capital punishment?

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by OptimusRoo, Sep 14, 2015.

?

do you believe in capital punishment?

  1. yes

    11.1%
  2. no

    88.9%
  1. OptimusRoo Registered Member

    Messages:
    18
    I live in britain and know that crime mostly does pay, in our prisons you get a room a bed 3 meals a day with exercise, benefits, money to spend and even games consoles or pets if you want them.

    Not to mention our prisons are over crowded and the more minor crimes are merely rewarded with a slap on the wrist.

    Do you think britain should bring back capital punishment?
     
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  3. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    6,151
    I think it depends on which crimes you wish to punish. I can't imagine incarceration being pleasant under any circumstance. Those I know who have done time in our local systems have no wish to return. I haven't given capital punishment much thought, but when I think of the likes of Jeffery Dahmer, it seems desirable.
     
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  5. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,875
    European prisons are much nicer than American prisons. American prisons are Spartan by comparison.

    For particularly heinous crimes and where guilt is certain, capital punishment is warranted.
     
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    24,279
    Allowing one's government to kill its citizens on purpose - for any reason - is a famously bad idea. We have a thousand years of experience and history to look at, and the lesson is: don't do that.
     
  8. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    24,279
    Do you have a point, or are you just having fun linking to articles?

    Here's a much more thorough and well - supported article: http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/discussion-recent-deterrence-studies

    Does it establish "facts" too? Or are only some articles "facts" and others not?

    How about this one: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1745-9125.2009.00168.x/abstract ?

    Notice an odd point: there is no attempt in any of these studies to differentiate between the innocent and the guilty, the heinous and the regular crime. The State could - as Illinois apparently was doing when it was deterring murders according to Dr Locan - obtain deterrence by executing people at random. Random black men, in particular.

    It's not a good idea to allow one's government to kill its citizens. It doesn't matter why your government wants kill its citizens - just say no.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,875
    LOL, unfortunately for you Iceaura facts do matter and all the inflammatory rhetoric in the world will not turn bullshit into gold. Citing highly biased advocacy group articles (e.g. Deathpenalty.org) is like a Republican citing the Republican Party.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  11. pjdude1219 screw watergate i want to know about zaragate Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,682
    you mean like using the verdict of a highly flawed grand jury as evidence that the grand jury wasn't flawed. Ice has his issues with making a purely fact based argument. you have more. so don't get on your high horse.
     
  12. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    3,668
    Anyway, I would not bet that statistics will be able to give a reliable picture of the real effect.

    Common sense will tell us that there will be some minor increase of deterrence. Minor because there is no big difference between being executed or spending the whole life in prison.

    On the other hand, death penalty is popular where being tough on crime is popular. But being tough on crime means high penalties for crimes other than murder. And this will tend to increase homicide rates. Simply imagine a rapist, who becomes aware that the victim has got enough information about him to make it easy enough for the cops to get him - if the victim will be able to go to the police and tell what it knows. Will he kill the victim? Here common sense tells us that in states where the penalty for murder is not much harder than for rape, he will kill the victim. Thus, if a state is tough on rape, this will increase murder rates. But the two variables "tough on rape" and "tough on murder" one can expect to be highly correlated with the overall variable "tough on crime".
     
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,755
    A few points:
    1) Captial punishment does not relieve prison overcrowding. The US has capital punishment and our prisons are even more packed than Britain's.
    2) In the US, life in prison is cheaper than captial punishment, so make sure you are willing to pay before you advocate for it.

    Personally I am not opposed to capital punishment used within the scope of a perfect or close-to-perfect justice system. Unfortunately neither the US or the UK has a nearly perfect justice system. Given that I don't think it's a good idea.
     
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  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    24,279
    My link handed you every single "fact" yours did, in its original scientific paper as well as edited and paraphrased quotes - plus, you know, the analysis and the other studies and so forth your mass media article dismissed as "other scientists" and unspecified "controversy".

    If you actually are about the facts involved, you will read them.

    Here's another fact: the Illinois death penalty was suspended by the Governor of the State originally because DNA analysis had shown that more than one in eight of the convicted in capital level cases were innocent. Illinois was mentioned specifically by your "fact" purveyors as an example of murders that would have been deterred.

    That means that a large share of the supposed deterrent effect reported by your heroes of science there (actually, not measured but extrapolated under dubious assumptions) was obtained by having the State kill falsely accused people - disproportionately, for some reason, black men. And this is, historically, typical of the workings of capital punishment in real life.

    Meanwhile, your rightwing corporate media reported "fact" does not address my assertion: that the deterrent effect of executions, even without its many and serious flaws of assumption etc, does not justify the large risk of allowing one's government to kill its citizens legally and on purpose.

    This is what a moral or ethical principle is for - it prevents immediate temptations and shallow fads and passing confusions and emotional storms from persuading one to long term error. It's a bad idea. It always goes wrong. Don't do it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  15. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,875
    I don't recall anyone ever making the argument that capital punishment would relieve over crowed prisons. Capital punishment is so rarely used, it wouldn't have any impact on over crowded prisons in most countries. As for your argument that life in prison is cheaper? I have yet to see any objective evidence of same. But if it is true, it could be a good argument against capital punishment for small states. Amnesty International, it estimates in the US capital punishment cases cost 3 million dollars more per case. But again, since capital punishment is so rare, the aggregate incremental cost, if any, is insignificant. In the US 35 people were executed last year, so that equates to about 105 million per year. In the overall scheme of things that isn't much in an 18 trillion dollar economy. Many states with the death penalty haven't executed anyone in many decades. Kansas for example has had the death penalty on the books for ever, but the last time someone was executed in Kansas was 1965. China on the other hand executed around 700 or so people last year, and executions in China are very cheap, they don't have all the extra judiciary costs associated with executions in the US.

    Your third argument, the imperfections of the judiciary process, is your strongest argument and it is why at one time I was against the death penalty. I share that concern and those imperfections have caused some states to declare a moratorium on executions. That's why I wrote the death penalty should be reserved for only the most heinous crimes where guilt is certain (e.g. the Carr brothers).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wichita_Massacre

    There is no doubt in the past innocent people have been executed. It is better to not to execute the guilty than to execute even one innocent person. But with advancements in sciences and in particular DNA, I think there are cases where guilt can be truly determined beyond a shadow of a doubt. And for those cases I think the death penalty is appropriate.


    Typically the argument for capital punishment has been limited only to deterrence. That's a little myopic. The death penalty aids prosecutors and law enforcement in solving crime. It's an incentive to get suspects to talk. Were it not for the prospect of a death sentence, many murders would not have confessed and the families of many victims would have never known the fate of their loved ones, and left them unable to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones. There really are some evil people out there.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  16. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Inflammatory rhetoric is not a substitute for fact and reason.
     
  17. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Facts?

    If you sit through this, right before getting an injection from a puppy dressed as winnie the pooh, you'll understand just how cruel Britain was on using the Death Penalty.
     
  18. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    3,668
    The point that death penalty is expensive is caused by the large legal costs. A lot of judges and lawyers receive a lot of money for all the legal possibilities to postpone or delay or suspend or revise the death penalty. So, this is essentially a consequence of the realization of death penalty in the actual legal system. Using, instead, the methods of Stalin time - execution almost immediately after the penalty - would, of course, make it cheaper.

    Personally I have no big issue with death penalty for murder, it is in agreement with tit for tat or an eye for an eye, which is heavily violated by many other penalties, like prison for owning, using or selling drugs. I think that, nonetheless, the arguments of the opponents are better - even if it really deters a little bit, which, I think, is very plausible.
     
  19. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    3,668
    This is, by the way, a very dangerous thing, quite independent of the death penalty.

    This is the usual game: "We have some evidence against you, one can reasonably guess that it may be enough for a jury, say, with probability 50%. Then you will get X years. We make you an offer, you admit this and this, and get a penalty of 0.1 X years. Make a choice." How many innocent people will accept such a deal? Say, lifetime prison with 50%, against being free after 10 years? Or 10 years with 50%, in comparison with 1 year with certainty?

    That the US justice system is completely off is obvious, it is sufficient to see that 5% of the world have 25% of the worlds prison population. I don't think this is because the US population consists of bad people five time more likely to do evil.
     
  20. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,875
    The US isn't Mother Russia. It takes more than just a confession to convict someone of a crime in the US. That conviction must be backed with evidence. No evidence, no conviction, even with a confession. The confession must be credible and backed with evidence in order for it to have legal merit.

    And Mother Russia's is better? The US judicial system does have problems. Most notably being, public defenders are overworked and underpaid therefore an accused has less resources in which to defend him or herself that would be afforded a wealthier defendant. Two, the US has and actively enforces drug laws. Most of America's criminals are in prison because of drug offenses. The US certainly isn't randomly throwing people in jail and haphazardly throwing them into prison as you would want the world to believe. The US needs legalize illicit drugs or find a better and more effective solution.

    Try Mother Russia's criminal justice system on for size? When judicial systems are compared, Mother Russia's, as with most things, ranks near the bottom and the US ranks near the top. That said, I think the US can and should learn from European states which rank better. There is certainly room for improvement. But to insinuate that Mother Russia is somehow better, well that's a lie.


    http://data.worldjusticeproject.org/#
     
  21. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    3,668
    Not much. Prison population rate in US 799, Russia 450. Far too much for me, I prefer states with rates below 100.

    Russia is not my mother, it is simply a state which is strong enough and willing to resist the US empire. And the US empire is simply the greatest danger to peace in the world.
     
  22. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Peace is hardly the best goal sometimes. I don't want peace with Al Quida or ISIS, for instance.
     
  23. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, but when you consider the absolute evil of some criminals...? More so when there is no doubt about their guilt? Do you believe a monster like Ted Bundy deserved any better than the death penalty?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Bundy
     

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