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escritora
04-24-2008, 09:06 PM
A couple of weeks ago I finished my first WIP. Yippie!

Now Iím working on an outline for my second Ė 30 Days to Justice. This book is about a death row inmate.

What Iím looking for is opinions of those who oppose the death penalty and those who are for it.

Any thoughts?

CACTUSWENDY
04-24-2008, 09:28 PM
Am sure I will not be very popular with many on these threads but I favor the death penalty for certain crimes. I do not know what state your story takes place in or how their laws may read about this. My views do not cover accidents at all.

For me, the premeditated, cold blooded murderers should also be put to death. The fine line of being in their 'right' mind at the time could be debated till the end of time as I think you would have to be a bit off in the head to do something like this to start with.

Crimes against children, ie. sexual, metal, physical, also rank right up there for me also. In these instances degree may be a factor, but once you have messed up a child for life.....you, IMHO, have lost the right to enjoy any more life of your own.

For 'hardened' criminals that their way of life revolves around the maiming and killing of others ....they should be put to death. IMHO

Since I am not a judge or a lawmaker I have to abide by what they come up with. Making my voice heard when public input is asked, and voting for those with like mindedness is all I can do.

Again...these are only my opinions.

JimmyB27
04-24-2008, 10:35 PM
Not so keen. If you could absolutely guarantee that you got the right person, then maybe. But that guarantee just can't be made, and putting one innocent person to death is not a price worth paying, imho.
Also, killing someone for killing reminds me of kettles and pots for some reason.

Sarpedon
04-24-2008, 10:37 PM
I myself am against it; but only because of the vast problems we have in fairly instituting it. Bias is shown by race, gender, and economic class. There is also the problem of false convictions. The justice system is not perfect. Therefore there should be no irreversible punishments. If someone is wrongly kept in prison for many years, they can never get the time back, but at least they can be compensated.

However, I have no problem with the idea that the People (acting through the State) have the right to take a life; if they didn't we would have no army, and an unarmed police force. The problem is application, and I think its a serious enough problem that it should not be applied in this situation.

escritora
04-25-2008, 02:30 AM
Jimmy and Sarpedon,

Neither of you have moral problems with the death penalty? Your opinion is based on whether or not it's a fair system?

CactusWendy,


Crimes against children, ie. sexual, metal, physical, also rank right up there for me also. In these instances degree may be a factor, but once you have messed up a child for life.....you, IMHO, have lost the right to enjoy any more life of your own.


I find the above statement very interesting. I'm not being condescending. You have sincerely piqued my curiousity.

What is the definition of "damaged for life?" And when that is defined, how can we know that a child who was assaulted will be "damaged for life?"

Sarpedon
04-25-2008, 02:41 AM
Not just whether its fair, but whether its possible to correct errors. By definition, it is not.

escritora
04-25-2008, 03:27 AM
Sarpedon, assuming that there was a way to know whether someone is guilty or not with 100% accuracy, you are fine with the death penalty?

I realize that can't happen, but I'm just supposing.

I'm trying to distinguish btwn those who believe the death penalty is murder, regardless of guilt or innocence, and those who do not.

Tsu Dho Nimh
04-25-2008, 03:29 AM
Executing the murderer does not bring anyone to life, and there's no way to get out of an "oops".

A high school friend spent about 8 years on death row for a murder he did not commit, going through the appeals process. Fortunately before he was executed they found some jewelry from the victim in the house of the main witness and realized that the witnesses were lying to save themselves.

But the cops and the prosecutors were under pressure to find someone to blame for a brutal murder, and he had walked through the park where the murder happened, at around the time it happened, and he was a big muscular Mexican guy who was rumored to be a hot-tempered . The only thing he was guilty of was WWM (walking while Mexican).

There was absolutely no evidence on him - no blood, no damage to his hands - and he had supposedly brutally beaten and strangled an adult male. There was blood all over the park, and he managed to avoid getting any on his clothes? (he was a cook, he wore white!) There were fist bruises on the victim, and he managed to avoid any damage to his hands?

But the jury was presented with supposed "eye witnesses" who saw the two enter the park and only one leave the park.

DISCLAIMER: I am Buddhist. Killing a human, or asking the state to kill in my behalf, is anathema.

Mandy-Jane
04-25-2008, 04:00 AM
I have mixed views. I've always thought it was wrong to legally take someone's life, whatever crime they may have committed, but the more I hear horrid news stories of dreadful crimes against people, I find I'm slowly changing my mind.

However, I don't believe the death penalty is murder. I believe murder is when you take someone's life illegally. In my opinion the death penalty is just another ineffective way to deal with crime.

Rabe
04-25-2008, 05:20 AM
Murder is the purposefulless taking of another life - and by purposefulless I'm talking about taking life in the commission of a crime, to cover up a crime or just for plain idiotic other reasons. I see value in eating meat as well as self-defense.

There is also purpose in the state enacting justice in that by putting a murderer to death you ensure they never kill again. Which is probably why there are many factors and variables in deciding which cases are death penalty cases.

Though I do believe that the death penalty should be expanded for other crimes (sometimes, careless driving around cyclists is enough ;)) I don't see it as being morally objectionable or even 'murder' in the above definitions. Sometimes there are people who just need to be taken out of society. A hundred years ago, this was naturally done by their own stupidity, but unfortunately our modern age tends to protect the stupid more than it should.

As for the idea of the death penalty for 'screwing up a child' I wonder about that. I've heard of things done to children that was truly tragic - and yes, the child grew up screwed up, but I also look at the treatment of that child after the original incident and I wonder which was more harmful - the criminal act inflicted or the so called "caring" that happened afterward?

Rabe....

CACTUSWENDY
04-25-2008, 06:22 AM
Your question to me.......

What is the definition of "damaged for life?" And when that is defined, how can we know that a child who was assaulted will be "damaged for life?"

The way many laws read now ....even spanking a child is considered abuse and many people look at it that way. I was spanked as a child a couple of times and for very good reasons. It did not mar me for life. It did not mar me as a child. I did wrong and knew I should be spanked.


For the purpose of this thread ....we should keep it at convicted abuse. otherwise we are into a whole different thread. I think if someone is convicted by a court of law for abuse....whatever kind....that it does damage the child for life. (Sad part is many are never brought to trial.)

This may be why child offenders have a pretty bad time in jail as they are looked down on by just about everyone else but other offenders.

Again...IMHO

JimmyB27
04-25-2008, 01:24 PM
Jimmy and Sarpedon,

Neither of you have moral problems with the death penalty? Your opinion is based on whether or not it's a fair system?

I did also say:


Also, killing someone for killing reminds me of kettles and pots for some reason.

So, no, I'm not too happy with the moral side either.

JimmyB27
04-25-2008, 01:32 PM
I have mixed views. I've always thought it was wrong to legally take someone's life, whatever crime they may have committed, but the more I hear horrid news stories of dreadful crimes against people, I find I'm slowly changing my mind.

However, I don't believe the death penalty is murder. I believe murder is when you take someone's life illegally. In my opinion the death penalty is just another ineffective way to deal with crime.


Murder is the purposefulless taking of another life - and by purposefulless I'm talking about taking life in the commission of a crime, to cover up a crime or just for plain idiotic other reasons. I see value in eating meat as well as self-defense.

There is also purpose in the state enacting justice in that by putting a murderer to death you ensure they never kill again. Which is probably why there are many factors and variables in deciding which cases are death penalty cases.

Though I do believe that the death penalty should be expanded for other crimes (sometimes, careless driving around cyclists is enough ;)) I don't see it as being morally objectionable or even 'murder' in the above definitions. Sometimes there are people who just need to be taken out of society. A hundred years ago, this was naturally done by their own stupidity, but unfortunately our modern age tends to protect the stupid more than it should.

As for the idea of the death penalty for 'screwing up a child' I wonder about that. I've heard of things done to children that was truly tragic - and yes, the child grew up screwed up, but I also look at the treatment of that child after the original incident and I wonder which was more harmful - the criminal act inflicted or the so called "caring" that happened afterward?

Rabe....
The way I read these two posts is that you guys are using the law as a guide for your morality. IMHO, it should be the other way around.

Sarpedon
04-25-2008, 05:17 PM
No, I wouldn't. Being 100% sure of guilt wouldn't change the fact that men, the poor, and minorities get the death penalty most often.

To be acceptable, the death penalty must be SURE and it must be FAIR.

Kathie Freeman
04-25-2008, 09:08 PM
I am opposed because
A: the systm is not foolpoof, innocent people are convicted all the time.
B: Considering the statistics, I don't believe it's any kind of deterrent.

I would be in favor only if there could be absolutely no question of guilt (caught in the act) and the crime was so heinous that no other punishment cold be appropriate.

JimmyB27
04-25-2008, 10:19 PM
B: Considering the statistics, I don't believe it's any kind of deterrent.

It is, however, a great rehabilitation. Statistics show a 0% re-offending rate in people sentenced to death.

StephanieFox
04-25-2008, 10:41 PM
Basically, it comes down to; I think killing is wrong. I think killing in the name of the state (that's ME) is wrong. People who are for it want to kill people convicted of certain crimes because it makes them feel good. It gives them a feeling of retribution and perhaps, a bit more control of their own lives. But it really doesn't solve anything.

I think that a lifetime in prison is as great a punishment as any. Sitting in a prison cell for 40 or 50 years is not, as some would have you believe, easy or fun.

I don't believe in killing, so as a representative and member of the state, I don't want to be part of killing another person. So many people on death row turn out to be not guilty.

If there is a zero rate of a person re-offending if you kill them, the rate is the same if you kill them and they were innocent. It's not a deterrent since people who commit crimes don't expect to get caught.

If you look at the countries that allow the death penalty you'll find a group of repressive and backward countries. The USA is the only industralized, first-world country doing this. It's embarssing to be in the kill-'em-all company with N. Korea, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc. Violence breeds violence, not peace.

I also think it's unconstitutional.

Sarpedon
04-25-2008, 10:57 PM
Japan.

JB_Finesse
04-27-2008, 10:01 AM
There's a slightly less moral reason for the death penalty: It makes room for more prisoners.

Of course, they could just release anyone convicted of drug possession and have room for all the real criminals they wanted, but that's another discussion entirely.

If they have sufficient evidence (DNA and such), they should go ahead and kill the bastard. There's nothing wrong with disposing of a murderer or a child molester, and it saves tax money. Everybody wins.

Soccer Mom
04-27-2008, 07:11 PM
I would not mind the death penalty being abolished if there was true life without parole. It's odd, but folks seem to get squeamish and start clamoring to release the person when they start to age. I find the notion of these killers back on the streets at any age completely unacceptable.

Sarpedon
04-28-2008, 05:50 PM
Thanks for reminding me of another form of discrimination in our justice system. Age.

Soccer Mom
04-28-2008, 05:59 PM
Thanks for reminding me of another form of discrimination in our justice system. Age.

A system is just people. Where you have people, they will bring their prejudices and bias with them.

CACTUSWENDY
04-28-2008, 06:16 PM
Quote by StephanieFox;

"People who are for it want to kill people convicted of certain crimes because it makes them feel good. It gives them a feeling of retribution and perhaps, a bit more control of their own lives."

Sorry. That is not why I feel this way. 'Feel good' has nothing to do with it.

MarkEsq
04-28-2008, 07:23 PM
I used to be rabidly against the death penalty, on moral as well as procedural grounds. Now I oppose it only on procedural grounds, but only just.

Morally - every day we make decisions that condemn people to death. Denial of health care, sending troops to war, failure to address homelessness, stupid drug policies, etc. By our laws and these actions we have decided that some deaths are acceptable as a cost of doing business. That there should be moral outrage at the death of one lone human being, and one whose contribution to society is in the minus column, seems hypocritical to me.

Procedurally - the above argument could be repeated to excuse the execution of the occasional innocent (which, in reality, is unbelievably rare. Every example of an innocent being sent to death row ends with his release). Just a cost of operating the way we do. However, I think that a better solution is prison for life. It's reversible, if need be, and protects society.

MarkEsq
04-28-2008, 07:25 PM
Quote by StephanieFox;

"People who are for it want to kill people convicted of certain crimes because it makes them feel good. It gives them a feeling of retribution and perhaps, a bit more control of their own lives."

Sorry. That is not why I feel this way. 'Feel good' has nothing to do with it.

I think it's unfair to claim to know why someone else is in favor of this, or any other, policy. I suppose some do feel good about killing the person that killed their loved one. I don't feel good when someone is executed, however, and nor do many people who support the death penalty, I imagine.

Rabe
04-28-2008, 09:03 PM
The way I read these two posts is that you guys are using the law as a guide for your morality. IMHO, it should be the other way around.

Good lord no!!

You should NEVER base laws on morality!

Laws should be objectively based - not morality based. Because, whose morals are you then using?

Objectively based - however - means that it's a fair system of laws.

Rabe..

Rabe
04-28-2008, 09:08 PM
I wonder, when people talk about minorities, poor and men are getting the death penalty more often because they're the ones committing crimes with elements that lead to the death penalty.

It's interesting to note how that angle of the debate never seems to creep into the anti-death penalty arguments.

Rabe...