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On the death penalty

Superfly

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This is kind of a double-edged question that I am asking. First of all, truly do you feel that the death penalty is used as a deterrent? Or do you feel like, in some cases, the death penalty is used more freely as a end to prison overcrowding?

Now, considering that == Would you be willing to give up a strong stance on drug enforcement, if it mean doing away with capital punishment? It seems that part of the problem with prison overcrowding is antiquated drug laws. If the drug laws were repealed, that would free up a lot of space in the prison system for the lifers.

Just wondering about others opinions, as a friend and I were discussing this earlier tonight and I'd never really equated capital punishment as a remedy for prison overcrowding.
 

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I don't see these issues as related. The death penalty should be there to be used in cases where a crime is so great and/or the risk that a criminal poses to society is so great that it is warranted to execute him/her. It should be used sparingly, but it should be an option.
As for prison overcrowding, I personally believe that custodial sentences should only be used for people who commit violent offenses, for serial offenders and in a limited number of cases where other punishments are not sufficient. In as many cases as possible, people who commit a crime should be punished by the imposition of heavy fines.
 

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This is kind of a double-edged question that I am asking. First of all, truly do you feel that the death penalty is used as a deterrent? Or do you feel like, in some cases, the death penalty is used more freely as a end to prison overcrowding?

Now, considering that == Would you be willing to give up a strong stance on drug enforcement, if it mean doing away with capital punishment? It seems that part of the problem with prison overcrowding is antiquated drug laws. If the drug laws were repealed, that would free up a lot of space in the prison system for the lifers.

Just wondering about others opinions, as a friend and I were discussing this earlier tonight and I'd never really equated capital punishment as a remedy for prison overcrowding.
I do not see the death penalty being much of a prison reducing method considering how many people are actually executed compared to how many people are incarcerated. Even the texas drive through execution system doesn't kill enough to reduce population in prison very much. Personally i feel a lifetime in solitary would be a better deterrent than a quick and painless death. Some people may think execution helps prison overcrowding but they are probably quite ignorant of the small number of actual executions. According to Amnesty international the US executed 43 people in 2011. That is not even one person for every state, and most states have multiple max security prisons. If we at least decriminalized drugs and brought them down to violation status we would reduce prison costs massively.
 

Captain Adverse

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This is kind of a double-edged question that I am asking. First of all, truly do you feel that the death penalty is used as a deterrent? Or do you feel like, in some cases, the death penalty is used more freely as a end to prison overcrowding?

Now, considering that == Would you be willing to give up a strong stance on drug enforcement, if it mean doing away with capital punishment? It seems that part of the problem with prison overcrowding is antiquated drug laws. If the drug laws were repealed, that would free up a lot of space in the prison system for the lifers.

Just wondering about others opinions, as a friend and I were discussing this earlier tonight and I'd never really equated capital punishment as a remedy for prison overcrowding.
It is not a deterrent because there is no evidence it has ever served to prevent murder, treason, or any of the other Federal or State crimes on the books that allow capital punishment. People seem to think it is because when they consider the issue rationally they themselves always believe they would not risk it. However, in every cases where capital crimes have occurred the perpetrators either planned not to get caught or never considered the issue at all (ex. engaged in armed robbery leading to a death).

As for using it as an option to reduce prison over-crowding? While this may have existed in some historical situations (like feudal or totalitarian societies), and agitation by extreme anti-crime groups aside, this really has no factual basis in current penal philosophy.

The death penalty rationale, when advocated in a democratic society, involves a belief in ultimate punishment combined with deterrence. An “eye for an eye” kind of ideology. In feudal and totalitarian societies there is additional use as a tool for maintaining political control over subject people. An ultimate exercise of power dominance.

Having said all that, while my gut argues “eye for an eye” vengeance is “satisfying;” my mind argues “two wrongs do not equate to a right,” especially since we sometimes find an innocent person has suffered this punishment. My rational mind overrules my gut feeling and I am currently opposed to the death penalty.

As an aside, if we really wanted to reduce the prison population it would take two simple steps. First, decriminalize all “victimless” crimes (drug use and possession, voluntary prostitution, public nudity/sex where no involuntary witnesses are present, seatbelts, etc.). Second, indoctrinate society into accepting that punishment negates the crime so that once freed from supervision a convicted person can easily reintegrate back into society.

The first step reduces the number of persons entering the criminal justice system; the second step reduces the number or persons likely to repeat criminal behavior after release.
 

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I don't see these issues as related. The death penalty should be there to be used in cases where a crime is so great and/or the risk that a criminal poses to society is so great that it is warranted to execute him/her. It should be used sparingly, but it should be an option.
As for prison overcrowding, I personally believe that custodial sentences should only be used for people who commit violent offenses, for serial offenders and in a limited number of cases where other punishments are not sufficient. In as many cases as possible, people who commit a crime should be punished by the imposition of heavy fines.
drug users and smugglers are executed in saudi arabia
 

Artevelde

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drug users and smugglers are executed in saudi arabia
I don't really see Saudi Arabia as a shining example that should be followed.
 

Artevelde

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It is not a deterrent because there is no evidence it has ever served to prevent murder, treason, or any of the other Federal or State crimes on the books that allow capital punishment.
Do you know many cases of executed murderers who have murdered again?
 

Captain Adverse

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Do you know many cases of executed murderers who have murdered again?
A criminal penalty is a deterrent when the punishment serves to discourage individual criminal defendants from becoming repeat offenders and to discourage others in society from engaging in similar criminal activity.

So yes, in a sense the death penalty does prevent the deceased from repeating all prior offenses. Of course this only works when society has actually ended the life of the right person. Doesn't do much to prevent repeat offenses if you killed the wrong person though, does it?
 

Artevelde

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A criminal penalty is a deterrent when the punishment serves to discourage individual criminal defendants from becoming repeat offenders and to discourage others in society from engaging in similar criminal activity.

So yes, in a sense the death penalty does prevent the deceased from repeating all prior offenses. Of course this only works when society has actually ended the life of the right person. Doesn't do much to prevent repeat offenses if you killed the wrong person though, does it?
Absolutely, but the same goes for incarceration and any other type of judicial punishment. A justice system is based on the assumption that it will be used appropriately.
 

Captain Adverse

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Absolutely, but the same goes for incarceration and any other type of judicial punishment. A justice system is based on the assumption that it will be used appropriately.
Unfortunately, we have not reached the level where our justice system works perfectly. Remember that a court of law only tries to settle a question of guilt. That means when a defendant is found either innocent or guilty, it does not actually mean the person is either one. Guilty people are set free and innocent people go to prison.

At least while an innocent person is still alive there is a chance to rectify the situation. Once executed, all we can do is say "Oops! So sorry."
 

Artevelde

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Unfortunately, we have not reached the level where our justice system works perfectly. Remember that a court of law only tries to settle a question of guilt. That means when a defendant is found either innocent or guilty, it does not actually mean the person is either one. Guilty people are set free and innocent people go to prison.

At least while an innocent person is still alive there is a chance to rectify the situation. Once executed, all we can do is say "Oops! So sorry."
No justice system will ever work perfectly, as it is run by human beings (and I - for one - prefer it to be run by human beings). The fact that the justice system doesn't work perfectly is not an excuse not to use it, just like the fact that democracy doesn't work perfectly isn't an excuse not to use it.
 

Captain Adverse

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No justice system will ever work perfectly, as it is run by human beings (and I - for one - prefer it to be run by human beings). The fact that the justice system doesn't work perfectly is not an excuse not to use it, just like the fact that democracy doesn't work perfectly isn't an excuse not to use it.
BUZZZZ! Wrong!

There is no excuse for legal execution in any system where there is no absolute certainty the person being killed is the one who committed the crime. You have just advocated murder, because the State can kill an innocent man. Until we arrive at a perfect system, it is better to imprison a person for life (which in my view is a much harsher overall punishment for a guilty person than quick execution) rather than risk murdering him. To do otherwise is to make a mockery of the whole process.
 
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Artevelde

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BUZZZZ! Wrong!

There is no excuse for legal execution in any system where there is no absolute certainty the person being killed is the one who committed the crime. You have just advocated murder, because the State has killed an innocent man. Until we arrive at a perfect system, it is better to imprison a person for life (which in my view is a much harsher overall punishment for a guilty person than quick execution) rather than risk murdering him. To do otherwise is to make a mockery of the whole process.
You are very much wrong here. First of all, by your logic you are advocating false imprisonment. Secondly, there is absolutely no certainty that people who have been wrongly convicted and sentenced to imprisonment will not die long before their innocence is proven (if ever). Thirdly, there is no such thing as "absolute certainty" and "absolute certainty" is not the basis of the judicial system ("beyond a reasonable doubt" is).

Absolutes are a very poor guide for guiding public policy.
 

Captain Adverse

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You are very much wrong here. First of all, by your logic you are advocating false imprisonment. Secondly, there is absolutely no certainty that people who have been wrongly convicted and sentenced to imprisonment will not die long before their innocence is proven (if ever). Thirdly, there is no such thing as "absolute certainty" and "absolute certainty" is not the basis of the judicial system ("beyond a reasonable doubt" is).

Absolutes are a very poor guide for guiding public policy.
Point before I reply, if you could have waited a minute or two before responding, as my signature asks, you would see an important correction in the second sentence of my post. Now to the reply:

1. Advocating "false imprisonment?" Not really, because in the first place it was the State that made the mistake, not I. In the second place false imprisonment is a minor violation of a person's liberty rights when compared to execution which ends ALL liberty rights permanently. That is a false analogy

2. Convicted person may die before innocence is proved? A red herring argument. People who are not in prison die of natural causes all the time. That's no justification for murdering someone.

3. No such thing as absolute certainty? Not quite correct, because a sincere and factual confession never withdrawn prior to execution provides a pretty clear certainty. Note the emphasis on "sincere," as opposed to coerced, connived, or confused out of someone. There is also the possibility of incontrovertible video evidence. However, granting the fact that there is no absolute certainty does nothing to support YOUR argument, but rather is the basis for MY argument. Out of an assumption of possible guilt (which is all a trial results in, a possible answer to the question of guilt) you would have the State enact final vengeance on a person who might be completely innocent. Just for personal satisfaction if we get right down to it.

That's not good enough. Your vengeance is easily satisfied by a life in prison, and this prevents misplaced vengence being enacted on an innocent person.
 
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greyhat

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The death penalty isn't really punishment nor deterrent of crime; it is institutionalized revenge.
 

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Point before I reply, if you could have waited a minute or two before responding, as my signature asks, you would see an important correction in the second sentence of my post. Now to the reply:

1. Advocating "false imprisonment?" Not really, because in the first place it was the State that made the mistake, not I. In the second place false imprisonment is a minor violation of a person's liberty rights when compared to execution which ends ALL liberty rights permanently. That is a false analogy

2. Convicted person may die before innocence is proved? A red herring argument. People who are not in prison die of natural causes all the time. That's no justification for murdering someone.

3. No such thing as absolute certainty? Not quite correct, because a sincere and factual confession never withdrawn prior to execution provides a pretty clear certainty. Note the emphasis on "sincere," as opposed to coerced, connived, or confused out of someone. There is also the possibility of incontrovertible video evidence. However, granting the fact that there is no absolute certainty does nothing to support YOUR argument, but rather is the basis for MY argument. Out of an assumtion of possible guilt (which is all a trial results in, a possible answer to the question of guilt) you would have the State enact final vengeance on a person who might be completely innocent. Just for personal satisfaction if we get right down to it.

That's not good enough. Your vengeance is easily satisfied by a life in prison, and this prevents misplaced vengence being enacted on an innocent person.
We'll have to agree to disagree. But i would appreciate it if you try to remain logical and not ascribe to me things that aren't true. I have never advocated vengance and it is not the basis on which I want to apply the death penalty. Your whole reasoning is falsely based on the assumption that there is such a thing as a perfect justice system.
 

Artevelde

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The death penalty isn't really punishment nor deterrent of crime; it is institutionalized revenge.
I have to disagree. But I note that you condemn the excutions that took place after the Nuremberg trials.
 

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But i would appreciate it if you try to remain logical and not ascribe to me things that aren't true. I have never advocated vengance and it is not the basis on which I want to apply the death penalty.
Perhaps, but unless you can provide an alternate rationale for a requirement that a person who may very well be innocent should face execution for a crime he did not commit simply because he was found guilty in a court of law is not simple vengeance, it's a reasonable presumption.

Your whole reasoning is falsely based on the assumption that there is such a thing as a perfect justice system.
Actually, my whole argument is based on the knowledge that we do not currently have an infallible system of determining guilt or innocence. A question arises about a criminal act; is it possible the defendant did it or is it possible he/she did not do it? Whatever the results, actual guilt or innocence has not been determined.

Until that ever becomes the case, IMO we should err on the side of caution if we truly believe in all those "unalienable rights" our society is founded on. The State, acting on our behalf, should not deprive anyone of life without absolute certainty that the person deserves this final retribution.
 

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I have to disagree. But I note that you condemn the excutions that took place after the Nuremberg trials.
You note nothing for I have said no such thing.
 

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This is kind of a double-edged question that I am asking. First of all, truly do you feel that the death penalty is used as a deterrent? Or do you feel like, in some cases, the death penalty is used more freely as a end to prison overcrowding?

Now, considering that == Would you be willing to give up a strong stance on drug enforcement, if it mean doing away with capital punishment? It seems that part of the problem with prison overcrowding is antiquated drug laws. If the drug laws were repealed, that would free up a lot of space in the prison system for the lifers.

Just wondering about others opinions, as a friend and I were discussing this earlier tonight and I'd never really equated capital punishment as a remedy for prison overcrowding.
For those who want to say there is no evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent, I have one question. WTF are you looking for? Do you seriously think you're going to find some evidence of a plotted murder that was canceled after the suspect learned of or considered the cost of the death penalty?

I certainly don't think it's used to prevent overcrowding. IMO, the death penalty isn't used nearly enough. Sentencing someone to a number of years well beyond their expected life value is almost surely pointless and wasteful. For example, even if you ignore the murder charges for killing an unborn child, Ariel Castro should be killed to send an evil soul such as his to hell ASAP.

Kill those who clearly don't deserve a secod chance, keep the drug laws, and make inmates work to cover all costs of incarcerating them if they want to eat.
 

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What are you looking for? Do you seriously think you're going to find some evidence of a plotted murder that was canceled after the suspect learned of or considered the cost of the death penalty?
That would be THE deterrent right?
 

WCH

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I do not see the death penalty being much of a prison reducing method considering how many people are actually executed compared to how many people are incarcerated. Even the texas drive through execution system doesn't kill enough to reduce population in prison very much. Personally i feel a lifetime in solitary would be a better deterrent than a quick and painless death. Some people may think execution helps prison overcrowding but they are probably quite ignorant of the small number of actual executions. According to Amnesty international the US executed 43 people in 2011. That is not even one person for every state, and most states have multiple max security prisons. If we at least decriminalized drugs and brought them down to violation status we would reduce prison costs massively.
That's *Texas for those for you in Rio Linda.

Other than that, I agree.

As far as your tag line, IIRA that woman was a reporter.
 

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That would be THE deterrent right?
My point is that until we have mind reading capabilities and NSA has the authority to collect brainwave data, you are foolish if you expect to see concrete evidence. I don't think too many idiots are going to have started their murder plot before they are deterred by the death penalty. If it deters them then it will be from the start of the idea, hence there will be no evidence.
 

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My point is that until we have mind reading capabilities and NSA has the authority to collect brainwave data, you are foolish if you expect to see concrete evidence. I don't think too many idiots are going to have started their murder plot before they are deterred by the death penalty. If it deters them then it will be from the start of the idea, hence there will be no evidence.
Thanks for proving my point: there is no data to support the death penalty as a deterrent!
 
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