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Forums > Social Discussion > Capital Punishment/ the Death Penalty

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OrangeBobo
OrangeBobo

veteran
Location: Guelph, ON, Canada
Member Since: 21st Nov 2003
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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Gnor's Bill
Gnor's Bill

member
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Member Since: 11th Apr 2004
Total posts: 26
Posted:Lets just get some proportion guys.

My original argument was that the death penalty should be an option but not the only option. It is a punishment that would suit certain crimes. I agree this rules out rehabilitation. Please note that imprsonment for life hardly improves a man either.

But lets take the concept of killing. Or maybe just simply death itself. Every 8 minutes a child under the age of 5 dies from Malaria. Most of these kids are in Africa. The best way to stop this is insecticide treated bed nets. But the cost of supplying these nets is so high that it does not happen in sufficient amounts to reduce the death rate.

Okay so how much does it cost? Well lots. But actually less than the USA spends on flea treatments for pets each year. So for the price of happy pets and owners we could be saving the lives of kids we will never know. But with such passion we will argue the rights of a murderer we also will never know. Humans are weird.

Ideals are great. But reality bites.

Cheers,

Bill...


If found wandering please return to Gnor.

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Quote:
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.



Perhaps I should have said crime of passion. Anyhow, I think Dom has already provided the evidence {Quote} Also, the death penalty simply does not work. A New York Times study found that in the last 20 years, the homicide rate in states with the death penalty has been 48%-101% higher than in states without the death penalty.{end Quote}

Quote:
what is the difference between locking someone away for the rest of their life, and putting them to death?

Ummmm, one's dead and one's alive.

The discussion was on capital punishment. There may be degrees of guilt, and a person who kills someone in a war situation may feel less guilty than a bank robber who kills someone robbing a bank. I suppose it depends on your morals and background but ultimately, it's still murder.


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
MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck

Member Since: 10th Jul 2003
Total posts: 595
Posted:Quote:
Also, the death penalty simply does not work. A New York Times study found that in the last 20 years, the homicide rate in states with the death penalty has been 48%-101% higher than in states without the death penalty.



Does a state with a low murder rate need a death penalty? A state with a high murder rate is more likely to initiate a death penalty.

Quote:
Perhaps I should have said crime of passion.



A crime of passion isn't premedetative, and therefore would very rarely (if ever) result in the death penalty. That is what pleading "temporary insanity" is for.

Quote:
Ummmm, one's dead and one's alive.

The discussion was on capital punishment. There may be degrees of guilt, and a person who kills someone in a war situation may feel less guilty than a bank robber who kills someone robbing a bank. I suppose it depends on your morals and background but ultimately, it's still murder.



I meant what is the moral difference. What is the point of rehabilitation of that person has no chance of getting out of prison anyway? It is like saying "We're going to make you better, understand that your crime is wrong and you shouldn't have done it, and then let you sit in the cell until you die".

As for the "it is still murder" bit... do you know what murder is? Murder is the unlawful killing of another human being. It is NOT "still murder". If you think all killing is the same, which is different than all murder, then I'd really like to see how you'd feel if you were given life in prison for defending yourself from someone who attacked you and tried to kill you. Still think you're just as guilty as a man who tortured and killed a little girl?


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ayden
ayden

member
Location: Manchester Cheadle Hulme
Member Since: 15th Apr 2004
Total posts: 41
Posted:Quote:
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.



I couldnt agree more!!!!!!!!!!!!! beerchug


''may the sun shine on everything we do''

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PsychoTronic(old)
PsychoTronic(old)

member
Location: Samos-Piraeus-Athens_Greece
Member Since: 3rd Apr 2004
Total posts: 64
Posted:My friend if the prisons and all the system of reformation was as it should be then be sure that the most criminals would be totaly corrected.I mean a prison with its own psychologists and good cops(if there are any)... No drugs in the prisons, and many hobbies that could be tought to the prisoners,and offcourse some education!Have you seen an execution with an electric chair? Here I must say Ideals are great. But reality bites. Do you know that 17 people that were killed were innocent?Would you like to be in their place? yes the punishment should fit the crime,But death is a very big big big word.Death is not a punishment.


If all of us where a little bit more human,then believe me the world would be a lot better. And I would like to say that we rule ourselves and we all rule the planet.Dont say that there are few that rule the planet.We could do many things.Yes we could save the kids in africa.There are volunteers,doctors, and other people there.If you and I and all the people could send 5euros per month then be sure that these kids would have the oprotunity to go to harvard not only to survive! It might seems utopian but it is the truth.Or a possible truth,if we were humans.But leave the kids in africa and see the kids that die in your country.


These days are not the days of big leaders.These are the days of changing ourselves.The better things shall come when we all try.
The people in USA and all over the world should try to save the kids or Iraq or pakistan.
Not the goverment(because they proove every day how stupid they are)
And If we grow our children right then the next goverment could be our sons that will make the world better and noone will starve.And the prisoners (just to return to the topic) could be totaly reformed or just live in a human jail for the rest of their lives,be left there to regret.Lets give them the chance to REGRET.


The only thing constant in life is change...

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MillenniuM
MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck

Member Since: 10th Jul 2003
Total posts: 595
Posted:I mean no harm by this comment, but your post is quite floaty. You use a lot of language which appeals to a casual listener, but provides very little actual content. The only thing I can really comment on:

Quote:
Have you seen an execution with an electric chair?



Nope, can't say that I have. What I can say, is that I believe there are only 1 or 2 states that still use the electric chair... Texas, and possibly one other, can't remember off hand.

Maybe if would-be murderers saw tape of someone being electrocuted, they would refrain from commiting their crime? Just a thought.


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PsychoTronic(old)
PsychoTronic(old)

member
Location: Samos-Piraeus-Athens_Greece
Member Since: 3rd Apr 2004
Total posts: 64
Posted:I don't speak english and the way I speak is the way I talk greek only i translate:) I do not know if you meant the language i use, or the meaning of my words.If you meant the meaning... What I said about the electric chair does not represent my all post,but by saying that I meant that people should not believe in things that they do not know. It is very unhuman the fact that someone dies like that,so we should reconsider when we say,the punishment fits the crime or things like that confused
I did not say that just to say something.I said it because there where some things behind that, and I thought that you could all understand.If you didn't it is my mistake.Give me some time to learn the way you speak ubbrollsmile


No the murderes though they know the punishment they still do crimes:( My cousin who is a sociologist-criminologist she told me that when a man is in a situation to kill, he does not care about the punishment even when he knows that someone will shoot him the next second.
You think I should be glad to know that only two states have the electric chair?Well I am not umm

Thanks for your time and sorry if I am not understood beerchug


The only thing constant in life is change...

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MillenniuM
MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck

Member Since: 10th Jul 2003
Total posts: 595
Posted:I'm very sorry, I didn't realize that English wasn't your first language... quite impressive! If I could speak a foreign language half as well as you can speak english I'd feel damned proud of myself.

Are you trying to tell me that if punishments did not exist for crimes, the same number of crimes would be committed? Most of the reason for punishments it to deter future crimes from being committed. I'm very tired and just burned myself pretty badly on my hand, so typing hurts, so I'm not going to continue frown but hopefully sunday I can continue this.


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PsychoTronic(old)
PsychoTronic(old)

member
Location: Samos-Piraeus-Athens_Greece
Member Since: 3rd Apr 2004
Total posts: 64
Posted:What I am trying to say is that death is not a punishment.(i said that the one who is going to kill,to kill not to break any other law,the time of his action he doesnt think death penalty,because he is not psycologicaly well.You can search about this through internet.)When I was a little,my parents used to punish me everytime i did something bad!I started thinking why...and I understood where i was wrong.That is how I learned to live with other people.The meaning of punishment is to live after this, so you can know what you did was wrong and to regret. It is wrong to take the most precious thing in the hole chaotic universe just to punish someone,even if he killed.Because what he did was wrong.And since it was wrong,if we answer with the same way(death penalty)we will be twice as wrong.
We shouldnt take what we cannot give... It is quite logical correct what I am saying now.If you think that death penalty should be an option it is because of emotions.You think like this "If this man had raped and killed my little sister,what is right to do with him???(an eye for an eye)"In that kind of situation I would think the same way,but it is not correct logicaly. wink
We are all humans we should forgive,not kill.I wouldn't like to kill even a killer.I would like him to be in prison for the rest of his life.So he will not have his freedom.He will be alive to regret and he can harm no more.

What else? oh! In greece we start learning foreign languages especially english and french when we are 6years old.I don't speak that well...I am sorry for your burned hand:( Hope you are fine now:)


The only thing constant in life is change...

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MiG
MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG
Member Since: 16th Apr 2004
Total posts: 3415
Posted:Well, i suppose it's time for my two cents worth. Just a quick note: its 4am, so some of this might not make the most sense, and im very sorry about any typos.



Personally, and this is without use of statistics, consideration of wrongfully accused, or anyhting like that, the principle of the death penalty is sound, but the actual use of it nowadays is a little bit off from that principle.



For the following, i will use this hypothetical crime and criminal:

The massacre of 1500 schoolkids, by means of planting a bomb at their school, and the person was absolutely remorseless and has managed to retain their sanity.



One plus for the death penalty is that if the person did commit crime a, then after having been put to death, there is absolutely no chance of them doing it again. It's vey, very hard to escape from a shut coffin, buried 6 feet underground. Even more so when you're dead.



Is that a heinous enough crime to warrant the death of that person? or is it ok to stick him/her in a room for the rest of their life, with the possibility of escape, the possibility of influencing others? Remember, no prison is escape proof. Look at alcatraz. And lets face it, if i was going to be locked in a box for the rest of my life, then i would consider any any means possible of getting out of that box. wouldnt you?



Cost, too, is an issue, but thats been hashed and rehashed, so i'll leave it alone.



Someone, a while back, brought up the point of letting someone out of prison with a pardon. A book to look at regarding that is 'When tomorrow comes', or 'if tomorrow comes' or something very similar, by sidney sheldon, i think it was. that highlights the effects of prison on someone that was released. It also touches on the abuse etc that occurs in prisons.



Thats it for now, though chances are, i'll be back and argue more. I do so love a battle of wits. Gives the mind better excersize than maths does, and it hurts less smile



and, Rouge Dragon, you didnt happen to do legal studies in year 11 or 12, did you? some of those points sound mighty familiar biggrin


"beg beg grovel beg grovel"
"master"
--FSA

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"
--Rougie

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PsychoTronic(old)
PsychoTronic(old)

member
Location: Samos-Piraeus-Athens_Greece
Member Since: 3rd Apr 2004
Total posts: 64
Posted:If prisons do the job they were supposed to,noone could escape.This man that killed 1500 kids,can be brought by psycologists in a situation of reget.Probably that man didnt realize what he has done by the time he said that he had no guilties...
If that man had the proper education,I don't mean only knowledge,Then he could not do that kind of crimes.Who is responsible for the education??? Lets think... schools,parents,media e.t.c. The state!!Me you all of us.Lets try to hit the source of the problems...not their effects... I will not make a criminal So I will not kill him!Seems that the world creates killers, that is why there is death penalty.Moreover there are two factors that make a man commit a crime.First is the society and second is the genes.Luckily science can predict those genes and can interfiar.What about the society?That is a part that all of us take place.
sorry about my english... ubbloco


The only thing constant in life is change...

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Unfortunately the time I have at hands is too limited as to read all posts so far, so please forgive me if what I'm saying has been said before...

IMO:

Any government acts 'morally questionable' if it lowers its standards to that of criminals and govern over life and death of a human being. (War is a completely different aspect)

By carrying out killings (as in "executing the death penalty") on human beings (who don't pose an immediate threat = no self defense) the government would promote that the killing of human beings is sanctioned under distinct circumstances. It might even encourage ppl to take the law in their own hands and elaborate on these circumstances individually.

In cases where ppl get wrongfully accused and killed (as in the example of page one, Derek Bentley) it would subsequently become a murderer itself, reflected in the liability to pay reparations to the convicts family.

The argumentation of "collateral damage" dun in the name of 'the greater good' (IMO) is unacceptable for a civilized country/ society as avoidable (human) suffering should be intolerable.

Only if a (human) life is regarded precious and every life treated as such (IMO) the right signals are displayed. Requital is not an acceptable behavior in the long run.

Further the argumentation of 'costs vs. benefits' are (IMO) the pivoting point of pro and con euthanasia. Money should not play a role in this - especially not when it comes to criminal conviction. (IMO) It is possible to motivate inmates to work and let society, the victims(' families) benefit from their productivity.

Only if a sane individual desires death and only under distinct circumstances, euthanasia should become an instrument of relief - such as in cases of coma, illness or old age.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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