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Death penalty discussion

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Federal Farmer, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer New Member

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    Given the recent SCOTUS decision concerning the overturning of Louisiana's death penalty for child rape, I was hoping that one or more of the members of the Left, or even on the Right, could explain the rationale for NOT executing someone who commits such a heinous crime. I want to be clear here, I am NOT talking about cases where the evidence is even remotely sketchy, I'm only talking about cases where there is no doubt in anyones mind as to whether or not the perpetrator did in fact commit the crime.

    I look forward to reading your responses, thank you in advance.
     
  2. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    I think that taking someones life , for something that while sick and twisted at all levels, is viewed by the court as to much for the crime. After all really the majority of People, even in Death Penalty States who are convicted of Murder, don't even get the Death Penalty.

    Also you bring up the point about if the evidence is Sketchy vs not...Thats not a point the COurts rule on. Fact is, if you Rule to Convict and give the Death penalty you should be just as sure as if you give them Life, or even 25 years. that said the court system does not punish someone more based on the quality of the case in proving they did it. Its not like, if you are 100% you get X, if you are 99% sure you get less...if you are 98% sure its even less.
     
  3. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    I dont have an issue with the death penalty as much as the way it is sometimes handled. I am one who thinks that if it is used, it should be applied more frequently and consistently. That is the only way the death penalty becomes an effective deterent.
    If you arent willing to have it be that way, then get rid of it entirely.

    Personally I find child rape, molestation, well any physical or sexual harm to children deplorable and would think more than a few would be best served as no longer a burden on society.
     
  4. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer New Member

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    OK, perhaps I should have been a bit more clear. I'm not interested in what the Courts think about it, they are guided by the law, and must work within those guidelines. What I'm looking for is what YOU, the people think about it since ultimately, if you're sitting on a jury, and you have to hand down a sentence, you may very well have to make the choice between sentencing someone to be executed, or sentenced to life in prison, depending on the weight of the evidence presented before you in court.

    As for the Courts recent decision re: executing a child rapist, I cannot understand how they can use the "cruel and unusual punishment" logic when, until the mid 20th century (from our founding until right before WWII), executing a rapist of any description was quite common, which IMNSHO is why it happened so rarely.
     
  5. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer New Member

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    Late Edit.

    For example;

    During the Civil War, and in accordance with various general orders, ANY soldier convicted of rape (Union or Confederacy) were executed. According to THIS source, outside of the military, from 1800 until 1964, 924 men have been executed for the offense of rape/attempted rape alone (not including cases of rape/murder) in the United States, of which 487 were hanged, 458 were electrocuted, 1 was shot, and 58 went to the gas chamber, with the last being in 1964 in Mississippi. If we go back even further, according to THIS source, since 1626 there have been 1045 executions for rape/attempted rape, again, discounting those of Soldiers during the Civil War.

    Given the number of executions, since before the founding of our nation, and the methods used in those executions, I find it very hard to square with anyones use of the "cruel and unusual" argument in opposition to execution for rape/attempted rape. The number of executions themselves precludes the "unusual" argument, and considering that hanging, electrocution, shooting, and gas have all been used, that precludes the "cruel" aspect as well.
     
  6. Libsmasher

    Libsmasher New Member

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    The USSC decision was decided on the concept of "proportion", ie, the penalty was "disproportionate to the crime". Such a notion is to be found nowhere in the constitution, and this sort of decision has the USSC acting invalidly as a legislature. Reasonable arguments for or against this policy can surely be offered, but the decision is certainly something for the people through their elected representatives.

    The continued usurpations of the USSC is yet another thing that I wonder if anyone in the country notices but me. The reform of the USSC is at least 50 years overdue.
     
  7. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    I tend to be very conservative but on this issue I differ from many other conservatives.

    If we could judge and practice the death penalty perfectly I would have no objection.

    In your question you have assumed that the person is guilty without a doubt so the concern about a pefect judgement is irrelevant here. that still leaves the question about wheter or not we can practice it perfectly or at least perfectly enough that we could generally call it fair.

    I doubt we are currently practicing it fairly but I also think with a little bit of improvement we could.

    When it comes to child rape laws we know that they are almost always created just to make lawmakers look good. Child rapists may deserve the death penalty but our lawmakers should at least dedide this question on the merits of the question and not because they don't want to be smeared as the legislator who was soft on child rapists.
     
  8. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    See, when people start talking about "perfectly" and "fairly", that in my book is just a cop-out and justification for inaction. We can't perfectly deal out speeding tickets. That's totally unfair. We should do away with all speeding tickets. We can't perfectly meet out rape charges, that's not fair, we should do away with all of them.

    Nothing is fair or perfect this side of heaven. I would rather error on the side of trying, than give up. I think that multiple-time convicted murders is a crime itself. It means we caught a murdered, convicted a murder, sentenced a murdered, and yet he was able to murder again. That innocents blood is on our head. We had him, and allowed him, by virtue of our inability to deal justice, the chance to murder again.

    If we eliminated penalties based on 'fairness' or 'perfect justice', there wouldn't be any laws at all. Total anarchy would be the only perfect and fair system.
     
  9. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    Well History has shown that just becuse the court agreeed before, does not mean it agrees now. The Court also said Slavery was legal at one point and woman could not vote....As for the Legal reasons, I would suggest read the document itself from the court, as I have not , I can only guess at what it was based on.

    Personaly, I could not be on a Jury for a death penalty case, as a requirment to be on that jury is to be willing to use that option, and I am not. It has nothing to do with some Moral issue with killing a criminal. Give me a gun and a child rapist, I would shoot them myself. My issue comes from the fairness of the system. I dont belive that the current system does a good job at making sure those who are jailed are guilty, or that the sentincing phases is done fairly based on Gender, Sex, Race, Income. And just to stop someone from faoming at the mouth, I do not mean that blacks get the Death Penalty more then whites or that type of racism...Studies I have seen showed that if you kill a white vs a black person, regardless of your race, you are more likey to get the Death Penalty if you kill a white.

    You give me a fair system that I believe in, and I would have a lot of people executed, Child rapist, Murders, and more.
     
  10. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer New Member

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    Rest assured, you are FAR from being the only one. I've been saying for decades that it's LONG past time that at least one, if, in some cases, most, of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States were impeached, unbenched, disbarred, charged, tried, convicted, and EXECUTED, for failing to "...hold their Offices during good Behaviour,..." and TREASON.

    Anyone who is even remotely familiar with the "Debates in the Federal Convention", the Constitution, the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers knows exactly and precisely what the FF's meant when they wrote the Constitution, and how it's possible that the good Justices could possibly come to anything other than a 9-0 affirmation of the Right of We The People to "...keep and bear arms..." I will NEVER know. It is equally befuddling to me how they could conclude that it is in ANY way improper for a State to execute a child rapist, or that the conspiracy to commit the premeditated murder of an unborn child is somehow a "privacy right". This is proof positive that those particular Justices not only haven't read and comprehended ANY of the salient documents in question, but that they're INTENTIONALLY engaging in the willful subversion of their Oaths of office!:mad:
     
  11. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    Why is it simply because you don't agree that it must be some willful political act?

    Also what was in the Federalist and anti Federalist papers may say what some meant,...but its the Constitution and other cases have been judged that matters. You can't win a case in court just by pointing out what the Federalist papers said, as they are not legal binding documents.
     
  12. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer New Member

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    You are correct, I am specifically referring to those whose guilt is NOT in question.

    Given that the individuals in question are, in fact, guilty of the crime of which they are charged, in what way do you see the application of the death penalty as being "imperfect" or "unfair"?

    Your notation concerning having to have a specific law for child rapists is noted, however we must remember that the only reason such laws were thought necessary was because the Communists managed to have the crime of rape disqualified as being eligible for the death penalty in the first place.

    Frankly, I believe that rapists should be executed, publicly, and in the most "cruel and unusual" way possible, preferably by having them slowly lowered onto a 6' long, red hot rod, and impaled on it until the rod is firmly implanted in their cranium! At that point, their bodies should be left in the public place of execution until they rot away, as a "dignified burial" is too good for anyone who would commit such a heinous crime, and as a VERY public warning to anyone who would consider doing such a thing.
     
  13. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    What makes you think that a child rapist actually sits and things about things to the point that they would do it if they got life in jail, but would not if they where killed? The Death Penalty as a Deterrent is a joke in my view as it puts rational thought on to actions that are never Rational to start with. It may be a just Punishment, but its not going to stop the crime.

    And again, talking about it as if the case was 100% and there was no question is worthless as Dagree of how sure you are has nothing to do with Sentencing. Also it would reflect very few actul cases that would ever make it to court.
     
  14. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer New Member

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    OK, fine, then please present your proposal for a "fair" system, as I'm sure that we would all be interested in seeing it. SERIOUSLY! I'm not trying to provoke you, or poke fun at you, if you have a BETTER system, I would dearly LOVE to hear about it. I despise the fallicy of Argumentum ad antiquitatem, since just because that's the way it's always been done that way doesn't answer the question of SHOULD it be done that way. At the same time however, I don't believe in the fallicy of Argumentum ad misericordiam either since that prohibits punishing the guilty on the off chance that we may punish an innocent by mistake.

    Again, let me be clear, for the purposes of this discussion, I'm only interested in discussing situations where the guilt of the perpetrator is NOT in question.
     
  15. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer New Member

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    When it comes to SCOTUS, these are allegedly the most Constitutionally astute minds in the country, yet time and time again those on the liberal side of the court completely, and yes, willfully, disregard the very clear verbiage of that very document and insert their own POLITICAL beliefs into their deliberations.

    I see a bit of a history lesson is in order here (no offense intended :)). The Federalist and Anti-Federalist were written AFTER the Constitution was written as a discussion of it, and whether or not is should be adopted by the 13 colonies (it was the Anti-Federalists that got us the Bill of Rights), and as such, they are routinely reviewed just as the Debates of the Federal Convention are reviewed to shed light on the original meaning of the FF's in their choice of specific verbiage in the text of the Constitution. In the recent Heller case for example, literally hundreds of excerpts from the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers were introduced in the Amicus Curiae briefs.
     
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