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Capital Punishment

 
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 07:30 pm
Because I do not trust the apparatus of the state enough to believe that there are no false convictions for capital offenses, I cannot support capital punishment. (I do realize that this argument against state execution has been presented by at least 2 participants on this thread. I make no claim to originality.)

I'm thinking that at least some on this list...

http://www.truthinjustice.org/exonerated.htm

...were in fact innocent of the crime of which the were convicted, and I shudder to think how many have been executed before they have had a chance to be exonerated. I was living in Chicago when Anthony Porter was released, and it made a big impression on me.
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 09:12 pm
@patiodog,
If one innocent person is executed and it deters and prevents 5 other murders, then it's good outcome though, right?

(rhetorical, obviously)
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 09:30 pm
@Eorl,
Mathematically, yes. Ethically, no. And purely hypothetical, or begging the question of whether capital punishment is an effective deterrent.

And what of the unpunished murderer who goes free? (For surely there is no incentive to pursue the matter further post-execution.)
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 09:45 pm
@patiodog,
patiodog wrote:

Because I do not trust the apparatus of the state enough to believe that there are no false convictions for capital offenses, I cannot support capital punishment. (I do realize that this argument against state execution has been presented by at least 2 participants on this thread. I make no claim to originality.)

I'm thinking that at least some on this list...

http://www.truthinjustice.org/exonerated.htm

...were in fact innocent of the crime of which the were convicted, and I shudder to think how many have been executed before they have had a chance to be exonerated. I was living in Chicago when Anthony Porter was released, and it made a big impression on me.
This is my opinion also. As I have posted my thoughts on at least two or three other threads, I have been staying out of this one.
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 10:03 pm
@Eorl,
Eorl wrote:
If one innocent person is executed and it deters and prevents 5 other murders, then it's good outcome though, right?

(rhetorical, obviously)


patiodog wrote:
Mathematically, yes. Ethically, no. And purely hypothetical, or begging the question of whether capital punishment is an effective deterrent.

And what of the unpunished murderer who goes free? (For surely there is no incentive to pursue the matter further post-execution.)


How about we do a little algebra here? Let's substitute the innocent person to be executed with a person who possesses kidneys, a liver, a heart, and bone marrow* that could save the lives of 5 other people. Should this person be executed so that his organs might be harvested to save those 5 people?

If your answer is no, then how could you countenance the execution of an innocent person to prevent 5 hypothetical deaths? And if your answer is yes, you'd better get to dyin', because several other people could be using your tissues...

*OK, so bone marrow is harvested from the living. I couldn't come up with a fifth life-saving transplant...

Hey, edgar, how goes?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 10:13 pm
Goes well, thanks.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 10:24 pm
"A Chinese court has sentenced two men to death for their role in the production and sale of melamine-tainted milk that killed at least six children and made nearly 300,000 ill."

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 06:51 am
Well, to summarize, i oppose the death penalty for several reasons, all of which have been discussed already. The first is that there is no good evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent, against which notion i have also argued logically. Then there is the problem of false conviction. There is also the problem that condemning someone to execution leads to far more expense for the state than supporting someone incarcerated for life. Finally, there is the problem that i alluded to in my long post (which might not have been clear to everyone who bothered to read it), which is that "justice" is for sale, and the wealthy and the powerful are not subject to the same standards with regard to murder as are everyone else--and in fact, wealth and power can even distort the definition of what constitutes murder.
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 08:00 am
@patiodog,
Damn. Cos I got to thinkin', if we start executing people on the mere suspicion of having done something bad, we'd cut the "murder" rate to almost nothing... if it actually was an effective deterrent of course.
patiodog
 
  2  
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 08:15 am
@Eorl,
Well, the pre-emptive execution of all potential murderers should be a 100% effective deterrent, I'm thinking. Of course, we must carefully craft our definition of "potential murderer," to avoid inequitable distribution of pre-justice. I propose that only those who are capable of independent movement be included in this category, for surely quadriplegics are incapable of murder without the assistance of an outside agent.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 08:53 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Well, to summarize, i oppose the death penalty for several reasons, all of which have been discussed already. The first is that there is no good evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent, against which notion i have also argued logically. Then there is the problem of false conviction. There is also the problem that condemning someone to execution leads to far more expense for the state than supporting someone incarcerated for life. Finally, there is the problem that i alluded to in my long post (which might not have been clear to everyone who bothered to read it), which is that "justice" is for sale, and the wealthy and the powerful are not subject to the same standards with regard to murder as are everyone else--and in fact, wealth and power can even distort the definition of what constitutes murder.


Nice concise summary ('specially for you Wink

I agree with all that and would like to add;

I propose that no human being, or group of human being should give themselves permission to kill another, nor should they force, or allow another to do it for them. Why are your reasons better than Hitler's or Stalin's or the Chinese government today? You fight to restrain the power your government has over you, yet you grant them the power to kill you?

The death penalty demonstrates that killing people is an acceptable way to deal with a problem. Is that the kind of thinking you want to nurture?

Mostly, a person can only legally kill another in self-defense if there is a clear and immediate threat and they have no choice. People in groups, no matter how large, should hold themselves to the same principles. One reason they don't is that the responsibility is diluted by the numbers involved.

Some argu e that the death penalty is kinder than gaol. Perhaps they'd like to take a poll of the criminals mothers, see if the impact on them is also less.

I don't have data to prove this, but I'll also guess that the mere existence of the death penalty changes the outcome of trials. How many murderers go free, because a jury feared making the wrong call? How many leaned the other way, because the criminal scares them?

How many murderers, knowing that they'll soon be caught and face the death penalty, commit even more murders, then escape the whole situation by saving the last bullet? Once they've crossed the line, they've nothing left to restrain them. In for a penny, in for a pound, right?

Countries around the world are gradually abolishing the death penalty, and organisations such as the UN and Amnesty are pushing for this to worldwide. The point I'm making here is that those who just looked stunned and say "Of course, we need the death penalty, there would be chaos otherwise" need to look a further afield and see how well some of us manage without it. It may be your preference, but it's certainly not necessary.

Come on world, you stopped burning witches, you can do this too.



Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 09:27 am
@Eorl,
Quote:
Nice concise summary ('specially for you)


Goddamn . . . the truth hurts . . .
0 Replies
 
LawLover
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Feb, 2009 08:36 pm
@secondchance,
Capital punishment is not the answer to the increasing crime rate and worsening street conditions. It would only complicate matters.
0 Replies
 
 

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