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For or against the Death Penalty?
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Are you for or against the death penalty?
in favor
52%
 52%  [ 23 ]
Opposed
34%
 34%  [ 15 ]
Undecided
13%
 13%  [ 6 ]
Total Votes : 44

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Ben Tex
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:44 pm    Post subject: Re: really Reply with quote

Bobaloo wrote:
I don't see any where you're struggling to attain freedom since it came to you with birth, at the expense of those who came long before you.


I agree. And we should be ever thankful to those people that paid the ultimate price.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Favor but only for those who commit murder, 'An eye for an eye' and all that.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In our current legal systems, and the inconsistency applied through race, class, social standing, income, gender, sexuality, location, etc. etc., I disagree with capital punishment. Far too many convicted criminals face vastly different punishments for the same crime, based on factors outside of their control. Perhaps if we lived in a different political and justice climate, I would feel differently.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:46 pm    Post subject: yes yes yes Reply with quote

Yes, I'm sure they paid the "ultimate" price so that the people who vote in polls don't even decide who wins the election, politicians can win by finding ways to make votes not count that would have changed who won. And struggle for POLITICAL EQUALITY I hate they way democracy has been ruined in the US and think we need a more radical approach to destroy corruption (Lenin had a good approach before Stalin took power and messed it up).
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ClunkClunk wrote:
In our current legal systems, and the inconsistency applied through race, class, social standing, income, gender, sexuality, location, etc. etc., I disagree with capital punishment. Far too many convicted criminals face vastly different punishments for the same crime, based on factors outside of their control. Perhaps if we lived in a different political and justice climate, I would feel differently.


Well said. I also think it's scary how our justice system is becoming more and more politicized. The political and justice climate are almost one in the same.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But, surely in killing the convicted person the government are condemning murder themselves, despite the convicted person being convicted for the same offence...it makes little sense. And according to that law, surely then the person who just killed the murderer becomes a murderer and therefore must be killed by another murderer...etc
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dungeon92
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:38 pm    Post subject: muck it all up then Reply with quote

dirtychinchilla wrote:
But, surely in killing the convicted person the government are condemning murder themselves, despite the convicted person being convicted for the same offence...it makes little sense. And according to that law, surely then the person who just killed the murderer becomes a murderer and therefore must be killed by another murderer...etc

See this kind of thinking destroys the idea of the justice in the matter, so then to through in my words to make it all seems wrong: everyone who had to kill in war should be convicted of murder.
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jazzman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right, let's stir it up a bit.
I'm a native of a country that has abolished it but can remember the last hangings, and I live in a country where a death sentence is easier to get than a cup of tea. And Mexico is wanting to reestablish it.

I'm against it, but maybe not for the same reasons as argued by US abolitionists; and because IT is essentially Americo-centric, the OP and many contributors to this thread might be forgetting that there is more to the death penalty than the vast USA, the last remaining of the developed Western countries to practice it.

Around 60 countries still practice capital punishment. Most are developing countries or banana republics where life is 'cheap', or devout Buddhist countries where there is, per se, no fear of death. In Latin America, however, most states have completely abolished it. Singapore, Japan and the U.S. are the only fully developed countries that have retained the death penalty. Globally, the USA has one of the highest annual rates of executions per capita.

The UK was not exactly a pioneer of condemning the death penalty. In the 19th century there were over 200 crimes (the highest number in the world) that carried the death penalty and it was abolished for children over 7 only 40 years before I was born. Although the last execution was in 1964 it remained on the statute books for some crimes to be finally abolished in 1998. The EU prohibits the death penalty under all circumstance and member countries cannot legislate to restore it. Albert Pierrepoint the UK official hangman, executed over 400 people, including the 200 or so Nazi war criminals in Germany, but (abolitionists will love this) ironically he later became a fierce opponent of the death penalty. He wrote in his autobiography:
" All the men and women whom I have faced at that final moment convince me that in what I have done I have not prevented a single murder. And if death does not work to deter one person, it should not be held to deter any ... capital punishment, in my view, achieved nothing except revenge."

Maybe miscarriages of justice, or the danger of them, influenced his decision:
He hung Timothy Evans, an educationally sub-normal father who was found guilty of murdering his daughter in 1950. Evans was innocent - the killing had been carried out by his landlord, the serial killer John Christie, who Pierrepoint also hanged.

He also had to hang poor Derek Bentley, aged 19, who had a mental age of 11 was hanged in 1953.for the killing a policeman. The gun was actually held by his accomplice, who at 16 was too young to face the gallows. Bentley was later given a posthumous pardon.

Islam accepts capital punishment:
Quran 6:151: Take not life, which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law. Thus does He command you, so that you may learn wisdom
- And of course they are keen to exercise it, in very broad interpretations as is everything under Islamic Law: a Muslim can be sentenced to death for conversion to Christianity. But others point out that the Quran says, "Let there be no compulsion in religion."

In Iran hanging by being hoisted by a hydraulic crane - a slow strangulation - on the back of a truck in the market place is commonplace for a variety of crimes, including shoplifting, and especially for infringements against morality by women; even having been raped can be enough for a young girl to be condemned. In Iran the age of criminal responsibility for males is 15 - for females it is 9. And the execution of young children is commonplace.
Women are frequently stoned to death for infidelity, even after having been abandoned by their husbands, while polygamy for men is tolerated or even permitted. The Al-Azhar University the world's leading Islamic learning centre rejected the 2005 Geneva moratorium on the death penalty.

Christianity:
The Scriptures are equally contradictory on the subject of capital punishment: Genesis 9 states, "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man." Jesus says, however: "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also…"
But he did not revoke the old laws, in Matthew 5:17-48 h he explicitly stated that he had not come to abolish the Old Testament law itself.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church recognizes that "the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty.” but since the Second Vatican Council, it has demonstrated an extremely cautious attitude towards capital punishment as it is practiced in most modern nations, not definitely excluding it but placing a lot of heavy restrictions on it. In a letter to the American bishops Ratzinger, now Pope, clarified that the death punishment is legitimate - so proponents will love that one.

Most major world religions are notoriously ambiguous in their stance on the death penalty and it is always possible for activists to extract texts that support their arguments, whether for or against.

USA:
On the practical side, although the death penalty could be a significant deterrent, in Dungeon's world of guns for all and all for guns, with the highest rate of homicide in the western world, it is obviously not; and the argument that it saves tax payers' money vis à vis a life sentence, is a thin one, since it burdens the justice system with lengthy appeals, and criminals are often punished twice: once with years in death row, and then with final execution.
There are frequent proven miscarriages of justice; it could be argued that American juries are notoriously subjective in their verdicts, and are discriminatory because most of those executed are black and poor. To the outside observer, it appears that in the US circumstantial evidence is admissible. Outside America this weighs heavily on public opinion of the US. This, and the almost unique (1) constitutional permission for everyone to own a gun, and its controversial record in Human Rights, are among the major hurdles for the USA gaining full recognition for all the good that it wants to be seen as doing in the world, and being accepted as the 'world leader' which it (or its politicians) claim it to be.

In Thailand, one of the world's most devout Buddhist communities, where religious teaching theoretically condemns the killing of anything, daily practice is very much in conflict with this doctrine. The possession of drugs - even small quantities - can carry the death penalty although this is generally commuted to life imprisonment, however, The Thaksin drug clean-up campaign of 2003 gave hundreds of policemen their first opportunity to use their service revolvers at real live targets with impunity. Several thousand extra judicial killings ensued. One couple from north-eastern Thailand were shot dead after coming into unexplained wealth and being added to a black list. They were, in fact, lottery winners.The international community raised objections over the killings, which they say have cast a shadow over Thailand's relatively favourable human rights record. The issues quickly lost news value.
After an eight-year suspension executions were brought back in 1995 for for homicide and drug traffic (however mild). Plea bargaining will get the death sentence commuted to a full 25-year jail sentence, and as an act of clemency, pregnant women can’t be executed until their child is born. The last execution in Thailand was in 2003. There are about 950 prisoners on death row in Thailand, most for drug offenses. Thailand's new prime minister has pledged to continue his nation's shameful quest to maintain the most brutally evil drug policy in the world - even if another "4,000 have to die." Funnily enough, Bangkok at night is far, far safer than Bermondsey, Brum, Berlin, Bordeaux, or the Brox.

If anyone can prove to me without a shadow of a doubt that the death sentence works as an efficient crime deterrent, and ththat there is absolutely no chance of a miscarriage of justice, I might change my mind. I still think that a very long prison sentence is a more severe punishment, but the penitentiary system need a total re-think, and at present there don't appear to be any solutions. The UK currently has the highest prison population per capita (by a factor of almost 2) in Europe.

(1) Gun ownership in Japan is not illegal, however the restrictions are such that one could easily arrive at that conclusion.

Further reading:

1. Hanging in the Balance
1997 Block & Hostettler. 288 pp. ISBN 1872870473, 9781872870472

or free online at Google Books

2. Buddhist Ethics and Death Penalty
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Last edited by jazzman on Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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Aquafire
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jazzman wrote:

If anyone can prove to me without a shadow of a doubt that the death sentence works as an efficient crime deterrent, and that there is absolutely no chance of a miscarriage of justice, I might change my mind.


Jazzman.

The first part can be argued easily, in that no person once hanged has ever come back to commit a crime. So in that literal sense, hanging certainly puts an end that that persons criminal activity. ( This is the same argument jokingly used by surgeons...who walk into a morgue and ask ..."Hands up anyone who thinks I've botched their operation ? " )

In respect to the second aspect, allow me to play the Devils Advocate.

First point.

No one said that our law system is perfect.

It is true that many people have been executed for crimes that they did not commit. That said, statistically the indesputable & irrevocable fact is that almost all those on death row, were properly convicted on the evidence and through due process of law.

Second point.

In the absence of Capital Punishment.

What shall we do with all those lawfully convicted of such crimes?

As it is, our prisons are overflowing to breaking point.

So, shall we fill the Thames again with prison ships ?

Shall Londons' 'genteel' dockside society happilly sit down to Gin & tonic, accompanied to the sounds of wailing and screaming..?

?

?

?

Perhaps we should only hang those that the system decides have no chance of being redeemed ?

Like those who are classified as 'criminally insane'..

But then....we don''t hang the criminally insane...or do we..?

And who shall feed them & clothe them ?

Shall we put our trust in private enterprise? Or shall we go for the government run Gulag / Stalag / 'Re-Education' / Work Camp System ?

And given that enormous cost & overcrowding : In order to give ourselves some breathing space...

Shall we let out 'lesser criminals' such as pedophiles, rapists, arsonists, bullies and other antisocial thugs who have committed GBH crimes.

Or shall we deal with these 'lesser criminals' as some countries do...by lop a hand off or maybe lop two hands off, or maybe cut out their tongues, or burn their eyes out with hot pokers, or leave them tortured and crippled as a sign to others of their sinfulness.

Just some thoughts to ponder, while I await my cup of tea.Wink

Aqua
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jazzman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aquafire wrote:

Sorry for being a 'Devil's Advocate'...

No need to apologise. See? Neither of us has the answers.

I sometimes see a solution, probably cribbed from some sci-fi book I read as a kid, where all those proven, beyond any doubt whatsoever, guilty of homicide with calculated and horrible intent, should be dropped into a self governed penal colony, something on the lines of The Prisoner where they can happily repent or use their savage disposition to kill each other off. Sustenance of a basic kind could be chucked at them from an airplane, until they can grow or breed thier own, but apart from that, no other support or medical aid.

I might also include in this bunch the already super-wealthy industry magnates and corrupt politicians who have robbed their people, companies, and countries through highly intellectual white-collar crime. That would give the colony a balance of brains and brawn for survival.

Modern satellite photography can pick out the price on a postage stamp from 200 miles up, so with just a bit of casual surveillance, maybe some survivors could be picked out for parole after 20 or 30 years.

The main differences between this and the Gulags is that the Gulags were full of innocent people, their only crime having been at home when the quota purges were made in their street. And that my colony would have no jailers to torture the inmates or force them to work as slaves. They would be able to do enough harm to each other.

On reform of the penitentiary system for (slightly) lesser criminals, I have another theory - but that's off topic here.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_recent_executions_by_jurisdiction
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Aquafire
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jazzman wrote:


I sometimes see a solution, probably cribbed from some sci-fi book I read as a kid, where all those proven, beyond any doubt whatsoever, guilty of homicide with calculated and horrible intent, should be dropped into a self governed penal colony, something on the lines of The Prisoner where they can happily repent or use their savage disposition to kill each other off. Sustenance of a basic kind could be chucked at them from an airplane, until they can grow or breed thier own, but apart from that, no other support or medical aid.


This was the theme of several Sci Fi films..

No Escape,

Terminal Island.

Battle Royale.

Death Race.

Escape from New York...etc etc etc.

.
.
.

From my POV, they all have their genesis in H G Wells...

The island of Dr Moreau..

(The beast folk being of course, sub human prisoners)

Aqua
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lumberjack
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In favour on a sliding scale...


stuck in a room and made to listen to Barry M, for watering the garden in a draught

torn apart by dogs for bad parking

hanging for murder

slow hanging for multiple murders

flogging and pardon for murder of a bad politician.
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lumberjack
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh forgot....

thanks for murder of a lawyer
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lumberjack
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh by the way,

the one about listening to Barry M was sarcasm. You would not wish that on anyone.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:16 pm    Post subject: Re: For or against the Death Penalty? Reply with quote

aprilfools1993 wrote:
What is your opinion of the death penalty?

It's easy to be detached and rational when its somebody else's family member that's been murdered. I think my opinion would be fairly unequivocal if it was a member of my family who had been permanently erased.
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