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Hello Sandye,

Yes I believe in the death penalty. Unfortunately far too many innocent Black men and women have been fined, branded as being criminal, incarcerated, and/or executed in the United States.

In far too many instances unfair judicial decisions, biased or biggotted juries, corrupt policing authorities, over zealous city prosecutors, lack of competent legal representation, and/or most of all the failure of our own elected leaders to take action when petitioned for redress for truly warranted claims against the atrocities of government have resulted in the unwarranted and blatantly illegal property loss, unearned punishment, incarceration, fines and/or execution of many innocent Black men, women, and/or their siblings.

Until these serious issues are addressed and resolved, the Death penalty should be trashed, put on hold, and/or ruled un-Constitutional.

Heck, Black men and women continue to risk their lives or return in body bags in U.S. conflicts meant to preserve or promote the ideals of Democracy, such as the War in Iraq, Desert Storm, Vietnam, the Korean War, WW1, WWII, the American Civil War, and/or the American Revolutionary War, only to be disrespected and/or illegally violated when they return. Thus far the ideals of Democracy, fairness, "Equal Justice and Protection Under the Law", "Forced Taxation Without Competent Representation", etc., etc., have failed to respect the rights of law abiding citizens in the Black community.

Sincerely,

Michael Lofton
quote:
Originally posted by Sandye:
Do you believe in the death penalty? If so, under what conditions? If not, what is your justification?


I am 100% against the death penalty. Period. Even though I recognize that: 1) I would want revenge if a loved one were killed, and 2) some folk are just flat out unrehabilitiable [now that's a word].

The DP serves but one function, revenge/retribulation; therefore, I am against the DP because it does nothing to advance society; rather, it forces society to our more base nature.

I am against the DP because I recognize that the justice system is flawed. And, because of those flaws, the DP is unfair and unjust, with the burden falling on the poor and people of color.

I am against the DP because I recognize that people are flawed; but that does not put them beyond redemption.

I am against the DP because in that book that this nation, especially those ardent supporters of the DP, claims as its guide principle says, "Thou shalt not kill."
I am for the death penalty.

Housekeeping.

Thinning the group of malbehavers.

Vengence.

I would add, however, the acountabiity conditions K4R suggested in another thread; if I had my druthers.

The death penalty is a painful part of our society.

I have not yet grown to the point I can want to kill the one who killed someone important to me, and refuse someone else the same choice.

PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by Sandye:

Do you believe in the death penalty?



Morality, call it secular if you want, and the humanistic belief in the value of each and every human being.

I have never known anyone who can argue logically in favor of the death penalty based on this humanistic or universal view of the value of each of us. The underlying motive of vengeance erodes any claim of moral superiority and the only logical answer is to challenge the belief itself.

The belief that there are no "universal" concepts of morality, or statements such as "Not everyone shares the same moral values", is false, at least in practice. Human rights, equality, The World Court, crimes against humanity, and many other attempts to bring a common moral justice to all people contradicts this belief and these statements.
Lots of food for thought. Thanks for your responses. I do have a question for my Twin, however. How can you be 100% against the DP while recognizing that: 1) you would want revenge if a loved one were killed, and 2) some folk are just flat out "unrehabilitiable" (now that IS a word!

What do you do with those types of people? You say the DB serves the function of revenge while stating that you would want revenge if your loved ones were harmed. Please 'splain.

I personally waiver ... sometimes I think the DP is the way to go, and other times I don't. I am against the massive appeals that people get prior to getting the needle and the fact that some people can sit on death row for more than 30 years. I don't like to know that I am paying for that. I would rather provide shelter for the homeless with my tax dollars.

I understand that far too many people of color are sitting on death row and that some may be innocent, but I also understand that are far too many people of color at the morgue viewing the bodies of their innocent children.

If I commit a heinous act and am subsequently remorseful, does that "undo" my crime and relieve me of the consequences thereof?

Just my ramblings as I am coming to terms with this issue. I would appreciate any further dialogue/input. Thanks.
quote:
What do you do with those types of people? You say the DB serves the function of revenge while stating that you would want revenge if your loved ones were harmed. Please 'splain.


What to do with the folk that can't be rehabilitated? I don't know ... Life without the possibility of parole?

Yes, I recognize that I would want revenge, and would no doubt seek it personally. But that is my emotional response; intellectually and morally, I believe that the DP is legally flawed and immoral. Therefore, I am opposed to it.

quote:
If I commit a heinous act and am subsequently remorseful, does that "undo" my crime and relieve me of the consequences thereof?


No. The crime can never be undone. But being remorseful could/should be considered when metting out the punishment.
quote:
Originally posted by Sandye:

Just my ramblings as I am coming to terms with this issue. I would appreciate any further dialogue/input.


Sandye,

I can only offer what has been written by other people, but which seems reasonable to me.

To achieve a minimal moral standard within a community, what is wrong for you to do should also be wrong for me, and what is wrong for us to do should also be wrong for the community to do.

The community cannot teach or say to its members that killing is wrong and then kill, even though they may have granted themselves exceptions to the rule, for example capital punishment and war. These are logical contradiction to what they've said is wrong.

If the community makes exceptions by saying for example, "it's okay to kill someone if they've killed someone else", then the community falls short of its own minimum moral standard and is doing what they claim is wrong. In my view, this is a hypocritical and immoral stance.
This is not exactly on point, but I'm just too lazy to find a more appropriate thread or to start another one.

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts12212005.html
quote:
While enjoying the Christmas season in the comfort of your home, take a minute to say a prayer for the wrongfully convicted.

American prisons are full of wrongfully convicted persons. Many were coerced into admitting to crimes they did not commit by prosecutors' threats to pile on more charges. Others were convicted by false testimony from criminals bribed by prosecutors, who exchanged dropped charges or reduced sentences in exchange for false testimony against defendants ...

Sandye ...

I suppose I, like you, waiver on the question.

On one hand, I feel there are crimes and people that deserve the DP. For those that molest and kill little children, I would insert the needle myself. That man in Atlanta that recently took the baliff's gun and murdered a judge and court reporter and one or two other people, is guilty of cold blooded murder. And he, too, should receive the same. Some call that revenge .. I call it fair and/or equal. Fair exchange is no robbery.

On the other hand, our justice system is critically flawed and a lot of those pronounced convicted "beyond a reasonable doubt" are often convicted with little or no actual proof or evidence. Therefore, the death penalty option proves to be detrimental in many circumstances.

There was recently a very in-depth show on CNN (I think) where they outlined a growing situation where convicted-for-life prisoners are now living longer and requiring astronomical medical care and benefits in keeping them alive until they serve their full sentence of "life imprisonment." A lot of them are in their 70s and 80s and beyond. They are being treated for ailments such as diabetes (requiring tri-weekly dialysis) and cancer (requiring chemotherapy and lots of medications) and the States are responsibile for keeping them alive until they die.

Murders, rapists, child-killers are entitled to and receiving better medical care and benefits than a whole lot of people I personally know ... and many more millions that I don't. My tax dollars are footing the bill for it. Unlike in some prisons, the medical facilities where these elderly and infirm convicts are being housed and treated are centrally heated/air-conditioned, have gamerooms w/widscreen TVs, serve reasonably decent food, and are comprised of un-barred cubicles and not cells.

It is hard for me to understand that my elderly neighbor across the street who has been a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen all of her 80 years in life has to struggle to pay the $350 a month for her medication and an 80-year-old confessed triple homicide murder gets his for free. And money taken from me helps to pay for his and not hers!! Confused Frown He will probably live longer than her due to better quality healthcare. Now how fair is that?
quote:
Originally posted by Sandye:
Do you believe in the death penalty? If so, under what conditions? If not, what is your justification?


I wholeheartedly advocate the death penalty for crimes which society find heinous (in America, usually cold-blooded murder, but if I had my way, pedophilia and selling of heavy drugs). However, I think it should be applied only when there is sufficient DNA evidence to link the suspect to the crime, and should be foregone when there is DNA evidence, but it is controversial. For example, if forensic scientists find some guy's semen in the vagina of a raped and murdered girl, we can be fairly certain the man was guilty. If semen is found in a raped and murdered woman, but there is credible that the man was involved in a concensual sexual relationship with the woman, there'd better be pretty damn good evidence to show that he actually murdered her, and they didn't just have sex and the woman died later by someone else's hands. I cringe when I hear of men who spent decades in prison or death row for a murder they did not committ, with no other evidence for their guilt than one eye-witness.
I'm anti-death penalty.

While I do recognize that some people have done more than enough to deserve a shot though the head, I have a problem with state sanctioned murder.

Not only that, our justice system is by no means perfect. Not that any system is perfect, but it better be damn near so before we allow it to determine life and death, no?

In our system, time paid can depend greatly on the area where you live and your economic circumstances as much as the crime committed.

Should whether you live or die depend on the same?

Could we live with that as a nation with a conscience?

And how about the people on death row who aren't guilty?

How many are allowed to die before it is no longer acceptable?

Evidence proved many people guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and then later we find that evidence was withheld that would have proved these victims innocent. Or that they were set up. Or had insignificant representation.

And the system that put them on the row wants to play blind.

Snotty-nosed college kids who wanted a fun class project, journalists, and laymen who see something about the cases just doesn't add up are the hope of these people.

Sometimes the system doesn't want to correct its mistakes even after these people prove how blatant they are.

And we want to trust this same system with our lives?

It's also weird that if law officials caned citizens for a crime, we'd have a cruel and unusual punishment case.

Yet officials can kill us for punishment?

In an imperfect system that wrongs criminals and innocents?

A system that at times has to be kept in check by laymen?

There is something cruel and unusual about that.

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