The Death Penalty - for or against?

Capital punishment should

1. be abolished. I am against the death penalty.
23
23%
1. be abolished. I am against the death penalty.
23
23%
2. be used under martial law only (only war-related).
1
1%
2. be used under martial law only (only war-related).
1
1%
3. be used only when it comes to extreme crimes.
10
10%
3. be used only when it comes to extreme crimes.
10
10%
4. be used for all (no spec. circum.) 1st degree murders
4
4%
4. be used for all (no spec. circum.) 1st degree murders
4
4%
5. be used for more than just 1st degree murderers.
7
7%
5. be used for more than just 1st degree murderers.
7
7%
6. Don't know/neutral
2
2%
6. Don't know/neutral
2
2%
7. Other
2
2%
7. Other
2
2%
 
Total votes: 98
iJudas

Re: The Death Penalty - for or against?

Postby iJudas » Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:27 pm

Tertionus wrote:
iJudas wrote:If you illegally take a life, you forfeit your own.


I have a friend. One night, he was out with another friend of ours. They were messing about, play-fighting after a little too much alcohol. The other friend lost his footing, tripped and fell after a 'play punch'. He hit his head on a curb. Must have caught awkwardly, because he died. Instantly.

My friend got 6 months in prison. He's no longer the guy he was. He doesn't go out, he has a constant tremor, and he lost his wife and kids (though his own psychological after-effects of having killed a friend). He will forever feel guilty, even though all he did was a little play-fighting with a friend on a night out.

But the cold, hard fact is, he illegally killed someone.

Some people see that his life should be forfeit, even if the family and friends of the dead man are mature and rational enough that we would, under no circumstances, wish harm to come to the man who did it. In fact, most of us would take the psychological, emotional harm done to him back, if we could. Including the dead man's family.

Personally, I'm pretty comfortable with thinking that anyone who thinks this man should die is a sociopath with no business in law creation OR debate.


I couldn't possibly know your friend or the circumstances that you have described. Like I said, there are far too many grey areas. I wouldn't rule out the death penalty. It all falls down when someone has been put to death and it later transpires that there was a gross miscarriage of justice. But of course, by then it is too late.

I should have used the word 'deliberately' rather than 'illegally'. You'll have to forgive a soldier who lives in a black and white world who gets posted to far flung back water, piss pot third world countries with the intent to restore law and order, at the express invite of whatever warped dicator happens to be in power at the time.

A soldier who conforms to law whilst deliberately killing people who deliberately kill other people.

Like I said. Grey area. Lots of.

Sorry about your buddy. That sucks and I feel your pain.
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Re: The Death Penalty - for or against?

Postby Tertionus » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:12 pm

iJudas wrote:I should have used the word 'deliberately' rather than 'illegally'.


I knew what you meant, really. But it was a point that needed making, I think. That illegal does not necessarily = evil. Lots of people (not you) don't necessarily get that.
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Glaucon
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Re: The Death Penalty - for or against?

Postby Glaucon » Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:21 pm

Tertionus wrote:[rage rage]... fucking rude... [etc.] I've already stated that I'm done debating this issue with you. (Removed by Mod).


Dear Tertonius... if you don't want to respond, control yourself. Self-control is important to someone who is civilized (and you indicated you were all for being civilized). You never HAVE to respond. It's a forum on the intertubes. :)

Also, a civilized person doesn't start throwing around fuck and claim to be insulted just because another person that you disagree with doesn't conveniently drop out of the debate (one that he started). (Removed by Mod).

Glaucon wrote:No one here expressed the opinion that someone who killed another person by accident should get the chair. I am fairly sure Judas didn't mean to say that either.


Semantics are important.


Sometimes they are. And sometimes, they are just something people try to score points over (Judas already clarified himself, of course).

And some of those people aren't particularly concerned with circumstances surrounding the manslaughter. It pure and simple 'eye for an eye' mentality.


True. But so for, I haven't seen them post in this thread. Limbaugh and friends haven't weighed in yet.

Here's another example (this one's true, too): A friend of mine ...


Hmmm, you should tell your friends to be a little more careful, I say.
Last edited by Garrgon on Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:13 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Reason: Insults
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Glaucon
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Re: The Death Penalty - for or against?

Postby Glaucon » Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:25 pm

Yuls wrote:A large point of criminal law is the expression of the moral condemnation of society for the prisoner's wrongs. The punishments we dole out are not necessarily commensurate with rehabilitation, or even reaffirming the victim's or their families' plight. Criminal law exists to make society at large feel a psychological safety; we have given the government power to accuse and punish us (tempered by certain procedural protections) precisely because as a society we need to feel that justice is and can be served.

And if you're looking for intellectual justification for the death penalty, just read up on some Kant. Every human should be extremely conflicted on whether or not the death penalty is right or wrong. But saying that one answer is "beastly" and the other is "intellectual" is kind of bankrupt.


A point some of us were trying to make before. It is silly to discount those that may be in favor of the death penalty (or unwilling to rule it out or call it reprehensible) as anti-intellectuals.
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Re: The Death Penalty - for or against?

Postby Apple » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:24 pm

Darby Bradley wrote:My reference to the intellect and the beast was a means to explain why we try justifying the death penalty at all. My conclusion was that I was against the death penalty because whatever good it does society is far outweighed by the ill it does to us as individuals and as a society intellectually and emotionally. Killing has consequences that are not obvious or predictable. I read. I promise. My only issue with criminal law is the death penalty.


Um, okay? I wasn't suggesting that you don't read, don't worry. But what you're saying is really just your opinion, and even you personally don't really buy it 100% because a good portion of your initial post was justification for the death penalty.

The reason we have laws against such things as murder is probably in part because of practical justifications like the chaos that would ensue otherwise, but it is also partly because in our guts we feel like murder is generally wrong. And when it comes to the death penalty, it's really just a huge conflict in our guts. Because we feel that killing is wrong while simultaneously feeling like some people (See, e.g., http://www.kyivpost.com/news/nation/detail/124367/) need to be destroyed. And honestly, neither impulse is more or less animalistic than the other, and neither impulse honestly makes you immoral or anti-intellectual.

People should be conflicted about this stuff, and I think most thoughtful, sensitive people generally are. It just comes down to whether you personally would feel more comfortable living in a society with greater or lesser punishments for horrible crimes. I personally still haven't decided one way or the other, and I probably never really will.
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Re: The Death Penalty - for or against?

Postby Aphris » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:55 pm

About death penalties. This weekend 2 possible innocent "terrorists' were executed in Minsk, Belarus. :sick: After a trial in old Stalinistic style.
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Re: The Death Penalty - for or against?

Postby Alice McConnell » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:18 pm

Yes, another great advantage of the death penalty: when you are not quite so sure someone did it, but you want to make it appear you are, you just execute them. The dead don't complain. ;)

Anyway... this forum isn't nearly as full of people expressing their moral outrage over this or that than it used to be, in the past, but expressing your 'deviant' opinion on a topic like this is still a bridge too far, it seems. I guess this sort of topic cannot be discussed dispassionately on an international internet forum.
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Re: The Death Penalty - for or against?

Postby Sabina Takakura » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:00 pm

I chose the "neutral/undecided" option.

I'm not going to jump into the debate in order to sway people to one side or the other, or even to say what is right or wrong. I don't think I can honestly make a choice in that matter. What I will do, is provide some information from my somewhat unique perspective on the matter:

When I was eight years old, I lived in Virginia Beach, VA. My family lived in military housing, and this was during the first Gulf War that the US had. I remember going over to my friend's house one morning before school. Her mother was taking us to the bus stop because my mother was off to a class at the Uni. On the front page of the paper, were two pictures. They were two of my classmates. Two little boys - Scott and Daniel.
They were missing. The last time anyone had seen them was the day before, when they went into the woods to play. That day at recess, every single one of us in that class ran to the fence that surrounded the playground and shouted their names - we were eight, we simply assumed that they were lost, and somehow our calling would bring them back.
After an extensive search, they were found.
They had been tied to a tree. They were beaten, stabbed multiple times, and their throats slit.

The person who led the police to the bodies, was the killer, Shawn Novak. He was a high school student. He confessed to the crime. There was evidence that he did it otherwise, but when asked if he did it, he said he did.
This murderer led my friends out to the woods where we all played every day, and stabbed my friend in the neck so many times he was nearly decapitated. My other friend, he slit his throat just enough so that he would drown in his own blood.
This killer is in prison now, and up for parole in June. He may be released. I can honestly say that I am terrified. This was over 20 years ago, but I am still scared.

In 1999, Angel Maturino Reséndiz (AKA The Railroad Killer) hopped off a train and shot my uncle in the head with a shotgun. He then proceeded to beat my cousin's head in with a tire iron.
He took their driver's licenses, because he wanted to learn more about them. More about the lives he took.
He was a serial killer. There are numerous victims, and to this day the FBI is not exactly sure how many are his. He confessed to his crimes. There was evidence linking him to them anyway. Things like fingerprints on the steering wheel of the truck he stole after he killed them.
He tried, prosecuted, and sentenced to death in the state of Texas. He died by lethal injection in 2006. His last words were:

"I want to ask if it is in your heart to forgive me. You don't have to. I know I allowed the Devil to rule my life. I just ask you to forgive me and ask the Lord to forgive me for allowing the devil to deceive me. I thank God for having patience in me. I don't deserve to cause you pain. You do not deserve this. I deserve what I am getting."

To this day, I can't enter my uncle's house. There is a bloodstain there, that although we scrubbed it out and painted over it, I still see it. Hell, I can still smell it.

So, as you see, I've been on both sides of this. I know a killer who has been allowed to live - and I know a killer who was executed. I can say, that from a victim's perspective, I do feel more at peace about my uncle's murder, because I know no one will ever be hurt by that person again.

I've even witnessed and execution - a lethal injection. I still don't know what side I'm on. I am only saying... there is a lot to take into consideration. Much more than a statistic, much more than faith in the legal process.
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Pelopidas
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Re: The Death Penalty - for or against?

Postby Pelopidas » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:05 pm

Against for purely aesthetic reasons!
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Re: The Death Penalty - for or against?

Postby Crack and Thump » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:19 pm

Alice McConnell wrote:Yes, another great advantage of the death penalty: when you are not quite so sure someone did it, but you want to make it appear you are, you just execute them. The dead don't complain. ;)


I am sure that the family of an innocent person that was put to death would complain for their dead.

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