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Yesterday the US Supreme Court abolished the death penalty for convicted killers under 18 years of age at the time they committed their crimes.

I think that one of the most powerful arguments against the death penalty is that there are always going to be innocent people who are wrongly executed, and is that a price that a civilized society can afford to pay? Also, does the threat of execution actually act as a deterrent as is often claimed by proponents of the death penalty? The evidence points to the fact that it does not. Certainly, in the UK, where there is no death penalty, there is less violence in society than in the US States that have the death penalty. Additionally, the people sentenced to death in the US are often black, due to racial bias in sentencing ... can black people afford to support the death penalty while this bias continues?

Agree/ Disagree???
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quote:
Originally posted by CLARE:

... can black people afford to support the death penalty while this bias continues?


In a word . . . NO.

The DP is not a deterrent, as most murders are crimes of passion and not calculation. As well, even though DNA is making evidence more precise - mistakes can still occur.

Bottom line - there is a reason why "modern, industrialized" nations all reject the DP - except the US. Perhaps we'll wake up one of these days. sad

What are handgun laws like in the UK? Can you go to the corner store and buy one like you can here? I believe our CroMagnon views on guns has a lot to do with our violence and murder rates.
Yes we can and should support the death penalty. Everybody talks about the bias but no one talks about the increasing number of blacks who are the VICTIMS of violent crime and not just crime created by people acting upon their passions but victims of career criminals who are calculating and methodical in what they do.

I have said before and I stand by it, when in doubt then no DP, but when you catch the SOB standing over the body drenched in blood screaming he did it, well strap him in and punch his ticket.

And lets clarity the issue about guns and gun control, everybody has ideas about how to control guns in the hands of honest law abiding people, no one yet has figured how to control the guns in the hands of criminals.
quote:
Originally posted by blaqfist:

.. but some of the things you mention previously make instituting it in american society impossible. mainly america has a race problem, america facination w/ guns & the criminal justice system needs a complete overhaul.


Is that like a woman saying a brotha is fine except for that big growth on his forehead, the scar going down his cheek, he's cross eyed, and is 300 lbs.? tongue
quote:
Originally posted by jazzdog:

. . . no one yet has figured how to control the guns in the hands of criminals.


Seems like the rest of the world has. No other country has free access to guns like we do and no other country has the gun violence and crime that we do. In Canada, for example, there is no huge problem with criminals overpowering law abiding citizens with guns. Why not?

BTW - what good does the DP do? What's the point? Research has clearly established that it is not a deterrent. So how does killing a murderer serve society? This question is particularly germane since the cost of the mandatory appeals etc. that are required to assure that a DP conviction is "sound" make the cost of the DP far exceed that of the cost of a life term. What is the compelling argument FOR the DP?
I am against the death penalty because it is barbaric, savage, and comes from humanities lowest bases. The death penalty does not deter crime or aid in reversing anything that the defendant has done. America should spend more time and money attempting to find out what makes people violent in the first place, what makes so many Americans have little or no regard for human life, what could be done to help more Americans not turn into the sociopaths that so many are in the first place, and why there is so much hate in this country and how it could be changed.
But I guess if you have a nation that was founded on hate, evil, and murder and human suffering, what else can you expect, besides a sadistic, barbaric way to deal with crime.
Well, I think ...

If you rape and murder a 6-year-old child, you deserve to die. If you kill old people just for the fun of it, you deserve to die. When you take the life of a promising young student, you deserve to die. If you beat a child until they are broken and bruised and sit there and watch the life leave their bodies, you deserve to have someone else watch the life go out of yours. If you walk up to a car or into a store and point a gun at the person in it and pull the trigger just because you can ... you deserve to die. I don't care what race, color, creed, affiliation or religion you are. You deserve death and I hope you get it.

The death penalty in this counrty is disproportionately biased and racist and is used as a tool against Black people especially. It is a system that is functionally and fundamentally broken and desperately needs to be overhauled and fixed. However, in the meantime, we as Black people, need to be fiercely and effectively challenging the fact that it is our brothas that are sentenced to and do die by way of the death penalty at a rate that is astronomical compared to other races of people. We need to be upset enough about that to actually do something about it. The system is broken and who better to demand that it be fixed? We see to care enough about it to be able to articulate the awful injustice of it, but not enough to start protecting our own against those with a proven track record of doing harm against us.

To me, whether it is a deterrent or not is not nearly as important as whether or not it is just. I don't have a problem with an eye for an eye. But I do have a problem with inequality based on racial bias and discrimination. The fact that it is ineffective as a deterrent proves that using that type of reasoning is flawed. The fact that it is inhumane to just take somebody else's life and cause pain and misery to other human beings just because you feel you want to is, I think, an excellent reason for the establishment of such a policy.

So, one of the reasons I would give for being FOR the death penalty would be that we need to protect our children against preditors that would take them and rape and kill them or savagely abuse them by taking such a preditor out of society, for good, so that he/she does not have an opportunity repeat the crime ... and we, as citizens, do not have to bear the financial responsibility of caring for him/her for 40-50 years while serving a life sentence. Given the choice, I'd rather pay for the college tuition of that child that was murdered than the food, water and clothing of the murderer that killed them.
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quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:

If you rape and murder a 6-year-old child, you deserve to die. If you kill old people just for the fun of it, you deserve to die. When you take the life of a promising young student, you deserve to die. If you beat a child until they are broken and bruised and sit there and watch the life leave their bodies, you deserve to have someone else watch the life go out of yours. If you walk up to a car or into a store and point a gun at the person in it and pull the trigger just because you can ... you deserve to die. I don't care what race, color, creed, affiliation or religion you are. You deserve death and I hope you get it.


So ER, are you suggesting that some lives are more important than others? You mention a few specific circumstances which leads me to believe that you place greater significance on those lives than others.

How do you determine who's life is valuable enough that if taken warrants the DP?

quote:
The death penalty in this counrty is disproportionately biased and racist and is used as a tool against Black people especially. It is a system that is functionally and fundamentally broken and desperately needs to be overhauled and fixed. However, in the meantime, we as Black people, need to be fiercely and effectively challenging the fact that it is our brothas that are sentenced to and do die by way of the death penalty at a rate that is astronomical compared to other races of people. We need to be upset enough about that to actually do something about it. The system is broken and who better to demand that it be fixed? We see to care enough about it to be able to articulate the awful injustice of it, but not enough to start protecting our own against those with a proven track record of doing harm against us.


How do you justify your support of the DP but apparently not the administration of it? How can you separate the two? If you acknowledge meaningful problems in the administration and execution (no pun intended) of the DP, how then can you say that you support it?

quote:
. . . and we, as citizens, do not have to bear the financial responsibility of caring for him/her for 40-50 years while serving a life sentence.


As I said, it is LESS expensive to pay for someone's life sentence than to pay for all of the costs associated with sentencing someone to death.

So, I ask again . . .

it's NOT a deterrent

it's MORE expensive than a life sentence

and it does NOT do a better job of protecting society (either way - the criminal is removed from society)

so - what is the rational argument FOR the DP?
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
So ER, are you suggesting that some lives are more important than others? You mention a few specific circumstances which leads me to believe that you place greater significance on those lives than others.

How do you determine who's life is valuable enough that if taken warrants the DP?


Yes, I am. People who have no value for someone else's life is far less important and of less significance, to me, than someone who does. I would not kill someone one just because it was something I thought I might want to do. Why should I give any kind of credence to someone who would walk up and kill me for that reason and say that they are a better person than I am?

quote:
How do you justify your support of the DP but apparently not the administration of it? How can you separate the two? If you acknowledge meaningful problems in the administration and execution (no pun intended) of the DP, how then can you say that you support it?


I can say that I support it because I do not believe that the theory is wrong, but, yes, the administration of it is. In other words, does someone who murders innocent people deserve to be murdered too? Absolutely. Does the racist judicial system need to be allowed to disproportionately sentence innocent Black men/women to die by it? Absolutely not.

But as long as we're allowing it to happen without putting up an effective opposition to it, why should we expect anything to change?

quote:
As I said, it is LESS expensive to pay for someone's life sentence than to pay for all of the costs associated with sentencing someone to death.

So, I ask again . . .

it's NOT a deterrent

it's MORE expensive than a life sentence

and it does NOT do a better job of protecting society (either way - the criminal is removed from society)

so - what is the rational argument FOR the DP?


I would say the rational argument FOR the DP, in my opinion, is that a person guilty of a heinous crime of murder, especially if it is an innocent child, should suffer the same fate. To me, it's completely fair. Should a merchant be allowed to take bills from you and not give you change back because you don't have the exact amount to pay the price he/she is asking for the product? I don't think so. I think if someone asks for $4.25 cents, then that is what they should receive. Not $5.00, because I don't have change. That is not fair. But, someone beats the life out of a 7-year-old, their life should be extinguished as the life of that child's was. To me that is fair.

As far as the cost ... the system is broken. All the costs of appeals and such, obviously, is an ineffective practice considering how many innocent people go through the process and still end up on death row. So, to me, you can't rationalize that as something that makes any sense. It is part of what DOESN'T work about the system, and as such, a part of it that needs to be fixed.

Using tax dollars to keep alive someone that did not have any consideration for someone else's life is a waste of money, as far as I'm concerned. Kind of like the Iraq war. Money that can be spent here is going to another country for the same sort of infrastructure that we need here.

So, no, it's not a deterrent, but it's a matter of justice.

It's only more expensive than a life sentence because we allow it to be. We pour money into a process that is tantamount to throwing money out of car window while driving down the freeway because it doesn't work. How intelligent is that?

And, given a choice of removing a criminal from society, but using my money to pay for his upkeep and well being ... and removing the criminal from society, and using my money for, say, building a new school in my community ... Confused

So, my rational argument FOR the DP is that, used correctly for the purpose for which it should be intended (taking the life of someone who takes a life) is a fair and equitable way to handle a murderer to murders innocent people.

My rationale argument is that I believe in an eye for an eye. I think it is fair. I think it is just. No more, no less.
You know, on further thought, MBM, let me try to sum up my perspective on this debate.

On the issue of value of life, yes, I do place a higher value of one life over another. For example, let's compare you to a confessed serial killer they caught here in TX a while back. I would unashamedly value your life over his. Why? Because you are a husband, a father, and actively work for the betterment of your family, your community and your people, among other things. That serial killer confessed to murdering 9 or 10 people (I can't remember exactly how many, but they were young, old, men, women ... just whoever) along the railroad tracks. He, too, had a family.

The reason why I would place a higher value on your life is because, while you choose to give your wife a good husband, your kids a good father, your community and people positive reinforcement, the serial killer is (and for no good reason) extinguishing people like you from the face of the earth. So, yes, if a choice needed to be made ... IMO, yes, you DESERVE to be alive more than he does. Yes, you serve a bigger and better purpose on this earth than he does. Both of you are husbands and fathers, but, yes, your value to your family is more than his value to his. In short, a person who intentionally kills another person is a lower form of human being than one who doesn't.

Also, the only valid rationale AGAINST the death penalty is that it is wrong or perhaps inhumane to kill another human being. Any of the other reasons are basically invalid to me because things like cost, effectiveness as a deterrent and the like are all things that can be changed and corrected. Our death penalty system does not have to be the way it is. But it is that way because we haven't done anything to change it.

I believe a moratorium and cessation on the execution of the death penalty policy is in order because of the discrimination that wallows in it. That's a whole lot different than abolisohing the practice altogether. I'm with Jazzdog ... an unproven case of a crime should be protected. But a confessed or obviously guilty criminal should be strapped down and give the juice ... and the sooner the better.

An, again, my rationale FOR the death penalty is my belief in the fairness of "an eye for an eye" and my feeling that I should not have to pay for the life of a man who takes the life of another and should have to give up his life as well.
Yesterday the US Supreme Court abolished the death penalty for convicted killers under 18 years of age at the time they committed their crimes.

I think that one of the most powerful arguments against the death penalty is that there are always going to be innocent people who are wrongly executed, and is that a price that a civilized society can afford to pay?---clare

No. I am in favor of the concept of capital punishment. The taking of innocent life, however, is unacceptable. Therefore, taking away chances to correct a wrong decision is even more wrong.

Also, does the threat of execution actually act as a deterrent as is often claimed by proponents of the death penalty?---clare

No. And...I've never seen or heard data saying otherwise.

In the neighborhood I grew up in, the words were 'I'll do seven for you sucka.'

The common penalty for killing someone in a fight was '7 to life.'


The evidence points to the fact that it does not. Certainly, in the UK, where there is no death penalty, there is less violence in society than in the US States that have the death penalty. Additionally, the people sentenced to death in the US are often black, due to racial bias in sentencing ... can black people afford to support the death penalty while this bias continues?

No. We can barely afford to support the judiciary.

PEACE

Jim Chester
The succesful executions of a million guilty can never make up for the execution of a single innocent.

It is one of the most nightmarish things that can possibly happen, we execute an innocent. Our justice system will always be human and therefore fallible, it is inevitable that we will wrongfully execute the innocents forever.

Now as to all this gun control talk. And how great things are internationally.

Japan, very very few guns, very little crime.
Switzerland, nearly every household has military grade weaponry as part of their Militia system which substitutes their lack of military, very little crime.

A proliferation or non-proliferation does not translate to crime. Culture is what causes crime. Poor culture translates to crime. Just like a War on Drugs or Alcohol has taught us, you cannot keep products out of the people's hands, especially if they are criminals. Gun laws make it harder for lawful citizens to be armed and the criminals still have their arms or know how to get them despite the laws.

There are 4 reasons for arms in the hands of citizens.

1) Self Defense
2) Prevent or Stop Domestic Tyranny
3) Fight against Foreign Invasion
4) Hunting

1) This is currently the most vivid need for guns, we live in a high crime society, and the criminals are not going to give up their guns and they're going to circumvent the laws to get what they want. Damn good thing that I can carry a PM9 on the small of my back without any fear of legal ramification. Damn good thing that I have an AR15 in the trunk of my car and an 18 guage shotgun in my bedroom. No children, so they are loaded and ready to go when that horrible time comes. And hopefully it never will, just like cars, you wear a seat belt, when you go out, wear a gun too.

Criminals want victims, not combatants. Hard to be a victim when you're reaching in your purse for a .45 at signs of trouble.

2) Seems crazy right now right? After all we're so stable, our government would never try and impose tyranny on us. We would never have to overthrow it. Wrong, I guarantee you within a 1000 years our government is going to impose serious tyranny unless we are able to stop it with force. We cannot predict the future of our internal stability. To the survival of our nation and people, it is critical that we be capable of standing up to our government when the need arises.

3) A foreign power invading us? No way, after all our Navy and Air Force combined could probably keep our shores safe from the entire world's navy and air forces combined. Hard to believe that one day we won't be the biggest boy on the block. But it is inevitable, one day in our future other nations will surpass us and eventually have the means to invade us. When the time comes when our military is incapable of thoroughly defending our soil it will be needed that citizenry are able to combat a foreign military.

4) You always have the right to feed yourself I guess.

The Death Penalty is evil because it kills innocent people on OUR command through the government that represents us.

Gun Control does not equate to crime, culture does. Gun Control hurts lawful citizens more then it does criminals.
I was thinking that if we are to continue having the death penalty, we should require the Governor (in state cases) to be the person to actually pull the switch. This is reasonable since the Governor has the last say as to whether the convicted person lives or dies. If the Governor is unwilling to stay the execution, then the duty should fall on him to carry out the sentence.

And then, if it should be determined at a later time (after the sentence is carried out) that the person was not guilty of the charge, then the Governor should be tried for manslaughter. Although he/she would argue that he was operating under the authority of the state, he/she would never-the-less be tried, just as soldiers are held responsible for wrongful killing in war.
My opinion is still the same. Death to the bums. The current system is not a deterrent b/c any $hit house lawyer knows he can stall the process with appeals and if he/she is lucky enough the powers to be may change their mind and do away with the system.
As I said before, for these dopes where there is no doubt, give them 30 days and 1 appeal and then lets see if that will be deterrent enough for these wanna be thugs who show how tough they are by preying on the innocent.


catch
The American culture is out of control. That's why we need the death penalty. If we didn't have so many violent offenders to punish, then we wouldn't need to use this method of punishment. The anguish of the victim's families was loud enough for gov't to step in and do something. A part of me sees the need for the dp, and another part of me hates that we even have to have it in this country. I often hear the statement "The Dp doesn't deter crime" but on the real who thinks that violent crime would go down if there wasn't a dp? Is the DP the cause of this violent culture or a result of it?
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
What are handgun laws like in the UK? Can you go to the corner store and buy one like you can here? I believe our CroMagnon views on guns has a lot to do with our violence and murder rates.


It's against the law to own a handgun in the UK so I suppose that's one of the reasons why there is less violence than in the US.
quote:
Originally posted by sunnubian:
I am against the death penalty because it is barbaric, savage, and comes from humanities lowest bases.


My sentiments exactly, I find the concept of the state putting someone to death utterly repulsive and I find it extremely difficult to understand the mindset of those who support it.
quote:
Originally posted by CLARE:
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
What are handgun laws like in the UK? Can you go to the corner store and buy one like you can here? I believe our CroMagnon views on guns has a lot to do with our violence and murder rates.


It's against the law to own a handgun in the UK so I suppose that's one of the reasons why there is less violence than in the US.


So there are absolutely no handguns in England that are not in the hands of the police or military, yeah right!

Its aganist the law in alot of places in this country to own a gun, but for some reason the criminals always seem to have their's, I would imagine its the same over there.
quote:
Originally posted by jazzdog:

Its aganist the law in alot of places in this country to own a gun, but for some reason the criminals always seem to have their's, I would imagine its the same over there.


Well, it sounds like in the UK you can't go into your local WalMart and, after a waiting period of a whopping ten seconds, buy a gun. That's a big difference.
quote:
Originally posted by jazzdog:
quote:
Originally posted by CLARE:
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
What are handgun laws like in the UK? Can you go to the corner store and buy one like you can here? I believe our CroMagnon views on guns has a lot to do with our violence and murder rates.


It's against the law to own a handgun in the UK so I suppose that's one of the reasons why there is less violence than in the US.


So there are absolutely no handguns in England that are not in the hands of the police or military, yeah right!

Its aganist the law in alot of places in this country to own a gun, but for some reason the criminals always seem to have their's, I would imagine its the same over there.


Yeah, sure criminals are always going to be able to get hold of things that are illegal be it guns, drugs whatever, but as MBM pointed out it's much harder if the item in question is not readily available. And anyway lots of crimes are not committed by 'criminals' as such. What about crimes of passion. For example, Marvin Gaye was killed by his father shooting him during a family row - if his father did not have a gun to hand, he would probably still be alive today. In short, the ready availability of guns in the US does not help the crime situation.
My sentiments echo EbonyRose's. The death penalty has never been a deterrent. It's purpose is to provide the appropriate punishment for those who deserve it. It stems from the belief (which I hold) that there are crimes heinous enough that the person simply deserves to die.

As for the racial disparities, I think it's clear that there is a lot of irresponsibility to the way these punishments are administered. The way you remedy that is to beef up the objective requirements. Certain findings of fact should have to be established, including a heightened standard of prove (guilty beyond question, rather than beyond a reasonable doubt? Something like that?) And then, specific objective findings of heinousness should be established as well. The key is to reduce jury subjectivity as much as you can, because white jurors in particular, if allowed to much subjective reign, will use race in their subjective decision-making. I know it's a difficult situation, but letting somebody get prison when they do outrageous things is just hard for me to accept.

One other thing: the existence of a death penalty often makes it easier to get cooperation from a defendant. Here in New Jersey last year, a defendant pleaded down from death to life imprisonment in exchange for information about other murders he had committed. Everyone involved got closure, and a lengthy trial was avoided, and the defendant still got life without parole. Something like that is acceptable. had there been no death penalty, this guy either wouldn't have cooperated, or he would have pleaded down to some sentence that would have gotten him out of jail one day. A punishment that allows you to get a defendant to see life without parole as a good deal, is a good thing to have.

By the way, welcome to the board, Clare!
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:

It stems from the belief (which I hold) that there are crimes heinous enough that the person simply deserves to die.


So, how do you determine which crimes fit in this category and which do not?

quote:
As for the racial disparities, I think it's clear that there is a lot of irresponsibility to the way these punishments are administered. The way you remedy that is to beef up the objective requirements. Certain findings of fact should have to be established, including a heightened standard of prove (guilty beyond question, rather than beyond a reasonable doubt? Something like that?) And then, specific objective findings of heinousness should be established as well. The key is to reduce jury subjectivity as much as you can, because white jurors in particular, if allowed to much subjective reign, will use race in their subjective decision-making. I know it's a difficult situation, but letting somebody get prison when they do outrageous things is just hard for me to accept.


Vox, please give further explanation about objectivity and the law. Sure, you can determine whether someone did something or not, but it is in the context where the act is given meaning. Doing precisely the same act could be a crime in one context, but in another could make the person a hero. It's all about understanding and interpreting context. That's all about subjectivity.

quote:
One other thing: the existence of a death penalty often makes it easier to get cooperation from a defendant. Here in New Jersey last year, a defendant pleaded down from death to life imprisonment in exchange for information about other murders he had committed.


So, you're suggesting that whatever information he gave is worth his life? This position seems to contradict your statement that some crimes are so heinous that the criminal deserves to die. Either the crime is worthy of the DP or not. Right? How does giving some, albeit perhaps helpful, information then render the crime less than DP worthy? This is precisely the kind of subjective judgment that it would seem that you can never remove from the calculus of matters like this.

quote:
Everyone involved got closure, and a lengthy trial was avoided, and the defendant still got life without parole. Something like that is acceptable.


Since life w/out parole is both a cheaper alternative than the DP and renders the exact same societal benefit (i.e. it permanently removes the criminal from society) then you seem to be saying that the emotional closure and the financial savings mitigate the heinousness of the crime in such a manner as to save the defendant's life. When one commits a crime, aren't they really committing the crime against society? The victim's family, really, is somewhat inconsequential to the legal process - aren't they? (I mean the family couldn't decide to just not press chrages could they?) The crime is against the state. And in those situations where the families views are somehow actively considered (for ex. if they are ardently against the DP) then again, aren't we dealing in pure subjectivity? Should a person who commits one crime be dealt with in one manner, yet another who commits the exact same crime be dealt with in another merely because of the pure coincidence of the victims family's emotional ability to derive "closure" or their philosophy on criminal justice? Should someone's life really be dependent upon such superficial and subjective considerations? Is that what justice really is about?

The same argument applies to the financial aspect of your argument. It seems to put a price tag on both justice and life. I'm not sure that makes sense to me.

quote:
A punishment that allows you to get a defendant to see life without parole as a good deal, is a good thing to have.


Is a lawyer really arguing that we should intimidate defendants into bargaining away rights? Eek
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:

An, again, my rationale FOR the death penalty is my belief in the fairness of "an eye for an eye" and my feeling that I should not have to pay for the life of a man who takes the life of another and should have to give up his life as well.


Aren't you taking this biblical inspiration out of context? Isn't one of the Ten Commandments "Thou shalt not kill"? It doesn't say thou shalt not kill - except to take an eye for an eye. It says THOU SHALT NOT KILL. Period. Furthermore, while the Bible has plenty of contradicting statements, shouldn't the Ten Commandments - one of the most holy "documents" that came directly from God - rule over other, perhaps competing, statements?

Also, since all sin is equivalent in God's eyes, should man be making the kinds of distinctions that we are? Sure the law isn't necessarily judging sin, but since you looked to the Bible for your inspiration and views on the DP, it just seems like there are rather persuasive Biblical arguments to contradict that view as well.
MBM ...

Actually, the "biblical reference" was not intended in a biblical sense at all. I'm not particularly religious and have little knowledge of the Bible, or I should say, it's contents, so although I know that that statement originates from there, in the context I said it was not intended to be based in the religious sense. Therefore, comparably, referencing the two together would be difficult for me to do.

I said the "eye" statement purely in the context of fairness. An eye for an eye, to me, signifies what is fair. I guess I could have also used the cliche "What's good for the goose, is good for the gander" instead.

But, if as you say, God has said "Thou shall not kill" what should happen to those who do it anyway? Why should man exact any punishment at all for crimes committed that are against the laws of God? Shouldn't we just let God handle it? And if so, then they need not be tried in a human court of law at all, and instead be allowed to just wait for God's justice?
I once was part of a TV crew that was interviewing a police firearms expert. He was the guy that they go to for analysis of spent ammo in order to match it with a particular weapon.

He brought out 2 very important points:
    1. Most people who own firearms have them used on them rather that used by them when a crime is perpetrated.

    2. All guns were legal at some point. This means that a lot of the guns that criminals obtain come from "law abiding citizens". Criminals do not have gun manufacturing plants.


Therefore, universal gun legislation in this country could have worked. It of course, will not work now because the "cat is out of the bag".

As far as the DP is concerned, it serves no other purpose than to satify the desires of the victim(s) and those who identify with them.

We as humans have no right to decide whether someone lives or dies... regardless of what crimes they may have committed. In addition to that, in this country, racial bias is the chief factor when determining someone's guilt or innocence... under those circumstances the DP cannot be applied fairly.
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:
It stems from the belief (which I hold) that there are crimes heinous enough that the person simply deserves to die.

I know it's a difficult situation, but letting somebody get prison when they do outrageous things is just hard for me to accept.

By the way, welcome to the board, Clare!


THANK YOU!



While I do agree with you that 'there are crimes heinous enough that the person simply deserves to die', (for example, I did think Jeffrey Dahmer deserved to die) paradoxically I don't think that the state should put someone to death in a civilized society. I can understand the relatives of the murdered person wanting to kill the murderer of their loved one but the state shouldn't be doing this - it's macabre and it makes for a brutalized society.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:

So, how do you determine which crimes fit in this category and which do not?

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Vox, please give further explanation about objectivity and the law. Sure, you can determine whether someone did something or not, but it is in the context where the act is given meaning. Doing precisely the same act could be a crime in one context, but in another could make the person a hero. It's all about understanding and interpreting context. That's all about subjectivity.


Okay, first off, let's not read my philosophies into my use of the word "objective" in this post. When I talk about "objective findings," I don't mean objective in the sense of natural morality. I believe it should be applicable, but in significant ways, it's not right now. "Objective findings" is a legal term (a medical term too, actually) that means that certain facts, if found, mean legal conclusion A or B. An example of an objective finding would be, say, premeditation. Some execution statutes provide a list of attributes from among which a jury has to find describe the particular crime. Did the act involve X? Yes or no. If no, then u can't put him to death. Did the act involve Y? And so on. There has to be a way to improve the degree to which these findings alone, coupled with an enhanced standard of proof, can remove enough of the subjectivity in these cases to get justice.

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Is a lawyer really arguing that we should intimidate defendants into bargaining away rights? Eek


I don't know if the word "intimidate" is warranted by anything I've said. Plea deals are made all the time; it, and all of the points you raise, are part of the calculus
of the administration of justice, which ultimately is the whole point. There's nothing subjective about the fact that a person who's crime deserves death can get life without parole in exchange for his cooperation in resolving the case. The fact is, life without parole is a pretty stiff sentence, especially if the defendant is young. I don't really understand the problem you have with that.

If you raped, tortured and set on fire a four year old, you're absolutely right (even though I know you're opposed to the DP), it would feel horrible making a deal with him that would help him avoid death. But depending on what else the prosecution wants, if it's important enough & useful enough in the administration of justice all around -- not just what you deserve, but what's good for the overall society, family, etc. -- then it's something to consider. I don't see why interests of objectivity even in the natural morality sense conflict with that. It sounds like your view of objectivity implies rigidity and inflexibility. No wonder you don't believe in it.
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Originally posted by MBM:
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Originally posted by EbonyRose:

An, again, my rationale FOR the death penalty is my belief in the fairness of "an eye for an eye" and my feeling that I should not have to pay for the life of a man who takes the life of another and should have to give up his life as well.


Aren't you taking this biblical inspiration out of context? Isn't one of the Ten Commandments "Thou shalt not kill"? It doesn't say thou shalt not kill - except to take an eye for an eye. It says THOU SHALT NOT KILL. Period. Furthermore, while the Bible has plenty of contradicting statements, shouldn't the Ten Commandments - one of the most holy "documents" that came directly from God - rule over other, perhaps competing, statements?



I've read that "Thou shalt not kill" is a mistranslation of the original text... that the word translated as "kill" actually had a more specific meaning implying malicious killing, more akin to murder. The word used in the original ancient Hebrew was understood by them not to include execution or war. This most likely also excludes self-defense killing, abortion, disinfecting, and killing animals. The DP apparently doesn't go against the 6th commandment as it was understood by Moses.
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Originally posted by Vox:

It sounds like your view of objectivity implies rigidity and inflexibility. No wonder you don't believe in it.


The only "rigidity" in my view comes in the opinion that objectivity is only a preponderance of people with similar subjective views. I believe that the concept of objectivity is merely a way that people attempt to support/rationalize their particular view. Frankly, it seems odd that with all of the varying peoples and cultures and worldviews etc. that you could think there could be anything "objective" about how we think or perceive the world. What is objective? That love is good? Sure, in the vast majority of instances love is good. What about the love of a 45 year old pop star for an 11 year old boy though? For every scenario that you can suggest is objectively good, for example, equal and opposite scenarios can be offered to suggest otherwise.

To be clear, I am not suggesting that there aren't views that are held by so many people that they are seen to be almost universal. My view on objectivity just suggests that there could be other views, apart from popular ones, which could be equally valid based upon a different cultural foundation, experiences and worldviews. Cannabalism is not for me, for example, but neither is country music.

As it relates to the law and the DP, you describe certain "objective findings", but fail to acknowledge that those findings are usually subject to consideration and argument and analysis etc. in their determination. Also, people like you and me sit around and determine what an "objective finding" regarding certain matters is and what is not. What is "objective" about that?
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Since life w/out parole is both a cheaper alternative than the DP


How so? last time I checked it cost "the law abiding" citizens @$60k yearly to house these bums and "attempt" to rehab those that will continue to milk the system b/c they know the current system is a joke and they always have the "its the mans fault" excuse to fall back on.

Now a .223, .30 round or other a few hundred volts of electricity is far cheaper than 60k.

catch
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Originally posted by ocatchings:

Now a .223, .30 round or other a few hundred volts of electricity is far cheaper than 60k.


Alas, Mr. Catchings, you forget about the mandatory legal appeals with their attached investigations, legal proceedings etc. It is more expensive to execute someone than to keep them alive in jail for life.
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Originally posted by Goshtoire:
Is anyone willing to stain their hands with the blood of the innocent in order to see their vengeance against real criminals?

Anyone?


Yes. George W. Bush, who as Governor of Texas proclaimed that there were no innocent prisoners on death row. And all the other like-minded "tough on crime" politicians who, despite the fact that record numbers of innocent folk are being released from prison at this time, refuse to acknowlege that the system is flawed and should be overhauled ... just to name a few more. Frown

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