15
   

The least cruel method of execution?

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Jan, 2009 03:20 pm
@OCCOM BILL,
OCCOM BILL wrote:

There you go feigning idiocy again, Joe. There is no contradiction there whatsoever, and your pretending there is will fool no one. He who kills for no reasonably understandable purpose presents a greater threat of recidivism that he who kills with a reasonably understandable purpose... because said circumstance is infinitely less likely to recur.

There you go, changing your position again. Unless "killing for no reasonably understandable purpose" is just another synonym for "heinous," then you're introducing yet another subset of murder into your argument (that would make three so far). Furthermore, the distinction makes no sense. There are plenty of mass murderers who kill for some "reasonably understandable purpose." Are they less likely to kill again if released?

OCCOM BILL wrote:
Any child of average intelligence could understand this point, but you're still pretending you can't... which means you're still acting like a ******* idiot and I'm still bored. If you'd like me to discuss my points further; address them with some indication you're trying to understand them, rather than twist them into something they're not. Until then; discussion with you is as useless as it is boring.

Sorry this is so boring for you, but I don't really see how your inability to present your own argument in a coherent fashion might reflect on me in the least. If you want to go on with this pitiful act, crying that no one understands you as a way to avoid explaining an increasingly confused and indefensible position, then I encourage you to start your own thread. I suggest "Waaaaah! I Want My Mommy!" as a title.
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Mon 12 Jan, 2009 03:23 pm
Hehehehehehehehehehe . . .

J'accuse !

I accuse Joe of having too much fun . . .
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Jan, 2009 03:28 pm
Set wrote:
J'accuse !


You obviously know about "threefeet" case..
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Jan, 2009 05:16 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

OCCOM BILL wrote:

There you go feigning idiocy again, Joe. There is no contradiction there whatsoever, and your pretending there is will fool no one. He who kills for no reasonably understandable purpose presents a greater threat of recidivism that he who kills with a reasonably understandable purpose... because said circumstance is infinitely less likely to recur.

There you go, changing your position again. Unless "killing for no reasonably understandable purpose" is just another synonym for "heinous," then you're introducing yet another subset of murder into your argument (that would make three so far). Furthermore, the distinction makes no sense. There are plenty of mass murderers who kill for some "reasonably understandable purpose." Are they less likely to kill again if released?
It's all the same position, Joe, and you're the only person pretending to be too stupid to get it. Yes Joe: Killing a person for being a witness, or so they don’t report your crime against them is heinous, or torturing them because it turns you on, etc... is indicative of a person who can’t be trusted not to do it again. He who kills a person who’s guilty of committing a heinous crime of is own, presents far less threat of recidivism. Only a moron would pretend that’s too tough to understand. Why do you continue to pretend to be that moron?

joefromchicago wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Any child of average intelligence could understand this point, but you're still pretending you can't... which means you're still acting like a ******* idiot and I'm still bored. If you'd like me to discuss my points further; address them with some indication you're trying to understand them, rather than twist them into something they're not. Until then; discussion with you is as useless as it is boring.

Sorry this is so boring for you, but I don't really see how your inability to present your own argument in a coherent fashion might reflect on me in the least. If you want to go on with this pitiful act, crying that no one understands you as a way to avoid explaining an increasingly confused and indefensible position, then I encourage you to start your own thread. I suggest "Waaaaah! I Want My Mommy!" as a title.
Rolling Eyes It's only you Joe. No one else here has pretended to be too stupid to understand what I write, whether they agree with it or not. Apparently you have no confidence you can face it head on, so you’ve decided to rely on sophomoric idiocy to avoid displaying your incompetence.

Oh, and leave my dead mother out of your childish bullshit if you have a shred of decency left. If you’re trying to convince me you’re a piece of ****; it’s starting to work. I've never seen you behave so poorly, online or in person, and continue to wonder what the **** your problem is...

joefromchicago
 
  0  
Reply Mon 12 Jan, 2009 07:37 pm
@OCCOM BILL,
OCCOM BILL wrote:
It's all the same position, Joe, and you're the only person pretending to be too stupid to get it. Yes Joe: Killing a person for being a witness, or so they don’t report your crime against them is heinous, or torturing them because it turns you on, etc... is indicative of a person who can’t be trusted not to do it again. He who kills a person who’s guilty of committing a heinous crime of is own, presents far less threat of recidivism. Only a moron would pretend that’s too tough to understand. Why do you continue to pretend to be that moron?

A person who kills a witness to prevent him from testifying is more likely to kill again than a person who kills a child rapist? How do you figure? Just because you think the latter crime is somehow laudable doesn't necessarily mean that the perpetrator is less likely to do it again. Didn't we learn anything from all those Charles Bronson movies?

OCCOM BILL wrote:
Rolling Eyes It's only you Joe. No one else here has pretended to be too stupid to understand what I write, whether they agree with it or not. Apparently you have no confidence you can face it head on, so you’ve decided to rely on sophomoric idiocy to avoid displaying your incompetence.

I'm the only one who has dealt squarely with your argument. It's not my fault that it is riddled with inconsistencies.

OCCOM BILL wrote:
Oh, and leave my dead mother out of your childish bullshit if you have a shred of decency left.

Oh brother! (you don't have a dead brother, do you?) Spare us your feigned indignation.

OCCOM BILL wrote:
If you’re trying to convince me you’re a piece of ****; it’s starting to work. I've never seen you behave so poorly, online or in person, and continue to wonder what the **** your problem is...

If you spent even one-fourth the time and effort on forming a logically coherent and well-reasoned argument as you have on complaining about me being a big meanie, then you might have actually accomplished something, instead of just pathetically whining like some spoiled little brat. If you want to play with the big kids, you better change out of that diaper.
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 12:01 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
It's all the same position, Joe, and you're the only person pretending to be too stupid to get it. Yes Joe: Killing a person for being a witness, or so they don’t report your crime against them is heinous, or torturing them because it turns you on, etc... is indicative of a person who can’t be trusted not to do it again. He who kills a person who’s guilty of committing a heinous crime of is own, presents far less threat of recidivism. Only a moron would pretend that’s too tough to understand. Why do you continue to pretend to be that moron?

A person who kills a witness to prevent him from testifying is more likely to kill again than a person who kills a child rapist? How do you figure? Just because you think the latter crime is somehow laudable doesn't necessarily mean that the perpetrator is less likely to do it again. Didn't we learn anything from all those Charles Bronson movies?
Rolling Eyes See if you can make your point without resorting to comic book characters, Joe. Once again you have no solid counter to a point so you bob and weave like a child. Is that really all you have left Joe?

joefromchicago wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Rolling Eyes It's only you Joe. No one else here has pretended to be too stupid to understand what I write, whether they agree with it or not. Apparently you have no confidence you can face it head on, so you’ve decided to rely on sophomoric idiocy to avoid displaying your incompetence.

I'm the only one who has dealt squarely with your argument. It's not my fault that it is riddled with inconsistencies.
There is no inconsistency at all Joe. And you remain the only person pretending to be too stupid to understand that. I guess it’s easier to pretend you’ve found a flaw in my presentation, than to actually try to counter it.

joefromchicago wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Oh, and leave my dead mother out of your childish bullshit if you have a shred of decency left.

Oh brother! (you don't have a dead brother, do you?) Spare us your feigned indignation.
Wow dude. Until and unless you apologize, you leave me little choice but to consider you an asshole. WTF is wrong with you?

joefromchicago wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
If you’re trying to convince me you’re a piece of ****; it’s starting to work. I've never seen you behave so poorly, online or in person, and continue to wonder what the **** your problem is...

If you spent even one-fourth the time and effort on forming a logically coherent and well-reasoned argument as you have on complaining about me being a big meanie, then you might have actually accomplished something, instead of just pathetically whining like some spoiled little brat. If you want to play with the big kids, you better change out of that diaper.
Big meanie? Laughing You are a pathetic little twit, Joe… and we both know it. It's funny that you want to portray yourself as the big guy on Robert's imaginary playground. If you applied even one-fourth of your intellect addressing what I actually wrote, instead of bobbing and weaving, pretending you've found a gotcha where none exists; this would have been an interesting discussion. Instead you've made a complete ass of yourself, and forced the level of our discourse to an all-time low. I can only assume this is because you know your idiotic position is untenable and was thoroughly exposed before we even began… and you just couldn't stomach being outwitted again. Hell, practically every poster on this thread demonstrated the idiocy of your position, before I ever posted a word. Joe the BIG KID… Laughing Pathetic…
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 01:01 pm
@OCCOM BILL,
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Blahblahblahblahblahblah...

How tiresome you've become, O'BILL.

There's no need for me to respond to any of the points you raised in your last post, because you didn't make any substantive points. Indeed, you haven't made any in about the last four posts. You'd much rather whine and complain about all of the imagined slights that you've had to endure at my hands. Fine, go ahead. You'll excuse me, however, if I don't join in.

I'll leave it at this. Here, as I understand it, is a summary of your position. You won't provide something like this, but perhaps you can at least point out where I have gone wrong:

According to you, "there is only one sure way to prevent recidivism." That is capital punishment. "The permanent nature of capital punishment is what makes it the only proven guarantee against repeat murder."

But while the death penalty prevents recidivism by murderers, you object to sentencing convicted murderers to be tortured to death because "torture would affect the recidivism rate not one iota." That's because it makes a big difference to potential future victims that a murderer is put to death, but it doesn't matter at all if he is tortured to death. The justification for capital punishment, therefore, is that it is the only sure way to prevent recidivism.

The option to sentence convicted murderers to life without parole should not be adopted because that punishment "has been proven less effective than capital punishment for preventing recidivism." In fact, your position can be summed up in the phrase: "Dead men don't re-offend."

Now, here's where things get a little murky.

You contend that "Death sentences should only be used on heinous criminals." "Heinousness," apparently, is measured by the "level of depraved indifference" displayed by the criminal, such "that they should never again be trusted." On the other hand, "Heinousness of the crime has no bearing on likelihood of recidivism," although it does have a bearing on the risk of recidivism (the distinction remains unclear).

You also now contend that not all murderers should be executed. "All offenders who met the well defined criteria for first degree murder/capital offense would face the death penalty. No other penalty would exceed 20 years without enhancements." In other words, although "heinousness" has no bearing on whether a murderer will kill again, and although capital punishment is the only effective method of preventing recidivism, you are still willing to free some murderers after as little as twenty years in prison: "those not convicted of First Degree/Capital Offenses should be sentenced to no more than twenty years in prison, disregarding any sentence enhancements." And that, apparently, is because there is a relationship between the murderer's "heinousness" and the likelihood of recidivism: "He who kills for no reasonably understandable purpose presents a greater threat of recidivism that he who kills with a reasonably understandable purpose... because said circumstance is infinitely less likely to recur."

In sum, capital punishment is justified because it prevents recidivism. No other punishment, including life without parole, is as effective at preventing recidivism. Society especially needs to protect itself against heinous murderers. We cannot, however, predict with any accuracy, based on the level of a murderer's "heinousness," whether he will commit any future crimes. All we know is that "heinous" murderers will be more likely to commit future crimes than "non-heinous" murderers. "Non-heinous" murderers, therefore, should be released from prison after serving their sentences, despite the possibility that they will commit more crimes, whereas "heinous" murderers should be put to death, in order to prevent them from committing more crimes.

But then again, maybe not, since you also acknowledge that "DOJ stats leave no room for doubt that violent criminals tend to re-offend." It's just that "preventing heinous criminal's recidivism is a perfectly logical goal and it so follows that preventing the most heinous acts recidivism are the most important." Or, in other words, while all violent criminals tend to re-offend, heinous criminals tend to re-offend worse, so there's more of a justification in stopping them from re-offending.

I encourage you to correct any errors I have made. Or you could just mope and pout and claim that I'm being an asshole. I leave the choice up to you.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 01:55 pm
Bill…

…although we have disagreed on many things over the years, we’ve normally kept up a cordial banter between us.

I’m gonna inject a thought for your consideration here.

Give this one up!

Joe is not interested in debate here. I suspect he’s not really all that interested in the subject matter at hand. He is interested in what always interests him, having someone to belittle"someone to use as a means of showcasing his talents as a lawyer. And obviously he is a good lawyer.

But lawyers don’t care about the rights and wrongs of an issue, Bill. Lawyers are interested in one thing…and one thing only: Winning.

Presenting a logical, reasonable argument for a position opposite the one that allows him to win…and you are truly casting pearls before swine.

The fact that Joe was willing to go to all the trouble to make that last post, Bill…should set off the final warning bells for you. Whatever needs are at work in him (on him) are much too demanding to ever allow penetration by what you are offering. I was astounded by that post…and I am sure anyone else following this thread was astounded also.

If you have any final words for him, my advice to you would be to offer them in response to me. He’ll read ‘em…and then go about his other business. This thread is finished. Everything that needs to be said has been said. I don’t mean this as an insult to him, but all Joe is looking for now is a patsy.

Don’t humor him.
OCCOM BILL
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 02:40 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

OCCOM BILL wrote:
Blahblahblahblahblahblah...

How tiresome you've become, O'BILL.

There's no need for me to respond to any of the points you raised in your last post, because you didn't make any substantive points. Indeed, you haven't made any in about the last four posts. You'd much rather whine and complain about all of the imagined slights that you've had to endure at my hands. Fine, go ahead. You'll excuse me, however, if I don't join in.
If by not joining in, you mean you're going to start addressing the my actual argument like you appear to have done, then, time permitting, I'll be happy to refrain from the pissing contest-idiocy as well. I'm sure no one is impressed with either of our behavior thus far during this exchange. Frankly, I have a great deal more respect for you than your behavior here has encouraged me to display, anyway.

joefromchicago wrote:

I'll leave it at this. Here, as I understand it, is a summary of your position. You won't provide something like this, but perhaps you can at least point out where I have gone wrong:

According to you, "there is only one sure way to prevent recidivism." That is capital punishment. "The permanent nature of capital punishment is what makes it the only proven guarantee against repeat murder."
Damn straight.

joefromchicago wrote:

But while the death penalty prevents recidivism by murderers, you object to sentencing convicted murderers to be tortured to death because "torture would affect the recidivism rate not one iota." That's because it makes a big difference to potential future victims that a murderer is put to death, but it doesn't matter at all if he is tortured to death. The justification for capital punishment, therefore, is that it is the only sure way to prevent recidivism.
Very close. My objection to punitive torture is that I find the suggestion as too heinous for a civilized society. Your contention that it would increase the deterrent effect, I think is probably pretty accurate… but I don’t see the additional deterrent affect of torture as sufficient justification to for society to do something so heinous. And, it is obviously true that it wouldn’t alter the recidivism rate one iota.

joefromchicago wrote:

The option to sentence convicted murderers to life without parole should not be adopted because that punishment "has been proven less effective than capital punishment for preventing recidivism." In fact, your position can be summed up in the phrase: "Dead men don't re-offend."
Exactly. They don’t.

joefromchicago wrote:

Now, here's where things get a little murky.

You contend that "Death sentences should only be used on heinous criminals." "Heinousness," apparently, is measured by the "level of depraved indifference" displayed by the criminal, such "that they should never again be trusted." On the other hand, "Heinousness of the crime has no bearing on likelihood of recidivism," although it does have a bearing on the risk of recidivism (the distinction remains unclear).
I don’t know how that could remain unclear; but I’ll try one final time to clear it up.
Death penalty should be used to prevent heinous criminals from repeat offending because heinous criminals present an unacceptable risk to innocent people. (Jaywalkers do not present an unacceptable risk to innocent people; so preventing their recidivism is infinitely less important.) Risk is identified not just by likelihood of reoffending, but also by what offense may be repeated and against whom.

joefromchicago wrote:

You also now contend that not all murderers should be executed. "All offenders who met the well defined criteria for first degree murder/capital offense would face the death penalty. No other penalty would exceed 20 years without enhancements." In other words, although "heinousness" has no bearing on whether a murderer will kill again, and although capital punishment is the only effective method of preventing recidivism, you are still willing to free some murderers after as little as twenty years in prison: "those not convicted of First Degree/Capital Offenses should be sentenced to no more than twenty years in prison, disregarding any sentence enhancements." And that, apparently, is because there is a relationship between the murderer's "heinousness" and the likelihood of recidivism: "He who kills for no reasonably understandable purpose presents a greater threat of recidivism that he who kills with a reasonably understandable purpose... because said circumstance is infinitely less likely to recur."
Your error here is in your rewording. There remains no necessary relationship between the murderer's "heinousness" and the likelihood of recidivism; the difference is in whether that risk is acceptable. Also note that I redefined "First degree" as "First degree/Capital Offense" with both aggravating factors AND the ability to back down from special circumstances.

joefromchicago wrote:

In sum, capital punishment is justified because it prevents recidivism. No other punishment, including life without parole, is as effective at preventing recidivism. Society especially needs to protect itself against heinous murderers. We cannot, however, predict with any accuracy, based on the level of a murderer's "heinousness," whether he will commit any future crimes. All we know is that "heinous" murderers will be more likely to commit future crimes than "non-heinous" murderers. "Non-heinous" murderers, therefore, should be released from prison after serving their sentences, despite the possibility that they will commit more crimes, whereas "heinous" murderers should be put to death, in order to prevent them from committing more crimes.
Okay, save the artificial, nonsensical contradiction in the middle, "We cannot, however, predict with any accuracy, based on the level of a murderer's "heinousness," whether he will commit any future crimes. All we know is that "heinous" murderers will be more likely to commit future crimes than "non-heinous" murderers." False. What we know is that heinous murderers will be more likely to commit more heinous crimes, which is a far less acceptable risk.
Perhaps the use of "heinous" in various contexts is causing confusion. A short, incomplete list of heinous would include:
Targeting of innocents = Heinous
Cannibalism = Heinous
Rape = Heinous
Child molestation = Heinous
Habitual violence = Heinous
Mutilation = Heinous
Kidnapping = Heinous
Torture = Heinous
Habitual terrorizing of innocents = Heinous

The 75 year old grandpa whose only violent crime ever is; a premeditated murder of his neighbor for raping his grandson (not legally permissible, but reasonably understandable), presents far less threat of repeating his crime (providing no one else rapes his grandkids) than the guy who kills his neighbor just to watch him die (neither legally permissible, nor reasonably understandable)(heinous). I wouldn’t worry about gramps, who killed his grandson’s rapist nearly as much as I would about the heinous murderer who kills people just to watch them die. Innocents are far less likely to face a threat from gramps… even if Gramps were to go on a child-rapist-killing spree (fictional Charley Bronson); he wouldn’t be targeting innocents… who are, of course, my primary concern.

joefromchicago wrote:

But then again, maybe not, since you also acknowledge that "DOJ stats leave no room for doubt that violent criminals tend to re-offend." It's just that "preventing heinous criminal's recidivism is a perfectly logical goal and it so follows that preventing the most heinous acts recidivism are the most important." Or, in other words, while all violent criminals tend to re-offend, heinous criminals tend to re-offend worse, so there's more of a justification in stopping them from re-offending.
I didn’t say "all" violent criminals tend to re-offend… but yes, violent criminals tend to reoffend and heinous criminals obviously commit worse crimes when they do re-offend. The serial rapist’s recidivism presents a greater threat to innocents than the serial jaywalker… regardless of whether or not they’ll reoffend equally as often.

joefromchicago wrote:

I encourage you to correct any errors I have made. Or you could just mope and pout and claim that I'm being an asshole. I leave the choice up to you.
Time permitting, I’ll be only too happy to discuss this with you civilly, if you can hold up your end… That would be infinitely more enjoyable.
OCCOM BILL
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 02:46 am
@Frank Apisa,
Thanks Frank, I appreciate your input, and more so the inherent decency in offering it. I was actually on the same page, until Joe’s last post. If he’s actually going to address what I write, now, then it may still be interesting to me. Historically, Joe and I have agreed on very little but we’ve never before been any less cordial than you and I… and I’ve usually enjoyed the banter. I respect his skills as much as you, and don’t mind that his posts tend to come peppered with ad hominem. I’m obviously nobody’s role model in that department myself, and after all these years I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume something else must be bothering him. We’ll see.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:32 pm
@OCCOM BILL,
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Very close. My objection to punitive torture is that I find the suggestion as too heinous for a civilized society.

I originally thought that you were changing your position again, but I see that, in your 2004 post, you mentioned that torture was too heinous for you to countenance. That still doesn't help you, though. My point has always been that, if you support capital punishment, then logically you should support torture. Your refusal to endorse torture on moral grounds (or esthetic grounds -- it's not clear), therefore, just makes your position on capital punishment inconsistent.

OCCOM BILL wrote:
Your contention that it would increase the deterrent effect, I think is probably pretty accurate… but I don’t see the additional deterrent affect of torture as sufficient justification to for society to do something so heinous. And, it is obviously true that it wouldn’t alter the recidivism rate one iota.

Well, those prudential reasons really shouldn't play any role in your argument if you're saying that you have a moral objection to torture, unless your morality is itself based on a purely prudential foundation. In other words, if your morality forbids you to endorse torture, then the fact that torture might actually work is (or should be) immaterial.

OCCOM BILL wrote:
I don’t know how that could remain unclear; but I’ll try one final time to clear it up.
Death penalty should be used to prevent heinous criminals from repeat offending because heinous criminals present an unacceptable risk to innocent people. (Jaywalkers do not present an unacceptable risk to innocent people; so preventing their recidivism is infinitely less important.) Risk is identified not just by likelihood of reoffending, but also by what offense may be repeated and against whom.

That's fair enough, but then these prudential considerations are also largely immaterial. It really doesn't matter why you favor capital punishment. The only thing that matters (at least in this discussion) is why you don't favor torture. I've heard lots of cockamamie rationales for the death penalty: yours isn't the most cockamamiest.

OCCOM BILL wrote:
Your error here is in your rewording. There remains no necessary relationship between the murderer's "heinousness" and the likelihood of recidivism; the difference is in whether that risk is acceptable. Also note that I redefined "First degree" as "First degree/Capital Offense" with both aggravating factors AND the ability to back down from special circumstances.

Yeah, I noticed that. I have no idea why you needed to redefine those terms or what your redefinition means, but then I'm not sure it matters any more.

OCCOM BILL wrote:
Okay, save the artificial, nonsensical contradiction in the middle, "We cannot, however, predict with any accuracy, based on the level of a murderer's "heinousness," whether he will commit any future crimes. All we know is that "heinous" murderers will be more likely to commit future crimes than "non-heinous" murderers." False. What we know is that heinous murderers will be more likely to commit more heinous crimes, which is a far less acceptable risk.

I'm not entirely sure I agree -- after all, I haven't seen any empirical studies which reach that conclusion and you certainly haven't cited any. For the purposes of argument, however, I'm willing to accept that "heinous" murderers are more likely to commit more "heinous" murders. Since this all relates to your recidivism argument, however, it really doesn't matter. You oppose torture on moral grounds, not on prudential grounds, and preventing recidivism is a prudential concern, not a moral one.

OCCOM BILL wrote:
Innocents are far less likely to face a threat from gramps… even if Gramps were to go on a child-rapist-killing spree (fictional Charley Bronson); he wouldn’t be targeting innocents… who are, of course, my primary concern.

I'm glad you put your faith in Gramps to be judge, jury, and executioner. And here I thought everyone was innocent until proven guilty.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:33 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Aw, Frank, I forgot just how adorable you are when you're cranky.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 12:51 pm
@joefromchicago,
Hi, Joe!

Didn’t feel cranky when I posted…and I truly tried to be moderate in how I phrased what I had to say.

Did I get anything wrong with the way I characterized the way lawyers tend to work???

I wasn’t negatively judging the matter.

As I see it, if a person is a lawyer…and is more concerned with the rights and wrongs of the issues than with winning…that person ain’t much of a lawyer.

Just wanted to remind Bill of that.

joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 03:28 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
Did I get anything wrong with the way I characterized the way lawyers tend to work???

Yep.

Frank Apisa wrote:
I wasn’t negatively judging the matter.

No, you were negatively judging me. But that's ok, I forgive you.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 03:05 am
@joefromchicago,
Time is short… and looks like it will be for a while, but I didn’t want to ignore a cordial post.

joefromchicago wrote:

OCCOM BILL wrote:
Very close. My objection to punitive torture is that I find the suggestion as too heinous for a civilized society.

I originally thought that you were changing your position again, but I see that, in your 2004 post, you mentioned that torture was too heinous for you to countenance.
Decent of you to admit that. Truth be told; I've probably been accused of hypocrisy on A2K 100 times. I don’t recall it being proven, even once. (Other than confessing a to believing in a double standard between male and female in DV cases... and that is only because I don't believe them to be equal crimes.)

joefromchicago wrote:
That still doesn't help you, though. My point has always been that, if you support capital punishment, then logically you should support torture. Your refusal to endorse torture on moral grounds (or esthetic grounds -- it's not clear), therefore, just makes your position on capital punishment inconsistent.
Moral grounds for the most part. Torture is very evil so it would take a tremendous evil for torture to be the lesser of the two.

joefromchicago wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Your contention that it would increase the deterrent effect, I think is probably pretty accurate… but I don’t see the additional deterrent affect of torture as sufficient justification to for society to do something so heinous. And, it is obviously true that it wouldn’t alter the recidivism rate one iota.

Well, those prudential reasons really shouldn't play any role in your argument if you're saying that you have a moral objection to torture, unless your morality is itself based on a purely prudential foundation. In other words, if your morality forbids you to endorse torture, then the fact that torture might actually work is (or should be) immaterial.
I’m not following you here. My morality doesn’t necessarily forbid me to endorse torture (though it does forbid me to endorse punitive torture); it mandates that when faced with terrible choices I should choose the lesser evil whenever possible, and again; it would take a tremendous evil for torture to be the lesser of two.

joefromchicago wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
I don’t know how that could remain unclear; but I’ll try one final time to clear it up.
Death penalty should be used to prevent heinous criminals from repeat offending because heinous criminals present an unacceptable risk to innocent people. (Jaywalkers do not present an unacceptable risk to innocent people; so preventing their recidivism is infinitely less important.) Risk is identified not just by likelihood of reoffending, but also by what offense may be repeated and against whom.

That's fair enough, but then these prudential considerations are also largely immaterial. It really doesn't matter why you favor capital punishment. The only thing that matters (at least in this discussion) is why you don't favor torture.
I think I’ve explained that.

joefromchicago wrote:
I've heard lots of cockamamie rationales for the death penalty: yours isn't the most cockamamiest.
Really? That’s quite a statement considering what you’re feigning advocacy of.

joefromchicago wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Your error here is in your rewording. There remains no necessary relationship between the murderer's "heinousness" and the likelihood of recidivism; the difference is in whether that risk is acceptable. Also note that I redefined "First degree" as "First degree/Capital Offense" with both aggravating factors AND the ability to back down from special circumstances.

Yeah, I noticed that. I have no idea why you needed to redefine those terms or what your redefinition means, but then I'm not sure it matters any more.
Well, if we’re back to exclusively discussing your "anything short of torture is a half measure" theory; I suppose it doesn’t. It did, however, explain how my hypothetical death penalty eligibility standards differed from the norm.

joefromchicago wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Okay, save the artificial, nonsensical contradiction in the middle, "We cannot, however, predict with any accuracy, based on the level of a murderer's "heinousness," whether he will commit any future crimes. All we know is that "heinous" murderers will be more likely to commit future crimes than "non-heinous" murderers." False. What we know is that heinous murderers will be more likely to commit more heinous crimes, which is a far less acceptable risk.

I'm not entirely sure I agree -- after all, I haven't seen any empirical studies which reach that conclusion and you certainly haven't cited any. For the purposes of argument, however, I'm willing to accept that "heinous" murderers are more likely to commit more "heinous" murders. Since this all relates to your recidivism argument, however, it really doesn't matter. You oppose torture on moral grounds, not on prudential grounds, and preventing recidivism is a prudential concern, not a moral one.
Okay…

joefromchicago wrote:
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Innocents are far less likely to face a threat from gramps… even if Gramps were to go on a child-rapist-killing spree (fictional Charley Bronson); he wouldn’t be targeting innocents… who are, of course, my primary concern.

I'm glad you put your faith in Gramps to be judge, jury, and executioner. And here I thought everyone was innocent until proven guilty.
I didn’t suggest the law should give him a pass (that’s what juries are for.) How long would you put away that 75 year old Grandpa who’s only crime in his whole life was to blow away his grandson’s rapist? More than 20 years? Life? Would you have him tortured, Joe? Would you be equally afraid to have him in your neighborhood as the guy who blows people away for kicks? Really?
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 08:09 am
OFF TOPIC TO JOE!


Joe, you wrote:

Quote:
“No, you were negatively judging me. But that's ok, I forgive you.”


Yes, I was, Joe.

And that was a damn decent response from you to my unnecessary negative judgement.

I apologize.

But I am always of the “look for the silver lining” mind"and the one I find here is the opportunity to discuss the role and function of “the lawyer” in advocacy proceedings. (I’m not proposing to do so here, just want to ask a question!)

I had planned to start a thread discussing (asking questions about) the role an attorney plays (whether required by law, professional ethics, whatever) during advocacy. It was going to deal with an aspect (at least, one that I thought existed) that relates to Internet advocacy.

I know that on occasion during Internet discussions, I have gone from advocating a position from principle"to “I’m more interested in winning this argument that the principle involved.”

I’ve seen lots of evidence that others do it also.

I sensed a relationship between those two phenomena and for some time now, have wanted to explore it. That probably accounted for some of the comments I made to Bill. But your response to my question, “Did I get anything wrong with the way I characterized the way lawyers tend to work?” causes me to wonder if I may be way off base.

Can you offer a paragraph, off topic, that might set me straight? And at that point, I probably will start that thread.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 10:48 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank: You wrote: "But lawyers don’t care about the rights and wrongs of an issue, Bill. Lawyers are interested in one thing…and one thing only: Winning." That's incorrect -- at least for the vast majority of lawyers. Lawyers are bound by a strict code of professional ethics. If "win at all costs" collides with an ethical rule, the ethical rule prevails. Of course, there are unethical lawyers, just as there are unethical doctors, accountants, bankers, and taxi cab drivers, and for them the equation is reversed. Furthermore, the public's perception of lawyers is slanted by depictions in popular media, where lawyers frequently flout ethical rules because it makes for a good story. But just because you saw a lawyer acting like a scoundrel on Boston Legal or in a John Grisham novel doesn't mean that's the norm in the profession.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 11:10 am
@OCCOM BILL,
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Moral grounds for the most part. Torture is very evil so it would take a tremendous evil for torture to be the lesser of the two.

Again, that may very well be true. But then that just means that someone who wants to ameliorate the act of execution -- to make it, in some sense, the "least cruel" method of execution -- is acting in an inconsistent fashion.

OCCOM BILL wrote:
I’m not following you here. My morality doesn’t necessarily forbid me to endorse torture (though it does forbid me to endorse punitive torture); it mandates that when faced with terrible choices I should choose the lesser evil whenever possible, and again; it would take a tremendous evil for torture to be the lesser of two.

Well, I'm not sure why your morality would forbid you to endorse torture as a means of punishment while allowing you to endorse torture in general, but that's beside the point. If your morality, however, mandates that you choose the lesser evil whenever possible, then your morality should mandate that you choose some punishment short of the death penalty. And that's because, to be consistent, you should favor torture as a means of execution (and I laid out my basis for that conclusion in this post).

OCCOM BILL wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
I've heard lots of cockamamie rationales for the death penalty: yours isn't the most cockamamiest.
Really? That’s quite a statement considering what you’re feigning advocacy of.

I'm not advocating capital punishment. I'm advocating torture as the only defensible means to execute prisoners.

OCCOM BILL wrote:
Well, if we’re back to exclusively discussing your "anything short of torture is a half measure" theory; I suppose it doesn’t. It did, however, explain how my hypothetical death penalty eligibility standards differed from the norm.

I realize that. I just don't know if "first degree/capital offense" means that all persons convicted of first degree murder should be "death eligible" or if you are saying that "death eligible" prisoners are a subset of those convicted of "first degree/capital offenses."

OCCOM BILL wrote:
I didn’t suggest the law should give him a pass (that’s what juries are for.) How long would you put away that 75 year old Grandpa who’s only crime in his whole life was to blow away his grandson’s rapist? More than 20 years? Life? Would you have him tortured, Joe? Would you be equally afraid to have him in your neighborhood as the guy who blows people away for kicks? Really?

Frankly, anyone who takes the law into their own hands like Gramps should be punished severely. No doubt we would live in a much better world if there weren't any child rapists around, but then we'd also live in a much better world if there weren't any armed geriatric vigilantes around. And if the state were to decide to execute Gramps, I would trust that it would execute him in the most cruel and unusual manner possible.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 11:10 am
@joefromchicago,
Thanks, Joe. When I start that thread, I hope you stop by.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 02:27 pm
@OCCOM BILL,
Quote:
Truth be told; I've probably been accused of hypocrisy on A2K 100 times. I don’t recall it being proven, even once.


There's no need for proof, Bill, as you stand as living proof. If you don't condemn the torture, murder and terrorism committed by your government, and you don't, then you are a hypocrite.

And your signature line [The hottest fires in hell are reserved for those who remain neutral in times of moral crisis. (Edmund Burke)] makes you an even bigger hypocrite, because you not only remain neutral as this evil goes on, you actively cheer.


0 Replies
 
 

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