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The Death Penalty v.2



View Poll Results: Under what circumstances do you support the death penalty?
I support the death penalty for all capital crimes 21 10.55%
I support the death penalty for "the worst of the worst" 44 22.11%
I oppose the death penalty except under truly heinous circumstances 45 22.61%
I oppose the death penalty under all circumstances 89 44.72%
Voters: 199. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #81  
Old December 24th, 2007, 5:15 pm
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

I have mixed views on the Death Penalty issue. On one hand I can see that people who have done terrible crimes should be punished accordingly for what they have done. Then, on the other hand, I think it's a horrible way to uphold justice and to get rid of criminals.

My overiding feeling is that the Death Penalty is wrong. Sure, these criminals have done horrific, terrible crimes, including mass murder and rape, but is killing them really the best way to tackle them? I would much rather have them in a prison cell and let them throw away the key - let them realise and come to terms with what they've done, how it's affected everybody else and let them rot in prison. IMO Killing isn't the answer. What if they get it wrong? What if they have the wrong person? The whole Death Penalty just doesn't sit comfortably with me at all.


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  #82  
Old December 24th, 2007, 7:59 pm
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
What does it make right that an authority takes away lives? Is it just the fact that they simply can do it? Would a normal person take away a bad persons life, they would be punished for sure. Why not praising them as well?
That's how I see it. I don't think there's anything that makes the courts inherently more moral than the average person.


  #83  
Old December 24th, 2007, 8:23 pm
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
Interesting. What do they have in common?

Guns.
The first guy, MARCO ALLEN CHAPMAN, used a knife. Two, apparently, as the first one broke off in the mother's chest and then he went and got the second which he used to stab her several more times and then slit the throats of two of her children (her third child survived by playing dead).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenshi
Ones could post 100 times a list of murderer who took away a whatever amount of people's life, that doesn't change anything on the fact that I do not think that those people deserved to be killed on the hand of another person.

What does it make right that an authority takes away lives? Is it just the fact that they simply can do it? Would a normal person take away a bad persons life, they would be punished for sure. Why not praising them as well?
I respect your position, Tenshi, I just don't agree with it. Life with no opportunity for parole simply doesn't mean life with no opportunity for parole. All to often people sentenced to death do end up eligible for parole and get released. As an example, look at Charles Manson and Squeaky Fromme.

Fromme was orignally sentenced to life in prison for pointing a gun at then President FOrd. She escaped from a federal maximum security prison in 1987 because she believed Manson had cancer and she wanted to be with him. She was recaptured several days later. Fromme has consistently waived her right to a parole hearing, but she is still eligible for parole every 5 years.

Manson, on the other hand, has gladly accepted each opportunity. Manson was orignially sentenced to death but his sentence was changed to life in 1972 when California placed a moratorium on the death penalty. As a result, he is eligible for parole every 5 years. His last parole hearing was in May of this year where he was again denied parole. Manson still has a cult like following. The parole board stated that they were denying parole because manson "continues to pose an unreasonable danger to others and may still bring harm to anyone he would come in contact with."

In the US, unless a person is charged as a sexual predator there is no legal method of tracking where they go once they're released. The thought of a person like MARCO ALLEN CHAPMAN, Squeaky Fromme, or Charles Manson living next door to my children terrifies me.


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  #84  
Old December 24th, 2007, 9:40 pm
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

1. Do you support or oppose the death penalty? If you support the death penalty, under what circumstances do you support it? If you oppose the death penalty, can you envision any exceptions to this?
I don't support the death oenalty under any circumstances. I don't think that capital punishment is ever appropriate, as I don't think anyone should have the power to end another's life based on a crime. I don't think it is a deterrant, as it is meant to be, and it is very costly. Although it is rare, I know that some people have been released from prison because of wrongful sentencing of the innocent. Upon review of DNA or other evidence, a few people have been set free. Even the theoretical thought that anyone could be wrongfully sentenced to death makes me cringe.

2. Is the death penalty legal in your country? If it is, is it legal in your state or province?
It's legal in the US, but not in New Jersey, where I live.

3. Do you think the death penalty will be abolished where it is legal? Why or why not?
Now that NJ has abolished it, I think other states will follow in the next few years. I don't really see states like Texas and Florida abolishing it where the rate of execution of inmates on death row is higher. I think more people are seeing that there are alternate punishments for criminals who commit violent, heinous crimes, like murder. Life without parole can seem to some people as a worse punishment than death.

4. Do you think that New Jersey's move will be followed by other states? Do you agree with New Jersey's move?
I do, as I stated above.

5. Do you think that the death penalty will be introduced where it is not legal? Why or why not?
I don't think it will gain popularity or be instated anywhere it is not already present. I think it is looked upon unfavorably by many people now, and I think it might be difficult to introduce the idea to a government or people who are not used to the idea of it.


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  #85  
Old December 24th, 2007, 10:04 pm
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster_mom View Post
In the US, unless a person is charged as a sexual predator there is no legal method of tracking where they go once they're released. The thought of a person like MARCO ALLEN CHAPMAN, Squeaky Fromme, or Charles Manson living next door to my children terrifies me.
Perhaps those things can be taken care of legally? It would make far more sense than execution, which is irreversible and has so much opportunity for human error that it should be abolished.

I don't understand how people can convince themselves that it's okay to kill someone, legally or otherwise. The history of the death penalty in the United States is so heinous, so fraught with issues of race and other forms of bigotry, that I'm forever amazed someone hasn't just stopped it.


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Last edited by purplehawk; December 25th, 2007 at 1:41 pm.
  #86  
Old December 25th, 2007, 4:40 am
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

I don't agree with the death penalty even if it could be flawless in terms of guilt and innocence. I don't believe that there is anything a person can do to forfeit their right to life. I also don't think it is the place of the state to take lives.
It bothers me that the death penalty is so unevenly applied, varying from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, state to state and in terms of media and public influence. The things I've read on "death qualified" juries also make me extremely uneasy. Studies indicate that death qualified juries are more likely to convict. There is also evidence that there is a correlation between certain characteristics and belief on the death penalty which makes a percentage of minorities and women unable to serve on such juries. I, for example, will never be able to serve on the jury for a capital case as I would not vote to condemn a person to death regardless of their actions.

The state of Massachusetts had a panel a few years ago to come up with suggestions to make what they call the "gold standard" of death penalty laws.
Some of the suggestionsThe measure calls for verifiable scientific evidence such as DNA to sentence someone to death and a tougher standard of ''no doubt" of guilt for juries to sentence defendants, rather than a ''beyond a reasonable doubt" standard. It also calls for a pool of certified capital case lawyers to ensure proper representation for the indigent and allowing jurors to serve in the guilt phase of the trial who do not necessarily support the death penalty.
From the Boston Globe
It never passed into law in the state and there were still people who believed it was far from foolproof, but I know my state certainly doesn't have such standards for death penalty cases.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WitchHunter View Post
There is always the risk of prisoners escaping, even from the most secure prisons. The safest way to handle the most dangerous criminals is execution.
Escapes from prison are rather rare, especially when talking about the maximum or supermaximum prisons in which such criminals would be housed. We should really execute people just so to make sure the one or two of them who might escape over a lifetime don't get out? Wouldn't it be better to just sure up prison facilities where necessary?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariebeth83 View Post
As I'm anti-death penalty, I would suggest instead that the people who carry out crimes of sexual abuse or any kind of abuse against children be left in the mainstream areas of the prisons and have it made publicly known what they did. Personally, I would feel that it would be a much harsher and a much more deserved punishment than the death penalty.
Obviously being against the death penalty I am rather upset that any place is considering adding to those crimes for which people can be executed, particularly adding crimes in which no one has been killed. But I also disagree with utilizing problems of abuse in our prisons to further "punish" them. I certainly don't think that we should be encouraging prisoners to commit crimes, even if it is against other inmates. The guards are not only there to protect us from prisoners but also to protect prisoners from themselves and others. It is necessary for society that we be protected from those who harm others, but I don't see what we gain by seeing them harmed back. People do not commit such crimes thinking how rosy their life would be in prison should they get caught.
Quote:
Originally Posted by monster_mom
I happen to agree with several other posters on this thread that people who commit horiffic crimes do deserve the death penalty. What constitutes horiffic in my book is pretty bad. Just so those of you who have villified us understand, here are several people currently serving on death row in various states whose crime are such that I have no qualm whatsoever with them being put to death.
I think that it is a mistake to assume that those of us who do not support the death penalty aren't aware of the nature of the crimes that can land people on death row. I am not saying you are guilty of this, but I have certainly seen people do it in the past. I've read some rather graphic accounts of some heinous acts and I know my opinion doesn't change for even the most heinous of crimes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flimseycauldron View Post
I know that I would not let a convicted murderer or rapist into my home, feed him my food, or use my money, even if I had nothing to fear from him/her physically. So why would prison be any different? It is my tax dollars that run the prison, no? The prison is not my personal residence but in broader terms America is my home and I have the right to not want to give these criminals room and board, just as much as I have the right to not want to house them in my own house. So society is not rid of these people, they are hidden away but always there.
You have no specific right to dictate what your tax dollars are used for. You can vote in people who attempt to alter laws and expenses so that you better agree with them, but I am not allowed to ask that my tax dollars not go toward executions either.
The amount of your money that goes toward housing violent criminals is rather small. As it costs more to execute someone than it does to house them in prison for life, if you are really concerned as to the amount of your money spent on violent criminals, then execution is not really the way to go. I also think execution vs. life in prison isn't the only way to think about it. We pay to keep violent criminals off the streets because the alternative is to not have prisons and allow all people to live in society regardless of their danger to others.


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Last edited by PLIMPY; December 25th, 2007 at 5:10 pm.
  #87  
Old December 25th, 2007, 5:26 am
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

When the probability of being killed is greater, say, on a street corner in Chicago than it is on death row, the death penalty is no longer much of a deterrent. Since this is sadly the case in many crime-ridden areas, I have to ask what good the death penalty is really doing. Think about it: in what way are we punishing a murderer if, by putting him on death row, we're actually prolonging his life?

In my mind it's a simple matter: the death penalty appeases people's sense of outrage, but has little or no effect on the risk vs. reward equation being worked out in the minds of the criminals. If they know they might die tomorrow, is the thought of being executed in ten years really going to carry much weight? Not if the reward, like money, respect among peers, or satisfaction of some psychopathic agenda is even vaguely tempting.

The point is we execute people because we're a sanguinary species, and the only way to calm the lurking fear and bloated outrage is to continue the practice. I'm in no way casting aspersions on those who favor the death penalty, but in reality capital punishment exists not to deter future criminals, but to compensate for the helplessness victims, families, and society at large feel in the face of horrible crimes. In short, it makes us feel like we're in control of the problem, but that's about as much as it has ever accomplished.


  #88  
Old December 25th, 2007, 2:06 pm
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
I'm in no way casting aspersions on those who favor the death penalty, but in reality capital punishment exists not to deter future criminals, but to compensate for the helplessness victims, families, and society at large feel in the face of horrible crimes.
I am by no means an expert, and I admit I don't have enough information or experience to claim that, but I have thought the same thing. That a part of the support for the death penalty comes from a need for justice of the "eye for an eye" type, or an instinctive urge to judge and condemn, and a lot of the other benefits of the death penalty being put forward rather serve to make the idea more acceptable. I hope this is not inflammatory, I just wanted to say how it sometimes seems to me, purely from observation.


  #89  
Old December 25th, 2007, 9:48 pm
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
I'm in no way casting aspersions on those who favor the death penalty, but in reality capital punishment exists not to deter future criminals, but to compensate for the helplessness victims, families, and society at large feel in the face of horrible crimes. In short, it makes us feel like we're in control of the problem, but that's about as much as it has ever accomplished.
Do you believe that the victim's family should have a say in what happens to the murderer, that they should be able to decide his fate? It is a common misconception that all families who have lost a loved one to murder want that murderer to receive the death penalty.

Many death penalty supporters constantly bring up this notion, that we should think about the victim's family and help bring them closure. But often this is only referring to those that would seek the death penalty. There are many who don't. Should their wishes be taken into account as much as those who would seek the death penalty? What happens if there is one family member who seeks the death penalty and one who doesn't?

Also, many families of murder victims who did seek the death penalty have discovered that the murderer being executed did not do what they expected. They expected a sense of closure, but they found they did not get that. Their loved one is still gone, and they still have to deal with that grief.

For me personally, I would not seek the death penalty if someone I loved died, and the death penalty was used in my country. And my family members would not seek it if I was the murder victim. What I would want is for the laws to change. I want life with no possibility for parole to mean exactly that. I do not want another human being to be killed in my name, nor in the name of my loved ones.


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  #90  
Old December 25th, 2007, 10:14 pm
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

Although the question is not directed at me, I'd like to give my answer. I believe the victim's family should not be allowed to have a say, since they are not an institution which has the competence or authority to decide on the kind of penlty a convicted criminal should receive. This is a matter of legal competence, I believe. Furthermore, I think this would make a kind of revenge of the death penalty, which is after all not what justice is about.


  #91  
Old December 26th, 2007, 12:30 am
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
I think this would make a kind of revenge of the death penalty, which is after all not what justice is about.
That's exactly what it is, in almost every case, whether the victims' families asked for it or not. It is society exacting revenge.


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  #92  
Old December 26th, 2007, 1:10 am
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
That's exactly what it is, in almost every case, whether the victims' families asked for it or not. It is society exacting revenge.
In the case of the guy who slit two small children's throats, attempted to murder their other sibling, and raped and repeatedly stabbed their mother (who was forced to watch as the killer slit her children's throats), I'd say revenge is the least of it. Imagine, living the rest of your life remembering what it sounded and looked like when your children were being murdered.

While it sounds vengeful to take the victim's concerns into account when sentencing a criminal, I can not separate the crime from the criminal. That man forced a mother to live what has to be one of the worst nightmares a mother can possibly imagine. She will have to live that nightmare every single moment of every single day for the rest of her life. Putting her children's murderer to death won't make her nightmare go away, but if it would give her even a moment of peace, then I have no problem with it.


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Last edited by monster_mom; December 26th, 2007 at 1:12 am.
  #93  
Old December 26th, 2007, 1:14 am
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

What would Jesus Christ say? Would he condone vengeance?


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  #94  
Old December 26th, 2007, 2:25 am
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
What would Jesus Christ say? Would he condone vengeance?
I don't think that religion should come into this, there are too many sides to that debate.

Monster_mom: I can see your point about the death penalty, and wanting to protect your kids.

Still though, I'm against the death penalty as a means of punishment, it doesn't make sense to me that people punish people who kill by killing them. What kind of lesson does that teach anyone? I would like to see tougher sentences though, as in life actually meaning life for once. Also for jails to become tougher, especially on murderers or paedophiles or sexual predators, I'm sick of hearing prisoners going on about how their human rights are being denied in prison, but personally the day they committed a crime, from the day they're sentenced to the day they're released (depending on the sentence) their human rights shouldn't come into consideration. Maybe then people might be deterred from comitting crimes?


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  #95  
Old December 26th, 2007, 3:31 am
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

I know there are horrible criminals out there. There are people whom I personally feel may deserve to die. But that's not my choice to make.

For that matter, the idea of making prisoners miserable and subjecting them to abuse bothers me a lot, too. I like to think that America is supposed to have some dignity, and part of that is in how we treat everyone in this country, including criminals.

However, I think some sentences need to be made tougher. If dangerous people are put back on the street, that's not an excuse for the death penalty, but for system reforms.


  #96  
Old December 26th, 2007, 3:32 am
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariebeth83 View Post
I don't think that religion should come into this, there are too many sides to that debate.

Not from the perspective in which I asked the question.

I think life sentences should really mean just that: a life behind bars. On the other hand, I would not be willing to see inmates in our jails treated as if they are less than human beings. The very sentence - loss of freedom, loss of autonomy to decide what, where, when and why they do things, is enough to drive anyone up a tree. I don't begrudge them three squares a day, radio and television, and the opportunity to exercise or engage in sports - whatever they do in there to keep them from becoming animals.


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  #97  
Old December 27th, 2007, 1:17 am
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster_mom View Post
In the case of the guy who slit two small children's throats, attempted to murder their other sibling, and raped and repeatedly stabbed their mother (who was forced to watch as the killer slit her children's throats), I'd say revenge is the least of it. Imagine, living the rest of your life remembering what it sounded and looked like when your children were being murdered.
If revenge is not the motivating factor there, what is? Your entire description of that situation revolves around how terrible it was for the mother. If we're to put a man to death because we feel badly for the poor woman, how is that not revenge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster_mom View Post
While it sounds vengeful to take the victim's concerns into account when sentencing a criminal, I can not separate the crime from the criminal. That man forced a mother to live what has to be one of the worst nightmares a mother can possibly imagine. She will have to live that nightmare every single moment of every single day for the rest of her life. Putting her children's murderer to death won't make her nightmare go away, but if it would give her even a moment of peace, then I have no problem with it.
I'm highly skeptical that having someone killed puts anyone at ease unless they're killers to begin with. If you presuppose that the woman's life will be scarred irreparably, then your suggestion that putting a man to death to assuage her horror is admirable strikes me as odd. After all, once you believe the woman can't ever make peace with what happened (as I understood you meant by "every single day for the rest of her life") then executing that man accomplishes nothing more than a relaxing book or a kind stranger at the mall. Is the best response to those who regard life so cheaply really to cheapen it further? It doesn't matter whether we're executing murderers, rapists, or jaywalkers; but once we begin to see a person's death justified by, as you put it, the potential for a moment of peace, then we can forget the slippery slope, because we're in a free fall.


  #98  
Old December 27th, 2007, 2:14 am
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
It doesn't matter whether we're executing murderers, rapists, or jaywalkers; but once we begin to see a person's death justified by, as you put it, the potential for a moment of peace, then we can forget the slippery slope, because we're in a free fall.
I think this is an important point. Why should the court have the right to exact vengeance when the same court can convict a woman for killing a husband who has put her through abusive torment for years?


  #99  
Old December 27th, 2007, 2:34 am
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

We also often fail to realize there are other victims of crimes like these. The murderer may have parents, a wife, children - all of whom go through hell during the trial and all the appeals, only to see their loved one die in the end.


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  #100  
Old December 27th, 2007, 1:23 pm
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Re: The Death Penalty v.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
Is the best response to those who regard life so cheaply really to cheapen it further? It doesn't matter whether we're executing murderers, rapists, or jaywalkers; but once we begin to see a person's death justified by, as you put it, the potential for a moment of peace, then we can forget the slippery slope, because we're in a free fall.
I feel this can be said again, so I'm quoting it. An excellent post, in my opinion, and exactly the core of my firm opposition to the death penalty, only I could never phrase it so accurately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
We also often fail to realize there are other victims of crimes like these. The murderer may have parents, a wife, children - all of whom go through hell during the trial and all the appeals, only to see their loved one die in the end.
I've thought about that too. That if anyone from my family, or my friend, is to ve executed, no matter what they have done, I would never, ever want them dead. I presume this would be the case with anobody.


 
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