Death Penalties - Are they ever justified?

JohnM

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paranoidandroid said:
Anybody know somebody who has been brutaly murdered?? If you do anad still think the death penalty is wrong then fair enough, you try and tell that to some people I know who have had to go through it, they would seriously disagree with you.

The "What would you do if you family was murdered" argument gets trotted out quiet frequently... well of course most people would want venegance. But the whole point of a state run justice system is to remove the law from degenerating into people taking things into their own hands - which would eventaully lead to anarchy & chaos (though not the good sort).

There are two main arguments for the death penalty;

1. as a deterent
2. an eye for an eye

1. The statistics for states that have the death penalty show that it does NOT work as a deterent - in fact there is even an argument that it is counterproductive (may as well be hung for a man as a sheep as the old saying went).

2. The second argument is more difficult as it comes down to belief. Personally i dont think the state should take the life of someone, whether they are guity or not, and that is one of the hallmarks of a civilised society.

And thats without even getting into the discussions about wrong convictions, cost etc etc
 

turkeyphant

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paranoidandroid said:
Anybody know somebody who has been brutaly murdered?? If you do anad still think the death penalty is wrong then fair enough, you try and tell that to some people I know who have had to go through it, they would seriously disagree with you.

The law is not meant to be clouded by emotion. Grieving families are often irrational while the law ought to be impartial. If every victim could choose what happened to their attacker/thief/whatever, there would be a vicious circle and I suspect a lot of the "punishments" would be less agreeable than the crimes.

Things just don't work like that. "An eye for an eye" is an abhorrent worldview.
 

Warwick Bassmonkey

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martin_e said:
I don't think it's naïve to ask how state-sponsored murder is different from murder for personal reasons. Surely the point of the justice system should be to protect people from immoral acts upon their person. Prison serves this purpose by isolating a criminal from society at large. Execution requires someone, somewhere down the line to murder another...

"State sponsored murder", is an oxymoron. Murder is the unlawful and premeditated killing of one person by another. If there was a death penalty, then the killing is not unlawful, and therefore it is not murder.

It's not even manslaughter. :Grin:

As a deterrent, I see no problem with having a death penalty, and not just for killing someone neither. I'd have it for using your mobile phone at the wheel, or starting a forest fire. It's like wot dave_arc_i said, if you know there is a death penalty for, say, smuggling a few ounces of drugs into singapore, and you smuggle more than a few ounces into singapore, then you only have yourself to blame when your miserable life gets extinguished.

The death penalty won't be a deterrent to some, of course. But then, whilst prison is enough of a deterrent for me to behave myself, I know people for whom it is no deterrent whatsoever, and in fact they even boast about the fact they've been and would gladly go back. Lets see them boasting after a visit to the chair.

Sure, there'll be mistakes and some inncocent people may get gassed, and they won't have the right to appeal because they're dead and it's too late. But you know, life's not perfect and mistakes will happen. Nothing is without risk. You're more likely to lose an innocent loved one in a car smash that wasn't your fault, than lose them through a wrongful conviction and death sentence, but it doesn't stop people going out in cars.

Prison. Hmmm.... boy am I glad that the justice system protects me from 80-year-old pensioners who refuse to pay their council tax increases by isolating them from society. You get the same punishment for murdering someone in your thirties as you get for not paying your council tax in your eighties. Only the duration is different. The irony being that the 80-year-old who's in there for a short while has a more severe punishment experience than the lifer who at least doesn't have to worry about food and shelter for the next 20 years.

Where's the justice in that?
 

tavdy79

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To me, murder is the conscious choice to kill another human being for any reason other than self-defence or the defence of another. That makes execution murder in the vast majority of cases (there is an arguable exception to the rule in the case of mass murderers).

I also think that attempted murder convicts should receive the same penalty that murderers do, regardless of what that penalty is. If the justice system is meant to protect the citizens of a nation, then in cases of murder it should be the intent of a person's action, not the effect, which determines the sentence. If a person is capable of murder and commits an attempted murder, they are no less dangerous than a murderer - they were simply prevented in some way from completeing their intended action, and without that prevention they would have been a murderer.

There is only one crime for which I'd consider execution to be remotely justifiable - and it's not murder; it's rape. A rape victim has to live the rest of their life - which can be another eighty years in the case of paedophile victims. But even then I'd consider permanent solitary confinement to be a far more effective solution - on the understanding that that particular sentence only be given in cases where there is no chance of appeal.

Institutionalised slavery has been mentioned already (under different terms) as a possible sentence - is that something we'd be willing to condone? Is slavery so abhorrent that it should not be considered for anyone, or is the idea of a criminal being required to work to pay off their debt to society more ethically acceptable than having them killed?

Another question - what human rights should a murderer, rapist or other violent criminal be given, considering their lack of regard for the human rights of others? Does their disregard for the rights of another mean they should forfeit their own rights?
 

SugarPixie

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That's interesting, but I don't think the rights of anyone should ever be forfeited. No matter what someone's done, they're still a human so should be treated as a human.


I don't think the death penalty is ever right. Life is so special I don't think you can ever justify taking it away from somone, even if they have taken someone else's life. If a governement has this power, I think it shows a diregard for people's lives which, yeah, amounts to murder.
 

duracell_pixie

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I believe that execution can never be justified, mistakes will always be made, innocents sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit. I also think that the prison system as it exists today is inherently flawed. Life should mean life and people detained should have to work hard to pay back the amount its costs to keep them with whatever skills they have, constructing roads etc. Though ultimately i believe that your actions always come back on you anyway, the universe takes charge and dishes out punishment as deserved whether in this life or the next, that doesnt change the fact that we need to keep people who are a danger to others from being in a position to harm. Its a tricky question and i dont believe that its black and white, theres so many grey areas.What may be punishment to one person, may not be so bad to another. We've not come up with a suitable solution in the last 1000 years and who knows if we ever will.
Todays problems have been blamed on a move away from the church, im sure weve all heard our elders talking about backaday when sundays were for worship, you could leave your front door unlocked and kids could play safely in the street but is this just a rosy-tinted reminiscing of the past or was crime really less prevalent?Is crime greatly increasing and if so, why? We look at punishment but that only comes in when the crime has taken place, what we need to look at are the causes for the great disease which has spread the world, causing humans to disrespect and want to harm others?
 
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Ott^

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Warwick Bassmonkey said:

Utter, utter bollocks.

Almost every pertinent reason for opposing the death penalty has already been stated - I'll just point out that all the evidence suggests that capital punishment serves as no deterrent whatsoever.



Those of you who support capital punishment should try to imagine being an innocent person convicted and executed for something you haven't done [and anyone who says it couldn't happen should Google "Timothy Evans, Reginald Christie, 10 Rillington Place"] and imagine the absolute horror of counting down your final hours before going to the gallows/gas chamber/electric chair/lethal injection.

Saying goodbye to your family - parents, wife, children - all of whom know you're innocent - and pleading to an unmovable judiciary for clemency.



The problem with capital punishment is that nothing is ever 100% certain in a court of law, and to poor souls like Timothy Evans the only recompense for wrongful conviction and execution is to be exhumed and reburied in consecrated ground.

Great.

People like Miszt and Warwick Bassmonkey should be compelled to go and explain to the families of the wrongfully executed exactly why their innocent loved ones have been taken from them and killed - people like the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four and those men convicted of the sexually motivated murder of paper boy Carl Bridgewater, all of whom have been aquitted and freed after serving long prison sentences for crimes they didn't commit, and who would long since have been executed had capital punishment been available at the time of their wrongful convictions.


Would you be prepared to do that in return for satisfying your vengeful bloodlust?

P.s. I'm thinking of changing my sig to "I Disagree with Miszt" - just to save time and keystrokes...
 

Warwick Bassmonkey

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Ott^ said:
Utter, utter bollocks.
Hahahahahaa!!! That's more like it.

Wanna fight about it, ya big soft shite? :Wink3:

Ott^ said:
Almost every pertinent reason for opposing the death penalty has already been stated
And it is hard to disagree with.

Ott^ said:
I'll just point out that all the evidence suggests that capital punishment serves as no deterrent whatsoever.

All of it? That is quite a bold statement considering it is unlilely you have been able to gather it all.

It is a 100% deterrent against re-offending.

Ott^ said:
Those of you who support capital punishment should try to imagine being an innocent person convicted and executed for something you haven't done
But you don't give me any credit for the fact that I, and others, might have gone over that very scenario whilst forming our argument. (And it *is* only a harmless argument.) I didn't say it would be without risks. It just depends on what risks you are prepared to take. I don't know what the stats are, but let's say 5% of people convicted are innocent. 100% of victims almost certainly are innocent. Based on that, the current justice system appears to be weighted too much in favour of the criminal.

Ott^ said:
Imagine the absolute horror of counting down your final hours before going to the gallows/gas chamber/electric chair/lethal injection.
Yup. But if I was innocent, I would rather go through that rather than spend the rest of my life shitting in a bucket, thanks.

Ott^ said:
People like Miszt and Warwick Bassmonkey should be compelled to go and explain to the families of the wrongfully executed exactly why their innocent loved ones have been taken from them and killed...
In that case, would it be fair for me to suggest that you should explain to the families of victims who have been killed, exactly why the murdering psychopath was released from prison in the first place? (e.g. the recent case of John Monckton, killed in front of his family by man convicted of attempted murder and released after 7 years despite a very high probability that he would do it again.)

Ott^ said:
...satisfying your vengeful bloodlust?
It is nothing to do with vengeful bloodlust. If it were, maybe I would insist that the punishment would be as horrific as the crime that was committed... e.g. death by stabbing in front of one's family. But I am not.

Personally, I am glad that I do not have to make such decisions, but I can certainly see why people think that captial punishment is warranted, and I can also see the point of view of the people who are appalled at the idea of "state sponsored extermination of life".

For me, the risk of something going slightly wrong on occasions has rarely been a good enough reason not to do something, so that is why, although there may well be other reasons why it is wrong, I will argue against anyone who says that it is wrong to have capital punishment just for fear of occasionally getting the wrong man. It would be insignificant when compared with what we usually refer to as "collateral damage".

Ott^ said:
P.s. I'm thinking of changing my sig to "I Disagree with Miszt" - just to save time and keystrokes...

In Latin, right?
 

JPsychodelicacy

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Warwick Bassmonkey said:
It is a 100% deterrent against re-offending.

So is shitting in a bucket for the rest of your natural life.


...but let's say 5% of people convicted are innocent. 100% of victims almost certainly are innocent. Based on that, the current justice system appears to be weighted too much in favour of the criminal.

Ah but that's based on thoroughly made-up statistics, as you yourself admit!

In that case, would it be fair for me to suggest that you should explain to the families of victims who have been killed, exactly why the murdering psychopath was released from prison in the first place? (e.g. the recent case of John Monckton, killed in front of his family by man convicted of attempted murder and released after 7 years despite a very high probability that he would do it again.)

But that is precisely why the families of victims shouldn't have a say in the punishment, because their love makes such decisions irrational. Murdering the murderer is not a civilised way of dealing with the situation. Look at how twisted the States has become since giving in to its baser instincts over crime and punishment.

It is nothing to do with vengeful bloodlust. If it were, maybe I would insist that the punishment would be as horrific as the crime that was committed... e.g. death by stabbing in front of one's family. But I am not.

On the other hand, making someone with obvious mental health problems live in abject poverty, meaning that such things go untreated until they reach boiling point is the root cause of what went on in that case. What makes me mad about the current society in which we live is that we seem to value the lives of the wealthy, the middle class and (if we're honest about it) white people over and above the lives of others.

J.
 

Warwick Bassmonkey

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JPsychodelicacy said:
What makes me mad about the current society in which we live is that we seem to value the lives of the wealthy, the middle class and (if we're honest about it) white people over and above the lives of others.

J.

Another topic, I reckon. I'll keep an eye open for it.

OK, OK, I give up. You're right, you really can't go around deciding someone is so evil that they deserve to die. Especially if you are the State.

I sort of hate it when this debate comes up... because can just imagine how I would feel if I lost one of my family at the hands of someone else. I wouldn't be fannying about waiting for the current justice system to give them a pathetic custodial sentence, that's for sure. It's just human nature, and that can't always be supressed by a reasoned, intelligent debate like this one.
 
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Ott^

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Warwick Bassmonkey said:
Hahahahahaa!!! That's more like it.

Wanna fight about it, ya big soft shite? :Wink3:


Chance would be a fine thing - I was just getting me Sovereigns on and preparing for a ruck when you rolled over and capitulated two posts later.

Pansy.


I will say that the one sentence that caught my eye was;

For me, the risk of something going slightly wrong on occasions...

and the word "slightly" made tea come out of my nose.


:irolleyes
 
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Ott^

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Incidentally, I do agree that the Australian guy who was recently executed in Singapore should be nominated for some kind of low-end Darwin award.

I wish they hadn't killed him, if only for the sake of not punishing his mum so horribly, but I can't help thinking that, with his passing, the collective IQ of the human species has increased slightly.

I was in Melbourne the week leading up his execution and I landed in Singapore the day after. Couldn't fucking wait to get out of there I can tell you.

Looking round at the airport coppers thinking "This is not somewhere I'd like to get fitted up with an ounce of coke...!"
 

martin_e

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Warwick Bassmonkey said:
"State sponsored murder", is an oxymoron. Murder is the unlawful and premeditated killing of one person by another. If there was a death penalty, then the killing is not unlawful, and therefore it is not murder.

It's not even manslaughter. :Grin:

Depends entirely on how you define murder.

wikipedia said:
Murder is both a legal and a moral term, that are not always coincident. It may be legal to kill, but still murder in the moral sense. Opponents of the death penalty argue that it is simply murder by the state. Proponents of limited government argue that moral murder is never legal murder unless and until the government meets the limits and standards required of it, such as due process, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, trial by jury, appellate review, etc.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder

Again I will state that I wouldn't even trust the state to wipe up the tea spilt from Ott^'s nose, let alone have the power to murder (moral definition) people!
 

ozdave

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paranoidandroid said:
Anybody know somebody who has been brutaly murdered?? If you do anad still think the death penalty is wrong then fair enough, you try and tell that to some people I know who have had to go through it, they would seriously disagree with you.

Yes but of course killing the murderer doesn't bring back their loved one, it only serves a purpose in terms of revenge and retribution. The death penalty never has, or will deter serious crime and executing an innocent person is the most serious crime of all.
 

floatyhippyflower

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I'm against capital punishment, period. I understand that if anyone killed my child my instinct would be to want that person dead, preferably in the most painful and tortured way. However I'm with the person who said that it would be a knee-jerk, emotional reaction and that the only way to deal with offenders is through a (relatively/comparatively) impartial system of law.

Thing is, I'm reminded of somewhat horrifying statistics which reveal that a high percentage of paedophiles were abused or neglected as children. I am reminded of the documentary I saw on Aileen Wuornos a few years back following her execution; I bawled my eyes out at the end because I felt that her sentence did not in any way reflect the horrendous, fear-filled life she had been forced to live in the run up to her crimes, nor the fact that she was clearly a few planks short of a fence during the interviews. I am reminded of the numerous cases of supposed IRA terrorists who were imprisoned in the UK, sometimes for decades, who were later released after being found innocent and/or it was shown that the evidence was flawed. (Guildford Four anyone?) I could go on, but most of my main points have been made by others already.

Suffice to say it's just too 'blanket action' for me, too final. It doesn't take into consideration any mitigating circumstances that may have driven someone to serious crime, and frankly the possibility of executing an innocent person doesn't bear thinking about IMO. It also strikes me as an 'easy' way to avoid dealing with people who clearly have serious problems. I'm pre-empting the "but it costs thousands to keep someone imprisoned for a lifetime argument" by saying that I think convicted offenders should be made to work for society in some way, even if they are never released and/or cannot be otherwise rehabilitated. It doesn't bring back a murdered loved one but it means they are put to use for the benefit of others and maybe even contribute to the cost of their own upkeep.
 

Barclay (Dark Angel)

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dave arc-i said:
i did think from the first post this was related to the australian in singapore - i go along with monkey do's thinking on this. darwinian award candidate.... death penalty for possession of more than 15grams of heroin and the guy decides to smuggle 400! - he only has himself to blame for being so so stupid

singapore has some the harshest laws and penaltys in the world but it isnt that an unpleasant place to be unlike perhaps some parts of the UK - would i like it to be like that here - no way

To cross threads...

It just goes to show - prohibition doesn't work!

Sorry to digress there, but the point needs hammering home, time and time again.

Hugs,

Barclay

P.S. And if you want to decimate the crime figures, you know what to do. End prohibition. No more smack addicts stealing to feed their habits...
 

Barclay (Dark Angel)

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Ott^ said:
people like the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four and those men convicted of the sexually motivated murder of paper boy Carl Bridgewater, all of whom have been aquitted and freed after serving long prison sentences for crimes they didn't commit, and who would long since have been executed had capital punishment been available at the time of their wrongful convictions.

I seem to remember a report in a paper recently about a guy who had been wrongfully convicted, and who won compensation for the years he spent in prison as a consequence.

He got his compensation.... less the cost of board and lodging at Her Majesty's pleasure.

Sheeesh....

But to the point of the thread.

It seems to me that the death penalty indicates a terrible poverty in peoples imagination. Is there really no better way of dealing with a murderer?

And is there no room for redemption? Is one act really enough to end a person's life?

It's interesting that the death penalty is becoming less "popular" in the States, that it is being applied less frequently, and that calls for it to be repealed are growing.

As for victims and rationality. I once thought of doing something very stupid after something very terrible happened to my family. I even tried to rationalise it. Thank god I didn't. That's the point. I would have had to live with my action/revenge for the rest of my life.

Hugs,

Barclay
 

Warwick Bassmonkey

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floatyhippyflower said:
I'm against capital punishment, period.
What? With a name like "floatyhippyflower"? You're shitting me. :Wink3:

floatyhippyflower said:
I think convicted offenders should be made to work for society in some way...for the benefit of others and maybe even contribute to the cost of their own upkeep.
Splendid idea. To cross threads again... there's currently around 10 Megawatts of potential pedalling power currently banged up in prison, and a looming energy shortage...

Barclay said:
It just goes to show - prohibition doesn't work!
Obviously not on numpties, no.

Barclay said:
P.S. And if you want to decimate the crime figures, you know what to do. End prohibition. No more smack addicts stealing to feed their habits..
Would smack be free of charge then?

<removes broom handle from hornets nest and steps back swiflty>
 
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