More death penalty debate fun. yay.

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More death penalty debate fun. yay.

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Personally, I have never

Personally, I have never liked the deterrent argument in favor of the death penalty.  I can't speak to what goes on in the other nations that still use it but here we only impose it for crimes which are so depraved that nothing, even the death penalty would have deterred them in the first place.

Case in point is that our new governor has made it clear that he will sign the repeal bill the moment it hits his desk.  However, the bill died last week just because such a crime happened recently.

What happened was that two guys broke into a doctor's house and beat him down with a baseball bat, tied him up and forced him to watch as they raped and murdered his wife.  Then they poured gasoline on his two sleeping daughters and around the rest of the house and dropped lit matches on the girls.

Fortunately, the doctor escaped but the whole family is gone.

At this point, there is now no chance of a repeal bill coming up again for a few years.  We will likely have a different governor by that time and no telling how he will feel about the matter.

Really, if we are going to do it, then it is proper to frame it as the worst possible punishment for the worst possible crimes.

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The death penalty would be

The death penalty would be clearly inappropriate for one of current "worst possible crimes", namely suicide bombing... executing a failed suicide bomber seems a bit pointless as a deterrent.

It can also mean that once someone has actually committed a murder, and realizes it would be hard to avoid conviction, any restraint against them committing further crimes of any sort has largely evaporated.

It also makes prosecution and trial much more expensive in countries with some semblance of a 'proper' judicial system, because of the need to establish guilt to a much higher standard of certainty.

And for some people, life-long loss of liberty would be a more severe punishment anyway.

It also endorses the idea of killing people who offend you, which encourages the action if they think they can get away with it, or simply don't think about such things in the heat of the moment. So the logic of it is not so simple.

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You could knock this

 

 

guy off or send him to Somalia to carry water to starving muslim kids.

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Good points Bob.Although

Good points Bob.

Although what I was really addressing was the argument of capital punishment as a deterrent.  I think that it is pretty obvious that anyone who would perform a crime which is “death elligible” in the United States simply does not care.

Actually, I think that the example of a suicide bomber could help to make that point.  They simply do not care about the consequences of what they do, so executing them would serve no good purpose.  In fact, I think that the way to deal with a would be suicide bomber who was stopped before doing the deed must be life with no chance of parole.  If nothing else, it denies them the martyrdom that even an execution would potentially provide.

As to the whole “nothing left to lose” idea, well, not having a death penalty does not remove that one.  We also use life without possibility of parole and those are the guys who commit quite a few of the murders in prisons.  When you can't do anything worse to them, then what is there to stop them from whatever.

Case in point would be the murder of Jeffrey Dahmer.  When/where he was convicted, no death penalty was available.  So a couple of years into his sentence, a lifer beat him to death.

Some family members of murder victims feel that an execution is a sort of final justice.  Since I am not in that situation, I really can't say how I would feel but I would bet that the families of Dahmer's victims did not feel so good because of his death at the hand of a random lifer.

As far as the cost of prosecution goes, in all honesty, that is not the issue that we have over here.  Sure, there are cases where people have been let off of death row because of new technology relevant to DNA.  However, those are old cases where the tech did not exist during the original trial.  Today, we are living in a world where DNA should be standard evidence.  For any case where it is possible to use that, not only death eligible cases.

What we deal with is the fact the death penalty convictions can be appealed over and over again.  When the appeals run out, then the process starts over again for seeking a writ of habeas corpus.  In all honesty, the argument that executions save the state money compared to housing someone for life just don't hold any water.

In all honesty, the cost of multiple legal proceeding far outweighs the cost of housing someone for the next 50 or so years.

Really, at this point, my opinion on the death penalty is of somewhat less importance than my opinion on arguments that lack the level of nuance needed to have such a discussion.

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natural wrote: You would

natural wrote:
You would expect that to be true, but the surprising fact is that it's not true, especially in the case of the death penalty.

I already addressed that.

Then there's no reason to increase the severity of the consequences of any crime that society would want to diminish. If your logic is true, we should actually lessen the severity in order to see a 'decrease' in the crime.

natural wrote:
You will, for example, have a very difficult time finding any serious research supporting the effectiveness of the death penalty in prevention of crime. In most cases, you'll actually find the opposite correlation, that states that use the death penalty have higher incidents of capital offenses, for example.

I've debated this to a pulp on other forums before. I've seen 'studies' that are probably similar, if not the same ones that you must be referring to. They are 'single case' studies, not true 'meta- analysis', that compare gender, age, socio economic class, education, mental health, past history, motive, method, geography, and relationship between the victim and the criminal, etc, etc.

natural wrote:
 You're not addressing the argument: It is a question of whether the benefit outweighs the risks.

The benefits are clear. Killers that are dead find it impossible to kill again, and don't burden the tax payer by giving him free room and board, and medical for the rest of his antisocial sub human life.

The topic of innocent people getting 'convicted', is an entirely different topic, that is conflated with the obvious benefits of permanently eliminating cold blooded murderers from society.

You could argue the same way against penicillin.

Should we reconsider the use of penicillin because the odd person dies from it?

Not in my mind.

YMMV

natural wrote:
If you want to continue on this vein, start another thread;

Been there, done that. I'll be satisfied simply with what I've said here, and will leave it at that.

 

 

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redneF wrote:natural wrote:

redneF wrote:

natural wrote:
If you want to continue on this vein, start another thread;

Been there, done that. I'll be satisfied simply with what I've said here, and will leave it at that.

YOU WILL NEVER BE SATISFIED!!!!!11!TWELVE!THIRTEEN14!!!!

 

UNTIL THEY ARE ALL DEEEEEAAAAAAADDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!

 

(amirite?)

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redneF wrote:natural wrote:

redneF wrote:
natural wrote:
You would expect that to be true, but the surprising fact is that it's not true, especially in the case of the death penalty.

I already addressed that.

No, you didn't. You asserted. You made a lame anology which makes no sense in the real world of science.

Quote:
Then there's no reason to increase the severity of the consequences of any crime that society would want to diminish. If your logic is true, we should actually lessen the severity in order to see a 'decrease' in the crime.

Wrong. My logic is the logic of 'what works'. My logic is, Does it really work? (No, really work, not just you 'wanting' it to work.)

Does the death penalty actually lead to a decrease in the crime rate? No. Not compared to life imprisonment. Not according to actual studies of actual real places where this has been actually studied.

Quote:
I've debated this to a pulp on other forums before. I've seen 'studies' that are probably similar, if not the same ones that you must be referring to. They are 'single case' studies, not true 'meta- analysis', that compare gender, age, socio economic class, education, mental health, past history, motive, method, geography, and relationship between the victim and the criminal, etc, etc.

Right, and this is why these debates tend to be trainwrecks, because like global warming denialism, you'll nitpick every study to death until your opponent gets sick of debating you.

Well, I've got that flipped: Burden of proof = on you.

Extraordinary claim: Killing people convicted of murder as a matter of government legal policy will actually cause more good than harm in society, over and above the obvious alternative of life imprisonment.

That's what you have to show. Because if you cannot show that to be actually true, then you are endorsing unjustified killing, which already has a name: murder.

Quote:
natural wrote:
 You're not addressing the argument: It is a question of whether the benefit outweighs the risks.

The benefits are clear.

Naked assertion. I disagree with you. They are not clear. You made the claim, now prove it.

Quote:
Killers that are dead find it impossible to kill again, and don't burden the tax payer by giving him free room and board, and medical for the rest of his antisocial sub human life.

1. How many of these 'killers' are actually innocent people wrongfully convicted? Look up the stats. It's incredibly ridiculous how many innocent people are killed in Texas. For what? Does it actually prevent crime? No. In fact, killing the wrong person and closing the case leaves an actual murderer on the loose in your town.

2. The cost of a capital punishment case costs more than keeping the prisoner in life imprisonment. The 'burden' to the taxpayer is higher with capital punishment.

Quote:
The topic of innocent people getting 'convicted', is an entirely different topic, that is conflated with the obvious benefits of permanently eliminating cold blooded murderers from society.

No, it is not a separate topic. Because the law applies equally to all people. If Billy Bob is the worst possible criminal and it can be proven to near 100% certainty that he definitely did his nasty deeds, then yes, a death penalty law will eliminate Billy Bob. But when innocent Jim Bob is in the wrong place at the wrong time and the crooked good ol' boys of the sheriff's dept. decide he 'must' be guilty 'cuz juss lookit him!

Then the exact same law ends up killing an innocent person. And there's never any death penalty for crooked cops who send people to the chair, is there? Nope. Or lawyers or judges or juries either.

The question of capital punishment is a question of law. It's not a question of "But we should be able to kill this ONE PARTICULAR dude, cuz he's obviously the guy." The same law applies to all citizens, rightfully or wrongfully convicted.

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

Personally, I have never liked the deterrent argument in favor of the death penalty.  I can't speak to what goes on in the other nations that still use it but here we only impose it for crimes which are so depraved that nothing, even the death penalty would have deterred them in the first place.

<ahem> Then what is the fucking point of killing them?

Quote:
Really, if we are going to do it, then it is proper to frame it as the worst possible punishment for the worst possible crimes.

What does this achieve? Satisfying our sense of revenge?

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I would actually favor it

I would actually favor it for a few crimes......if it wasn't such a ridiculously long and expensive process......and there wasn't such a danger of executing people who were innocent......and, preferably, it was also shown to actually deter crime.......

So, I don't mind killing the worst criminals. If a justice system could drastically (like, exponentially) reduce the practical problems with the death penalty, I might support it; I doubt I will ever see that happen. 

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 I'd say it's morally

 I'd say it's morally questionable at least to promote killing as a form of conflict resolution. It tells people to adopt the point of view of a murderer and it sets the behavior of the wrongdoer as the standard by which to act.

 

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Gauche wrote: I'd say it's

Gauche wrote:

 I'd say it's morally questionable at least to promote killing as a form of conflict resolution. It tells people to adopt the point of view of a murderer and it sets the behavior of the wrongdoer as the standard by which to act.

 

I agree. That is very close to my final point -  it endorses the idea that killing someone who offends you is ok.

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natural wrote:redneF

natural wrote:

redneF wrote:

natural wrote:
If you want to continue on this vein, start another thread;

Been there, done that. I'll be satisfied simply with what I've said here, and will leave it at that.

YOU WILL NEVER BE SATISFIED!!!!!11!TWELVE!THIRTEEN14!!!!

 

UNTIL THEY ARE ALL DEEEEEAAAAAAADDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!

 

(amirite?)

You shit disturber!  

I like you natural. I enjoy reading your posts, and I have respect for you.

But, I meant it when I said I've debated this to a pulp. On at least half a dozen different occasions. It never ends in an agreement between the main protagonists, and it's a real core fundamental issue with a lot of people, which makes it a real hot button topic.

I'm not a layman pulling facts out of my ass. I actually studied psyche in college, and focused on criminal psychology, thinking that I might go into law, or law enforcement, then decided I did not want to center my life on such a thing.

Failing to convince you, or others on this particular topic, doesn't trouble me in the slightest.

Cheers

 

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Does anyone have any

Does anyone have any information on the cost of prosecution for a death penalty case, versus the cost of life imprisonment?  I know there's a lot more judicial stuff you have to do to apply the death penalty, but I'm not too familiar with it or with the costs involved.

 

If the cost of applying the death penalty is near the cost of life imprisonment, then I think it's a bad idea.  If we're going to save a lot of money with it, then I'm okay with it.

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Zaq wrote:Does anyone have

Zaq wrote:

Does anyone have any information on the cost of prosecution for a death penalty case, versus the cost of life imprisonment?  I know there's a lot more judicial stuff you have to do to apply the death penalty, but I'm not too familiar with it or with the costs involved.

 

If the cost of applying the death penalty is near the cost of life imprisonment, then I think it's a bad idea.  If we're going to save a lot of money with it, then I'm okay with it.

 

http://deathpenalty.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=001000

google "cost of death penalty"

Basically, the data is spotty, but it seems that there are more people believe it costs more to sentence some one to death rather than life without parole.

Personally, I am for the death penalty if you can demonstrate innocent people will never be put to death.  N-e-v-e-r.  Give me that guarantee, and I'm fine with it.

And don't tell me you don't care if innocent people are killed - you would care soon enough if it was your ass on death row.

 

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redneF wrote:No.It's called

redneF wrote:
No.It's called 'Taking out the trash'.

No, it's called premeditated murder.

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It's funny really, reading

It's funny really, reading the bs "he killed my wife and family" sob story. It happened to me and I'd kill the fucker, no questions asked. But it'd really piss me off to be executed for doing so.

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Vastet wrote:redneF

Vastet wrote:
redneF wrote:
No.It's called 'Taking out the trash'.
No, it's called premeditated murder.

I guess when all you have to do is redefine words, you can win any debate without actually doing any heavy lifting.

In that case...

No, you're wrong.

 

Yay, I win!

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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Vastet wrote:It's funny

Vastet wrote:
It's funny really, reading the bs "he killed my wife and family" sob story. It happened to me and I'd kill the fucker, no questions asked. But it'd really piss me off to be executed for doing so.

 

Well, I have never met a survivor of a gruesome murder.  Those people are very few.  However, I doubt that they get excited over the idea that the perp is going to be given his three squares for so long that they might not live to see the outcome.  Nor do I expect that the idea of a "nice" execution where he is drugged into oblivion before he even leaves his cell, only to be strapped down and given three fatal injections twice in a row is really anything like blood lust inducing.

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Norway, with a very low

Norway, with a very low crime rate, has a normal maximum prison term of 21 years, or up to 30 in extreme cases. No 'life', let alone a death penalty.

That part of Europe has among the lowest violent crime/murder rates in the world.

Which of course makes recent events all the more shocking, but it appears to have been the work of one individual, with access to arms and explosive materials.

More food for thought.

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OK bobspence1, food for

OK bobspence1, food for thought is always good.

 

That much being said, I am not sure if you can really do a country by country comparison on that.

 

Norway being what it is, I would tend to expect that they have different issues than we face in the US. Actually, a friend of mine several years ago married a hot Swedish babe and had to move over there. I ended up having to buy his Glock from him for the princely sum of USD $1.00 just to make the paperwork legal.

 

I ended up selling it to a friend of mine for USD $250.00 because it was kind of useless to me (being the revolver fan that I am).

 

In the USA, we break out our statistics first by state, then by county and finally by city. From those numbers, the one thing that we know for sure is that your chances of getting shot are directly in proportion to how restrictive you gun laws are.

 

In Alaska, if you want a gun, you go to the store and buy a gun. Hand the guy your credit card and you get your card and a gun back. Done deal.

 

Now 48 other states have more restrictive laws on the matter but since each state has to honor the laws of other states, Alaska residents can get a carry permit. What you do is walk into the police station and ask for a permit. The guy at the desk may have to look around to see where the form is (because it is not a normal request) but once he finds it, it is a matter of “sign here please” and you get the card as soon as it can be printed.

 

Beyond basic fact though, I see little point in being a gun apologist. I come from a pace where there are lots of gun. More legal gun=less crime. Fewer legal guns= more illegal guns and more crime.

 

Other people come from places where guns are not so common. I guess that I can be happy for them but what happens in other countries is relevant in each of those countries. What happens here is relevant to my life.

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Well, AiG, you have gone

Well, AiG, you have gone into the issue of gun availability, which is tangential to the OP.

That is a more complex issue in terms of how it correlates to level of gun-related crime, where cultural issues, attitudes, seem to be involved, as even Michael Moore conceded in his doco on Columbine, when he did a brief comparison to a community in Canada, with a similar level of gun ownership to much of the US, with a very low murder rate.

On another tangential point, I only realized yesterday that in the terms I am used to, Norway is a small community, being only about twice the population of the city I live in, Brisbane, a middle-sized State capital city here.

I suspect that contributes to community cohesiveness, which lessens the crime rate.

The complexity of predicting human reactions when many different factors are involved can lead to many counter-intuitive results, where, for example, severity of punishment doesn't necessarily have as much effect on deterring crime as would seem 'logical' that it should. At least not beyond a certain level.

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redneF wrote:[...]It never

redneF wrote:
[...]It never ends in an agreement between the main protagonists, and it's a real core fundamental issue with a lot of people, which makes it a real hot button topic.

[...]

Failing to convince you, or others on this particular topic, doesn't trouble me in the slightest.

I think we've finally reached a finite moment of truth floating about in a small sea of unsupported total crap, (speculation, as you prefer to call it) which is why I hesitate and sometimes even avoid discussions around DP unless another issue is brought in.

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redneF wrote:Vastet

redneF wrote:

Vastet wrote:
redneF wrote:
No.It's called 'Taking out the trash'.
No, it's called premeditated murder.

I guess when all you have to do is redefine words, you can win any debate without actually doing any heavy lifting.

In that case...

No, you're wrong.

 

Yay, I win!

 

I haven't redefined anything. Yay, you lose for failing to argue!

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Vastet wrote: redneF

Vastet wrote:
redneF wrote:

Vastet wrote:
redneF wrote:
No.It's called 'Taking out the trash'.
No, it's called premeditated murder.

I guess when all you have to do is redefine words, you can win any debate without actually doing any heavy lifting.

In that case...

No, you're wrong.

 

Yay, I win!

 

I haven't redefined anything. Yay, you lose for failing to argue!

Then you must be the master debatur!

Here is the sum total of your 'debate'

Vastet wrote:
The death penalty is a giant waste. It's ridiculous, and people who support it should be charged as accessories to murder 1.

 +

Vastet wrote:
No, it's called premeditated murder

So, in summary, you've simply asserted that the death penalty is a giant waste, that those who are not opposed to the death penalty are accessories to murder 1, and that execution is premeditated murder.

Ya, that's not 'redefining' legal execution of convicted killers as cold blooded murder.

What's next?

Blowjobs are cannibalism?

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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redneF wrote:Ya, that's not

redneF wrote:
Ya, that's not 'redefining' legal execution of convicted killers as cold blooded murder.

'Legal' killing does not mean justified killing, or else you can't argue against a God killing random people because he's the Law, or whatever the fuck. (I'm trying to avoid a Godwin forfeit in this debate, but it's hard... it's really hard! )

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redneF wrote:What's

redneF wrote:

What's next?

Blowjobs are cannibalism?

Not if you spit. 

I can see a few benefits to killing someone for having committed an atrocious crime.  I'm arguing from crimes where the evidence is overwhelming coupled with a clear motive, or an unforced confession has been obtained.  

1.  The finality of killing someone makes 100% certain that they will not escape.  I understand that the probability of them getting away is very minimal, but if they're dead, the probability is 0.  

2.  If I were the victim's family, it would give me complete satisfaction.  I understand that this purely emotional, and most likely the product of growing up in a macho culture, but I am being honest when I say I can see myself smiling and killing the fuckers that have committed the crimes AIG mentioned, and not lose a minute of sleep over it.

3.  The way the system is setup now it may very well be more expensive to put someone to death than keep them in prison indefinitely.  But the system is extremely flawed for that to be the case.  In cases where DNA evidence, motive, and or confessions have been obtained, the death penalty should be implemented immediately.  If that is the argument (that it is cheaper) than it is an argument based on a flawed system, and it should NOT be cheaper for keep someone imprisoned.

4.  If I were faced with the options of life without parole surrounded by maniacs and psychopaths and death, I would like to think I would choose death.  Hopefully I never have to make that choice, but death seems much easier to endure.  The fact that I am innocent would make no difference to me if the sentences are the same.

Just my two emotional cents. 

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natural wrote:redneF

natural wrote:

redneF wrote:
Ya, that's not 'redefining' legal execution of convicted killers as cold blooded murder.

'Legal' killing does not mean justified killing

Bzzzt.

Wrong again.

Are you that desperate to grasp at those kinds of straws?

'Legal' means 'justice'. Duhh...

Obviously, execution is 'justified', by being sanctioned by the lawmakers, the jury, and the judge.

natural wrote:
or else you can't argue against a God killing random people because he's the Law, or whatever the fuck.

That's an obvious strawman. Ask any theist. Which theist is going to tell you that God kills people randomly? He sentences 'lawbreakers' to eternal hellfire.  

And apparently, disobeying your parents, eating shellfish, and oral sex are breaking the law...

In any event, I never argue that a god would be 'wrong' to do that, just that it's cruel and sadistic, and entirely not consistent with claims that he's 'loving'.

I don't understand the sympathy for killers who are executed, anyways.

It's funny how none of them get mauled to within an inch of their lives from poking bears with sticks. They seem pretty good at avoiding those types of death sentences...

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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redneF wrote:natural

redneF wrote:

natural wrote:

redneF wrote:
Ya, that's not 'redefining' legal execution of convicted killers as cold blooded murder.

'Legal' killing does not mean justified killing

...

'Legal' means 'justice'. Duhh...

No, it most definitely does not.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham jail wrote:
Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.

You're the one trying to redefine words, ironically. Only specialized legal definitions try to claim justice as being identical to legal. All other usages of justice involve moral/ethical considerations independent from law:


just 1  (jst)

adj.

1. Honorable and fair in one's dealings and actions: a just ruler. See Synonyms at fair1.

2. Consistent with what is morally right; righteous: a just cause.

3. Properly due or merited: just deserts.

4. Law Valid within the law; lawful: just claims.

5. Suitable or proper in nature; fitting: a just touch of solemnity.

6. Based on fact or sound reason; well-founded: a just appraisal.


jus·tice  (jsts)

n.

1. The quality of being just; fairness.

2.

a. The principle of moral rightness; equity.

b. Conformity to moral rightness in action or attitude; righteousness.

3.

a. The upholding of what is just, especially fair treatment and due reward in accordance with honor, standards, or law.

b. Law The administration and procedure of law.

4. Conformity to truth, fact, or sound reason: The overcharged customer was angry, and with justice.

5. Abbr. J. Law

a. A judge.

b. A justice of the peace.

Quote:
Obviously, execution is 'justified', by being sanctioned by the lawmakers, the jury, and the judge.

Then how is it possible for anyone to be wrongfully convicted of a crime, if the lawmakers, jury and judge all followed the letter of the law in the conviction?

Quote:
I don't understand the sympathy for killers who are executed, anyways.

Do you understand the sympathy for wrongfully convicted people who are executed, whether under just laws or unjust laws?

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natural wrote:redneF

natural wrote:

redneF wrote:

natural wrote:

redneF wrote:
Ya, that's not 'redefining' legal execution of convicted killers as cold blooded murder.

'Legal' killing does not mean justified killing

...

'Legal' means 'justice'. Duhh...

No, it most definitely does not.

Tell it to the judge...

natural wrote:
You're the one trying to redefine words, ironically.

No.

By definition, state executions are legal. Duhhh...

 

natural wrote:

redneF wrote:

Obviously, execution is 'justified', by being sanctioned by the lawmakers, the jury, and the judge.

Then how is it possible for anyone to be wrongfully convicted of a crime, if the lawmakers, jury and judge all followed the letter of the law in the conviction?

Humans are flawed, obviously.

natural wrote:

redneF wrote:

I don't understand the sympathy for killers who are executed, anyways.

Do you understand the sympathy for wrongfully convicted people who are executed, whether under just laws or unjust laws?

Yes, I do.

Stop switching up your arguments. Stay on topic.

That's a strawman, as we are talking academically about the 'principle' of death sentences for killers.

You're obviously unable to logically defend your position, if you're going to strawman and appeal to emotions about 'innocent' people getting 'murdered'.

Why the double standard? What about the people who were the victims of the murder?

It's always so fucking funny how they're forgotten when the bleeding hearts are whining about 'injustice'.

 

People convicted of murder who are executed, have gone through 'due process', if you haven't noticed. They have the right to a lawyer. They have the right to a trial, by their peers. They plead their case. They have the right to an appeal. They can be pardoned. They can be found not guilty.

What about the victims of murder? Did they have any of those options available before they were 'sentenced' to death?

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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natural

natural wrote:

Quote:
Obviously, execution is 'justified', by being sanctioned by the lawmakers, the jury, and the judge.

Then how is it possible for anyone to be wrongfully convicted of a crime, if the lawmakers, jury and judge all followed the letter of the law in the conviction?

Quote:
I don't understand the sympathy for killers who are executed, anyways.

Do you understand the sympathy for wrongfully convicted people who are executed, whether under just laws or unjust laws?

I agree with you fundamentally, but the same can be said regarding any punishment, from community service all the way to death penalty.  The problem isn't that exceptions will be made and innocent people will be killed, the issue is how efficient is our legal system.  If our legal system is so flawed as to punish innocents(with any punishment), then it needs to be changed, but the punishments themselves are not the issue.  So in other words, if you are against the death penalty because we may potentially kill innocents, you should in principle be against community service for the same reason.  If that is the case, and we can't trust the legal system to assign community service, the legal system has to be reformed.  Conversely, if we trust it to assign community service, we should in theory trust it to assign the death penalty also.

 It is a matter of magnitudes and your subjective frame of reference.  If for example you grew up in a society that values honor more than life,  you may very well prefer the death penalty over the humiliation of being made to pickup horseshit from the streets.  Think of medieval Japan and it's strict moral codes.

 

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Ktulu wrote:natural

Ktulu wrote:

natural wrote:

Quote:
Obviously, execution is 'justified', by being sanctioned by the lawmakers, the jury, and the judge.

Then how is it possible for anyone to be wrongfully convicted of a crime, if the lawmakers, jury and judge all followed the letter of the law in the conviction?

Quote:
I don't understand the sympathy for killers who are executed, anyways.

Do you understand the sympathy for wrongfully convicted people who are executed, whether under just laws or unjust laws?

I agree with you fundamentally, but the same can be said regarding any punishment, from community service all the way to death penalty.  

It's conflating 2 issues as 1.

Whether the justice system produces 'false positives', is NOT the debate.

It's a dishonest tactic, to appeal to emotions. I already covered that when I stated that by his argument, penicillin has killed people, and all doctors would have 'blood on their hands'.

 

These topics always degenerate into this bullshit, and quick.

 

Bottom line, if you don't want to get mauled to death by a bear, don't poke any with a stick, and chances are pretty eff'n good you won't die getting mauled by a bear.

Same with the death penalty. Don't murder anyone, and chances are you won't be executed for murder.

 

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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Premeditated murder is

Premeditated murder is premeditated murder, by definition. Quit acting like a 6 year old. It's embarrassing.

Neither premeditation nor murder are necessarily crimes by definition. Crimes are whatever society deems to be crimes, regardless of terminology. Premeditated simply means planning, and murder simply means killing a human. Premeditated murder, by definition, is the planning and execution of killing a human, which is what you promote, and should be thrown in jail for the rest of your life for promoting.

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 I've found the death

 I've found the death penalty debate a bit silly.  The actual killing (or not) is almost a side discussion.

For me, it all comes down to the people that MAKE these choices.  I personally wouldn't entrust elected officials with this power, or that they'd have the right person, since a lot of these actual court cases can get very political (especially around these kinds of cases.)  I simply don't have enough trust in governments to get it right. 

 


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Vastet wrote: Premeditated

Vastet wrote:
 Premeditated murder, by definition, is the planning and execution of killing a human

You're arguing in circles and simply asserting there is no distinction between unlawful killing, and state sanctioned execution of criminals.

By that stream of logic, there's no distinction between drowning a puppy and euthanizing a suffering animal. Both are simply 'killing' an animal.

Vastet wrote:
...which is what you promote, and should be thrown in jail for the rest of your life for promoting.

It's obviously legally endorsed and instituted in several jurisdictions, with the votes of others in a democratic system.

I'm merely condoning and supportive of it.

Claiming that I should be thrown in jail for that, is completely inane. You're like an anti-abortionist fanatical zealot.

Stop your bleeding heart diatribe non sequiturs, and go and file legal charges against the lawmakers who sanction executions, if you think you've got any rational basis to do so.

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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Vastet wrote:Neither

Vastet wrote:
Neither premeditation nor murder are necessarily crimes by definition. Crimes are whatever society deems to be crimes, regardless of terminology. Premeditated simply means planning, and murder simply means killing a human. Premeditated murder, by definition, is the planning and execution of killing a human, which is what you promote, and should be thrown in jail for the rest of your life for promoting.

Eh........

Okay, so if it were up to you, redneF would now be in the jail for the rest of his life? 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Ktulu wrote:natural

Ktulu wrote:

natural wrote:

Quote:
Obviously, execution is 'justified', by being sanctioned by the lawmakers, the jury, and the judge.

Then how is it possible for anyone to be wrongfully convicted of a crime, if the lawmakers, jury and judge all followed the letter of the law in the conviction?

Quote:
I don't understand the sympathy for killers who are executed, anyways.

Do you understand the sympathy for wrongfully convicted people who are executed, whether under just laws or unjust laws?

I agree with you fundamentally, but the same can be said regarding any punishment, from community service all the way to death penalty.  The problem isn't that exceptions will be made and innocent people will be killed, the issue is how efficient is our legal system.  If our legal system is so flawed as to punish innocents(with any punishment), then it needs to be changed, but the punishments themselves are not the issue.  So in other words, if you are against the death penalty because we may potentially kill innocents, you should in principle be against community service for the same reason.  If that is the case, and we can't trust the legal system to assign community service, the legal system has to be reformed.  Conversely, if we trust it to assign community service, we should in theory trust it to assign the death penalty also.

 It is a matter of magnitudes and your subjective frame of reference.  If for example you grew up in a society that values honor more than life,  you may very well prefer the death penalty over the humiliation of being made to pickup horseshit from the streets.  Think of medieval Japan and it's strict moral codes.

Ummm... shouldn't you acknowledge the fundamental difference of the death penalty from all the other forms of punishment, namely its absolute irreversibilty??

Others may leave some scars, physical and/or emotional, including lost years of freedom, but there is still some prospect of compensation and a future if it turns out the verdict was a mistake.

If we could bring people back to life, you may have a point.

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redneF wrote: Vastet

redneF wrote:

Vastet wrote:
 Premeditated murder, by definition, is the planning and execution of killing a human

You're arguing in circles and simply asserting there is no distinction between unlawful killing, and state sanctioned execution of criminals.

By that stream of logic, there's no distinction between drowning a puppy and euthanizing a suffering animal. Both are simply 'killing' an animal.

Vastet wrote:
...which is what you promote, and should be thrown in jail for the rest of your life for promoting.

It's obviously legally endorsed and instituted in several jurisdictions, with the votes of others in a democratic system.

I'm merely condoning and supportive of it.

Claiming that I should be thrown in jail for that, is completely inane. You're like an anti-abortionist fanatical zealot.

Stop your bleeding heart diatribe non sequiturs, and go and file legal charges against the lawmakers who sanction executions, if you think you've got any rational basis to do so.

 

Mistakes Were Made (But not by me)  particularly chapter 5.  Almost every law enforcement officer at any level believes the "perps" are guilty - before presentation of evidence, before a trial, before a confession, and even if they are exonerated through DNA testing.  They have to believe that.  Take a deep breath.

I agree with Vastet and others, yes, it is premeditated murder, legally sanctioned by our laws, but premeditated and murder just the same.  So is self defense.  So What?  Murder is murder, dead is dead.  And if the person was innocent of the crime for which they were executed and premeditatively murdered that doesn't mean they are guilty of some other crime and you can justify it.  (So maybe you specifically didn't say that Red, but others have.)

Yes, drowning a puppy and euthanizing a suffering dog are murder - and they are different.  Different in intent, different in compassion. 

You have choices, it is either semantics or it is situational ethics.  I choose situational ethics.  You seem to prefer semantics.  The animal is dead.  The person is dead.  In the cases mentioned so far, all acts were premeditated.  Sometimes compassionate, sometimes cruel, sometimes needless, sometimes required, sometimes lawful, sometimes not.

Unlike Vastet, I have no problem with premeditated murder being legal in some situations.  Self defense.  Fine.  Compassionate euthanasia, fine.  Suicide - as long as you don't endanger anyone else - fine.  State ordered executions - fine as long as we are certain sure we have the right person on the table.  And that is where I really differ with you.  Punishing innocent people is not fine.  I can live with the occasional person having to do some community server when they are actually innocent.  Won't hurt them, though it may be inconvenient.  Incarceration may not be pain free, but I think most people can live through it long enough to either serve the time or get exonerated.  But I draw the line at bodily injury unless we are 100% certain they are guilty.  And that goes for any injury short of execution/murder. 

I don't think I am a bleeding heart liberal on this issue.  I just don't trust the courts, judges, and juries to be perfectly logical and reasonable at any trial.  You don't trust the "government", how is criminal court not a part of the government?

 

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Hmmm, I'm not used to that

Hmmm, I'm not used to that definition of murder, although it is not incorrect. The term carries negative connotations in common usage; so, when I mention 'murder,' outside of what is legally murder, I usually mean an unjustified killing, not just intent. Calling self defense, suicide, and capital punishment murder feels weird to me. 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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redneF wrote:natural

redneF wrote:

natural wrote:

redneF wrote:

natural wrote:

'Legal' killing does not mean justified killing

'Legal' means 'justice'. Duhh...

No, it most definitely does not. ...

You're the one trying to redefine words, ironically.

No.

By definition, state executions are legal. Duhhh...

But not necessarily just.

Game. Set. Match. Thank you for playing.

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Ktulu wrote:2.  If I were

Ktulu wrote:

2.  If I were the victim's family, it would give me complete satisfaction.  I understand that this purely emotional, and most likely the product of growing up in a macho culture, but I am being honest when I say I can see myself smiling and killing the fuckers that have committed the crimes AIG mentioned, and not lose a minute of sleep over it.

What if the person you want to punish killed for satisfaction? If it's a valid way to resolve problems then maybe they were right. It should be an affirmative defense.

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Ktulu wrote:natural wrote:Do

Ktulu wrote:

natural wrote:

Do you understand the sympathy for wrongfully convicted people who are executed, whether under just laws or unjust laws?

I agree with you fundamentally, but the same can be said regarding any punishment, from community service all the way to death penalty.

Ah, but community service isn't The End, is it? Death is.

Someone wrongfully punished with community service could (in theory, anyway) seek redress from the state.

Not so with the death penalty. Make a mistake, and there's no way to undo it. "Oops. Sorry we wrongfully ki-- Wait a sec, you're dead, so why bother apologizing? Oh well, at least we still have our cushy jobs."

Consider:

1) Convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. 10 years later, new evidence proves you're innocent; a corrupt police department planted evidence because they were convinced you must have been the guilty one. Released to live out the rest of your life, reunite with family, friends, etc.

2) Convicted and sentenced to death. After all the legal appeals are exhausted, it's 9 years later. Executed. 1 year later, new evidence proves you're innocent; a corrupt police department planted evidence because they were convinced you must have been the guilty one. Oh well, you lose, loser.

Look into the number of death row cases in Texas that have been later proven to have been innocents convicted by a corrupt system convinced an innocent person was guilty. Seriously, look it up. It's fucking ridiculous.

The death penalty encourages this kind of corruption, because there's no penalty to the ones doing the wrongful killing, and for whatever reasons (racial, ego, political, whatever) you want someone permanently removed from the world, all you gotta do is kill em. Legally. But unjustly.

Quote:
The problem isn't that exceptions will be made and innocent people will be killed, the issue is how efficient is our legal system.

No, the debate is about implementing (or repealing) a death penalty law. The fact that our systems are inefficient and sometimes corrupt is a given. That is the reality that we live in. We have never lived in a reality without significant inefficiency and corruption.

If you want to debate the airy fairy 'philosophy' of it, go ahead and do that, but don't talk about it as if it is something that realistically should be passed into law and implemented.

Quote:
If our legal system is so flawed as to punish innocents(with any punishment), then it needs to be changed, but the punishments themselves are not the issue.

Yes, they most definitely are. Do you think torture is a justifiable punishment?

After all, if you have a super-efficient legal system, where anyone who disagrees with the Pope is hunted down, tortured, forced to confess and name accomplices (who are also 'guilty', obviously), and finally burned at the stake, then isn't that just the most hunky dory system in the world?

Let's all go back to that time! I can't wait!

It was all 'legal' after all, 'cuz the Pope wrote the laws.

And while I'm on the topic of unjust authority--you Americans--may I remind you of the American Rebellion? Seriously. Think about it.

Just cuz The Machine runs smoothly, doesn't mean that whatever it does is All Good.

Jaywalker! Off with his head! But torture him first ... his cries of anguish give me such a rush!

Quote:
  So in other words, if you are against the death penalty because we may potentially kill innocents, you should in principle be against community service for the same reason.

Community service may potentially kill innocents?! Holy shit! I had no idea! Now that you mention it, yes, I'm against community service for the exact same reason. And you should be too.

Ah, wait, I thought you meant that community service involves actually killing someone as part of the punishment. You know, like The End, no take-backs, no "Sorry, we'll make it up to you."

Quote:
Conversely, if we trust it to assign community service, we should in theory trust it to assign the death penalty also.

And don't forget torture, and rape, and any other 'punishment' you can think of. Cuz after all, it's not really about the punishment is it?

Quote:
It is a matter of magnitudes and your subjective frame of reference.

You don't have a subjective frame of reference ... if you're DEAD.

Quote:
If for example you grew up in a society that values honor more than life,  you may very well prefer the death penalty over the humiliation of being made to pickup horseshit from the streets.  Think of medieval Japan and it's strict moral codes.

Would you want to live in medieval Japan???? Not me, thanks.

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redneF wrote:Bottom line, if

redneF wrote:

Bottom line, if you don't want to get mauled to death by a bear, don't poke any with a stick, and chances are pretty eff'n good you won't die getting mauled by a bear.

Yes, because the obviously appropriate model for a good legal system is one that approaches the ideal of a wild bear that randomly mauls people.

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Gauche wrote:Ktulu wrote:2.

Gauche wrote:

Ktulu wrote:

2.  If I were the victim's family, it would give me complete satisfaction.  I understand that this purely emotional, and most likely the product of growing up in a macho culture, but I am being honest when I say I can see myself smiling and killing the fuckers that have committed the crimes AIG mentioned, and not lose a minute of sleep over it.

What if the person you want to punish killed for satisfaction? If it's a valid way to resolve problems then maybe they were right. It should be an affirmative defense.

I didn't say it was rational, I just listed one of the reasons.  An emotional response as a REACTION to their ACTION would give me satisfaction.  I'm just being honest, I doubt you would feel differently if you were emotionally invested.  Revenge feels good, I'm not proud of it, but I am honest enough to recognize that I'm an imperfect human being.  

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stuntgibbon wrote: I've

stuntgibbon wrote:

 I've found the death penalty debate a bit silly.  The actual killing (or not) is almost a side discussion.

For me, it all comes down to the people that MAKE these choices.  I personally wouldn't entrust elected officials with this power, or that they'd have the right person, since a lot of these actual court cases can get very political (especially around these kinds of cases.)  I simply don't have enough trust in governments to get it right. 

 

Last time I checked, in my corner of the world, the jury has to decide who lives and who dies. Juries don't count as government, so unless you want to distort 'not handing out a pardon' as having power of execution over someone else, you're wrong. Also, it isn't just one jury that decides the fate of a given person, it's a multitude dependent on number of appeals.

*scurries back out of the thread*

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cj wrote:Zaq wrote:Does

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cj wrote:

Zaq wrote:
Does anyone have any information on the cost of prosecution for a death penalty case, versus the cost of life imprisonment?  I know there's a lot more judicial stuff you have to do to apply the death penalty, but I'm not too familiar with it or with the costs involved.

 

If the cost of applying the death penalty is near the cost of life imprisonment, then I think it's a bad idea.  If we're going to save a lot of money with it, then I'm okay with it.

 

http://deathpenalty.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=001000

google "cost of death penalty"

Basically, the data is spotty, but it seems that there are more people believe it costs more to sentence some one to death rather than life without parole.

Personally, I am for the death penalty if you can demonstrate innocent people will never be put to death.  N-e-v-e-r.  Give me that guarantee, and I'm fine with it.

And don't tell me you don't care if innocent people are killed - you would care soon enough if it was your ass on death row.


 

cl, I have seen that link before. Since I live in the great state of Connecticut, I can provide a bit of detail on why the data is spotty.


 

As it happens, our state budget process borders on money laundering. There is one master bank account that all money goes in, called the general fund. All expenses are paid out of that. Every allocation all the way down to the fully trivial has to be spent during the two years of the state accounting period. Unspent money has to be returned, thus creating a situation where all money will be spent just to spend money. Past that, there is a “rainy day” fund for anyone who legitimately runs out of money but the rules for that are the same as the rules for the general fund.


 

So the department of corrections gets a fixed sum on a use it or lose it basis. Apart from regular accounting and an annual audit from a firm not connected with the government, there are no actual questions asked beyond “did you spend all the money we gave you?”


 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


 

Past that, as with my earlier point that capital punishment should not be viewed as a deterrent, I also don't much care for the idea of claiming that it might be cheaper to off people than to give them three squares for the rest of their lives.


 

If it were even possible to come up with numbers, then why not just figure out the cost of capital punishment against the number of years of imprisonment is worth and off anyone who could get a longer sentence? Really, that would be cheaper.


 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


 

If one really wants to take a look at costs for this, how can it ever be viewed as reasonable that a death sentence not cost a great deal more than, say, 20 years in jail? Anyone who is willing to use the death penalty should be willing to shoulder a huge financial burden for getting the job done.


 

The first trial should be done with greater preparation and handled more carefully that a trial for more mundane crimes like bank robbery. Then the sentencing trial should be at least as expensive. Then there are the endless appeals, which should also cost a great deal.


 

In fact, the case is that everything in the last paragraph is pretty much what happens.

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I will concede that

I will concede that pragmatically the death sentence is a bad idea due to our flawed system.  If you subtract our emotional involvement however the difference between community service and the death sentence really is just an order of magnitude.  And yes, it is a purely philosophical proposition, and it has no contingency on reality.  Furthermore, if you involve a subjective frame of reference you have to consider both sides of the coin.  Where emotions are involved the pro and con emotions carry equal value.

 

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p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

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Kapkao wrote:
Last time I checked, in my corner of the world, the jury has to decide who lives and who dies. Juries don't count as government,


 

OK, what part of “A government of, by and for the people” leads you to think that the jury is not part of the government?


 

You might want to read up on the matter of jury nullification.

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Ktulu wrote:I will concede

Ktulu wrote:

I will concede that pragmatically the death sentence is a bad idea due to our flawed system.

Okay. On to the more philosophical side of the debate.

Quote:
And yes, it is a purely philosophical proposition, and it has no contingency on reality. 

Even at a hypothetical, philosophical level, there has to be some connection to reality. Otherwise, it's just navel gazing.

For example, is it really wrong to fribble a skonk? I argue that yes, it is. But who gives a shit, unless 'fribble' and 'skonk' have something to do with reality?

So, for the sake of argument, I'll grant that we can very reliably (but not perfectly) and efficiently detect when someone is guilty and not innocent of a capital crime. However, we can't divorce the argument completely from any reality at all. This is an ethical issue, not an exercise in symbolic logic.

Quote:
  If you subtract our emotional involvement however the difference between community service and the death sentence really is just an order of magnitude.

Welcome, my son. Welcome. To the Machine.

What you're saying here is that all consequences/punishments for all crimes are morally/ethically equivalent. You're surrendering your ethical judgment to a system that by itself doesn't give two shits about whether what it does is right or wrong.

We cannot, fundamentally, subtract all emotional involvement in matters of ethics, because without certain emotions, such as our sense of fairness, justice, compassion, suffering, etc., then there is no basis for ethics at all. All outcomes are equally ethical.

Is torture wrong? It's just a matter of magnitude, right?

How about this: Let's pass a law that says if anyone jaywalks, the punishment will be that half of the world's population will be cruelly tortured and then slaughtered. Just a matter of magnitude, right? If we pump up the magnitude, it makes no difference ethically, as far as you're concerned. It's all the same thing one way or another.

Surely we would see less jaywalking as a result, right? So it must be worth magnifying the punishment to any arbitrary degree in order to prevent this heinous crime, right?

The question is not just 'does it prevent crime?' The question is 'does the law/punishment do more good than harm?'

This is also a pragmatic argument, but it is not divorced from emotion and desire. I desire to live in a society which maximizes likely good and minimizes likely harm. Therefore, I defend policies which support that desire and reject policies which defeat that desire. The death penalty fails that test; it defeats that desire: It produces no significantly tangible/detectable benefit (decrease in serious crime), while simultaneously producing a significantly tangible/detectable harm (drastically increasing the risk of killing innocent people).

Change that balance, and I might defend it. But that balance is based on reality, not just philosophical whimsy.

So. This is where life imprisonment comes in as the obvious alternative to the death penalty.

Life imprisonment achieves all the desired outcomes that the death penalty achieves, namely: It prevents further crime, it serves as a deterrent, it is relatively inexpensive (considering that serious crimes are relatively rare overall), etc.

The only thing life imprisonment doesn't do (in this hypothetical philosophical world where the system is reliable and efficient) is permanently end a (still possibly innocent) life.

So, I repeat my initial argument: The death penalty provides no extra benefit compared to life imprisonment, while drastically increasing the risks of serious harm. Weighing those two against each other, the cost-benefit analysis yields this answer: Life imprisonment is a superior alternative to the death penalty.

How does having an efficient and reliable (but not perfect) legal system change that?

Quote:
Furthermore, if you involve a subjective frame of reference you have to consider both sides of the coin.  Where emotions are involved the pro and con emotions carry equal value.

Really? Regardless of severity? Regardless of justification?

A mere annoyance (jaywalking) is worth a life? Really?

Our sense of revenge (death penalty instead of just life imprisonment) is worth the entire emotional life of an innocent person?

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Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

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Kapkao wrote:
Last time I checked, in my corner of the world, the jury has to decide who lives and who dies. Juries don't count as government,


 

OK, what part of “A government of, by and for the people” leads you to think that the jury is not part of the government?

You might want to read up on the matter of jury nullification.

 

Yes, Juries can nullify law on a case-by-case basis; yes, there is a token phrase dedicated to "the people" from the Gettysburg Address. None of which inherently includes a jury as a part of formal government, unless you mean self-government. edit; By mentioning "A government of, by and for the people", you might as well have said that illegal aliens are somehow a part of government.

Have you been forgetting to take your lithium again, and would you like a cookie?

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Justice and the Justice

Justice and the Justice system, especially the death penalty always seemed to me, to be more about retribution than a solution to the problem.

Plus with so many prisons being privatized, prisoners are almost like a commodity, this is big business.

 

and I'm pretty sure you lose your right to vote if your a convicted felon, wow!... I bet certain people in Washington love the fact that the "riff raff" can't decide their fate.

 

check this out:

 

www.inthesetimes.com/article/2797/

 

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the existence of god, or an open minded atheist.