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Thread: Death Penalty

  1. #126
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    Sid...I read that excerpt you posted. It sounds like a fascinating book. I shall have a look to see if it is in my local library.

    Have you read it yourself?
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  2. #127
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    You know one of my big problems with you Elledan? You have no proof of your beliefs, and yet you claim them as fact anyway. You have nothing to prove that God doesnt' exist, but you act as if you do -- you really need to stop that.

    And yes, I know I brought religion into this -- I usually do not initiate, but this time I felt it was a good idea.

    No absolute right and wrong, eh? Say it outwright: violating and mutilating a small child is not wrong, we just all "think" that it is. The fact of the matter is that most people do agree this is absolutely wrong -- as is not uncommon, you are in the minority. Usually someone with a rare view shared by few others is a lot less sure of themselves.

    So basically what you're saying is that we should have a god else the world will go 'to hell' (bad choice of words, I know ). How ignorant and foolish to say such a thing.
    Yeah, bad choice of words, because I have no idea what that sentence means.

    What have we seen so far of those gods? A few books and some madmen who say that they've been contacted by a 'higher' being. And they (those gods) would have teached us 'good' morals?
    Oh, so you just casually mention them as madmen, when you know, what, nothing at all about them? I'll tell you what's mad: declaring your opinions as "news."

    1) there's no proof for the existance of any god. Aliens are much more likely to exist. Therefore it would be logical to assume that those 'gods' are actually aliens who are having some fun with us.
    Oh, and I suppose you've calculated the odds on this? Sheesh.

    I'm with creole: have you seen the human eye? Darwin himself admitted that the thought of something as complex as the human retena "evolving" from nothing made him "ill."

  3. #128
    Anyone seen my cypher? OneChance's Avatar
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    So, in conclusion, God doesn't exist, the death penalty is good, chopping off limbs for minor crimes is bad, and the Electric Company is the best kids show ever.

    All IMHO, of course.

    Someone mentioned that the death penalty is a bad deterrant. Who said it was supposed to be a deterrant? It's punishment for a heinous crime. I couldn't care less if it deterred anyone from committing a similar crime, I just want the offender to never walk this planet ever again. Oh, and how I love that warm feeling I get when a murderer gets fried. I only wish I could be the one to press the button.

  4. #129
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TWTCommish


    What, all murderers are insane?
    A murderer, by definition, is criminally insane. Isn't that right?

    I'm not talking "cuckoo's nest" insane, not necessarily, I'm talking about the fact that a person killed someone. That's not acting like a member of society, and is therefore anti-social. A person who kills has the inability to stop themselves from killing. Do you agree?

    It's only a fine point though - just thought I'd chirp in.

    [edit]
    Upon reading some other posts here, I found a few interesting points.

    1. If there was no deterrent except for the disapproval of society, would a large amount of the population commit deadly crimes?

    To answer that question would be unbelievably impossible

    I suppose the rate of deadly crimes would increase, definately, but it would still be roughly the same subset.
    The reason for this thought of mine would be that everybody is a part of society and without it we cannot function. The hatred of society is maybe the biggest deterrent of all.
    The fact the Mr McVeigh (is this the thread) didn't care about society's opinion denotes his insanity, or his lack of ability to want to be accepted within a society. He has a severe problem.
    Last edited by mmj; May 18, 2001 at 23:51.
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  5. #130
    Fluffy Kitten Programmer~ Elledan's Avatar
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    OneChance, I'm glad you see that the death penalty fails as a deterrent. I've only one more thing to say about the rest of your post:

    Why is the death-penalty referred to as a punishment?
    The concept of punishing someone is acceptable, every society needs it. However, killing people is a different story. Usually you punish someone so that he or she learns that it was a bad thing. Killing this person obviously doesn't make sense then.

    Check out these links:

    http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~critcrim/wrong/wrong.html
    http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~critcrim/wrong/tribpros.html
    http://www.apbnews.com/cjsystem/find...ay0308_01.html
    http://www.apbnews.com/newscenter/br...be0422_01.html
    http://www.apbnews.com/newscenter/br...7/McVeigh.html

    And now tell me, is using the death-penalty as a punishment worth it in such an unreliable justice-system? I think that it's insane to sacrifice the lives of so many innocent people just to keep using the death-penalty.
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  6. #131
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Usually you punish someone so that he or she learns that it was a bad thing. Killing this person obviously doesn't make sense then
    Ha wow... that's a good point elledan

    When you say "unreliable justice system", I assume you are speaking about corruption (paid or influenced bias), and/or natural error due to statistical reasons. There's definately a margin of error in any decision - due to constraints - etc. It isn't the "be all end all".
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  7. #132
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    MMJ - Nooooooo - someone who commits murder is by definition NOT criminally insane. That is certainly true in the UK, and probably true in Oz (as the legal system has the same roots). For criminal insanity, see "the M'naughten rules" (and then laugh alot)

    H

    --
    Definition of Murder (off the top of my head) is loosely that you bring about someones death "in the queens peace" (ie not during wartime), by an act that you have commited with the "initention" of causing them "really serious harm". The "intent" required here can be negated by insanity (ie someone may not be capable of forming it), meaning that to be guilty of Murder, you have to NOT be criminally insane.
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  8. #133
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    I don't quite understand, but I am unsure of UK laws.

    Are you talking about some kind of evaluation on the state of the alleged's mental health? This would be a summary of the person's ability to make decisions, and be aware of what he/she is doing, is that right?

    I was talking from not a legal standpoint, but more of just the fact that a killer is operating outside the bounds of what our society considers acceptable, and therefore can be labelled "abnormal", and criminally insane. This cannot be proven by psychological questionnaires/evaluations, and simply depends on whether the killing occured or not. Maybe my definition of criminally insane clashes with a similar legal term that can be tested by a psychological evaluation.
    Last edited by mmj; May 19, 2001 at 07:13.
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  9. #134
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    No, Psychological and "Criminal" definitions of insanity are poles apart. The two do not currently intermingle in UK law. However, the term "Criminally Insane" is, by definition, linked to "the Law". That's why I made the post. What you are talking about is somebody being "socially abnormal" perhaps, but even that is questionable. What you cannot do is call a "murderer" "criminally insane" - that is semantically impossible.
    and therefore can be labelled "abnormal", and criminally insane
    "abnormal" - hopefully, "criminally insane" - no they can't!

    H
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  10. #135
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    OIC

    I didn't know 'criminally insane' was a legal term. I have no law background

    Just out of interest, do you know what 'criminally insane' means in legal terms? How is it tested?
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  11. #136
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    ooooh, why don't I have my old essays in electronic format????!

    I really don't know how it has "changed" in Aussie law, but the common bond with the UK will lie in the "M'Naughten" rules, established I believe by the case of one Daniel M'Naughten.

    Modifications have been made in the law here, but criminal insanity has in the past been attributed to drivers who have caused deaths whilst in the throes of Epileptic fits......insane huh?

    This link gives a reasonable definition uncluttered with too much legalese.

    H
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  12. #137
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    It's sad to see so many people in todays society shy away from the words "punishment" or "discipline" like it was some bad word or like you're calling your mother a tramp or a prostitute.

    They can be a beautiful thing. Anyone that has ever worked with children should prize and value discipline and punishment. And just in case you were wondering, there IS a difference.

    Discipline is Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement

    whereas

    Punishment is A penalty imposed for wrongdoing

    The Bible says "Train up a child in the way that he should go and he will not stray from it". Man...who knew the Bible had good stuff like that in it. I thought it was full of "madmen".

    Elledan, when you have disciplined someone time and time again and they continue to "misbehave" then the laws or our society leave us no choice but to punish them, sometimes even unto death. That person KNEW the laws, yet they still chose to break them. Should we then be lenient and let them slide? No!

    I paraphrase from Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlen. One of the most amazing books I have ever read and more than just a story about spaceships and aliens. That's just filler for the real struggle for morality and ethics. I heartily recommend you read it. It will change your outlook on society.

    Du Bois "Let's say you had a puppy and you never disciplined him. You let him do whatever he wanted, when he wanted to. Then one day he peed on the floor and you decide to kill him. Is that fair?"

    Rico "That's just insane sir, that's not teaching him anything"


    http://www.kentaurus.com/troopers.htm#about

    When it comes down to it, it is societys failure to properly teach and discipline these criminals in the first place. BUT that does not excuse their actions.
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  13. #138
    Anyone seen my cypher? OneChance's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Elledan
    Usually you punish someone so that he or she learns that it was a bad thing. ... And now tell me, is using the death-penalty as a punishment worth it in such an unreliable justice-system?
    The system isn't perfect. No system is or ever will be. And I don't think a cold-blooded killer will ever learn not to kill. Why give them the opportunity to even learn from their actions? The victim wasn't afforded that luxury. Furthermore, if you think you've rehabilitated some killer and set them free, and they kill again, will you bear some responsibility for the murder? I think you should.

  14. #139
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    Originally posted by OneChance
    Furthermore, if you think you've rehabilitated some killer and set them free, and they kill again, will you bear some responsibility for the murder? I think you should.
    AMEN OneChance!
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  15. #140
    Tenacious T Tyhe's Avatar
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    Heya,

    although I see the point you are making, OneChance, it's not the point I think matters.

    A justice system is run by the people to protect the people. But peers giving you a death sentence, that is just too much. Put em away for live, sure, with water and bread, forget rehabilitation, but do not play executioner...

    All I hear is what if your family etc. is murdered, raped, etc..
    What about if you are arrested tomorrow and sentenced to death for something you didn't do.
    So much for your OneChance on earth....

    Such a mistake is never worth it, and if someone thinks is it, then they should be that innocent one. Because I am not ready to put myself in that position.

    I am happy that we don't have the death penalty in The Netherlands. Now I know that there is still a lot that had to change here.. but if I get arrested tomorrow, at least I know it won't be the last of me...

    Greetz.
    That's all folks...

  16. #141
    Anyone seen my cypher? OneChance's Avatar
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    The laws are, of course, based on society. I don't know much about The Netherlands, but here in the U.S. we have a lot of people, and many of them are angry. Hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, are in gangs; we have the mob here; we seem to attract the lowest forms of human life; some people snap at the smallest things. It's mostly a product of environment and upbringing, I think. I've never heard of any mass murderers in The Netherlands, but what if something like the Oklahoma City bombing happened over there? Would you just stick the guy in jail forever for killing almost 200 people? Can you seriously say that you wouldn't want him dead?

  17. #142
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    What? Justice is about protecting the people? I didn't know that was the one way to define it:

    http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=justice

    All I hear is what if your family etc. is murdered, raped, etc..
    What about if you are arrested tomorrow and sentenced to death for something you didn't do.
    So much for your OneChance on earth....
    If that's all you hear, then you havn't read this thread, which is also indicated by the fact that we've already debunked the "what if you're wrongfully sentenced to death?" question with one simple response: that is a flaw in the judicial system, not a flaw with the death penalty.

    Heck, not to mention the "what if you were on death row" argument is practically identical to the "what if it happened to your family" argument!

  18. #143
    Tenacious T Tyhe's Avatar
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    TWT,

    I like you already!
    we are going to get into some great arguments!
    (Maybe you can visit my forum sometimes too...
    www.flavarites.com/forum)

    But,

    the thing i'm trying to get across is that, although it maybe a flaw of the justice system, it's an inevitable flaw.
    As long as we don't have a way to always know the truth, people will be accused and senteced for something they didn't do. You know this.

    Then why institute the death penalty when you know innocent people have a chance to die?

    Are you saying it's worth it?
    These innocent people are just 'the cost' of getting rid of the bad apples....?

    OneChance, I lived in the US and I know what you mean, but I still don't think MURDER is the way to go.

    Greetz.
    That's all folks...

  19. #144
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Interesting looking forum -- I'll have to keep that in mind.

    Yes, it is an inevitability, but then again, a lot of mistakes will be made in a lot of areas, and people will always die. We'd save lives (millions, I'd think) by banning automobiles.

    It is a tough issue, but what do we do if we can save more lives than we kill? I am still not convinced on this "not a deterrent" argument. I hear a lot of people say it on this forum (well, a few at least, but they're very vocal), but I'm not seeing any references here, and even if I did, we all know you can usually find conflicting reports on any subject.

    If the death penalty is a deterrent (it's true justice anyway, IMO), then yes, we should keep it. If it's not, well, then I'm not sure. It's a tough issue, and I'd be lying if I said I were 100% firm on it. I don't think anyone can (or should) be that firm on it, seeing as how it's very tough to tell just how much it deters in terms of crime.

    I guess I would also have to say this in response: what do we do when we release someone who is guilty just to be sure we're not convicting someone who is innocent? Innocent people rot in jail, and because of this, we're careful about our trials, but as a result, more criminals go free, and I don't think we'll have any disagreement on this: plenty of them continue their life of crime.

  20. #145
    Fluffy Kitten Programmer~ Elledan's Avatar
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    The Death Penalty is NOT a deterrent:

    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/deter.html

    Don't forget to browse through the rest of the site ( http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org )

    ---------------

    <<It is a tough issue, but what do we do if we can save more lives than we kill?>>

    You can't convince me that we should sacrifice innocent people just to be able to keep executing 'criminals'. If you really want to keep dangerous criminals out of the society, send them to labour camps (Soviet Union style, very effective: not many ever got out of those alive). That way you keep those 'criminals' at least alive which can be handy if they later turn out to be innocent.
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  21. #146
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    This still doesn't totally address what I'm looking for here. I do not doubt that some studies show that it is not a deterrant, but what I want to know is how many studies are on the other side of the fence, and which are the most reliable.

    It seems to me that site is basically an anti-death penalty site. As such, would they really list a study that had findings that contradicted their beliefs, if it were published?

  22. #147
    Fluffy Kitten Programmer~ Elledan's Avatar
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    You may be right about that site being biased.

    How about this one:

    http://www.cuadp.org/pot.html
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  23. #148
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    That's interesting. I certainly do not deny that some people on death row are innocent.

    Here's something for us all to consider: the death penalty used in cases when DNA evidence, or something of similar significance, is present. If it is not present, they are forced into banishment/hard labor for life. I would readily support this, I believe, barring any unforseen problems.

  24. #149
    Anyone seen my cypher? OneChance's Avatar
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    Just for fun, check out these death row statistics from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Interesting stuff. Especially interesting are the last statements on the Executed Offenders page. Anyone against the death penalty should appreciate number 9's, Henry Porter's, last statement.

  25. #150
    Fried Gold Polymath's Avatar
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    Being pro death penalty, I certainly feel that if someone murders, goes to jail, gets out and murders again, the people who failed to punish the murderer properly should take the majority of the blame. They had the chance to put an end to it, full stop. Due to their shilly-shallying and hand-wringing, another innocent is dead.


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