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Firefairymember
115 posts
Location: UK


Posted:
I recently watched this film called Dead Man Walking (about a man on death row) with a friend of mine who is very open minded and spiritual. By the end of the film I felt such horror at what human beings and the people we vote into power could do. I felt that the murder the establishment commited was far worse that the one that the criminal in question committed in that it was entirely premeditated. I have never believed in the death penalty anyway but the film just horrified me.

However, my friend shocked me. By the end of the film she was for the death sentance. I was flabbergasted as I felt so moved by the film.
I cant quite get my head round it to be truthful and I wandered what, in particular those who lived in a country with the death penalty, thought about it.

[ 17 April 2002, 03:40: Message edited by: Firefairy ]

KyrianDreamer
4,308 posts
Location: York, England


Posted:
I think the death penalty is stupid, and it is one of the things that scares me more about my country...... but i know a lot of people who claim it's the "only answer."

I've seen Dead Man Walking, good film.

more later
ciao

Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....


CassandraFroggie ... Ribbit !!!
4,224 posts
Location: Back in Paris... for now !


Posted:
I am absolutely against death penalty. Truely, deeply and with all my reason and soul...

However, I have to admit one thing in all honesty... if for example I have a child one day and I catch some miserable bastard abusing that kid ... mine ... or any kid... then I can't garantee how I'll react because i'll probably lose all reason then...

this is why I beleive it is so important to have lawyers and juges and "objective" people to do the judgement part. because when the pain is too stong and when it touches you from too close, then you can't always think...

shine on
Cassandra

"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"


MoohaahaaBRONZE Member
enthusiast
382 posts
Location: In Ger Land, India


Posted:
I agree very much with cassandra.
I used to argue very much about this with my ex-girlfriend, she was for it, and her normal argument would be, "but what if your brother, mother, etc, was killed, you would want the killer dead," This is true, but as soon as someone close to me is killed, I lose objectiveness, my opinion becomes extremely biased, and is therefore not very valid.

Funny Story: Came out of a pub a bit pissed once, debating death penalty, and got into a taxi. We (me + ex) continued debating all the way to the cinema, not really minding that the cabbie overheard. We got near the cinema and the driver turned round and said "I killed someone once, ya know!" Silence ensued,
"Yeah, a guy killed my brother, and then got arrested but they couldn't get enough evidence so they let him off, so I killed him." more silence,
"Its not easy ya know, killing someone in cold blood, no matter how angry you are! I did ten years for it, but I'd do it again" Seeing the shock on our faces, he tried to lighten the mood,
"So, ummm, anyway, enjoy your film!"
Moral of story: dont get cabs in Essex!
But also, abolish death sentance, if people want to kill, they will, but organised, state killings is unjust and barbaric. There is a law somewhere in U.N saying no country shall dish out cruel or unusual punishments or killings, yet the U.S. performs its executions with viewing galleries!! Surely if they must kill it could be in the victims sleep! I could rant all day, but you'd all get bored, but yeah, Abolish the death penalty

Some things you have to see to believe, but
Some things you have to believe in to see.


CarreySILVER Member
member
180 posts
Location: London, England.


Posted:
Wow, such an interesting topic.

I put this to you:

If a man *repeatedly* kills, is it right that we pay for him to spend his life in a prison?

He has effectively rejected his humanity. If you can reject the things that make us evolved human beings, do you deserve to be treated as an evolved human being? I can't really justify the money it would take from society to keep him out of society. Why not just overdose the guy on something pleasant and send him to his next incarnation? And use the rest of the money we would have spent on his incarceration on the community he was from.

What do you think?

KyrianDreamer
4,308 posts
Location: York, England


Posted:
Unfortunetly, last I checked, at least in teh US, the amount of money spent on capital punishment is about teh same as it would have been to keep him in prison. (and we just did another asignmnet on this in school.

the other thing is, meybe meybe and i won't debate this point just right now, it's justified to kill that person. but what if to kill that perosn we have to kill osmeon who is innocent?

Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....


Firefairymember
115 posts
Location: UK


Posted:
Carrey - If being an evolved human being means that we should not kill others then it does not matter how much a person kills, we should put ourselves on the same level. And Kyrian is right, it costs way more - what with appeals etc... to keep someone of death row and then kill them. I reckon we should express our humanity in understanding why these people do it.

Id agree with Cassandra that, if someone hurt my family I really couldnt say what Id do or how Id feel. I guess that the taxi driver had a point though, that when it comes down to it its alot harder than you think. This only affirms to me that the death penalty is entirely wrong.

CassandraFroggie ... Ribbit !!!
4,224 posts
Location: Back in Paris... for now !


Posted:
I am very surprised that people think of someone's life in terms of costs... Chatting offline with a friend , he used the same argument and it bugged me...

Would you please developp taht argument ?

"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"


taztasticBRONZE Member
member
35 posts
Location: London, U.K


Posted:
Good point Cassandra.

I recently read an article on the death penalty and one of the things that disturbed me most was that apparently there is never a shortage of volunteers to actually pull the switch or push the button to carry out a death row killing. Why is that? Why would someone volunteer to kill someone?

I've always wondered what the motivation is for an executioner. Like the guillotine operators of the French Revolution or the gas chamber staff of Auschwitz etc.

If I could turn back time and take back what I just said; I wouldn't - The Wise Words Of Taztastic (Excerpt)


CarreySILVER Member
member
180 posts
Location: London, England.


Posted:
Don’t panic everyone…I don’t believe in Capital Punishment at all – it just doesn’t sit right on my conscience and I believe far too much in Karma. I was more fielding the question to play devils advocate. I’m very interested in the Prison system as a whole and I would like to try and come up with a solution that works – but for that you have to explore all options and not all of them are pleasant.

So, bear with me on my argument…it’s a bit of a long one…

If you think of your community: There are rules and standards that your community has. There are millions of communities in the world and they are hugely varied, from a small village in Africa to a suburb in New York, or a jugglers’ club in London, to a rugby club in Sydney. You can see communities in lots of ways and they are often interlaced with each other. In order to live comfortably in whichever community you choose, you have to exhibit appropriate social behaviour, appropriate to the community in which you live and appropriate in terms of the rules in place (many of these, but not all would be enforced by law.) We all drift off the sides sometimes, even by drinking too much one night and being a bit foolish, but we know the penalties of stepping too far across the line – your friends would tease you for years if you got drunk and stripped off your clothes in the main street and you may even be arrested for it. This is a much milder version of what I’m really getting at though.

Exhibiting hugely anti-social behaviour like assault, robbery, rape, murder etc. tends to indicate a certain level of dislike for, or disrespect for, or apathy towards the values of the community.

Doing this once could mean you made a mistake, you were ill, etc. and as a community we should do our best to treat your fairly and help you on the road to recovery. Strike one.

Doing this twice is a bit bad really…but, as we are understanding and evolved people, we should try to help you again and maybe do it a little better this time. Strike two.

Doing this three times is pretty indicative that you’re (a) seriously ill and non-treatable (since we have housed you in proper care and provided you with opportunities to education and psychiatric help) and (b) that you really don’t give a toss about your community or the values it upholds. Strike three…out of here…

By now your community has spent a lot of money on your rehabilitation. This money could have been put into housing, education, parks, sports, etc. etc. This is the infrastructure that helps build communities, brings them together and ultimately lowers the incidences of anti-social behaviour, in my opinion. The stronger a community, the more important it will be to an individual to feel part of it, and the less likely you are to risk being expelled from it, by exhibiting anti-social behaviour.

So what do we do now? Do we take more away from the community in favour of someone who clearly doesn’t give a toss about it? I don’t think so…

But what do we do?

Right now we pay roughly 2,000 per week to house a prisoner in the UK. The cost to the UK per year is 7,5 Billion Pounds! That’s without rehabilitation. That’s in order to keep the guy out of the community with no way of helping him get back into it successfully afterwards. The likelihood he’ll re-offend? Huge. We’re near capacity and now they’re suggesting we incarcerate 10-year-old offenders. This screams out to me as the completely wrong approach! 10-Year-olds don’t need to be incarcerated; they need space to play, sports, a hobby and a community to identify with. They need to feel proud of who they are, where they live and the community they’re from.

Clearly, the prison system doesn’t work and Capital Punishment doesn’t work…but what would? We *could* build self-sufficient communities for prisoners on some of the channel islands? I know that sounds a bit like “Escape from Absolom” but is it really a bad idea? Those that re-offend and re-offend have made a choice not to be part of our community, but they shouldn’t place financial burden upon it as well. Perhaps they could live in a community governed and run by those most like them?

What would your solution be?

CassandraFroggie ... Ribbit !!!
4,224 posts
Location: Back in Paris... for now !


Posted:
have you ever seen the movie
"I like Icarus" ???

It is based on a true scientific experiment.
they have taken some random people and sat them in a control room for electric chair.
on the other side of the glass window sat a man on an electric chair (a comedian actually and no real electricity but the "guinea pig" did not know that).
The idea was to see how far people can go if orders are clearly given to them by a powerful, "official" and "respectable" source.
the results are breathtakingly awful ...
i don't recall the amount of people who actually "killed" thaht person, but it was very high. Only few of them dared go against the orders.

that is scary and yet VERY interesting.

these mechanics of death do not really rely on a few fanatics that actually strongly wish to take someone's life. Rather it is based on "untertan" as they say in german ... peolpe who like / need to be given orders and follow them.
During WWII, allthough many peopel did know more than they admit they did, the most important thing is that everyone was assigned a tiny part of the death process, not the whole picture :
you drive the train , you make thsi and that ...
and the sum of all those little thigns are death ... mass murder...

you know what I mean ? what do you think ?

"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"


CassandraFroggie ... Ribbit !!!
4,224 posts
Location: Back in Paris... for now !


Posted:
::sigh::
as I was writing my post, carrey sent out hers... and now I'm realizing taht I don't have much of a solution in the short term (one generation time i mean). I strongly beleive in "prevention" (english ?) What I mean is what you said basically Carrey : give the kids that are "lost" opportunity to have a frame to developp in, give them roots so they can fly away peacefully later on.
And I don't mean what France does sometimes :
doing nothing
then sending a bunch of kids on vacation somewher for a month
doing nothing again/
i mean on an every day basis trying to re-establish social links and interactions. If you want them to be able to take vacation, let them work for it, DO something .... don't give them fish , teach them how to fish ...
Sorry, got carried away again !

So I believe in the mid / long term it is teh best way to improve thigns (along with many other things that we are not really discussing here cause they are off topic).

So what about your question Carrey ? I don't know. I tend to get angry after a while when i see someone spit and spit again at society, not respecting the rule, yet not challenging them , just destroying. But what then ? erradicate those who don't fit ? lock them up untill they die ? try again and again ? set them free but with constant video surveillance ? emasculate those who raped ? can you helpp someone against his will, and if not, then why put so much energy / money into it ?

I don't know and I thank you for asking the one question that gets me stuck all the time.
I don't think there is a solution that matches all situations. I beleive that every case is soooo different.

Stuck here and looking forward to reading everyone's input

[ 18 April 2002, 01:02: Message edited by: Cassandra ]

"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"


taztasticBRONZE Member
member
35 posts
Location: London, U.K


Posted:
Sadly, I guess it is a deeply ingrained need in a lot of humans to follow orders.

When I was a lot younger and more idealistic I used to read about the horrors of war and the holocaust. I remember thinking to myself there is no way I would ever follow orders to push that button, pull that trigger, turn on the gas etc.

I think a lot of us have thought in the same way. BUT... when it comes to the crunch, how many of us would be able to stand up and say NO? When our own lives (or those of our family and friends)are on the line, how many of us can still stick by what we feel is right?

It scares me to examine myself too hard on that point.

What do you guys reckon?

If I could turn back time and take back what I just said; I wouldn't - The Wise Words Of Taztastic (Excerpt)


N8member
336 posts
Location: NY, USA


Posted:
Well looks like everyone said the same things that I would have. I must say that i don't know where I stand on this issue. But a wize old wizard in a movie I saw (Lord of the Rings) said something which make a lot of sense here,

"Some who live deserve death, but some who die deserve life - Can you give that to them Frodo?"
"....Then do not be so quick to deal out death and judgement, even the very wise cannot see all ends"

N8

[ 18 April 2002, 01:13: Message edited by: N8 ]

Care of other people's approval and you become their prisoner.Live fully, Rave wholly.Fluid are the movements of my strings...


CassandraFroggie ... Ribbit !!!
4,224 posts
Location: Back in Paris... for now !


Posted:
this has been haunting me for a while and then I gave up.
One of my friends is a 70 y.o. survivor of the shoah. he was tortured by Mengele in Auschwitz. We have had endless discussions about that and reached the conclusion that it is easier to talk about it than do something. And I don't think anyone can tell what they'd do until they are facing the situation.
It is not only about "are you gonna be brave enough to ...;" it is also "if I resist, how many memebers of my family will pay for my action ?" Nothing is just black or white. and I do fear anyone who'd tell me that "for sure" they'd NEVER do that ....

"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"


CarreySILVER Member
member
180 posts
Location: London, England.


Posted:
Well said N8!

tjoniBRONZE Member
member
116 posts
Location: Freemantle, Western Australia


Posted:
Hmm..very thought provoking topic and I see no clear cut answer myself.I would have to say that I'm against capital punishment for two reasons:
1- If someone commits a terrible crime against another person, that person and/or their loved ones will have to deal with that for the rest of their lives. If the criminal is released into the ether then that's it- no guilt, no pain, no needing to deal with what they've done-they are free in death while the innocent are still left to suffer.
2- If we as a society punish criminals for their deeds by death, what makes us any less hideous than them. How can we stand and say "we will not tolerate this in our community" and then do exactly what we are fighting against?
On saying that, if someone harmed a member of my family or another loved one, I would not want them to die- I would want them in an environment where they were reminded ceaselessly of their crime every day of their life, so they would have to deal with it just as the victim and the victim's loved ones would. Sorry but death is just to easy for these assholes.
Thanks for getting me thinking about this!

I'm out of my mind...but you can leave a message

If you remain calm while all around you is collapsing...possibly you are missing something


N8member
336 posts
Location: NY, USA


Posted:
*Humble bow*

Thank you Carrey.

Care of other people's approval and you become their prisoner.Live fully, Rave wholly.Fluid are the movements of my strings...


PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA


Posted:
We are given the right to choose our actions according to guidelines of what is right and wrong. I don't always agree with the guidelines. I don't always follow them, but if I get caught I expect to be punished accordingly. And the idea of those punishments does deter some of my desired actions.
I don't agree with countries who kill women because they showed their ankles. I don't agree with cutting off the hand of a thief, but I must admit, it works, doesn't it?
I do agree with the death penalty. It is nothing taken nor treated lightly. It is not dolled out arbitrarily and most times the person on death row is a repeat offender and "reform" action has failed. They usually repent and apologize but only after it is too late.
And may I point out that not everyone can be reformed, saved or taught otherwise. There are mental disorders which lead to violent dispositions. Am I to pity these people becaue they are physically disfunctional somehow? No.
We all make choices. We know there are consequences to our choices. They made their choice knowing full well they could die for their actions and they chose that path anyway. They chose to die, in my thinking. So let them.

And, I know I am going to be reprimanded for this one, I also believe that people who rape, mutilate and really are criminal monster minds do not deserve a humane death. I say give them what they gave out. Every moment of terror. Every ounce of pain. Let them know how it felt to their victims and hopefully they will carry that into their next life.

I saw Dead Man Walking and didn't like it. It really was a ploy to get the anti-death emotion going entirely too blatantly. At least Green Mile was more entertaining.

And for what it is worth, I live between two relatively nasty, **high** security prisons. For the men Attica (yes from the movie and the famed riots) is 15 minutes south of here and for the women there is Albion correctional facility (of Amy Fisher/Joey Buttifucco fame) 30 minutes in the other direction. I know several people who work at both places, and I can assure you, they are in favor of the death penalty! In high school I had to go to both for my Poly Sci class and go through the "Scared Straight" program. That was 11 years ago and I remember it like yesterday and because of that I can say my views on this a pretty well set.
(Shocked at this coming from me Cass? )

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


CassandraFroggie ... Ribbit !!!
4,224 posts
Location: Back in Paris... for now !


Posted:
shocked ? no...
maybe surprised though.
Your words do find echoe in my heart and guts. As I stated , if I get emotional, I overreact and then I definitely can sometimes think the "eye for eye" thoughts. but I just do not like it when I think that way and disagree with myself philosophically...
I love you anyway

shine on
Cassandra

"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"


KyrianDreamer
4,308 posts
Location: York, England


Posted:
I finally understood earlier thsi year why someone would want the death penalty. Especially for a repeat offender. Because then they arn't out there anymore... it hit fairly close to home. an ex-boyfriend (my only) has previously threatened to kill me.. well, he said he would if he wasn't such a "good catholic..." I had better be praying every day that he stayed a good catholic... several years later he has gone to great efforts to track me down via computer... anyhoo, i undertsoof where people are coming form recently. I still think the death penalty is morlaly wrong.

but even if it isn't... this is the question i always ask...

how can you justify killing someone if you are also going to kill innocent people?

that's the real reason i can't support it.

Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....


taztasticBRONZE Member
member
35 posts
Location: London, U.K


Posted:
Pele said:-

"I also believe that people who rape, mutilate and really are criminal monster minds do not deserve a humane death. I say give them what they gave out. Every moment of terror. Every ounce of pain. Let them know how it felt to their victims and hopefully they will carry that into their next life."

How would you suggest this was done. I see what you are saying in principle, but how could it actually be carried out?

Are you suggesting the implementation of state rapists?!! Government rapist who rape rapists so they know what it feels like! State mutilators who mutilate people who have committed crimes involving mutilation. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live under that kind of regime.

If you punish in that fashion do u not become as bad as the crimnal. Or worse?

What do you guys think?

*He throws his question open to the floor*

If I could turn back time and take back what I just said; I wouldn't - The Wise Words Of Taztastic (Excerpt)


PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA


Posted:
You machines are wonderful things. They have them that kill people so the person who plugs it in does not become the monster, see where I am going with this. Besides for those who have the genetic presiposition to be violent, this would give them a job within the means of the law. Let them practice on worn out crash test dummies until the day it needs to be done. Putting "bad elements" to use so to speak. It's like the guys who hack computers and are actually burglers gettin gput to work for large companies to test systems. Same implement, more violent nature.
No, I don't think it is morally corrupt. They made the choice, why should I feel bad about the consequence? If my son chooses to break the rules I set, and he full well knows them, then I punish him. Sending him to his room is not a punishment. Locking someone away with nothing to do is not a punishment. My son has to stand in a corner, sometimes his rights are taken away (tv, games, bike, etc), and sometimes they are a bit more sever depending on what he did..like when he ran in the street in front of a Mack truck 2 years ago, he got a spanking. He has *never* run blindly into the street like that since, and because he knew the choice he made has a consequence, I did not feel like a monster for dealing it out. He and I talk about it everytime he gets in trouble too. I have the same outlook on capital punishment.
Just mho.

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


taztasticBRONZE Member
member
35 posts
Location: London, U.K


Posted:
Your machine argument is flawed in my opinion. (which I'm happy to say could be wrong!!) No matter what you do, there will always be a human involved at some point in the execution. No matter how many links and procedures that are put into the execution there will always be a person who is taking someones life. The person who presses the button on your "hi-tech computer killing machine" is doing EXACTLY the same thing as the person who flips the electric chair switch; the person in the firing squad pulling the trigger; the wielder of the beheading axe; the guillotine blade operator etc.

Also are you suggesting that we build computer controlled machinery to rape rapists and mutilate crimnals who have mutilated their victims?!!

As for the example with your son.... if your son put chewing gum in one of his school mates hair would you then do the same to him. If he punched someone in the face in anger would you have him punched in the face. An eye for an eye is not always the solution.

Also can you not see the dangers inherent in giving certain people in society with a certain "predisposition" the power of death over people. Can it be a good thing to encourage these people to kill. Could this not have consequences in the future. Someone who is genetically predisposed to kill and has done 50 or so "state sanctioned" executions for example; would you want them living next door to you and your son? I sure as hell wouldn't.

[ 18 April 2002, 22:06: Message edited by: taztastic ]

If I could turn back time and take back what I just said; I wouldn't - The Wise Words Of Taztastic (Excerpt)


SmokyDavySILVER Member
Do my poi look too small in this?
394 posts
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Posted:
Okay, gonna spout my overly expressed opinion.

Draconian law is widely regarded as being effective because the crime rate in certain countries that incorporate it in their system are remarkably low. They boast that people can walk without fear through the streets of Dubai or Mecca at any time of day or night.

I've heard contrary messages from people who've lived there, though, and in a lot of cases in many countries, they do not report crimes unless they have a suspect right from the beginning, or they change statistics to show their country as a great place.

In America its been proven statistically that the death penalty is not as successful a deterent as re-education and therapy for all but the criminally insane.

The solution for a peace loving, freedom touting country like the USA to reduce the population of its jails is not to start killing people, they need to loosen their laws.

It saddens me that anyone could choose to become murderers themselves rather than let someone else participate in prostitution and/or drugs.

Firefairymember
115 posts
Location: UK


Posted:
quote:
I do agree with the death penalty. It is nothing taken nor treated lightly. It is not dolled out arbitrarily and most times the person on death row is a repeat offender and "reform" action has failed. They usually repent and apologize but only after it is too late.
Actually that is a fallacy. If you look at the offenders on death row only a minimal percentage are white americans. It is a fact that judges and jurors (especially in Texas) are more predisposed to believe that black/hispanic people are more violent and therefore more likely to be guilty.

On top of that most offenders on Death Row are from an underprivilaged background. Coming from such a backgroud there is less choice and crime is more normalised in these areas too - remember the death sentance is not only given to murders, but to drug dealers and armed robbers.

Also I think that it is hypocritical for a power to say that a person can not commit a crime but its ok for the power in question to do so (death sentance, arm trades, high pharmacutical costs etc..) and on a bigger scale!

taztasticBRONZE Member
member
35 posts
Location: London, U.K


Posted:
Well said Firefairy

If I could turn back time and take back what I just said; I wouldn't - The Wise Words Of Taztastic (Excerpt)


DomBRONZE Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
3,009 posts
Location: Bristol, UK


Posted:
I've avoided this one so far, it's a toughy.

As most of you probably know I'm against killings, murders and death. Live is the most precious thing in the world and should be respected and preserved as such. Peace and goodwill to all. So, on we go...
---
By repeatedly committing gross crimes such as murder or rape the perpetrator proves themselves to be an 'evil' person who is unable to live in a community. So maybe killing them is best. If they have no respect for other people's life then why should other people respect theirs? You're not necessarily stooping to their level, but you are mirroring them, returning the favour. Compassion won't help some people, they'll use it against you, so should you just turn off all outward emotion. It can also satisfy those urges to get violent revenge against a monster. (This is why they'll be volunteers, as well as those people who think it'd be cool to have flicked the switch.)

If criminals faced the same punishment as the crime they inflicted on someone else then repeat crime would probably be far lower. A thief has his house burgled, a murder is killed, etc...

Many countries with harsh punishments do have a lot less crime. You can get flogged in Singapore for dropping litter, and it's spotless. Where as elsewhere we're constantly walking against a tide of litter on the streets. However cutting the hands off somebody because they stole a loaf of bread to eat (as happens regularly in places with Sharia law) does not solve anything. There's a lot of one handed beggars and thieves in Southern Nigeria - they get one hand cut off in the North, and flee south.

The problem with the death penalty, and chopping hands off, is that it's irreversible. If somebody is put to death it does happen that they're proved innocent many years after they've been hung. Oh dear, apologies to the family, but the poor soul is still dead.

And even if they are guilty reform is possible. How do you know that in 10/20 years a murderer isn't going to be reformed into someone fit to be a productive member of society. Our justice system is based at throwing sentences at people to serve out, but pays little attention to if they've reformed or not. After a while through your sentence you may still be the same person who committed the crime, or you could be a different person. But how do you tell? Can you ever know that that guy in the electric chair hasn't got the potential to be a good human being?

Example: 2 murderers, both men who killed their wife's lover when he caught them in his own home. One instantly regrets it and wishes it'd never happened and will never again harm anyone, in fact he'll devote his life to good. The other is glad he did it and is liable to do it again if he finds out someone else has done something against him. Both will go to court with the same defense that they're sorry and it was heat of the moment. However should both be treated the same and given the same punishment?

In all it's a really tough choice. Personally it's probably better to be safe than sorry and not put people to death.
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As for cost of appeals and keeping people on death for for decades. If you only sentence to death those who are definitely guilt, beyond all reasonable and even unreasonable doubt, of multiple murders then they isn't going to be any appeals. Virtually nobody would defend the right of a serial murder to live. So, put them to death quickly and save money. But then deciding whether to put somebody to death shouldn't be a matter of economics! I don't like the fact that I pay for people to watch tv in prison, but that's the way it goes when you pay taxes. They get used for stuff you don't necessarily agree with.
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Anybody who states "I believe in the death penalty." should be willing to flick the switch or pull the trigger themselves. When you say that people should be killed for their crimes then you have to say that with the same conviction as somebody willing to do the killing. Otherwise I think you're really saying that in theory the worst punishment should be dealt, but you don't really want to kill them.

Could I kill somebody who'd murdered or raped somebody and who I thought was a psychological killer. Yes, and I'd dole out suffering for free. I'd probably regret it for the rest of my life but I could put somebody to death for their crimes.

I love that Gandalf quote N8 bought up. Who am I to play god?
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Check out the list of people on Death Row in Texas, State of the Trigger Happy! I warn you, some of the cases are not nice reading and may make you think "Kill the bastard/bitch." It also give the prior record, which is often non-existant.
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Also at the moment there's a German film about, I forget the name, based on the Stanford Prison Experiment. Have a look.
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Long one, sorry!

tonemanmember
195 posts

Posted:
Okay, treading lightly here...

I believe that attacking the 'cause' of crime will benefit society more than punishing people.
It is my belief that a majority of crime stems from a poor(not talking money here) upbringing. Way too many people have kids without really considering what they're committing too, or don't consider it at all. If you have a child, you should be willing to change your life for that child, your focus should change from self serving to other serving.
Every child deserves to be loved. Without love, what's the point of anything? Ignored, abused, neglected children will not have an accurate view of society, and their obligation to society will be skewed by this.
Money spent on the $20b a year drug war should be used to educate parents on the responsibility of having and raising a child, and the effects of abusing/neglecting a child. Every action has an effect, ten fold with children.

now to the topic.

I live in Texas, the death capital of the country. Our prisons here are a joke. Our people lie to themselves that we're sending people to be punished and rehabilitated at the same time. The goal of prison is no longer to punish/rehabilitate/educate. It is now a corporate activity who's balance sheet is effected by how many people they can hold (industrial prison complex/warehousing). Most of our prisons are privitized. They have no interest in rehabilitating people because it will just cut down on the money they'll make from a repeat offender. So you put someone in there to 'teach them the wrong they did' and they come out with this immense knowledge of the criminals around them, giving people ideas they wouldn't have thought of themselves. A fundemental change must occur in SOCIETY in order to make a difference in prison.

Children are our hope. Guiding and educating and loving and valuing them will go further than saying: if you do that, I'll beat you senseless.

What to do with people beyond help, I don't know. I do know that we must change the way our society values human life. Prison is a must if you have rules, however, there should be a sliding scale. You jaywalk, we'll sentence you to 8 hrs of community service and show you video's of why people don't jaywalk (not crossing at an intersection)
You steal something, we find out why you stole, and try to help you (in addition to confinement).
You assault someone, we give you anger management and techniques to control anger(and confinement).
We can't just turn our backs on people by imprisoning them, though. It does no good to stem the root of the problem.

Let me conclude with this point:
Texas executes more people than any other state. With crime deterrance as the reason (saying it works so well we'll continue killing people to keep people from killing) for capital punishment, why, then, do we feel it necessary to allow people to carry concealed hand guns? Surely we don't feel safe.

PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA


Posted:
Let me ask, how many of you kill mosquitos? How many of you take care to not walk on grass that you might destroy an ant or a flower? How many simply do not eat because it kills life? Until you do this, then there the "all life is precious plea" falls short. I can think of many worthy natural causes I would rather sink $40,000 dollars into rather than support the likes of Hannibal Lecter for a year. There is far more beautiful life than that out there.

How do you attack genetic predisposition and those who want to die?

"You can not first make thieves and then punish them for the crimes to which their ill-education first disposed them." - Sir Thomas Moore, Utopia
It's an old arguement. It still doesn't work.

In NY, the **only** person who has died from corporeal punishment (since it's reinstating) was a caucasian murderer, and one who wanted to die because he said if he was put among people, he would do it again. Being poor and illeducated does not excuse a person from committing a crime! Not in the least! They know the laws just as everyone else, and countless people have proven that minorities can overcome astounding odds and be a success. There are programs to help. One of my best friends is a black woman from Martinique who has overcome amazing odds. I don't see her slashing people, or her brother killing "whities" by the dozen. Race has nothing to do with right or wrong or the law. They break it, they bought it. It's the choice they made. No one made them kill, sell drugs, whatever. What is being said is that more white men should be on death row and that minorities should be excused because they don't empower themselves. Bullshit!

Human race and social laws. We are all beholden to these things.

And bringing war and military and such into these is really like comparing apples to oranges. I don't agree with war either, but that is a different topic.

My theory is that if you want to get rid of the death penalty, then you pay the $40 plus grand per year for the inmate's life and his "pro bono" lawyers. If they can be reformed then you go have dinner with someone like Hannibal Lecter or Jeffery Dahmer and let me know how you fair.

And for the record, I am also a full supporter of Euthanasia (sp??) and other forms of so called "murder". After all, I think venizen is tasty and some people should die when they want, be it an inmate or a loved one.

I think I am done with this conversation.

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


CassandraFroggie ... Ribbit !!!
4,224 posts
Location: Back in Paris... for now !


Posted:
Euthanasia ... Yes, I did think the subject would come up. But it is totaly dfferent. It is about somebody wanting to die... not wanting somebody else to die. I am 100 % FOR Euthanasia, but very cautious about Laws that might be written on it.
The reason is that it would be very "slippery" and touchy a situation. It is a case by case subject.
a) because it should not become "convenience murder" (too expensive, kids want to inherit money ...)
b) just a way to not handle someone's distress.

being depressed happens and one should not always be allowed to die, rather helped to live.

I know 10 years ago my grandmother got into a deep depression. She started having hallucinations even ... and most of teh staff of the hospital just thought it was "normal" cause she's old... And I fought real bad, with her and with them and she started feeling better and got her sense back (well... now she has lost them, but that was 10 YEARS ago). If you endulge people's pain sometimes you are not doing them a favour. That being said, In some cases it is only fair to give somebody the right to die as they want in dignity (especially if they re at the last stage of a lethal desease or something...)

Did I get carried away ?

SO My point was just that death penalty and euthanasia do deal with death , but tha's all they have in common IMO.

Dom, taztastick, Toneman, thank you *very much* for sharing your opinions, it really got me thinking.

Shine on
Cassandra

"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"


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