Death Penalty (effective Punishment or Cruel and Unusual)?

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JAK

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 11:10 AM
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I would like to make this post without any reference to my own personal opinions on this matter, primarily because it is of no consequence to the point I wish to make.


Originally posted by mako0956

...in your pathetic attempt, to illustrate why the death penalty is cruel and unusual.


Pathetic? I took the time to read through this thread from start to finish today, and I hardly think that Durdens' posts can accurately be described as such.

Indeed, after viewing such eloquently put points, I would view such an apparent unfounded accusation far more damaging to the accuser than the accused.

It has been an interesting debate so far, to think that any of the participants feel no option other than to resort to such insults is disheartening.

Jack




posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 11:36 AM
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then apparently you have not read this thread from start to finish as you claim.

Durden has refered to my opinion repeatedly as ridiculous, ignorant and what have you.

Perhaps you should reread these posts before you jump on the bandwagon.

mako

[edit on 2-9-2004 by mako0956]



posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 11:48 AM
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mako's points have been just as well put, if not better. it's easy to read a post that you agree with and jump right in. had you read mako's posts throughout the thread you would have seen the back-up information provided and that the insults didn't start with mako. i have no problem with anyone's opinion because i am happy that i can have my own opinion as well, but i find it amusing that the insults always begin with a bull-headed person who doesn't find it enlightening to listen to what others have to say and take the time to read the information that is provided to back-up claims on both sides of the issue. most of us know exactly where we stand on the issue of capital punishment. i am not here to tell anyone else the are ignorant for believing what they do. there are valid arguments for both pro and anti-capital punishment. but when it comes down to it, capital punishment already has a place in our society and i, for one, don't see that changing any time soon.



posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 11:59 AM
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Originally posted by Durden
You're really giving the reinstatement of capital punishment way too much credit. Is it your opinion that capital punishment is effective as a deterrent for theft, burglary, robbery etc. as well?

Never quite said that did I? I was not talking about theft, rape etc. Please note: i did not include those statistics. Nor is capital punishment applicable to those crimes.



The fact that the state of New York hasn't executed a single individual since 1976 subsequently contradicts your analysis. And to use your own words:


Given the absurd length of appeals, its not surprising. However, in 2004 a liberal NY appeals court did rule the Death penalty Unconstitutional. That also may have delayed things as well. New York currently has 4 inmates on death row.
www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...



Essentially, this is a question about the moral ethics of a society and its government as well as the negative implications of using a punishment that's (quoting Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida) inconsistent with the fundamental values of the democratic system;


How is capital punishment inconsistent with the demorcratic system. The issue is a state level decison. If it is indeed such an afront to democracy everywhere, why do most states have it? Why havent the voters risen up and voted out capital punishment.? Are you suggesting that the majority of the voters in those states are quilty of murder themselves by supporting capital punishment?


To those 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.

Increased cost are inmaterial to having justice be done. As far as the emotional anguish sufferered by those awaiting execution of sentance: Do you really expect me to shed a tear because they have to sit an lament thier fate? Maybe you should not have killed someone eh? As far as I and most ovoters are concerned the extra cost is worth it. No I do not advocate limiting the appeals if they have ground. These "cruel and unusual" appeals should be eliminated IMHO. Also, I fully support mandatory DNA testing regardless of if its introduced in the trial or as an automatic part of the appeal process.


IMO the death penalty violates human rights and is in fact, cruel and unusual.


The death penalty does not violate human rights. Once that individual chose to kill another human with special circumstances they forfieted ANY rights that protected them in this case. The right to a trial and appeals still apply of course. The only thing I find cruel and unusual is that the victem had to die!



posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 11:59 AM
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Originally posted by mako0956
Durden has refered to my opinion repeatedly as ridiculous, ignorant and what have you.


Well, quite frankly I'm sorry you have interpreted my posts that way. As far as I can remember, this is what I've said:



Please make an effort and provide us with something at least resembling evidence of the soundness behind this IMO ridiculous reasoning of yours.


Notice how I didn't refer to you nor your opinion as being ridiculous. I said I thought the reasoning you were using to prove your point ridiculous.

In the other example I answered your statement:



If you choose to be a non death penalty supporter, that's your right, just as it is my right to support it.


with the following words:



Finally, something we actually agree on. I would however like to add one thing; make sure your opinion is not based on ignorance.


Here, like I said, I agreed with you. Though I said one shouldn't base one's opinion on ignorance (whatever that opinion may be). I didn't say and I didn't mean to say that your opinion was based on ignorance. I have said this earlier; personally, I feel it to be just as bad to be against capital punishment as it is to be for it, if this opinion is based on ignorance.



posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 12:18 PM
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i have a question,and maybe this should really be a topic by itself, what about the victims? here is what i don't understand, we spend so much time trying to make things fair for the criminal, but why? now, i agree, all cases are different. not every killer meant to kill their victim. but..what about the ones that did? why should anyone be worried about treating them fairly? i know "an eye for an eye" is a bit harsh and some may say a bit ignorant, but in some cases is it really? did ted bundy act with fairness toward his victims? and what about the woman who drowned her children? she wasn't fair at all...but the judicial system was so delicate with her case and now...she's still here, but her innocent children will never grow up. i stand where i stand on this issue because i can only imagine the terror that the victims experience before death. capital punishment is a very explosive and delicate issue, but from what i read and hear i think that it is a sad thing that the spotlight is taken from the victims and their families and given to how we can best treat the criminal.



posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 12:32 PM
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The topic of this thread is weither or not the death penalty is "cruel and unusual". The rights of the victim's haven't even come to the discussion unless I (and fredT) have stressed the point, then, it isn't discussed, it is merely sidestepped.

The anti death penalty supporters don't want to address it as it isn't in their scope of discussion. The only issue is the right's of the convicted and how it is wrong to murder the condemed.







[edit on 2-9-2004 by mako0956]



posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 12:47 PM
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if people feel so inclined to advocate for serial killers(not 1 time murderers), then instead of putting them in prisons or state mental facilities where the taxpayers end up supporting them, instead of that, how about the advocators offer to keep them in THEIR homes...since they obviously deserve so much compassion. if i get called childish or ignorant for my little rant here, i really don't care. i say what i feel.



posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 01:12 PM
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Sounds good. We'll call that program "Sponser a Serial Killer".

Perhaps the sponser can be elligble for a tax break by having them cook, make auto repairs or baby sit their kids?

Maybe, the sponser can learn from the condemed as in how to carve a turkey, dig a hole in the backyard, how to pose a body (for pictures of course!!), how to tie a hangmans noose.

Sure, it'd be a trade off of sorts.


JAK

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 02:57 PM
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I do so dislike it when people suggest that I have not read the thread properly. I said that I had before, and I believe the reply from Durden clarified any confusion you may have had about his postings. Now to my own opinions on the matter.



Why would (or should) society use such a penalty?

To protect itself from those who would seek to harm others through fear of the punishment itself, or disposing of the offender thus ensuring the prevention of any further such actions?

Or

To quench some urge for personal vengance on a primordial scale?

Being that we supposed to be talking about 'civilized' society, the second point should be instantly dismissed.

True justice must surely be percieved through moral, impartial eyes. Whereas vengeance, tends to be envisaged through the eyes of one who has been wronged. The legal systems of the west, (the only ones I can comment on) are supposed to be based with the aim of justice (a fair trial) and not some kind of personal vengeance. and after all, if society were run along those lines then surely I should be allowed to go and steal the car of the thief that stole mine, at which point we tumble into the realms of 'An eye for an eye' and chaos reigns supreme.

As has been said the belief in this 'punishment', or not, is a matter for personal opinion, and as such I shall not attempt to sway the views of others who have already stated their position, but rather offer my own alongside their causes.

Let me say here that I believe that the ultimate goal of imprisonment should be the rehabilitation of offenders.

For those who have yet to understand the true definition of rehabilitation: dictionary.cambridge.org...

It does not mean letting them out a la:


Originally posted by FredT

Honest guys he says he feels okay now


Any punishment incurred should be that of the co-incidental temporory deprivation of the offenders freedoms that must occur when ensuring success of the aforementioned rehabilitation.

That said, should any punishment be purely a coincidental by product of the rehabilitation process. No, I don't believe so. If there were some magic to cast and instantaneously rehabilitate the offender, I do feel that they would still 'owe' society for any crimes commited. Should such magic exist, the repayment of such a debt would, ideally, be classed as the punishment for their crimes.

Unfortunately the above scenario is just that, a possible event sometime in humanities future. Untill then we are forced to make do as best we can while continuing to, hopefully, advance our civilization.

To make such advances then, surely it is correct for us to act in a moral fashion. Following this train of thought we must arrive at the conclusion that, although an offender may be punished for any crimes commited, surely it must be the main goal of society to rehabilitate such people?

Therefore it must be classed as detrimental to the advancement of our civilization for the desire of punishment to override the deisre for rehabiliation.

With this in mind then the ultimate aim of society, in regards to the point in question, must be the sucessful rehabiliation of all offenders.


By Jim Sanders -- Bee Capitol Bureau Published 2:15 am PDT Wednesday, August 25, 2004
(From - www.sacbee.com... )
Legislation proposing a massive shift in California's prison system to stress rehabilitation services for even the most hard-core prisoners was approved Tuesday by the Assembly.


Again, here:


Taken from www.iss.co.za...

Respondents were asked what they thought should be the most important goal of prison in respect of convicted offenders.
Most thought rehabilitation (59%), followed by punishment (26%), and the removal of criminals from society (14%). Rural respondents were significantly more likely to say that prisons most important goal should be rehabilitation (75%), followed by urban (62%) and small town (51%) respondents.


So, now taking as fact this should be societies aim the question should be does capital punishment hinder or advance any attempt to reach such a goal?

If these people are to be considered detremental to society and act in a manner which would impede or excessively distress the population, (such as many of the heinous crimes those who are in favour of such puhishment repeatedly dredge up in hope of playing the lowest common denominator fear card), then they must be removed.

Society must be protected.

Why not exclude those who would commit such acts from society entirely?

Because it has been said, and I think it is recognised by many, that you can judge a society by the way it treats its criminals.

Being that the best we can hope for as a society is that our criminals can be rehabilitated, shouldn't this then be striven for rather than execution?


So the case for the withdrawal of Capital Punishment stands above, I believe it is part of the evolutionary process of an advancing society.


So, to the point of capital punishment.

Why would, or should, anyone desire the death of another is not the point in question. Justice is not to ensure any single person vengeful satisfaction. What must be reflected upon is why, or how, would society benefit?

We have heard that it is an effective deterrent, but I believe we have already seen this agrument countered adequately.

So to the protection of society?

Incarceration can, and does, protect society. Despite those who would suggest that these offenders just sit plotting all day and will someday make their escape and wreak some kind of terrible vengance upon the society that condemned them, this doesn't appear to be the case. At the very least any attempt to use it in justification for execution is laughable.

So, should this punishment be continued on the gounds of personal retribution?

I don't think that this argument needs any more countering than has already been provided above.


Some say that society should not have to pay for the rehabilitation of those who have commited such atrocious acts as would warrent such a sentence.

I agree, and I feel that while incarcerated prisoners should, not only work to pay for their upkeep, but also to compensate society. A path that is not open for the dead. Death, well it's kinda final.

It has been said that many offenders, (of all crimes) only go on to re-offend.

True, but repeat offenders are those who have failed to be rehabilitated, who is to blame for this? It is known that prison teaches all the tricks of crime, and through experience I believe it is much easier for the ex-convict to re-offend than not. Also it may be pointed out that those who do go on to re-offend tend to commit more serious crimes the second time round. So should we simply execute all who commit a crime worthy of a prison sentence? I don't think so. I think there should be more focus on the rehabilitation of offenders rather than the punishment.

Perhaps I should rephrase that. I think there must be more focus on the rehabilitation of offenders rather than the punishment. I believe it is a necessity in the steps toward a more civilized society.


I can think of no justification for Capital Punishment other than the ease it grants to just ignore societies most disturbed rather than face and try to study them, hopefully leading to such an understanding as to eventually enable society to aviod creating such offenders in future.



Allow me to finish with a few quotes:



Originally posted by nathraq

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



and


Originally posted by mako0956

Lethal injectioon is too good. Take him out back and beat him with a shovel for that matter


Hardly moral responses, again see vengance and justice above.


Originally posted by FredT

But the bible is kind of a guide book of Gods teachings told in narritive forme no?


I have heard many things, including many saying that The Bible is the word of God. I feel it would appear a tad arrogant to interpret God's word. Let's not bring The Bible on this, one only has to put the sentences, "Thou shalt not kill" and "If a man guilty of a capital offense is put to death and his body is hung on a tree, " together to see that it just doesn't make sense.

Should morals be involved in this topic? Yes, definately. I think it essential. Should religion become involved. If you will excuse the pun - God no.


Originally posted by FredT

The anti- group always seems to lose sight of the fact that the murderer never cared about the rights of the victem or what was right or wrong.


Two wrongs do not make a right, a harsher person might tell you to grow up a little.


Originally posted by mako0956

we should heed the words of Marquette University Professor John McAdams, who concludes, "If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call."


Pathetically symplistic. All this shows is that the title "Proffesor" does not gaurentee quality.


Originally posted by mako0956

Apparrently you have not been the victim of a violent crime nor have been in the presence of someone who has, your opinion would be dramatically different.

You seem to be of the opinion that everyone can be rehabilitated. They can't. These people are predators and are extremely dangerous to society.
(Bag up a few murder victims and let me see how your opinion changes).


So should the police, who may 'bag up a few murder victims' as you so eloquently put it be responsible for deciding the punishment for criminals? No, dealing with such a thing ensures you are not impartial. It would, I suggest, make you ineligible to sit on the jury for the case. Hence it is obvious to the law that dealing with such cases does affect your views and obviously bias your viewpoint. That is why the police don't make the laws, but enforce them. Many people seem to have grapsed this concept without any problem. How ironic then that you do not.



Originally posted by FredT

How does it do more harm?


If you honestly cannot see how executing someone on the off chance that they cannot be rehabilitated harms society then... well, such comments leave me speechless.



Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf

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.


I am stunned that you should equate the justice of a civilized society with the treatment of dogs. We should treat people like animals? Please take note of the section above where I mention that a society can be judged by the way in which it treats it's criminals. We are supposed to be a civilized society.


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.


Witch burning anyone. I had hope we had advanced somewhat over time.


Originally posted by FredT

Originally posted by Fitzpatrick
I used to believe in the death penalty but i do not anymore.
I dont think you should take away anyones life, if you can help it.


But what about the life of the victem that was taken?


Look, this is supposed to be about justice, the validation of the death penalty, not retribution or vengeance.


Originally posted by Amuk

Would you want the man who raped and tortured your 5 yearold to death to spend 6 years behind bars and be released to do it again?

That IS what happens without the death penality


No, that IS what happens with a flawed legal system and failure to rehabilitate. Should we look at those issues, or should we just sod it all and just execute them?


Originally posted by TACHYON

Now let me ask you anti death penalty people. Would you want these "rehabilitated" murderers living next to you?


Err... well if they were "rehabilitated" then why would I mind. I will refer to the dictionary definition posted above. I suggest you take time to read it. No - I will put it here for you:



rehabilitated
adj : (of persons) restored to health or useful life; "rehabilitated prisoners"

Definition
rehabilitate verb [T]
to return someone or something to a good or healthy condition, state or way of living:
The prison service should try to rehabilitate prisoners so that they can lead normal lives when they leave prison.


Now, do you understand that a truly rehabilitated prisoner offers no threat?

I feel that society is morally obliged, to itself, not the offender to learn to deal with these people and thus deliver to us the promise of a better tommorow.

Jack



posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 03:12 PM
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i keep hearing all this rehabilitation stuff..........what about those that CANNOT be taught to live without violence in our society? the reason serial killers are such a mystery is because the need to kill is BORN in them, they have ceased to be civilized. is it their fault? no. just as it isn't my fault if i drink a glass of water because i am thirsty. primal instincts. so what do we do with those that cannot be helped? lock them up and support them with tax dollars for the rest of their lives? what do we do with repeat child molestors who cannot stop because it is a primal urge within them? how can people like this be rehabilitated to function outside or within a prison system? serial killers are VERY rarely allowed to mingle within the general population in a prison. why? because they cannot function in normal society...not even with other criminals. so, please, enlighten me, what exactly is societies responsibilty to these types of criminals, the ones that are born the way they are, the ones that psychologists are STILL trying to figure out. what do you do with someone who will never stop killing because they honestly can't?


JAK

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 03:49 PM
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A valid point psychosgirl, and well put.

I am well aware of the sad fact that some may be unable to be rehabilitated. Although I would like to add to the end of that statement - as yet.

There have been many diseases throughout history thought 'incurable' at the time, but which have now been cured or eradicated. If those suffering from such illnesses had been dismissed, or executed, then still today the disease would be incurable. Medicine has gone on to learn from such people, to enhance the lives of others with such afflictions and further to protect society.

What was called cowardice, became known as shellshock, battle fatigue and is now recognised as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The execution of those charged with cowardice in WWI did not help in finding a solution for this problem.

Therefore one cannot say with certainty that something will remain incurable, and that being the case surely it is better to keep people alive in an attempt to find a cure for them and future generations than give up hope and execute them?

Jack



posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 05:49 PM
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i understand the need for us(psychologists,ect.) to continue to study the whys of behavior. however, to have compassion on someone who cannot understand compassion, to me, is a waste of time. serial murderers, i think, should be used in a purely scientific manner. if that means after execution, we study their brains, so be it. sounds like a horrible, harsh thing to think,but, i do.



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 04:31 AM
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Originally posted by psychosgirl
there are valid arguments for both pro and anti-capital punishment. but when it comes down to it, capital punishment already has a place in our society and i, for one, don't see that changing any time soon.


Let me ask you a question. In your opinion, does the fact that a certain punishment currently "has a place in society" alone justify keeping it as a practice? If so, does that in fact not close the door to the ever important evolution of society?


Originally posted by Durden
You're really giving the reinstatement of capital punishment way too much credit. Is it your opinion that capital punishment is effective as a deterrent for theft, burglary, robbery etc. as well?



Originally posted by FredT
Never quite said that did I? I was not talking about theft, rape etc. Please note: i did not include those statistics. Nor is capital punishment applicable to those crimes.


True. You did in fact, not say that. And as I said earlier, selective statistics indeed.


Originally posted by Durden
The fact that the state of New York hasn't executed a single individual since 1976 subsequently contradicts your analysis.




Given the absurd length of appeals, its not surprising. However, in 2004 a liberal NY appeals court did rule the Death penalty Unconstitutional. That also may have delayed things as well. New York currently has 4 inmates on death row.


This is you view on the reason why there have been no executions in New York since 1976. And this contradicts my argument - how? And absurd length of appeals? Do you even realize (or care about) the possible consequences of speedier trials?



How is capital punishment inconsistent with the demorcratic system.


IMO, the imposition of capital punishment is inconsistent with the democratic system as it violates the constitutional ban against what is known as cruel and unusual punishment, as well as the guarantee of due process and equal protection of the laws. Furthermore, (which is the view of the ACLU as well) it represents an intolerable denial of civil liberties.



If it is indeed such an afront to democracy everywhere, why do most states have it? Why havent the voters risen up and voted out capital punishment?


If you're really curious as to public opinion, then you should be interested in the opinion on capital punishment in nations throughout the rest of the world.

Some recent information on this (1):

80 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

15 countries have abolished the death penalty for all but exceptional crimes such as wartime crimes.

23 countries can be considered abolitionist in practice: they retain the death penalty in law but have not carried out any executions for the past 10 years or more and are believed to have a policy or established practice of not carrying out executions.

Making a total of 118 countries which have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

78 other countries and territories retain and use the death penalty, but the number of countries which actually execute prisoners in any one year is much smaller.

Now, since we are currently discussing the U.S., which is one of the Free Countries* of the world, I have condensed the list of nations to show only those considered to be Free Countries*.

Free Countries/Democracies* Abolishing Capital Punishment For All Crimes
(Countries whose laws do not provide for the death penalty for any crime)

Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kiribati, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu.

Free Countries/Democracies* Abolishing Capital Punishment For Ordinary Crimes
Countries whose laws provide for the death penalty only for exceptional crimes such as crimes under military law or crimes committed in exceptional circumstances

Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cook Islands, El Salvador, Greece, Israel, Latvia, Mexico, Peru.

Free Countries/Democracies* Abolitionist In Practice
Countries which retain the death penalty for ordinary crimes such as murder but can be considered abolitionist in practice in that they have not executed anyone during the past 10 years and are believed to have a policy or established practice of not carrying out executions. The list also includes countries which have made an international commitment not to use the death penalty

Benin, Grenada, Mali, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Suriname.

Free Countries/Democracies* Retaining Capital Punishment For Ordinary Crimes

Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Dominica, Ghana, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Japan, Korea (South), Lesotho, Mongolia, Philippines, Saint Christopher & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & Grenadines, Taiwan, Thailand, United States of America.

If we were to only look at the OECD countries of the world permitting capital punishment; aside from the U.S. there is only Japan, and executions there can only be considered to be infrequent.

* In Free countries, citizens enjoy a high degree of political and civil freedom, as opposed to the semi-free and the not free countries, which can be characterized by restrictions on political rights and civil liberties as well as a political process being tightly controlled with basic freedoms denied (2).



Increased cost are inmaterial to having justice be done. As far as the emotional anguish sufferered by those awaiting execution of sentance: Do you really expect me to shed a tear because they have to sit an lament thier fate? Maybe you should not have killed someone eh? As far as I and most ovoters are concerned the extra cost is worth it.


You keep ignoring the vast preponderance of evidence showing a significantly higher rate of homicides in pro-death penalty states. To keep clinging to your version of "having justice be done", which IMO is a barbaric manner of punishing criminals, are you prepared to pay the price of additional innocent victims as well? That just doesn't make any sense.



The death penalty does not violate human rights. Once that individual chose to kill another human with special circumstances they forfieted ANY rights that protected them in this case.


That is your opinion. Though it goes against the views of The United Nations General Assembly, which furthermore in a formal resolutions have affirmed it to be desirable to - all over the world - "progressively restrict the number of offenses for which the death penalty might be imposed, with a view to the desirability of abolishing this punishment" (3).

(Some other nations known for their disregard for the human rights of their citizens are: Iraq, Iran, China, the former Soviet Union and South Africa.)


Originally posted by mako0956
The topic of this thread is weither or not the death penalty is "cruel and unusual". The rights of the victim's haven't even come to the discussion unless I (and fredT) have stressed the point, then, it isn't discussed, it is merely sidestepped.

The anti death penalty supporters don't want to address it as it isn't in their scope of discussion. The only issue is the right's of the convicted and how it is wrong to murder the condemed.


I disagree and I suggest you read through previous posts.

---------------------------------------------------------
1. web.amnesty.org...
2. www.freedomhouse.org...
3. United Nations, Ecosoc, Off. Records (1971)



[edit on 3-9-2004 by Durden]



posted on Sep, 4 2004 @ 06:59 AM
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Originally posted by mako0956
Sounds good. We'll call that program "Sponser a Serial Killer".
Perhaps the sponser can be elligble for a tax break by having them cook, make auto repairs or baby sit their kids?


I like it! or for the more timid "Serial Killer Sunday" Our motto is "We swear He/She is rehabed, but sign this liability release anyway"



posted on Sep, 4 2004 @ 07:49 AM
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Originally posted by Durden
And absurd length of appeals? Do you even realize (or care about) the possible consequences of speedier trials?


A I have pointed about I fully support mandatory DNA testing for murderers. At that point if guilt is proven and confirmed through DNA testing, what possible purpose could 10 years of appeals allow? I also oppose apeals for the "cruel and unusual" resons, or other procedural issues. If the convict has a real issue then its legitamate to allow for appeals. Beyond that its activist lawyers prolonging the enevitable.



IMO, the imposition of capital punishment is inconsistent with the democratic system as it violates the constitutional ban against what is known as cruel and unusual punishment, as well as the guarantee of due process and equal protection of the laws. Furthermore, (which is the view of the ACLU as well) it represents an intolerable denial of civil liberties..


Lethal injection has been ruled as NOT cruel and unusual.
Civil Liberties is defined as:

Fundamental individual rights, such as freedom of speech and religion, protected by law against unwarranted governmental or other interference.


Civil Liberties in the United States are guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill OF Rights. However, once you violate the laws of the state, most of the constituional protections simply do not apply. By your logic life in prison could be defined as cruel and unusual. Lethal Injection seems much less cruel in that context. More importantly, the Founding Fathers who adopted the Bill of Rights banning "cruel and unusual punishment" had no problem with implementing the death penalty.





If you're really curious as to public opinion, then you should be interested in the opinion on capital punishment in nations throughout the rest of the world.


Other nations are just that other nations. Simply because other countries in the world do not have the death penalty does not mean we should follow thier lead. Should we go with the flow and follow the rest of the world on every issue? NO. Americans have voted on the issue and have approved of capital punishment. What other countries do in not germane in this issue.



You keep ignoring the vast preponderance of evidence showing a significantly higher rate of homicides in pro-death penalty states. To keep clinging to your version of "having justice be done", which IMO is a barbaric manner of punishing criminals, are you prepared to pay the price of additional innocent victims as well? That just doesn't make any sense.


"Death penalty opponents love to assume that the principal purpose for capital punishment is deterrence, possibly realizing it is a perfect straw argument. Tangible proof of deterrence alone is not a valid reason for capital punishment (or any other form of punishment, for that matter), nor is it the main rationale employed by astute death penalty advocates. As Christian writer C.S. Lewis observes, "[deterrence] in itself, would be a very wicked thing to do. On the classical theory of punishment it was of course justified on the ground that the man deserved it. Why, in Heavens name, am I to be sacrificed to the good of society in this way? -- unless, of course, I deserve it." Inflicting a penalty merely to deter -- rather than to punish for deeds done -- is the very definition of cruelty. A purely deterrent penalty is one where a man is punished -- not for something that he did -- but for something someone else might do. Lewis explained the logical end of this argument: "If deterrence is all that matters, the execution of an innocent man, provided the public think him guilty, would be fully justified."

Men should be punished for their own crimes and not merely to deter others. That said, the death penalty undoubtedly does deter in some cases. For starters, those executed will no longer be around to commit any more crimes.

www.thenewamerican.com...




That is your opinion. Though it goes against the views of The United Nations General Assembly, which furthermore in a formal resolutions have affirmed it to be desirable to - all over the world - "progressively restrict the number of offenses for which the death penalty might be imposed, with a view to the desirability of abolishing this punishment" (3).
(Some other nations known for their disregard for the human rights of their citizens are: Iraq, Iran, China, the former Soviet Union and South Africa.)


Oh No the UN!!!! Should I recant? I think not! In the countries you are talking about are by and large dictatorial totalitarian societies which do not have the rule of law. Iraq will and and Im not sure about South Africa. However, we live in a free society where the rule of law is applied to everyone and due process is ensured.




[edit on 4-9-2004 by FredT]

[edit on 4-9-2004 by FredT]

[edit on 5-9-2004 by FredT]



posted on Sep, 4 2004 @ 11:13 PM
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Just out of curiousity, what is your country of origin, or are you a citizen of?

mako



posted on Sep, 4 2004 @ 11:54 PM
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No arguments or debates from this reply. One thing though, why put them away for life? Tax payers shouldn't have to pay for them to continue living when they've not let another human continue living.



posted on Sep, 5 2004 @ 07:35 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
A I have pointed about I fully support mandatory DNA testing for murderers. At that point if guilt is proven and confirmed through DNA testing, what possible purpose could 10 years of appeals allow? I also oppose apeals for the "cruel and unusual" resons, or other procedural issues. If the convict has a real issue then its legitamate to allow for appeals. Beyond that its activist lawyers prolonging the enevitable.


It's my opinion that the main problem with capital punishment lies in the act of legitimizing murder in favor of blood-thirst and need for violent vengeance, which in essence is an attempt to right a wrong with another wrong and contradicts the idea of not accepting the act of murder in a civilized society. The fact that human error on numerous occasions have caused innocents to be executed are just horrific examples of how the actual use of capital punishment keeps failing as a practice.

As to the question of considering DNA testing, in cases it can be used, as the fail-safe solution to reduce the delays and costs of the trial process. First off; I don't think you disagree that a person cannot be considered guilty as long there is the smallest reasonable doubt. Hence, until a suspect is proven guilty - beyond reasonable doubt - he/she can't and should not be considered guilty nor treated as such. Now, forensic investigators take many precautions to prevent mistakes, but human error can never be reduced to zero. Consequently (which is also the recommendation of the National Research Council) forensic DNA is and should be considered as just one of many types of evidence. It is crucial that other clues are examined with equal scrutiny; motive, weapon, and/or additional evidence linking a suspect to the crime scene. The general logic behind this the same as used when DNA-testing can't be used; the more evidence we have collected and the more carefully we reason, the more valid the inferences. Subsequently the less likeliness that samples from a particular suspect may have been planted, on purpose or by accident, at a certain crime scene. In conclusion, even in cases where DNA-testing can be used, still considering the ever important and crucial procedural safeguards required by the courts in capital cases, murder trials still take considerably longer in cases when the death penalty is involved, which inevitably increases the time and cost of the administration of criminal justice.


Lethal injection has been ruled as NOT cruel and unusual.


Again, this is the interpretation of what is to be considered cruel and unusual in states retaining the death penalty. The fact that the very use of legalized murder keeps being highly questioned all over the world, as well as within the U.S., makes the argument of the actual chosen manner of killing secondary. Is it your opinion that, if one individual were to murder another with the use of a manner equal to lethal injection, the penalty for this act shouldn't be as severe as, say the penalty for a homicide where a gun was used?



...once you violate the laws of the state, most of the constituional protections simply do not apply. By your logic life in prison could be defined as cruel and unusual.


Well, what constitutional protections one chooses to consider acceptable to be disregarded for an individual violating the laws of the state, is a matter of opinion and again, essentially the moral ethics of a civilized society. I could just as easily claim that by your reasoning, torture should not be considered a cruel and unusual manner of punishment for violators of state law.


Lethal Injection seems much less cruel in that context.


So, merciful killings is what you're proposing here? Your answer to a failing prison system/environment is to kill the inmates merely because you feel sorry for them? Priceless.



More importantly, the Founding Fathers who adopted the Bill of Rights banning "cruel and unusual punishment" had no problem with implementing the death penalty.


Have your society not evolved and changed quite a bit since then? Or is it your opinion that the exact interpretation of the Bill of Rights used in the United States of the late 1700's are to be considered those of a society that cannot evolve further, hence should be adopted in today's, as well as future societies? Wouldn't you agree that this scripture came out of the questioning of the laws and acts of their society of those days?



Other nations are just that other nations. Simply because other countries in the world do not have the death penalty does not mean we should follow thier lead. Should we go with the flow and follow the rest of the world on every issue? NO. Americans have voted on the issue and have approved of capital punishment. What other countries do in not germane in this issue.


Since you chose to bring up the question of public opinion; on what exactly do you base your own opinion? Would you suddenly want to abolish capital punishment if the majority of states within the U.S. (and its citizens) were to demand this abolition? Continuing the issue of public opinion within the U.S., according to the most recent poll presented by Gallup, when posed with life imprisonment without parole as an alternative to capital punishment as the penalty for murder, the current margin is 50% to 46% in favor of the death penalty over life imprisonment, whereas last years (2003) numbers were 53% vs 43%.



"Death penalty opponents love to assume that the principal purpose for capital punishment is deterrence, possibly realizing it is a perfect straw argument. Tangible proof of deterrence alone is not a valid reason for capital punishment (or any other form of punishment, for that matter), nor is it the main rationale employed by astute death penalty advocates. As Christian writer C.S. Lewis observes, "[deterrence] in itself, would be a very wicked thing to do. On the classical theory of punishment it was of course justified on the ground that the man deserved it. Why, in Heavens name, am I to be sacrificed to the good of society in this way? -- unless, of course, I deserve it." Inflicting a penalty merely to deter -- rather than to punish for deeds done -- is the very definition of cruelty. A purely deterrent penalty is one where a man is punished -- not for something that he did -- but for something someone else might do. Lewis explained the logical end of this argument: "If deterrence is all that matters, the execution of an innocent man, provided the public think him guilty, would be fully justified."


The fact that you chose to use a quote like this makes me wonder whether you've actually read it and properly thought it through? First, you do realize that this contradicts the fact that deterrence have long been recognized by the courts as one of the main purposes of criminal punishment? Secondly deterrence is not to be considered the same thing as preemptive or incapacitative. The person you quoted seems unsure indeed of the actual meaning of deterrence. As to the use of deterrence as the single reason for punishment - who said anything about doing so? Deterrence is but one of the issues to be considered when looking at what can be an acceptable manner of punishment. When it comes to the actual choosing between those acceptable punishments, it's obviously a question of the severity of the crime perpetrated. Furthermore, the fact remains that the government of a society has an important obligation to its citizens, which includes that of a role model and a protector of human life. As Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, founder of the Pennsylvania Prison Society and early believer in the so called 'brutalization effect' concluded; having a death penalty actually increases criminal conduct. And, like I've previously presented; the majority of evidence supports this argument. If the protection of citizens are to be considered as one of the most important obligations; how can one possibly ignore the vast preponderance of evidence showing an obvious increase in homicide where capital punishment is used?



Men should be punished for their own crimes and not merely to deter others.


I never disputed this opinion.



...the death penalty undoubtedly does deter in some cases. For starters, those executed will no longer be around to commit any more crimes.


As I'm beginning to find it rather tiresome having to repeat the same answers all over again, I'll just quote what I've stated before on this particular matter:

"...this is actually an incapacitative, not a deterrent, effect of executions. And like I stated earlier about deterrence; the vast preponderance of available evidence does in fact, not support capital punishment to be more effective than imprisonment in deterring murder. And as to the question of incapacitating an individual from repeating a heinous act; equally as effective as capital punishment but far less inhumane is the use of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole."



Oh No the UN!!!! Should I recant? I think not!


The United States is one of the members of The United Nations and have also signed The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Now, you are obviously free to agree or, as in this case, disagree with that wich is presented by U.N. through its Declarations (i.e. in this case, the affirmed desire to eventually abolish capital punishment worldwide).


Originally posted by maco0956
Just out of curiousity, what is your country of origin, or are you a citizen of?


I'm going to resist the temptation of asking what that has got to do with this discussion. My country of origin is Sweden; which is also where I currently live. Oh, and I'm also a Swedish citizen.


Originally posted by Intelearthling
One thing though, why put them away for life? Tax payers shouldn't have to pay for them to continue living when they've not let another human continue living.


The issue of cost has been covered earlier in this thread. However in short, and though I do agree that criminals should pay their own dues to society as much as possible, considering the actual costs; capital punishment isn't and has never been a better and more economical alternative to imprisonment for life. Actually very much the contrary.


Edit: Clarification about FredT's comment concerning the UN (which was misinterpreted).

[edit on 5-9-2004 by Durden]



posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 06:32 AM
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No personal attack here.

Just wondering what country of origin, citizenship you are of.

What's the justice system lilke over there like?

How does the Swedish government handle people who are violent, brutal criminals? Violent sex offenders? Do they utilize the death penalty?





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