Your political opinions on abortion and capital punishment

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abortion and capital punishment: your opinions?
pro-life; anti death penalty 14%  14%  [ 13 ]
pro-life; pro death penalty 9%  9%  [ 9 ]
pro-choice; anti death penalty 46%  46%  [ 44 ]
pro-choice; pro death penalty 31%  31%  [ 29 ]
Total votes : 95

DW_a_mom
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31 Jul 2011, 4:08 pm

My real answer is not on the list:

Pro-life within my own life, ie actively doing things that I believe reduce the incidence of abortion, and otherwise support the conception to grave teachings of my faith.

Politically pro-choice because the whole darn thing gets complicated, and I have no right to force people to make decisions that are often harmful to themselves based on my faith. I can and have influenced people face to face. The law is not the right tool.

I also consider it inconsistent for someone to call themselves pro-life but advocate for the death penalty. The death is killing done in all our names, even though I want no part in it. It is a political taking of life and, therefore, must be opposed through law.


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number5
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31 Jul 2011, 4:16 pm

Booyakasha wrote:
If abortion would be made illegal, it might also mean increase in illegal means of abortion which might lead to infection, sterility and the increased mortality among pregnant women. Children might be born handicapped due to unsuccessful abortion attempts, not to mention what happens to the unwanted children and how they're treated.

Something similar happened in Ceausescu's era in Romania with the famous Decree 770 - i.e. The 1966 law concerning prohibition of abortion in Romania. The direct consequence of the decree was a huge baby boom. Between 1966 and 1967 the number of births increased by almost 100%, and the number of children per woman increased from 1.9 to 3.7.

In the seventies, birth rates declined again. The economic need for small families remained, and people began to seek ways to circumvent the decree. Wealthier women were able to obtain contraceptives illegally, or bribed doctors to give diagnoses which made abortion possible. Especially among the less educated and poorer women there were many unwanted pregnancies. These poorer women had to look for primitive methods of abortion, which lead to various complications. The mortality among pregnant women became the highest of Europe during the reign of Ceausescu. While the childbed mortality rate kept declining over the years in neighbouring countries, in Romania it increased to more than ten times of that of its neighbours.

Relatively many children who were born in this period became malnourished or were severely physically handicapped. Many of these children ended up in care under miserable conditions. The children born in this period, especially between 1966 and 1972, are nicknamed the decretei (pejorative name). They had to put up with crowded public services as the state was not ready for the sudden increase.


The younger generations today simply don't have an understanding of back alley abortions. It really is a public health crisis. We hear the argument of I wouldn't be here today if my mom aborted me, but there are also many people who are alive and well today because abortion is legal. My mom nearly died from an illegal abortion many years before she had me.

The biggest problem I see is that making abortions illegal would not end abortions. I would not choose one for myself except for a life-threatening circumstance, but who am I to make that choice for someone else?

With the death penalty, I simply do not see the purpose other than revenge. It's not a deterrent. It doesn't make us safer. Add possible misjudgement, which we all acknowledge does occur, and I just can't understand why anyone would argue for it. I guess some people really like the eye-for-an-eye form of justice, but I don't.

I also see it as ironic that small government advocates have no problem giving the government the power of homicide, whether it's lawful or not.



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31 Jul 2011, 4:20 pm

Vexcalibur wrote:
Give me a trait, one trait that a) Applies exclusively to things we consider to be human beings (for example, try not to let them apply to a bunny) . b) Does not apply to sperm, ovules , or skin cells. c) Applies to a zygote. And I would change my mind. But I am actually being a cynic. Because I know that you won't come up with that trait, you will rather prefer to ignore this request and continue using loaded language like "baby" to describe an unborn fetus.


Can't you tolerate some emotional words? They're not a logical fallacy or anything. (however, calling me bigoted is considered ad hominem).
It's not loaded to me, anyways. I believe it is a baby.
I'm not going to ignore your request. I'm going to think about it, and get back to you.
If I can't come up with a reason, I will still disagree with you, however, because you don't believe in absolute moral values, and I do. Without any other common ground, our arguing is meaningless.



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31 Jul 2011, 5:07 pm

number5 wrote:
With the death penalty, I simply do not see the purpose other than revenge. It's not a deterrent. It doesn't make us safer. Add possible misjudgement, which we all acknowledge does occur, and I just can't understand why anyone would argue for it. I guess some people really like the eye-for-an-eye form of justice, but I don't.

I also see it as ironic that small government advocates have no problem giving the government the power of homicide, whether it's lawful or not.
It may not be a deterrent but it is a preventative measure from the crook committing future crimes.

Death penalty pertains to national security and two of the most basic roles of Government are national and domestic security so the death penalty doesn't overstep the Government's role since it is within it.

DW_a_mom wrote:
I also consider it inconsistent for someone to call themselves pro-life but advocate for the death penalty. The death is killing done in all our names, even though I want no part in it. It is a political taking of life and, therefore, must be opposed through law.
No, it is only logically inconsistent with your own underlying assumptions. To someone who has the underlying assumption that everyone is granted the right to life until they disregard the right to life of others, it is perfectly logical.



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31 Jul 2011, 5:15 pm

AceOfSpades wrote:
It may not be a deterrent but it is a preventative measure from the crook committing future crimes.


Locking said crook up for the rest of his natural would pretty much have the same effect.



number5
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31 Jul 2011, 5:23 pm

Tequila wrote:
AceOfSpades wrote:
It may not be a deterrent but it is a preventative measure from the crook committing future crimes.


Locking said crook up for the rest of his natural would pretty much have the same effect.


Exactly. I don't see how the death part is necessary to national security at all. It seems like the epitome of cruel and unusual punishment.



donnie_darko
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31 Jul 2011, 5:24 pm

number5 wrote:
Exactly. I don't see how the death part is necessary to national security at all. It seems like the epitome of cruel and unusual punishment.


To many members of the human race, mercy is a foreign concept.



AceOfSpades
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31 Jul 2011, 5:25 pm

Tequila wrote:
AceOfSpades wrote:
It may not be a deterrent but it is a preventative measure from the crook committing future crimes.


Locking said crook up for the rest of his natural would pretty much have the same effect.
That crook could still call shots from behind bars, murder other inmates along with CO's, rape other inmates which will cause said inmates to become violent if they didn't previously have a propensity for violence, etc. Also overcrowding presents much more opportunities for violence to happen, adding insult to injury.



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31 Jul 2011, 5:26 pm

AceOfSpades wrote:

Locking said crook up for the rest of his natural would pretty much have the same effect.
That crook could still call shots from behind bars, murder other inmates along with CO's, rape other inmates which will cause said inmates to become violent if they didn't previously have a propensity for violence, etc. Also overcrowding presents much more opportunities for violence to happen, adding insult to injury.[/quote]

Ever heard of solitary confinement?



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31 Jul 2011, 5:38 pm

I don't believe in a state applied death penalty, it's ineffective, expensive, error prone and irreversible. This does not mean I don't think there are plenty of people out their who need killing, I just don't trust the state to do it properly.

As an aside, I posted this story in another thread to illustrate a point: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/the- ... id=8640991

This story really tested my anti death penalty principles, I've seldom wanted someone dead as much as the man who committed these crimes. Given the DNA evidence and confession, there is NO reasonable doubt present, and the crimes were certainly heinous enough to warrant death. With great difficulty I was able to retain my intellectual appraisal that we should not have a death penalty, even though my emotions were screaming for it in this case. It wasn't an easy call, but in the end I was able to overrule my emotions and remain rational. However, there was a part of me that fervently wished they'd let the guy go on a technicality, since my personal loophole is only against a state death penalty, but that's just a fantasy. Incidentally, he was found guilty and is looking at mandatory LWOP, which I suppose will have to do.


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number5
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31 Jul 2011, 5:54 pm

AceOfSpades wrote:
Tequila wrote:
AceOfSpades wrote:
It may not be a deterrent but it is a preventative measure from the crook committing future crimes.


Locking said crook up for the rest of his natural would pretty much have the same effect.
That crook could still call shots from behind bars, murder other inmates along with CO's, rape other inmates which will cause said inmates to become violent if they didn't previously have a propensity for violence, etc. Also overcrowding presents much more opportunities for violence to happen, adding insult to injury.


I don't think there's a correlation between death row inmates and higher rates of prison rape, brutality, etc. I think other violent offenders (not facing the death penalty) are just as likely to cause mayhem behind bars. Please feel free to correct me here if I'm wrong - haven't done the research.

As for overcrowding, I think there are around 3200 death row inmates right now in the US, give or take a few, and the total prison population is somewhere around 2.5 million. It's really a non-issue here. I vote for letting out the potheads, but that's just me. :)



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31 Jul 2011, 5:57 pm

donnie_darko wrote:
AceOfSpades wrote:

Locking said crook up for the rest of his natural would pretty much have the same effect.
That crook could still call shots from behind bars, murder other inmates along with CO's, rape other inmates which will cause said inmates to become violent if they didn't previously have a propensity for violence, etc. Also overcrowding presents much more opportunities for violence to happen, adding insult to injury.


Ever heard of solitary confinement?[/quote]Obviously I know what solitary confinement is, but who says every inmate who is of a high enough rank to call shots is in there? There are obviously serious offenders that are walking among the general population or at least are still able to make collect calls/pass the order down for someone else to make the collect call.



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31 Jul 2011, 6:38 pm

AceOfSpades wrote:
I don't remember mentioning anything about deterrence so nice strawman and I'm loving the condescending tone. I am well aware that deterrence is only effective if it is immediate and certain rather than if it is in some vague, uncertain, and distant future. This is why crooks fear armed citizens more than cops. Impulsiveness, lack of foresight, and egocentricism are very common traits among crooks, especially violent crooks so obviously the death penalty doesn't do much to deter but it will stop them from committing more crimes permanently whether it is murdering other inmates in prison, raping other inmates and contributing to spreading even more STD's than we already have these days, and calling shots from behind bars to kill people on the outside. As for the costs, I'm in favour of cutting down on the number of appeals but the justice system also has to stop relying so heavily on the testimony of filthy rats who are willing to point the finger at innocents so they don't pay the full price for what they did. The jury should also somehow notified about the fallibility and shakiness of DNA evidence as it isn't anywhere near as crystal clear as CSI makes it out to be.


I referenced deterence for two reasons.

  • 1. I was anticipating your responses.
  • 2. While I named names when debunking Pro-State Execution arguments, that post started off as a general rebuttal of all the Pro-Death Penalty arguments and sentiments being expressed.


And I'd really like evidence that most life-imprisoned convicted murderers are calling the shots. Maybe some gang members might get away with it, but generally I understand that murderers aren't exactly highly placed in a prison hierarchy (they're above pedophiles, for sure, who regular get the sh*t beaten out of them, for sure).

Most peer jurors are horrendously ill-equipped to judge many cases. Sophistic lawyers can generally run circles around an average jury of one's peers, many lay juries have next to zero understanding of science and a very crude understanding of formal reasoning, and furthermore tend to overestimate memory as a reliable source WAY too much (memory has proven extremely fallible when it comes to crime).

The Economist wrote:
AN EYE for an eye, or at any rate a death for a death, is the type of justice that most states still embrace. Only 14 of the 50 states have banned capital punishment. But that may change with the recession. As state governments confront huge budget deficits, eight more states have proposed an unusual measure to cut costs: eliminate the death penalty.

...

Studies show that administering the death penalty is even more expensive than keeping someone in prison for life. The intensive jury selection, trials and appeals required in capital cases can take over a decade and run up a huge tab for the state. Death row, where prisoners facing execution are kept in separate cells under intense observation, is also immensely costly.

A recent study by the Urban Institute, a think-tank, estimates that the death penalty cost Maryland’s taxpayers $186m between 1978 and 1999. According to the report, a case resulting in a death sentence cost $3m, almost $2m more than when the death penalty was not sought.

In an age of austerity, every million dollars counts. Proponents of the abolition bills describe the death penalty as an expensive programme with few benefits. There is little evidence that the death penalty deters. In fact, some of the states that most avidly execute prisoners, such as Texas and Oklahoma, have higher crime rates than states that offer only life in prison without parole. There is also the danger that innocent people may be put to death. So far, more than 130 people who had been sentenced to death have been exonerated.


http://www.economist.com/node/13279051

Skeptical Juror wrote:
I was inspired to pursue this quantification effort by a paper entitled "Estimating the Accuracy of Jury Verdicts." It was written in April of 2006 and modified one year later by Bruce Spencer.

...

The table shows that the jury convicts a factually innocent person in 5.4% of the trials, and the judge (based on his or her vote) would convict an actually innocent person in 10.5% of the trials. Those are not, however, quite the numbers we are looking for. We want to know the number of wrongful convictions per conviction, not per trial. To arrive at that number from the table, we would divide the percentage of wrongful convictions by the percentage of convictions. In the case of the jury, that's .054 / .689 = .078 = 7.8%. The corresponding number for judges is 12.9%.

Another shocking number from the table is the probability of an actually innocent person being convicted. Spencer's analysis indicates that 27% of the defendants are actually innocent of the crime for which they are charged. If those innocents face a jury, they have a 20% chance of being convicted. ( .054 / .27 = .20 ) That's bad enough. If those innocents instead elect for a bench trial, they have a 39% chance of being convicted. ( .105 / .27 = .39 )


http://www.skepticaljuror.com/2010/11/o ... apter.html

NYT wrote:
The report, expected to be released Tuesday by the Death Penalty Information Center, says that 69 prisoners who were awaiting execution have been released since 1973. Those 69 constitute nearly one of every 100 prisoners sentenced to death, said the group, which opposes capital punishment.


http://www.nytimes.com/1997/07/14/us/ne ... tions.html

While the source isn't impartial (the Death Penalty Info Center), it's one of the few calculations I've seen. I know that, generally, wrongful verdicts are quite common in courts, so an around 10% rate of error doesn't seem too unreasonable an estimate. And, no, I'm not willing to let that slide as an "acceptable margin of error" when it comes to fighting a "war on crime". Ruveyn talked about "friendly fire", but the real analogy is killing captured enemies who've long since be subdued.


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31 Jul 2011, 6:46 pm

number5 wrote:
AceOfSpades wrote:
Tequila wrote:
AceOfSpades wrote:
It may not be a deterrent but it is a preventative measure from the crook committing future crimes.


Locking said crook up for the rest of his natural would pretty much have the same effect.
That crook could still call shots from behind bars, murder other inmates along with CO's, rape other inmates which will cause said inmates to become violent if they didn't previously have a propensity for violence, etc. Also overcrowding presents much more opportunities for violence to happen, adding insult to injury.


I don't think there's a correlation between death row inmates and higher rates of prison rape, brutality, etc. I think other violent offenders (not facing the death penalty) are just as likely to cause mayhem behind bars. Please feel free to correct me here if I'm wrong - haven't done the research.

As for overcrowding, I think there are around 3200 death row inmates right now in the US, give or take a few, and the total prison population is somewhere around 2.5 million. It's really a non-issue here. I vote for letting out the potheads, but that's just me. :)


I don't see any reason to think that killing everyone convicted of murder will be anything more than a cheap political stunt when it comes to relieving the stress on prisons. Even if AceOfSpades style reforms that restrict the aquittal process and deliberation used to arrive at death sentences is taken (and I expect that it'd raise the rates of wrongful executions up quite substantially), that'll be a very small fraction of America's or even Canada's prison population. Letting out drug users would ease the load of prisoners quite substantially.


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31 Jul 2011, 6:51 pm

Dox47 wrote:
I don't believe in a state applied death penalty, it's ineffective, expensive, error prone and irreversible. This does not mean I don't think there are plenty of people out their who need killing, I just don't trust the state to do it properly.

As an aside, I posted this story in another thread to illustrate a point: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/the- ... id=8640991

This story really tested my anti death penalty principles, I've seldom wanted someone dead as much as the man who committed these crimes. Given the DNA evidence and confession, there is NO reasonable doubt present, and the crimes were certainly heinous enough to warrant death. With great difficulty I was able to retain my intellectual appraisal that we should not have a death penalty, even though my emotions were screaming for it in this case. It wasn't an easy call, but in the end I was able to overrule my emotions and remain rational. However, there was a part of me that fervently wished they'd let the guy go on a technicality, since my personal loophole is only against a state death penalty, but that's just a fantasy. Incidentally, he was found guilty and is looking at mandatory LWOP, which I suppose will have to do.


You are, actually, nicely consistent to yourself in things like this. Got to respect the logic.

People often try to convince me that my feelings would change if it was a family member that was murdered. And my answer is that while it no doubt will be tempting, but I do not intend to allow it, for if that criminal causes me to reject my own values and ideals, and gets me to sink to his level, then he has truly "won." I have no intention of letting anyone so undeserving score any type of win. He'll think I'm wimpy, or weak ... I don't care. At that point it becomes a battle for my soul; not his.


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Last edited by DW_a_mom on 31 Jul 2011, 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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31 Jul 2011, 7:02 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:

People often try to convince me that my feelings would change if it was a family member that was murdered. And my answer is that while it no doubt will be tempting, but I do not intend to allow it, for if that criminal causes me to reject my own values and ideals, and gets me to sink to his level, then he has truly "won." I have no intention of letting anyone so undeserving score any type of win. He'll think I'm a wimpy, or weak ... I don't care. At that point it becomes a battle for my soul; not his.


Don't expect to hear your voice represented in the news if that happens.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0buIIUcyCR0[/youtube]


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