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Forums > Social Discussion > Capital Punishment/ the Death Penalty

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OrangeBobo
SILVER Member since Nov 2003

OrangeBobo

veteran
Location: Guelph, ON, Canada

Total posts: 1389
Posted:Whooboy.

Okay, so I'm currently writing an essay on Capital punishment (taking the stnad against it, naturally). Just wanted to put out some points I find rather interesting, and get others opinions on it all.

First off, some quotes I found that I like about this subject, both for and against it:

"Where would Christianity be if Jesus got eight to fifteen years with time off for good behavior?" NY State Senator James Donovan, speaking in support of capital punishment.

"Sometimes you just have the thin the herd." Dennis Miller

"Does it make sense for the state to hire murderers to kill defenseless victims on death row, in order to prove that hiring murderers to kill defenseless victims is morally wrong?" Anon.

"As I read the New Testament, I don't see anywhere in there that killing bad people is a very high calling for Christians. I see an awful lot about redemption and forgiveness." James W.L. Park, former execution officer, San Quentin, California

"I do not believe any civilized society should be at the service of death. I don't think it's human to become an agent of the Angel of Death." Elie Wiesel

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The word "capital" in "capital punishment" refers to a person's head. In the past, people were often executed by severing their head from their body. Today, in the U.S., most prisoners are executed by lethal injection.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When asked whether they prefer to keep or abolish the death penalty, about 60 to 80% of American adults say that they want to retain capital punishment. Numbers vary depending upon the precise wording of the question asked by the pollsters. When asked whether they would like to see executions continue or have them replaced with a system that guaranteed:

- life imprisonment with no hope for parole, ever;
- that the inmate would work in the prison to earn money;
- that the money would be directed to helping the family of the person(s) that they killed,

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"2003-JAN-13: Kenya: government plans to abolish the death penalty: The newly-elected government of Kenya plans to abolish the death penalty in the country by the middle of the year. Justice Minister Kiraitu Murungi said: "We think the fundamental human right to live should be respected, and no human being should have the authority to take the life of another," There are over 1,000 prisoners on death row in Kenya. Nobody has been executed in the country since 1984. "

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"2003-FEB-10: AR: State can make inmate sane enough to execute: By a close ruling of 6 to 5, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that prison officials can force an inmate on death row to take antipsychotic medication, in order to make him sane enough to execute."

((I personally find that completely immoral, and insane... More than any living human could possibly be.... That's just not right!))

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That's just a fraction of what I wanted to share. And no, I didn't have any intentions of picking on, insulting, or anything like that, to the USA, it's just that some of their states are still pro-capital punishment. I added the thing On Kenya in there, to show that it's not just the USA that deals with capiltal punishment, because by no means is it.

Canada's stand on Capital punishment is that there is none in this country, and "It is final and irreversible."

~ Bobo


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MillenniuM
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck
Location: , USA

Total posts: 595
Posted:Dom: My inclusion of the bit about "beyond reasonable doubt" was in fact to support (albiet poorly, it was better before the HOP-post-eating due to the board splitting) my argument that the laws do in fact cater to the fact that innocent people will inevitably be falsly imprisoned.

I do agree, this was/is (depending on if anyone else brings up points) quite an interesting topic and fun to really think about.

For the record: For a very long time I was against capital punishment.


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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction, Aus...

Total posts: 13215
Posted:im still against captial punishment (on moral grounds)...
but since the executions of innocents seems to come up a lot, would people feel differently if the Inquisitorial System (as is used in many parts of Europe and Asia) was used instead of the Adversarial Syatem (as is used in Aus, UK and US)?




(adversarial basically being two opposing sides battling it out to win, as opposed to the inquisitorial where the aim is more for truth...but thats just very basic)


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Prometheus


Prometheus

Diamond In The Rough
Location: Richmond, Virginia

Total posts: 459
Posted:Quote:
Okay, Mill darl, I get where you're coming from, but if we're going to try and keep telling society that "killing is bad, don't do it" then why is the state allowed to kill someone??



Just an afterthought, but state-sanctioned murder has always been the norm, as well as the double standard that results. Governments all-too-often follow the "do as I say, not as I do" philosophy. For example, the state not only takes responsibility for execution of prisoners, but wages war as well. If murder is comitted in the name of politics, it's OK, but not if you kill someone in the heat of passion, such as that wife you catch cheating on you. mad

Sure, in a perfect world, killing would just never happen, and very likely, we wouldn't need a death penalty, unfortunately, such a utopian society doesn't exist


Dance like it hurts; Love like you need money; Work like someone is watching.

Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you DO criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Quote:

If a mistake is discovered and a ruling over turned 20 years after sentancing you can open a cell door and say "Sorry, you're free to go." If you've killed them, what then?



I have to comment on this just in case anyone finds it convincing. Locking an innocent person up for 1/3 of their life in a place where they will quite possibly be subject to regular physical/sexual abuse isn't something that can be rectified.

Any attempts to give recompense are more to assuage societies feelings of guilt; the years that are lost to the prisoner cannot be given back, their life has been destroyed almost as effectivly as if they had been executed.

I'm not arguing either for or against the death penalty, just pointing out that the above line of reasoning, so friviously put and yet so commonly held, is worthy of a bit more thought.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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simian


simian

110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
Location: London

Total posts: 3149
Posted:Quote:
Just an afterthought, but state-sanctioned murder has always been the norm, as well as the double standard that results. Governments all-too-often follow the "do as I say, not as I do" philosophy.


i believe that the US is the only western country to still use the death penalty. So state-sanctioned murder is not the norm. Not that our governments are perfect...

Quote:
Sure, in a perfect world, killing would just never happen, and very likely, we wouldn't need a death penalty, unfortunately, such a utopian society doesn't exist

umm i don't follow this argument at all... In what sense does the presence of killing in the world necessitate the use of the death penalty? confused
We don't punish rapists by sexually abusing them, do we?


"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."

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Faberg
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

veteran
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Total posts: 1459
Posted:
Quote:
Sure, in a perfect world, killing would just never happen, and very likely, we wouldn't need a death penalty, unfortunately, such a utopian society doesn't exist

umm i don't follow this argument at all... In what sense does the presence of killing in the world necessitate the use of the death penalty? confused
We don't punish rapists by sexually abusing them, do we?



I think he meant - in a perfect world, killing wouldn't happen. In a perfect world, we wouldn't need a death penalty.

At least that's how I read it..... ubbrollsmile


My mind not only wanders, it sometimes leaves completely smile

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DeepSoulSheep
GOLD Member since Sep 2002

DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin, Ireland

Total posts: 2617
Posted:Quote:
For the record: For a very long time I was against capital punishment.



Millenium, do you mind if I ask you at what stage you changed your mind on this issue?

The fact that death row inmates aren't allowed to top themselves points to one thing for me....

You will dies on our terms!

This in turn leads to....
You will die when and where the people who want to see you die can come and watch...

Which can only (as pointed out earlier) come from some biblical need for vengence.

Let's not forget that there can be no distinction between electricuting someone until they die and burying someone up to their neck and stoning then to death. What's the difference? Both are barbaric.

Quote:
May we live in interesting times.


cool tis bugging me though where have I heard that before... cool


I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

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Dom
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 3009
Posted:OWD, when you say:
Quote:
their life has been destroyed almost as effectively as if they had been executed.


And then dismiss my argument I believe, very strongly that you are very wrong and talking rubbish. You seem to very easily dismiss life as an infinitely valuable and irreplaceable commodity.

Not every inmate suffers daily buggery and beatings in jail, in fact it's pretty safe to say that jails these days are quite secure. They're not living a life of leisure in there, but they're certainly not being tortured. Somebody innocently imprisoned for a decade and then released may suffer psychologically, that I agree, but at least they can still feel emotion.

Also your argument is dangerously close to sanctioning euthanasia for the psychologically traumatized, whatever the cause of that trauma.


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Quote:
Also your argument is dangerously close to sanctioning euthanasia for the psychologically traumatized, whatever the cause of that trauma.



Like I said above, I'm not arguing for or against the death penalty, and certainly not santioning euthanasia or anything else.

I'm definitly not dismissing life as valuable or irreplacable, in fact I'm saying that it is just that, which is why I was disturbed by your original point: -

Quote:
If a mistake is discovered and a ruling over turned 20 years after sentancing you can open a cell door and say "Sorry, you're free to go." If you've killed them, what then?





which seems to say that those years taken from an innocent person can be redeemed with release papers and an apology.


Quote:

Not every inmate suffers daily buggery and beatings in jail, in fact it's pretty safe to say that jails these days are quite secure. They're not living a life of leisure in there, but they're certainly not being tortured.




But some do. I've not been inside so I can't say how brutal it is, but I would imagine that many American prisons with Death rows and huge drug problems are going to be deeply unpleasant and violent places.

I'm not saying that to prevent the lost years we should execute people, that would be ridiculous; I just wanted to point out that the suffering caused by long term false imprisonment is no more reversable that that caused by execution.

I especially felt prompted to respond because of the almost light hearted way your original post gave no consideration whatsoever to that suffering.



"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Dom
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 3009
Posted:But the discussion was on the death penalty, not on the prisioner welfare.
And in my original quote I never said that those years were redeemed or replaced, only that from that point on the person is free, where as a dead man is still dead.

Quote:
I just wanted to point out that the suffering caused by long term false imprisonment is no more reversable that that caused by execution.


Yes, fine, in the same way that a scar from a severe cut is no more reversable than the loss of a limbs. That suffering does not equate to death and so I still think you're wrong to dismiss my point of argument.

Anyway, this is dwelling on a point, so I'll moderate myself and stop. smile


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MillenniuM
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck
Location: , USA

Total posts: 595
Posted:Quote:
Millenium, do you mind if I ask you at what stage you changed your mind on this issue?





My good friend, and also friend's girlfriend (1 person, not two different ones), was raped and murdered. As the guy who did it was 17 years old at the time, he was sentenced 30 years, but served 12 and was released on "good behavior" (uh huh, because, being a good boy in jail makes up for the fact he ended one person's life and scarred many others, my own included). The experience made me very logically reconsider many of my own moral and legal beliefs.



Don't take this as a "Mill had a bad experience and is pissed off at one guy so he is trying to get revenge" sort of thing - I already went through that phase and I'm over it. It was more of an eye opening experience rather than an emotionally driven change in my beliefs.



Quote:
The fact that death row inmates aren't allowed to top themselves points to one thing for me....



You will dies on our terms!





No prisoner is currently allowed to kill themself. Your argument is hindered because it has nothing to do with the death penalty - prisons have a legal obligation to keep their prisoners safe and healthy, no matter what their legal status is. You seem to be under the assumption that only death row inmates are made to stay alive, which is not the case.



Edit: Typo, I wrote my girlfriend instead of friend's girlfriend. What happened with my girlfriend... completely different story :P



Edit 2: Messed up some formatting.

EDITED_BY: MillenniuM (1081404461)


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Dentrassi
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 3044
Posted:ill stay out the actual debate here, but just wanted to mention one thing.

check your statistics.

i remember being in a debate at high school on the matter. both teams had stats from the internet on race, gender, and other factors for those on death row and who have been executed.

they completely contradicted each other. it seemed that most of the figures, although looked official, were almost made up! additionally, because the debate can get quite emotional, facts and figures are percieved in different ways.
its just like the newspapers - never beleive anything you read.

so if possible, use published information. if you have to go to the net, try to use a variey of websites to check the consistency.

good luck, and take care everyone!
hug hug hug hug hug hug


"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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Dom
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 3009
Posted:I was talking to Glass the other day about this and he made a good point in reply to Kaji's suicide watch issue. Why revive somebody who's attempted suicide? Because until the sentence is cared out a reprieve is still possible. This year there's already been a few last minute (literally minutes) stays of execution. So, it's right to revive them because it may not be over yet.
I thought it was a good point and mad sense, so thanks Glass.


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Trillian
BRONZE Member since Feb 2004

Trillian

Llamas are larger than frogs.
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Total posts: 319
Posted:It has always seemed twisted and backwards to me that in order to punish someone for commiting a crime of killing a person, because doing so is wrong, we kill them. Where's the logic in that? It's all very hypocritical.

"I know a good deal more than a boiled carrot."
"Fire!" "Where?" "Nowhere, I was just illustrating the misuse of free speech."

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OrangeBobo
SILVER Member since Nov 2003

OrangeBobo

veteran
Location: Guelph, ON, Canada

Total posts: 1389
Posted:Round and round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows.

There's always going to be two sides. Never gonna end ubbloco Then again, that is a debate anywho? Wait, now I'm making myself go in circles....

I'm too young to be senile ubbcrying

~ Bobo


wie weit, wie weit noch?
fragst mich, wo wir gewesen sind...
du fehlst hier

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MillenniuM
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck
Location: , USA

Total posts: 595
Posted:Quote:
It has always seemed twisted and backwards to me that in order to punish someone for commiting a crime of killing a person, because doing so is wrong, we kill them. Where's the logic in that? It's all very hypocritical.



If I lock you in my closet for 30 years against your own will, and some day you escape, should I not go to prison, just because it would be doing to me the same thing I did to you?


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Shawnie
GOLD Member since Mar 2004

Captain Shawnie the Dreaded
Location: , Canada

Total posts: 126
Posted:Mill ---> Maybe, but it's like Faberge said you don't sexually assault a rapist. If we did to criminals what they did to others, the world would be more disgusting now wouldn't it.

An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.


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MillenniuM
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck
Location: , USA

Total posts: 595
Posted:Quote:
Mill ---> Maybe, but it's like Faberge said you don't sexually assault a rapist. If we did to criminals what they did to others, the world would be more disgusting now wouldn't it.

An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.



You're indirectly proving my point here... the crime itself has very little, if anything, to do with the punishment. It is about the severity of the crime, not the crime itself. We don't put people to death because they killed someone and they deserve the same thing, we put them to death because we feel it is an appropriate punishment. Many people bring up the "Eye for an Eye" argument, but using that same reasoning, shouldn't we just forgive all criminals? I mean, everyone could still see. But wouuld they want to see the world we've created where there is no concequence for your actions, or if there is a concequence, it isn't proportional to the crime?

Basically what I'm saying is that the argument of, "we shouldn't put people to death for murder because it is hypocritical" isn't very realistic. If that were the case, kidnapping (ex. me locking you up in my closet) shouldn't be punishable by prison. That sounds absurd, right? Your point seems just as absurd for those who are not against the death penalty.


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Gnor's Bill
SILVER Member since Apr 2004

Gnor's Bill

member
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Total posts: 26
Posted:You might not like me after this Bobo.

I believe that execution should be kept as an option. Some people by their crimes deserve to die. The Birnies here in Perth certainly deserve to die. They kidnapped young girls, tortured them, sexually abused them and then killed them. They took photos and videos for momentos.

But oddly I don't support abortion. I think the taking of a life because it is inconvenient is a great tragedy.

B.


If found wandering please return to Gnor.

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mrFlibble
SILVER Member since Mar 2003

Ghostbuster
Location: York, UK

Total posts: 455
Posted:i'm totally against the death penalty for any crime.
sending someone to prison for the rest of their natural life without any possibility of release is enough.
nobody should have the right to take anybody else's life no matter what they might have done.


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Shawnie
GOLD Member since Mar 2004

Captain Shawnie the Dreaded
Location: , Canada

Total posts: 126
Posted:I agree. Who gave ANYBODY the authority to decide who 'deserves' to die and who doesn't?

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telic


I don't want a title.


Total posts: 940
Posted:Just want to make a random point.

I just did a moot court competition where we argued over whether the execution of offenders who were 16 and 17 at the time of their crime ("the juvenile death penalty") should now be considered cruel and unusual punishment and thus forbidden by the 8th amendment.

The best part of arguing against the juvenile death penalty was getting to point this out:

Over the past 10 years, only 5 countries have executed 17 year old offenders: China, Iran, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the United States of America.

China only did so because they are bad at identifying the ages of their criminals. They say they've gotten better at it.

Iran and Pakistan recently outlawed the juvenile death penalty.

So the United States is alone in the world with only the company of Congo in executing 17 year old offenders.

The real case on this issue will be argued before the Supreme Court this coming October.


E pluribus unum, baby.

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OrangeBobo
SILVER Member since Nov 2003

OrangeBobo

veteran
Location: Guelph, ON, Canada

Total posts: 1389
Posted:Quote:
You might not like me after this Bobo.





Bill, that is no reason for me not to like you! Don't know *why* you said that! I don't have a single friend who doesn't have a difference of opinion on something. Otherwise, what would we talk about tongue

Regyt, thanks for the insight, that's interesting to know.

~ Bobo


wie weit, wie weit noch?
fragst mich, wo wir gewesen sind...
du fehlst hier

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Gnor's Bill
SILVER Member since Apr 2004

Gnor's Bill

member
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Total posts: 26
Posted:At a distance it all seems different. Young people are quite capable of doing terrible things. When do we decide they can be executed for their crime?

I had a friend attacked and brutally savaged by a young repeat offender. He bit off her ear and was about to stab her with a screwdriver when her flat mate arrived. I have no misgivings about executing such a youth if it were up to me. He was proud of what he had done, performed similar attacks before and bragged to his friends.

Sometimes in our desire to feel good about ourselves we put the rights of the offender ahead of the suffering of the victims.


If found wandering please return to Gnor.

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charlo


member


Total posts: 1
Posted:If you check this site you will find links to everything you could want including positions on both sides of the debate.

cheers.
Charlo

http://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/death/


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simian


simian

110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
Location: London

Total posts: 3149
Posted:Quote:
Sometimes in our desire to feel good about ourselves we put the rights of the offender ahead of the suffering of the victims.


How is the suffering of the victim affected by executing the offender, as opposed to segregating them from society?
Are you saying we should kill serious criminals just to make their victims feel better?


"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."

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Gnor's Bill
SILVER Member since Apr 2004

Gnor's Bill

member
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Total posts: 26
Posted:Look at it from the victims point of view. Take a good look at the crime, what they did and how it affected the victim. Understand the depth and impact of the crime and decide on what is a justified punishment.

Interesting the desire not to be tainted with the blood of an executed offender. In Utah i gather the chosen form of execution was firing squad. The idea was the sin of killing was shared by 12 men and therefore the burden they carried was less (each). This is the same logic behind stoning. The community shares the stain. Most normal, community minded people don't want to kill anyone. They don't want the stain of it. They don't want the burden on them.

Like I said above. I believe execution should be an option. Often it has been well earned. But here in Australia we have no Death Penalty. I am glad the Bali bombers were tried in Indonesia. We saw much of their handiwork come through the hospital I work at. These guys deserve to die. Not to make their victims feel better. But because they have earned such a punishment by their actions.

Regards,
Bill.





If found wandering please return to Gnor.

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:I'm totally against the death penalty.

I don't think any person has the right to take the life of another human being, even if that person did commit murder. Otherwise you are as guilty as the person who killed originally; r u not?

As a deterrent, capital punishment does not work. Capital punishment does not reduce the number of murders because many murders are impulsive. Nor does capital punishment deter drug trafficking. Nor will it reduce incidents like the Bali bombing. I think Gnor's Bill has way oversimplified the situation, in his quest for vengeance. Although, I do think that President Bush and PM's Howard and Blair should be tried for war crimes. But I don't think they should be executed.




If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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MillenniuM
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck
Location: , USA

Total posts: 595
Posted:Quote:
Capital punishment does not reduce the number of murders because many murders are impulsive



Capital Punishment is very rarely, if ever, given to anything other than a premedetative crime. How can you say it doesn't reduce the number of murders? I really don't know where you're getting that statistic from, as it is an abstract statistic which I believe you would have trouble proving.

Quote:
I don't think any person has the right to take the life of another human being, even if that person did commit murder. Otherwise you are as guilty as the person who killed originally; r u not?



No, I don't think you are. Morally I can understand your point, but really, what is the difference between locking someone away for the rest of their life, and putting them to death?

Is a soldier who kills an enemy in a "kill or be killed" situation just as guilty as someone who murders an man, completely unprovoked? I believe that you are the one simplifying the situation, as you believe that killing is killing is killing, and it simply is not. There are degrees of guilt.


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PsychoTronic(old)


PsychoTronic(old)

member
Location: Samos-Piraeus-Athens_Greece

Total posts: 64
Posted:Hello I am against the death penalty because I think that there are many other options.
Jail is used to reform the prisoners.If we kill them they will not be reformed.Lets suppose that we have the case of a maniac that killed his wife due to family matters.The court desides that he must die.So.The judge desides for the mans death.But who will kill him?(not the judge for sure)So we create a new murderer.A man whos job is to kill people and that is all that he knows.Moreover Science can give many other options that will be used for the correction of the worst murderer in the world, without killing him... just search the word psychotronic and you will see one of the options.Science is very close to the functions of the human brain.Psychotronic can change memories give thoughts erase bad thoughts,create feelings e.t.c. So after a few years be sure that we could take one serial killer and transform him into a kindergarden teacher or a priest ubbrollsmile
offcourse that psychotronic science is kind of dangerous in the hands of "bad" guys.But in that way everything is risky.See atomic bombs and Einstein.

So I think that it is very silly in the 21st century to talk about death penalty and it is very sad that many states of america has that.I could accept the fact that pakistan has death penalty.Pakistan has not good education or a decent quality of life.But what about U.S.A (...and justice for all:p).U.S.A send people to the moon,they have science,they have technology,they have good education.They have death penalty and they think that it is fair.Makes me sad... frown


The only thing constant in life is change...

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