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Switch to Forum Live View Death Row or Hard Labor?
5 years ago  ::  Jun 06, 2009 - 7:13AM #1
Adelphe
Posts: 28,707

In fact, merely prison time at all or forced labor?


I rather like this draconian measure ("hard labor") often put to good use in Louisiana for inmates.


Put 'em to work!  Make them earn their keep! Put them ALL to work, not just those on death row.


Picking up trash, sweeping streets, making license plates, shoveling snow, washing floors, picking produce, trimming back grass and growth on highway medians, clearing debris, raking leaves, recovering hurricane and flood devestated areas, cleaning public toilets, etc.


There is a veritable wealth of opportunity. 


Anything the rest of us don't want to do and/or pay public workers to do. 


What say you?

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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5 years ago  ::  Jun 06, 2009 - 7:42AM #2
costrel
Posts: 6,226


I'd say any kind of labor, including hard labor. Every now and then I see a group of inmates repairing streets, and about a decade ago, during the summer months, the inmates wired South Dakota's schools with the Internet. They can be quite useful.


(Of course, I also think they should have some good educational classes in Existentialism. This would be more useful, in my opinion, than Christian prison ministries -- but I digress.)


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5 years ago  ::  Jun 06, 2009 - 8:44AM #3
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,743

Jun 6, 2009 -- 7:13AM, Adelphe wrote:


In fact, merely prison time at all or forced labor?


I rather like this draconian measure ("hard labor") often put to good use in Louisiana for inmates.


Put 'em to work!  Make them earn their keep! Put them ALL to work, not just those on death row.


Picking up trash, sweeping streets, making license plates, shoveling snow, washing floors, picking produce, trimming back grass and growth on highway medians, clearing debris, raking leaves, recovering hurricane and flood devestated areas, cleaning public toilets, etc.


There is a veritable wealth of opportunity. 


Anything the rest of us don't want to do and/or pay public workers to do. 


What say you?




In Texas, a death sentence means the prisoner is in solitary confinement in his/her cell 23 hours/day until he or she is executed. So sorry if it disaapoints you, adelphe, but death row prisoners are not going to be put on a chain gang, not in Texas, anyway.

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 06, 2009 - 8:59AM #4
Adelphe
Posts: 28,707

Jun 6, 2009 -- 8:44AM, newsjunkie wrote:


Jun 6, 2009 -- 7:13AM, Adelphe wrote:


In fact, merely prison time at all or forced labor?


I rather like this draconian measure ("hard labor") often put to good use in Louisiana for inmates.


Put 'em to work!  Make them earn their keep! Put them ALL to work, not just those on death row.


Picking up trash, sweeping streets, making license plates, shoveling snow, washing floors, picking produce, trimming back grass and growth on highway medians, clearing debris, raking leaves, recovering hurricane and flood devestated areas, cleaning public toilets, etc.


There is a veritable wealth of opportunity. 


Anything the rest of us don't want to do and/or pay public workers to do. 


What say you?




In Texas, a death sentence means the prisoner is in solitary confinement in his/her cell 23 hours/day until he or she is executed. So sorry if it disaapoints you, adelphe, but death row prisoners are not going to be put on a chain gang, not in Texas, anyway.




That's the question here, nj.  Should they be instead?

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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5 years ago  ::  Jun 06, 2009 - 9:10AM #5
Globalnomad
Posts: 115

Hello all, may this message find you in the best of health and spirits.


Re: "a death sentence means the prisoner is in solitary confinement in his/her cell 23 hours/day until he or she is executed" - what good is that? Of course a convicted person should receive his/ her punishment and society, esp. the victim(s), need to see justice done, but wouldn't there be more useful/ efficient way to achieve this (e.g. make them work on measuring strength of handed in glasses/ spectacles, to be sent to poor countries in a useful fashion?). With other sentences, e.g. I believe there should be more emphasis on reparation/ education so that once prisoners have finished their sentence, they're less likely to return to their old ways. The metaphor I heard the other day on the radio on this: if we had hospitals in which 2/3 were coming out with the same disease as with which they arrived (or perhaps with some added symptoms, like gap in CV, criminal record), we'd call for immediate & drastic changes! We should do that to justice systems almost everywhere (and for those who are sick, treat them or keep them in mental institute for their own and society's sake, like mass murderers), in my opinion.


And if after checking my profile someone starts on Islam: yes, Islam has death penalty, but with such strict conditions that it wasn't used even once during the 23 years of the Prophet Muhammed's time as Prophet (neither were some of the other harsh punishments); prisoners of war were set free upon teaching 10 people how to read and write; punishment for adultery was not so much for individual as to protect society by curbing lewdness (if you need 4 credible witnesses it could hardly have happened in the privacy of someone's home...). Makes me so sad the huge ignorance amongst some Muslims (and non-Muslims) that people think it's OK to take law in their own hands... I pray for justice for all! And as Obama said in his speech in Cairo (I paraphrase): if we'd focus on more on what unites us, and leaving each other alone on what divides us, then we'd be sharing this planet in a much happier and peaceful way.


In peace, globalnomad

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 06, 2009 - 9:20AM #6
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,743

Jun 6, 2009 -- 8:59AM, Adelphe wrote:


Jun 6, 2009 -- 8:44AM, newsjunkie wrote:


Jun 6, 2009 -- 7:13AM, Adelphe wrote:


In fact, merely prison time at all or forced labor?


I rather like this draconian measure ("hard labor") often put to good use in Louisiana for inmates.


Put 'em to work!  Make them earn their keep! Put them ALL to work, not just those on death row.


Picking up trash, sweeping streets, making license plates, shoveling snow, washing floors, picking produce, trimming back grass and growth on highway medians, clearing debris, raking leaves, recovering hurricane and flood devestated areas, cleaning public toilets, etc.


There is a veritable wealth of opportunity. 


Anything the rest of us don't want to do and/or pay public workers to do. 


What say you?




In Texas, a death sentence means the prisoner is in solitary confinement in his/her cell 23 hours/day until he or she is executed. So sorry if it disaapoints you, adelphe, but death row prisoners are not going to be put on a chain gang, not in Texas, anyway.




That's the question here, nj.  Should they be instead?




I would imagine that working with a group of other prisoners would be better than 23 hrs/day solitary. I would like to see an end to the death penalty, and I would like to see more done to rehabilitate those in prison who will re-enter society one day. We spend so much money incarcerating so many people in this country -- I think not doing more to rehabilitate people is a terrible waste of an opportunity. The comm. coll. where I teach has a branch that serves the prison (about 60mi away). I've talked to one gentleman who teaches there, and he said the prisoners are great students. He enjoys teaching them.


There are many problems with the prison system in many parts of this country.Yes, prison is punishment for crime, but when excessive punishment doesn't produce positive results for society, or produces negative results, a change in approach is needed. I think what would serve the public interest most is to have programs that produce real results in terms of lower rates of recidivism and help inmates become better integrated into society when they are released. I would look at the degree to which work programs such as those you are advocating reduce recidivism and improve the lives of those who are released and their families before jumping on the bandwagon. Perhaps you know of studies that have addressed this issue, and would let me know where I could read more about it. At present, I have no reason to believe that just forcing people to do work, such as unpleasant work those of us on the outside don't want to do, will necessarily produce positive results.

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 06, 2009 - 9:31AM #7
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,743

Jun 6, 2009 -- 9:10AM, Globalnomad wrote:


Hello all, may this message find you in the best of health and spirits.


Re: "a death sentence means the prisoner is in solitary confinement in his/her cell 23 hours/day until he or she is executed" - what good is that? Of course a convicted person should receive his/ her punishment and society, esp. the victim(s), need to see justice done, but wouldn't there be more useful/ efficient way to achieve this (e.g. make them work on measuring strength of handed in glasses/ spectacles, to be sent to poor countries in a useful fashion?). With other sentences, e.g. I believe there should be more emphasis on reparation/ education so that once prisoners have finished their sentence, they're less likely to return to their old ways. The metaphor I heard the other day on the radio on this: if we had hospitals in which 2/3 were coming out with the same disease as with which they arrived (or perhaps with some added symptoms, like gap in CV, criminal record), we'd call for immediate & drastic changes! We should do that to justice systems almost everywhere (and for those who are sick, treat them or keep them in mental institute for their own and society's sake, like mass murderers), in my opinion.



I don't think 23 hr/day solitary is good for anyone, except in the case of the most dangerous prisoners who present a real threat to the safety of prison staff and other prisoners. I recently read a book called, "A saint on death row" by Thomas Cahill. It depicts a bit of what life on TX death row is like.


I agree with your point, illustrated by the hospital metaphor. Protecting the safety of people is most important, but throwing people in prisons and having them come out worse than when went in is not a proper means to that end. Another interesting book on this topic is "An expensive way to make bad people worse" by Jens Soering.


And if after checking my profile someone starts on Islam: yes, Islam has death penalty, but with such strict conditions that it wasn't used even once during the 23 years of the Prophet Muhammed's time as Prophet (neither were some of the other harsh punishments); prisoners of war were set free upon teaching 10 people how to read and write; punishment for adultery was not so much for individual as to protect society by curbing lewdness (if you need 4 credible witnesses it could hardly have happened in the privacy of someone's home...). Makes me so sad the huge ignorance amongst some Muslims (and non-Muslims) that people think it's OK to take law in their own hands... I pray for justice for all! And as Obama said in his speech in Cairo (I paraphrase): if we'd focus on more on what unites us, and leaving each other alone on what divides us, then we'd be sharing this planet in a much happier and peaceful way.


In peace, globalnomad




Nice post -- I hope you will share more insights, opinions and information.

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 06, 2009 - 10:11AM #8
Tmarie64
Posts: 5,277

Much as I dislike Texas, I have to say the way they handle death row is something that every state should look at.  Limited appeals, when your appeals run out you go to the head of the line.


That being said... I don't want ANYONE capable of committing a death row crime walking on the side of the road.  I want them locked up in a cell 23 hours a day, thinking about their upcoming demise.  I want live 24 hour feed into a monitor in their cell featuring the deaths of other death row convicts.  Film it, then pipe it into all death row cells all over the country.


Don't let them out.


 

James Thurber - "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
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5 years ago  ::  Jun 06, 2009 - 11:34AM #9
religionfree
Posts: 5,117

Jun 6, 2009 -- 10:11AM, Tmarie64 wrote:


Much as I dislike Texas, I have to say the way they handle death row is something that every state should look at.  Limited appeals, when your appeals run out you go to the head of the line.


That being said... I don't want ANYONE capable of committing a death row crime walking on the side of the road.  I want them locked up in a cell 23 hours a day, thinking about their upcoming demise.  I want live 24 hour feed into a monitor in their cell featuring the deaths of other death row convicts.  Film it, then pipe it into all death row cells all over the country.


Don't let them out.


 




Pretty harsh, TMarie. 


We all have to remember that a good percentage of those in prison, in solitary confinement, on death row, on chain-gangs, are absolutely innocent of the crime.  What if one of these is your best friend, husband, child?  Would you feel the same way?


This article more than demonstrates what I am stating.  This was a study done that comes to very surprising conclusions.


 


Study Suspects Thousand of False Convictions

by Adam Liptak
TNYT on the web
April 19, 2004

A comprehensive study of 328 criminal cases over the last 15 years in which the convicted person was exonerated suggests that there are thousands of innocent people in prison today.

Almost all the exonerations were in murder and rape cases, and that implies, according to the study, that many innocent people have been convicted of less serious crimes. But the study says they benefited neither from the intense scrutiny that murder cases tend to receive nor from the DNA evidence that can categorically establish the innocence of people convicted of rape.

"Every time an innocent person is convicted," Mr. Scheck said, "it means there are more guilty people out there who are still committing crimes."

"When I don't know who I Am, I follow You
When I know who I am, You & I are One"

Namaste
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5 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2009 - 2:27AM #10
Anise
Posts: 181

Like many others have stated, in my opinion, i think that they should be productive while they are incarcerated; alot are worse-off when released d/t all that they have lost while locked-up. their family..gone . the world has continued to move on, leaving them virtually lost with no legitimate way to provide for themselves, thus leading them back to their former activities and back to the cells.


and as for religion in prision, well, one can only be offered an olive branch, it is up to the inmate to truly repent and accept guidiance from whichever religious banch offers assistance to them.


 

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