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Capital Punishment thread

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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    titmouse wrote: »
    titmouse wrote: »
    I would like to say that I do have a serious problem with how some inmates live a better life than most free citizens.
    You are a goddamn moron.

    You're telling me a convicted serial murderer like John Wayne Gacy, who really doesn't pay for his own room & board including his own personal cell away from other inmates, food, medical care including psychological counseling, utilities, premium cable television, compuers with internet access AND recieves an expense siphon for his personal hobbies like painting DOESN'T have a better quality of life than the typical homeless guy living on the street, who recieves none of these???

    John Wayne Gacy doesn't pay for that because he is dead. It is kind of hard for a dead man to pay for his room and board.

    Seriously, though. You have to admit that continuing to give art supplies to his corpse really is a waste of taxpayer money.

    Evander on
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    BigJoeMBigJoeM Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    In practice i don't like the way that capital punishment is administered for many of the reasons already stated.

    In theory i have no problem with the state being allowed (with a jury verdict) to remove someone from the planet.

    There are some crimes so horrific that i feel capital punishment is warranted.

    As for life w/o parole being a worse sentence you can't send mail to a corpse, families are far more upset about their loved one getting their life snuffed out than being behind bars forever.

    BigJoeM on
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    chromdomchromdom Who? Where?Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Gorak wrote: »
    chromdom wrote: »
    Ok, now this is an argument I'm not really a fan of, but it seems pertinent. If you are worried about a sentence being handed to a innocent person, then how can you justify imprisoning anyone? A life taken, or a life ruined after 30 years of hard time. Either way, the life that person has is over. So by your logic, we should not imprison anybody on the chance that the jury got it wrong.

    THIRTY FOOT STRAWMAN
    Like I say, it's not an argument I like. But it does seem appropriate to extend out the logic used. That aside, is Strawman the right term here? I thought a Strawman was a weak argument set up for thr express purpose of being knocked down.
    Gorak wrote: »
    Punishments must be handed down with the absolute belief that the guilty are being punished. Here's a phrase I heard after the OJ trial: "It's better for 10 guilty men to go free than for 1 innocent man to be punished." Now, this is not to say that mistakes don't or can't happen. But the justice system cannot proceed with the thought of "What if we're wrong?" holding it back. That's why I said earlier that if you want to raise the standard for when the death penalty can be applied, I'd be with you, but that I'd continue to favor having it available when appropriate.

    You completely missed the point of the "10 guilty men..." quote. If you execute someone then there is absolutely no way to compensate them for that.

    Actually, that was new to me. As you quoted, I heard it as 'better than 1 innocent man be punished." So executions don't enter into it. And no, I didn't miss the point. As far as I can tell, the point is that Generic You had better be DAMNED sure, beyond all reasonable doubt, before punishing someone. If you are not sure beyond all reasonable doubt, if you have any kind of doubt that isn't based on fantasy and far-flung hypothesis, then you ought not be deciding his punishment, he ought to have already gone free.

    chromdom on
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    You're telling me a convicted serial murderer like John Wayne Gacy, who really doesn't pay for his own room & board including his own personal cell away from other inmates, food, medical care including psychological counseling, utilities, premium cable television, compuers with internet access AND recieves an expense siphon for his personal hobbies like painting DOESN'T have a better quality of life than the typical homeless guy living on the street, who recieves none of these???
    Also, my god, how dare he given his own cell so he won't be brutally murdered by the other inmates. How dare he get food and medical care so that he doesn't go insane! And really, who needs utilities like water?

    Couscous on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    BigJoeM wrote: »
    families are far more upset about their loved one getting their life snuffed out than being behind bars forever.

    So you're saying that we should pick the penalty that will most upset the family of the guilty party?



    also, though, you said that for horrific crimes the transgressor should be killed. What purpose does killing them serve, though?

    We shouldn't be putting people to death just because it "feels right", there really needs to be a reason for it.

    Evander on
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    chromdomchromdom Who? Where?Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Gorak wrote: »
    chromdom wrote: »
    So are you then saying that all legal punishments must be reversible, even if not completely reversible?

    Unless you have developed an infallible justice system, yes.

    Ok, then who decides how and when to reverse it? What is the compensation based on?

    Here I'm kind of repeating what I implied earlier: don't hand down punishments based on whether or not you think the justice system is right every time. Hand them down based on your (the judge, jury, whomever is deciding) knowledge that the decision is right this time. If you've got a doubt, don't hand down the sentence.

    chromdom on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    chromdom wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    chromdom wrote: »
    Ok, now this is an argument I'm not really a fan of, but it seems pertinent. If you are worried about a sentence being handed to a innocent person, then how can you justify imprisoning anyone? A life taken, or a life ruined after 30 years of hard time. Either way, the life that person has is over. So by your logic, we should not imprison anybody on the chance that the jury got it wrong.

    THIRTY FOOT STRAWMAN
    Like I say, it's not an argument I like. But it does seem appropriate to extend out the logic used. That aside, is Strawman the right term here? I thought a Strawman was a weak argument set up for thr express purpose of being knocked down.
    Gorak wrote: »
    Punishments must be handed down with the absolute belief that the guilty are being punished. Here's a phrase I heard after the OJ trial: "It's better for 10 guilty men to go free than for 1 innocent man to be punished." Now, this is not to say that mistakes don't or can't happen. But the justice system cannot proceed with the thought of "What if we're wrong?" holding it back. That's why I said earlier that if you want to raise the standard for when the death penalty can be applied, I'd be with you, but that I'd continue to favor having it available when appropriate.

    You completely missed the point of the "10 guilty men..." quote. If you execute someone then there is absolutely no way to compensate them for that.

    Actually, that was new to me. As you quoted, I heard it as 'better than 1 innocent man be punished." So executions don't enter into it. And no, I didn't miss the point. As far as I can tell, the point is that Generic You had better be DAMNED sure, beyond all reasonable doubt, before punishing someone. If you are not sure beyond all reasonable doubt, if you have any kind of doubt that isn't based on fantasy and far-flung hypothesis, then you ought not be deciding his punishment, he ought to have already gone free.

    The problem is that absolute knowledge is impossible.

    And the idea of "reasonable doubt", when you really think about it, does leave a margin of error. There have indeed been cases where, things really did look beyond a reasonable doubt to be one way, but that is only due to a coincidence of circumstances, and because fo that an innocent man gets put to death.

    Evander on
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Ok, then who decides how and when to reverse it? What is the compensation based on?
    A judge or jury decides when and how to reverse it. The compensation is usually based on guidelines. It isn't that different from when juries award money to consumers who have been hurt by faulty products.

    Couscous on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    chromdom wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    chromdom wrote: »
    So are you then saying that all legal punishments must be reversible, even if not completely reversible?

    Unless you have developed an infallible justice system, yes.

    Ok, then who decides how and when to reverse it? What is the compensation based on?

    Here I'm kind of repeating what I implied earlier: don't hand down punishments based on whether or not you think the justice system is right every time. Hand them down based on your (the judge, jury, whomever is deciding) knowledge that the decision is right this time. If you've got a doubt, don't hand down the sentence.

    There is a list of punishments thatwe don't allow in this country. Do you believe that list should be abolished, and that criminals recieve ANY punishment at the discretion of the judge and jury?

    edit: ues, individual punishments should be decided without concern of falibility, based solely on the decisions made at the time.

    However, the rules and guidelines of the Judicial system SHOULD take falibility into account, because that is a big part of the reason they exist in the first place.

    Iam not saying that capital punishment should remain on thebooks, but never be used. I am saying that capital punishment should be outlawed entirely, and that the judge's and juries should be free to pick from the list of punishments that ARE allowed .

    Evander on
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    chromdomchromdom Who? Where?Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Evander wrote: »
    There is a list of punishments thatwe don't allow in this country. Do you believe that list should be abolished, and that criminals recieve ANY punishment at the discretion of the judge and jury?

    No, I'm quite ok with leaving the list as it is. You'll note that I'm not the one asking for any changes to the system.

    chromdom on
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    GorakGorak Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    chromdom wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    THIRTY FOOT STRAWMAN
    Like I say, it's not an argument I like. But it does seem appropriate to extend out the logic used. That aside, is Strawman the right term here? I thought a Strawman was a weak argument set up for thr express purpose of being knocked down.
    So by your logic, we should not imprison anybody on the chance that the jury got it wrong.

    There's your strawman.
    chromdom wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    Punishments must be handed down with the absolute belief that the guilty are being punished. Here's a phrase I heard after the OJ trial: "It's better for 10 guilty men to go free than for 1 innocent man to be punished." Now, this is not to say that mistakes don't or can't happen. But the justice system cannot proceed with the thought of "What if we're wrong?" holding it back. That's why I said earlier that if you want to raise the standard for when the death penalty can be applied, I'd be with you, but that I'd continue to favor having it available when appropriate.

    You completely missed the point of the "10 guilty men..." quote. If you execute someone then there is absolutely no way to compensate them for that.

    Actually, that was new to me. As you quoted, I heard it as 'better than 1 innocent man be punished." So executions don't enter into it. And no, I didn't miss the point. As far as I can tell, the point is that Generic You had better be DAMNED sure, beyond all reasonable doubt, before punishing someone. If you are not sure beyond all reasonable doubt, if you have any kind of doubt that isn't based on fantasy and far-flung hypothesis, then you ought not be deciding his punishment, he ought to have already gone free.

    The point in the "10 guilty men" quote is that you shouldn't impose irreversible consequences unless you are absolutley sure and "reasonable doubt" is not "absolutely sure". While you may believe someone is guilty beyond reasonable doubt, you still do not have absolute certainty so an irreversible punishment should not be used.

    Gorak on
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    chromdom wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    There is a list of punishments thatwe don't allow in this country. Do you believe that list should be abolished, and that criminals recieve ANY punishment at the discretion of the judge and jury?

    No, I'm quite ok with leaving the list as it is. You'll note that I'm not the one asking for any changes to the system.

    Why should we not allow cutting off hands as punishment while allowing executions as punishment? If the jury is right this time, it should be OK to cut the hand off. Heck, the criminal should be lucky for not getting executed.

    Couscous on
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    GorakGorak Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    chromdom wrote: »
    Here I'm kind of repeating what I implied earlier: don't hand down punishments based on whether or not you think the justice system is right every time. Hand them down based on your (the judge, jury, whomever is deciding) knowledge that the decision is right this time. If you've got a doubt, don't hand down the sentence.

    Every single time a person was given an unjust punishment it was based on a decision that seemed right that time.

    Gorak on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    1)Absolute truth is unknowable

    2)Humans are not infalible in their judgements or in their observations

    2)Improbable circumstances can occur, either by accident or by design

    Ergo, regardless of the cut-off lines you make for proof and relative certainty, there will always be room for something to be overlooked (1) and because of this, and the fact that the statements and evidence you have may turn out not to be entirely accurate (2), it is possible for an innocent man to be killed simply because his circumstances made him look guilty enough to slipp through the cracks (3).



    Unless you are okay with the fact that some ammount of innocent people will be killed, there really is no way to realistically support the death penalty.

    Evander on
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    HacksawHacksaw J. Duggan Esq. Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Has anyone bothered to mention that we'd save a shit ton of money by abolishing the death penalty? That's money we could desperately use elsewhere in the criminal justice and penal system. I'm willing to bet that with the money saved alone we could solve this terrible fucking overcrowding problem we're having in jails nowadays.

    Hacksaw on
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    GorakGorak Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Has anyone bothered to mention that we'd save a shit ton of money by abolishing the death penalty? That's money we could desperately use elsewhere in the criminal justice and penal system. I'm willing to bet that with the money saved alone we could solve this terrible fucking overcrowding problem we're having in jails nowadays.

    OI! This is a thread about murdering people, stop bringing logic and reason into it.

    Gorak on
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    Pants ManPants Man Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Has anyone bothered to mention that we'd save a shit ton of money by abolishing the death penalty?

    everybody says that, and it sort of makes sense, but has anybody actually figured out if ths is really true or not?

    Pants Man on
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    chromdomchromdom Who? Where?Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Evander wrote: »
    The problem is that absolute knowledge is impossible.

    And the idea of "reasonable doubt", when you really think about it, does leave a margin of error. There have indeed been cases where, things really did look beyond a reasonable doubt to be one way, but that is only due to a coincidence of circumstances, and because fo that an innocent man gets put to death.

    And that is a tragedy. Seriously, if I were involved in any way in a case like that, it would cause me no end of heartbreak, guilt, and remorse. To the point that I would probably require serious psychological counseling or risk becoming suicidally depressed. But I am not willing to disempower our justice system from handing out what I believe to be justice because of the risk that someone could have all the cards fall against them. Not trying to be obstinate here, that's just not a step I'm willing to take.

    chromdom on
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    BigJoeMBigJoeM Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    The purpose of capital punishment for a lot of people myself included is the idea that their are some things that you can do that allow your right to life to be taken from you by due process of law (procedural and substantive) and their needs to be a penalty that allows the severity of punishment for the severity of that crime.

    Life, liberty, and happiness (property) are rights that can only be taken away by due process of law.

    I don't find life somehow exempt while the other two aren't
    Do something bad and the state can take your property (civil suits-criminal trials
    Do something worse and the state can take your liberty (civil commitment-criminal trials)
    Do something very heinous and the state can take your life (capital murder, treason)

    I have a problem with the way it is applied (not fairly to all defendants) and i would be happy with a break similar to the one in the 60s/70s to fix some of the problems but the state has the implicit authority and ability to take someone's life.

    Mistakes are made and will be made you try your best to fix the conditions and circumstances that lead to mistakes, nothing is perfect and the justice system is no exception.

    BigJoeM on
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    HacksawHacksaw J. Duggan Esq. Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Pants Man wrote: »
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Has anyone bothered to mention that we'd save a shit ton of money by abolishing the death penalty?

    everybody says that, and it sort of makes sense, but has anybody actually figured out if ths is really true or not?
    Oh it's true, but the figures vary a bit. Basically, it runs like this: on average, it costs millions upon millions of dollars to execute someone, and a few hundred thousand dollars to keep someone imprisoned for life (something like $6,000,000 vs. $400,000 in the last figures I looked at). The amount of money we'd be saving would be obscene, and we could channel the savings into worthwhile endeavors like funding rehabilitative programs and opening more prisons to alleviate grossly overcrowded existing ones.

    Hacksaw on
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    Pants ManPants Man Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Pants Man wrote: »
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Has anyone bothered to mention that we'd save a shit ton of money by abolishing the death penalty?

    everybody says that, and it sort of makes sense, but has anybody actually figured out if ths is really true or not?
    Oh it's true, but the figures vary a bit. Basically, it runs like this: on average, it costs millions upon millions of dollars to execute someone, and a few hundred thousand dollars to keep someone imprisoned for life (something like $6,000,000 vs. $400,000 in the last figures I looked at). The amount of money we'd be saving would be obscene, and we could channel the savings into worthwhile endeavors like funding rehabilitative programs and opening more prisons to alleviate grossly overcrowded existing ones.

    do you have any sources on that?

    Pants Man on
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    ScaldSeraphimScaldSeraphim Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    What I'm gleaning from this argument is that the foundation against the death penalty is based largely, but not completely, on the grounds that innocents may be hurt. Not to sound like a smartass, but a logical progression of that argument is that I shouldn't drive my car because I may run over somebody, one shouldn't go to the doctor because the doctor may make a mistake and possibly give a harmful misdaignosis or treatment, teachers should refrain from grading because they may give the wrong marks. Aye, the last one is a bit of a stretch, I know), but you see where I'm going with this. The legal system is an imperfect one created by imperfect beings. It will never be infallible. The point of the death penalty, as I understand it, is that someone is put to death because they themselves took the lives of an innocent person, or mutliple people, thereby willfully forfeiting their own rights and privileges, and their own innocence, due to wanton disregard for the rules of the society they live in. Sounds alright to me, since executing a murderer is not executing an innocent person, and since the number of innocents killed in state-sponsored executions is lower than the number of, say, innocent people killed by drunk drivers, and is shrinking every day thanks to advances in modern forensics. And as my last point in this post, does anyone think that a life sentence is really going to be that torturous to a murderer? If they had a conscience that could be affected by such treatment, they probably wouldn't have killed anyone in the first place.

    ScaldSeraphim on
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    MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2007
    Evander wrote: »
    Unless you are okay with the fact that some ammount of innocent people will be killed, there really is no way to realistically support the death penalty.

    There are people who deserve to die in this country, by my own moral standards. The man who put his newborn baby into the microwave comes to mind. However, the collateral is too high for me to support it.

    Medopine on
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    GorakGorak Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    chomdom wrote:
    But I am not willing to disempower our justice system from handing out what I believe to be justice because of the risk that someone could have all the cards fall against them.
    BigJoeM wrote:
    Mistakes are made and will be made you try your best to fix the conditions and circumstances that lead to mistakes, nothing is perfect and the justice system is no exception.

    Essentially, you are both quite comfortable with killing an innocent person in order to make yourself feel safer. Your piece of mind is worth more than another person's life.

    Gorak on
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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2007
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Pants Man wrote: »
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Has anyone bothered to mention that we'd save a shit ton of money by abolishing the death penalty?

    everybody says that, and it sort of makes sense, but has anybody actually figured out if ths is really true or not?
    Oh it's true, but the figures vary a bit. Basically, it runs like this: on average, it costs millions upon millions of dollars to execute someone, and a few hundred thousand dollars to keep someone imprisoned for life (something like $6,000,000 vs. $400,000 in the last figures I looked at). The amount of money we'd be saving would be obscene, and we could channel the savings into worthwhile endeavors like funding rehabilitative programs and opening more prisons to alleviate grossly overcrowded existing ones.

    Or, you know, not locking up people for stupid crimes at a rate faster than the 18th century British.

    The Cat on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Pants Man wrote: »
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Has anyone bothered to mention that we'd save a shit ton of money by abolishing the death penalty?

    everybody says that, and it sort of makes sense, but has anybody actually figured out if ths is really true or not?
    Oh it's true, but the figures vary a bit. Basically, it runs like this: on average, it costs millions upon millions of dollars to execute someone, and a few hundred thousand dollars to keep someone imprisoned for life (something like $6,000,000 vs. $400,000 in the last figures I looked at). The amount of money we'd be saving would be obscene, and we could channel the savings into worthwhile endeavors like funding rehabilitative programs and opening more prisons to alleviate grossly overcrowded existing ones.

    Isn't a large portion of that expense due to the appeals process? That has always been my understanding. Really, then, this is kind of misleading...sure, we save money by not having to go through the arduous appeals process for putting somebody to death. But now you just have people sentenced to life who, theoretically, don't have nearly the same kind of support for their appeals than a death row inmate had.

    Which, presuming innocent people would be sentenced to life at the same rate they're currently sentenced to death, doesn't seem like a huge improvement to me.

    I seem to remember hearing about death row inmates actually being disappointed at having their sentences converted to life, because it just means they'll receive that much less attention and help from groups and attorneys.

    Though I'd agree that at the least we could take some of that extra money and alleviate overcrowding, as well as take other measures to try to decrease the likelihood that a prison sentence is actually a rape sentence.

    mcdermott on
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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    BigJoeM wrote: »
    The purpose of capital punishment for a lot of people myself included is the idea that their are some things that you can do that allow your right to life to be taken from you by due process of law (procedural and substantive) and their needs to be a penalty that allows the severity of punishment for the severity of that crime.

    Life, liberty, and happiness (property) are rights that can only be taken away by due process of law.

    I don't find life somehow exempt while the other two aren't
    Do something bad and the state can take your property (civil suits-criminal trials)

    If in error, the state can give it back, plus any deserved compensation.
    Do something worse and the state can take your liberty (civil commitment-criminal trials)

    If in error, the state can give it back, plus any deserved compensation.
    Do something very heinous and the state can take your life (capital murder, treason)

    If in error the state can... do nothing.

    [/QUOTE]

    Mithrandir86 on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Or, you know, not locking up people for stupid crimes at a rate faster than the 18th century British.

    Yeah, that too.

    mcdermott on
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    MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2007
    What I'm gleaning from this argument is that the foundation against the death penalty is based largely, but not completely, on the grounds that innocents may be hurt. Not to sound like a smartass, but a logical progression of that argument is that I shouldn't drive my car because I may run over somebody, one shouldn't go to the doctor because the doctor may make a mistake and possibly give a harmful misdaignosis or treatment, teachers should refrain from grading because they may give the wrong marks. Aye, the last one is a bit of a stretch, I know), but you see where I'm going with this. The legal system is an imperfect one created by imperfect beings. It will never be infallible. The point of the death penalty, as I understand it, is that someone is put to death because they themselves took the lives of an innocent person, or mutliple people, thereby willfully forfeiting their own rights and privileges, and their own innocence, due to wanton disregard for the rules of the society they live in. Sounds alright to me, since executing a murderer is not executing an innocent person, and since the number of innocents killed in state-sponsored executions is lower than the number of, say, innocent people killed by drunk drivers, and is shrinking every day thanks to advances in modern forensics. And as my last point in this post, does anyone think that a life sentence is really going to be that torturous to a murderer? If they had a conscience that could be affected by such treatment, they probably wouldn't have killed anyone in the first place.

    No, you're missing the point. It's not "no innocents should be harmed ever," it's "taking the life of an innocent person should not be a direct result of our legal system." Death is permanent. We can let someone out of jail if evidence comes to light that shows the legal system made a mistake.

    Medopine on
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    HacksawHacksaw J. Duggan Esq. Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Pants Man wrote: »
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Pants Man wrote: »
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Has anyone bothered to mention that we'd save a shit ton of money by abolishing the death penalty?

    everybody says that, and it sort of makes sense, but has anybody actually figured out if ths is really true or not?
    Oh it's true, but the figures vary a bit. Basically, it runs like this: on average, it costs millions upon millions of dollars to execute someone, and a few hundred thousand dollars to keep someone imprisoned for life (something like $6,000,000 vs. $400,000 in the last figures I looked at). The amount of money we'd be saving would be obscene, and we could channel the savings into worthwhile endeavors like funding rehabilitative programs and opening more prisons to alleviate grossly overcrowded existing ones.

    do you have any sources on that?
    Here you go.

    Hacksaw on
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    Paul_IQ164Paul_IQ164 Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    What I'm gleaning from this argument is that the foundation against the death penalty is based largely, but not completely, on the grounds that innocents may be hurt. Not to sound like a smartass, but a logical progression of that argument is that I shouldn't drive my car because I may run over somebody, one shouldn't go to the doctor because the doctor may make a mistake and possibly give a harmful misdaignosis or treatment, teachers should refrain from grading because they may give the wrong marks. Aye, the last one is a bit of a stretch, I know), but you see where I'm going with this. The legal system is an imperfect one created by imperfect beings. It will never be infallible. The point of the death penalty, as I understand it, is that someone is put to death because they themselves took the lives of an innocent person, or mutliple people, thereby willfully forfeiting their own rights and privileges, and their own innocence, due to wanton disregard for the rules of the society they live in. Sounds alright to me, since executing a murderer is not executing an innocent person, and since the number of innocents killed in state-sponsored executions is lower than the number of, say, innocent people killed by drunk drivers, and is shrinking every day thanks to advances in modern forensics. And as my last point in this post, does anyone think that a life sentence is really going to be that torturous to a murderer? If they had a conscience that could be affected by such treatment, they probably wouldn't have killed anyone in the first place.
    Well no, that's not the logical progression. In those instances, someone doing their job might accidentally cause an innocent person to die. If you execute someone who it turns out wasn't guilty, you've purposefully killed a person who was innocent. With the death penalty, you will kill innocent people when the system functions exactly as it is designed to do.

    Paul_IQ164 on
    But obviously to make that into a viable anecdote you have to tart it up a bit.
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    HacksawHacksaw J. Duggan Esq. Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Pants Man wrote: »
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Has anyone bothered to mention that we'd save a shit ton of money by abolishing the death penalty?

    everybody says that, and it sort of makes sense, but has anybody actually figured out if ths is really true or not?
    Oh it's true, but the figures vary a bit. Basically, it runs like this: on average, it costs millions upon millions of dollars to execute someone, and a few hundred thousand dollars to keep someone imprisoned for life (something like $6,000,000 vs. $400,000 in the last figures I looked at). The amount of money we'd be saving would be obscene, and we could channel the savings into worthwhile endeavors like funding rehabilitative programs and opening more prisons to alleviate grossly overcrowded existing ones.

    Or, you know, not locking up people for stupid crimes at a rate faster than the 18th century British.
    That, too. Getting rid of our existing narcotics laws would probably make the biggest difference there.

    Hacksaw on
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    ScaldSeraphimScaldSeraphim Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Well no, that's not the logical progression. In those instances, someone doing their job might accidentally cause an innocent person to die.



    It's a prosecutor's job to get that conviction, and the state's job to carry it out. An innocent person dying on death row is similar to a doctor having a patient die from a misdiagnosis. Also, in this, I'm coming off a lot more cold-hearted than I actually am. My point isn't 'tough, live with it', it's more along the lines of we're bound to make mistakes, but we can learn from them and fix them. Also, the number of innocents actually executed is quite small. I keep getting the feeling like thousands of innocents are executed every couple years or so.

    ScaldSeraphim on
    "I know, I know. 'You were a child once.' I was a sperm once, but you don't see me wantin' to cuddle up to a fuckin' wankstain, do you?" -John Constantine

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    Paul_IQ164Paul_IQ164 Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Well no, that's not the logical progression. In those instances, someone doing their job might accidentally cause an innocent person to die.



    It's a prosecutor's job to get that conviction, and the state's job to carry it out. An innocent person dying on death row is similar to a doctor having a patient die from a misdiagnosis. Also, in this, I'm coming off a lot more cold-hearted than I actually am. My point isn't 'tough, live with it', it's more along the lines of we're bound to make mistakes, but we can learn from them and fix them. Also, the number of innocents actually executed is quite small. I keep getting the feeling like thousands of innocents are executed every couple years or so.

    No, if a doctor kills a patient, it's malpractice. The prosecutor and the state and everyone could do their job perfectly well and execute an innocent person.

    Paul_IQ164 on
    But obviously to make that into a viable anecdote you have to tart it up a bit.
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    BigJoeMBigJoeM Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    BigJoeM wrote: »
    The purpose of capital punishment for a lot of people myself included is the idea that their are some things that you can do that allow your right to life to be taken from you by due process of law (procedural and substantive) and their needs to be a penalty that allows the severity of punishment for the severity of that crime.

    Life, liberty, and happiness (property) are rights that can only be taken away by due process of law.

    I don't find life somehow exempt while the other two aren't
    Do something bad and the state can take your property (civil suits-criminal trials)

    If in error, the state can give it back, plus any deserved compensation.
    Do something worse and the state can take your liberty (civil commitment-criminal trials)

    If in error, the state can give it back, plus any deserved compensation.
    Do something very heinous and the state can take your life (capital murder, treason)

    If in error the state can... do nothing.
    [/QUOTE]

    The state can give out money, any compensation is woefully inadequate $50,000 for each year someone was imprisoned is not enough to replace the lost time and opportunities as a result of being falsely imprisoned.

    And $100,000 for each year of imprisonment for a person falsely put to death doesn't cover the emotional impact of having a loved one killed wrongly.

    The state can do something its unfortunate that it falls short and in every case it's the same "better than nothing".

    BigJoeM on
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    ScaldSeraphimScaldSeraphim Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    No, if a doctor kills a patient, it's malpractice. The prosecutor and the state and everyone could do their job perfectly well and execute an innocent person.

    I find that statement more disturbing than anything I've read here so far. How is human error malpractice? Malpractice is the intentional mistreatment of or simple disregard for patients. What I'm talking about is an honest to gods mistake, such as putting an innocent person on death row, barring some absurdly intricate and improbable conspiracy.

    ScaldSeraphim on
    "I know, I know. 'You were a child once.' I was a sperm once, but you don't see me wantin' to cuddle up to a fuckin' wankstain, do you?" -John Constantine

    "As I always say...Gandhi is dandy, but liquor is quicker! Ha ha...quicker." -Phil Ken Sebben
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    MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2007
    Well no, that's not the logical progression. In those instances, someone doing their job might accidentally cause an innocent person to die.



    It's a prosecutor's job to get that conviction, and the state's job to carry it out. An innocent person dying on death row is similar to a doctor having a patient die from a misdiagnosis. Also, in this, I'm coming off a lot more cold-hearted than I actually am. My point isn't 'tough, live with it', it's more along the lines of we're bound to make mistakes, but we can learn from them and fix them. Also, the number of innocents actually executed is quite small. I keep getting the feeling like thousands of innocents are executed every couple years or so.

    That's where you differ than some of us, I think. And that's what the "10 guilty men, 1 innocent man" quote is about. It doesn't MATTER how small that number of innocent deaths is, it's still enough to invalidate the entire practice, because of how precious life is and how wrong it is to take it.

    Medopine on
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    ScaldSeraphimScaldSeraphim Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    That's where you differ than some of us, I think. And that's what the "10 guilty men, 1 innocent man" quote is about. It doesn't MATTER how small that number of innocent deaths is, it's still enough to invalidate the entire practice, because of how precious life is and how wrong it is to take it.

    Honestly, I don't find the concept of ten murderers/rapists running free from a flimsy justice system comforting at all. 20+ people died at V Tech. Now, if Cho had been arrested, and been found not guilty and released into the general populace along with 9 others like him and one innocent man, how is that in any way, shape or form a good thing?

    ScaldSeraphim on
    "I know, I know. 'You were a child once.' I was a sperm once, but you don't see me wantin' to cuddle up to a fuckin' wankstain, do you?" -John Constantine

    "As I always say...Gandhi is dandy, but liquor is quicker! Ha ha...quicker." -Phil Ken Sebben
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    GorakGorak Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    My point isn't 'tough, live with it', it's more along the lines of we're bound to make mistakes, but we can learn from them and fix them.

    If we're bound to make mistakes, then you are admitting that we are bound to execute innocent people. Would you be willing to accept that if it were your child up for execution?

    Gorak on
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    Pants ManPants Man Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Pants Man wrote: »
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Pants Man wrote: »
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Has anyone bothered to mention that we'd save a shit ton of money by abolishing the death penalty?

    everybody says that, and it sort of makes sense, but has anybody actually figured out if ths is really true or not?
    Oh it's true, but the figures vary a bit. Basically, it runs like this: on average, it costs millions upon millions of dollars to execute someone, and a few hundred thousand dollars to keep someone imprisoned for life (something like $6,000,000 vs. $400,000 in the last figures I looked at). The amount of money we'd be saving would be obscene, and we could channel the savings into worthwhile endeavors like funding rehabilitative programs and opening more prisons to alleviate grossly overcrowded existing ones.

    do you have any sources on that?
    Here you go.

    sweet, thanks

    Pants Man on
    "okay byron, my grandma has a right to be happy, so i give you my blessing. just... don't get her pregnant. i don't need another mom."
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