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Death Penalty Debate

topic posted Sun, July 22, 2007 - 9:29 AM by  Mr. M
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I used to think I was for it and still am kind of. But maybe not. Do I think people that kill other people should be put to death? Yes.
posted by:
Mr. M
California
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  • Re: Death Penalty Debate

    Sun, July 22, 2007 - 11:21 AM
    The death penalty is not a deterrent to crime...
    • Re: Death Penalty Debate

      Sun, July 22, 2007 - 12:40 PM
      on a person to person basis, it is. . .
      • Unsu...
         

        Re: Death Penalty Debate

        Sun, July 22, 2007 - 1:20 PM
        Many now argue that the death penalty *does* deter. (There was a post about this here a month or so back. To be honest, I'm not shrewd enough at statistics to judge whether the argument was sound or not.)

        Either way, one could argue for the death penalty on other grounds, meaning that it is possible to be for the death penalty *even if* it is held to have little or no deterrent value.

        Indeed, although one rarely hears it, it is quite possible to oppose the death penalty if it is imposed *as* a deterrent but not to oppose the death penalty if is imposed for another reason. That is to say, one may reasonably hold that there are reasons to impose the death penalty but to deter someone else from killing amounts to *exploiting* the person who undergoes the death penalty.

        In short, *even if* the death penalty does not deter, it does not follow that the death penalty is unwarranted.
        • Re: Death Penalty Debate

          Sun, July 22, 2007 - 1:26 PM
          My biggest problem with the death penalty is that some people are still falsely accused and are freed years later. I personally would rather die than spend the rest of my life in prison, so I dont agree that life in prison is more humane. I would choose to go down fighting because I would rather not end up in prison, though I hope to never be in that much trouble. I cant afford to purchase a luxury prison suit from the state.

          I do however think that the death penalty should be considered for mass murderers and those who use deception to start wars.
          • Re: Death Penalty Debate

            Mon, July 23, 2007 - 3:25 PM
            <I personally would rather die than spend the rest of my life in prison,>

            That's funny that you'd write this, having no idea what that actually means. What's also funny is that pretty much 100% of those that are actually IN prison facing a lifetime there are fighting their killing, hoping to put off the chair or drip.

            <I do however think that the death penalty should be considered for mass murderers and those who use deception to start wars. >

            Hmm.......... But, you started this thread by saying, "My biggest problem with the death penalty is that some people are still falsely accused and are freed years later." So, singular murderers may be innocent, but not "mass murderers"? There's no chance that your "mass murderer" is innocent? None at all?

            And, as for your "deception to start wars"............it's a nice thought. Meaningless, but nice.

            • Re: Death Penalty Debate

              Mon, July 23, 2007 - 3:59 PM
              There would have to be total proof. No innocent or possibly innocent people should be put to death obviously. But if there is total undeniable unquestionable evidence and proof they should die. And quickly. Not just sitting around for years. Give them an immediate one way ticket straight to hell.
        • Re: Death Penalty Debate

          Sun, July 22, 2007 - 1:44 PM
          <"In short, *even if* the death penalty does not deter, it does not follow that the death penalty is unwarranted. ">

          If the convicted murderers, rapists et all sitting on death row were actually held accountable for their crimes and excuted in a timely manner instead of being allowed to appeal their cases ad nausium (ocationally at great expense to the taxpayer) and eventually dying of old age, the death penality might be a deterent to some folks.. Before any of you scream and yell at me for being a heartless bastard, please look at this arguement objectively.... If you Knew for a fact that the punishment for whatever capitol offense is in question (murder,rape armed robbery etc.) would carry the ultimate concequense of Death by... ( pick yer fav mode of untimely demise) with the sentence to be carried out in an expedicious manner..Wouldn't it stand to reason that you might think twice before commiting the crime? All to often far too much simpathy is given to the perpertrator of the crime with little thought to the actual victim(s) of the crime.
          • Re: Death Penalty Debate

            Sun, July 22, 2007 - 2:32 PM
            considering the amount of errors that prosecutors, defense, etc do when trying these cases, it's a good thing that they sit on death row for so long.

            ive posted this several times before and ill post it again:

            uspolitics.tribe.net/thread/...1a2d56d8

            and the chicago tribune who had backed the death penalty pretty much since its inception on march 25, 2007, turned their back on the death penalty and decided to oppose it.
        • Re: Death Penalty Debate

          Sun, July 22, 2007 - 2:36 PM
          <In short, *even if* the death penalty does not deter, it does not follow that the death penalty is unwarranted.>

          well according to people who support the death penalty, it is. at least, thats about the only argument ive seen in this tribe for the maintaining of the death penalty.
    • Re: Death Penalty Debate

      Sun, July 22, 2007 - 10:17 PM
      "The death penalty is not a deterrent to crime.."

      Yes it is
      • Re: Death Penalty Debate

        Sun, July 22, 2007 - 10:24 PM
        I feel it can be harmful to follow the moral examples of those who came before us. Look at the mess they left us with. Unless you parents were visionaries or saints, its probably best to reject what your family taught you about right and wrong and look at the world with fresh eyes.
      • Re: Death Penalty Debate

        Mon, July 23, 2007 - 4:08 PM
        <<"The death penalty is not a deterrent to crime..">>

        <Yes it is>

        I bet that to some degree, for some people, it IS a deterrent. But, that's not a good enough reason to keep it.

        Killbing ONE innocent in a vengeful bloodlust that does nothing to bring ack the dead out of all the genuinely guilty? Not worth it.
        • Re: Death Penalty Debate

          Mon, July 23, 2007 - 9:27 PM
          "I bet that to some degree, for some people, it IS a deterrent. But, that's not a good enough reason to keep it. "

          It's one reason

          "Killbing ONE innocent in a vengeful bloodlust that does nothing to bring ack the dead out of all the genuinely guilty? Not worth it."

          Bloodlust is not the only reason for having it, and doesn't have to be a reason at all. You already mentioned one reason that has nothing to do with bloodlust - deterrence. And mere distaste for a particular punishment is insufficient reason to reject it.
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    Re: Death Penalty Debate

    Sun, July 22, 2007 - 2:58 PM
    I think the death penalty should stay. But it needs improvement if it's going to be entertaining.
    • Re: Death Penalty Debate

      Sun, July 22, 2007 - 3:19 PM
      <"I think the death penalty should stay. But it needs improvement if it's going to be entertaining. ">


      hear, hear... let's bring back the Coluseum and all out gladiator battles..Throw the rapist's to the lion's... We could make a pay- per view event with the proceeds going to the victims and their families..... The only caviat is that the lawyers representing the convicted get thrown in the ring as well... now that's entertainment..
      • Re: Death Penalty Debate

        Sun, July 22, 2007 - 3:51 PM
        And know it sounds terrible, but I think I would actually watch that....

        But seriously, there are too many false convictions to be too eager to execute people, even if it did detour crime which is yet to be proven.
        • Re: Death Penalty Debate

          Sun, July 22, 2007 - 5:38 PM
          I think mabee It all starts with how your parent(s) raised you... Were you taught to have a sense of morality and were you taught right from wrong along with an understanding of accepting the concequences for your actions weather your choices were good or bad..you are a product of your environment and how you act today is a direct reflection of a lifetime of (in)decision making.. but then again I could be wrong...
  • Re: Death Penalty Debate

    Sun, July 22, 2007 - 5:48 PM
    Mr. M

    What does the death penalty really achieve?

    Humans are beings of perception, we do not think empirically, and often what we believe is fact actually is not. That being said, once someone is executed they cannot be resentenced should new evidence come to play.

    Also we must recognize that there are politics involved in the criminal justice system of the United States. We have elected officials who have often put their image before the actual legitimacy of a conviction.

    This is what I'm trying to say. The death penalty is not based on justice, rather it is based on politics in my opinion. In a murder case one of the questions that jurors are asked is whether they are willing to support the death penalty if the defendant is convicted. If the juror says no, they are not chosen.......How can that be allowed??
    • Re: Death Penalty Debate

      Sun, July 22, 2007 - 10:36 PM
      "we do not think empirically"

      I disagree entirely. Human beings primarily think empirically, at least regarding the world around us. if we didn't, then we would be killed off.
    • Re: Death Penalty Debate

      Sun, July 22, 2007 - 10:38 PM
      But it should be based on justice and truth. If someone kills another person they should be killed. Unless it's self defense.
      • Re: Death Penalty Debate

        Sun, July 22, 2007 - 10:39 PM
        What if you kill the man who raped your daughter? Should that be the same as the man who killed another man to get ahead in business?
        • Re: Death Penalty Debate

          Mon, July 23, 2007 - 9:22 AM
          Killing a man that rapes should not be a crime. If she killed him while she was being raped it would be considered self defense right? I think if she didnt kill the rapist then someone should. I would have no problem taking justice into my own hands. Rapists should die.
          • Unsu...
             

            Re: Death Penalty Debate

            Mon, July 23, 2007 - 9:50 AM
            That's not how it works.

            WHILE she's being raped? Um, no. If a woman does kill a rapist, it's before or after the rape. And then she has to PROVE that a) there was sexual intercourse, and b) that it was rape.

            Don't get me started on THAT particular bit of American 'justice'.

            That's one of the problems--PROVING that a killing was done in self-defense, or, alternatively, provoked by ongoing abuse.
      • Re: Death Penalty Debate

        Mon, July 23, 2007 - 4:45 PM
        <But it should be based on justice and truth. If someone kills another person they should be killed. Unless it's self defense.>

        That's insane.
        • Re: Death Penalty Debate

          Mon, July 23, 2007 - 9:25 PM
          <But it should be based on justice and truth. If someone kills another person they should be killed. Unless it's self defense.>

          That's insane."

          I don't think it's terribly subtle, and probably not a principle that could be consistently applied (should the executioner then be executed?), but how is it "insane?"
          • Re: Death Penalty Debate

            Mon, July 23, 2007 - 10:48 PM
            <how is it "insane?">

            Um.......hmm. To want to kill everyone that kills someone? Uh.............if the whole idea is that we think that killing is sooooo wrong that we're going to use out imprecise legal system to judge them guilty and then kill them.......then ............how is it sane then to disagree with killing and then think that killing is a good response to killing?

            That's fucking crazy.
            • Re: Death Penalty Debate

              Tue, July 24, 2007 - 10:48 PM
              It shouldnt be imprecise. If there is any question then they shouldnt be killed. If there is no question then they should be killed. A life for a life. Period. I don't think that's crazy at all. Makes perfect sense to me. Pretty simple.
          • Re: Death Penalty Debate

            Tue, July 24, 2007 - 10:51 PM
            The exocutioner is carrying out justice. It's his job. The MURDERER killed an innocent person. HUGE DIFFERENCE!!!
            • Re: Death Penalty Debate

              Tue, July 24, 2007 - 10:54 PM
              the executioner is killing someone. it doesn't matter if it's their job. a life for a life.
              • Re: Death Penalty Debate

                Tue, July 24, 2007 - 11:04 PM
                An exocutioner isnt murdering an innocent person.

                An accident where someone kills someone isnt murder. It's an accident where someone kills someone.

                Honestly I don't understand why this is so hard for some people to grasp.
                • Re: Death Penalty Debate

                  Tue, July 24, 2007 - 11:06 PM
                  you said a life for a life.

                  its cut and dry. if you take someone's life, whether accidental or intentional, your life should be taken.

                  i grasp it. i just think its idiotic.
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                    Re: Death Penalty Debate

                    Tue, July 24, 2007 - 11:09 PM
                    Well then we have no choice but to agree to disagree Gerbil.

                    And I NEVER said if it is accidental. INTENTIONAL MURDER is what I'm talking about.
                • Re: Death Penalty Debate

                  Wed, July 25, 2007 - 1:57 AM
                  <An exocutioner isnt murdering an innocent person. >

                  Um...................yeah.

                  Tell that to the families of those that the state has killed that were later found to be innocent. It's rare, but it HAS happened.

                  <Honestly I don't understand why this is so hard for some people to grasp.>

                  I honestly don't understand bloodlust. Well, I do...........if someone murdered someone that I love, I'd want them dead, but again - I don't want the state doing it.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Death Penalty Debate

                    Wed, July 25, 2007 - 7:02 AM
                    I have stated about 4 or 5 times now that if there's any question the person shouldnt be killed. Only when there is 100% no question about it.
                    • Unsu...
                       

                      Re: Death Penalty Debate

                      Wed, July 25, 2007 - 9:37 AM
                      <<I have stated about 4 or 5 times now that if there's any question the person shouldnt be killed. Only when there is 100% no question about it.>>

                      Heh so... like... guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?
  • Re: Death Penalty Debate

    Sun, July 22, 2007 - 10:34 PM
    One argument that I almost never see is that having the death penalty on the table in plea bargains is useful. If it's available, a prosecutor can offer life imprisonment without possibility of parole in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table, in which case if the offer is accepted the murderer is off the streets forever (with rare exception). However, if the death penalty if not available, then the prosecutor would have to offer something less than life imprisonment without parole, meaning that the murderer may one day be on the streets again. Hence, having the death penalty on the table ultimately means less time on the streets for murderers, and hence fewer murders.
    • Re: Death Penalty Debate

      Mon, July 23, 2007 - 4:44 PM
      <One argument that I almost never see is that having the death penalty on the table in plea bargains is useful.>

      That's a terrible argument if one actually is against this murder. Sure, it does help keep people in jail longer, and get info from one suspect against another......but that's not a good argument for the core issue: State Sanctioned Murder
      • Re: Death Penalty Debate

        Tue, July 24, 2007 - 10:57 PM
        State sanctioned killing is not murder. It's punishment for injustice. It wouldnt be state sanctioned murder unless the police just started breaking into peoples houses and shooting them in the head then robbing their house. That would be state sanctioned murder. "Killing" a MURDERER is NOT murder. If someone murders someone you love do you really truly think it's a bad thing if they die? What? Like the alternative of paying to incarcerate them for the rest of their miserable lives is desirable? They effectively gave up their right to live when they took the life of someone else. It's pretty black and white.
        • Re: Death Penalty Debate

          Tue, July 24, 2007 - 11:02 PM
          <If someone murders someone you love do you really truly think it's a bad thing if they die?>

          yes.

          there are plenty of murder victims' families who argue against the death penalty being an option.
          • Re: Death Penalty Debate

            Tue, July 24, 2007 - 11:06 PM
            So what should happen to people who murder?
            • Re: Death Penalty Debate

              Tue, July 24, 2007 - 11:11 PM
              go to jail for life. they've obviously decided that they can't live freely among society. id rather the state pay to lock up murderers for life than to kill them.
              • Re: Death Penalty Debate

                Tue, July 24, 2007 - 11:15 PM
                That's cool Gerbil. I may change my mind how I feel one day. You never know. It's good you have an opinion on it. Making someone live in prison for the rest of their lives could be more sadistic then puttiing them to death.

                Time to hit the hay.
                Till the next episode.
                Later
        • Re: Death Penalty Debate

          Wed, July 25, 2007 - 1:56 AM
          <State sanctioned killing is not murder. >

          Um, it's a conspiracy to commit murder when the state executes someone.
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            Re: Death Penalty Debate

            Wed, July 25, 2007 - 9:40 AM
            <<That's what a jury and a judge are for.>>

            No, jury and judge is for sentencing. Prisons and executions are for punishment.

            <<Um, it's a conspiracy to commit murder when the state executes someone.>>

            Legal Tips from Andrew's Asshole #1.

            <<Tell that to the families of those that the state has killed that were later found to be innocent. It's rare, but it HAS happened. >>

            Weak, emotive arguments from Andrew. Possibly from his asshole.
            • Re: Death Penalty Debate

              Wed, July 25, 2007 - 3:02 PM
              <Legal Tips from Andrew's Asshole #1. >

              Deal. I'm right by the way. Look up what constitutes a conspiracy, and it's there 100%. But, you are not probably smart enough to actually figure out how to a) find the info, and b) actually comprehend what you read if were were able to find it.

              <Weak, emotive arguments from Andrew. Possibly from his asshole.>

              More good responses from a world-class intellect.
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                Re: Death Penalty Debate

                Wed, July 25, 2007 - 7:44 PM
                <<Deal. I'm right by the way. Look up what constitutes a conspiracy, and it's there 100%. But, you are not probably smart enough to actually figure out how to a) find the info, and b) actually comprehend what you read if were were able to find it.>>

                Conspiracy to commit murder is a legal phrase.

                So, since I'm so stupid and all, why don't YOU find me the legal case that declares all executions to be conspiracy to commit murder. Because, and maybe it's due to the fact that I'm too stupid to breathe (luckily, I haven't asphyxiated yet!), but I don't think there is one. I think therefore your "info" is nothing more than a weak, emotive argument with no bearing in reality.

                <<More good responses from a world-class intellect.>>

                I thought so too.
                • Re: Death Penalty Debate

                  Wed, July 25, 2007 - 11:07 PM
                  <So, since I'm so stupid and all, ...>

                  Admitting that you have a problem is the first step.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Unsu...
                     

                    Re: Death Penalty Debate

                    Wed, July 25, 2007 - 11:39 PM
                    <<Admitting that you have a problem is the first step.>>

                    I'll take that as a concession. Look, if you just want to throw stupid insults, do so. If you want to back up your stupid arguments, and make-believe that you're here for discussion and debate, then do that. You can even do both if you feel the need. But just blurting out half-assed retorts that don't even address the issue as if this were kindergarten and you were getting some kind of social validation for acting the alpha adolescent doesn't really meet my standards.
  • Unsu...
     

    Re: Death Penalty Debate

    Mon, July 23, 2007 - 11:00 PM
    • Unsu...
       

      Re: Death Penalty Debate

      Mon, July 23, 2007 - 11:08 PM
      I will believe in the death penalty when you will prove to me the infallibility of human beings. — Marquis de Lafayette

      … if we believe that murder is wrong and not admissible in our society, then it has to be wrong for everyone, not just individuals but governments as well. — Helen Prejean

      “Despite the courts’ efforts to fashion a death penalty scheme that is just, fair and reliable, the system is not working. Innocent people are being sentenced to death. It is no answer to say that we are doing the best that we can. If this is the best our state can do, we have no business sending people to their deaths.” — Illinois Supreme Court Justice Moses Harrison II

      Many of us do not believe in capital punishment because thus society takes from a man what society cannot give. — Katharine Fullerton Gerould

      An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. — Mahatma Ghandi

      Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral --- Berthold Brecht

      Why do we kill people who kill people to show people that killing people is wrong? ---- Unkown (but it's good ol' fashioned Woody Allen sense)
      • Re: Death Penalty Debate

        Mon, July 23, 2007 - 11:26 PM
        If I had a daughter and she was raped, reason and logic would probably get put on the back burner. Even if that is technically not considered self defense, it should be reduced to manslaughter justified by temporary insanity (Which is honest enough given the powerful emotional impact of seeing your daughter subjected to rape). Its not what I would consider murder in the first degree, even if you hunted the guy down.
        • Re: Death Penalty Debate

          Tue, July 24, 2007 - 10:45 PM
          Murder is when someone kills someone for no reason. Killing someone because they raped your daughter is justified as far as I'm concerned. I don't give a damn what the law says.
        • Re: Death Penalty Debate

          Wed, July 25, 2007 - 1:54 AM
          <If I had a daughter and she was raped, reason and logic would probably get put on the back burner.>

          Yeah, I of course agree with that sentiment. But, that's different from what I want from the state. I don't want the state killing people.

          <Its not what I would consider murder in the first degree, even if you hunted the guy down. >

          Sorry, dude. That's pretty much the very definition of murder in the first degree.
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        Re: Death Penalty Debate

        Tue, July 24, 2007 - 11:06 PM
        <An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. — Mahatma Ghandi >

        Do you know that in the bible an eye for an eye was a call for restraint? As in only an eye for an eye and no more.
        • Re: Death Penalty Debate

          Tue, July 24, 2007 - 11:10 PM
          If it's an eye for an eye wouldt that equate a life for a life? Not that I give a damn what that foul book says anyway.
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            Re: Death Penalty Debate

            Tue, July 24, 2007 - 11:18 PM
            <If it's an eye for an eye wouldt that equate a life for a life? Not that I give a damn what that foul book says anyway. >

            That's in there too, I don't see anything foul about it. Considering it was common practice to kill a criminal, their whole family, and plow the earth they lived on with salt, a life for a life was a call for restraining vengance. Forgiveness is divine, but only the wronged have the right to forgive.
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        Re: Death Penalty Debate

        Tue, July 24, 2007 - 11:13 PM
        I believe in forgiveness, but I also believe that it is not my place to forgive a murder, it should be up to the family of the victim. I could give a rats ass if the death penalty was a deterent or not. The thing I think about is the murder enjoying his life while his victim rots, what right does he/she have to write their memoirs, or enjoy a saturday afternoon when their victims can not. To the family of a victim, they surely must see every breath that the murder takes as being undeserved, and if they do, who am I to disagree? By what right do I ignore their pain, in favor of the murder?
        • Re: Death Penalty Debate

          Tue, July 24, 2007 - 11:19 PM
          emotion is a dangerous gambit to get involved in when it comes to public policy. i know it happens all the time, but its still sketchy. its almost impossible to completely detach yourself of emotion when dealing with policy.
          • Re: Death Penalty Debate

            Tue, July 24, 2007 - 11:38 PM
            What kind of life can somebody have in solitary confinement?
            How do you feel about people being kept on life support as a vegetable?
            • Re: Death Penalty Debate

              Tue, July 24, 2007 - 11:45 PM
              In my opinion the strongest argument against the death penalty is how many innocent people are convicted who still have a chance of being released from prison because of new evidence.

              In my mind the humanitarian argument against it isnt as strong. i dare anybody to spend a single month in solitary confinement cuffed and tell me its a humanitarian alternative when they finally get out.
              • Re: Death Penalty Debate

                Wed, July 25, 2007 - 2:08 AM
                <In my opinion the strongest argument against the death penalty is how many innocent people are convicted who still have a chance of being released from prison because of new evidence. >

                Uh............yeah. That goes without saying.
            • Re: Death Penalty Debate

              Wed, July 25, 2007 - 2:00 AM
              <What kind of life can somebody have in solitary confinement? >

              Why is it that most people on death row fight tooth and nail in the legal system to put off their execution? I bet that many of them have said - as you have said - 'I would rather die than be in jail for the rest of my life.

              Yeah, right. You'd not want to die. I don't believe it.

              I watched a show on it today - none of those guys wanted to die. One guy said, 'The state was serious about killing me last year and didn't.....maybe they'll get serious about it this year.' Well........we'll see.
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            Re: Death Penalty Debate

            Thu, July 26, 2007 - 7:10 AM
            <emotion is a dangerous gambit to get involved in when it comes to public policy. i know it happens all the time, but its still sketchy. its almost impossible to completely detach yourself of emotion when dealing with policy. >

            Why should you, When is detachment a good thing? Nazi Germany?
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    Re: Death Penalty Debate

    Wed, July 25, 2007 - 8:19 AM
    I don't approve of state sponsored execution for any reason.
    I don't believe it deters capitol crimes to any stastistcally significant degree.
    Most murders fall under the following umbrellas:
    1.) opportunistic events that arise subsequent to other non related criminal events going bad in a manner not anticipated by the perpetrators of the underlying crimes.
    2.) gang related and usually drug or money based
    3.) inflamed passion

    There are other types but they are in the minority.

    Gangland killings are not typically done by people who contemplate consequences from the state. Rather the actors are fixated on the moment and on themselves.

    Opportunistic killings subsequent to non related crimes are not premeditated they are carried out by people who plan poorly if at all and tend not to think in advance.

    Inflamed passion pretty much speaks for itself .


    One almost constant denominator found in most common criminals is that they tend to be incapable of acting in a way that takes advantage of delayed gratification. ERGO: they do stupid things and get caught.
    • Re: Death Penalty Debate

      Wed, July 25, 2007 - 10:00 AM
      I have conflicting thoughts about the Death Penalty.

      On one hand, the penalty for a crime is out on the table. People will always have choices. If they choose to commit a crime whether it's premeditated or not, then they also choose the punishment that follows if they get caught. If it's a crime of passion, then honestly, how dangerous is that person if they can't control themselves?

      But for me, when it comes down to it, I don't think we should execute people on the basis that having to spend the rest of your life behind bars is pretty awful in and of itself. Solitary confinement is even worse. Commit people to solitary confinement instead of the death penalty. Then, if they are innocent they at least they have a better chance of getting out before it's "too late."

      But here's the catch. Being behind bars should NOT mean that the inmates have cable TV, internet access, and many of the other luxuries that they get. Hard time should be hard. Throw in some hard labor too just for shits and giggles.
      • Re: Death Penalty Debate

        Wed, July 25, 2007 - 2:20 PM
        Actually, I think the primary purpose of prisons should be to keep people safe, more so than inflicting punishment.

        I think prison should be difficult, and its already separating you from your loved ones and opportunity to live your life. I think prison should actually be about rehabilitation, therapy, and teaching people how to cooperate instead of how to join gangs and kill each other.

        Prison as it stands now IS a punishment, and while the fear of prison might deter some* crime, when people get out of prison they are usually "hardened" and more dangerous than when they came in. I dont feel that is a good policy for the safety of our citizens. Its making us less safe when these people get out, because their experience made them more violent instead of more peaceful.
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        Re: Death Penalty Debate

        Wed, July 25, 2007 - 2:45 PM
        *************But here's the catch. Being behind bars should NOT mean that the inmates have cable TV, internet access, and many of the other luxuries that they get. Hard time should be hard. Throw in some hard labor too just for shits and giggles.********************


        You have never been in a prison have you?

        Go visit one. I recommend Parchman in Mississippi.

        Prisons are god awful horrible places where your every waking moment is spent worried about one -very real - bad thing or another. The atmosphere is horrid and brutal the walls are oppressive the whole place closes in on you slowly till you can hardly breath. And you can't get out.
        • Re: Death Penalty Debate

          Wed, July 25, 2007 - 2:56 PM
          Cliff is telling the truth on this one.
          People who have no idea what its like are sharing their opinions without knowledge of what they speak of. Prisons are already bad enough.
      • Re: Death Penalty Debate

        Wed, July 25, 2007 - 3:00 PM
        "If it's a crime of passion, then honestly, how dangerous is that person if they can't control themselves? "

        Crimes of passion aren't typically subject to the death penalty. If it's a crime of passion, it's usually considered "manslaughter" and the sentence is lighter than cold blooded premeditated murder.
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          Re: Death Penalty Debate

          Thu, July 26, 2007 - 8:39 AM
          The death penalty is pointless. And crimes of passion come in all flavors not all of which are subject to a homicide charge.

          The law school "bedroom ciotus interruptus" crime of passion is just one of many examples where emotion can drive people to extremes. If for example, you get a cooling off period which you experience subjectively as a Brooding period it's still a crime of passion when you cat but you no longer have a mitigating factor for the guilt phase.
  • Re: Death Penalty Debate

    Fri, April 27, 2012 - 11:10 AM
    themonkeycage.org/blog/2012...ath-death/
    Death death death death death
    by Andrew Gelman on April 25, 2012 · 8 comments
    in Judicial,Law

    Andrew Sullivan asks whether California will be the next state to abandon the death penalty. This reminds me of something I noticed a few years ago: capital punishment remains popular—-a clear majority of American support the death penalty for people convicted of murder—-its supporters are on the defensive. Death-penalty opponents, while in the minority, seem to have the upper hand in debates on the issue.

    My larger perspective on the death penalty, informed by my research with Jim Liebman several years ago, is that you can only accept capital punishment if you’re willing to have innocent people executed every now and then. And, the more effective you want the death penalty to be, the more innocents you have to execute.

    The occasional execution of innocent people might be deemed ok in some settings—-they shoot deserters in wartime, and if a country is in the midst of a big enough crime wave, I could see people accepting the need for the occasional lethal mistake of the judicial process. My point here is just that if you want to execute people on a regular basis, you’re gonna make some mistakes. We saw this in our research on death-sentencing reversals, which were not merely the actions of a few liberal court panels.

    Here’s what I wrote a few years ago in my discussion of an excellent paper by Donohue and Wolfers:

    Policy questions about the death penalty have sometimes been expressed in terms of the number of lives lost or saved by a given sentencing policy. But I think this direction of thinking might be a dead end. First off, as discussed by Donohue and Wolfers, it may very well be essentially impossible to statistically estimate the net deterrent effect of death sentencing—-what seem like the “hard numbers” (in Richard Posner’s hopeful words, “careful econometric analysis”) aren’t so clear at all.

    More generally, though, I’m not sure how you balance out the chance of deterring murders with the chance of executing an innocent person. What if each death sentence deterred 0.1 murder, and 5% of people executed were actually innocent? That’s still a 2:1 ratio (assuming that it’s OK to execute the guilty people). Then again, maybe these innocent people who were executed weren’t so innocent after all. But then again, not every murder victim is innocent either. Conversely, suppose that executing an innocent person were to deter 2 murders (or, conversely, that freeing an innocently-convicted man were to un-deter 2 murders). Then the utility calculus would suggest that it’s actually OK to do it. In general I’m a big fan of probabilistic cost-benefit analyses (see, for example, chapter 22 of Bayesian Data Analysis), but here I don’t see it working out. The main concerns—-on the one hand, worry about out-of-control crime, and on the other hand, worry about executing innocents—-just seem difficult to put on the same scale.

    Finally, regarding decision analysis, incentives, and so forth: much of the discussion (not in the Donohue and Wolfers paper, but elsewhere) seems to go to the incentives of potential murderers. But the death penalty also affects the incentives of judges, juries, prosecutors, and so forth. One of the arguments in favor of the death penalty is that it sends a message that the justice system is serious about prosecuting murders. This message is sent to the population at large, I think, not just to deter potential murderers but to make clear that the system works. Conversely, one argument against the death penalty is that it motivates prosecutors to go after innocent people, and to hide or deny exculpatory evidence. Lots of incentives out there.

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