 62% within 3 years.

The average ex-convict has been convicted of serious crimes (83% for violent or property offenses), has a criminal record of multiple arrests (8.4 prior arrests), and has been incarcerated before (67%) (BJS, 1989, Special Report, April).

The numbers indicate these aren't people who just "made a bad decision" or just acted implusively. Most prisoners have committed serious crimes and have a long history (8.4 arrests on average!).

A large percentage are career criminals who will resort to their old habits upon release. For many, they "learn more" in prison and are moved further away from what society deems is acceptable while in prison.

Parole is supposed to supervise these people once they are released.

Approx. 22% were returned to prison on "revocation of parole" for a technical violation. 80% were returned on the conviction of a new, serious offense.
(BJS, 1995, Special Report, August:2).

Given these statisics, these aren't folks who just get into trouble once. These are again, career criminals who can't stay out of the system because they resort to their old ways once released. Is the system flawed? Yes. Can there be improvements? Most definitely.

Can some be rehabilitated? Sure, some, but not all.
Can the courts determine who can be rehabilitated? Alot of times yes, by looking over the subject's past violations.

**edited to add: Alot of times yes, by looking over the subject's prior violations, severity of injury to the victim.



[edit on 16-7-2004 by mako0956]



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 03:38 AM
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Originally posted by mako0956
Can some be rehabilitated? Sure, some, but not all.


The way you chose to ask this question is really significant for your argument on this issue. What you should be asking is Have we been successful in rehabilitating these individuals?

Your reasoning keeps closing the door on the continous development in rehabilitation techniques. I'm going to keep saying this is an uacceptable mistake.

Now please correct me if I'm wrong, but readig between the lines, I'm thinking what you really want to say is Do we want to rehabilitate these individuals?

If this is how you feel, then say so. Don't pretend you're basing your opinion on facts about who can or can't be treated.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 04:58 AM
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All this babble about rehabilitating convicted killers is making me physically nauseated.

Why should I or society WANT to rehabilitate these worthless turds? Do I try to rehabilitate the cockroach that invades my home? No. Id be an idiot if I tried.

I either squash him or spray him with raid.

Just like Id not rehabilitate a cockroach, Id never rehabilitate an evil man.

The types of people who commit crimes deserving of the death penalty are not poor, ill souls in need of treatment. They are fully capable, rational, thinking beings who know damn well what they did was evil, and cared not about thier victims.

Im sick of hearing about kilelrs "human rights". You have to be human to have human rights. People like Hitler, ted Buncy, Gary Ridgeway, Dick Cheney....these are not human beings. In order to be a human, you must have a human soul. These people do not have souls. They made thier chpices. Now they must pay for them with thier lives.

It is not about deterring crime. Its not about making a moral statement. Its not about any of that. Its about removing a turd from the genepool.

We do not kill a rabid dog who bit a child because we want revenge. We do not kill this dangerous dog because we think it will stop other dogs from attacking children. We put these dogs down because they are a danger to society. We remove these dangerous animals because it would be silly to keep them alive. Once a dog has had the taste of human blood, they tend to want more, become more vicous and hostile. There is no treating them.

Just like the mass killer, who is much like a dangerous, mean dog, must be removed to prevent the creature from harming others again. To keep them alive and let them kick back in prison is not only insulting, but a perversion of justice.

Serial killers and cold blooded murderers are animals, pests who need to be removed, period.

Try my "proper treatment plan for prisoners": take two 9 mm shots to the back of the head, and call me in the morning....so I can collect the inmates body and donate the organs to humans more deserving



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf
Try my "proper treatment plan for prisoners": take two 9 mm shots to the back of the head, and call me in the morning....


Suddenly I just feel....


physically nauseated


Yeah, those were the words I was looking for.

From where I'm standing it's really the wrong century for an opinion like that, but I'm not going to kid myself thinking I can convince anyone agreeing with it.

All I can say is that the question of whether or not the death penalty has a place in a civilized society is just something everybody has to give a serious thought to.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 03:38 PM
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Civilization was BUILT on the death penalty, you seem to not get this fact.

Thje very first code of laws, the Code of Hammaraubi, stated clearly the death penalty was crucial to society. Eye for an Eye, and a Life for a Life.

So, your question, does the death penalty belong in a civilized society is clearly answered: YES. Civilization was built upon it, and every civilization since the very first has had the death penalty.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 03:54 PM
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Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf
Civilization was BUILT on the death penalty, you seem to not get this fact.

Thje very first code of laws, the Code of Hammaraubi, stated clearly the death penalty was crucial to society. Eye for an Eye, and a Life for a Life.

So, your question, does the death penalty belong in a civilized society is clearly answered: YES. Civilization was built upon it, and every civilization since the very first has had the death penalty.


Looking at our history, the death penalty has been used, as well as torture, slavery, witch hunts etc. I absolutly don't agree with our society being built on it.

Abolishing such punishments is part of evolution of society. You seem to not get that fact.

But like I previously said. I'm not fooling myself in thinking I'm going make you change your mind in this. That is something you have to do for yourself.



[edit on 17-7-2004 by Durden]



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 05:48 PM
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Originally posted by Durden
Abolishing such punishments is part of evolution of society. You seem to not get that fact.


What exactly are you basing this on? Slavery and torture are one thing. Punisment for violating the accepted laws of sociey are another. Historically the dropping of the death penalty is a recent development. The recent trends are hardly evolutionary. In 100 years maybe, but far all we know its a passing fad.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 05:58 PM
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Originally posted by Durden
The way you chose to ask this question is really significant for your argument on this issue. What you should be asking is Have we been successful in rehabilitating these individuals?


How can you prove that rehab will be successful? What criteria would you use. We are not talking about shoplifters here. We are not even talking about people who killed accidentaly, or though negligence etc. We are talking about people that systemicaly went about terminating the life of another person with special circumstances.

Even with say a 90% sucsces rate in rehabing these killers is 10% an acceptable? Would you be willing to run the half-way house for these killers? Would you want them in your neighborhood, knowing that 10% of them would relapse????? How do you rehab a Manson? Or better yet a Kazinski? I find the rehab a argument striclty an academic one. Please read through the Rehab thread that Mako started and we can further debate the merits of Rehab. As far as I am concerned, when they killed another, they lost thier rights. Its funny that the anti-death penalty crowd always seems to have little or no concern for the families of the dead..... What happened to thier right to live?



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 06:52 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
Historically the dropping of the death penalty is a recent development. The recent trends are hardly evolutionary. In 100 years maybe, but far all we know its a passing fad.


In 4000 years of civilization when would you consider something to not be a 'recent' trend?
Yes, it seems it is a 'recent' trend that in the last since 1970's more and more countries have taken the option of capital punishment out of the law books. But many of those countries hadn't used it in for a few decades.

San Marino the small independant republic founded in 3 September 301 last executed someone in 1468, and abolished it in 1865. Venezula abolished it in 1863, Costa Rica 1877 Columbia in 1910.

It's a recent trend that started almost 150 years ago. The trend 118 countries have abolished the death penalty (by law or in practice) and 78 have sentenced people to death, 28 of the 78 acctualy put them to death.

What would you say to the family of the 113 prisoners that have been released from death row in the USA since 1976 after evidence emerged of their innocence of the crimes for which they were sentenced to death if the sentence had been carried out? What would you say to family of the many innocent people who were put to death for crimes they did not commit? Is "oops, but it is better to be safe then sorry." good enough?

Also, as far as being a trend:
Women being seen as people, with the ability to vote is a recent trend then. . . The abolisiment of slavery is a recent trend then. . . When does a 'trend' stop being a trend?

Abolished for all crimes.
Abolished for most crimes
Abolished in practise



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 07:22 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
What exactly are you basing this on? Slavery and torture are one thing. Punisment for violating the accepted laws of sociey are another.


Hasn't torture also been used as a method of punishment?

And again, in an effort to clearify; I've never said I was against punishment. What I'm against is the use of murder in the name of the law as punishment. And I do apologize for picking on your words earlier, but I want this to be perfectly clear.



Historically the dropping of the death penalty is a recent development. The recent trends are hardly evolutionary. In 100 years maybe, but far all we know its a passing fad.


Well, that's a matter of opinion - isn't it? Just as saying our society was built on the death penalty is an opinion. Used through history - yes, absolutly. The foundation of society - I don't think so. I'm just sorry you need a 100 years before you would agree that abolishing capital punishment is part of an evolutionary process and a step in the right direction.



Even with say a 90% sucsces rate in rehabing these killers is 10% an acceptable? Would you be willing to run the half-way house for these killers? Would you want them in your neighborhood, knowing that 10% of them would relapse?????


Now this comment is just scary. Either that or my english is worse than I thought.

Turn your numbers around, and what your saying is in a situation whith a stunning 90% success rate, you still find it acceptable to kill these people? If this is the case we can just stop this line of discussion. This is not about rehabilitation being successful or not, is it? This is about the unwillingness of letting this be done in the first place. Well just say so. Because right now, these postings back and forth are reaching a dead end fast.

To be as clear as I possibly can be about my view on this issue, I'm not saying it's acceptable to release dangerous individuals into our society. As of today, there are absolutly individuals we're not successful in rehabilitating. This may or may not change for the better tomorrow. However, when this is the case, I'm saying keep them off the streets. Keep them confined. But don't let your society and its government commit the very offence committed by the criminal you want to punish. IMO, this (capital punishment) will and does cause society more harm than good.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 09:16 PM
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The Death Penalty is a numbers game. Convict a killer beyond a reasonable doubt. Kill a killer. "An eye for an eye". Just deserts, or justice deserts? What's for desert? Anyways: if you think about it, the death penalty serves one purpose, cold and heartless though it may seem: it weeds out the bad seeds...when an animal, a predator kills, it has been tradition to kill the predator, so that it will not harm further. It is natural, and comes naturally to a species whose rise to "civil society" may be the reason for it's own downfall: genetically enhanced blood lust. It is our heritage......does the death penalty work? Well if you kill a predator so it cannot kill again, then yes it does....



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 11:10 PM
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Originally posted by MachineGunKelly
.....does the death penalty work? Well if you kill a predator so it cannot kill again, then yes it does....


Very straight to the point!



posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 02:09 AM
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Originally posted by Durden
let your society and its government commit the very offence committed by the criminal you want to punish. IMO, this (capital punishment) will and does cause society more harm than good.


We get back to this again.... How does capital punisment harm society?



posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 05:05 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
We get back to this again.... How does capital punisment harm society?


It does so by seriously cheapening the value of life in society, consequently making the act of willfully taking someone's life legitimate. As a civilized society, our moral oblication is to protect human life; not end it.

Using capital punishment to hinder dangerous individuals from causing even more harm can't be the answer either as this can just as effectively be done by locking them up for life. Shouldn't a civilized society take its responsibility as role model and use the less severe punishment?

Furthermore, there is no evidence supporting the use of capital punishment as a more successful deterrent than life imprisonment. According to Uniform Crime Reports (annually, 1980-89), during the 80's, death-penalty states in the US annually averaged a rate of 7.5 criminal homicides per 100,000 of populaiton whereas the average rate of states abolishing death penalty was 7.4 (1).

In another comparison, according to data released by the British Home Office, US murder rate greatly exceeds European non-death penalty nations (2).

In certain cases, capital punishment may even be an incitement to acts of criminal violence. There is also evidence pointing to death-penalty states having an increased rate of homicide when executions are carried through. According to "Deterrence of Brutalizaition," by Bowers and Pierce in Crime & Delinquency (1980), in New York, between 1907 and 1964, 692 individuals were executed. In this 57-year period, one or more executions on a given month resulted in an increase of two homicides being commited the following month (3).

To the people arguing that the death penalty is acceptable, but the suffering caused by waiting on death row isn't (or the costs caused by it, for that matter). Well, there's just no way there could be one without the other. Unless you're going to abandon the crucial safeguards and constituional rights of suspects in favor of a speedier conviction/execution with the obvious risk of executing an even larger number of innocents. But I'm not going to keep discussing the subject of innocents being executed, as this has already been covered by others in this thread.

Finally, IMHO statistics aside, this is essentially a question about the moral ethics of every single individual on this planet. Personally, I feel the death penalty violates human rights and is in fact, cruel and unusual.

(1)Link

(2)Link

(3)Link


Edited to add links.

[edit on 18-7-2004 by Durden]



posted on Jul, 20 2004 @ 04:54 AM
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This man sat on death row for twenty years. He had two trials and a seven month stay.

The Supreme Court refused to grant him a stay pending the results of DNA testing of two hairs which may or may not have cleared him.

Was justice served or should this subject been allowed this final DNA test?


www.chron.com...

Personally, I think he should have been granted this last test to clear himself since he was facing the ultimate "punishment". As in "exhaust all avenues".





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