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Death Penalty: For or Against

Death Penalty: For or Against

  • For

    Votes: 40 57.1%
  • Against

    Votes: 30 42.9%

  • Total voters
    70

LiberalFINGER

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That wich sparked the question:

PacRidge: My background is in law enforcement, 16 plus years as a parole officer, so I have somes thoughts on the issue. Some people can't be rehabilitated, IMHO. But our system is set up so that it's almost impossible to retain them in the system forever. So if you're not at least trying you're probably doing a dis-service to society. Sexual offenders are the worst, again IMHO, I believe their behavior is more "hard wired" then maybe some other types of offenders. I worked an SO unit for 8 years and I'm convinced there's just no "cure" in sight for the majority of sexual offenders. I'm not sure I'm interested in helping the criminals but I am interesting in helping society- you can't do one without the other.

This, in large, is why I'm not a big fan of the death penelty. All research shows that it doesn't do anything to deter violent crime and most research shows it leads to increased to crime rates. I tend to favor an absolute no release for captial cases. Plus I tend to like the ten commandants esp. the thou shall not kill one.
 

Schweddy

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I am for the death penalty.
 

Schweddy

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I believe that the justice system can and should condem to death criminals that have been judged by thier peers.

Edit: And only upon the advice of the jury.
 

Pacridge

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vauge said:
I believe that the justice system can and should condem to death criminals that have been judged by thier peers.

Edit: And only upon the advice of the jury.
I would agree with this if there wasn't such clear evidence that the end result is really negitive on society.
 

Schweddy

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Welcome to Debate Politics brianf.

:wcm
 

Pacridge

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bryanf said:
What clear evidence do you have to show that capital punishment has a negative effect on society?
To begin with there's the fact that it doesn't deter violent crime but instead seem to have the opposite effect:

The two states with the most executions in 2003, Texas (24) and Oklahoma (14) saw increases in their murder rates from 2002 to 2003. Both states had murder rates above the national average in 2003: Texas - 6.4, and Oklahoma - 5.9. The top 13 states in terms of murder rates were all death penalty states.

The gap between the cumulative murder rates of death penalty and non-death penalty states actually widened in 2003, from 36% in 2002 to 44% in 2003. The murder rate of the death penalty states increased from 2002, while the rate in non-death penalty states decreased.

The same study shows that right after a state carries out an execution there is a spike in violent crime.

Then there's the cost. On average it cost about 8 times more to complete an execution as it does to simply lock someone up for the remainder of their life.

These stats are complied by the Dept. of Justice and the FBI and are available on-line at a number of sites. I got them from here:

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/

But you can find the same info else where. I would suggest going to Google.com and entering "death penalty crime stats" You get a long list of sites.
 

bryanf

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Thanks. That helps quite a bit. I have done some research following of my own as well.

I will concede the cost argument to you. I found similar evidence to what you presented, and have to agree with you.

However, in regards to its impact on society, I think that it would be more accurate to contrast the evidence over the last couple of years that you provided (but which held no significant change in capital punishment policy) with the evidence showing the trend after a major shift in capital punishment policy.

During the temporary suspension on capital punishment from 1972-1976, researchers gathered murder statistics across the country. In 1960, there were 56 executions in the USA and 9,140 murders. By 1964, when there were only 15 executions, the number of murders had risen to 9,250. In 1969, there were no executions and 14,590 murders, and 1975, after six more years without executions, 20,510 murders occurred rising to 23,040 in 1980 after only two executions since 1976. In summary, between 1965 and 1980, the number of annual murders in the United States skyrocketed from 9,960 to 23,040, a 131 percent increase. The murder rate -- homicides per 100,000 persons -- doubled from 5.1 to 10.2. So the number of murders grew as the number of executions shrank.

Dudley Sharp of the criminal-justice reform group Justice For All:
"From 1995 to 2000, executions averaged 71 per year, a 21,000 percent increase over the 1966-1980 period. The murder rate dropped from a high of 10.2 (per 100,000) in 1980 to 5.7 in 1999 -- a 44 percent reduction. The murder rate is now at its lowest level since 1966. "
 

Pacridge

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I must confess I'm not familiar with the criminal-justice reform group "Justice For All." So I really can't comment on their research. I have followed the FBI and Justice Dept. Stat's over the years and they're pretty clear in regards to an increase in both violent crime and murder rates when executions are carried out.
 

bryanf

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Check out this DOJ webpage: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/tables/totalstab.htm

Here you will find the department of justice data that showed a rising trend of homicide as the judicial policy of our country trended away from capital punishment (indluding an initial peak of homicide activity during the four year moratorium on executions), and then a rapid decline after the reinstatement of the federal death penalty in 1995. This trend illustrates the point that I am trying to show.
 

Pacridge

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If what you're saying is true and there isn't some other external reason for the murder rate adjustments it still doesn't answer the basic question why do states that don't have the death penalty have lower voilent crime rates and murder rates? If capital punishment is a deterant to crime then states with the death penalty should have lower crime rates. And states that regularly carry out executions should have yet even lower crime rates. Yet the opposite is true. As this site shows:



http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=12&did=168
 

bryanf

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I'm not finding evidence of any major shifts in policy (other than the reinstatement of the federal death penatly) that would impact show how the policy impacts the issue. With the exception of Iowa, none of the states that do not use the death penalty have executed people since the 1950s (Iowa's last execution was in 1962). Obviously, there have to be other factors to the crime rates, but as far as the impact that capital punishment policy has, the trends indicate that it causes an overall reduction in violent crime.

Using the link that you provided, a comparison of the two charts entitled "Murder Rates in Death Penalty and Non-Death Penalty States" and "Executions by year 1990-2000" shows what I think to be a generally strong correlation between an increase in executions and a decrease in homicide.

Also, I checked the stats on that same webpage that show the calculations (by year), and up until 2002, Ohio (one of the death penalty states-and my home) was actually lower than the average for the non-death penalty states.
 
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Pacridge

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Go back and look at the two charts that show the difference between murder rates in death penalty states and non-death penalty states. There the two charts right in the middle of the page. You'll notice that every year the gap between the two rises. It starts out in 1990 with a difference of 4% and steadyly increases every year, by 2003 there are 44% more murders in states with the death penalty then those without. In everyone of those years there were more executions. Again if executions were a deterant, then those numbers should decrease, not increase.

And what does it mean that "Ohio which has the death penalty was actually lower than the average for the non-death penalty states?" Did you know that Bill Gates and I have an "average" net worth of about 39 billion dollars?
 
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LiberalFINGER

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There has to be other factors involved. I beleive that it would be foolish to beleive that a single factor could cause the increase or decrease of violent crimes.

The death penalty is reserved for the most extreme cases of violent crimes. We do not execute muggers or convenient store robbers. These crimes are violent, but they do not warrant the death penalty.

We need to explore what other factors may or may not contribute to these stats.
 

Fantasea

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Given the rise in verdict reversals as a result of newly developed DNA testing,

The unevenness in the availabllity of well qualified defense counsel, which shifts the odds against the 'downtrodden',

The biases which cannot be kept out of juries,

The lack of evenhandedness in sentencing,

The lingering on death row for an average of more than ten years,

The finality of the punishment, which can't be reversed if an error is later discovered,

I believe that the better alternative is a sentence of life, without the possibility of parole.

When the cost factor, as mentioned in a prior post, is considered, then the economics further sway my decision.
 

Kevin Johnson

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Personally, I'm all for it. I couldn't care less if it's a deterrent, it's primarily a PUNISHMENT. And it is a little bit of a deterrent because nobody can show a single case where an executed murderer committed any more murders.

As far as the "Thou Shalt Not Kill" commandment, the actual wording is "Thou Shalt Not MURDER". It completely changes the context and meaning of the commandment. Capital punishment is not murder, and the bible is unerringly pro-capital punishment. So follow the Ten Commandments but don't confuse them with an anti-death penalty stance. :D

If you commit premeditated murder, you deserve to die. Not as a deterrent to others, but as punishment for you and justice for the person you killed.
 

Jack Dawson

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Could not agree more - Libs kill babies protest death penalty

makes no sense what so ever. It IS a punishiment. Kevin it is also a deterent. I have never seen one executed criminal EVER murder, rape or rob another person that to me = deterent
 

Kevin Johnson

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Fantasea said:
Sounds more like revenge.
Call it what you want. I suppose you could call a prison sentence revenge for any violation of the law as well, but I only see you doing that for capital punishment.

It's a punishment for a crime. That's all.
 

Mr.America

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I'm for the death penalty (I acctually believe that we should not only give the death penalty to murderers, but to rapeists and child molesters).
 

Fantasea

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My problem with capital punishment has three parts:
1. Its finality,
2. The fallibility of the system at every point.
3. The economics

In this day of high tech, we see frequent situations in which a person convicted of a crime is found to be innocent years after being sentenced. This would be of little consolation to a person executed for a crime he didn't commit.

I read somewhere that the average cost to execute a person, when all of the related expenses such as maximum security, legal fees and expenses for appeals, and a host of things related to capital situations, approaches a million dollars.

All things considered, life sentences, preferably at hard labor, without the possibility of parole would be my preference.

Then, too, executions remind me of barbaric vengeance. As long as the convicted 'perp' is put away for the rest of his life and never to be seen again, what's the difference to society whether he's alive or dead?
 

heyjoeo

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HA! I see a fatal flaw in the republican argument. Here's your basic thought process of a republican....

Hello! I'm a republican! Personally, I think abortion is murder! ITS WRONG! You can't just kill the poor kids thats unethical! Hey look, its a criminal! Kill the sonofabitch! Fry his bloody brains out! BWHARHARHAR!

How in the hell, vague, mr. america, etc. can you be for the death penalty and against abortion?! Do not say "oh well the criminal has done crimes against humanity and must be stopped." Thats stupid. Murder is murder. If you believe the child is a human being and killing it would be wrong, you should be against capital punishment.

Now I'll tell you where I stand, I like capital punishment. I have no problem with it whatsoever. Kill the sonsofabitches, they probably deserve it. Plus, our jails are overcrowed (see marijuana possession charges) so I guess if we are going to continuously jail people for stupid things like pot, we better clear out more space in our prisons.

I'd also like to see the figures of housing a criminal for life in prison vs. the amount of money it took to execute him. I would guess the execution is cheaper. Easily. (Think about it, life in prison from age 21, in prison for over 50+ years? Food, etc, thats a shit load!)

Man right when I read your stance vague, I was so all over that :p
 

JDaly1978

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Don't mean to impede on your discusion, however I'd like to give my two cents.

How in the hell, vague, mr. america, etc. can you be for the death penalty and against abortion?! Do not say "oh well the criminal has done crimes against humanity and must be stopped." Thats stupid. Murder is murder. If you believe the child is a human being and killing it would be wrong, you should be against capital punishment.>>>

You are going to put a criminal on the same level as an unborn child? Whoa. :eek:
 

heyjoeo

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You know, and I saw that argument coming. Murder is murder. If you personally believe an unborn child is a life, and its wrong to murder that life, it should be wrong to you personally that capital punishment is wrong also.
 
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