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crackedpleasures
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16 Oct 2007, 2:31 pm

I just wanted to know (out of interest) your views on the death penalty.



Personally I am very much against this practise, in a fanatical way that I even am a paying member now of an anti-death penalty campaign group.

I will explain why I am against the death penalty:

IMO death penalty is an eye-for-an-eye practice, full stop. I think revenge and justice exclude each other, so the death penalty can never be justified regardless of what criminal acts have been performed. I believe the death penalty does not bring back any victim, on the contrary it creates another victim.

The whole principle of executions bothers me highly. Letting a person know exactly how many days he has left to live, and then let him count the days until death. I think that is very barbaric and maybe even more cruel than most murders are. At least the average murder victim did not see his cruel ending coming, he was able to be worryless and happy until the last moments of his life. A convict at death row has to spend ages in the most depressing place on earth, counting the days till death like he was counting the days till holiday. I think that is worse than barbaric and something just not done when dealing with human beings (yes, I consider a criminal to still be a human being). Of course we have to severely punish serious abuse, but another murder is not the right deterrent and a few bridges too far.

I also have a problem with the execution methods. People use their medical knowledge not to save lives but to end lives, trying to develop lethal injections or gallows to "kill in a humane way". I think it is dangerous when we use our gathered medical knowledge for those purposes, and besides I don't believe killing can ever be humane.

Justice has the duty to protect society from dangerous individuals. This can very easily be done by sending someone to jail for a few years or, if the crimes were very harsh, for life. This way, the criminal is no longer a danger to society. I don't see how we would need to take another human life to protect others. Capital punishment as a deterrent does not work by the way, criminal figures show that countries without the death penalty have no higher crime rate in average than countries with the death penalty.

The family of the victims can never be an issue. All the respect to what they are going through, but I believe every murderer has family as well. Family that will strongly condemn his acts but maybe still love the person deep within. Executing a criminal punishes those family members as well, while research has shown that relatives of a murder victim usually do NOT feel any relief when the murderer is executed.

Last but not least some defend the death penalty by stating it costs less than lifetime imprisonment. May be, but if money is a more important thing than a human life than I think that is deadly embarrassing. I happily see my tax money used for prisons because at least the countries where I have lived deal with their criminals in a humane way. I would not want to live in a country practising capital punishment, as I believe it is wrong of a government to be able to take the lives of its citizens.




There you go. Now I would like to hear from you how you look towards the capital punishment issue.


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Reodor_Felgen
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16 Oct 2007, 4:46 pm

I'm against capital punishment. You can't correct evil with evil.



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16 Oct 2007, 6:14 pm

crackedpleasures wrote:
Capital punishment as a deterrent does not work by the way, criminal figures show that countries without the death penalty have no higher crime rate in average than countries with the death penalty.


My thoughts exactly and I have no idea why places that have the death penalty think it is a deterrent.



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16 Oct 2007, 7:48 pm

I am unequivocally against it.



Sand
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16 Oct 2007, 8:47 pm

Aside from capital punishment, does any punishment truly address the problems of criminality? Admittedly some punishment correctly applied does have a deterrent effect in many cases. But in other cases it merely contributes to anti-social behavior. Shouldn't the whole punishment system be re-examined for effectiveness?



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16 Oct 2007, 9:01 pm

I guess you can call me "Pro-death."
I'm pro-choice and pro-death penalty.



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16 Oct 2007, 9:18 pm

I'm with Cyanide on this one.


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Fedaykin
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17 Oct 2007, 2:37 am

I'm all for the death penalty and don't think a criminal has any rights - the only concern when punishing someone for a crime should be minimizing crime in society. For most of history, people had a rational approach to the matter and realized preventing crime was all about deterrance and ultimately removing people that committed severe crimes from society. Sadly, the 1960's brought in bizarre ideas that you could rehabilitate a person out of his criminal behaviour, something that's hardly had any effect at all and in the case of real psychopaths has outright encouraged crime. I've not reviewed statistics for the whole western world, but at least in Sweden, violent crime has shot through the roof since punishment was replaced with rehabilitation, though the increase during the last few decades is because of immigration of course.

In the 1830's, Sweden had a population of 3 million and roughly 40 murders per year. In the 1950's, 7 million and 50 murders per year, a steady drop of 0.5% per person per year. Today we have a population of 9 million and roughly 200 murders per year, steadily increasing.

The western world needs to retain its sanity, crime is simply uninhibited primate instincts in action, and you can't prevent those with any psychological care more than you could the lion killing and eating the gazelle. The key to preventing crime is applying a whip that makes committing a crime a bad choice.

My personal belief is that medieval body punishment should be reintroduced as well, but I guess the degenerated western world isn't very receptive to that right now.



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17 Oct 2007, 3:53 am

Quote:
I'm all for the death penalty and don't think a criminal has any rights - the only concern when punishing someone for a crime should be minimizing crime in society
.

The states in the US that have the death penality have the highest incidences of violent crime. I can think of only two reasons to have the death penalty: to be used as a bargaining chip during plea deals or for retribution.

Quote:
For most of history, people had a rational approach to the matter and realized preventing crime was all about deterrance and ultimately removing people that committed severe crimes from society.


For most of history people took matters into their own hands or had to deal with a petty warlord's justice in which the poor often got physical punishments and the rich just got to shuck out a lot of money to make the problem go away.

Quote:
Sadly, the 1960's brought in bizarre ideas that you could rehabilitate a person out of his criminal behaviour, something that's hardly had any effect at all and in the case of real psychopaths has outright encouraged crime
.

I cant speak for Sweden but in the US the opposite happened. The famous "nothing works" research came out stating that once a criminal always a criminal. Most criminals are sane and most "crazy" people do not commit crimes let alone violent ones. As for the rise of crime in the 60's that was mostly due in part in the US to the baby boomer generation coming of age. Crime is a young person's sport so it makes sense the more young people you have the more potential criminals you have to contend with.


Quote:
The western world needs to retain its sanity, crime is simply uninhibited primate instincts in action, and you can't prevent those with any psychological care more than you could the lion killing and eating the gazelle. The key to preventing crime is applying a whip that makes committing a crime a bad choice.


The irony of your statement is that criminal behavior is typical male behavior. 80% of males will find themselves arrested at some point in their lifetimes. Not to say that female offenders arn't steadily rising which is interesting in and of itself but I digress. As for the medieval fantasy I agree with you that people do need to accept more responsibility for what happens to them. To be more proactive, to prevent themselves from being taken advantage of and victimized in the first place. I personally don't think non-violent offenders should be spending decades behind bars. It costs too damn much for one. I do think there needs to be more alternatives to justice than your standard penitentiary. If this means rehab, anger management, vocational training, exc than I am all for it. Labeling someone a criminal than making them a long term dependant on the state doesn't seem like a viable solution to me.

Quote:
My personal belief is that medieval body punishment should be reintroduced as well, but I guess the degenerated western world isn't very receptive to that right now.


Corporal punishment doesn't work. Humiliation only works in the short term. I could go on about the positive effects of restorative justice which forces offenders to actually have to think about their behavior as opposed to just beating the crap out of them but I said enough on the topic at least for now. :wink:



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17 Oct 2007, 1:57 pm

Everybody has rights, even the right to make a mistake.
'Evil' is subjective and without it there is no 'Good'.
The wicker man served a purpose.
Back burning does not always work.
Life is precious - but not that precious.
Hard messages merit grave consideration, responses can be proprtionate.
peace j


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wsmac
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17 Oct 2007, 2:46 pm

crackedpleasures wrote:
I think revenge and justice exclude each other

I agree with that

crackedpleasures wrote:
The whole principle of executions bothers me highly. Letting a person know exactly how many days he has left to live, and then let him count the days until death. I think that is very barbaric and maybe even more cruel than most murders are. At least the average murder victim did not see his cruel ending coming, he was able to be worryless and happy until the last moments of his life. A convict at death row has to spend ages in the most depressing place on earth, counting the days till death like he was counting the days till holiday. I think that is worse than barbaric and something just not done when dealing with human beings (yes, I consider a criminal to still be a human being). Of course we have to severely punish serious abuse, but another murder is not the right deterrent and a few bridges too far.

Actually I believe that knowing how much longer you have to live will give you a sense of purpose to your actions during that time, if you so choose. Having a sister who was murdered, I feel it was more barbaric to end her life without allowing her to take care of necessary things first.
A convict on death row typically spends ages in that most depressing place on earth do to the automatic appeal process (in the U.S. at least), and the appeal process the convict draws out.
I find it interesting your selected use of the word barbaric. You should have said, "...Of course we have to severely punish serious abuse in a barbaric way...".

crackedpleasures wrote:
I also have a problem with the execution methods. People use their medical knowledge not to save lives but to end lives, trying to develop lethal injections or gallows to "kill in a humane way". I think it is dangerous when we use our gathered medical knowledge for those purposes, and besides I don't believe killing can ever be humane.

I also agree that killing can never be done in a humane way, considering how we do not know what it is like to die, unless someone here has died and been brought back to life(seriously, like CPR).
Killing another living being should never be 'suger-coated' as being better one way than another. There may be preferred methods to ease the conscious of the living or by the patient who wishes suicide, but again, who knows which method brings the least amount of pain and suffering?
I disagree though that medical knowledge should not be used to facilitate someone's death... especially when it is used by a patient who wants to end their life.

crackedpleasures wrote:
Justice has the duty to protect society from dangerous individuals. This can very easily be done by sending someone to jail for a few years or, if the crimes were very harsh, for life. This way, the criminal is no longer a danger to society. I don't see how we would need to take another human life to protect others. Capital punishment as a deterrent does not work by the way, criminal figures show that countries without the death penalty have no higher crime rate in average than countries with the death penalty.

Justice has NO DUTY to protect society. It's only duty is the fair application of law.
Your idea of protection from dangerous individuals by 'easily sending someone to jail...', is terribly flawed.
If you understood the penal system and what the life behind bars does to an individual, and what they are like when they are released, you would retract that statement... I hope.
Also, does it not seem barbaric to you to put a person in a cage for life? Controlling almost every aspect of their lives, down to their basic needs of shelter, food and water?
I don't understand all this commotion about whether capital punishment is a deterrent or not.
The crimes for which capital punishment has been prescribed are not ones which I would think an individual plans out based upon what happens if they get caught.

To me... capital punishment permanently removes an individual from society, who society has determined to be an un-repentive person incapable of rehabilitation. IT'S THAT SIMPLE! Why doesn't everyone get it? It's not about being a deterrent!

crackedpleasures wrote:
The family of the victims can never be an issue. All the respect to what they are going through, but I believe every murderer has family as well. Family that will strongly condemn his acts but maybe still love the person deep within. Executing a criminal punishes those family members as well, while research has shown that relatives of a murder victim usually do NOT feel any relief when the murderer is executed.

I'd like to see the study you mention in your last sentence. I'm sure I could find some flaws in it. :wink:
I hope you are going to apply this belief fairly across the board... the one where the only people who should matter in a criminal case are the actual victim(s) and the perpetrator(s).
From what I've seen and experienced in life, most families of the perpetrator do NOT strongly condemn the acts or else they would agree with the punishment as it is applied to everyone (in theory at least). They may say they think it was wrong, but if the tables were turned, they might very well be calling for the 'head' of the person who victimized them!
Anyway, I may be wrong, but it seems mostly biblical that there should be some recompense to the family of the victim, which historically was as much monetary as it might have been actual physical punishment.

crackedpleasures wrote:
Last but not least some defend the death penalty by stating it costs less than lifetime imprisonment. May be, but if money is a more important thing than a human life than I think that is deadly embarrassing. I happily see my tax money used for prisons because at least the countries where I have lived deal with their criminals in a humane way. I would not want to live in a country practising capital punishment, as I believe it is wrong of a government to be able to take the lives of its citizens.

Please name the countries in which you lived where the criminals live a humane life behind bars(I am also interested in you definition of the term humane).
I suspect you have never seen the inside of a prison or jail before in your life, for reasons of rehabilitation/punishment or just for the wonder of it all.
I also suspect you have never had a family member imprisoned before.
The issue of 'cost' is not an argument FOR the death penalty... at least from an official point of view. It is one factor concerning the death penalty versus incarceration. I have never seen any official statement that has said, "We should kill our prisoners because it's cheaper than keeping them alive!". I believe the idea is that if the person is convicted of a crime which calls for their execution, it costs less to perform the execution than to house them for a particular length of time. It's just comparing costs, not reasons for...


I will state my beliefs in another post :D


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Last edited by wsmac on 17 Oct 2007, 2:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Reodor_Felgen
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17 Oct 2007, 2:47 pm

Fedaykin wrote:
I'm all for the death penalty and don't think a criminal has any rights - the only concern when punishing someone for a crime should be minimizing crime in society. For most of history, people had a rational approach to the matter and realized preventing crime was all about deterrance and ultimately removing people that committed severe crimes from society. Sadly, the 1960's brought in bizarre ideas that you could rehabilitate a person out of his criminal behaviour, something that's hardly had any effect at all and in the case of real psychopaths has outright encouraged crime. I've not reviewed statistics for the whole western world, but at least in Sweden, violent crime has shot through the roof since punishment was replaced with rehabilitation, though the increase during the last few decades is because of immigration of course.

In the 1830's, Sweden had a population of 3 million and roughly 40 murders per year. In the 1950's, 7 million and 50 murders per year, a steady drop of 0.5% per person per year. Today we have a population of 9 million and roughly 200 murders per year, steadily increasing.

The western world needs to retain its sanity, crime is simply uninhibited primate instincts in action, and you can't prevent those with any psychological care more than you could the lion killing and eating the gazelle. The key to preventing crime is applying a whip that makes committing a crime a bad choice.

My personal belief is that medieval body punishment should be reintroduced as well, but I guess the degenerated western world isn't very receptive to that right now.


The increasement of murders in Scandinavia isn't because the absence of capital punishment, but because of immigration.



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17 Oct 2007, 3:17 pm

I agree with some of the latter comments by Othila.

Here's my take on capital punishment...

If we, as a society, agree that the state has the right to take over a person's life and subject them to the sorts of things found in American prisons (for one example), then why not include ending that person's life?
Which is more 'barbaric'?
There are some people who find the idea of being put in prison so unbearable that they will 'shoot it out' with law enforcement vowing they will 'never be taken alive'.
Are they right in believing that a life in prison is more undesirable than death?

If we, as a society believe it is right for a law enforcement officer to carry deadly weapons on our streets, and we acknowledge that the officer may very well use this weapon to take a life, and we accept it within certain boundaries... then why not capital punishment?

Basically, I see it as either we say it's okay for the state to take a life or we say it isn't.
If an officer fatally shoots someone who is caught in the act of serious bodily injury or murder upon a supposed innocent person, or is threatening in such a manner in which the officer believes they are facing serious bodily injury or death themselves... AND WE ACCEPT THAT IN OUR SOCIETY... why is that different then from taking the life of the murderer after the commission of the crime to PREVENT that person from committing another murder?
I will include the possibility of that person committing serious bodily injury or murder while in jail/prison also, for anyone who argues that everyone in these facilities has a right to life.

For me, the real argument is not whether we should allow the state to take a life but when.
I see our legal system as being very flawed, yet better than many other countries throughout the world.
I believe we should always be vigilant in seeking the truth before killing someone.
I also believe we have had and will continue to have people on death row who should not be there... again... because of the flaws in our system.
This is what I find unacceptable concerning the death penalty, along with the stupid argument about whether it is a deterrent or not (see my post above about that issue).


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Othila
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17 Oct 2007, 5:26 pm

I agree with some of the statements concerning deterence (sp) on this post. As a former CJ major I only like to use the word in the literal sense as a measure of how preventive a form of punishment is. Justice is more than just deterence, it's also should be about restoration and to a certain extent retribution. I would argue that restortation is actually more important than deterance in a lot of cases given that people often don't think about the consequences of their actions before they commit crimes, therefore in theory any type of punishment is not going to prevent them from committing a crime. With an emphasis on restoration there is the chance to try to repair the damage the criminal act has caused. Granted murder is not something that one can repair but famiies of murder victims often find a bit of solace in at least confronting the offender and being able to voice their thoughts.



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17 Oct 2007, 6:15 pm

My 'stupid' comment wasn't directed at any individuals here, just the idea it was written about.

I totally believe our penal system has been taken in the wrong direction. Here it is the year 2007 (Western time :wink: ) and look what we're doing in regards to maintaining peace in our communities. It's a shame.

I think that prevention should be concentrated on not just telling kids that some things are wrong, but looking for options to certain behaviours. I am one person who believes kids are influenced by media and we should restrict media a bit better than we do now.
I would like to see the business of media take the lead in this but they keep crying about how it's "what the consumer wants".

It seems to me that the concept of reparation has long since been tossed aside.
How can a criminal 'feel' any remorse about their actions if the victim is portrayed as society (which for some crimes is how it is played out in court)?
Society is not a person. It is a concept.
If the criminal was encouraged to make reparations to the actual victim or family of the victim, I think this would work better for turning that person around. This, of course, would only work for certain people and with certain crimes... how do you make reparations for owning a little pot?

I agree about confronting someone who has murdered a family member.
The 'nephew-in-law' who murdered my sister is incarcerated in Texas right now.
The TDC(Texas Dept. of Corrections), has a Victim's Program.
One of the things I can do is to request to see Greg (the guy who shot my sister).
They will only allow it if he takes responsibility for what he has done and understands this meeting will not influence any parole hearings he may come up for later.

For my part, I just want to hear him tell his story in his own words. It remains to be seen whether or not I'll believe him.
There's actually no dispute of the facts... he did kill two people and one horse that day.
I just want to hear what he has to say about it.

Would I want him to be released if he seemed remorseful enough and repentant? NO! I still believe he is a danger to people.
Would I want him to be executed for the murder of my sister? I think it would be just, for what he did and seeing as how he was not mentally incompetent at the time... just angry, and would likely do this again if released based upon his history.
Would I want him to spend the rest of his life in prison rather than the 50-year deal he cut (with possible parole)? If execution is not an option... YES!... but I hate the thought of caging him up due to the drain on society for keeping him there and because I see that type of life as possibly worse than death, knowing you'll never get out alive anyway.


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18 Oct 2007, 3:24 pm

the problem with being for or against the death penalty is that the prison system is not doing what it's suppossed to do.

Every crime needs to be looked at for a few things:

1) Can the perpetrator be rehabilitated. If so, do that and let him go to rejoin society and become a productive member of said society.

2) Is the perp a repeat offender? If so, then he/she is probably never going to be rehabilitated. So we need to find something to do with them long term.

3) Can the perp be rehabilitated? If not, see 2.

4) Was the crime a "moral" crime or a crime of violence/loss. A "moral" is something like being a drug user, it harms no one but that person. These people need to be rehabilitated or society needs to look at this as something other than a crime. A crime of violence/loss is murder, theft, etc... basically an action that denies another of something they need. We shouldn't be jailing people for smoking pot; if it's bad and we don't want folks doing that, they need to be treated and educated not locked up. Those who commit a crime of violence/loss need to first be rehabilitated and if that is not possible; we get into the last question.


So then you look at what it takes to keep someone in jail long term. Currently it costs more than $70,000 a year per person in maximum security prisons. Even more for someone on death row. This is cruel and unusual punishment not just to those incarcarated but to society as well. We can't afford to keep people locked up like that.

It takes on average 4 years to put someone through college or high school. Set that as your standard. If someone cannot be released back into society with useful skills and a path to become an upstanding member of society, either they need to fall into the second category or we need to re-do our system.

Those that cannot/will not be rehabilitated is where the difficult decisions come in. I believe that these people have given up their rights and can no longer be considered a member of society and need to be treated as such. Either execute them with no more delays, 4 years should be plenty of time for appeals and such now. (we've DNA evidence now, I'm not talking about grandfathered convictions) Or a more "humane" option would be to release them into a form of coventry. Set aside an island somewhere like Isle Royal in Lake Superior... drop the folks off there with minimal supplies and let them fend for themselves. Routine boat patrols keep them from leaving. IF they want to survive, it's up to them. They've chosen to not follow societies rules; so they no longer get the benefit of society.