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Flag mountain_man December 21, 2009 11:51 AM EST

Dec 21, 2009 -- 9:52AM, appy20 wrote:

My understanding is that repeat offenders are the most violent. I would like to systematically determine what group of prisoners are the most dangerous and execute them. I would prefer that to a death penalty as punishment.



I would prefer that no one be executed. There can be no justifiable reason to execute people. We, as a society, need to grow out of this


At this time, i am opposed to the death penalty due to the fact that I do not have 100% faith in our justice system.  However, when there is no doubt, as in Ted Bundy's case, execution should be planned.



I'm oposed to something as barbaric as the death penalty. The fallibility of the "justice" system is irrelevant.


The fact also remains that Ted Bundy.....



Judging all people convicted of murder by the actions of Bundy is going to give one a very skewed, unreasonable, picture of the whole topic.

Flag Agnosticspirit December 21, 2009 12:26 PM EST

Dec 21, 2009 -- 10:30AM, Marcion wrote:


My main reason to support the death penalty is that it deters repeat offendors.


Also, as a juror, I would never convict anyone on circumstantial evidence alone.


There have been too many instances where someone was convicted by an overly zealous prosecutor using flimsy evidence at best; in some instances there was no proof that a crime had been committed at all.



In capital cases, isn't the burden of proof greater? I'm not a lawyer but I seem to remember hearing or reading somewhere that in capital cases, more than circumstantial evidence needs to be provided by the prosecution.

Flag appy20 December 21, 2009 12:28 PM EST

Dec 21, 2009 -- 12:26PM, Agnosticspirit wrote:


Dec 21, 2009 -- 10:30AM, Marcion wrote:


My main reason to support the death penalty is that it deters repeat offendors.


Also, as a juror, I would never convict anyone on circumstantial evidence alone.


There have been too many instances where someone was convicted by an overly zealous prosecutor using flimsy evidence at best; in some instances there was no proof that a crime had been committed at all.



In capital cases, isn't the burden of proof greater? I'm not a lawyer but I seem to remember hearing or reading somewhere that in capital cases, more than circumstantial evidence needs to be provided by the prosecution.




Unfortunately, I do think that circumstantial evidence can lead to execution.  Look at the Anthony mess going on in Florida now.  All of the evidence against the mother is circumstantial. 


I am against capital punishment when the only evidence is circumstantial.

Flag Christianlib December 21, 2009 12:42 PM EST

There is only one way for a state to make sure it doesn't make a mistake in the application of Capital Punishment.  Don't apply Capital Punishment.


 


Fortunately, most civilized nations have come to this conclusion, and done away with the death penalty.


Unfortunately, the US is not among those civilized nations.

Flag appy20 December 21, 2009 12:45 PM EST

I do believe that it should be used sparingly but in the case of repeat offenders, we pretty much know who those folks are.  I think we can be safe executing there. 

Flag Christianlib December 21, 2009 1:58 PM EST

Sorry, appy, I can't join you in that blood lust.


I'm all for locking someone up forever.  Killing is simply uncivilized vengenance.  It is in no way "justice."

Flag mountain_man December 21, 2009 2:04 PM EST

Dec 21, 2009 -- 12:42PM, Christianlib wrote:

Unfortunately, the US is not among those civilized nations.



That seems to be the case in quite a few areas.

Flag appy20 December 21, 2009 5:02 PM EST

Dec 21, 2009 -- 1:58PM, Christianlib wrote:


Sorry, appy, I can't join you in that blood lust.


I'm all for locking someone up forever.  Killing is simply uncivilized vengenance.  It is in no way "justice."




I never said it was justice. It is a matter of safety.


I do not support it out of lust.  If I supported blood lust, I would advocate a brutal, tortured death in the exact fashion that they performed on their victims.  I do not.  I do want them to be put painlessly to death.  I think considerable effort should be put forth to find the best means of killing them.  I believe that we have a right to be safe and rid of people that are dangerous. 


I value the lives of the people Ted Bundy killed over Ted Bundy's life.  To you, they have equal value.  I disagree.   If he had been killed in Colorado, some folks would be alive in Florida.  We have escapees now that could kill while they are out.  I believe that some dogs are rabid and have to be put down.  Some humans are rabid. 


Here is where I differ from those that want capital punishment as punishment. I strongly support neurological and psychological research that can prevent people from becoming criminals.  If I believed that severe criminals could be fixed or rehabilitated, I would not be for capital punishment. I prefer treatment that works 100%.   I believe the day will come when they can be fixed.  Brains rewired, genes reprogrammed, childhood learning reversed, whatever it takes.   When that day comes, I would prefer them to be "fixed."  Then I will be opposed to capital punishment.  I will even be opposed to punishment of any kind.

Flag mountain_man December 21, 2009 5:27 PM EST

Dec 21, 2009 -- 5:02PM, appy20 wrote:


Dec 21, 2009 -- 1:58PM, Christianlib wrote:


Sorry, appy, I can't join you in that blood lust.


I'm all for locking someone up forever.  Killing is simply uncivilized vengenance.  It is in no way "justice."




I never said it was justice. It is a matter of safety.....



Those that have been convicted of a murder, and in prison, are not going to go out on a weekend killing spree. We are safe with them locked up. The state killing it's own citizens just imparts a lower value of human life to the society. Killing prison inmates just encourages more killing out in the society. We will be less safe.

Flag appy20 December 21, 2009 6:07 PM EST

Dec 21, 2009 -- 5:27PM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 21, 2009 -- 5:02PM, appy20 wrote:


Dec 21, 2009 -- 1:58PM, Christianlib wrote:


Sorry, appy, I can't join you in that blood lust.


I'm all for locking someone up forever.  Killing is simply uncivilized vengenance.  It is in no way "justice."




I never said it was justice. It is a matter of safety.....



Those that have been convicted of a murder, and in prison, are not going to go out on a weekend killing spree. We are safe with them locked up. The state killing it's own citizens just imparts a lower value of human life to the society. Killing prison inmates just encourages more killing out in the society. We will be less safe.




I don't think it encourages more killing.  There is no evidence of that.


Once again, there are three people that would be alive in Florida.  Child abduction cases are another point.  A child every six weeks would not be raped and killed if we executed pedophiles. 


Once again, not too long ago, a prison escapee killed someone in our area.  We also have 3 running loose now that were convicted of thrill kills.


You can't lower a human life any lower than by killing someone who has not killed others.   When one murders, that cheapens human life.  The victim counts.  It didn't count to the murderer but it does count.  In my world, it counts more than the murderer.  My life counts more than the murderer.  My area of the world is threatened at this time by those three escaped convicts.  Three people who killed for the fun of it. Why should I even be afraid to go inside my barn at night?  Why should I have to deal with them at all.   My life counts too.  My safety counts too.  The three of them should be dead and I would be safe.  My right to safety trumps their right to draw breath and kill for the fun of it.


So many people bleed for the murderers.  They get a painless death sparing them from a life of incarceration.  They will be liberated from their compulsions.  Yes, we are safer when they are dead.  If we did it right, it would be cheaper.  That's right.  Maximum security prisons, especially those that are, at this time, fail-safe are expensive.  More than we can pay.  We could use that money to prevent others from becoming criminals.  Taking care of their victims. Anything but supporting their existence that is essentially meaningless.


 


 

Flag Marcion December 21, 2009 6:27 PM EST

Appy wrote


Once again, there are three people that would be alive in Florida.  Child abduction cases are another point.  A child every six weeks would not be raped and killed if we executed pedophiles. 


Should we execute catholic priests?  How about the bishops that protect them, aren't they accessories to the crime?


 

Flag mountain_man December 21, 2009 6:41 PM EST

Dec 21, 2009 -- 6:07PM, appy20 wrote:

I don't think it encourages more killing.  There is no evidence of that.



There is. In countries that ban capital punishment the murder rate started dropping right after the ban.


Once again, there are three people that would be alive in Florida. ..



There are many people that would be alive if the government had not killed them. Not all convicted murders are Ted Bundy. Comparing them all to Bundy is a great emotional argument, but not a rational one.


You can't lower a human life any lower than by killing someone who has not killed others.  



You can. It shows that the government does not value life.


When one murders, that cheapens human life.  The victim counts.  It didn't count to the murderer but it does count.  In my world, it counts more than the murderer.  My life counts more than the murderer.  My area of the world is threatened at this time by those three escaped convicts.  Three people who killed for the fun of it. Why should I even be afraid to go inside my barn at night?  Why should I have to deal with them at all.   My life counts too.  My safety counts too.  The three of them should be dead and I would be safe.  My right to safety trumps their right to draw breath and kill for the fun of it.



I cannot agree.


So many people bleed for the murderers.



Another emotional argument.


They get a painless death sparing them from a life of incarceration.  They will be liberated from their compulsions.  Yes, we are safer when they are dead.  If we did it right, it would be cheaper.  That's right.  Maximum security prisons, especially those that are, at this time, fail-safe are expensive.  More than we can pay.  We could use that money to prevent others from becoming criminals.  Taking care of their victims. Anything but supporting their existence that is essentially meaningless.



I cannot agree with all these arguments based on emotion. Nor could I ever agree with any excuse to kill anyone. If killing someone is wrong, then making excuses to kill those you do not approve of is wrong too.

Flag cyngarrison December 22, 2009 3:20 AM EST

Dec 21, 2009 -- 6:07PM, appy20 wrote:


Dec 21, 2009 -- 5:27PM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 21, 2009 -- 5:02PM, appy20 wrote:


Dec 21, 2009 -- 1:58PM, Christianlib wrote:


Sorry, appy, I can't join you in that blood lust.


I'm all for locking someone up forever.  Killing is simply uncivilized vengenance.  It is in no way "justice."




I never said it was justice. It is a matter of safety.....



Those that have been convicted of a murder, and in prison, are not going to go out on a weekend killing spree. We are safe with them locked up. The state killing it's own citizens just imparts a lower value of human life to the society. Killing prison inmates just encourages more killing out in the society. We will be less safe.




I don't think it encourages more killing.  There is no evidence of that.


Once again, there are three people that would be alive in Florida.  Child abduction cases are another point.  A child every six weeks would not be raped and killed if we executed pedophiles. 


Once again, not too long ago, a prison escapee killed someone in our area.  We also have 3 running loose now that were convicted of thrill kills.


You can't lower a human life any lower than by killing someone who has not killed others.   When one murders, that cheapens human life.  The victim counts.  It didn't count to the murderer but it does count.  In my world, it counts more than the murderer.  My life counts more than the murderer.  My area of the world is threatened at this time by those three escaped convicts.  Three people who killed for the fun of it. Why should I even be afraid to go inside my barn at night?  Why should I have to deal with them at all.   My life counts too.  My safety counts too.  The three of them should be dead and I would be safe.  My right to safety trumps their right to draw breath and kill for the fun of it.


So many people bleed for the murderers.  They get a painless death sparing them from a life of incarceration.  They will be liberated from their compulsions.  Yes, we are safer when they are dead.  If we did it right, it would be cheaper.  That's right.  Maximum security prisons, especially those that are, at this time, fail-safe are expensive.  More than we can pay.  We could use that money to prevent others from becoming criminals.  Taking care of their victims. Anything but supporting their existence that is essentially meaningless.


 


 




I understand where you are coming from I really do. But I just can't see what makes killing another human being the right thing to do. You are also arguing that these people who have previously murdered someone may get out and do it again. So you are saying that we should kill them not only for what they have done, but what they could do in the future. I don't think that we want to live in a country that kills people for what they could possibly do in the future. I don't personally like my tax dollars going to support people that have committed crimes, but there really isn't an alternative. We have to keep them away from society and that is the best way that we know to do it. One alternative would be to get these people out of jail for petty reasons so we have resources for the criminals that are a threat to society.


I just had to note here that recently here in Washington we had a mentally ill killer escape from custody while he was on a field trip to a county fair. This was a few months after I moved to this state and was floored that they would allow someone with his past to be allowed to go on a field trip anywhere. This was a mental institution and they had something like 31 inmates and 11 guards. This brings up another point what about the mentally ill people, would you want to give them the death penalty as well? They are obviously sick and require medical treatment and can sometimes even function somewhat normally under close supervision.

Flag SatanicStalker December 22, 2009 4:29 AM EST

Dec 21, 2009 -- 6:07PM, appy20 wrote:

If we did it right, it would be cheaper.



I've had this thought often before. People argue about how we shouldn't execute because it is more expensive than lifetime incarceration (among other arguments, I know), yet few ask what to me is the obvious question: How can we change the system to make executions less expensive without sacrificing any assurance of guilt? 


 


So much of the anti-death penalty moral argument seems to stem from the belief that killing people is wrong, in and of itself. I think this is an assumption that deserves much deeper contemplation. 


People so easily go on about how killing is wrong, except in the cases of (pick any of the following) self defense, defense of another, defense of property, reproductive choice, military actions, euthanasia, protection of vital national secrets, and so on. 


Several of the things on this list (not all), I agree are valid reasons to kill another human being (and I'm not going to get into which ones right now). So, to me, this is sufficient evidence to reject the claim that "killing is wrong." Instead, killing is only wrong in certain circumstances. Instead of listing off the reasons that make killing not wrong, I think it would be far more useful to come up with a coherent explanation of why killing is wrong when it is wrong. 


I've been contemplating this for a while now, and I haven't come up with a fully formed explanation yet, but I am starting to get somewhere in my head, I think. 


It all comes down to society. If we were not social animals, we would have no taboos about killing others. If you had something that I wanted, I would take it, possibly killing you in the process, if that was easier for me. This is how non-social life forms act. Morality is a product of our social nature. When you kill and enemy soldier, execute a murderer, abort a fetus, fend off your would-be rapist with lethal force, you are in allegiance with your society, if that society justifies that type of killing. However, if you are a vigilante and you kill a murderer, you are yourself a murderer in this society. Likewise if you are a parent and you kill your own (born) child, or if you beat your wife to death (no matter the provocation). In these cases, you are in conflict with society. 


You could ask, "does a society have the right to make such choices about which killing is acceptable, and thus the value of certain human lives over others?" This is like asking if the human body has the "right" to kill off certain cells and tissues of itself. The answer is obvious: absolutely, and it's more of a responsibility than a right. If the body did not make such decisions, the body would die. A society must make such decisions (and every society makes them, they just don't all make the same decisions) in order to keep itself alive as a society. 


Obviously, some societies function perfectly well while judging that the death penalty is not an acceptable form of killing. Others, like ours, function just fine with the state-sanctioned execution of prisoners. 


Every right we have is granted to us by our society. A society is a living organism responsible for preserving itself. Therefore, a society can remove the rights it has granted to any individual if that individual has proven him/herself to be an enemy of that society, a danger to that society. Just what rights are removed for what offense must be decided by the society, and will vary. 


It should be pointed out here that society does not mean a standing government. Societies can exist within very small groups of individuals, and can extend to the entire social population of the planet (or beyond if we had contact beyond that sphere). Societies also exists in layers. What is acceptable to your nation might not be acceptable to your church group, or your family, or your university, etc. And it is not the leaders of a group that set the society, but the group as a whole.


Say a church group grants you the right to pray with them. Then, if you are a danger to that society, it can remove that right to pray with that group, but not, say, your right to vote in government elections. If your nation grants you the right to vote and you become an enemy of that society, it can remove your right to vote, but not your right to pray (as it did not grant that right). 


Like I said, this is not a fully-formed idea, and not without flaws. But I think I may be on to something. However, it is late at night and I need to wrap this up and go to sleep.


 


I've had several dreams over the years of being executed. In one of the most poignant of these, I was executed by being magically sealed inside a bubble just large enough to sit cross-legged in. There was no violence in the dream, all was peaceful and serene. The bubble meant to separate me from my society. In that bubble, I did not have air to breathe, and I died. 


 


 


So, if you do believe that "killing is wrong," please try to explain why it is wrong. Also, perhaps include whether you think that killing in self defense and/or in war are wrong, and why they are (or are not) different. 


~Stalker

Flag appy20 December 22, 2009 8:26 AM EST

Dec 21, 2009 -- 6:27PM, Marcion wrote:


Appy wrote


Once again, there are three people that would be alive in Florida.  Child abduction cases are another point.  A child every six weeks would not be raped and killed if we executed pedophiles. 


Should we execute catholic priests?  How about the bishops that protect them, aren't they accessories to the crime?


 




At this point, I am not convinced that a child molestor can be changed.  I do think euthanizing serial pedophiles would be the best thing to do.  The bishops should serve life in prison unless they prove to be violent.

Flag appy20 December 22, 2009 8:53 AM EST

The question about the mentally ill is a good one.  From my point of view, I believe that criminals, most of them, are mentally ill.  I just think the conditions are not yet well-defined and I believe many to be organic.  That is why I don't believe in capital punishment as punishment.  I don't think many of them really wanted to be who they are.  If given, 100% free will, they wouldn't have been who they are. 


My position is we can't fix them, now.  If a person is a danger to another, whatever the reason, they should be euthanized.   That does include some mentally ill.  They must not be treatable though.  Also, I believe that eventually, a lot of these problems will go away with treatment. 


I don't believe all human life is sacred.  A human being is the sum total of their actions.  Their value is tied to their actions.  If they have spiritual value to God, let God have them back.  Let God fix them.   If God is not going to protect us from them, we have to protect ourselves.


Once again, you may call my arguments about Ted Bundy emotional but murder is emotional to the victims.  Most murder victims mattered to someone.  Not just the ones of Ted Bundy. 


Some people are too dangerous to live.  To me, the real solution comes with research.  If we would put some serious money into behavioral psychology and neurological research, then we might not have this problem to worry about.  Then we won't need capital punishment.


You have to pick a side.  Either you support the murderer or the victim.  Either you protect or you defend those that present danger. 


The best predictor of the future is the past.  Killing someone for what they might do when something as serious as murder is not unreasonable.  Criminal behaviors that have a high recidivism rate can only be completely prevented by death of those inclined toward the behavior. 


Once again, this is not about punishment. It is about providing maximum protection for those of us who want it.  You may not want the protection but everyone has a right to determine that for themselves.   You have no right to put others at risk.  To deny others the right to protection puts you in the same league as the murderers. 

Flag Marcion December 22, 2009 9:42 AM EST

Appy


You may want to google articles on the cooperative research between the state of Virginia Eugenics program and the Nazi programs with the mentally retarded. This happened during the 1930's when many Virginians were sterilized under the program as unfit to propagate.

Flag mountain_man December 22, 2009 12:34 PM EST

Dec 22, 2009 -- 4:29AM, SatanicStalker wrote:

So much of the anti-death penalty moral argument seems to stem from the belief that killing people is wrong, in and of itself. I think this is an assumption that deserves much deeper contemplation.



Something many are unwilling to do.


People so easily go on about how killing is wrong, except in the cases of (pick any of the following) self defense, defense of another, defense of property, reproductive choice, military actions, euthanasia, protection of vital national secrets, and so on.



That's not an accurate listing of "exceptions." Self defense of self or someone else is acceptable. That's about it. Basicily that list misrepresents those against capital punishment.


So, if you do believe that "killing is wrong," please try to explain why it is wrong. Also, perhaps include whether you think that killing in self defense and/or in war are wrong, and why they are (or are not) different.



Because I cannot come up with an excuse to kill someone just because I do not approve of them. Humans have an intrinsic value, not an extrinsic one. It's just that simple.

Flag appy20 December 22, 2009 2:04 PM EST

Dec 22, 2009 -- 9:42AM, Marcion wrote:


Appy


You may want to google articles on the cooperative research between the state of Virginia Eugenics program and the Nazi programs with the mentally retarded. This happened during the 1930's when many Virginians were sterilized under the program as unfit to propagate.





I already know about that.  I do have more than a third grade education, thank you.  I am not talking about eugenics. I am not talking about human imperfection.  I am certainly not talking about the retarded or the nonviolent mentally ill.  I am talking about people who pose a threat to others and have enough faculties to successfully escape.


Also, I don't think that if we would pay for the research, we would have to have capital punishment.

Flag appy20 December 22, 2009 2:10 PM EST

Dec 22, 2009 -- 12:34PM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 22, 2009 -- 4:29AM, SatanicStalker wrote:

So much of the anti-death penalty moral argument seems to stem from the belief that killing people is wrong, in and of itself. I think this is an assumption that deserves much deeper contemplation.



Something many are unwilling to do.


People so easily go on about how killing is wrong, except in the cases of (pick any of the following) self defense, defense of another, defense of property, reproductive choice, military actions, euthanasia, protection of vital national secrets, and so on.



That's not an accurate listing of "exceptions." Self defense of self or someone else is acceptable. That's about it. Basicily that list misrepresents those against capital punishment.


So, if you do believe that "killing is wrong," please try to explain why it is wrong. Also, perhaps include whether you think that killing in self defense and/or in war are wrong, and why they are (or are not) different.



Because I cannot come up with an excuse to kill someone just because I do not approve of them. Humans have an intrinsic value, not an extrinsic one. It's just that simple.




Do crime victims have intrinsic value?  You have an excuse to kill someone who is a crime victim. You forget, that eventually someone will die if no one is ever executed.    Due to the sanctity of the criminal, it is okay if the victim dies or others are put at risk.  It isn't as if criminals don't kill people.  They do.    This has nothing to do with disapproval.   The criminal is not executed because they violate the local dress code.  It isn't because I don't like them.  They would be executed because they have killed and have demonstrated the propensity to kill and thus lose the benefit of the doubt that they won't kill again. Some people are dangerous. 


 

Flag mountain_man December 22, 2009 3:01 PM EST

Dec 22, 2009 -- 2:04PM, appy20 wrote:

...Also, I don't think that if we would pay for the research, we would have to have capital punishment.



We do not need capital punishment anyway. Other countries do just fine without it.

Flag mountain_man December 22, 2009 3:04 PM EST

Dec 22, 2009 -- 2:10PM, appy20 wrote:

Do crime victims have intrinsic value?



That's not a question designed to further the topic.


You have an excuse to kill someone who is a crime victim. You forget, that eventually someone will die if no one is ever executed. 



Huh?


  Due to the sanctity of the criminal....



I can see that this isn't going to go anywhere.

Flag Janegood December 22, 2009 3:10 PM EST

Do not all people have intrinsic value?

Flag mountain_man December 22, 2009 4:00 PM EST

Dec 22, 2009 -- 3:10PM, Janegood wrote:

Do not all people have intrinsic value?



I say they do. The life of The Pope, President Obama, Mother Theresa, a homeless person, a mother, a child, a victim, a person on death row; all have the same value. It's an intrinsic value, a value that comes from within, that cannot be changed.


Those that believe in the death penalty assign an extrinsic value to humans. That value can be lessened or completely removed by the actions of that person or their lot in life. Their reasons for devaluing people is not static, it changes, and in general lessens the value of all humans. The claim here is "safety." Kill those that are not "safe." Just in this thread they've already expanded the "safety" to include sex offenders. There is nothing to prevent them from extending that "safety" bit to jaywalkers. They present a safety hazard too.


Safety is not the issue, it's their valuing human life based on ambiguous and nebulous criteria is.

Flag Idbc December 22, 2009 4:45 PM EST

Howdy MM


Dec 20, 2009 -- 11:01AM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 20, 2009 -- 8:18AM, Idbc wrote:

....I think you have a good idea about prisioners being given the option to take a pill to end their lives.  It would appear that the "inhumanity"  is in the state "forcibly"  taking a life.  If the state "forced" a person to  take a pill to end a life, that would be "inhumane" if the state gave the "option" for a person to take their own life then that would "humane".



The words you put in quotes have no need to be put in quotes. Are you trying to use special definitions of those words, or do you not agree with those words?



I will decide wheter the words I put in quotes "need" to be put in quotes.  No they do not "need" to be put in quotes.  


And no, I do not have special definations for the words I put in quotes. I pretty much stick to the standard definations of words as found in a dictionary.  The reason that I do it is to "emphaize"  those words.   Somtimes I might  "emphazize"  words by putting them in quotes, sometimes I emphaze words but adding color and bold. 
 


But again the "Devil is in the details".  To whom should this "option" be granted?


Should it "only" be granted to people convicted of capital crimes such as first and second degree murder?


Or should the option be given to any prisoner that is serving a life sentence and feels that life would not be living if it was going to be spent in prison.



Any prisoner that is in for life without parole could be given the option. It's just an idea, something to think about. I wouldn't put much effort into worry about it since it's not going to happen.



No, it probably is not going to happen.  It did sound like a good idea.  But there can be just as many if not more problems. 


Is it more compassionate or more humane to execute a prisioner or to have them serve a life sentence?


I have heard people convicted of capital offenses express the desire to be executed rather than spend their entire lives in jail.   I have seen numerous programs on cable t.v. like "Lockup"  and if I were to be given the choice I would prefer execution.


And what are the other countries that still have the death penalty?


Such fine icons of justice, virtue and compassion as North Korea, Communist China, the Islamic Republics of Iran, Pakistan, Afhghanistan and Saudia Arabia. 


All of which have been designated as "Evil Empires" at various times by various people.


If I were a Theists of the Abrahamic kind,  I might be more prone to reason in favor of the death penalty.


For one thing, no one "truly" dies.  They pass on to another "plane", a new transcendta; existence. 


And if an innocent person is executed God-Yahweh-Allah can make it up to them. 


So far as I am concerned, being an atheist, THIS is the ONLY life.   Mistakes will be made, but they will not be compensated for by God-Yaweh-Allah. 


Have A Thinking Day And May Reason Guide You Smile

Flag appy20 December 22, 2009 4:58 PM EST

Dec 22, 2009 -- 4:00PM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 22, 2009 -- 3:10PM, Janegood wrote:

Do not all people have intrinsic value?



I say they do. The life of The Pope, President Obama, Mother Theresa, a homeless person, a mother, a child, a victim, a person on death row; all have the same value. It's an intrinsic value, a value that comes from within, that cannot be changed.


Those that believe in the death penalty assign an extrinsic value to humans. That value can be lessened or completely removed by the actions of that person or their lot in life. Their reasons for devaluing people is not static, it changes, and in general lessens the value of all humans. The claim here is "safety." Kill those that are not "safe." Just in this thread they've already expanded the "safety" to include sex offenders. There is nothing to prevent them from extending that "safety" bit to jaywalkers. They present a safety hazard too.


Safety is not the issue, it's their valuing human life based on ambiguous and nebulous criteria is.




 


Who  has suggested that capital punishment be expanded to sex offenders?  If you mean me, you lie.  I never said that.   There is a very big difference between a sex offender and a serial peodphile.  I clearly stated serial pedophiles. 


I think executing anyone is tragic.  I do believe that it will be avoided when some folks can be treated effectively.  Plus, you are leaving out the part where I strongly believe that if research were done, the worst of crimes may be avoided thus nulling the need for capital punishment. I would rather treat people successfully than execute them.


As for intrinisic value, that is your religious belief. You are inconsistent on that.   If you do not believe that safety is not a reason to kill then you must be opposed to killing someone in self-defense and and also believe that by killing someone in self-defense, all human life is devalued. 


 

Flag mountain_man December 22, 2009 6:00 PM EST

Dec 22, 2009 -- 4:58PM, appy20 wrote:

Who  has suggested that capital punishment be expanded to sex offenders?  If you mean me, you lie.  I never said that.   There is a very big difference between a sex offender and a serial peodphile.  I clearly stated serial pedophiles.



Either way, you're extending the death penalty to include others you do not approve of.


I think executing anyone is tragic.  I do believe that it will be avoided when some folks can be treated effectively.  Plus, you are leaving out the part where I strongly believe that if research were done, the worst of crimes may be avoided thus nulling the need for capital punishment. I would rather treat people successfully than execute them.



Then get rid of the death penalty.


As for intrinisic value, that is your religious belief.



I'm an Atheist. I have no religion. A line like the one you just used is simply a way to dismiss whatever the person has to say.

Flag mountain_man December 22, 2009 6:01 PM EST

Dec 22, 2009 -- 4:45PM, Idbc wrote:

I will decide wheter the words I put in quotes "need" to be put in quotes.  No they do not "need" to be put in quotes.



Then don't put them in quotes.

Flag appy20 December 22, 2009 6:50 PM EST

Dec 22, 2009 -- 6:00PM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 22, 2009 -- 4:58PM, appy20 wrote:

Who  has suggested that capital punishment be expanded to sex offenders?  If you mean me, you lie.  I never said that.   There is a very big difference between a sex offender and a serial peodphile.  I clearly stated serial pedophiles.



Either way, you're extending the death penalty to include others you do not approve of.


I think executing anyone is tragic.  I do believe that it will be avoided when some folks can be treated effectively.  Plus, you are leaving out the part where I strongly believe that if research were done, the worst of crimes may be avoided thus nulling the need for capital punishment. I would rather treat people successfully than execute them.



Then get rid of the death penalty.


As for intrinisic value, that is your religious belief.



I'm an Atheist. I have no religion. A line like the one you just used is simply a way to dismiss whatever the person has to say.




The reason I wish them to be executed has nothing to do with whether or not I approve of them.  I don't approve of a lot of people but do not believe that is grounds for execution. Actually, I feel sorry for some criminals.  I don't hate them and don't blame many of them.  I think that they may be victims too.  However, I still think they pose a risk for the rest of society.


Well, humans having intrinsic value is not a scientific fact. 

Flag mountain_man December 22, 2009 11:36 PM EST

Dec 22, 2009 -- 6:50PM, appy20 wrote:

The reason I wish them to be executed has nothing to do with whether or not I approve of them.



It most certainly does. I can't see how it doesn't depend on your approval.


I don't approve of a lot of people but do not believe that is grounds for execution. Actually, I feel sorry for some criminals.  I don't hate them and don't blame many of them.  I think that they may be victims too.  However, I still think they pose a risk for the rest of society.



Their human value depends on how much your value their actions.


We are at more risk under a government that kills it's citizens. We are at more risk in a society that places an extrinsic value on human life.


Well, humans having intrinsic value is not a scientific fact.



So? Who said it was?

Flag SatanicStalker December 22, 2009 11:45 PM EST

Dec 22, 2009 -- 12:34PM, mountain_man wrote:


People so easily go on about how killing is wrong, except in the cases of (pick any of the following) self defense, defense of another, defense of property, reproductive choice, military actions, euthanasia, protection of vital national secrets, and so on.



That's not an accurate listing of "exceptions." Self defense of self or someone else is acceptable. That's about it. Basicily that list misrepresents those against capital punishment.




This is a "pick any of the following" sort of list, as I stated. Meaning that all, any, or none of them may apply to any given person.


Are you trying to say that no one against the death penalty is a veteran, or pro-choice, or in favor of death with dignity laws? It seems to me that I am not the one misrepresenting those against capital punishment. 


Dec 22, 2009 -- 12:34PM, mountain_man wrote:

Because I cannot come up with an excuse to kill someone just because I do not approve of them. Humans have an intrinsic value, not an extrinsic one. It's just that simple.



 


Dec 22, 2009 -- 4:00PM, mountain_man wrote:

I say they do. The life of The Pope, President Obama, Mother Theresa, a homeless person, a mother, a child, a victim, a person on death row; all have the same value. It's an intrinsic value, a value that comes from within, that cannot be changed.



Why must this be an either-or sort of a choice? Why can't people have intrinsic value AND extrinsic value?


Dec 22, 2009 -- 4:00PM, mountain_man wrote:

Those that believe in the death penalty assign an extrinsic value to humans. That value can be lessened or completely removed by the actions of that person or their lot in life. Their reasons for devaluing people is not static, it changes, and in general lessens the value of all humans.



I agreed with you completely right up to the bolded portion. How does a person having value above and beyond their intrinsic value make all humans less valuable? How can our extrinsic values for people change their intrinsic value?


If you believe that all human value is intrinsic value (they have no extrinsic value), then you must be completely anti-social, with no family, no friends, no one you look up to, and not a part of a society. If you had a friend, it would mean that person had some sort of value to you beyond the value of everyone you've never met. If you looked up to someone, it would have to be because they exemplified features that you valued, and you valued their existence because of that. Society functions because some people give into it more than they take out of it, and that gives them more extrinsic value than someone who takes more than they give back, from the viewpoint of that society. If you do not believe in extrinsic value, then you must believe that there is no such thing as earning or deserving anything. If I earn an A in a class, after all, and someone else puts in no work and does not earn a passing grade, then by giving me the A the teacher is assigning extrinsic value to me. A hard-working student who does well and a slacker who does nothing should get the same grade because they have the same intrinsic value, thus the same overall value. 


I believe in the intrinsic value of a person. I also believe that it is relatively small compared to their potential extrinsic value. Let's face it, if a homeless person that I never met died, my life would be effected very, very little. If the president died, my life would be effected far more. If my mother died, my life would be effected far, far more than that. That's just from my perspective. From the perspective of society, losing resourceful natural leaders is more of a loss than losing followers with little resources of their own, but even such people are valuable. Certain people manage to have negative extrinsic value, such that even considering their intrinsic value, their total value to society is negative. Such people need to be removed for the good of society. 


Whether a society chooses to do this via execution or life imprisonment is of little overall consequence compared to the major consequence of not removing the person. But it is the same basic thing overall either way, society is removing a right which that society granted to the person in the first place: either the right to live, or the right to free movement and choice. 


Dec 22, 2009 -- 4:00PM, mountain_man wrote:

The claim here is "safety." Kill those that are not "safe." Just in this thread they've already expanded the "safety" to include sex offenders. There is nothing to prevent them from extending that "safety" bit to jaywalkers. They present a safety hazard too.


Safety is not the issue, it's their valuing human life based on ambiguous and nebulous criteria is.



Are you saying that it is not the place of society to remove those who are dangerous? I don't think that is what you are saying, since if I'm not mistaken you claim to favor imprisonment for those who are a significant threat to others. 


That's fine. All I'm saying is that imprisoning someone and executing someone are not qualitatively different, they are both the removal of a society-granted right based on the need to protect the rest of society. And, that neither is massively morally superior to the other. 


How any given person values other people may be ambiguous and nebulous, or it may not be. But how a society values a person (think of the overall [weighted] average of how all people in that society value that person) is neither nebulous nor ambiguous, it is quite explicit and purposeful. 


Don't misunderstand here. I'm not saying that the death penalty should exist because I support it. I'm saying that I support it, and whether it should exist in this society or not depends on how everyone in this society judges it, including but not limited to me. If you and I have near-equal extrinsic value to society, then our views should be taken into consideration equally in making the decision. 


And if you don't like the overall judgment of your society, you can do two things. One, increase your extrinsic value to society so that your views have more weight, and two, convince others to switch to your viewpoint. The second one, at least, you are attempting here. Whether you are working on the first one, I do not know. 


 


 


And, as an aside, I would support the idea to give completely optional suicide drugs to prisoners, but ONLY if such an option was also given to those not in prison as well. Right now, there are people who are not dangerous to society who are living with major disability, crippling pain, and hopeless diagnoses, and as such are not capable of killing themselves without help. Such people should not be denied the right to die on their own terms, especially if that right is granted to prisoners. 


~Stalker


 

Flag mountain_man December 23, 2009 1:05 AM EST

Dec 22, 2009 -- 11:45PM, SatanicStalker wrote:

This is a "pick any of the following" sort of list, as I stated. Meaning that all, any, or none of them may apply to any given person.


Are you trying to say that no one against the death penalty is a veteran, or pro-choice, or in favor of death with dignity laws? It seems to me that I am not the one misrepresenting those against capital punishment.



No. I'm saying your list misrepresented the anti death penalty side.


 


Why must this be an either-or sort of a choice? Why can't people have intrinsic value AND extrinsic value?



Why can't there be dry water?


I agreed with you completely right up to the bolded portion. How does a person having value above and beyond their intrinsic value make all humans less valuable? How can our extrinsic values for people change their intrinsic value?



The state killing it's own citizens lessons the value of a human life. It shows the state puts an extrinsic value on life and those that share that view bring down the average.


If you believe that all human value is intrinsic value (they have no extrinsic value), then you must be completely anti-social, with no family, no friends....



Since that line of reasoning is patently absurd, I'll stop there.

Flag G8r December 23, 2009 1:26 AM EST

Ah. How philosophical it is to talk about intrinsic value of a person. The death penalty is primarily used against someone who has killed another human being. Our society frowns on killing.


Well, maybe our society does not frown on killing. In fact, society itself kills everytime there is an excecution. Why do we have this double standard? We say yes to society killing and no to an individual. Both are wrong. Execution is wrong.


Repeating a failed execution is doubly wrong. It is society trying to kill a human being. It is wrong.

Flag SatanicStalker December 23, 2009 2:49 AM EST

Dec 23, 2009 -- 1:05AM, mountain_man wrote:

No. I'm saying your list misrepresented the anti death penalty side.



How?


I represented them in a non-judgmental way as a collection of individuals with varying beliefs. What did I get wrong?


Dec 23, 2009 -- 1:05AM, mountain_man wrote:

Why can't there be dry water?



How are extrinsic value and intrinsic value mutually exclusive? Something can be valuable for multiple reasons, so why can't a person have value of different forms?


A dollar bill is worth one dollar. If it's also an old silver certificate dollar, it may have value above and beyond $1 (typically between 25 and 50 cents more), but that doesn't take away it's $1 worth of legal currency. If it is the first dollar you ever made in your home business and you've framed it, it may have sentimental value beyond the monetary, but it still has that original $1 worth of value as well. In each case, you could take the dollar bill into any store and exchange it for $1 worth of goods or services.


The intrinsic value of a textbook may only be the cost of materials and construction, but the book also has an extrinsic value from the research it took to write the book, the information within the book. That informational value may or may not be greater than the intrinsic, but it does not negated the cost of the paper, glue, and ink. 


A better analogy would be, how can something be salty and sweet? The answer being if it has both salt and sugar in it.


(By the way, I have seen this "dry water." It's called ice. When very cold, it can be completely lacking in any wetness at all, yet is still undeniably H2O.)


Dec 23, 2009 -- 1:05AM, mountain_man wrote:

The state killing it's own citizens lessons the value of a human life. It shows the state puts an extrinsic value on life and those that share that view bring down the average.



I can see the idea that state-sanctioned executions lessen the value they place on human life, but what is this average and of what importance? Do you mean that if I place only a small intrinsic value on human life and a potentially large extrinsic one, then since my view of intrinsic value is smaller, the overall intrinsic value is smaller? That's all I can make out of that, right now.


But if you don't believe in extrinsic value on a human life, they why does my view change what value you place? 


And why does the very nature of placing extrinsic value on human lives, in addition to intrinsic value and in the absence of executions (as I am sure there are plenty of people who think about extrinsic value similar to how I do but do not support the death penalty), lessen the value of human life?


Dec 23, 2009 -- 1:05AM, mountain_man wrote:

If you believe that all human value is intrinsic value (they have no extrinsic value), then you must be completely anti-social, with no family, no friends....



Since that line of reasoning is patently absurd, I'll stop there.



I'm using hyperbole, but I am serious. If your mother means more to you than a strange woman off the street, then you are placing extrinsic value on her, for being you mother and for being who she is. It doesn't mean you do not think the stranger has any value or that you wouldn't work to protect her life as well, or that your mother lacks the intrinsic value of being a human being. You are attributing to her additional value, beyond the intrinsic. 


Humans are social animals. Social structures form around the resources that individual humans can provide for and receive from other humans. If one human in a band is too old to work and too sick to teach, he or she may still have intrinsic value to the band and still be supported by the band. However, if the strong and skilled leader of the band were to die, it would hurt the band more than if the infirm grandmother or grandfather were to die. 


~Stalker

Flag appy20 December 23, 2009 9:44 AM EST

Dec 22, 2009 -- 11:36PM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 22, 2009 -- 6:50PM, appy20 wrote:

The reason I wish them to be executed has nothing to do with whether or not I approve of them.



It most certainly does. I can't see how it doesn't depend on your approval.


I don't approve of a lot of people but do not believe that is grounds for execution. Actually, I feel sorry for some criminals.  I don't hate them and don't blame many of them.  I think that they may be victims too.  However, I still think they pose a risk for the rest of society.



Their human value depends on how much your value their actions.


We are at more risk under a government that kills it's citizens. We are at more risk in a society that places an extrinsic value on human life.


Well, humans having intrinsic value is not a scientific fact.



So? Who said it was?




Where does this intrinsic value come from?  What is the source? If not science, not religion, from what?


No, once again, I don't want everyone I disapprove of executed.  In fact, there may be murderers I approve of on a personal level.  I just don't believe that I should have to live with their behavior. 


Why are we at risk when we place rules on very specific behavior? We are limiting the conditions on which a human can be killed and we should be sure that we give the person a fair trial and the right to the truth.  We should make every effort to make sure that we do not falsely accuse someone.  Evidence should be objective, not tainted by anyone with an agenda and only evidence should be considered.  How we feel about the person is irrelevant.  Reasonable doubt should not be a high bar for capital cases.  The state must be forced to prove an innocent until proven guilty. 


Of course, that is where we fail.  For that reason, I am against capital punishment.  Since our court performance is very biased in some instances and there are corrupt prosecutors, at this time, we are not capable of judging well in some cases to determine thta one should die.

Flag appy20 December 23, 2009 9:46 AM EST

MountainMan,


Why doesn't self-defense place an extrinsic value on human life?

Flag karbie December 23, 2009 9:53 AM EST

If we wanted to really be barbaric, we would not have serial pedophiles on Death row, but in with the general prison population.  All that would do was put the death on someone--probably several someones who would kill him for us.


Having said that, I would be fine with commuting his sentence to life without possiblity of parole, and have him kept away from the other inmates. All I want  in these cases is to be sure there is no possibility of these criminals ever gets a chance at any other victims.


I want anyone convicted in a death penalty state to have at least a 15 year wait before they are executed so that there is time for technology to advance and recheck the evidence to make sure we have the right person.


It does seem ironic that we are so hungup on making sure the criminals have a less painful death than they gave their victims. And of course, longer life spans as well.

Flag appy20 December 23, 2009 10:09 AM EST

Dec 23, 2009 -- 9:53AM, karbie wrote:


If we wanted to really be barbaric, we would not have serial pedophiles on Death row, but in with the general prison population.  All that would do was put the death on someone--probably several someones who would kill him for us.


Having said that, I would be fine with commuting his sentence to life without possiblity of parole, and have him kept away from the other inmates. All I want  in these cases is to be sure there is no possibility of these criminals ever gets a chance at any other victims.


I want anyone convicted in a death penalty state to have at least a 15 year wait before they are executed so that there is time for technology to advance and recheck the evidence to make sure we have the right person.


It does seem ironic that we are so hungup on making sure the criminals have a less painful death than they gave their victims. And of course, longer life spans as well.




Not to mention, they get better health care than most working Americans.  They get better care than I get with my insurance.  Oh, and they get college too.  We pay for all of that.  For prisoners who are returned to the population, that is a good thing.  Total waste for lifers.

Flag Marcion December 23, 2009 10:38 AM EST

Where does society obtain the right to take a human life collectively when it is murder for an individual to do so. Don't rights of a society stem from individual  rights.

Flag mountain_man December 23, 2009 12:10 PM EST

Dec 23, 2009 -- 1:26AM, G8r wrote:

Ah. How philosophical it is to talk about intrinsic value of a person. The death penalty is primarily used against someone who has killed another human being. Our society frowns on killing.



Well, maybe our society does not frown on killing. In fact, society itself kills everytime there is an excecution. Why do we have this double standard? We say yes to society killing and no to an individual. Both are wrong. Execution is wrong.



That's right, this so called "society" kills to show it frowns on killing. That's a perfect example of 'hypocrisy."


Repeating a failed execution is doubly wrong. It is society trying to kill a human being. It is wrong.



Some believe it is right if killing someone is done in revenge for killing someone.

Flag mountain_man December 23, 2009 12:13 PM EST

Dec 23, 2009 -- 2:49AM, SatanicStalker wrote:


Dec 23, 2009 -- 1:05AM, mountain_man wrote:

No. I'm saying your list misrepresented the anti death penalty side.



How?


I represented them in a non-judgmental way as a collection of individuals with varying beliefs. What did I get wrong?



Your list was not as non-judgmental as you believe.


Your bizarre argument on intrinsic value has caused me to loose interest in trying to discuss this topic with you. Sorry.

Flag mountain_man December 23, 2009 12:16 PM EST

Dec 23, 2009 -- 9:44AM, appy20 wrote:


Where does this intrinsic value come from?  ..



Oh, come on. This is getting rediculous!


Intrinsic: belonging to the essential nature or constitution of a thing.


Extrinsic: not forming part of or belonging to a thing.

Flag mountain_man December 23, 2009 12:18 PM EST

Dec 23, 2009 -- 9:53AM, karbie wrote:

...It does seem ironic that we are so hungup on making sure the criminals have a less painful death than they gave their victims. And of course, longer life spans as well.



So, treating our fellow humans in a humane manner is a "hangup"?

Flag Marcion December 23, 2009 1:25 PM EST

One of the dumbest instances I recall on lethal injection execution was the defense lawyer insisting that the injection needle be certified sterile.

Flag Tolerant Sis December 23, 2009 1:50 PM EST

As of January, torture has been banned.  What happened to this inmate was torture.  Therefore, the execution should be canceled.


Not that I believe we should ever be executing anyone.  Bad form, rather like hitting a child to teach him not to hit.

Flag SatanicStalker December 23, 2009 3:26 PM EST

Dec 23, 2009 -- 10:38AM, Marcion wrote:

Where does society obtain the right to take a human life collectively when it is murder for an individual to do so. Don't rights of a society stem from individual  rights.




Dec 23, 2009 -- 12:10PM, mountain_man wrote:

Well, maybe our society does not frown on killing. In fact, society itself kills everytime there is an excecution. Why do we have this double standard? We say yes to society killing and no to an individual. Both are wrong. Execution is wrong.


That's right, this so called "society" kills to show it frowns on killing. That's a perfect example of 'hypocrisy."




It is considered a very major crime for an individual to take another individual against their will and lock them up for years. When it happens, it's often bigger news than most murders. 


Yet no one claims that it is "hypocritical" for a society to lock up criminals for years in prison. 


And no, societal rights do not stem from individual rights, individual rights stem from society. Individual rights only exist because of society. Society doesn't have "rights," society has responsibilities. Rights must be protected by some force, otherwise they are just wishes. If society had a right, what would be enforcing that right? 


Society enforces the right of people to not be killed. Society enforces the right of people to not be locked up for years against their will. Society can remove these rights when necessary. 


~Stalker

Flag mountain_man December 23, 2009 4:52 PM EST

Dec 23, 2009 -- 3:26PM, SatanicStalker wrote:

Yet no one claims that it is "hypocritical" for a society to lock up criminals for years in prison.



Not a very good try. Taking a life is far more extreme than removing someone that has shown they cannot participate in a normal society from that society. Killing to show that killing is wrong is where the hypocrisy lies.

Flag Beautiful_Dreamer December 26, 2009 2:48 PM EST

Dec 21, 2009 -- 1:58PM, Christianlib wrote:


Sorry, appy, I can't join you in that blood lust.


I'm all for locking someone up forever.  Killing is simply uncivilized vengenance.  It is in no way "justice."




I'm just playing devil's advocate here...


I'm not for capital punishment either. I'm in the boat with CLib when she quoted Sister Perjean when she said that it's not a question of whether or not someone deserves to die as much as whether we deserve to be able to kill them. However, a class of mine in college once toured the state prison in NC...the stories the guards told and seeing the weapons they had confiscated from prisoners, well let's just say I didn't want to eat afterward.  The prison population tended to react even more strongly to people who were in for killing or raping children...either the person would be put in protective custody or solitary confinement, either way they'd spend the vast majority of the time alone. 


That IMO is another point for why keeping someone locked up can be more of a punishment than executing them.  Sometimes I wonder if that might actually be the more *merciful* thing to do, given how inmates can treat each other.


I agree with the others who've mentioned death being a choice offered to a prisoner who would otherwise be in prison for life, especially if they were in solitary confinement. That could be an example of possibly being merciful.

Flag Christianlib December 26, 2009 5:10 PM EST

BD,


Just for clarity, ChristianLib=he.

Flag karbie December 26, 2009 10:30 PM EST

Society derives that right from the will of the governed. Many states have gone back and forth over whether to have the death penalty in my lifetime. A person who has killed--especially a serial killer like Ted Bundy who has already deprived several individuals of their lives--has chosen to do so. He never expressed or apparently felt remorse. The closest he came to any "sympathy" for the families of his victims was when he started offering to clear up more "missing persons" cases in return for a stay of execution. As I recall, it didn't work.


There may indeed be a genetic marker or a cog loose or whatever in serial killers, rapists, or serial pedophiles that will be found someday. At present, they certainly don't seem to feel that the lives of their victims have any intrinsic value that deserves any respect.


 


And slightly off-topic--there was a short sci-fi story about a man being rewarded for saving a small god's life. Every century it was turned into a small animal for 24 hours for changing a pawn to a queen in a chess game with another immortal. While the little god Eep was grateful, his gratitude wasn't worth more than a few dollars. So a winning lottery ticket, etc, would be only worth this small amount. In the end, the man who had saved the little creature was surprised to have the woman he was in love with suddenly show up at his door that evening and spend the night with him. In the morning, he found a little note explaining that the combined chemicals that made up the human body added up to exactly the price limit the little creature could reward anyone. Talking about the "intrinsic value" reminded me of it--I don't remember the exact amount other than it being under $4...but then it was published in 1966.


 

Flag mountain_man December 26, 2009 10:35 PM EST

Dec 26, 2009 -- 10:30PM, karbie wrote:

Society derives that right from the will of the governed. Many states have gone back and forth over whether to have the death penalty in my lifetime. A person who has killed--especially a serial killer like Ted Bundy who has already deprived several individuals of their lives--has chosen to do so. He never expressed or apparently felt remorse. The closest he came to any "sympathy" for the families of his victims was when he started offering to clear up more "missing persons" cases in return for a stay of execution. As I recall, it didn't work.



Are you saying that we should become like Bundy and kill without remorse?


There may indeed be a genetic marker or a cog loose or whatever in serial killers, rapists, or serial pedophiles that will be found someday. At present, they certainly don't seem to feel that the lives of their victims have any intrinsic value that deserves any respect.



So we should become like them?

Flag rangerken December 27, 2009 1:06 AM EST

Bad analogy MM...with Bundy. You're comparing a lawful government with a psychopath. We should always regret  taking anyone's life no matter how necessary it may be. Sometimes it is, in my opinion, necessary. Whether or not it is ever necessary for a level of government to take life through a judicial process is debatable. Ibelieve it may be justified. but it is never a good thing and even if the circumstances are such that it is clearly justified (for those who are willing to ever justify it...like me) it should always be done with regret that it is necessary at all. You understand, I trust MM, that when I talk about taking life I am not being the least bit hypothetical. It is never a good thing, no matter how 'legal' etc.


Ken

Flag jane2 December 27, 2009 2:18 AM EST

Dec 26, 2009 -- 2:48PM, Beautiful_Dreamer wrote:


Dec 21, 2009 -- 1:58PM, Christianlib wrote:


Sorry, appy, I can't join you in that blood lust.


I'm all for locking someone up forever.  Killing is simply uncivilized vengenance.  It is in no way "justice."




I'm just playing devil's advocate here...


I'm not for capital punishment either. I'm in the boat with CLib when she quoted Sister Perjean when she said that it's not a question of whether or not someone deserves to die as much as whether we deserve to be able to kill them. However, a class of mine in college once toured the state prison in NC...the stories the guards told and seeing the weapons they had confiscated from prisoners, well let's just say I didn't want to eat afterward.  The prison population tended to react even more strongly to people who were in for killing or raping children...either the person would be put in protective custody or solitary confinement, either way they'd spend the vast majority of the time alone. 


That IMO is another point for why keeping someone locked up can be more of a punishment than executing them.  Sometimes I wonder if that might actually be the more *merciful* thing to do, given how inmates can treat each other.


I agree with the others who've mentioned death being a choice offered to a prisoner who would otherwise be in prison for life, especially if they were in solitary confinement. That could be an example of possibly being merciful.*




I've read both books by Sister Helen Prejean and donated DEATH OF INNOCENTS to my former parish library. Loved the discussion in the second book in which she engages Justice Scalia, who hunts and fishes with her brother. Sister Helen is from Louisiana as is Scalia. That state is one of the top four in executions; Texas leads the list, followed by Louisiana, Virginia and Georgia. I live in Georgia now. For those who don't remember Susan Sarandon played Sister Helen in the movie of her first book DEAD MAN WALKING.**


I know more about Federal penitentiaries than I bargained for. We lived on the grounds of two then Federal pens: Lewisburg and five years at Leavenworth, where my husband was the Chief of Classification and Parole. Anyone interested might want to read HOT HOUSE, LIFE INSIDE LEAVENWORTH by Pete Earley for a real picture of what goes on. It backs up the story told here.


*Timothy McVeigh chose execution. My husband and I worried about the warden at Terre Haute because he was a protogee of my husband.


In the end I think a second try at executing the prisoner in Ohio is more than barbaric. It is cruel and unusual punishment, prohibited by law.


**THE GREEN MILE, starring Tom Hanks is also very powerful.




Flag Roodog December 27, 2009 2:25 AM EST

They blew their chance to put the prisoner down.


Why go through the cost and hassle of trying it again?


If Life w/o parole is cheaper than the Death, just weld the door shut.

Flag mountain_man December 27, 2009 12:17 PM EST

Dec 27, 2009 -- 1:06AM, rangerken wrote:

Bad analogy MM...with Bundy. You're comparing a lawful government with a psychopath.



That's what makes it such an apt analogy... but it wasn't me that made the analogy, it was someone else that wanted to kill people with the same lack of remorse and ease as Bundy did.


We should always regret  taking anyone's life no matter how necessary it may be.



We should never take anyone's life. It's wrong. Every time they do, the whole society becomes closer to being a Bundy.


Sometimes it is, in my opinion, necessary. Whether or not it is ever necessary for a level of government to take life through a judicial process is debatable. Ibelieve it may be justified. but it is never a good thing and even if the circumstances are such that it is clearly justified (for those who are willing to ever justify it...like me) it should always be done with regret that it is necessary at all. You understand, I trust MM, that when I talk about taking life I am not being the least bit hypothetical. It is never a good thing, no matter how 'legal' etc.



There is never a good reason for a government to kill one of it's own citizens. I've seen absolutely not one bit of regret from the majority of those that support the death penalty. Some show glee. The government never shows any remorse and some in that government use it for their political gain.

Flag SatanicStalker December 27, 2009 6:01 PM EST

Dec 23, 2009 -- 4:52PM, mountain_man wrote:

Not a very good try. Taking a life is far more extreme than removing someone that has shown they cannot participate in a normal society from that society. Killing to show that killing is wrong is where the hypocrisy lies.



It's not killing to show that killing is wrong. It is simply a more complete way to remove a person from society. 


~Stalker

Flag Christianlib December 27, 2009 6:27 PM EST

MM is right.

Flag mountain_man December 27, 2009 6:48 PM EST

Dec 27, 2009 -- 6:01PM, SatanicStalker wrote:

It's not killing to show that killing is wrong. It is simply a more complete way to remove a person from society.



That can be done without killing.

Flag Idbc December 27, 2009 9:04 PM EST

Howdy MM


Dec 22, 2009 -- 6:01PM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 22, 2009 -- 4:45PM, Idbc wrote:

I will decide wheter the words I put in quotes "need" to be put in quotes.  No they do not "need" to be put in quotes.



Then don't put them in quotes.




I will continue to put them in "quotes"  beause I like to do it for "emphasis".   It is a matter of "style" rather than "neccessaity".  


_____________________________________________________________________________


The authority for the state to use capital punishment has been in practice for the vast majority of human history.  In the Holy(?)Scripture both tand very ancient there numerous stories of capital punishment.   


It is the responsibilty of "the state" to protect socieity from criminals.   In the past the way to do it was to impose capital punishment.   I do not think there is a "neccesarity"  to impose it   now.  


Have A Thinking Day And My Reason Guide You Wink

Flag mountain_man December 27, 2009 9:39 PM EST

Dec 27, 2009 -- 9:04PM, Idbc wrote:


Howdy MM


Dec 22, 2009 -- 6:01PM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 22, 2009 -- 4:45PM, Idbc wrote:

I will decide wheter the words I put in quotes "need" to be put in quotes.  No they do not "need" to be put in quotes.



Then don't put them in quotes.




I will continue to put them in "quotes"  beause I like to do it for "emphasis".   It is a matter of "style" rather than "neccessaity". 



That's fine. Do what you want. It's just that I do not need someone to help me to read by pointing out certain words. It's an irritating style that "assumes" I, and others, are not bright enough to figure things out for ourselves.

Flag Lonesentinel December 28, 2009 2:05 PM EST

Dec 27, 2009 -- 9:39PM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 27, 2009 -- 9:04PM, Idbc wrote:


Howdy MM


Dec 22, 2009 -- 6:01PM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 22, 2009 -- 4:45PM, Idbc wrote:

I will decide wheter the words I put in quotes "need" to be put in quotes.  No they do not "need" to be put in quotes.



Then don't put them in quotes.




I will continue to put them in "quotes"  beause I like to do it for "emphasis".   It is a matter of "style" rather than "neccessaity". 



That's fine. Do what you want. It's just that I do not need someone to help me to read by pointing out certain words. It's an irritating style that "assumes" I, and others, are not bright enough to figure things out for ourselves.





*chuckle*....there are a few assumptions made in the above quote...

Flag rangerken December 28, 2009 2:12 PM EST

Can we PLEASE get back on the thread topic!!!!!!!


I'll try...


Having thought about it, I don't think Ohio should try again. In my opinion that would really be cruel and unusual... and I AM a death penalty proponent. Life in prison without parole in a not very nice place should be what this guy receives now.


Ken

Flag Girlchristian December 28, 2009 2:15 PM EST

Dec 28, 2009 -- 2:12PM, rangerken wrote:


Can we PLEASE get back on the thread topic!!!!!!!


I'll try...


Having thought about it, I don't think Ohio should try again. In my opinion that would really be cruel and unusual... and I AM a death penalty proponent. Life in prison without parole in a not very nice place should be what this guy receives now.


Ken




I agree, while I am a DP proponent in specific instances, I think to try again would be cruel and unusual punishment. 

Flag Nepenthe December 29, 2009 1:26 PM EST

They shouldn't have had a first chance.


 


I really don't have anything else to add.


 


Glad we had this talk.


 

Flag mountain_man December 29, 2009 1:54 PM EST

Dec 29, 2009 -- 1:26PM, Nepenthe wrote:

They shouldn't have had a first chance.


I really don't have anything else to add.



That's all that needs to be said.


Glad we had this talk.



I don't think they listened.

Flag appy20 December 29, 2009 4:10 PM EST

It may be cruel but the only 100% surefire way that this guy can never kill again is for him to be killed.  It isn't about punishment.   They do escape.  There are fatalities when they do.  There are shootouts when they do.  The only way to completely prevent a dangerous human from jeopardizing the rest of us is by killing him.



html_removed

html_removed

 


 


crime.about.com/b/2009/07/13/dangerous-c...


 


cbs3.com/topstories/Alabama.escaped.conv...


 


www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime...


 


wcco.com/local/calvin.adams.jeffrey.2.10...


Flag appy20 December 29, 2009 6:56 PM EST

Dec 23, 2009 -- 4:52PM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 23, 2009 -- 3:26PM, SatanicStalker wrote:

Yet no one claims that it is "hypocritical" for a society to lock up criminals for years in prison.



Not a very good try. Taking a life is far more extreme than removing someone that has shown they cannot participate in a normal society from that society. Killing to show that killing is wrong is where the hypocrisy lies.




So, killing in self-defense is wrong?  Is self-defense hypocritical?  I do not believe in killing to show that killing is wrong.  I believe that killing a murderer should be done so that they do not kill again.   I have no desire to punish people with defective brains.

Flag mountain_man December 29, 2009 8:44 PM EST

Dec 29, 2009 -- 6:56PM, appy20 wrote:


Dec 23, 2009 -- 4:52PM, mountain_man wrote:

Not a very good try. Taking a life is far more extreme than removing someone that has shown they cannot participate in a normal society from that society. Killing to show that killing is wrong is where the hypocrisy lies.



So, killing in self-defense is wrong? ....



Not a very creative strawman. I know you can do better than that.

Flag mountain_man December 29, 2009 8:47 PM EST

Dec 29, 2009 -- 4:10PM, appy20 wrote:

It may be cruel but the only 100% surefire way that this guy can never kill again is for him to be killed.  It isn't about punishment....



That's right; it's all about revenge. And not everyone that kills someone is going to do it again. If you look you'll find that murder actually has a low recidivism rate. Someone convicted of a drug offense, then released, is more likely to kill than someone released after doing time for murder. The Internet can be your friend and you can learn a lot of you just take the time to learn about what you're researching.

Flag appy20 December 30, 2009 8:22 AM EST

Revenge has nothing to do with it for me.  I have been arguing for better mental health research for decades and if that had been done, we might not even be having this discussion.  I prefer prevention to punishment.  I prefer rehabilitation to punishment. However, we don't have the tools to do that.


It doesn't matter how few are murdered.  I love dogs.  Crazy about them.  Rabid dogs don't kill many people.  Rabid animals don't kill many people.  However, if my dog became rabid, I would have to shoot her. It would not be revenge.  It would be public safety.  It would be concern for other human beings.  Same with convicted murderers.  I have no qualms about identifying those at the most risk and most dangerous and only executing them.  Perhaps drug dealers should be executed.  I do not know.  However, those with a proven history of killing and have an ongoing propensity for it should be killed. I don't believe in the death penalty for every murderer. 


To the people who die, it matters.  To the parents of children that were kidnapped, tortured, killed, it matters.  To police officers shot at by escaped convicts, that is enough.   The number of deaths do not have to be statistically significant.  To the ones killed it matters.  People with a proven history of killing and are considered dangerous in or out of prison should be destroyed. 


Rabid humans do not have the same intrinsic value as non rabid humans.  My dog has more value to me than my drunken, abusive neighbor but if my dog were rabid, I would put my neighbor's welfare above my own.   My dog would be put down.

Flag appy20 December 30, 2009 9:51 AM EST

Dec 29, 2009 -- 8:44PM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 29, 2009 -- 6:56PM, appy20 wrote:


Dec 23, 2009 -- 4:52PM, mountain_man wrote:

Not a very good try. Taking a life is far more extreme than removing someone that has shown they cannot participate in a normal society from that society. Killing to show that killing is wrong is where the hypocrisy lies.



So, killing in self-defense is wrong? ....



Not a very creative strawman. I know you can do better than that.




 Not at all a straw man.  Either human life has intrinsic value or not.  You can't have it both ways.   Where does this intrinisic value come from?  Is it religious?  Is it philosophical?   Nature doesn't give intrinsic value to humans.  Either you believe people can kill in self-defense or not.    It seems to me that the only one that has intrinsic value to you is the person who kills others.  Their victims don't share that same intrinisic value.

Flag Nepenthe December 30, 2009 9:58 AM EST

Dec 29, 2009 -- 4:10PM, appy20 wrote:

The only way to completely prevent a dangerous human from jeopardizing the rest of us is by killing him.



Tell that to these people:


www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/executed-possib...




 


Flag Abner1 December 30, 2009 10:11 AM EST

appy20 wrote:


> Where does this intrinisic value come from?


If it comes from something else then it's not intrinsic value, it's extrinsic value.  Intrinsic value is in and of itself, extrinsic value comes from something else.  If the value of human life comes from nature, or God, or philosophy, then it is extrinsic.  If humans are valuable in and of themselves, then it is intrinsic.


> Either you believe people can kill in self-defense or not.    It seems to me that the only


> one that has intrinsic value to you is the person who kills others.  Their victims don't share


> that same intrinisic value.


Actually, even if human life has intrinsic value that doesn't mean that you can't kill in self-defense.  After all, if someone is going to kill you or you have to kill them to prevent it, either way a human life is lost ... at that point you're just choosing *which* human life gets lost, yours or that of the person who is trying to kill you.  While some people may choose not to defend themselves under those circumstances (true pacifism), they can't really use intrinsic value to justify it, since the same value is lost either way.  Intrinsic value of human life doesn't even mean that you can't kill for other reasons (i.e. protecting your country), since just because human life would be intrinsically valuable does not mean that other things cannot also be valuable, perhaps even more valuable than a human life.  Only if human life was infinitely valuable would killing for other reasons not be justifiable, and assigning an infinite value to human life causes more problems than it solves IMO.


All in all, I don't consider the 'intrinsic value of a human life' argument to be a very good argument against the death penalty, since that intrinsic value would have to be infinitely high for killing to never be justified, and even then it wouldn't work if it came to a choice of who was going to die.  There are others (such as false convictions that result in executing innocents) that I find far more convincing.

Flag appy20 December 30, 2009 12:33 PM EST

Dec 30, 2009 -- 10:11AM, Abner1 wrote:


appy20 wrote:


> Where does this intrinisic value come from?


 


If it comes from something else then it's not intrinsic value, it's extrinsic value.  Intrinsic value is in and of itself, extrinsic value comes from something else.  If the value of human life comes from nature, or God, or philosophy, then it is extrinsic.  If humans are valuable in and of themselves, then it is intrinsic.


> Either you believe people can kill in self-defense or not.    It seems to me that the only


> one that has intrinsic value to you is the person who kills others.  Their victims don't share


> that same intrinisic value.


Actually, even if human life has intrinsic value that doesn't mean that you can't kill in self-defense.  After all, if someone is going to kill you or you have to kill them to prevent it, either way a human life is lost ... at that point you're just choosing *which* human life gets lost, yours or that of the person who is trying to kill you.  While some people may choose not to defend themselves under those circumstances (true pacifism), they can't really use intrinsic value to justify it, since the same value is lost either way.  Intrinsic value of human life doesn't even mean that you can't kill for other reasons (i.e. protecting your country), since just because human life would be intrinsically valuable does not mean that other things cannot also be valuable, perhaps even more valuable than a human life.  Only if human life was infinitely valuable would killing for other reasons not be justifiable, and assigning an infinite value to human life causes more problems than it solves IMO.


All in all, I don't consider the 'intrinsic value of a human life' argument to be a very good argument against the death penalty, since that intrinsic value would have to be infinitely high for killing to never be justified, and even then it wouldn't work if it came to a choice of who was going to die.  There are others (such as false convictions that result in executing innocents) that I find far more convincing.




 I know what the definition of intrinsic and extrinsic.  I just don't get how others determine and apply this value.  I don't know how one can decide what is intrinsic or not.  More importantly, I don't know who decides this value.  If it is given by people, it can be taken away by people.   It is a weak argument against the death penalty.  That is my point.


If Ted Bundy had been killed in Colorado, there would be several people alive in Florida. The people he killed had "intrinsic" and "extrinsic" value in my book.


I agree with you on the lousy judicial process.  I have stated before that the sole reason that I am opposed to the death penalty is that we don't judge well.  We don't always convict the right people.  When innocent people are locked up or executed, it is a tragedy.  It is wrong.  When you execute, you can't undo the verdict.  If we chose only those that we know to have done the crime and those that do present a future danger, then I would be in support of it.


In this case, there doesn't seem to be any doubt about this man's guilt.  The nature of his crime is the sort that predicts future crime.  He has a history of killing.  Therefore, killing him would not bother me.   We would be safer, more importantly, children would be safer if he were dead.


 

Flag mountain_man December 30, 2009 12:39 PM EST

Dec 30, 2009 -- 9:51AM, appy20 wrote:


Dec 29, 2009 -- 8:44PM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 29, 2009 -- 6:56PM, appy20 wrote:


So, killing in self-defense is wrong? ....



Not a very creative strawman. I know you can do better than that.




 Not at all a straw man.  Either human life has intrinsic value or not.....




The whole self-defense argument is a strawman. It has nothing to do with intrinsic value. Try again.

Flag mountain_man December 30, 2009 12:43 PM EST

Dec 30, 2009 -- 8:22AM, appy20 wrote:

...Rabid humans do not have the same intrinsic value as non rabid humans.



They do. It seems you do not fully understand the concept of intrinsic vs extrinsic value. I posted the definitions awhile back, please read them again. Not all humans that have killed another human are "rabid." It is all about revenge.

Flag rangerken December 30, 2009 2:31 PM EST

Every human being has intrinsic value. I believe, in accordance with my faith, that all human beings have an immortal soul. Nothing in those two statements separates people according to their intelligence, race, gender, sexual orientation, political position,religion, or psychological makeup. Even the most depraved radical islamist terrorist has a soul. Even the most depravedserial killer has a soul. Even the most committed atheist has, in my opinion, a soul (and I am NOT comparing atheists to terrorists...just trying to make a strong point). That some commit acts that put them outside the bounds of what we consider to be humanity does NOT alter their own humanity. I am in favor of capital punishment, when there is zero doubt, etc. But I don't want us to ever treat even the most vile criminal as if he or she was not a human being. The enemy soldiers I once killed due to my former career were human beings and had/have souls...doesn't mean I regret doing it... but it does mean that I regret having had to do it.


Sometimes any society has the right to take life. But it must never, ever be deemed to be a good thing, just a regrettably necessary thing.


Returning to the thread topic, I continue to believe that Ohio 'had its chance', and trying for a do-over would be cruel and unusual.


Ken

Flag Abner1 December 30, 2009 2:33 PM EST

appy20 wrote:


> I know what the definition of intrinsic and extrinsic.  I just don't get how others


> determine and apply this value.  I don't know how one can decide what is intrinsic


> or not.  More importantly, I don't know who decides this value.


From conversations with those who believe that humans have intrinsic value, I think they hold it as an axiom and reason from it rather than arrive at it from other axioms.  You might say that it's a matter of faith or belief.


> If it is given by people, it can be taken away by people.


Sorry, if it is given by people you are talking about extrinsic value, not intrinsic value.  They believe that they are *discovering* the already existing value of people, not giving people value.  Since they believe that value is intrinsic, they believe that it cannot be taken away or lost, so even the most depraved of murderers would still have that intrinsic value.  Interestingly, it is possible to believe in both intrinsic and extrinsic value of human life, so a murderer might have less value than other people due to still having the intrinsic, but having lost the extrinsic.  Thus, even people who believe that humans have intrinsic value can still think that a murderer has less value than an innocent human, and act to save the innocent at the cost of the life of the murderer.


I agree that the intrinsic value argument is a very bad argument against the death penalty, since it is possible for something to have intrinsic value and still be best destroyed due to a greater value of something else.


> If Ted Bundy had been killed in Colorado, there would be several people alive in Florida.


If I recall correctly, at the time he escaped in Colorado, he had not yet been convicted of murder (only of kidnapping).  He escaped *during* his trial for murder.  Do you really want the legal system to start executing people before they have been tried and convicted?  I think that would be a very bad idea.


> The people he killed had "intrinsic" and "extrinsic" value in my book.


So, in your view, Ted Bundy had lost his extrinsic value, but still had his intrinsic value?


> I agree with you on the lousy judicial process.  I have stated before that the sole reason


> that I am opposed to the death penalty is that we don't judge well.  We don't always


> convict the right people.  When innocent people are locked up or executed, it is a tragedy. 


> It is wrong.  When you execute, you can't undo the verdict.  If we chose only those that


> we know to have done the crime and those that do present a future danger, then I


> would be in support of it.


I've been arguing that for years!  IMO, there should be a higher standard of evidence for death penalty - perhaps 'beyond any sane doubt'.  Basically, if you find the dead person in their freezer and identify human DNA in their stomach, or if they kill the person in front of fifty witnesses or on national TV, or something along those lines - something where you really don't have *any* doubt that they did it, then I have no problem with the death penalty.  But all too often we are convicting people and sending them to death based on circumstantial evidence, one witness who only saw someone in dim light, etc. - there may be enough to get a conviction, but I don't think that is enough to get an execution.

Flag appy20 December 30, 2009 4:07 PM EST

I agree that there should be a higher standard for execution cases.  I also would not execute the mentally retarded being that they are not difficult to incarcerate. I also suspect that the mentally retarded are easier to falsely accuse and convict. They cannot defend themselves adequately and even with a lawyer, that is a serious handicap.


Ted Bundy was awaiting trial and no, I wouldn't want him executed prior to trial.  However, the evidence against him was solid and he was held for the murder of 5 women found in Colorado.  Some of which were killed in Colorado.  Which brings up another pet peeve of mine.  Speedy trials.  He should have been held under tighter restrictions, tried quickly and executed. If he had been killed as quickly as possible, people would have lived.  He did escape from jail as did another person today.  He escpated twice. 


www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/12/30/virginia.co...


Some people are too dangerous to allow to live. 


Once again, splitting hairs on intrinsic value.  Intrinsic value is a human concept that is applied.  We don't have an organ inside of us called intrinsic value.  Even if intrinsic value MEANS  inherent value it really isn't because ultimately something or someone has to decide on that value.  One wolf doesn't claim intrinsic value of another wolf.  Nature doesn't have values at all.  So, either the concept is religious or philosophical but it is by no means a given and it is a man-made concept. 

Flag mountain_man December 30, 2009 4:25 PM EST

Dec 30, 2009 -- 2:31PM, rangerken wrote:

...Sometimes any society has the right to take life. But it must never, ever be deemed to be a good thing, just a regrettably necessary thing.



When it comes to revenge, which is what capital punishment is all about, it is never a good reason. An advanced, honorable, and just, society does not seek reasons to kill it's own peope.


 

Flag mountain_man December 30, 2009 4:30 PM EST

Dec 30, 2009 -- 4:07PM, appy20 wrote:

I agree that there should be a higher standard for execution cases. ....



Which is impossible to attain. There should be no excuses made to kill people.


Ted Bundy was awaiting trial...



Not everyone in prison is a Ted Bundy.


Some people are too dangerous to allow to live.



That line has been used by many societies to kill all kinds of people - even those that have done nothing wrong.


Once again, splitting hairs on intrinsic value.  ....



I'm not the one trying to split hairs... bu then I'm not the one trying to justify the killing of my fellow human beings.

Flag rangerken December 30, 2009 4:36 PM EST

Dec 30, 2009 -- 4:25PM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 30, 2009 -- 2:31PM, rangerken wrote:

...Sometimes any society has the right to take life. But it must never, ever be deemed to be a good thing, just a regrettably necessary thing.



When it comes to revenge, which is what capital punishment is all about, it is never a good reason. An advanced, honorable, and just, society does not seek reasons to kill it's own peope.


 





If you look at capital punishment as 'revenge' then I agree with you Mountainman. If you look at as justice in a very limited set of circumstances it's not. I'm never happy with taking life, particularly since I have considerable expeience doing that. I just think there are times when it is justified although always something to be reegretted as being necessary.


Ken

Flag mountain_man December 30, 2009 4:41 PM EST

Dec 30, 2009 -- 4:36PM, rangerken wrote:

If you look at capital punishment as 'revenge' then I agree with you Mountainman.



I'm just calling it as it is; capital punishment is pure revenge. Nothing else.


If you look at as justice in a very limited set of circumstances it's not.



If someone dies because of it, it is not justice. It's revenge.


I'm never happy with taking life, particularly since I have considerable expeience doing that. I just think there are times when it is justified although always something to be reegretted as being necessary.



Since your only tool is a bullet, everyone is a target. Self defense is justified, revenge is not.

Flag rangerken December 30, 2009 4:58 PM EST

OK MM, I see your point about self defense vs. revenge.


My mind isn't closed on this... gotta think about it. This might make an inteesting dinner conversation with my wife. Frankly, I really don't know for sure what Mary Clare thinks about this. She's a practicing catholic so I'm sure that will influence her opinion. I'll bring it up and if we do get into it I'll post the gist of our conversation.


Ken

Flag Abner1 December 30, 2009 6:11 PM EST

appy20 wrote:


> Ted Bundy was awaiting trial and no, I wouldn't want him executed prior to trial.


Then the death penalty for murder would have done nothing to stop him (he didn't kill anyone after he was convicted) and your statement that it would have saved the lives of his Florida victims is mistaken.  What would have saved the lives of his Florida victims would be better escape-proofing of jails, which is a different issue.  (Though you could relate it to the issue of the death penalty if you can find examples of people who escaped and killed *after* they had been convicted of crimes that you would have had them executed for.)


> Which brings up another pet peeve of mine.  Speedy trials.  He should have been held


> under tighter restrictions, tried quickly and executed.


Agreed with a few quibbles.  Unfortunately, speeding up the justice system would be difficult in many respects - not only would it require more resources (more judges, etc.) but it often takes time for the police to collect the evidence needed to gain a conviction.  If they sped up the trials, they would have less time to collect evidence and double-check it, resulting in both fewer convictions of the guilty and more mistakes (which might result in more conviction of the innocent).  Alas, you can't do just one thing.


> Once again, splitting hairs on intrinsic value.  Intrinsic value is a human concept that


> is applied.  We don't have an organ inside of us called intrinsic value.  Even if intrinsic


> value MEANS  inherent value it really isn't because ultimately something or someone


> has to decide on that value. 


All this statement means is that *you* don't really believe that intrinsic value is possible - it doesn't fit into your world-view.  (This is probably why you kept asking who gave the intrinsic value.)  To those who do believe in intrinsic value, it really is intrinsic, not extrinsic.  Apparently you believe that all value is extrinsic, but others do not share that belief.

Flag mountain_man December 30, 2009 7:05 PM EST

Dec 30, 2009 -- 4:58PM, rangerken wrote:

OK MM, I see your point about self defense vs. revenge.


My mind isn't closed on this... gotta think about it. This might make an inteesting dinner conversation with my wife. Frankly, I really don't know for sure what Mary Clare thinks about this. She's a practicing catholic so I'm sure that will influence her opinion. I'll bring it up and if we do get into it I'll post the gist of our conversation.



Some catholics are for the death penalty, as are some Atheists. Opposition to the death penalty comes from inside a person, not from their religion or lack of religion. It starts with how easily the person can devalue, or dehumanize, another. I can't do either so I am fundamentally opposed to the killing of my fellow humans as a form of revenge.

Flag Lonesentinel December 30, 2009 7:35 PM EST

Dec 30, 2009 -- 4:41PM, mountain_man wrote:


...I'm just calling it as it is; capital punishment is pure revenge. Nothing else.





I would disagree...and when I find time, I'll elaborate more.

Flag mountain_man December 30, 2009 8:50 PM EST

Dec 30, 2009 -- 7:35PM, Lonesentinel wrote:


Dec 30, 2009 -- 4:41PM, mountain_man wrote:


...I'm just calling it as it is; capital punishment is pure revenge. Nothing else.





I would disagree...and when I find time, I'll elaborate more.




Since killing someone is not any kind of justice, the "safety" argument is based on emotions and not facts, there is no deterence effect in capital punishment, the only reason is for revenge. I don't see how elaborating could change any of that.

Flag rangerken December 30, 2009 10:33 PM EST

Like I said I bounced this off my wife at dinner. Mary Clare thinks that the death penalty is justified only under a combination of extreme circumstances (rape and murder of a child for example) and only if there is no doubt at all about guilt. But like me, she's not 'comfotable' with it.


Ken

Flag Bei1052 December 30, 2009 11:00 PM EST

The logic behind capital punishment is incredibly simple; When you violate someone else's right to live, then you forfeit your own right to live. This has nothing to do with "exacting revenge", but rather appropriating a punishment fitting the crime. If capital punishment was revenge motivated, then why are there not hundreds upon thousands of executions per year? I'll tell you why; because capital punishment is fairly limited in its application, generally only applied in cases of mass or repeat murders. People seem to act as if people are executed left and right. They're not, nor should they be.


Anyway, here's something to ponder for you. Let's assume that we have a mass murderer, guilty of ten murders. There's no death penalty, so he's thrown in jail with multiple life sentences with no chance of parole. For whatever reason he escapes, and committs ten more murders. Now what do you do? Throw him back in jail with the same sentence? Or, better yet, what about someone like Andrei Chikatilo, who was convicted of 52 murders, consisting entirely (Or almost entirely) of women and children?

Flag Mlyons619 December 31, 2009 12:25 AM EST

Well, if a man's convicted of 52 murders, you can only kill him once...


And if it turns out he was innocent all along, what then?  Say, "Gee, we're sorry about that" to his relatives?

Flag mountain_man December 31, 2009 12:26 AM EST

Dec 30, 2009 -- 10:33PM, rangerken wrote:

Like I said I bounced this off my wife at dinner. Mary Clare thinks that the death penalty is justified only under a combination of extreme circumstances (rape and murder of a child for example) and only if there is no doubt at all about guilt. But like me, she's not 'comfotable' with it.



Violence is not a solution. Killing someone is a violent act that when done by the state only diminishes the value of life in that society. Violence only breeds more violence.

Flag Bei1052 December 31, 2009 2:00 AM EST

Dec 31, 2009 -- 12:25AM, Mlyons619 wrote:

Well, if a man's convicted of 52 murders, you can only kill him once...



Unfortunately :'(


And if it turns out he was innocent all along, what then?  Say, "Gee, we're sorry about that" to his relatives?



This is why capital punishment shouldn't be use wily nily. It should only be used in the most heinous of cases and only when the man or woman's guilt has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Flag Mlyons619 December 31, 2009 2:11 AM EST

"Proven beyond a shadow of a doubt" is not a legal term.


ALL of those on "dearh row" were convicted based on the fact that their guilt was proven "beyond a REASONABLE doubt," yet we are constantly hearing of cases where new evidence has overturned those cases.


Read this case, then tell me what you would say to the next of kin...

Flag Bei1052 December 31, 2009 6:04 AM EST

Dec 31, 2009 -- 2:11AM, Mlyons619 wrote:

"Proven beyond a shadow of a doubt" is not a legal term.



I don't believe I said it was. In fact, I didn't say it was. At all.


ALL of those on "dearh row" were convicted based on the fact that their guilt was proven "beyond a REASONABLE doubt," yet we are constantly hearing of cases where new evidence has overturned those cases.



Arguing that capital punishment should be abolished because people sometimes are wrongfully convicted and executed is like arguing that we should get rid of jail time because some people are wrongfully imprisoned for years. That is, it ignores the fact that the problem isn't capital punishment. Rather, the problem is a breakdown in the judicial system at some level. In the majority of cases where the verdict is wrong, one of four things generally happen: a judge is bribed (As was the case with Nathson Fields), the police botch the investigation, the prosecutions withholds evidence or the technology didn't exist at the time of the person's conviction to exonerate them of wrongdoing (I'm speaking specifically of DNA testing). The first three instances are a matter of overhauling the system, instituting rigorous standards of which to abide by (i.e., holding, for example, police officers way more accountable for conducting an investigation properly than they currently are and making it a heck of a lot harder for the prosecution to withhold pertinent evidence to a case), while the last the last is merely a matter of science catching up to the law, which it has done immensely over the past few decades or so.


Read this case, then tell me what you would say to the next of kin...



I've read this before, and I wouldn't say anything. That'd be akin to rubbing salt on a wound, henceforth why it's important to overhaul the system to make sure that these sort of things don't happen in the future.

Flag appy20 December 31, 2009 10:17 AM EST

Dec 30, 2009 -- 6:11PM, Abner1 wrote:


appy20 wrote:


> Ted Bundy was awaiting trial and no, I wouldn't want him executed prior to trial.


Then the death penalty for murder would have done nothing to stop him (he didn't kill anyone after he was convicted) and your statement that it would have saved the lives of his Florida victims is mistaken.  What would have saved the lives of his Florida victims would be better escape-proofing of jails, which is a different issue.  (Though you could relate it to the issue of the death penalty if you can find examples of people who escaped and killed *after* they had been convicted of crimes that you would have had them executed for.)


> Which brings up another pet peeve of mine.  Speedy trials.  He should have been held


> under tighter restrictions, tried quickly and executed.


Agreed with a few quibbles.  Unfortunately, speeding up the justice system would be difficult in many respects - not only would it require more resources (more judges, etc.) but it often takes time for the police to collect the evidence needed to gain a conviction.  If they sped up the trials, they would have less time to collect evidence and double-check it, resulting in both fewer convictions of the guilty and more mistakes (which might result in more conviction of the innocent).  Alas, you can't do just one thing.


> Once again, splitting hairs on intrinsic value.  Intrinsic value is a human concept that


> is applied.  We don't have an organ inside of us called intrinsic value.  Even if intrinsic


> value MEANS  inherent value it really isn't because ultimately something or someone


> has to decide on that value. 


All this statement means is that *you* don't really believe that intrinsic value is possible - it doesn't fit into your world-view.  (This is probably why you kept asking who gave the intrinsic value.)  To those who do believe in intrinsic value, it really is intrinsic, not extrinsic.  Apparently you believe that all value is extrinsic, but others do not share that belief.




It goes back to the rabid dog thing.  Bundy was too dangerous to be allowed extradition.  For someone like him, there should be expediency in getting him into the grave. I do believe there should be legal process but safety should be paramount.  The fact is humans are the hardest creatures to incarcerate.  What one man designs to be inescapable, another genius can make it escapable.  Human beings, due to intelligence, is the most dangerous creature. 


It is only revenge if you want an eye for an eye.  It is not revenge when you would choose fixing the problem if that were an option.  One day, that will be an option. Then I will be 100% against capital punishment.  Until then, I do want dangerous people dead.  I want them killed quickly.

Flag appy20 December 31, 2009 10:24 AM EST

Dec 30, 2009 -- 7:05PM, mountain_man wrote:


Dec 30, 2009 -- 4:58PM, rangerken wrote:

OK MM, I see your point about self defense vs. revenge.


My mind isn't closed on this... gotta think about it. This might make an inteesting dinner conversation with my wife. Frankly, I really don't know for sure what Mary Clare thinks about this. She's a practicing catholic so I'm sure that will influence her opinion. I'll bring it up and if we do get into it I'll post the gist of our conversation.



Some catholics are for the death penalty, as are some Atheists. Opposition to the death penalty comes from inside a person, not from their religion or lack of religion. It starts with how easily the person can devalue, or dehumanize, another. I can't do either so I am fundamentally opposed to the killing of my fellow humans as a form of revenge.




 You are just self-aggrandizing yourself.  You just value guilty people over innocent ones.  You don't like victims. If someone is falsely accused, that is just swell that they get the maximum sentence (as long as another nation does it).  However, when it is a genuine criminal, you have affinity for them.  More than the victims.  Especially future victims.  One criminal is worth more to you than 10 victims.  Victims are not statistically significant to you.  They have no intrinsic value.

Flag mountain_man December 31, 2009 1:12 PM EST

Dec 31, 2009 -- 10:24AM, appy20 wrote:

You are just self-aggrandizing yourself.....



As usual, when a posting begins with such a blatant personal attack, I don't bother reading the rest. Try leaving out the personal attacks, they just ruin your credibility.

Flag Abner1 December 31, 2009 1:52 PM EST

appy20 wrote:


> It goes back to the rabid dog thing.  Bundy was too dangerous to be allowed extradition.


But that's hind-sight talking.  How are they going to know that he is so dangerous then?  We only know that now because *now* we know that he was a serial killer and an imaginative escape artist.


> For someone like him, there should be expediency in getting him into the grave.


But how do you know that someone like him *is* someone like him before it is too late?  Do you just execute everyone accused of murder to make sure the Bundies don't get by?  Or do you allow accused murderers to survive until trial, knowing that this gives them possible opportunities to escape?  No system is perfect.


> I do believe there should be legal process but safety should be paramount.  The fact


> is humans are the hardest creatures to incarcerate.  What one man designs to be


> inescapable, another genius can make it escapable.  Human beings, due to intelligence,


> is the most dangerous creature.


So how do you intend to solve that problem?  Our current system is that it is better to risk possible escapes than it is to execute the accused without a fair trial.  We try to minimize the escapes, but as you say, that's never going to work perfectly because humans (even evil humans) can be so ingenious.  For the death penalty to solve that problem, you'd have to start applying it before the trial - basically, to kill the accused.


> Until then, I do want dangerous people dead.  I want them killed quickly.


Even if you have to kill the innocent too to accomplish that goal?  I can't agree with that.  While no system is perfect, your proposed shift in the legal system would apparently lead to more executions of the innocent by the state.  Very few killers escape from death row - I'd rather take the risk of them escaping before they get to death row than more executing of innocent people by the government.  This is not because I don't value the lives of the innocent victims (as you accused MM), but rather because I value the lives of all innocents, including the ones falsely accused of crimes (who would be executed in larger numbers in your hastier and more execution-prone system).

Flag Merope January 7, 2010 11:56 AM EST

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