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Death Penalty

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by l99999us, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. l99999us

    l99999us New Member

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    I am just wondering what everyone thinks....

    Do you feel the death penalty is ever justified? If so what types of cases and situations should it be used in? Also what safeguards are needed to insure innocent people are not put to death and how can one insure it is applied fairly to all parts of society?
     
  2. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    The death penalty is in effect in some of the states in the US, and the current safeguards include automatic appeal of all capital cases. No one is ever put to death without an automatic appeal of his or her conviction.
    That having been said, I personally believe that there are some cases in which the convict(s) should be considered for the death penalty because of the atrocity and/or cruelty used in the commission of the crime. It is costly to house inmates in prisons, and in the interest of saving taxpayer dollars the death penalty may also be effective.
    I am not claiming to be either pro or con death penalty, but I am open to the possibility of utilizing such a penalty.
    An important thing to toss out there now is the fact that the death penalty is under no circumstances a valid form of deterrence. Look at Texas, they execute more people per year than most other states... and yet their murder rate is still high by comparison.
    :twocents:
     
  3. LyricB

    LyricB New Member

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    If I remember from my forensics class, the death penalty is supposed to be used in instances when a person will never be considered fit to be among the general population.
     
  4. l99999us

    l99999us New Member

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    That is probably true. I always thought it was supposed to be for especially horrific crimes . I guess the issue is how does one make it not dependent on the type or quality of lawyer, the mood of the judge (and possibly racial issues subconsiously) etc.

    I guess for my personal opinion I think it is a dangerous example to have the state put anyonbe to death. I do think that we should do more to give dangerous criminals life in prison though (and have it actually mean life in prison).

    peace

    -Todd


     
  5. triumph

    triumph New Member

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    I think the death penalty is often justified. There are some people whose actions are so extreme and beyond acceptibility that they forfeit their right to continue living. In fact I might even go so far to say we probably do not execute enough people. We spend a ridiculous amount of money housing and feeding extreme violent offenders every year.

    I see no rehabilitation, and no societal benefit to keeping them around. It may be cold and harsh, but it does not measure up to one fraction of a percentile of the horrible things they have done.

    I don't think locking someone up in their cell until they die of natural causes is a superior moral position to take. In fact death may be the more humane solution. People have no problems putting down animals who are sick and/or dangerous. How is someone in prison for the rest of their life not sick and dangerous?
     
  6. kelkat

    kelkat New Member

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    The death penalty is a deterent to atleast one person and would be to more if they thought that it would be used. The problem is that we are too lenient as a society on criminals.
     
  7. dong

    dong New Member

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    A paradox:

    Lenient, perhaps, but not in the same way as I think you suggest, Kelkat. Sometimes the law is arbitrarily harsh (three strikes rule, for example). The problem more resembles that of inconsistent treatment due to the fact that mediating human behavior is simply...very complex.

    That the death penalty should be used for people who are considered to be unsustainable is consistent with a philosophy of socially oriented utilitarianism. It can't be a perfect measure and there are many cited cases of the death penalty being wrongfully imposed, and it seems often said that this is often influenced by discriminatory measures such as racism. Nonetheless, I do believe that as a principle, the death penalty can be necessary in the absence of any other reasonable alternative.

    In the interests of fairness, the appearance of the legal system, with its prescriptive sets of rules, however promotes the notion of morality being similarly prescriptive. IMO, this is counter-productive, and so I would think that such things as the death penalty should only be considered if one were to actively refer back to the intentional, consequentialist outlooks on morality that the legal system are inherently run by. We must remember that the laws and sentencing guidelines are just that- guidelines, and they must exist for to use a system without those would be to place unwarranted trust in the hands of the executors of justice.
     
  8. l99999us

    l99999us New Member

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    A deterrent? Can you prove this statistically? Societies without the death penalty tend to have lower murder rates. And if we used it more could you prove that no innocent people would get put to death....

    And as Triumth has pointed out the death penalty may actually be more humane. Why let criminals off so easilly instead of letting them rot behind bars.

    peace

    -Todd

     
  9. dong

    dong New Member

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    I've stopped arguing for or against and have decided to harass and nitpick everybody instead!

    And as Triumth has pointed out the death penalty may actually be more humane. Why let criminals off so easilly instead of letting them rot behind bars.

    This was most certainly the case before the convicts of Britain were sent to Africa and Australia! It was often said for the convicted that their circumstances were so desperate that it was much better to be hanged and be done with it. But that was before the 1770s.

    These days, whether one "rots" in jail is an appropriate punishment is a very good question. Prison life becomes a society out of society where in most cases one has to use all the kinds of values you're taught not to do in order to survive and maybe even prosper. It's not conducive to rehab so much as the appearance of rehab for a start.

    Statistical proof would require a multivariate study of several societies before and after death penalty was passed. The causation should not be confused here- as it may have been used as an attempt to deter higher crime rates. Either way, this could be an indication of its ineffectiveness, as I suspect that not many people who perpetrate a crime and would be classified rehabilitable would be considering the possible consequences of their actions.
     
  10. l99999us

    l99999us New Member

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    You are correct on prisons being brutal places. I am almost in favor of abolishing them completly but i really do not see an alternative. i think the main problem is when 1st time offenders are locked up (often for non-violent offences) and all it teaches them is to become more dangerous criminals. We have to do a lot more for rehabilitation in my opinion.

    As for my post i did not mean to imply I support the mistreatment of prisoners or anything like that only it may be better to just let hardcore prisoners remain in prison rather then be executed. In any case I do not see much of a correlation between the death penalty and crime rates. mjany US states and a good number of nations have abolished the death penalty and it has hardly caused a massive jump in crime.

    Plus I do think their is always going to be the risk of innocent people executed as well as the fact the death penality tends to go to the people with bad lawyers not necessarilly most deserving

    :twocents:

    peace

    -Todd
     
  11. dong

    dong New Member

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    The risk of wrongful conviction is ever-present, just as about 40% of initial hospital diagnoses by doctors are incorrect (30% being minor and 10% being catastrophic, according to coroner reports) and basically error is everywhere. I wonder what the actual rate of wrongful conviction is. That this error is present and the death penalty is the most irreversible of punishments I see is a possibly compelling reason for opposing it as a general rule.

    But you're right. A good question to ask is what do we think the death penalty should be used for anyway? In SE Asia, drug trafficking is punishable by death, and quite a few Australians have gone before the firing squad for this.

    I also think that it is not proper to discuss the death penalty without putting the spotlight on all parts of the legal system.
     
  12. Word2Action

    Word2Action New Member

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    Whoa, I didn't think the numbers for such stats would be that high. I think thats something that I would rather not have known for piece of mind but it will be on my mind whenever I go to the doctors from now on.
     
  13. dong

    dong New Member

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    lol, don't worry. The human body is remarkably resilient and that was only for hospital cases. And if you think you're worried, just how worried do you think the doctors can get?

    My point being that if the rate of initial misdiagnosis (which is usually then amended in later differential stages, so that figure is not as worrying as you think) is so freakin' high, then what kind of rates would the criminal justic system possibly have, when it is essentially running on the same modes of analysis? I don't think it'd be a figure that any institution would be proud of, truth be told.
     
  14. triumph

    triumph New Member

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    I am aware there is an issue with wrongful convictions. I am not saying the system is perfect, nor do I desire the execution of innocent people, that being said, I still support the death penalty.
     
  15. hokeshel

    hokeshel New Member

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    I have never been able to quite figure this one out. I am leaning about 60/40 in favor of it. I also have concerns about the determining factors considered when sentencing execution. If I were to ever fully believe in it, there are a lot more people I would want to see executed because their crimes are so heinous.
     
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