QUOTE(Vermillion @ Jul 23 2005, 05:14 PM)
1- Killing murderers is better than letting them back onto the streets to kill again.
The fact is, if murderers are being set free after a few years, then this is a problem with the lagal system, NOT a problem with the death penalty. The system for sentencing of criminals needs to be refined, so that brutal murderers are NOT let back onto the street after a few years. In the rest of the First World (where no other country but the US has the Death penalty) this is handled through 'profligate offenders' or dangerous offernder' tags which ensure that a life sentence is actually a life sentence.
2- Killing criminals acts as a deterrent to other criminals
There is no evidence whatsoever that the Death Penalty acts as a deterrent. There is however a great deal of evidence that it does not. In fact, for the most part pro-death penalty advocates have abandoned the deterrent argument, I am a bit surprised to see it come up here. The fact is, the first world nation with the highest Murder rate per capita is also the ONLY first world nation which has the death penalty; the US. Furthermore, as somebody (apologies, I forgot whom) already pointed out, only a miniscule fraction of murderers receive the death penalty. Add to that the fact that nobody commits crimes intending to get caught, and the basic logical flaw of assuming the death penalty would make a to-be-murderer think twice, while 30 years in a hell-hole would not is a bit silly.
3- Would you want somebody killed if they raped/murdered/abused your daughter/wife/mother?
Utterly irrelevant. I would want somebody dead if they cut off my girlfriend in traffic. That does not make it right or just. That is also why we have judges and a judicial system, as opposed to having the fate of accused criminals determined by grieving relatives.
4- There is no proof any innocent people have ever been executed.
As far as I know, there is no solid proof of this true. However there is evidence innocent people have been executed. And considering that in the last 20 years over 250 people on death row in the United States have been set free through the intervention of extra-judicial investigative organisations, you would have to be utterly blind to reality to presume that not a single innocent person hs been sent to execution.
Now then; I have two main reasons why I strongly oppose the death penalty in the United States. The first is a very amorphos and debatable one, one with no real proof on either side. That is that murder is wrong. Executing someone, not in self defence, at a time of peace with pemeditation is murder. So why is it suddenly acceptable when an organisation does it as opposed to the individual? Or, let us be clear, a specific governmental organisation only? The state killing people is wrong and hypocritical.
However, the second argument, a bit more solid and open to interpretation, is that at the moment the United States judicial system is racist. As such, with an obvious bias in the system, it is the hight of folly to allow the system to execute people. Consider the following:
With a national population of just over 10%, Blacks none the less form 34% of all those executed since 1976. They form 41% of those currently on death Row in the United States.
-For similar crimes, black defendants are 20% more likely to draw jail time then white defendants.
-For similar crimes, black defendants are 45% more likely to draw the death penalty then white defendants.
-For similar drug-related crimes, black defendants are 74% more likely to draw jail time then white defendants.
-The United States incarcerates African-American men at a rate that is approximately four times the rate of incarceration of Black men in South Africa.
- In 1986, before mandatory minimums for crack offences became effective, the average federal drug offence sentence for blacks was 11% higher than for whites. Four years later following the implementation of harsher drug sentencing laws, the average federal drug offence sentence was 49% higher for blacks.
Addressing your rebuttals:
1. The main concern here is that a murderer escapes, which does happen. So judicial problems or not, there are ways for people to escape prison, and sometimes people get 20 or 40 years for murder. Sooooo... what can we replace it with? Life in prison, which may lead to someone escaping (People would try to escape. No deterrant there. "Stop trying to escape, or we'll give you another life sentence!!"
2. There is no possible "No deterrant" argument on the no DP side. If you say, we'll give them life rather than death, then where is a deterrant there? Also, the argument that depicts criminals not expecting to get caught is absurd. You don't see murderers strutting around in the streets with their sawed-off shotguns in their hands and machetes slung on their backs. They hide for a reason. They don't want to get caught!
I suppose they may or may not care what is waiting for them if they get caught, but think, if you were a murderer, a sick, crazy, freak, then would you want to die or just want to kill more people? (Now that's
a scenario to imagine!
) I don't know if that analogy addressed that or not or if it's new...
3. This is an analogy to bring it to more personal terms. It is easy to say that X is wrong, even though others contend its right, until something affects you that brings you close to doing X. So if, as a statement, I say, punching people to harm them is bad. You can probably amend that statement if someone is trying to kidnap you. (Once again, I don't know if this analogy was good or not...) My point: even though I generally don't argue the statement you are arguing against, I could say "Yeah, that's a point, because it brings it to more personal terms," rather than saying "It happened to someone I don't know, so it doesn't matter." After saying "Abortion is bad," it would be rather easy to justify to yourself that abortion is ok in situations if you were impregnated after a rape or something. (Sorry for another odd, graphic analogy...)
4. I don't know why people are arguing this. I agree, it is false. The point of it is supposed to be that very few innocent people are given capital punishment. Besides, isn't that better than letting another Ted Bundy go and kill 10 innocent people?
1. The fact that it is the government enforcing laws
makes it right. Are you going to argue that someone who held someone else prisoner for 10 years shouldn't be jailed for 10 years because that is being hypocritical?
2. Two questions: A: Where are these statistics from? B: Could the word that is used in your statistics, "likely," mean that black people, for who-knows-why reasons, commit these crimes with a greater frequency than white people?
EDIT: Sorry if I didn't quote correctly in a formatting sense by not adding the <snip> things, Vermillion
/Moderators. I cut a few parts out of the post.