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Deinonychus
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10 Feb 2012, 6:59 pm

I've heard convincing arguments for and against it, so as far as whether or not it should be the "norm" within a particular jurisdiction, I would leave it up to individual communities to determine whether or not it's fitting based on practical factors like the cost of incarceration, the success rate of rehabilitation for serious crimes, etc.



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10 Feb 2012, 8:57 pm

I don't know, I've been for it in the past and on still do support it in certain situations but less trusting of there being a system that can A) get the right guy and B)dole it out fairly and equally



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10 Feb 2012, 11:38 pm

My brother is on death row. He's not my biological brother but he and his two biological brothers were my closest family growing up. He's probably not going to be executed, there are plenty of courts to go through but eventually he's probably going to end up in some kind of mental health facility for dangerous psychotics with varying degrees of mental illness. That's why they keep going through the motions, he's only useful as an object of study. He's so far gone that I don't really have an opinion on what should or shouldn't be done with his case. The man I once knew was gone well before he committed the crimes that put him on death row. We couldn't do anything, we'd take him to the emergency room to try and get him admitted to a psychiatric hospital(because we knew he thought a God was telling him to kill people and mutilate their corpses) but he didn't have insurance and the only ER we could take him to didn't follow proper procedures. We tried every which way we could and he never denied what was going on in his head but in this horrible county, in this horrible state, we couldn't get help for him unless we could pay for it. And without insurance, even when we got him to a psychiatrist, the medications were more than two thousand dollars per 30 day period.

Anyway you cut it, he didn't have an option about being mentally... I hesitate to call it mental illness, he became psychotic very suddenly, he no longer seemed to know who he was or where he was or what earth was or human life, he didn't recognize his own family, his partner, their children, he didn't know who we were and we no longer knew who he was. He still doesn't. He pulled out one of his eyes before his conviction, then after the trial, in prison, he pulled his other eye out and ate it. That was when they'd heavily sedated him and supposedly had him on proper medications to "treat his condition"...

The most painful thing about losing my brother isn't that he murdered people I loved, it's not that he's never going to be "here" again or that I can never say goodbye to him or the people he killed, it's not even the social stigma attached in this town and in this county... it's my other two brothers. And their dad. We're punished alongside him. It's not meant to bring justice to the dead, but to their families, they're supposed to see justice in the execution of a person who murdered someone they loved and cared about. But it's us, me, my brothers, their dad, we are punished by being told he'll be killed, how he'll be killed, and made aware that after more legal procedures a date will be set, knowing full well that if he were put to death, it'd be ten or fifteen years away if we're lucky. Our pain and our loss and the grief we experience is not going to be somehow lesser than that of ANY other person who loses a loved one to an untimely death. For us, we've been notified that he will be killed, and we're supposed to sit and wait for it, and if anything our pain and suffering is drawn out over a long period of time and if by chance he is actually executed someday, I know it's going to hit my brothers just as hard as it hits anyone else to lose someone.

I don't think there's even the slightest possibility he's aware that he's on death row, facing impending execution. He was far gone before he ever got to the point of killing people. Before then he'd already lost any physical reaction to hunger, thirst, pain, cold, etc. I don't see how he's being punished, I don't think he can be punished. I don't think it's anything short of torture for death row inmates to go through that, but with him I find some peace in knowing he's not even there inside his head, I don't think he's suffering. I want to say that the State of Texas shouldn't be allowed to execute the severely mentally ill but we do, and we execute the severely mentally retarded.

It doesn't matter to me what horrible things a person has done, I will never agree that the state should have authority to put any man or woman in a cell for a decade to rot and wait to be killed, with the knowledge that they will be killed, the knowledge of how they will be killed etc. That's not justice, it's a perverse form of revenge rarely effecting only the person sentenced to death, and it hasn't been shown to reduce the incidence of homicide or violent crime in the state of Texas. Or any state that actually uses the death penalty.

And as for the accuracy of our criminal justice system, the Innocence Project has exonerated seventeen people who were sentenced to death in the U.S., that's since 1989. So before then, and for all the cases they can't take on, it seems quite probable we've executed innocent people. The problem is, after someone has been executed the case is sealed and it can't be investigated by anyone who would have the authority to make the judgement that an innocent person had been executed. So it's legally impossible to prove we've executed an innocent person. That doesn't make it impossible for us to execute an innocent person.

I feel ethically and morally bound to the belief that unless acting directly in self-defense or protection of another human life, no person can have legitimate authority to end the life of another human being. That's why I don't stand in support of the death penalty.



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11 Feb 2012, 1:40 am

meems wrote:
My brother is on death row. He's not my biological brother but he and his two biological brothers were my closest family growing up. He's probably not going to be executed, there are plenty of courts to go through but eventually he's probably going to end up in some kind of mental health facility for dangerous psychotics with varying degrees of mental illness. That's why they keep going through the motions, he's only useful as an object of study. He's so far gone that I don't really have an opinion on what should or shouldn't be done with his case. The man I once knew was gone well before he committed the crimes that put him on death row. We couldn't do anything, we'd take him to the emergency room to try and get him admitted to a psychiatric hospital(because we knew he thought a God was telling him to kill people and mutilate their corpses) but he didn't have insurance and the only ER we could take him to didn't follow proper procedures. We tried every which way we could and he never denied what was going on in his head but in this horrible county, in this horrible state, we couldn't get help for him unless we could pay for it. And without insurance, even when we got him to a psychiatrist, the medications were more than two thousand dollars per 30 day period.

Anyway you cut it, he didn't have an option about being mentally... I hesitate to call it mental illness, he became psychotic very suddenly, he no longer seemed to know who he was or where he was or what earth was or human life, he didn't recognize his own family, his partner, their children, he didn't know who we were and we no longer knew who he was. He still doesn't. He pulled out one of his eyes before his conviction, then after the trial, in prison, he pulled his other eye out and ate it. That was when they'd heavily sedated him and supposedly had him on proper medications to "treat his condition"...

The most painful thing about losing my brother isn't that he murdered people I loved, it's not that he's never going to be "here" again or that I can never say goodbye to him or the people he killed, it's not even the social stigma attached in this town and in this county... it's my other two brothers. And their dad. We're punished alongside him. It's not meant to bring justice to the dead, but to their families, they're supposed to see justice in the execution of a person who murdered someone they loved and cared about. But it's us, me, my brothers, their dad, we are punished by being told he'll be killed, how he'll be killed, and made aware that after more legal procedures a date will be set, knowing full well that if he were put to death, it'd be ten or fifteen years away if we're lucky. Our pain and our loss and the grief we experience is not going to be somehow lesser than that of ANY other person who loses a loved one to an untimely death. For us, we've been notified that he will be killed, and we're supposed to sit and wait for it, and if anything our pain and suffering is drawn out over a long period of time and if by chance he is actually executed someday, I know it's going to hit my brothers just as hard as it hits anyone else to lose someone.

I don't think there's even the slightest possibility he's aware that he's on death row, facing impending execution. He was far gone before he ever got to the point of killing people. Before then he'd already lost any physical reaction to hunger, thirst, pain, cold, etc. I don't see how he's being punished, I don't think he can be punished. I don't think it's anything short of torture for death row inmates to go through that, but with him I find some peace in knowing he's not even there inside his head, I don't think he's suffering. I want to say that the State of Texas shouldn't be allowed to execute the severely mentally ill but we do, and we execute the severely mentally retarded.

It doesn't matter to me what horrible things a person has done, I will never agree that the state should have authority to put any man or woman in a cell for a decade to rot and wait to be killed, with the knowledge that they will be killed, the knowledge of how they will be killed etc. That's not justice, it's a perverse form of revenge rarely effecting only the person sentenced to death, and it hasn't been shown to reduce the incidence of homicide or violent crime in the state of Texas. Or any state that actually uses the death penalty.

And as for the accuracy of our criminal justice system, the Innocence Project has exonerated seventeen people who were sentenced to death in the U.S., that's since 1989. So before then, and for all the cases they can't take on, it seems quite probable we've executed innocent people. The problem is, after someone has been executed the case is sealed and it can't be investigated by anyone who would have the authority to make the judgement that an innocent person had been executed. So it's legally impossible to prove we've executed an innocent person. That doesn't make it impossible for us to execute an innocent person.

I feel ethically and morally bound to the belief that unless acting directly in self-defense or protection of another human life, no person can have legitimate authority to end the life of another human being. That's why I don't stand in support of the death penalty.


Thanks for the personal contribution. Hopefully it doesn't offend you but I looked up your brother and his crime based on the description of your post, it wasn't hard to find. Pretty brutal. I'm pretty conflicted when reading it, he's clearly insane and the system obviously failed him. It reminds me of the case of Andrew Goldstein in NYC. However, another part of me thinks(and I apologize in advance if you're offended by this) the death penalty would almost be humane in this case considering the crimes and extent of the illness.



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11 Feb 2012, 2:07 am

OliveOilMom wrote:
I'm in favor of the death penalty but I also don't think we use it correctly and that's why it's not much of a deterrant. If everyone who was convicted of first degree murder (the one who actually pulled the trigger etc, not accomplices) got the death penalty, if we kept the multiple appeal process but radically shortened the time between appeals to a few months, and executions were available for public viewing, I believe it would be much more of a deterrant than it is now.

the horrifying rate of u.s. prison recividism would indicate that sociopaths more often than not do not learn from punishment, they will keep repeating similar mistakes no matter what, unless you kill them. for this reason, public executions cannot be a reliable panacea as far as universal deterrence is concerned. there is something deeply wrong with our social system, for it to be creating so many criminals. killing them is the easy way out- but what is easy isn't necessarily always for the best, in the grand scheme of things.

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11 Feb 2012, 2:12 am

artrat wrote:
How do you know if they can never be rehabilitated? If you ruled the world then many people would already be dead. To make capital punishment legal is an abuse of government power. Capital punishment is hypocritical. It's okay for the government to commit murder but it is not okay for anyone else. I believe people that support are one step away from becoming sociopaths. To support it so strongly is quite sick if you ask me.

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give 'em hell, artrat :thumleft:



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11 Feb 2012, 2:22 am

I am absolutely against the death penalty. I don't trust human beings to kill one another with legal protection unless it is for immediate self defense.


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11 Feb 2012, 3:21 am

Jacoby wrote:
meems wrote:
My brother is on death row. He's not my biological brother but he and his two biological brothers were my closest family growing up. He's probably not going to be executed, there are plenty of courts to go through but eventually he's probably going to end up in some kind of mental health facility for dangerous psychotics with varying degrees of mental illness. That's why they keep going through the motions, he's only useful as an object of study. He's so far gone that I don't really have an opinion on what should or shouldn't be done with his case. The man I once knew was gone well before he committed the crimes that put him on death row. We couldn't do anything, we'd take him to the emergency room to try and get him admitted to a psychiatric hospital(because we knew he thought a God was telling him to kill people and mutilate their corpses) but he didn't have insurance and the only ER we could take him to didn't follow proper procedures. We tried every which way we could and he never denied what was going on in his head but in this horrible county, in this horrible state, we couldn't get help for him unless we could pay for it. And without insurance, even when we got him to a psychiatrist, the medications were more than two thousand dollars per 30 day period.

Anyway you cut it, he didn't have an option about being mentally... I hesitate to call it mental illness, he became psychotic very suddenly, he no longer seemed to know who he was or where he was or what earth was or human life, he didn't recognize his own family, his partner, their children, he didn't know who we were and we no longer knew who he was. He still doesn't. He pulled out one of his eyes before his conviction, then after the trial, in prison, he pulled his other eye out and ate it. That was when they'd heavily sedated him and supposedly had him on proper medications to "treat his condition"...

The most painful thing about losing my brother isn't that he murdered people I loved, it's not that he's never going to be "here" again or that I can never say goodbye to him or the people he killed, it's not even the social stigma attached in this town and in this county... it's my other two brothers. And their dad. We're punished alongside him. It's not meant to bring justice to the dead, but to their families, they're supposed to see justice in the execution of a person who murdered someone they loved and cared about. But it's us, me, my brothers, their dad, we are punished by being told he'll be killed, how he'll be killed, and made aware that after more legal procedures a date will be set, knowing full well that if he were put to death, it'd be ten or fifteen years away if we're lucky. Our pain and our loss and the grief we experience is not going to be somehow lesser than that of ANY other person who loses a loved one to an untimely death. For us, we've been notified that he will be killed, and we're supposed to sit and wait for it, and if anything our pain and suffering is drawn out over a long period of time and if by chance he is actually executed someday, I know it's going to hit my brothers just as hard as it hits anyone else to lose someone.

I don't think there's even the slightest possibility he's aware that he's on death row, facing impending execution. He was far gone before he ever got to the point of killing people. Before then he'd already lost any physical reaction to hunger, thirst, pain, cold, etc. I don't see how he's being punished, I don't think he can be punished. I don't think it's anything short of torture for death row inmates to go through that, but with him I find some peace in knowing he's not even there inside his head, I don't think he's suffering. I want to say that the State of Texas shouldn't be allowed to execute the severely mentally ill but we do, and we execute the severely mentally retarded.

It doesn't matter to me what horrible things a person has done, I will never agree that the state should have authority to put any man or woman in a cell for a decade to rot and wait to be killed, with the knowledge that they will be killed, the knowledge of how they will be killed etc. That's not justice, it's a perverse form of revenge rarely effecting only the person sentenced to death, and it hasn't been shown to reduce the incidence of homicide or violent crime in the state of Texas. Or any state that actually uses the death penalty.

And as for the accuracy of our criminal justice system, the Innocence Project has exonerated seventeen people who were sentenced to death in the U.S., that's since 1989. So before then, and for all the cases they can't take on, it seems quite probable we've executed innocent people. The problem is, after someone has been executed the case is sealed and it can't be investigated by anyone who would have the authority to make the judgement that an innocent person had been executed. So it's legally impossible to prove we've executed an innocent person. That doesn't make it impossible for us to execute an innocent person.

I feel ethically and morally bound to the belief that unless acting directly in self-defense or protection of another human life, no person can have legitimate authority to end the life of another human being. That's why I don't stand in support of the death penalty.


Thanks for the personal contribution. Hopefully it doesn't offend you but I looked up your brother and his crime based on the description of your post, it wasn't hard to find. Pretty brutal. I'm pretty conflicted when reading it, he's clearly insane and the system obviously failed him. It reminds me of the case of Andrew Goldstein in NYC. However, another part of me thinks(and I apologize in advance if you're offended by this) the death penalty would almost be humane in this case considering the crimes and extent of the illness.


I guess since I posted such a long post about him it only makes sense to share enough info for people to look up his case if they want, I wouldn't post about it if I couldn't discuss it in a civil manner, I just hesitate to give part of the story because it's difficult to find accurate information about his case and I can't adequately explain everything(like the legal explanation of things to do with the trial and appeals etc)

His name is Andre Thomas, and he killed his ex wife Laura, his son Andre Lee, and Laura's baby girl Lehya, he stabbed them to death at her apartment one morning, cut their hearts out, dropped by his place to throw the hearts away, then went to local authorities and explained what he'd just done, and that was all within the span of a few hours. It happened in 2004 in the city of Sherman, TX.

He's made a few suicide attempts, I get frustrated at the thought that anyone would stop him from ending his life. They had him in and out of a hospital before the trial, he's been in and out of psychiatric facilities,(too late) I don't even know where he is right now and I have an agreement with my brothers that they won't update me unless it's really, really something I need to know. I think I'll feel relieved when he finally is dead. I know the execution will never happen but I don't know what will.

I don't think anyone could really offend me about Andre anymore. I've had eight years of people saying intentionally provocative things about him so your comment is not even bordering on offensive. I'm inclined to agree with you about what the humane thing is to do for him but I'm never really sure what I wish for him, if anything.



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11 Feb 2012, 3:31 am

auntblabby wrote:
artrat wrote:
How do you know if they can never be rehabilitated? If you ruled the world then many people would already be dead. To make capital punishment legal is an abuse of government power. Capital punishment is hypocritical. It's okay for the government to commit murder but it is not okay for anyone else. I believe people that support are one step away from becoming sociopaths. To support it so strongly is quite sick if you ask me.

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give 'em hell, artrat :thumleft:


And to believe that all people can be rehabilitated is naive in the extreme. It's a dream, not reality. And as I'm sure you can understand, making a decision in the real world based off of a dream is not a very good idea.

And, if someone can't be rehabilitated, what possible excuse is there to keep them alive? On the taxpayers dime no less? Bullets are cheap. Kill them and get it over with.

You're right artrat, if I was in power a lot of people would be dead. I have no patience for some crimes, and I believe that anyone who commits them are stripped of humanity and are only fit to die before they re-offend.


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11 Feb 2012, 3:54 am

abacacus wrote:
And, if someone can't be rehabilitated, what possible excuse is there to keep them alive? On the taxpayers dime no less? Bullets are cheap. Kill them and get it over with.

bullet may be relatively cheap, but due process is expensive. the long and involved legal process for execution is 3-4 times more expensive, than to just sentence somebody to life sans parole. despite the time and expense there are still too many people falling through the cracks, according to the innocence project. even one wrong conviction [due to corruption in the legal process] is too many, especially if it is kinfolk in the dock. i would not want to live in any place lacking due process, with noose-wielding posses running amok, that would be a nightmare.
abacacus wrote:
You're right artrat, if I was in power a lot of people would be dead. I have no patience for some crimes, and I believe that anyone who commits them are stripped of humanity and are only fit to die before they re-offend.

what qualifies you to determine if somebody else is fit to live or die? only god can claim that. the easy way isn't always the best way.



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11 Feb 2012, 4:39 am

abacacus wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
artrat wrote:
How do you know if they can never be rehabilitated? If you ruled the world then many people would already be dead. To make capital punishment legal is an abuse of government power. Capital punishment is hypocritical. It's okay for the government to commit murder but it is not okay for anyone else. I believe people that support are one step away from becoming sociopaths. To support it so strongly is quite sick if you ask me.

QFT+!
you tell 'em! :)
give 'em hell, artrat :thumleft:


And to believe that all people can be rehabilitated is naive in the extreme. It's a dream, not reality. And as I'm sure you can understand, making a decision in the real world based off of a dream is not a very good idea.

And, if someone can't be rehabilitated, what possible excuse is there to keep them alive? On the taxpayers dime no less? Bullets are cheap. Kill them and get it over with.

You're right artrat, if I was in power a lot of people would be dead. I have no patience for some crimes, and I believe that anyone who commits them are stripped of humanity and are only fit to die before they re-offend.


I have several questions, which seems aggressive sometimes I think, but I'm not looking for a defense of your beliefs, I'm just trying to get a better understanding of what you're saying.

What lead you to your beliefs about what is or isn't realistically possible in the scope of criminal rehabilitation?

And how did you come to the conclusion that if a criminal can't be rehabilitated or made fit for reintegration into society, that the correct option is to end the person's life?(other than the drain on taxpayers)

Are there crimes that you believe warrant a lifetime in prison but not a death sentence?(if so, could you name some?)

Can you tell me very specifically what you mean when you use the word "humanity" in the context of the above quoted post?

Which crimes do you believe strip a person of their humanity?

Is there anything else you believe strips human beings of their humanity?



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11 Feb 2012, 5:08 am

donnie_darko wrote:
I find it disturbing how most people who are pro-death penalty these days argue that we need a death penalty to protect the children. That's just immensely effed up in my book, to use our children as a justification for acting vengeful.


it's simply appeal to emotion. i, like several other posters have indicated, completely disagree with the concept of capital punishment.


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11 Feb 2012, 5:09 am

abacacus wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
artrat wrote:
How do you know if they can never be rehabilitated? If you ruled the world then many people would already be dead. To make capital punishment legal is an abuse of government power. Capital punishment is hypocritical. It's okay for the government to commit murder but it is not okay for anyone else. I believe people that support are one step away from becoming sociopaths. To support it so strongly is quite sick if you ask me.

QFT+!
you tell 'em! :)
give 'em hell, artrat :thumleft:


And to believe that all people can be rehabilitated is naive in the extreme. It's a dream, not reality. And as I'm sure you can understand, making a decision in the real world based off of a dream is not a very good idea.

And, if someone can't be rehabilitated, what possible excuse is there to keep them alive? On the taxpayers dime no less? Bullets are cheap. Kill them and get it over with.

You're right artrat, if I was in power a lot of people would be dead. I have no patience for some crimes, and I believe that anyone who commits them are stripped of humanity and are only fit to die before they re-offend.

I think that you are the naive one. Prisoners who have committed the most inhumane crimes have been rehabilitated in the past.
Many have found God while on death row. I don't understand how it is a dream?

The taxpayers waste more money on politicians then even comes close to what it costs to keep a prisoner alive.
I think that a human life is worth more than money.

Who decides when to strip a person of humanity? A failing government run by wealthy sociopaths or you?
I don't think that either has the right. It's a form of torture and yet you support it.

Many people that commit murders suffer from mental illness and don't know what the hell they are doing. should we just kill them for being mentally ill? If we don't then the greedy taxpayers will lose money.


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11 Feb 2012, 5:27 am

Actually capital punishment for the mental retardation was outlawed in 2002. But that doesn't cover people who have an IQ of 71 or above. Teresa Lewis was executed in Virginia in September 2010 for the murder of her husband and step son. She had an IQ of 72. People she hired got life sentences while she got the death penalty.



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11 Feb 2012, 5:53 am

artrat wrote:
The taxpayers waste more money on politicians then even comes close to what it costs to keep a prisoner alive.
I think that a human life is worth more than money.


politicians are just the tip of the iceberg. the amount of resources thrown away on useless, conter-productive and ethically questionable activities is truly disgusting. i hate when people use this sort of cost argument in debates of this nature. it comes up all the time in the debate over the shocking treatment of the disabled and vulnerable in receipt of state benefits. it's simply a false argument.

Quote:
Many people that commit murders suffer from mental illness and don't know what the hell they are doing. should we just kill them for being mentally ill? If we don't then the greedy taxpayers will lose money.


you repeatedly come out with this line, but where are you getting this idea? the fact is that people with mental health issues are no more likely to commit violent crime than anyone else, in fact many of them are far more at risk of being victim to violence and manipulation.

mental health is only a factor in crime statistics where there are co-morbidities such as drug dependence etc which ultimately come down to poverty, and i would even argue that these co-morbidities are in actual fact the primary factor here, rather than mental ill health, which often itself is caused or exacerbated by poverty related issues.

i wouldn't certainly have had you down as a prejudiced daily mail reading type, but this specific line of reasoning is treacherously close...


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11 Feb 2012, 5:58 am

I oppose capital punishment.

I have a very simple reason for opposing it. I don't like the idea of treating symptoms of a problem (so some people can sleep better at night) than treating the cause of the problem itself. It's a foolish approach to everything from medicine to engineering. It's no less foolish when discussing penal systems.