Do you oppose the death penalty? If so, why?

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what's your position?

I support the death penalty on practical grounds: deterrance/ultimate separation from society
21
14%
I support the death penalty on moral grounds: some crimes deserve death
31
21%
I oppose the death penalty on practical grounds: too many innocents are executed
68
47%
I oppose the death penalty on moral grounds: no one deserves death
25
17%
 
Total votes: 145

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Uraniun235
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Do you oppose the death penalty? If so, why?

Post by Uraniun235 » 2007-04-02 10:02pm

Inspired by the Texas home-defense thread.

I would personally prefer a general repeal of the death penalty, not because I think that it is wrong to put murderers to death, but because I feel that the probability of innocent people being executed is unacceptably high. I know that some people are in the same position as myself.

I also know that there are those who believe that ending a human life is always unacceptable no matter what, even if that guy had just killed a dozen children and said he thought it was so awesome he'd do it again.

And of course there are those who support the death penalty, either on perceived practical reasons (belief that the death penalty deters would-be criminals, or otherwise that it is the ultimate insurance that that person can never enter/threaten society again) or on perceived moral reasons (belief that some crimes deserve/demand the 'ultimate punishment').

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Post by Enforcer Talen » 2007-04-02 10:08pm

I oppose it on practical grounds.
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Post by Flagg » 2007-04-02 10:12pm

I oppose it on both moral and practical grounds.

Morally, I think the process of the state killing someone is repugnant. Plus there's the whole "killing is wrong unless we decide that someone should be killed" angle. Which isn't to say that if someone I loved or cared about was murdered I wouldn't want the son of a bitch to die.

Practically it doesn't seem to work as a deterrent, it costs more to execute someone than to keep them imprisoned for the rest of their life, and being run by human being, the legal process is flawed enough that the wrongly convicted have been and will be killed.
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Post by Stark » 2007-04-02 10:12pm

I oppose it since I don't think it actually works as a deterrent. However, I believe some types of criminals should be killed rather than imprisoned forever for practical reasons.

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Post by Darth Raptor » 2007-04-02 10:19pm

I've yet to be convinced that capital punishment serves as a crime deterrent. But I'm not bothered in the slightest by the execution of those who actually have committed capital crimes. Those who unequivocally say that ALL human life is valuable often fail to consider that some humans have negative value, i.e., they're a detriment to everyone else. It's symptomatic of a cripplingly black/white view of the world and humanity. There are people out there who are absolute trash; refuse to be collected and disposed of. If they can't be rehabilitated, they must be contained or destroyed. That's not to say that "justice" is all about revenge and retribution. That's bullshit. Ideally, we would rehabilitate everyone and release them back into society. But we can't. Therefore, for the safety and happiness of those who haven't forfeited their rights as human beings by violating the rights of others, we're placed into a kind of ghetto damage control mode.

The obvious problem with this is that we can't reliably assess guilt, let alone a convict's capacity for rehabilitation. So while I don't have any moral problems with ending the life of a violent sociopath, I oppose capital punishment on practical grounds. One innocent person executed is one too many.

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Post by aerius » 2007-04-02 10:20pm

I support voluntary death penalties. The prisoner gets to choose life in prison or death.
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Post by Glocksman » 2007-04-02 10:21pm

Kinda both:

I oppose the way its currently implemented in some states and the lack of qualified legal counsel for those on trial in a lot of cases, but I do support it principle and think that there are indeed some crimes that merit only death.
IHMO, once we insure that the accused has access to effective counsel and gets a fair trial with no prosecutorial malpractice (such as withholding Brady material from the defense), then the DP can be implemented.

As far as the method itself, hanging worked for generations and it can work again.
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Post by Solauren » 2007-04-02 10:24pm

I support it.

Why the hell should tax dollars that would be better spent on education be used to keep murderers, violent rapists and the like alive?

If you want to avoid innocent convictions, pass a law so that anyone that lies under oath, or withholds evidence, or otherwise obstructs justice to cause a guilty penalty and death, recieves the death penalty for it (they effectively commited murder) and no one will risk screwing up.

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Post by Enforcer Talen » 2007-04-02 10:25pm

I trust in human error. If we are playing with punishments, Id rather avoid killing someone by mistake.
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Post by Simplicius » 2007-04-02 10:27pm

I would support it but for the fact that the justice system is in such a bad way, so my support is effectively suspended on practical grounds pending satisfactory reform.

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Post by Darth Raptor » 2007-04-02 10:28pm

Glocksman wrote:As far as the method itself, hanging worked for generations and it can work again.
The method of execution should be as quick, cheap and painless as possible. We're not in the business of making them suffer, after all. They're simply too dangerous to walk and too expensive to maintain for the remainder of their miserable lives. Neck-breaking, decapitation and strangulation aren't quick or painless (the brain takes a while to die even after everything else stops). I would rather they be shot in the head.

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Post by SirNitram » 2007-04-02 10:29pm

Allow the death penalty only if a higher standard of evidence is required to apply it. In short, after the trial determines guilt, sufficient evidence to ensure no screwups. Frankly, it's probably worth a few folks sitting in their concrete box for life to avoid any innocents being put to death.
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Post by Wanderer » 2007-04-02 10:40pm

Human error and the blindness of justice is too great to allow the Death Penalty. There is a reason why my state Michigan banned the death penalty.
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Post by Lord Zentei » 2007-04-02 10:43pm

I oppose it on both moral and practical gounds, though the latter reason is a lot more important.

Simply applying a higher standard of evidence is not, IMHO a useful approach: if you reduce the number of false posetives by increasing the burden of evidence, you will inevitably also reduce the number of true posetives at the same time -- not the ideal solution for the worst criminals.
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Post by Elfdart » 2007-04-02 10:52pm

Generally I'm opposed to it, but there are exceptions to every rule. There are some crimes like repeat child molestation or rape, and serial/mass murder where the rope applied to the neck is the only sure way to keep the scumbags from doing it again.
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Post by Yogi » 2007-04-02 10:54pm

The Death Penalty would be fine if it was applied fairly, meaning that being of a higher social class or being the Correct race would not be a factor in sentencing. In other words, I oppose the Death Penalty on practical grounds.
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Post by thejester » 2007-04-02 11:13pm

I'd like what (IIRC) the Israelis have got: no death penalty except in exceptional circumstances (ie legislated by parliament). It's what they did for Eichmann, I think, and I wouldn't mind seeing it happen to the like of Bryant or Arthur Millat.
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Post by darthkommandant » 2007-04-02 11:46pm

I support the death penalty for moral and practical reasons. Some crimes are so horrible that they require death. On the practical side some criminals are just too dangerous to be left alive or cannot be realistically rehibilitated. As for the method, it should be relatively painless and leave the organs in good enough shape for transplant so at least some use can be made from the criminal. A pistol shot to the head should be fine for this purpose.
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Post by darthkommandant » 2007-04-03 12:00am

Quick clarification: Those being executed should be only after the recipient of a fair trial with adequate legal council and a prosecution based primarily on concrete evidence. (DNA, ballistic tests, caught on video tape etc...)
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Post by Faram » 2007-04-03 12:06am

I heard this somwhere and agree whit it.

If you support the death penalty for murder, and one innocent is executed.

Then YOU are guilty of murder, and buy logical extension should be executed.

I cannot agree whit the thought that a goverment has the right to kill.
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Post by Feil » 2007-04-03 12:40am

Needs an 'other' option.

I oppose the death penalty on the basis that it is not evenhandedly administered, and that it is not enforced in such a way that the penalty varies in severity with the crime. The death penalty is therefore essentially arbitrary, and an arbitrary punishment, no matter how justified in the individual case, cannot be just. (Nor, for the US, can it be constitutional, because it falls under the category of 'unusual punishment'.)

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Post by Raesene » 2007-04-03 01:00am

Oppose on moral and practical grounds.

It strikes me as wrong to say one thing, and do something else from (execute someone for murder).

Also, better to have 20 murderers in prison than one innocent executed. After years in prison you can, after a wrongful verdict, set someone free. After an execution that is a bit more difficult.

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Post by MKSheppard » 2007-04-03 01:32am

I support it because some sons of a bitches deserve killing. And lets be blunt, what the fuck are we going to do with some of these scum?
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Post by Chris OFarrell » 2007-04-03 01:58am

Oppose it.
Because the justice system is far from infallible and you can't 'un-kill someone'.

That, and I find no evidence it works as a deterrent.
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Post by Fingolfin_Noldor » 2007-04-03 02:19am

If there is substantial evidence or this is a repeated crime of substantial proportions, give these guys the bucket to kick. No mercy for them.

However, there is the problem of an imperfect justice system and such cases I believe that a benefit of doubt is required. However, I say in such cases, I think solitary confinement is required. If the person can't seem to be trusted to interact with others in a civilsed manner, confine them to a pit and just have a psychologist talk to them just to give them some degree of sanity.
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