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The Death Penalty

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by cablescavenger, May 29, 2012.

  1. cablescavenger

    cablescavenger Well-Known Member

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    I have never known the death penalty in the uk. It was abolished when I was a child.

    I would like to know who agrees with it and why? and who doesn't and why?
     
  2. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist

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    In 64 years of modern Israeli history, only one person was executed by the state: Adolf Eichman, "Architect of the Holocaust". I'd like to keep it that way.
     
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  3. cablescavenger

    cablescavenger Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I never knew that.
     
  4. Karl R

    Karl R Active Member

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    In theory, I'm not opposed to the death penalty. There are certain crimes (premeditated murder) where I believe death is an appropriate punishment. I am not naive enough to believe that the death penalty serves as any form of deterrent, it can serve as an incentive for criminals to "plead down" to a life sentence, rather than go through all the cost of a trial.

    However, in practice, I believe that the system has led to the execution of people who were not guilty of the crimes they were executed for. A number of people (on death row) have been exonerated by DNA evidence. Some of these people had even signed confessions (presumably under some form of duress).

    If you sentence someone to life in prison by mistake, you can free them later. If you execute them by mistake, you can't raise them from the dead. For that reason, I am opposed to the current system of capital punishment.
     
  5. kai

    kai ragamuffin

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    I am very uneasy with the state executing people. miscarriages of justice are not exactly unheard of here.
     
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  6. Falvlun

    Falvlun Earthbending Lemur
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    I agree with all of this. In addition, the death penalty is not uniformly applied; poor people and minorities are more likely to get the death penalty, due to latent racism and not being able to afford the best lawyers. That's just not just.

    In addition, death penalty trials cost much more, both for taxpayers and the private parties involved. Life imprisonment is just more cost effective.

    Because we can't fairly apply the death penalty, because it costs so much, and because we are unable to be assured that innocent people aren't being executed, I am against the death penalty.
     
  7. dust1n

    dust1n Zindīq

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    Just short of crimes against humanity, the state should rarely, if ever, put someone to death, not only because the costs of doing so are much higher and burdens the rest of society, but also because of the high number of people found innocent of death. Even if this was only the case 1% of the time, it would still be of my opinion to eliminate the death penalty for anything but near genocide/treason/dictatorship, etc. because innocent life does not have a value to which to compare its loss the another value.
     
    #7 dust1n, May 30, 2012
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  8. Levite

    Levite Higher and Higher

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    I don't necessarily have an objection to capital punishment, but I would only wish to see it in cases of complete and total certainty of circumstances and evidence.

    For example, in classical Jewish Law, in order to execute someone on capital charges, two eyewitnesses were required to, independently of one another, testify identically that they had verbally warned the defendant not to commit the crime, heard the defendant acknowledge the warning and refuse it, and then see the defendant commit the crime in front of them. The case had to be heard by a court of no fewer than 23 and no more than 71 magistrates: if two or more refused to convict, the defendant was declared not guilty; if the court voted unanimously to convict and execute the defendant, the verdict was automatically overturned on presumption of corruption of the court (because it was deemed impossible that in a group of 23 or more people, no one could find it in their hearts not to execute a person)-- conviction and execution could only take place if precisely one less than the total number of magistrates voted to convict and execute. Execution then had to take place within 24 hours, or 48 hours if the defendant was sentenced right before the Sabbath or a festival (we did not execute anyone on the Sabbath or festivals).

    Under a similarly strict system, I would be satisfied that only those truly deserving of the death penalty would be executed. But since no country in the world currently has such a strict and narrow capital system, I would prefer not having the death penalty at all to the current systems, which I feel are, at best, over-zealous to convict and at the same time needlessly prolonging of time between sentence and execution-- at worst, they recklessly send innocent men to death.
     
  9. Polymorphic Grass

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    we shoud have it for relly thretening people like hitler but only if we 100 persent sure thy did it like obviosly hitler did wat he did
     
  10. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    In all honesty, death is hardly the worst punishment to throw at someone. Forcing them to live in an iron cage with no chance of release is significantly less humane.
     
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  11. Polymorphic Grass

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    but is jail relly about punishing i dont believe in revenge\
    what jail and prison all about is make sure they not hurt any one else
     
  12. Penumbra

    Penumbra Veteran Member
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    I don't particularly believe the government should have the right to execute people. It's a lot of power, and if there's an innocent person that's found guilty, it permanently ends their ability to eventually be set free and justice corrected.

    I don't view a swift execution as particularly inhumane. Not any more than keeping someone in either cages or shackles for the rest of their life. I'd actually look at a life of perpetual incarceration as less humane, save for the observation that, as far as I can tell, most prisoners don't seek death.

    For older times when there weren't fairly easy ways to build maximum security clean prisons, the death penalty seems appropriate for people who murder or forcibly rape.
     
  13. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    If jail is just about keeping "dangerous" people out of the population, then there really is very little reason to keep any of them alive. :shrug:
     
  14. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    I don't know if I can say in confidence that I agree with it. It's not a thing to take pride in, as it's ugly. But, the truth of the matter is, there are people in this country who cannot be rehabilitated and are a danger to society. Should they be allowed to thrive on tax payer dollars and take space in already cramped prisons? Or is a better justice for those the families that they have victimized to provide them with a swift death?

    I can never answer this with a clear conscience, in truth.
     
  15. Penumbra

    Penumbra Veteran Member
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    The added variable, though, is that people that are executed typically are in prison for a long time before being executed and exhaust all (expensive) legal options.

    To do it differently would be an issue for the current justice system, where appeals can occur, where decisions can move to higher courts, etc. If an innocent person is found guilty, it often takes quite a while to resolve it. Executions typically occur years after the decision.

    The death penalty would certainly be cheaper if, after the trial, the guilty person is given the firing squad later that week. But with the current system where people are in prison for a partial lifetime before being executed, money doesn't seem to be a big factor as far as I can tell. It's expensive either way.
     
  16. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    All very true.

    But, I was referring to a swift death in terms of an actual swift method of death - as in lethal injection vs. life in prison. I know that it's expensive either way. For those that cannot be rehabiltated - which is the better option?

    I struggle to answer that question.
     
  17. bobhikes

    bobhikes AntiRepublican
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    I believe in the death penalty but not as currently practiced. I do not want it used for a first case, correction should always be attempted. If however correction does not work and a person is found guilty a second time for a capital offense they should be removed from society permanently. It is not a deterrent but a solution to an uncorrectable problem.
     
  18. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    That and the huge expense the state usually incurs from appeal after appeal after appeal---I've read that it usually amounts to more than what it costs to keep someone in prison for life with no parole. If it were not for these two factors I would be behind the death penalty 100%, but as it is I have to sit on the fence on this one.
     
  19. LongGe123

    LongGe123 Active Member

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    I think someone else brought this up too, but basically, even for the most heinous of crimes, death is hardly a fitting punishment - i think making that criminal's life as rubbish (and as long) as possible is much more fitting. And ironically, taking the US model as an example - having the death penalty is more expensive than just locking someone away forever.

    The prison system generally should be founded on a principle of reform rather than mindless abuse and punishment, though. In the long-term, rehabilitating someone is far more cost-effective and helpful to a society than turning them into vengeful monsters who hate the system even more after they are released.

    Death penalty....it's definitely not a deterrent in a country like the US. But I feel that in China, the deterrent effect DOES still exist to some extent. It's damned safe here in China,with violent crime and street crime at very low rates, even in the darkest corners of the biggest cities. Still though, I have no doubts that the effect will wear off more and more over time. Even now you can see it doesn't have the same potency as it used to.
     
  20. kai

    kai ragamuffin

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    Thats the thing, without the safeguards of appeals, you down to summary execution at dawn, like in the good old days:)
     
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