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blingice
I am astonished to find that my search of ad.gif showed no threads regarding the death penalty specifically!

Of course everyone knows the questions I am going to ask.

Muchos links!:
http://www.derechos.org/dp/

Links to pro-death penalty websites:
http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/
http://www.yesdeathpenalty.com/deathpenalty.htm

Links to anti-death penalty websites:
http://www.nodeathpenalty.org/
http://www.deathpenalty.org/
http://web.amnesty.org/pages/deathpenalty-index-eng

crying.gif I hope this won't be closed. tongue.gif

Questions:
Is the death penalty a punishment that ought to be used?

Why?
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CruisingRam
This is one of those very difficult questions- because reality and philosophy collide so much in this one.

I have worked with the scum of society for nearly 18 years- and I have no problem calling them less than human- they look like humans, but they are predators that love to harm others- and have no qualms about using societies soft hearts and mercy against us.

So- in philosophy, I am totally for the death penalty- and seeing the folks I see, I would pull the switch myself.

However- in the big picture- we are executing innocent men IMO- or, as has been shown many times now- we have innocent men on death row.

The problem lies with who we consistantly apply the death penalty to- we don't execute rich poeple or the poeple that harm society and such the most- and public defenders are too overwhelmed to adequately defend these guys.

i am always reminded of a case I participated in years ago- a very, very mentally ill black man killed a very popular white police officer, not really meaning too, he was just squeezing off rounds from a 22 at random and the cop, without a vest, walked into the bullet basically. No pre-meditation, in intent- if it were a white rich guy, never would have got more than manslaughter- but since he was indingent, and black, he ended up with 99 years, he will be eligble for parole when he is 103.

The public defender met with him a grand total of 15 minutes before his trial, and talked with him for ten minutes 3 times on the phone prior to that - for a grand total of 45 minutes of work on this case with his client.



So, I am all for a death penalty, to ensure murderers NEVER get out of jail.

I am for the death penalty to ensure that the cyclical nature of the society and law does not one day let out a John Hinkley, or Michael Milken for that manner (I believe that fraud in excess of 250K should get the death penalty, because I feel they are the greatest threat we have to our society) to re-offend in any manner.

I believe in executing any violent criminal with over 3 felony convictions- as long as one of them is a violent criminal.

But my belief and the <um> execution, of my philosophy are at odds.

Untill we have some major legal reform, I am against the death penalty in the manner the US currently manages it.
Erasmussimo
Is the death penalty a punishment that ought to be used?

Why?


I have no problem with the death penalty in theory. It seems pointless to put a man in prison for the rest of his life; he has nothing to live for. However, in practice, there are three, um, killer problems with the death penalty:

1. As CruisingRam pointed out, it is applied unevenly. It's too easy for a wealthy person to avoid, and too easy for a poor person to be executed. We need more judiciousness in its application.

2. As CruisingRam suggested, it's too unreliable. We have too many cases of men on death row being exonerated by new evidence. Nobody should be sentenced to die unless we are absolutely, positively certain of their guilt. Obviously, we fail here too often.

3. It's too expensive! It costs about $50K to incarcerate a prisoner for one year. Given average life expectancies, that adds up to maybe $2 - $3 million over the life of a capital criminal. But the costs of litigating a death sentence can run up to $5 million, and when we consider the overload on our court system, it's unacceptable. Save some money and put them away for life.
DaytonRocker
QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Jul 17 2005, 10:23 PM)
This is one of those very difficult questions- because reality and philosophy collide so much in this one.

Couldn't have said it better myself. I'm all for killing the scum of the earth, but the problem is lawyers. I'm torn as to who deserves capital punishment more (note to any lawyers reading this: you are the exception. Allegedly and without malice, I really didn't mean you specifically).

I know it's only 99% of lawyers that give the rest a bad name, but it's unbelievable to me someone can be serious about putting the life of a human being into the hands of lawyers. There is so much gamesmanship, spin, deceit, and downright lying that goes on both sides of the court (prosecutors and defense), that knowing the right thing was done cannot be a certainty.

When we can trust lawyers, I say that we implement capital punishment with vigor to make more room for good people. Until then, keep the bad guys in a cell in case until they prove to be of better character than the people that put them there - which unfortunately, is not as rare as we'd like to think it is.
Victoria Silverwolf
Thank you for all the links. flowers.gif

This particular organization is one which touches my heart most strongly:

Murder Victims' Familes for Human Rights

I can absolutely understand why the family members of a murder victim would want to end the life of the monster who killed their loved one. I imagine I would feel the same way. The fact that are many people who have lost those dearest to them to murder, and who yet still stand firmly against the death penalty, strengthens my resolve against this form of punishment.

QUOTE
"The death penalty is about revenge and hate, and revenge and hate is why my daughter and those 167 other people are dead today."

Bud Welch, father of Julie Marie Welch,
victim in the Oklahoma City bombing


Strong words indeed.

I hope this shows that my opposition to the death penalty is not based on empathy for the most evil people among us. It is based on my belief that the government, if it is to have any legitimacy at all, must keep its actions at a higher level than the understandable desire for revenge.

As others have noted, even many of those who would favor the death penalty in theory must oppose it in practice. The death penalty is an infinite punishment, and therefore the government which makes use of it must be perfect in all its judgements; an impossible standard.

From my point of view, the death penalty is not acceptable either in theory or practice.
Bay State Rebel
No. The primary argument for the death penalty is "justice," "balancing the scales." The scales here are balanced by a doctrine of "animam pro anima." But is this justice? Is this a balance of the scales? The body remains where it lies. Murder is the one crime for which the scales can never be balanced, not by the death penalty, nor by any other means. Entropy is immutable; adding more blood to the pool will no nothing for society, but simply create a dark satisfaction. And that is where this argument is rooted: in a hateful desire for revenge and suffering, "justice." True justice is a counterweight, and murder has no counterweight. No death can ever be made just.

As for deterrent, the deterrent amounts to a peaceful death. For some, this may be sufficient, but for those, doubtless the horrors of prison would also be sufficient. After the crime is committed, however, are the horrors of prison as likely as the threat of death to make one throw caution to the winds, and in throwing caution to the winds, harm oneself and others, who adhere to the law?
skeeterses
The cost of the death penalty itself is reason to be very strict about when to use it.

The Justice system is just one part of the machinery society uses to prevent crime. Tough laws and punishments by themselves cannot prevent murder from happening. To catch a murderer, you need police officers patrolling the street, detectives, video cameras throughout the city, and well funded crime laboratories.
Those things all cost money.

Jeffrey Dahmer started his murder spree in the early 1980s. He started his Milwaukee murders in the late 1980s and got arrested in 1991. In Milwaukee, Jeffrey Dahmer kept the corpses in his apartment, creating a horrible smell in his building. A simple visit from the City Health Inspector would have gotten that maniac arrested sooner.
CruisingRam
The money for catching and prosecuting a murderer that you speak of is an argument against "victimless" crimes - not the death penalty there skeeterses- thumbsup.gif w00t.gif
same with the argument of how much it costs for someone on death row-

There are very legitimate arguments for and against the death penalty:

Against
1) The death penalty doesn't deter crime- in vact, nothing deters a murderer really- they have already shattered so many cultural taboos at that point nothing will deter thier behavior at the time of the crime.

2) It is unevenly applied- only the poor are actually killed- if they kill Scott Peterson, he will be the first one to my knowledge that made over 30K in todays money since the 1920s.

3) The goverment is far from perfect when it makes a murder conviction- sloppy policework and sloppy prosecution and rush to judgement are the norm- not the exception, in capital murder cases

For:

1) It ensures that monsters never walk among potential victims again. - and, it is the only reason, but a very, very compelling one for the death penalty.

I will use the case of Charles Meach- the justice system fails, and when it does, innocent folks get killed, and it is the single most compelling reason for the death penalty for ANYONE regardless of mental capacity or state of mind during the killing, to be put to death after a murder- as long as there is no doubt as to guilt.

Here is a little about meach, and the news story about it- I can not, confirm nor deny any contact with any person mentioned in this article after 1987 - because of where I work- I can however, comment on the meach case, because I was still in high school at the time, and he is now dead.

:
Meanwhile, in May 1982, Charles Meach, who had been found not guilty because of insanity of a 1970s murder, killed four teenagers in Russian Jack Park. Meach had been confined to Alaska Psychiatric Institute since his acquittal but was out on a day pass, supposedly getting acclimated to normal society in preparation for his release from the institution.

Alaska didn't wait for Hinckley to be found not guilty. Meach was enough. The 1982 Legislature eliminated all but prong No. 1. Since then, defendants can only argue that they are legally insane if they are so sick they don't realize they are killing a human being. As Bachman put it in the Rocereta case:

entire story here:

http://www.adn.com/front/story/5879868p-5792394c.html

Had he been put to death, 3 teenagers would still be alive today- instead, they were gunned down by a very evil and violent man, that was able to manipulate the system to get himself free.

I believe in a consistant application of the death penalty when guilt is not the issue-

the only factor should be eminent self defense, and I mean eminent.

They should have killed Charles meach

they should have killed Andrea Yates

They should have killed the Menendez brothers

the list goes on.

They should kill any drunk driver that kills while driving drunk.

Ending anothers life through gross negligence to cold blooded murder should take away your right to life as well.



Vibiana
I know someone who is on Death Row, and I knew the people he killed. He is an awful example of humanity, and should never breathe free air again, but I cannot support the death penalty for him or any other murderer. It won't bring the victims back.

The only people I *do* support the death penalty for is child molesters. They can't be cured and they wreak unspeakable damage on innocents, over and over again. That might not make much sense, but it's how I feel.
Hobbes
Is the death penalty a punishment that ought to be used?

Why?


I am against the death penalty (yes, really!). I think many people are in favor of it for the wrong reasons. First, the assumption (which is incorrect) that we shouldn't have to waste all that money putting such criminals in prison for life. The sad truth is that it costs far more to prosecute death penalty cases (usually into the millions) than it does to lock someone up (approx. $40,000/yr is a figure I've seen used). Second, I don't think it provides any disincentive to criminals. Can anyone provide any evidence that violent crime has decreased with the implementation of the death penalty? I haven't seen any. The simple reason being that criminals don't think they'll be caught, so the penalty doesn't even enter into their mind (at least not until after the fact, when it is too late). So, we are wasting money on something that doesn't deter crime. Throw in the various moral issues, and it seems clear that the death penalty has many issues, and doesn't provide any benefits. Keeping such a law in place is completely irrational....except for the political factors. Which brings me back to the erroneous reasons many people support it.

For those here arguing in favor of it on moral grounds (an eye for an eye), I ask a simple question: given that sometimes innocents are put to death as well and the complete lack of any other benefits, is it worth it?
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skeeterses
QUOTE
The money for catching and prosecuting a murderer that you speak of is an argument against "victimless" crimes - not the death penalty there skeeterses- 
same with the argument of how much it costs for someone on death row-

What I was trying to say is that much of the money used for pursuing the death penalty could be better spent hiring more cops and detectives. After all, how much of a deterrent can the death penalty be if it takes 10 or 20 years to catch a murderer. Society should execute people like Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer. In most murder cases though, a life sentence with no parole is sufficient punishment.
Just Leave me Alone!
Is the death penalty a punishment that ought to be used?

Why?


Yes it should be used. It should be less expensive for the taxpayer to put someone to death, and I am admittedly skeptical of the numbers that point to the opposite. The possibility, however small, of escape is another reason to support the death penalty. I agree that the system needs reform, but that does not stop it from being the right thing to do IMO.
Hobbes
QUOTE(Just Leave me Alone! @ Jul 18 2005, 09:09 AM)
Is the death penalty a punishment that ought to be used?

Why?


Yes it should be used.  It should be less expensive for the taxpayer to put someone to death, and I am admittedly skeptical of the numbers that point to the opposite.  The possibility, however small, of escape is another reason to support the death penalty.  I agree that the system needs reform, but that does not stop it from being the right thing to do IMO.
*



As I said above, this falls into the view of many of those who support the death penalty, and it is based on a flawed assumption. It is indeed more expensive to prosecute a death penalty case than it is to put someone in prison for life. Although I understand where this perception comes from (I used to have that exact same view), consider that death penalty cases require a minimum of 10 years to prosecute, and that a team of prosecutors will be working that case for that time. Then consider the additional costs of the court, police, investigators, etc. Isn't it then quite easy to see how all of this adds up to much more than the cost of sustaining someone in prison? The costs of prosecuting death penalty cases are so onerous, in fact, that there have been cases of entire townships dissolving due to bankruptcies caused by prosecuting death penalty cases. What do the taxpayers gain from this expense? Unfortunately, nothing. No disincentive, no cost savings, nothing. There has been mentioned the elimination of the possibility of escape. There are a couple of important points to consider here. First, it takes a decade or more to go through the death penaly process. During that time, the inmate is incarcerated just as he would be were there no death penalty. Second, consider the relatively low liklihood of escape (how many 'lifers' have escaped from prison?), and weigh that against the many disadvantages of the death penalty (cost, innocents executed, moral issues, racial issues, class issues, etc.). Is it worth it?

CruisingRam
Hobbes- I can think of seven escapees from texas in one case alone that went on a murdering rampage:
http://www.courttv.com/trials/texas7/

Though your point is well taken- but not really an argument against the death penalty- but rather, an argument for legal reform! mrsparkle.gif

I do think there is a population of very damaging criminals that would consider the death penalty a deterent- our CEOs of this country of publically traded companies- Ken Lay for instance- I definately think they should be executed for thier crimes, and I think it should be very easy to get a conviction. thumbsup.gif

To me, legal reform is one of my major pet subjects- lawyers have created and ruined our legal system in this country- and if I could be emperor for a day- this would be the area I would deal with

So, that is why, in philosophy, I am all for the death penalty, for the reason of stopping bad guys from ever having a chance to walk among the innocent- because it is final, once it is done, there is no way for them to squirm thier way out of the system-

But I am against it, because when the innocent get caught up on this system, it is final , with no way to squirm thier way out of the system hmmm.gif
BoF
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Jul 18 2005, 09:47 AM)
As I said above, this falls into the view of many of those who support the death penalty, and it is based on a flawed assumption.  It is indeed more expensive to prosecute a death penalty case than it is to put someone in prison for life.  Although I understand where this perception comes from (I used to have that exact same view), consider that death penalty cases require a minimum of 10 years to prosecute, and that a team of prosecutors will be working that case for that time.  Then consider the additional costs of the court, police, investigators, etc.  Isn't it then quite easy to see how all of this adds up to much more than the cost of sustaining someone in prison?  The costs of prosecuting death penalty cases are so onerous, in fact, that there have been cases of entire townships dissolving due to bankruptcies caused by prosecuting death penalty cases.  What do the taxpayers gain from this expense?  Unfortunately, nothing.  No disincentive, no cost savings, nothing.  There has been mentioned the elimination of the possibility of escape.  There are a couple of important points to consider here.  First, it takes a decade or more to go through the death penaly process.  During that time, the inmate is incarcerated just as he would be were there no death penalty.  Second, consider the relatively low liklihood of escape (how many 'lifers' have escaped from prison?), and weigh that against the many disadvantages of the death penalty (cost, innocents executed, moral issues, racial issues, class issues, etc.).  Is it worth it?


I just want to add a thought to Hobbes' well thought out statement.

Death penalty defendants are often destitute. This means that the state has to foot the bill for both the prosecution and the defense.

Edited to add:

QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Jul 18 2005, 10:23 AM)
Hobbes- I can think of seven escapees from texas in one case alone that went on a murdering rampage:

http://www.courttv.com/trials/texas7/


In 1984, six Virginia death row inmates escaped from what authorities thought was an escape proof facility. The Virginia escape and that of the Texas seven are extreme exceptions to the rule.

http://www.courttv.com/onair/shows/thesyst..._death_row.html
Hugo
There is not one proven case of an innocent being executed since the death penalty was reinstated in the US. There are plenty of studies showing that the death penalty does deter murders. The high cost of executing an individual can be reduced by limiting the number of appeals. Lawyers extend their clients life by appealing one issue at a time. Smart lawyering, stupid for the state to allow it.

From www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-01-06-cover_x.htm


QUOTE
A study last year by researchers at Emory University in Atlanta examined the nearly 6,000 death sentences imposed in the USA from 1977 through 1996. The authors compared changes in murder rates in 3,000 U.S. counties to the likelihood of being executed for murder in that county. They found that murder rates declined in counties where capital punishment was imposed. The researchers said a statistical formula suggested that each execution saved the lives of 18 potential victims.

Recent studies at the University of Houston and at the University of Colorado at Denver had similar findings. Blecker, who is researching deterrence, says they square with what he found in interviews with 60 killers. "They are cognizant of whether they are operating in a death-penalty state before they pull the trigger," he says. "They're operating in the real world, not the realm of political theory."



The fact that, despite all their efforts, the death penalty opponents have no "executed innocent" poster boy says a lot. Executed innocents must be quite rare. When you have studies showing that the death penalty does have a deterrent effect I can not support ending the death penalty to save a mere handful of innocents over a quarter century. If the state never took an action that resulted in deaths they would build no roads, or public swimming pools or public schools for that matter.

I think the recent case of the Green River Killer also shows how the death penalty is a useful tool. Mr. Ridgeway agreed to give up the bodies of many of his victims in order to avoid the death penalty. What would the incentive have been for him to do this without the possibility of himself recieving the death sentence? His conscience? Sadly, serial killers usually lack one. Now parents at least can bury their children and know for certain their child's fate.
VDemosthenes
QUOTE
Is the death penalty a punishment that ought to be used?

Why?



Yes and no. While I support the idea of a criminal being given the absolute punishment when called for I cannot support the application.


Capital punishment of a murderer will not bring back the victims or add mythical "closure" to the victim's family. To deny the life of a person who already has taken a life begins and continues a cycle of death and violence.

To murder a person in cold blood is heinous enough, but for the state to condone violence by eliminating them from the map is even more terrible. A murderer, shall we say, lives the remainder of their lives in a waiting room for death if they are convicted of murder. When they are finally ushered from the waiting room their life is already over, the fact of knowing you shall never have freedom again is enough to punish just about anyone.

How is it that the state be a culture of life who supports all people's right to live their live's freely, but at the next turn: deny them their life? Because a private citizen has taken away anothers life does it mean the state impose its idea of moral clarity and deny them theirs?

All people have the right to live; so to deny life to those who have taken other's only causes an endless cycle of murder. Because the state considers capital punishment to be legal does that mean it really is? Isn't capital punishment simply another murder only pre-approved?


"An eye for an eye makes the world blind." - Ghandi


Hobbes
[quote=Hugo,Jul 18 2005, 11:11 AM]
[quote]A study last year by researchers at Emory University in Atlanta examined the nearly 6,000 death sentences imposed in the USA from 1977 through 1996. The authors compared changes in murder rates in 3,000 U.S. counties to the likelihood of being executed for murder in that county. They found that murder rates declined in counties where capital punishment was imposed. The researchers said a statistical formula suggested that each execution saved the lives of 18 potential victims.

Recent studies at the University of Houston and at the University of Colorado at Denver had similar findings. Blecker, who is researching deterrence, says they square with what he found in interviews with 60 killers. "They are cognizant of whether they are operating in a death-penalty state before they pull the trigger," he says. "They're operating in the real world, not the realm of political theory."[/quote]

6,000 death sentences imposed? Surely that alone indicates it isn't much of an dis-incentive, doesn't it? If it were, why then are those 6,000 people there?

Ditto for the 60 killers. While they say they were cognizant of the penaly...they obviously still committed the crime, didn't they?
The fact that, despite all their efforts, the death penalty opponents have no "executed innocent" poster boy says a lot. Executed innocents must be quite rare. When you have studies showing that the death penalty does have a deterrent effect I can not support ending the death penalty to save a mere handful of innocents over a quarter century. If the state never took an action that resulted in deaths they would build no roads, or public swimming pools or public schools for that matter.

On the initial study, I would like to review further. While the murder rate change sounds plausible, I find it difficult to believe the 18 victims saved. This would indicate that the study found murder rates drastically reduced, by several factors. I live in Texas, widely known as the most aggressive pursuer of the death penalty....I can absolutely tell you that's not the case. Houston and Dallas both rank prominently on the Murder Capital lists each year (although considerably below Washington, DC and Detroit).

I good link discussing the evidence surrounding deterrence can be found here. In particular, note:
[QUOTE]For decades, murder has been more common in states with capital punishment
than in those where it is not used. Data from 1973 to 1984 show that
murder rates in the states without the death penalty were consistently lower
and averaged only 63% of the corresponding rates in the states retaining it.[/QUOTE]


[QUOTE]I think the recent case of the Green River Killer also shows how the death penalty is a useful tool. Mr. Ridgeway agreed to give up the bodies of many of his victims in order to avoid the death penalty. What would the incentive have been for him to do this without the possibility of himself recieving the death sentence? His conscience? Sadly, serial killers usually lack one. Now parents at least can bury their children and know for certain their child's fate.
*

[/quote]

This is a good point. The question would then be how often such things happen, and whether it is worth the cost. Also, there is a negative issue to be similarly associated with the death penalty. Knowing that the penalty for a crime is death...what incentive is there for someone who has committed such a crime to not do anything possible to avoid being captured. How many people have been slain for being witnesses to such a crime, or cops or bystanders killed by those attempting to flee, knowing that capture is death. I would think this would counterweigh the point you have made.
Hugo
Between 1982 and 2000 the murder rate in Harris County, the death penalty capital of the United States, fell 73%.

QUOTE
This is a good point. The question would then be how often such things happen, and whether it is worth the cost. Also, there is a negative issue to be similarly associated with the death penalty. Knowing that the penalty for a crime is death...what incentive is there for someone who has committed such a crime to not do anything possible to avoid being captured. How many people have been slain for being witnesses to such a crime, or cops or bystanders killed by those attempting to flee, knowing that capture is death. I would think this would counterweigh the point you have made.


The problem with your argument is that the death penalty is never automatic. There is no crime that automatically gets the death penalty. Someone who committed a capital crime and then continued to commit bad acts to avoid capture would increase his chances of recieving the ultimate punishment. Now what many death penalty opponents propose is an automatic life term for what are now capital crimes. Under this proposal there is no disincentive to commit further crimes.

QUOTE
6,000 death sentences imposed? Surely that alone indicates it isn't much of an dis-incentive, doesn't it? If it were, why then are those 6,000 people there?


I don't understand your reasoning. Are you contending we should stop punishing crime completely since the fact that crime exists means punishment for crime has no deterrent factor?

Father: Son, go to your room!
Son: Dad, don't you recognize the fact you are sending me to my room proves the ineffectiveness of that method of discipline in the past?
blingice
QUOTE(Hugo @ Jul 18 2005, 12:11 PM)
There is not one proven case of an innocent being executed since the death penalty was reinstated in the US. There are plenty of studies showing that the death penalty does deter murders. The high cost of executing an individual can be reduced by limiting the number of appeals. Lawyers extend their clients life by appealing one issue at a time. Smart lawyering, stupid for the state to allow it.
*



Yaaay! Vote for Hugo in '08! thumbsup.gif mrsparkle.gif

The majority of anti-DP arguments here seem to be lawyer problems, and the fact that it is empirically proven to be messed up, even though, theoretically, it is a fabulous way to punish people. I liked Victoria Silverwolf's response best, because it addressed the empirical and theoretical points of the death penalty. Let's assume that the trial problems will be fixed with saying that two appeals will be the maximum, and if you prove your point and the legislators say "Let's use the death penalty" all the lawyer and trial problems will be fixed (supposedly).

My opinion of the death penalty is strongly for it.

Why?

1. The mere fact that someone has violated an all important right has proven to the world that he/she doesn't deserve his/her own.

2. The guilt problem: if you think about it, no one disputes putting people in jail for a really long time as being guilty or not. They could be not guilty, but people don't concern themselves because the problem is readily fixable. The mere fact that we are giving people an ultimate punishment gives people doubts about whether they are guilty or not. Analogy: if you ask someone a simple question, under no stress, they will be able to answer it rather stresslessly thumbsup.gif. However, if you ask a person the same simple question, but with the condition that if they get it wrong, a person will die, they will be quite stressed about the problem.

3. Deterrance:Cruisingram mentioned something about how the death penalty doesn't provide any special deterrance because of all the violations that the person has already done won't do anything anyway. If it was true, it would basically show that deterrance can't be used for either side. Except there is always deterrance, at least in a sane mind. Another analogy: If someone guaranteed you could jump off the Empire State Building and get only a scrape, you would do it just for the sheer experience. (That would be very cool.) So you go to the top to jump again. The same person says that this time, though, if you jump off you will get a broken leg. Very few people would jump the second time. Or say, the penalty is slightly worse the second time, like getting some sort of burn over your body as you drop through the atmosphere, it would be a deterrant. So even if the deterrance is very small, there is still some. (Except this is a sane person saying this, I don't know how someone who is high on meth and coke will think.)

4. Money: Why is money a concern? As I said before, assuming there is some sort of restrictions on appeals without violating constitutionality and making sure the trials themselves are fair, there will be no money problem. Already, $4 million isn't all that much to the US, and if someone said, "This person, if put in jail, will escape and kill 50 people," I would hope that the government would pay $4 million to stop someone from doing that.

I'll probably argue more later. I don't know why a 15 year old on summer vacation is inside at two o'clock on a sunny day...
Hobbes
QUOTE(Hugo @ Jul 18 2005, 12:49 PM)
Between 1982 and 2000 the murder rate in Harris County, the death penalty capital of the United States fell 73%.


But was this due to the death penalty, or other factors? For example, law enforcement has received large increases in funding in that period, increasing the chances of getting caught (which is the ultimate deterence...punishment is only relevant if one thinks they'll get caught).

QUOTE
The problem with your argument is that the death penalty is never automatic. There is no crime that automatically gets the death penalty. Someone who committed a capital crime and then continued to commit bad acts to avoid capture would increase his chances of recieving the ultimate punishment. Now what many death penalty opponents propose is an automatic life term for what are now capital crimes. Under this proposal there is no disincentive to commit further crimes.


Hugo, this contradicts what was stated in your earlier links on capital punishment indicating that it was a deterrence, and detracts from your argument. If indeed punishment is not known, then how is capital punishment a deterrent at all? If it is known, then my argument stands, as anyone faced with death would have strong motivation to avoid capture, wouldn't they? If not, then the argument it is a deterrent goes away. Which is it?

Again, as to the disincentive issue you mention, this does have merit, as it did for the plea bargaining example. This should then be weighed against the issues I have brought up. However, you don't seem to be willing to admit those are valid issues. hmmm.gif

QUOTE
I don't understand your reasoning. Are you contending we should stop punishing crime completely since the fact that crime exists means punishment for crime has no deterrent factor?


No, I am not (as I think you are well aware). But doesn't 6,000 seem like a pretty big number, if indeed capital punishment were a strong deterrent. Think about this: that would be 300 executions per year, for 20 years. Doesn't that seem like a lot? More specifically, I notice you omitted comment on the other example, of the 60 death row convicts who were cited as saying they were aware of the likely punishment. Clearly, it was not a disincentive then for any of them, else they wouldn't be there, would they?

Hugo, I am trying to seek out our common ground here, in the hope of finding and discussing those particular points on which we might disagree. I pointed out that your point in the plea bargaining was a good one, worth considering by those opposed to the death penalty. However, it now seems like we're regressing back to our 'lines in the sand'...this won't lead to productive discussion. Are you so convinced the death penalty is good that you are unwilling to discuss its potential drawbacks? If so, then we have nothing to discuss, do we?
lederuvdapac
In my opinion, nobody has said it better than Professor John McAdams at Marquette University:

QUOTE
If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call.


The way i look at it...punishments for crime fall on a certain spectrum...one side being complete anarchy with NO punishment whatsoever and on the other side...torture and death for what we consider petty crimes (like Medieval Times justice). Now obviously if there was NO punishment...there is no deterrance. Furthermore, if their is cruel and unusual punishment...there is huge deterrence. The death penalty must fall somewhere on that spectrum.

The death penalty has been around for centuries and while it is still reserved for the harshest of offenders it has become more humane than ever. I see it as the only just punishment for such serious crimes as high treason, serial killers and rapists.

Cephus
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ Jul 18 2005, 03:43 AM)
1. As CruisingRam pointed out, it is applied unevenly. It's too easy for a wealthy person to avoid, and too easy for a poor person to be executed. We need more judiciousness in its application.


It should be an automatic penalty in many cases. If you're found guilty, you're put to death, period. Doesn't matter how much money you have, what color your skin is, etc.

Personally, I think we need a complete overhaul of our judicial system.

QUOTE
2. As CruisingRam suggested, it's too unreliable. We have too many cases of men on death row being exonerated by new evidence. Nobody should be sentenced to die unless we are absolutely, positively certain of their guilt. Obviously, we fail here too often.


That'll never happen. All you can do is your best and hope not to get too many 'innocents' in the crossfire. If we only incarcerated people we could absolutely, positively prove, without any doubt, were guilty, the prisons would be empty. We're human, humans occasionally make mistakes and once in a while, we might put someone 'innocent' to death. That's reality.

I wouldn't be betting the farm that this 'innocent' person didn't have a rap sheet the length of your arm though, nor feel too sorry for them. The chances of someone with no criminal record at all being put to death are somewhere between slim and none.

QUOTE
3. It's too expensive! It costs about $50K to incarcerate a prisoner for one year. Given average life expectancies, that adds up to maybe $2 - $3 million over the life of a capital criminal. But the costs of litigating a death sentence can run up to $5 million, and when we consider the overload on our court system, it's unacceptable. Save some money and put them away for life.


It's expensive because of the endless appeals nonsense. After that first manditory appeal, the only appeals that should be permitted are those that seek to prove the INNOCENCE of the accused. Not because they don't like the sentence, not because they're looking for loopholes, etc. If they're guilty, they get put to death, and it shouldn't be 20 years, it should be almost immediate.

What costs money are the long waits and endless appeals, not the death penalty itself.
Vibiana
QUOTE(lederuvdapac @ Jul 18 2005, 07:34 PM)
In my opinion, nobody has said it better than Professor John McAdams at Marquette University:
QUOTE
If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call.

*



Yes, but it has never been proven that the death penalty deters other offenders.

By setting the punishment for murder at death, we are simply lowering ourselves to the level of the killer.
BoF
QUOTE(Hugo @ Jul 18 2005, 11:11 AM)
There is not one proven case of an innocent being executed since the death penalty was reinstated in the US.
*


This idea has come up consistently in other threads and here you go again, despite the fact that pennDerek and NiteGuy have explanained why exoneration of wrongfully executed persons hasn’t happened, yet. I guess the moral here is that if the horse bucks you off—get back on and try again.

QUOTE(pennDerek)
We have had 100 persons on Death Row proved innocent. There isn't much incentive for financially strapped non-profits or the government to pay for further investigation/DNA tests on dead folk, particularly considering the embarrassment if it turns out an innocent has been killed. I suggest that statistically, it will/perhaps has happen, and realistically, we're not going to know. You must be in direct conversation with some omniscient being to know it "simply hasn't happened", and please thank It clearing up the ages old philosophical question of life's sacredness.


http://www.americasdebate.com/forums/index...indpost&p=57091

QUOTE(NiteGuy)
Now, take into account that when someone is executed, the state destroys any physical evidence (usually), because it's no longer needed. So, if we have executed innocent people, we will never even have the chance to find out.


http://www.americasdebate.com/forums/index...indpost&p=57429

Your statement, in terms of actual exoneration, may not hold up much longer. The National Coalition Against the Death Penalty, (NAADP) in an investigation funded by the NAACP, into the execution in 1995 of Larry Griffin. The NAADP and NAACP think they have a case that will exonerate an innocent man who was executed by the State of Missouri. Unless one is willing to accept wrongful executions as collateral damage, you don’t make much of a case.

QUOTE
Up to the moment that lethal injection took his life in the early morning hours of June 21, 1995, Larry Griffin insisted he was innocent of a drive-by murder in St. Louis.

Now new disclosures support his claim, and St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce has reopened an investigation of the case.

<snip>

A year-long investigation financed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund unearthed the disclosures. The project's lawyers and investigators believe Griffin was innocent of the crime for which he was executed: the murder of 19-year-old Quintin Moss.

<snip>

Samuel Gross, a University of Michigan law professor who supervised the investigation, said Griffin's case was the strongest demonstration yet of an execution of an innocent man. If true, it would give more credence to death penalty opponents who contend that because human beings make mistakes, the capital punishment system could produce deadly errors.

’There is no real doubt that we have an innocent person," Gross said. "If we could go to trial on this case, if there was a forum where we could take this to trial, we would win hands down.’


http://www.demaction.org/dia/organizations...ws.jsp?key=1508

Note: There was something about this on CNN this morning, but I've been unable to locate a link.
Hugo
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Jul 18 2005, 02:23 PM)
Hugo, I am trying to seek out our common ground here, in the hope of finding and discussing those particular points on which we might disagree.  I pointed out that your point in the plea bargaining was a good one, worth considering by those opposed to the death penalty. However, it now seems like we're regressing back to our 'lines in the sand'...this won't lead to productive discussion.  Are you so convinced the death penalty is good that you are unwilling to discuss its potential drawbacks?  If so, then we have nothing to discuss, do we?
*



I guess the point is I see few disadvantages to the imposition of the death penalty. I do agree that wealthy people, who deserve the death penalty, or less likely to be executed than poor people. I don't believe it is because poor people are unjustifiably executed. I believe it is because wealthy people unjustifiably are not executed. Yes, I do agree the wealthy are not executed enough. This does not weaken my support for the death penalty. The exoneration of innocents on death row tells me if you are an innocent convicted of a capital crime you are better off getting the death sentence than life imprisonment. So that rare innocent poor guy on death row is better off than CR's example of the schmoe serving 99 years.

Our whole criminal justice system is based on the idea that harsher punishments deter crime. It is basic economic theory that when you raise the cost of an action that action will be reduced. The fact nearly all death row inmates exhaust their appeals certainly shows they prefer life in prison to death. Several econometric studies on the death penalty support what common sense should tell you, increased punishment for crime reduces crime. No one expects to be caught, but they do rationalize that there is a possibility of being caught and consider their actions accordingly.

I've got to check but your 6000 executions in 20 years sounds high. That is just 6 per state, per year. Not really excessive by any means. Heck, we do better than that in Harris County alone.

QUOTE
This idea has come up consistently in other threads and here you go again, despite the fact that pennDerek and NiteGuy have explanained why exoneration of wrongfully executed persons hasn’t happened, yet. I guess the moral here is that if the horse bucks you off—get back on and try again.


Yes, BoF, it does keep coming up. I have explained time and time again that the anti-death penalty folks have a lot of assets and strong incentive to find this poster boy for innocents executed. They ain't found him.
blingice
I have a question: Regarding the money makes it easier to dodge the death penalty: How many rich people kill people and are found guilty? There was OJ, innocent, Robert Blake, innocent. I can't think of any more.

Besides, if you say "Yes, capital punishment should be accepted." Naturally it won't be used in every murder case. Some murderers will be given life imprisonment. So the debate should not assume that it is innocence or death.

Regarding deterrance: Hugo mentioned:
QUOTE
Our whole criminal justice system is based on the idea that harsher punishments deter crime. It is basic economic theory that when you raise the cost of an action that action will be reduced.
That is a fabulous way to think. If a candy bar costs $500 dollars, no one will buy it, right? So if you make what you pay for your crime greater, then people will be less apt to do it. When people mention the fact that studies don't shown that the death penalty creates deterrance is basically pointless, because inthis thread it shows that the US basically is getting more killers every year. So when these studies are done over many years, the increase of idiots doesn't show less or more deterrance either way. So we must make analytical, logical assumptions and arguments regarding deterrance. Also, in certain states, murder doesn't even mean life in prison. It may mean 20, 30, or 40 years. That provides no deterrant whatsoever.

Regarding Constitutionality arguments: If someone claims that a "cruel" punishment is the death penalty, ask any of the signers of the Constitution what they thought about hanging people.
Sleeper
QUOTE
I have a question: Regarding the money makes it easier to dodge the death penalty: How many rich people kill people and are found guilty? There was OJ, innocent, Robert Blake, innocent. I can't think of any more.



You forgot Ted Kennedy...

I think cases that have no reasonable doubt, for example a man shoots somebody in the open and there are multiple witnesses who see it, this should be a death penalty no brainer. No long court battles, no pardons, no appeals. Just arrest, sentence, and die with in a month.
BoF
QUOTE(Hugo @ Jul 18 2005, 02:44 PM)
Yes, BoF, it does keep coming up. I have explained time and time again that the anti-death penalty folks have a lot of assets and strong incentive to find this poster boy for innocents executed. They ain't found him.


I could almost predicted the casual dismissal of something it took some effort to think-out and write with a patented one-liner. Well, there are actually three sentences, but you get the picture.

I would strongly suggest that there are also forces among death penalty proponents who want to hide that poster child for as long as possible, if not forever.

I realize this is hypothetical, but let’s just pretend for a moment that the state’s attorney in Missouri rules that Larry Griffin was innocent. How much collateral damage do you want—1 case, 5, 10, 100? How many?

You know Hugo the two of us are uniquely situated to debate this issue. We both come from the state almost synonymous with sending prisoners to the gurney on a routine basis. We do, however, view the matter differently. You seem to think the practice needs to be continued. On the other hand, I think it’s a festering sore on the “soul” of America in general and Texas in particular.

QUOTE(blingice @ Jul 18 2005, 03:05 PM)
I have a question: Regarding the money makes it easier to dodge the death penalty: How many rich people kill people and are found guilty? There was OJ, innocent, Robert Blake, innocent. I can't think of any more.


I would guess it’s rare that people of means are sentenced to death. Thomas Capano, a once powerful and affluent Delaware state official, now sits on that state’s death row for 1st degree murder. Click the link for the full story.

The Thomas Capano Story

Edited to fix link.
Hobbes
QUOTE(Hugo @ Jul 18 2005, 02:44 PM)
I guess the point is I see few disadvantages to the imposition of the death penalty. I do agree that wealthy people, who deserve the death penalty, or less likely to be executed than poor people. I don't believe it is because poor people are unjustifiably executed. I believe it is because wealthy people unjustifiably are not executed. Yes, I do agree the wealthy are not executed enough. This does not weaken my support for the death penalty. The exoneration of innocents on death row tells me if you are an innocent convicted of a capital crime you are better off getting the death sentence than life imprisonment. So that rare innocent poor guy on death row is better off than CR's example of the schmoe serving 99 years.


I also used to believe this, until I saw some of the economic statistics relating to the cost of the death penalty, and about that same time frame came to believe it doesn't act as a deterrent, either. As to the wealthy, I agree with you in that this is more a case for criminal justice reform than a case against the death penalty. I would say that potential execution of innocents in a drawback, but I agree with those in favor of 'an eye for an eye'....but I do see the moral issue this creates in those who say this puts us on the same level as those we're punishing. So, to me, it all comes down to deterrence vs. cost. I see too much evidence of high cost, and too little evidence of deterrence...the other drawbacks then swing the scale to removing the death penalty for me.

QUOTE
Our whole criminal justice system is based on the idea that harsher punishments deter crime.


Yes, it is...but has that actually been shown to be true? Consider two basic types of criminals. Hardened criminals, who essentially live a life of crime, probably aren't deterred by longer sentences because they don't really even see prison, or probably even death, as a drawback (this from such people themselves). Then, you have neophyte criminals, for whom any length of prison sentence is probably sufficient deterrence against crime (how much better could any of us here fathom a five year sentence than a 10 year sentence...both are essentially unconceivable to me). Criminals themselves consistently state that it is not the length of the sentence that deters them, but the liklihood of getting caught. Money spent on death penalty prosecutions would therefore be more profitably spent upgrading that locales police force, wouldn't it?

But, if I became convinced again that it were a deterrent, and if the costs of prosecuting were reduced (which could be done simultaneously, I think)...then I would probably switch back to your point of view.

QUOTE(Cephus)
It's expensive because of the endless appeals nonsense. After that first manditory appeal, the only appeals that should be permitted are those that seek to prove the INNOCENCE of the accused. Not because they don't like the sentence, not because they're looking for loopholes, etc. If they're guilty, they get put to death, and it shouldn't be 20 years, it should be almost immediate.


Cephus, I understand and agree with your sentiment here, but it poses the following dilemma: who exactly is goiing to determine those appeals that are frivolous, and those that have merit, if it isn't the court system?
caw38122
A JUROR'S COMMENT ON THE DEATH PENALTY

In 1999 I was picked for a sequestered jury taken from Memphis to Clarksville, TN for ONE of the murder trials of PAUL DENNIS REID. This trail was for the murder of two young women working at the Baskin Robbins store. The trial was almost three weeks long and took a toll on the girls' families, jurors, townspeople as well as the court officials. Both the State & the Defense did an excellent job. Reid was convicted & sentanced to death. I look back with the wisdom that comes with time & hindsight.

PAUL DENNIS REID was a serial killer of at least 7 people, convicted & sentanced to die in all trials. This does not include victims he attempted to kill. He is also suspect for several prior murders in the late '80's and early 90's in Texas. In all trials part of his defense was mental illness.

Let me be very clear about this. PDR may have some mental challenages but he knew exactly what, when. where & why he committed the murders - namely not to be fingered for the robberies he committed. He is a menace & should never be allowed out of jail. Given out he will flee and come after anyone ever involved with his trails if given info on where to find us. He will finance his life or movement with the robbery of fast food restaurants & will kill anyone in the stores during the robberies. (Most of the fast food workers were young people under the age of 28.) This means he will come after YOUR children.

In the case of PAUL DENNIS REID he was capable of the things we all work for: housing, car, credit, work & an active love life. He is tall & good looking & carefully picked attractive although weak women for companions. Regardless off any mental challenages he functioned well. He is a serial killer - dangerous & his play at sympathy is a sham. He knows how to work the system & is working it well. If he needs help there are always groupies or the unknowing to buy into his various modes of defense. This man needs to be executed - the sooner the better.

Before this trial I had opposed the death penalty. This trial rocked my world & the way I see/perceive it. No person in the U.S. will ever be convicted of murder & sentanced to death without the best attorneys, defense & appeal processes. DNA has changed everything. Knowing all this has brought me to the conclusion that the death penalty for capital murder is morally acceptable. If the accused has gone thru all of the processes now in place & the verdict is upheld the Accused needs to die.

As long as I live & breath I will do everything I can to assure PAUL DENNIS REID never gets out of jail & his just due punishment and when I face God after my death there shall be no regrets.
Amlord
I am for the death penalty as a punishment for heinous crimes.

I am not for it as a deterrent or as the most economical option.

When a person murders someone in a premeditated fashion, that person forfeits their right to life.

I am not convinced that Larry Griffin is demonstrably innocent. I find it laughable that one of the mistakes his lawyer made was not "independently confirming" Griffin's alibi. Griffin's alibi was proven to be untrue in court. The fact that Mr. Griffin himself presumably provided the alibi witness leaves me scratching my head. Griffin was a career criminal. The "victim", Quintin Moss, had murdered (allegedly) Griffin's older brother earlier that summer. A traffic ticket for Mr. Griffin's younger cousin was found in the vehicle used in the shooting. An eyewitness testified against Griffin (he later changed his story). Griffin was on death row for 15 years. The appeals process did not clear him, because the evidence of innocence was not cut and dry. I find it ironic that if it was not Larry Griffin, it was probably his cousin Reggie (who did not come to the defense of his cousin by owning up...). A family member could have saved this man (assuming he was innocent) but chose not to. That makes you think.

Even if Larry Griffin was innocent, it does not change my stance. Some crimes deserve the ultimate punishment. Notice I said punishment, not deterrent.
quarkhead
Killing is killing. Whether we do it in some "humane" way as a punishment, as a drive by shooting in the street, on a battlefield, from an airplane full of death.

Jesus stayed the stoning; who here is without sin, cast the first stone. To our enemies, we offer our other cheek. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

It is better let 100 guilty men free, than to punish 1 innocent. I believe this with all my heart.

There is no moral justification for the death penalty, just as there is no moral justification for war.

QUOTE(Amlord)
When a person murders someone in a premeditated fashion, that person forfeits their right to life.


Why? Says who? In your eyes, do soldiers forfeit their right to life when they kill someone in war? If not, why not? Surely that is a premeditated act of killing!
CruisingRam
One of the reasons we haven't been able to find out if innocent folks have been executed in recent history is that the goverment won't let us- there is a case, in WV or Virginia I believe, where the state wants to destroy a DNA sample of an executed man because, I believe, they know they executed an innocent man- the anti-DP poeple are trying to release this evidence, and the state is fighting it with every breath of thier being- I think it is a bit disenginious to say we have not executed innocent poeple- I work enough in the system to know that the system is ran by human beings and human being make mistakes, sometimes out of different reasons other than malice- but it still results in innocent poeple being killed.

I will support the death penalty 100% If ken Lay and Michael Milken are the next to get the injection- because that is the point I think that legal reform has become progressive enough to use the DP in a fair way that equates to justice.

QH- I read your post after posting mine- just beat me to the punch- and I empathize with your feelings 100%- I wish there were more poeple like you working in the justice system, perhaps all of them should have such a philosophy, and perhaps more care would be taken to make sure justice prevails.

For me, I have been around so much vile, disgusting, revolting EVIL in my life, I just want to see it dead. I do not place the value on a serial killer or child molestors life - in fact, I don't even consider them human- perhaps that is a personal flaw of mine- but in the end, mankind is better off without those monsters.
BoF
QUOTE(quarkhead @ Jul 22 2005, 04:42 PM)
It is better let 100 guilty men free, than to punish 1 innocent. I believe this with all my heart.


Quark,

I agree with you completely.

The question may come down to how much "collateral damage" we are willing to accept. I say zero, but others seem willing to risk executing innocent people to preserve the death penalty. ermm.gif
Sleeper
Although I am for the death penalty, I would be for banning it if we also banned abortions except for cases of rape and health of the mother or child.

You talk about taking innocent life quarkhead. Wouldn't you suppose that an unborn child is the penultimate of innocent life?

According to statistics 1.37 million abortions are performed in the US each year.

The total of executions in the United States from 1976 to 2002 is 820. If you want to argue extremes, here it is for you.

1.37 Million abortions in 'one' year compared to 820 executions in the united states in 26 years. That is 32 executions per year.

You argue the fact that an innocent man may be put to death. But why do you not accept the possibility that a 1-2 month old fetus has brain activity or can feel pain.

So would you join me in agreeing to stop abortions as a means of birth control and I will agree to stop ALL executions.
BoF
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jul 22 2005, 05:13 PM)
The total of executions in the United States from 1976 to 2002 is 820.  If you want to argue extremes, here it is for you.


The current number is 969 and there are now 3449 convicts on death row in the United States.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punis...e_United_States

From 1977-2000 there were 474,731 murders in the United States. When we divide the number of executions (969) by the number of murders (474, 731) we get a percentage reading of .002. While I realize a crime must contain “special circumstances” to land someone on death row, I would suggest that the numbers indicate that chances of being executed are more connected to the fickle finger of fate than the heinous nature of the crime.

Edited to add:

Another way of looking at this is that for every execution since 1977 we've had 490 murders. The ratio would be even higher if we added the murders from 2001 to the present. This alone makes capital punishment a joke.


http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

QUOTE(Sleeper @ Jul 22 2005, 05:13 PM)
You talk about taking innocent life quarkhead.  Wouldn't you suppose that an unborn child is the penultimate of innocent life?

So would you join me in agreeing to stop abortions as a means of birth control and I will agree to stop ALL executions.


The introduction of abortion into this thread is another smokescreen. In one case we are talking about private citizens getting abortions. In the other, were discussing state sanctioned killings. It’s an apples and oranges kind of thingy.
Hugo
QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Jul 22 2005, 05:47 PM)
One of the reasons we haven't been able to find out if innocent folks have been executed in recent history is that the goverment won't let us- there is a case, in WV or Virginia I believe, where the state wants to destroy a DNA sample of an executed man because, I believe, they know they executed an innocent man- the anti-DP poeple are trying to release this evidence, and the state is fighting it with every breath of thier being-


Oh, you mean Roger Keith Coleman. The man who's DNA was already tested and found to place him within the .2% of the population who could have raped andkilled his sister-in-law?

Oh, do you mean the same Roger Keith Coleman whose sister-in-law's blood was on his pants?

Oh, do you mean the same Roger Keith Coleman the convicted rapist who failed a lie detector test?



QUOTE
QUOTE(Amlord)
When a person murders someone in a premeditated fashion, that person forfeits their right to life.


Quark replied
QUOTE
Why? Says who? In your eyes, do soldiers forfeit their right to life when they kill someone in war? If not, why not? Surely that is a premeditated act of killing!


So do you think soldiers, someone who kills in self defense, and the Ted Bundy's of this world all deserved the same sentence? What would you have wished Great Britain to have done in 1940? Surrender?

QUOTE
From 1977-2000 there were 474,731 murders in the United States. When we divide the number of executions (969) by the number of murders (474, 731) we get a percentage reading of .002. While I realize a crime must contain “special circumstances” to land someone on death row, I would suggest that the numbers indicate that chances of beiung executed are more connected to the fickle finger of fate than the heinous nature of the crime.


BoF,Seems like you could use those stats to argue the DP is used quite judiciously.
CruisingRam
I am totally schizophrenic (literally, of two minds w00t.gif )

IF the DP were used on a large scale, for all murders where guilt is not part of the question- (like Jeffery Dahmer, where they find the body parts in your freezer w00t.gif ) - then I think it may even have, eventually, a deterent effect. I think if the death penalty were very common for hienous crimes, and evenly applied, and applied in such a manner as to insure innocent are not killed (I am with QH again here, better to let 100 possible murderers to go free than kill one innocent- I am against state sponsored cold blooded murder after all) - I think I would agree with Hugo all the way-

Is it the Coleman case I am talking about? Did they finally agree to allow the DNA testing? If they got the right guy- then I stand corrected- it has been about a year since I followed the case- it came across as a case study at work of bad police and DA work at the time, not a political thing about the DP- psych testing is ALWAYS a component of the death penalty or murder charges.

I just don't trust the goverment to get it right really- how can we, as conservatives or libertarians, distrust the goverment to run a universal health care system but trust the goverment to efficiently or competantly run capital punishment? hmmm.gif
drewyorktimes
This is obviously a philosophical/moral issue, not a logistical one, so rather than repeat any party line, I'll start with my objections to it on the most base levels, and open myself up to counter-arguments.

-I believe in a judicial system that rehabilitates, rather than punishes. Part of rehabilitiation IS punishment, but obviously the death penalty cuts that process short. So, other than saving tax payer's dollars, whats really the point?
-By granting the state the right to take life where it sees fit, we implicitly grant it unlimited right to take any measure that improves life for some at the expensive of others. (I'm always confounded by libertarians who support the death penalty- any takers?)
-Like abortion (another issue I reluctantly accept the Dem's line of argument) I believe execution is a practice which paints a absolutely disgusting picture of our state, and encourages its current role as a stern, external arbiter over personal affairs, rather than a more participatory government in which "the liberty of one man ends where that of another begins."

Now, many people take the case that if the convicted has committed a crime worthy of the death penalty, so be it, his life is forsaken. Optimist I am, (one must always have inherit faith in the better nature of man to support a democracy!), I don't believe in allowing a life to be 'forsaken.' Furthermore, it is not always simply an issue of what rights a convicted felon retains, but the power we allow the state. I can reluctantly accept a mother's right to decide on behalf of her unborn child. I cannot accept the right of a judge and jury to make the same decision for a full grown man or woman of different circumstances. Such a practice leads to the exact same "state as a womb" government that anti-welfare/healthcare republicans abhor.
Hugo
QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Jul 22 2005, 09:09 PM)
I just don't trust the goverment to get it right really- how can we, as conservatives or libertarians, distrust the goverment to run a universal health care system but trust the goverment to efficiently or competantly run capital punishment?  hmmm.gif
*



QUOTE
-By granting the state the right to take life where it sees fit, we implicitly grant it unlimited right to take any measure that improves life for some at the expensive of others. (I'm always confounded by libertarians who support the death penalty- any takers?)


Most libertarians are not anarchists. Almost all libertarians recognize that the primary function of government is to deter internal and external aggressors. The major concern here is that government does not incarcerate, or execute, political opponents. This is no concern in the United States post-Furman. The original reason man gathered as a group and gave up the freedom found in nature was for self defense and protection of private property. One liberty man gave up, when he left the state of nature, was to kill his fellow citizens. It is in his interest to give up this liberty as his fellow citizens are also prohibited from killing him.

All we are granting is allowing the state to enact the ultimate punishment against murderous scum. This in no way grants the state an unlimited right to infringe on the lives, or property, of US citizens. The statement that giving the state the option of the death penalty grants it an "unlimited right to take any measure that improves life" is absurd. The death penalty simply increases the state's power to fulfill it's one legitimate function.

Health care: Stealing from Peter to pay Paul is not a libertarian value. Someone needs to retake Libertarianism 101. Once again, the legitimate purpose of government is to protect life and property. Not infringe upon property rights.
nighttimer
QUOTE(blingice @ Jul 17 2005, 10:58 PM)
Questions:
Is the death penalty a punishment that ought to be used?

Why?



1. Reluctantly, I say yes. Because if there is good in the world there is also evil and when evil people strike out against innocents and rape, torture and murder, I believe they have surrended their right to live. Period.

2. Here's why:

SANTA ANA, Calif. - More than three years after 5-year-old Samantha Runnion was kidnapped and murdered, her mother said she feels guilty for "bringing that sweet baby into this world only to be tortured and terrified."

Erin Runnion addressed her daughter's killer in court Friday before a judge sentenced him to death. Alejandro Avila was convicted of murder, kidnapping and sexual assault in the 2002 slaying. A jury recommended the death penalty in May.

Avila, a 30-year-old former factory worker, snatched the kicking and screaming girl as she played outside her Stanton home. Her nude body was found the next day about 50 miles away, left on the ground as if it had been posed. Authorities said she had been sexually assaulted and suffocated.

"The guilt I have to live with for bringing that sweet baby into this world only to be tortured and terrified — I am so sorry, and you should be so sorry you took her away," Runnion, crying, told Avila in court.

Avila, sitting motionless and looking away, did not appear to be moved.


http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/a...antha_runnion_9

There is no convincing me that a piece of filth like Avila deserves to keep his life after taking Samantha Runnion's life. He will spend years in jail before he is (if he is) executed and Erin Runnion is also going to spend a lifetime in a jail where she is tormented by the "what if" questions of how her daughter might have grown up if someone like Avila hadn't cruelly taken her away.

As long as people like Avila exist there will always need to be a process of taking them out like the human garbage he is.
KDANTEATER
I think that in some cases, the death penalty should be used, like in the case of Osama bin Laden on Scott Peterson. However, innocent people have been put to death in the past. Innocent people do not deserve to die. The death penalty is a serious thing and should be reserved for very serious cases. Even then, we must make sure that we got the right person. There should be a study (if there is one, please send it) where experts study the causes of crime and violence. Getting to the root of the matter is easier than trying to stop a growing problem.
Vermillion
There are a lot of irrelevancies that tend to be used in the death penalty argument. A few of them have already come up. Allow me to deal with them before I move on to my case:

1- Killing murderers is better than letting them back onto the streets to kill again.

This is actually mixing two seperate legal arguments. The argument of: Should there be a death penalty, and the argument of; does the legal system and sentencing need to be reformed.

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.

To use this argument for the death penalty is spurious. Please consider, if a murderer is given a sentence and let out after 6 years, were the death penalty legal that offender would clearly have not been given the death sentence anyways.

2- Killing criminals acts as a deterrent to other criminals

Ah, this hoary old beauty. 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.


I don’t want to turn this thread into one on race, but it is pretty clear that race is a serious concern in the justice system. Given that, it smacks of insanity to allow the state to put people to death when the process which decides their fate is so flawed.


Lastly (revealing my inner-geek), allow me to to address those who comment that some people simply ‘deserve death’.

‘Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment.’
Gandalf the Wise.

CruisingRam
QUOTE(Hugo @ Jul 23 2005, 07:50 AM)
QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Jul 22 2005, 09:09 PM)
I just don't trust the goverment to get it right really- how can we, as conservatives or libertarians, distrust the goverment to run a universal health care system but trust the goverment to efficiently or competantly run capital punishment?  hmmm.gif
*



QUOTE
-By granting the state the right to take life where it sees fit, we implicitly grant it unlimited right to take any measure that improves life for some at the expensive of others. (I'm always confounded by libertarians who support the death penalty- any takers?)


Most libertarians are not anarchists. Almost all libertarians recognize that the primary function of government is to deter internal and external aggressors. The major concern here is that government does not incarcerate, or execute, political opponents. This is no concern in the United States post-Furman. The original reason man gathered as a group and gave up the freedom found in nature was for self defense and protection of private property. One liberty man gave up, when he left the state of nature, was to kill his fellow citizens. It is in his interest to give up this liberty as his fellow citizens are also prohibited from killing him.

All we are granting is allowing the state to enact the ultimate punishment against murderous scum. This in no way grants the state an unlimited right to infringe on the lives, or property, of US citizens. The statement that giving the state the option of the death penalty grants it an "unlimited right to take any measure that improves life" is absurd. The death penalty simply increases the state's power to fulfill it's one legitimate function.

Health care: Stealing from Peter to pay Paul is not a libertarian value. Someone needs to retake Libertarianism 101. Once again, the legitimate purpose of government is to protect life and property. Not infringe upon property rights.
*




You side stepped the question and the meaning of the question completely- if we can not trust the goverment to run something as non-life threatening as health care or the post office, then how do we trust it to run the death penalty in some near perfect fashion? Those that distrust the goverment in EVERY action but this one to intervene in someones life, but is willing to put something so serious into our very flawed goverment hands is beyond me whistling.gif
drewyorktimes
QUOTE(Hugo @ Jul 23 2005, 11:50 AM)

QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Jul 22 2005, 09:09 PM)
I just don't trust the goverment to get it right really- how can we, as conservatives or libertarians, distrust the goverment to run a universal health care system but trust the goverment to efficiently or competantly run capital punishment?  hmmm.gif
*



QUOTE
-By granting the state the right to take life where it sees fit, we implicitly grant it unlimited right to take any measure that improves life for some at the expensive of others. (I'm always confounded by libertarians who support the death penalty- any takers?)


Most libertarians are not anarchists. Almost all libertarians recognize that the primary function of government is to deter internal and external aggressors. The major concern here is that government does not incarcerate, or execute, political opponents. This is no concern in the United States post-Furman. The original reason man gathered as a group and gave up the freedom found in nature was for self defense and protection of private property. One liberty man gave up, when he left the state of nature, was to kill his fellow citizens. It is in his interest to give up this liberty as his fellow citizens are also prohibited from killing him.

All we are granting is allowing the state to enact the ultimate punishment against murderous scum. This in no way grants the state an unlimited right to infringe on the lives, or property, of US citizens. The statement that giving the state the option of the death penalty grants it an "unlimited right to take any measure that improves life" is absurd. The death penalty simply increases the state's power to fulfill it's one legitimate function.

*




Positive Vibrations... careful with your language. Murderous scum included "all men," equally created. You call them scum, to de-humanize them- because you recognize, like everyone, that death penalty is inhumane. The difference is that you believe that the state has the right to determine when someone is inhumane enough to deserve death, and I do not. I'm not a libertarian, merely a tempted liberal concerned about his governments civil rights and civil liberties record- but even as only a "tempted libertarian," I can see a conflict between libertarian fundamentals and the death penalty.
The point is that, I've read my history books, and I don't trust a jury or judge to determine my life in the event that I am accused of a heinous crime. Our books are full of Klansmen freed, and innocent black men hung by "we the people." And that is not ancient history, Emmet Till was murdered only fifty years ago this week... 'We the people' turned a blind eye or even profited from the genocide of this continents native people. 'We the People' is a fallible bunch. Libertarians recognize that the state is comprised of just that, fallible, corruptible, people*, and thus seek sharp limits to what the state can do. (am I right?) I include execution at the top of that list. Let a man suffer in prison for the rest of his life, I suppose, no parole... Let him find God, or morality, or his own humanity, give the rest of his life, if only to sit in a cell and come to terms with and repent for that life. But to execute... that is too irreversible a decision to hinge on the performance of lawyers, judges and juries.
-Drew



*I just wanted to point out that fallible, corruptible people includes sons of fallible, corruptible people... despite how regal a letter, 'W' may be (I do enjoy several in my own name), 535 heads in the rap group 'Congress' could use more time on the mic. The lead singer talks like he wants to go solo.
Hugo
QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Jul 23 2005, 05:25 PM)
QUOTE(Hugo @ Jul 23 2005, 07:50 AM)
QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Jul 22 2005, 09:09 PM)
I just don't trust the goverment to get it right really- how can we, as conservatives or libertarians, distrust the goverment to run a universal health care system but trust the goverment to efficiently or competantly run capital punishment?  hmmm.gif
*



QUOTE
-By granting the state the right to take life where it sees fit, we implicitly grant it unlimited right to take any measure that improves life for some at the expensive of others. (I'm always confounded by libertarians who support the death penalty- any takers?)


Most libertarians are not anarchists. Almost all libertarians recognize that the primary function of government is to deter internal and external aggressors. The major concern here is that government does not incarcerate, or execute, political opponents. This is no concern in the United States post-Furman. The original reason man gathered as a group and gave up the freedom found in nature was for self defense and protection of private property. One liberty man gave up, when he left the state of nature, was to kill his fellow citizens. It is in his interest to give up this liberty as his fellow citizens are also prohibited from killing him.

All we are granting is allowing the state to enact the ultimate punishment against murderous scum. This in no way grants the state an unlimited right to infringe on the lives, or property, of US citizens. The statement that giving the state the option of the death penalty grants it an "unlimited right to take any measure that improves life" is absurd. The death penalty simply increases the state's power to fulfill it's one legitimate function.

Health care: Stealing from Peter to pay Paul is not a libertarian value. Someone needs to retake Libertarianism 101. Once again, the legitimate purpose of government is to protect life and property. Not infringe upon property rights.
*




You side stepped the question and the meaning of the question completely- if we can not trust the goverment to run something as non-life threatening as health care or the post office, then how do we trust it to run the death penalty in some near perfect fashion? Those that distrust the goverment in EVERY action but this one to intervene in someones life, but is willing to put something so serious into our very flawed goverment hands is beyond me whistling.gif
*


I addressed the question quite well. Punishing crime is a legitimate function of government. Health care is not. Punishing criminals, up to and including the death penalty, should only be done by government. Would you prefer Microsoft to carry out criminal prosecution and punishment? Let me explain this one more time, protecting citizens from internal and external aggressors is the one legitimate function, in fact duty, of government.

Once again, folks, ignore the lies. The death penalty deters murders, many studies have proven that. It's basic economics make something potentially more costly and you get a lower demand for it.

dyt,

No post-Furman poster boy for innocents executed. The execution of innocents must be rare indeed. Your fears can only be labeled as deep paranoia.

The post-Furman record proves government is quite capable of carrying out the death penalty without executing the innocent.

Yes, I will continue to address murderers as scum. Excuse me for being judgemental.
blingice
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.
*



Ok. laugh.gif Deep breath. ohmy.gif.
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!!" tongue.gif rolleyes.gif )

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! tongue.gif ) 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?

Your points:
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/Jaime/Moderators. I cut a few parts out of the post.
BoF
QUOTE(blingice @ Jul 23 2005, 11:12 PM)
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


blingice,

The escape argument is one of the weakest in defense of capital punishment. As the article below indicates, the “vast majority” of escapees are not from maximum security prisons where violent criminals would be housed.

Daring escapes from such facilities might make for good movies, but is not run-of-the-mill reality. Although it was Stephen King fiction, Shawshank Redemption comes to mind.

Sure, the infamous Texas Seven escaped from a maximum security unit. Unfortunately, they killed a police officer before they were rounded up.

Though rare, prisoners have escaped death row. The Virginia case I mentioned earlier serves to illustrate.

QUOTE(BoF @ Jul 18 2005, 10:27 AM)
In 1984, six Virginia death row inmates escaped from what authorities thought was an escape proof facility. The Virginia escape and that of the Texas seven are extreme exceptions to the rule.

http://www.courttv.com/onair/shows/thesyst..._death_row.html


All six of the Virginia escapees were captured within 19 days and all were eventually executed.

We will probably never create zero escape jails, but as Jim Stephan and Traci Billingsly of the Federal Bureau of Prisons point out, the escape rate is going down.

QUOTE
In 1998, the most recent year for which data are available from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 6,530 people escaped or were AWOL from state prisons. That was a little more than one-half of 1 percent of the total population of 1,100,224 state prisoners.

<snip>

True, there are still thousands of escapees a year. Why aren't you hearing about them? The vast majority of escapees are "walk-aways" from community corrections facilities that have minimal supervision. Dramatic, Hollywood-style escapes from maximum security prisons are the ones that draw media attention.

<snip>

Federal prison breakouts are rarer than state prison escapes. One federal prisoner escaped and was recaptured in 1999, out of a prison population of more than 115,000. He was the only one to escape in the past four years.


http://slate.msn.com/id/1007001/#ContinueArticle

Again, I think this is a rather weak argument for imposing the death penalty.

Note: Please click the link and read the article. It is short, but there was no way I could snip out sections to conform to copyright law and still present all the information it presented.
lordhelmet
QUOTE(blingice @ Jul 17 2005, 10:58 PM)
 
Questions: 
Is the death penalty a punishment that ought to be used? 
 
Why?
 
*
 



Yes. Why? Because some crimes are so heinous that death for the person(s) committing them is the only just punishment.

When one rapes and kills a child, locking someone up is too good for them.

When one commits a terrorist act that kills hundreds or thousands of innocents, jail time is not appropriate.

Capital punishment ends the issue related to this individual once and for all. We don't have to pay to imprison him. We don't have to worry about him escaping or harming other prisoners who are guilty of less or members of the prison staff. We don't have to worry about some nitwit parole board letting him loose on society again.

He pays for his actions in the ultimate way. With his life.

Frankly, the death penalty in this country should be the norm for some crimes. If it were, we'd see a big drop in violent crime. When the average time spent in prison for homicide in the US is about 8 years, one wonders why we don't have even more.

When you see case after case of pedophiles, who were PREVIOUSLY ARRESTED MULTIPLE TIMES, being caught for the brutal murder of a child, one knows the system is broken.

The role of our justice system is not to rehabilitate criminals. Therapy and the rest of the "soft" approaches that the left favor for the prisons don't work. Violent criminals are victimizers; they are people who know how to use others and are only interested in what THEY want. They scam the rehabilitation system better than the average person could ever dream to.

The role of our justice system is to deliver justice. In other words, PUNISH those guilty of crime. It's not to babysit them, just keep them out of circulation, or give them an outlet to lift weights, take drugs, and engage in sodomy. Prison should be a completely terrible experience for those sentenced to it. One should leave the joint (if not sentenced to life) with the sincere desire NEVER to set foot in such a place again. The rehabilitation process should occur after the prison sentence and before the final release of the prisoner into society. Punishment should be the only role of the prisons.

If you commit first degree murder you should die. If you kill a child in a sex crime, you should die. If you commit terrorism, you should die. If you assassinate a public official, you should die. If you order someone (or hire them) to commit first degree murder, you should die.

If we were serious about ending violent crime, you'd see it drop dramatically. As it stands, we care far more about the rights of the criminal than we do for the violation of the rights of their victims. I don't recall the ACLU ever stepping up to complain about the violations of the "civil rights" of crime victims. But those left wing extremists trip over each other to defend the latest cop killer, child molester, or terrorist.

We should also end the process of endless appeals to death sentences. It's just a game played by anti-death penalty advocates to delay the sentence of those obviously guilty. Criminals should get due process, but the process should be limited.
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