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three seven
02-21-2005, 10:31 PM
Two scenarios for ya:

1) A car containing three men turns over in a water-filled ditch. They all drown.

2) A car containing a young woman and her two small children turns over in a water-filled ditch. They all drown.

Is one of these more tragic than the other? If so, why?

ritinrider
02-21-2005, 10:46 PM
No, they're both tragic. But.... the media will pick up on the second scenerio faster because children are involved and their young innocent lives were cut short by the tragedy.

Hope these were just hypotho...hypo...uh, make-believe scenerios.

Nita

AprilBoo
02-21-2005, 11:19 PM
Is this going to end up being one of those jokes where the answer is something to do with the first one being impossible becuase men can drive so the second one must be more tragic? Like that old joke about Santa Claus getting in a wreck?

ritinrider
02-21-2005, 11:27 PM
aw man, and I took it for a serious question.

rich
02-21-2005, 11:35 PM
If the men were key members of a group on their way to a meeting that would be influential in obtaining world peace, and the young woman was on her way to Las Vegas with the family savings, and her two kids in the back were bent twigs slated to grow up to be bent trees, It's a no brainer.

Your job, three seven, (btw, my favorite numbers) is to provide an answer without adding to the facts you posted.

BradyH1861
02-22-2005, 12:34 AM
IF this is a serious question, I would prefer to deal with three adult male fatalities than a female and two children. I'm not cold hearted or anything, but child fatalities are always much harder to deal with.

IF this is the beginning of a joke...hurry up with the punchline. I am "dying" here!

ha ha

Brady H.

three seven
02-22-2005, 12:43 AM
Er... it's not a joke, it's an exploration of what makes one human life more precious than another.

BradyH1861
02-22-2005, 12:50 AM
In that case, I will be more than happy to pontificate at length. I like the word pontificate...anyway, give me about an hour and I will be back with my take on the issue.


Brady H.

Poppy
02-22-2005, 12:55 AM
In my opinion, no loss is greater than another...a loss is a loss.

One of my children died in my womb. She never had a chance to live.
I recently lost my grandmother who lead a full life, filled with joy and accomplishments.

Different people who died in different ways, but neither one's death is more tragic to me than the other. It hurts just the same.

So to answer your question, all those losses are equally tragic, especially to the loved ones that were left behind.

Just my opinion though.

BradyH1861
02-22-2005, 01:27 AM
The subject of death has been in my mind the last couple of days. One of our neighboring departments lost a firefighter over the weekend. It is at times like this that I get a little reflective. Normally I keep serious subjects at arms length. If I may briefly editorialize...it really gets on my nerves how the public only likes us when we die. It would be nice to get that kind of support when we are asking for a raise so that we can support our families. Our probationary firefighters make barely above the poverty line. After eight years, I still make in the low 30s. So we basically risk our lives or peanuts. Anyway, that wasn't the question and I apologize for my rant.

I have seen more than my share of death. Everything from people who have died relatively peacefully, to those who have had their lives ended by violent means. (shootings, stabbings, car wrecks, etc) Now if you go on the premise that all human life is equal, then it really should not make a difference who the person was or how young/old the person was when they died. But I really don't think that is the case. For example, Princess Di is killed in a car wreck. That same night, I worked a fatality car accident. Who got the press coverage? Princess Di, of course. Now I'm not saying that is right or wrong, but that is how the world is.

When it comes to children, I think what makes their death's especially tragic is that in many cases, they had no control over the circumstances that got them there in the first place. They truly are the innocent victims of circumstance. And their lives are cut short without ever having the chance to really live...that too is a factor. Granted I did not really see children's deaths as any more tragic than the next person's until I had my own child. That changes your perspective a little I think.

Very few adult deaths I have witnessed continue to haunt me. But most of the children do to one extent or another. There have been times when I have come home and sat on the couch and sobbed. I'm not too proud or macho to admit that. I have never done that when an adult was the deceased, except for when it was a firefighter who also happened to be a close friend. Anyway, death is death. And in a perfect world, one person would not matter more than any other. But in reality, I think we pick and choose which deaths matter and which don't. Again, I am not saying that is right or wrong. But that is how it is.

Sorry to ramble and interject personal comments, it has been a tough couple of days.

Brady H.

Uncarved
02-22-2005, 01:41 AM
*hugs Brady*

maestrowork
02-22-2005, 01:59 AM
In theory, the two cases are the same tragic. Three people lose their lives in either case. Their families destroyed.

However, in reality, in our society (at least western), we do seem to place more value or sympathy on children, and to some extent, women who suffered. To lose a husband or a wife is bad, but to lose a child -- as the cliche goes, losing a child is the worst pain one has to go through... is there any truth in that statement? Or does our culture dictate that sentiment or value?

Take the Peterson case for instance. Here, you have a man murdering his wife and child. It's sensational. It's tragic. It's horrific. Now, flip it around: Aileen Wuornos, who murdered many men before she was caught. OK, it's not fair to compare the two cases like that, but still, we kind of sense the difference in how our society look at things.

It gets more complicated when you think about the people who are left behind. In the first case, perhaps 3 wives are left widowed and many children orphaned. In the second case, perhaps only 1 family is affected. So it gets complicated when you add these elements to the situation. It's not easy to say, one is more tragic than the other.

Poppy
02-22-2005, 02:36 AM
Maybe it's because I'm still 'in mourning' for my grandparents, but I'm getting all emotional and weepy just reading this thread. I'm so sensitive right now and everything seems so tragic. If a fly died, I think I'd cry about it.

Okay, that's not adding anything to the discussion, but I did want to say that this has been an interesting thread. I could say so much on the subject of death and how it has personally affected me, but I better not. Like I said, I'm probably a bit too emotional and sensitive right now.

Anybody got a tissue?

BradyH1861
02-22-2005, 02:51 AM
Hands Poppy a tissue

careful...it might have some of my snot on it.

Brady H.

three seven
02-22-2005, 03:03 AM
Consider that your children are your children, whether they're 5 or 50. Losing a child at any age is horrific, and I dread the thought of losing mine - but at the same time I dread the thought of them losing me or their mother.

Where young children are concerned, there's obviously the standard 'unfulfilled potential, whole life ahead of them' argument. But you can't miss what you never had, right? No, there has to be more to it than that.

Family tragedy aside, how often have you heard a report of a stray bomb in any given warzone killing innocent women and children? This is an interesting phrase, isn't it? We presume that in this case the innocent are those unconcerned with the matter of war, as opposed to those simply without sin (either way, we'd expect children to be innocent, so why mention it?) Is every man in the country presumed to be an enemy soldier, or does the killing of innocent men just not tug at the heartstrings?

Brady & Poppy: ramble all you like. We've lost two family members this month (one highly unexpectedly) so I'm with you. :cry:

Poppy
02-22-2005, 04:27 AM
This just brings up a couple of issues for me, not necessarily directly related to your original question...so apologies if I'm getting too off-topic.

My child that died was stillborn. Some people do not recognize miscarriages and stillbirths as a death or loss, and while people are certainly allowed to feel how they feel, I do not think people should push that belief on others. I was in labor (painful in itself) for 12 hours, knowing the whole time that my baby would be born dead. I can't say it's the worst thing anyone will ever go through, but I can say it's one of the worst things I've gone through. And even though I gave birth, I wasn't given a birth certificate...or even a death certificate, but the hospital did file a 'fetal demise' report. Wow, that makes a mother feel good (NOT!). People would say to me, "At least you didn't know it." Good as their intentions were, it's the not knowing that hurts so much. Not a day goes by that I don't ask myself, "I wonder what she'd be doing now if she had lived?"

And with my grandmother, I became her primary caregiver. I took care of her much like a mother takes care of an infant. I basically watched her die slowly. I saw her give up (after my grandfather died, she said she didn't want to live anymore and that they were supposed to go together). Every day I spent with her was another day she got closer to death. She had had cancer for a long time so it wasn't a shock to me that she was going to die. Still...it was (and continues to be) difficult...in ways I can't begin to express yet because the emotions are still fresh and raw.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't like 'society' trying to dictate how I should feel, how one of these losses 'shouldn't count because it was just a fetus' and the others aren't that tragic because I knew they were going to happen and I was supposedly prepared for it. (But oh well, I don't have to listen to society, do I?) :)

Why weigh and measure our pain against each other when we should share sympathy and support? Every loss makes someone "less" (motherless, childless, spouseless, friendless, etc.) and as REM sings..."Everybody hurts..."

I know I said I don't like people discounting my losses so I hope sharing my feelings here hasn't made any of you feel like your losses don't matter. While there may be different circumstances surrounding each loss and individuals deal with each loss in their own way, pain is pain and losing a loved one hurts.

BTW, I have a couple of pages on my website with writings dedicated to my daughter and grandparents if anyone's interested. Technically speaking, the writing probably isn't so great, but my feelings are there for all to see. I believe the URL to my site is on my profile. Go there, then to "Writings" then look under "Memorials."

BradyH1861
02-22-2005, 04:36 AM
(But oh well, I don't have to listen to society, do I?)

That's right, you dont. You do not have to listen to society any more than I have to listen to the devil people.....I mean, my in laws. I thumb my nose at society and I also thumb my nose at them! :D

Brady H.

Poppy
02-22-2005, 04:40 AM
Oh dear, don't even get me started on my in-laws. :Ssh:

maestrowork
02-22-2005, 04:40 AM
Poppy... :Hug2:

reph
02-22-2005, 05:02 AM
Some people do not recognize miscarriages and stillbirths as a death or loss, and while people are certainly allowed to feel how they feel, I do not think people should push that belief on others.

Certainly not. You're allowed to feel how you feel, too. It's a genuine loss. My mother had a stillbirth long before she had me. Her suppressed grief had horrible consequences.

Betty W01
02-22-2005, 06:06 AM
Poppy, I lost my 21 yo daughter in a one car freak accident, and I miss her every single day (even now, and it was in 1993), but I have 21 yrs of memories and love left to remember her by. So, in some ways, your loss seems much sadder. To know that you'll never get to look into your child's eyes and say hello, to have only memories of a few brief months of holding your daughter in your womb, but never getting to hold her in your arms, to know that a good portion of the world considers that sort of loss "less"... I'm so sorry. :Hug2:

Three seven and Brady, I'm sorry for your losses, too.

<hands everyone tissues - clean ones>

And I'm with Poppy - I'm extra-sensitive lately, too, for various reasons.

Poppy
02-22-2005, 06:35 AM
Laugh, and the world laughs with you.
Cry, and we're going to need more tissues.

Poppy
02-22-2005, 07:43 AM
There have been times when I have come home and sat on the couch and sobbed. I'm not too proud or macho to admit that.

I just wanted to thank you for sharing that, Brady.

maestrowork
02-22-2005, 09:53 AM
I find myself strangely calm in time of deaths. I don't know why. I'm a sensitive guy with big emotions, but I'm extremely calm when dealing with deaths. I remember when a friend of mine committed suicide a few years ago, or when another friend died of colon cancer, or when my cat died a couple months ago, or when another friend almost died of a heart attack... my calmness even surprised my closest circle. It's not to say I didn't feel anything or wasn't devastated, but I was the one who was able to handle everything, organize, get everything together, without dissolving into a basket case.

I wonder what my shrink's going to say about that.

Spookster
02-22-2005, 05:51 PM
Maestro, I'm the same way. (Which is ironic, as I've been deemed the "emotional" one in the family.) When my dad died, I handled everything, starting from the police notification. I didn't breakdown until the day of the funeral.

Poppy, as a mother of two, I cannot begin to imagine the grief you must feel. There is nothing more bonding than carrying a child in your womb. *hugs* *shares box of unused tissues*

Brady, I find your job one of the most honorable choices anyone could make. Unfortunately, when you choose a social service career, you have to be at your best when others are in life or death situations. It is an awesome responsibility to bare and I hold you in high reguard.

As to the original question... Any death is tragic. I personally mourn more for those left behind than for the victim. When I hear of a father killed by a stray bullet, leaving behind a wife and three children, all I can think is "those poor children will never know their father." My sister's husband died in a car accident a few years back and it tore her to peices. My nephew was only 18 mos. He doesn't really remember his dad and that breaks my heart. He only has photos and stories to bond with, instead of touch and experiences with his father.

Nivvie
02-25-2005, 12:07 PM
I have a system on which I judge the loss.
I've developed this over the years as opposed to losing my marbles.

Firstly I look at the whole in which a person makes by dying, both for good and bad reasons. When a mother is lost her surviving children and family have a lot more to deal with than say a single person with small or no family. However, when I work a funeral of someone with next to no mourners, that haunts me far more than when I attend one with hundreds of people, numerous speeches, flowers everywhere etc...at I know they were loved, they had a life rich with relationships.

I hate dead children. They are far too still, if that makes sense to anyone. Having been a nurse previously I relate a lot of my feelings towards a child's death based on illness and pain. The parents I have watched kiss their children goodbye after months of chemotherapy and such cope a lot better than those whose children were taken suddenly.
When the human body is no longer fit to continue, I truly believe the loss is more natural than when it is snatched while healthy. It feels more like a destiny, rather than intervention.

With my own family the deaths of children have again haunted me more, but, and this is where you all might hate me, I have no sympathy for those who bring about their own deaths, unless there is an element of mental instability.
My friend killed himself. I felt for him, I used to work in a brain injury unit where most patients were failed suicides (left hanging too long, etc) and I really felt for those people, as it didn't have to be like that.

My cousin was 35 when he smoked himself to death, and I didn't shed a single tear for him, however, it broke my heart to see his children.
He knew what he was doing to himself. I have lost nearly every male relative to cigarettes and alcohol, and they knew exactly what they were doing and they still did it.

I have always found elderly deaths strangely comforting. I still work for my old nursing agency on the weekend and do a lot of geriatric work. So many of them tell me they want to die, 'When will he come for me?' they say and such. Their bodies are ready, a lot of their minds too.
I didn't cry when any of my grandparents (who reached old age) died. I was glad they had the chance to live long, fruitful lives. It was the completion, the best time for their cycle to end.

War is something I really cannot be doing with. A friend has just come back from embalming troops in Iraq. I don't know if I could cope with such a needless loss on a huge scale.

I also allow myself unlimited tears for those who have lost their lives in nasty, violent, evil ways. Crying is really, really good for letting it all out.



Blimey, that was a bit long winded...sorry.

paprikapink
02-25-2005, 09:55 PM
Did you know what a can of worms you were opening when you posted this question? (At least the poor worms are free now!)

My 6-yr-old sister died when I was 3. I grew up believing that she was lucky; us left-behind folks were still here suffering. That belief came from somewhere completely unrelated to reason or "society," I was 3 and I experienced it. I was very nearly all grown up before I even noticed that this wasn't what everyone else felt or believed. And even then I figured they were wrong. They just didn't know that life doesn't have a "fixed" length and dying is just part of it and on we go.

Then, I became a mom. My pregnancies were fraught with peril for my babies and I lived with nearly losing them for months and months. It was quite a shock that day in my first pregnancy when I realized that just giving birth to this child, alive, the only goal I could focus on, was not going to be the end of that fear of loss. Then I'd have the live child to risk losing!!! My perspective on death has completely shifted. Totally against my will. I think my 3-year-old perspective is much healthier. But I think the compulsionobsessiondrivedesire that THE CHILD MUST LIVE MUST LIVE MUST LIVE is not something we can decide or that society plants in us. It's biological. Think of, like, a cheetah hyena tiger dingo, hunting around for any vulnerable little morsel she can scarf, then she's got one of her own. And she nurtures it, protects it, feeds it her own food. Something physical had to happen to her to allow her to become a parent. I think some element of that same physical change occurs in humans when we become parents too. Or even just when we become capable of really being parents. Or something. I don't know. I shouldn't even use the word "biological" since it is scientific and I am only talking about the profound personal shift that I experienced.

Anyway, I think the source of the media and society's unequal emphasis on kids' lives is bigger than "the media" or "society." It's just a part of being an Earthling. What we see in the media is just ourselves reflected.

paprikapink
02-25-2005, 10:16 PM
All that, and I forgot one of the points I wanted to make.

People sometimes try to comfort a grieving person by diminishing the loss. It's very stupid, but stupidness has to be forgiven in such a painful time. They are trying to ease the pain that they would feel if they let the full impact of the loss hit them. Sometimes this defense mechanism can be brutal. We build filters as to what losses we let in. I fear there is an American cultural filter that third-world mothers must not mourn their children the way we mourn ours. They lose so many anyway. (False!) Poppy has had too close contact with the filter about stillborn babies. Not only can people not stand the loss of the child, they know if they get close to imagining the pain of the mother, they are going to be close to pain that they may not be able to bear at all.

One summer three years ago, I had two friends (who didn't know each other) each lose a child. One was stillborn, the other was a 6-yr-old who drowned in a public pool, surrounded by people splashing and playing. I heard so many stupid responses. It could make you lose your faith in humanity altogether. But I was able to feel that those people were just so frightened of their own grief. They would say anything to keep it at bay. It isn't the noblest tactic, but I really couldn't blame them.

-paprikapink

three seven
03-01-2005, 03:18 AM
Ok, the original question obviously ran its course, so bearing in mind all of those previous responses, how about this one:

Capital punishment. Right or wrong?

maestrowork
03-01-2005, 04:57 AM
If you believe killing is wrong, then all killing is wrong. No if, but, or else. Don't be a hypocrite about it and say killing babies is wrong, but executing a criminal is justice. You're not God.

If you don't believe in this "killing is wrong" bs then it's up to your value system to determine if killing someone for their crime is right or wrong.

In a nutshell, to me, there's no right or wrong. Just different shades of grey.

BradyH1861
03-02-2005, 07:56 PM
Nicely put. The main problem with the "killing is wrong" bs is the total lack of an understanding of reality. If it is wrong to kill, then it would be wrong for me to kill a person who is attack my wife or child. Total bulls*%t.

I am in favor of the death penalty. Not because it serves to deter crime. That is a bogus and weak argument, just as the "killing is wrong" argument. I am in favor of the death penalty because it is justice. You kill someone in cold blood, you deserve to die. Plain and simple.

In 1998 we responded to a house fire. We were unaware that the owner of the house had just murdered his wife and child and set the fire himself. My company was second due. The first due engine was met with a hail of bullets that killed one of our firefighters and a police officer who was also on scene. The murdered firefighter was someone I had gone through the Academy with, and we were pretty close. The bastard who murdered him was caught and sentenced to death, where he currently sits on death row. If anyone wants to tell me that he should be "rehabilitated" or any of that garbage. Save it. I'm not buying that for a second. He deserves to die and I hope it is as painful as possible.

For those of you who think that the death penalty is wrong, try holding one of your friends while they bleed to death after being shot multiple times. See if that changes your attitude.

Betty W01
03-02-2005, 09:05 PM
Brady, I'm with you. Life is precious, a gift from God, and it's not up to individuals to decide when it should end. Period.

I don't want to get into a knock-down-drag-out with Ray, though, so I'll just say that I believe that it is appropriate that the government (policemen, military, courts, etc.) is given limited power to take life for certain reasons, such as to protect themselves from others or to defend those who cannot protect themselves [gun battle between police and a gunman, sharpshooter taking out a presidential assasin, fighting in war, and so on], and to mete out justice to those who have earned it, such as a murderer. It is a power that is walled in and surrounded by laws and checks and balances, so that (one hopes) it isn't abused for personal reasons, such as jealousy, anger, financial gain, and so on, a power not granted to individuals since they are too apt to act out of their emotions and needs and desires.

I do agree wholeheartedly with Brady - carrying out the death penalty on someone might not deter the next guy who decides to murder someone, but it does guarantee that that particular killer won't be killing anyone else, and it is appropriate to give a life for a life. And I don't believe that someone who has killed another human being knowingly deserved anything less. (As you might assume, my beliefs come from studying the Bible, and in it are different ways to handle accidental deaths and so on.)

And I know from friends and family members that killing someone, on purpose (like in war) or accidentally (in a car accident), is something that cannot be done lightly and forgotten. It stays with you, the rest of your life. As it should. Death is not a light subject.

ChunkyC
03-02-2005, 10:28 PM
The question was: is Capital Punishment wrong? I think it is, simply because it is not the only option society has to deal with someone who has committed murder.

We should only take life when there is no other choice. To eat, as in food animals. For the greater good, such as the police using deadly force to stop a gunman on a killing spree.

But in court? No. How can we say that taking a life is wrong, then punish the person by doing the exact same thing to them? I understand that punishment should fit the crime, but when it comes to ending the life of another human being when there is another option -- life in prison with no chance of parole -- then I just can't agree with it. It feels far too much like revenge.

A related point: I have often heard people spout "it costs so much money to keep a prisoner in jail" as an argument in favour of the death penalty, and to my mind it is not a valid argument in any way, manner or form. We cannot put a dollar value on a human life. Saying that we should put killers to death because it is a lesser financial burden on society than keeping them in jail, is assigning a monetary value to a life, and that is just so wrong.

My humble opinion only.

PS -- then there's the question of executing an innocent person (http://capitaldefenseweekly.com/25casesdraft.html). It is impossible to guarantee that the justice system will never make a mistake in this regard. That's reason enough right there to abolish the death penalty. It would ensure that no innocent person was ever executed. One is too many.

MacAllister
03-03-2005, 12:22 AM
...then there's the question of executing an innocent person (http://capitaldefenseweekly.com/25casesdraft.html). It is impossible to guarantee that the justice system will never make a mistake in this regard. That's reason enough right there to abolish the death penalty. It would ensure that no innocent person was ever executed. One is too many.

You beat me to it, CC--I was going to mention the exact same issue. The old cases being re-examined in light of new technology (DNA etc)--resulting in the overturning of prior jury convictions--demonstrates that while the justice system often works...it's far from perfect.

BradyH1861
03-03-2005, 01:13 AM
is assigning a monetary value to a life, and that is just so wrong.

We assign a monetary value to life all the time. How do you think courts determine how much money to award in a wrongful death suit? They do not come up with the number out of thin air. It is based upon how much "earning potential" the person had over their lifetime. That, my friend, is assigning a monetary value to a human life. Should a person who's child dies because of a defective product not be able to sue the manufacturer because it is wrong to assign a monetary value to that child's life? I don't think so.

It is true that some times an innocent person goes to death row. That is unavoidable. We can never ensure that only the guilty are convicted. I guess in a perfect world we could, but what we have is far from perfect. All we can do is make the best with what we have. And I think we are doing that.

Granted I have different and strong views on the subject than a lot of you probably do. For me this is not an academic exercise. I deal with death and the people who cause it on a regular basis. Trust me, if you spend time out on the mean streets dealing with some of the scum of the earth, you'll change your opinions.

Just my .08 cents worth.

Brady H.

MacAllister
03-03-2005, 01:23 AM
*Taking a deep breath, and reminding myself not to take this personally*

I deal with death and the people who cause it on a regular basis. Trust me, if you spend time out on the mean streets dealing with some of the scum of the earth, you'll change your opinions.

Errr...I spent a number of years as a rape and domestic violence volunteer, until I finally burned out. This involved doing ride-alongs with the local police department; answering middle-of-the-night pages as a responder to situations that REALLY were a police matter, but the victim was as frightened of the cops as she was of her abuser--so she called our hotline instead of 911; and on one occasion, having a loud, angry drunk stick a loaded .357 in my face.

So which "mean streets" do you mean? The ones that result in dead women and kids? Women in ICU because some *sshole ignored repeated restraining orders? Those streets where Joe Blow loses his job, so he loads up on crank and holes up in his rented one-bedroom house with a then-illegal assault rifle, holding his wife and kids as hostages? The streets where cops look at each other impassively and shrug, because "she went out with the guy for drinks, right? Dressed like that? What's the big deal, then? ...okay, he pro'lly shouldn't have busted her nose, and all, but still..." (and don't friggin' kid yourself that THAT doesn't happen any more...)

I venture a guess that the very human thirst for vengeance and justice leads us to a place where we want to see someone fry for crimes we personally find to be abhorrent.

The BTK guy? Yeah. A big part of me thinks he ought to fry. But...and it's a great big "but"...I cannot reconcile that desire with my personal morality.

maestrowork
03-03-2005, 01:25 AM
But Brady... not to mean you're wrong or I'm wrong (as I mentioned before, I believe it's not a "right or wrong" issue -- it's gray... anyhoo...) but that's exactly the problem with any system that legalizes (or not) capital punishment -- and that's why we have such hot debates in this country: we're moralizing something as profound as "taking another person's life." I mean, why is capital punishment sanctioned in Texas, but not Washington? The laws are not based on a universally accepted moral code. It's based on the moral standards of whoever is the majority. And that becomes a fundamental problem in determining what really is "right" or "wrong" -- thus my original assertion, there's no right or wrong.


If a system is based on the universal truth that "killing a person is wrong" (let's make that assumption), then by definition "killing a person (who has committed a murder) is wrong" in the purest form. Everything else, you're starting to moralize the issue. I mean, why does the man who killed his wife get sent to death roll, when the 17-year-old who shot his sister to death doesn't? We begin to put personal morality (which is highly personal and subjective) to the issue: the man deserves to die, but the 17yo is just a kid... we can't put a kid on death roll... You see the problem?

Then there's the issue the CC and Mac mentioned -- what if we send the innocent to death roll. It has happened and it will happen again; our system is flawed. What if that innocent someone is your brother or sister or son or daughter? When you start to inject personal values into the legal system, you have a hairy issue.

In a way, that's why law can be SO fascinating.

Betty W01
03-03-2005, 01:26 AM
Now, in this I disagree with Brady. I don't think "it costs so much to keep them in jail" is a valid argument for the death penalty, and don't even get me started on what it feels like to have a court tell you what your deceased loved one is "worth" (there ain't enough money in the entire world... yes, I realize that they have to come up with a figure somehow, but it still sucks to be told, "Oh, well, based on her age and potential earning ability, this is what we can offer..." as though it's a bargaining session!!)

To say a death sentence is revenge - no. However, I don't think someone who killed someone else deserves to be allowed to live, to sit in jail, being able to get visits from loved ones, exchange letters with them, take classes, watch TV, etc. while the person they murdered is gone from this earth forever. A life sentence isn't a just solution for someone who's taken it upon himself (or herself) to deal out a death sentence to someone else, based on his or her own reasons for it.

However, I do realize that the death penalty is a subject that can produce a lot of heat and not much light, so that's all I have to say about it (at least, for now).

And as for y'all who don't agree with me on this topic (and others...), we can still be friends, I hope.

maestrowork
03-03-2005, 01:35 AM
However, I don't think someone who killed someone else deserves to be allowed to live, to sit in jail, being able to get visits from loved ones, exchange letters with them, take classes, watch TV, etc. while the person they murdered is gone from this earth forever.

I have a feeling this might have to be moved to TIO soon. <eg>


I think that's a glorifed version of prison life. Have you visited some of the most gruesome maximum security prisons for murderers and rapists? There's nothing fun about being locked up in a 10x8 cell for the rest of your life... Besides, it's not our judgment to say "who deserves to live or die." As a religious/spiritual person, I think we need to put that in perspective and realize that it's not any human's decision... Or put it this way, the "victim" is now in heaven with GOD, but the criminal is rotting in jail... now, does it sound any better?

Or maybe I've watched too many episodes of OZ...

;)

BradyH1861
03-03-2005, 01:44 AM
That was not meant to be "snotty or condescending". I was not making assumptions, I was merely making a statement. I am entitled to my opinion, just as you are to yous. HOWEVER, I respect your wishes and thus I am providing what I hope will be a satisfactory answer to you.

That said, I respect that fact that you did volunteer work to help women in crisis situations. We have an agency in our area that we can call for certain things. They come in quite handy at times.

Okay, you wanted a kinder gentler approach, so here it is...

Capital punishment has always existed in the United States. (well, at least since the Europeans got here) Through the latter part of the 19th Century, capital punishment was swift and public. Those who favor the death penalty as a deterrant run into a problem here. When public hangings on the courthouse square were the norm, crime rates did not decrease. In fact, the crime rates in large cities in the 1870s-1890s were higher than they are now. Thus, it cannot really be said that capital punishment deters anything.

Is the death penalty really blood thirsty vengance? Perhaps it is. If murder is the ultimate crime, then death is the ultimate punishment. Just as murder is final, so too is the death penalty. To me it isnt about the cost. If it cost more to execute someone than to keep them in prison, I would still be in favor of it.

I agree with what you say, Mac. The thirst for vengence and justice is a human trait. I think anyone would agree with that statement. You say that personal morality keeps you from believing in the death penalty. I respect that. My personal morality causes me to be in favor of it. ANd I think that is the crux of the issue. Since it is really a moral belief, no one is right and no one is wrong.

As far as the BTK guy, didn't the police catch the wrong person a while back? I seem to remember that, but I could be wrong. I will wait for the jury verdict on this one. I'd hate to say fry him only to have it be the wrong guy.

BradyH1861
03-03-2005, 01:52 AM
I guess next thing we know, 3-7 will be asking us what our views on abortion are. I'm staying out of that one.

And Mac, sorry for my harsh tone. I didn't mean anything personal by it. Sometimes I get my Irish up and shoot my mouth off....it's a disease, you know. I still think you're cool.

Brady H.

MacAllister
03-03-2005, 01:58 AM
Brady, I still think you're cool, too. No worries.


Is the death penalty really blood thirsty vengance? Perhaps it is. If murder is the ultimate crime, then death is the ultimate punishment. Just as murder is final, so too is the death penalty. To me it isnt about the cost. If it cost more to execute someone than to keep them in prison, I would still be in favor of it.

...The thirst for vengence and justice is a human trait. I think anyone would agree with that statement. You say that personal morality keeps you from believing in the death penalty. I respect that. My personal morality causes me to be in favor of it. ANd I think that is the crux of the issue. Since it is really a moral belief, no one is right and no one is wrong.


Yup. I don't have any problem at all with you believing what you believe, Brady--what got my back up was the implication that if I'd spent a little time with the grittier, more unpleasant realities of human behavior, then of course I would agree with you. ("I" being your reader, not necessarily me, personally.)

Heh. None of us are immune to shooting off our big mouths. Pax?
That, in fact, is one of the things I value and treasure MOST about the way the American system works.

BradyH1861
03-03-2005, 02:03 AM
what got my back up was the implication that if I'd spent a little time with the grittier, more unpleasant realities of human behavior, then of course I would agree with you. ("I" being your reader, not necessarily me, personally.)

There are days, and I'm sure you can appreciate this, that I wish I could spend less time where I do!

Group hug everyone?

Brady H.

Betty W01
03-03-2005, 02:05 AM
Last comment on the topic: I base my opinion about the death penalty on the same thing I base everything else in my life on - my Christian faith and the Bible's teachings. I don't believe morality is a subjective thing. It's objective, to a standard set by He who made us all. I think some of you who read this do, too. Else, how can anyone say murder is wrong? Stealing? Adultery? Kidnapping? Why not say, well, to me it's wrong, but I don't want to impress my personal beliefs on you, so feel free to do whatever you want.

Bull! Moral standards are being pressed upon us all the time. The question is, where is the moral standard coming from? If there is no objective Truth, then one person's belief about ANYTHING is just as good as anyone else's. And I doubt anyone on here really believes that. If you did, you would have no grounds for saying anything was wrong. If I want to steal from you and I can, then who are you to tell me I can't or that it's wrong to do so?

Stealing is inherently wrong, isn't it? Well, only if you can base it on something besides "it inconveniences me" or "I don't agree with it". Me, I base it on "God says, don't steal, so stealing is wrong, therefore I won't steal."

On the other hand, if a law were passed tomorrow saying, "Discussing your religious beliefs in a public place is wrong, so don't do it, or get arrested", I guess I'd be finding out what jail is like from the inside, and not just from visiting people who are in it. Why? God says to share the gospel (the Good News that the price for sin has been paid, et al), and man ain't stopping me.

<climbing down from soapbox carefully, so as not to step on any more toes>

MacAllister
03-03-2005, 02:12 AM
:Cheers: Group hug, and I'll buy the first round, if you ever find yourself in Seattle.


There are days, and I'm sure you can appreciate this, that I wish I could spend less time where I do!


That's why I had to quit. I realized that my view of men was becoming quite seriously skewed and distorted...because the men I had much to do with either were abusers and criminals, or were cops--necessarily detached from the situation.

I do have to say (lest I implied otherwise), I had the pleasure of working with a number of really fine police officers, who cared very much about the people they were working with, and upheld--in my opinion--the very highest standards of behavior, both personal and professional. These men and women are just NOT paid enough to deal with the crap they encounter on a daily basis.

BradyH1861
03-03-2005, 02:18 AM
Betty,

What you said has caused me to think.....which is NOT a good thing. Anyway, your last paragraph intrigues me. One thing that I have always wondered about is this...

Jesus says "Render unto Ceaser what is Ceaser's" (i probably spelled that wrong). Now, in the context of the quote he was actually talking about paying taxes to the civil government as I recall. Anyway, does that mean that Christians should obey all civil laws? Or only ones that conform to Christianity? (Note, I am a "good Catholic" boy, so I am not refering to Christians as outsiders) I have always been interested in this. Though I have never thought to have it explained to me.

I, of course, cannot break any laws. If I do, I get fired. Plain and simple. (traffic laws, of course, do not count...professional courtesy and all) There are a few I would like to break though. I really would like to run naked through downtown once....just for fun.

Brady H.

maestrowork
03-03-2005, 02:23 AM
I really would like to run naked through downtown once....just for fun.

I thought everyone has... hmmm.. oops.

Nevermind.

maestrowork
03-03-2005, 02:29 AM
Oh no, politics and religion. We're back to square one. :-)

God say "Thou Shalt Not Kill." So based on Christian teaching, killing is wrong. But God did not say "Thou Shalt Not Kill Unless He's A Murderer." So is putting a criminal to death wrong as well?

Or what about Christ saying "do unto others as we would have them do unto us"? So is sanctioned killing the right thing?

To complicate matters: the whole church vs. state issue... ah!

Something to ponder, isn't it?

ChunkyC
03-03-2005, 02:58 AM
No toe stepping detected, Betty. This has just been an at-times heated, and very interesting discussion of a touchy subject.


We assign a monetary value to life all the time. How do you think courts determine how much money to award in a wrongful death suit? They do not come up with the number out of thin air. It is based upon how much "earning potential" the person had over their lifetime. That, my friend, is assigning a monetary value to a human life.
Not the same thing I was talking about. In your example, the loved one wasn't lost because of how much it would cost to keep them alive. What I'm referring to in regard to the death penalty is using the cost of keeping a prisoner alive as a reason to kill him in order to save that money. I know no rational judicial system would make a decision on instituting the death penalty with that as their reason. I merely meant that in discussions I've been a part of similar to this one, often the cost of a lengthy prison term is bandied about as if it should be a major, if not the major factor in deciding whether a convicted killer lives or dies.


Should a person who's child dies because of a defective product not be able to sue the manufacturer because it is wrong to assign a monetary value to that child's life? I don't think so.
I agree wholeheartedly. And if the company knew the product was defective, those who kept selling it anyway should get their a**es punted behind bars.


It is true that some times an innocent person goes to death row. That is unavoidable. We can never ensure that only the guilty are convicted. I guess in a perfect world we could, but what we have is far from perfect. All we can do is make the best with what we have.
Again, I agree. I just believe that since we know we can never make the system perfect, we have the capability to ensure that no innocent person is executed simply by eliminating the death penalty. No death penalty means nobody gets wrongfully put to death.


Granted I have different and strong views on the subject than a lot of you probably do. For me this is not an academic exercise. I deal with death and the people who cause it on a regular basis. Trust me, if you spend time out on the mean streets dealing with some of the scum of the earth, you'll change your opinions.
It's not academic for me either. I've seen people knifed right in front of me on the dance floor of a bar, then come back later on and blow the doors of the bar off with a shotgun. You never saw a guy dive under a table as fast as I did that night. It was a miracle no one was killed. I don't think I slept for three days afterward.

My wife worked for the children's aid department in her home town, as a person kids would be given to when taken from their homes for their safety. She would accompany the authorities and as soon as they had the kid, they'd hand the child off to her and she'd hustle her away to safety until the commotion died down. Once she even had to huddle in a closet with a child while the police struggled to subdue her out of control father who had been abusing her.

Yes, there are people walking this earth who are absolute scum, no question. Lock 'em up and throw away the key, I say. Which brings up the other point made above, about the way some prisoners live while incarcerated. I agree, Brady, that it is disgraceful to give a convicted murderer access to things that many law-abiding citizens don't have. Up here in Canada, I often get infuriated to hear about some of the conditions in our jails. We've got violent criminals getting congugal visits, better meals than a person making minimum wage can afford, access to a fully equipped exercise gym, and so on. Though it certainly needs to be addressed, it is a separate issue.

Nothing like a good, thought provoking discussion to get the ol' juices going.

BradyH1861
03-03-2005, 03:05 AM
Probably a stupid question at this point, but I am relatively ignorant of the criminal justice system in Canada (although I know who the Mounties are!), but is there a death penalty in Canada? I have always assumed there was, but I never bothered to find out.

Brady H.

MacAllister
03-03-2005, 03:09 AM
Heh--we should stick the bad guys in a big dark hole, and let 'em rot.

BWAHAHhAHahaaaaaahhhaAaaaaa...

If it turns out they were innocent, we can always apologize, and issue a press-release.

Ugh. This whole issue is sooooo complicated. Just one of the burdens of civilization, I suppose. Perhaps we should ALL doff our clothing and run naked through the streets, as a thoughtful demonstration of our ambivalence.

BradyH1861
03-03-2005, 03:11 AM
Perhaps we should ALL doff our clothing and run naked through the streets, as a thoughtful demonstration of our ambivalence.

Amen!


Brady H.

ChunkyC
03-03-2005, 03:25 AM
Brady -- no, there's no death penalty up here in Canada. I know I was semi-coherent around the time we abolished it, but dang if I can remember just when that was. Some time in the seventies, maybe.

And ladies can legally go topless in Ontario, if I'm not mistaken. Will that work, Mac?

Actually, that was a big to-do about nothing in the long run (making it legal for women to go bare-chested in public). People were predicting the end of the world, mass insanity among pubescent boys, a hundred-fold increase in rapes, and on and on. It's been a law for a few years now and -- no change. Guess we got that ambivalence thing down pat. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/biggrin.gif

BradyH1861
03-03-2005, 03:31 AM
Mass insanity among pubscent boys? I thought that was already the norm. So, just out of curiousity and for no other reason at all.......how much does a house cost in Ontario and how much do firemen make? Just curious, no other reason at all.....Oh, and is it easy to get Canadian citizenship?

:gone:


Brady H.

maestrowork
03-03-2005, 03:34 AM
There's no law against runing naked in public in Northern California... I think...

Mac, race you there.

ChunkyC
03-03-2005, 03:38 AM
It's real easy, Brady. Just go to any border crossing and when you get to Canadian Immigration, say:

"Wayne Gretzky is the greatest hockey player to ever live, and American beer tastes like horse piss."

and you're in! http://pages.prodigy.net/rogerlori1/emoticons/pi_bigsmile.gif

Betty W01
03-03-2005, 05:06 AM
Brady, I'd love to give your question a shot. Just keep in mind, I am not a theologian, nor do I play one on TV. (And wouldn't that put the masses to sleep in droves? <grin>)

Render unto Caeser the things that which is Caeser's and to God, that which is God's" (see Mark 12:13 - 17 for context), means exactly what you'd think it means - obey the civil authorities unless their instructions go against what God requires.

Some examples: If it's against the law to attend church, you go anyway.

If the government tells you to drive 30 mph somewhere that it's clearly possible and even praise-worthy to drive faster, you drive 30 mph.

If they tell you to allow people of any color to live next to you, you do it (and hang your head that you had to be told!)

If they say that the church has to hire an atheist to serve as Sunday School director, because he applied, the church says "no" and takes whatever the government hands out.

If they tell me to hire an atheist to work in my business office, then OK, as long as he's the best qualified. (But he better not mind listening to worship music 24/7...)

And if it ever got to the point where it was illegal to practice Christianity in public schools (such as being suspended or expelled for reading the Bible on a lunch break or being told you're doing something illegal for sitting and praying with a few of your friends on the steps while waiting for the bus), there would be a lot fewer kids in those schools. (My kids all went to Christian school from K-8 grade...)

Get the idea? Breaking civil law should only be done when it violates God's laws, NOT just because it violates your idea of what's proper or what you feel like doing. And it's a pretty wide window - in telling the disciples to pay their taxes to Rome, Jesus was saying they had no right to say "But they'll use this money to wage war on others, to financially support Caesar's evil behavior, to enslave fellow human beings, so I'm not paying it to them!" All of that was true at that time, and He knew it, of course, but He didn't tell them to refuse to pay taxes because of it (as some Christians nowadays try to do when they don't support the war or whatever). He said, "Give the king - the government - what He's asking for. Just keep what belongs to God as holy."

As I said, I'm no theologian; however, I have been a Bible-believing (and reading and studying) Christian for 33 yrs, during which I have regularly attended a church that preaches out of the Bible and attempts to live up to what Jesus expects of His followers. So, the above is how I read what the Bible says on the subject, as well as what other Christians whom I respect have to say about it.

MacAllister
03-03-2005, 05:14 AM
Render unto Caeser the things that which is Caeser's and to God, that which is God's" (see Mark 12:13 - 17 for context), means exactly what you'd think it means - obey the civil authorities unless their instructions go against what God requires

Whoa--Betty, I love ya, you know I do...but that is NOT how that sentence parses out, in a logical sense. Not to me.


Render unto Caesar the things that which is Caesar's and to God, that which is God's Could reasonably be interpreted to mean "subject your physical self to the laws of the land, and your spiritual self to the laws of God"...that's where it stops, for me.

I just don't see the implied: "EXCEPT WHEN" you personally interpret the laws of the land to be in conflict with the laws of God--if that happens, you're free to follow your conscience and blow off the law of the land.

Frex:
If they tell you to allow people of any color to live next to you, you do it (and hang your head that you had to be told!)
It hasn't been so very many years that "right-thinking" white southern Christians used that exact same Bible to justify segregation.

And I've heard fundamentalist Christians use similar arguments to justify bombing abortion clinics...

Now, admittedly, these examples are extreme--the thing is, the Bible is useful only insofar as it is interpretable. And different human beings interpret the same sentence to mean very different things. (or we wouldn't need nearly so many lawyers.) And the meaning of the Bible has been interpreted VERY differently--even by literalists--over the centuries.

ChunkyC
03-03-2005, 05:21 AM
I think the EXCEPT WHEN comes from the fundamental Christian belief that God is the highest power, therefore whenever there's a conflict as there well could be between civil law and God's law, God wins out.

Do I have that about right, Betty? (said he who last set foot inside a church over a decade ago and was quite relieved at the time to not be smitten by lightning)

Betty W01
03-03-2005, 05:33 AM
CC, you got it exactly right.

I never said you should be free to do whatever - in fact, the clear history of this kind of behavior has led to Christians going to jail or to the Roman arena or to other equally unpleasant ends, because of how the government responded to their interpretation of what God expects from them. But it is still what He expects. And yes, of course it has to be your own interpretation, since you will be the one who lives, goes to jail, or even dies, based on how you decide to respond to what the government asks of its citizens.

You are always free to follow your conscience, no matter what kind of government you live under. But you aren't then free to evade the penalty because you are doing what you think is right. Many have died for doing what they thought was right: the Chinese in Tienamin Square (sp?), the Jews in WWII (many of whom could have survived if they'd been willing to renounce their faith), the Christians in the days of Rome, and many others. Freedom to act according to your conscience is a person's god-given right. It doesn't neccessarily mean that your acts won't get you into deep trouble - or a deep grave.


(And Mac, we're still friends, always, no matter what - :Hug2: )

MacAllister
03-03-2005, 05:47 AM
Freedom to act according to your conscience is a person's god-given right. It doesn't neccessarily mean that your acts won't get you into deep trouble - or a deep grave.


Ahh--okay. That's very eloquent, actually. That makes more sense to me, then. :)

maestrowork
03-03-2005, 05:53 AM
Conscience. That's a concept that a lot of people can't grasp... that's why you have God-fearing folks who own slaves, or disciminate against certain classes of people, or bomb abortion clinics, or interpret their laws any way that suits themselves... Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, you name it.

Betty W01
03-03-2005, 05:59 AM
True, and it always baffles me how you can find God-fearing, Bible-believing folks on both sides of so many issues. But God gave us free will to allow us to make our own decisions - and mistakes.

As for owning slaves, bombing abortion clinics, and feeling free to mistreat folks based on their religion, color, class, race, and so on - put me down for "against my conscience, thanks".

Mac, I live to be eloquent. :hooray:

maestrowork
03-03-2005, 06:22 AM
Beauty and the Beast:

http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/15/15_3_2v.gif:hooray:

Betty W01
03-03-2005, 06:25 AM
Otherwise known as The Two Faces of Empress...

BradyH1861
03-03-2005, 06:48 AM
Thanks gang. That was very informative. My questions have been answered. If I may interject a historical antecdote.....during debates over the extension of slavery to the territories, Senator William Seward (later Lincoln's Secretary of State) said that there was a "higher power than that of the Constitution." I think that fits in with what you were saying...at least I think it does.

Wow, it is not often that I get to put my Masters in History to use! Thanks for the opportunity! (should you need any other obscure facts or quotes, I am always at your service)


Brady H.

aka eraser
03-03-2005, 09:05 AM
I came to this a little late (which might be a Good Thing).

I think the last execution in Canada was in the early-mid 60s. And yes, women can go topless in Ontario. Few do. (Please note I did not preface the previous sentence with an "Alas." No oinker here.)

I'm 53 years old and my opinion on the death penalty has shifted more than once along the way. If some souless psychopath violated and killed my child or loved one I do believe I could pull the switch/inject the needle/trigger the trapdoor without a second thought.

I could more easily accept life imprisonment as an alternative if that's what it really meant. It rarely does, at least in Canada. Too many scumbags are walking the streets too soon after the completion of their too-short sentences in a too-soft prison. It infuriates me.

As always, I'm in for the group hug thing. :)

Nivvie
03-03-2005, 11:48 AM
the Jews in WWII (many of whom could have survived if they'd been willing to renounce their faith )

Sorry Betty, but no.
The extermination of the Jews was based on race, not religion.
You are possibly thinking of Jehovah's Witnesses.
I quote the Holocaust Resource Centre -

Jehovah's Witnesses endured intense persecution under the Nazi regime. Actions against the religious group and its individual members spanned the Nazi years 1933 to 1945. Unlike Jews and Sinti and Roma "Gypsies"), persecuted and killed by virtue of their birth, Jehovah's Witnesses had the opportunity to escape persecution and personal harm by renouncing their religious beliefs.

Betty W01
03-03-2005, 04:42 PM
Thanks, Nivvie. I was actually thinking of the number of Jewish children raised by sympathetic Germans as their own, who had to hide their faith or were never told about it until much, much later, as mentioned in a number of Jewish autobiographies, and extrapolating that to possible grown-up situations. But it's true that a person with Jewish blood who wasn't even a practicing Jew would have been slaughtered, too, if it had been known. Thanks for the correction. I always thought it was a shame that Hitler committed suicide. Too bad he couldn't have been captured and turned over to the Jews who survived the camps, at a later date when they were capable of dealing appropriately with him. Although since the Bible says "Thus saith the Lord, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay'", and the Jews are known as God's chosen people, I don't suppose Hitler ending up thinking suicide was such a hot idea when he met God face-to-face.

http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/14/14_6_1.gif (http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb001_ZS)

ChunkyC
03-03-2005, 09:26 PM
I could more easily accept life imprisonment as an alternative if that's what it really meant.
Ain't that the truth, Frank. If we are to say that execution is not in the cards, then life in prison has to mean life in prison, not ten years and out on good behaviour. I've lost count of how many times I've wanted to slap the entire system silly for allowing some dirtbag back on the street. This guy killed someone, yet they don't think he's capable of telling a lie such as saying he's found God so he can go free.

Killing someone means that the perpretrator must never, ever walk free again, because their victim will never, ever walk free again.

And now, a few anecdotes that all this prison talk has dredged up from my memory banks....

In the town where I grew up, Kingston Ontario, there were, and still are I believe, seven major prisons within fifty miles or so of the city. Hell, two major maximum security institutions, Kingston Penitentiary and Prison for Women, are right in the city, across the street from each other. The guys playing baseball in KP could easily hit a ball over the wall and into P4W.

I used to play in bands, as some of you know. The Kingston musicians union had a program where local groups would play in these jails, and bands I was in did so on a number of occasions. So -- we had a gig in KP. Clifford Olsen, mass murderer, had a comfy room in there, that kind of place. We played out in the main courtyard and afterward, this inmate (not Olsen, he was rarely allowed out of his cell) comes up to me and asks if we can stuff him into one of our road cases and sneak him out. Offered me $5,000. No, I didn't do it. Not only am I a law abiding citizen, I didn't want to end up coming right back in and be his "girlfriend", thank you very much.

Another time we played at P4W and our drummer started hitting on this pretty little thing while we were setting up. Idiot, she was an inmate in the nation's only maximum security prison for women, she could have been a father-raper for all we knew. So we get up to play, and there she is all wrapped up in the arms of the biggest, meanest looking, tatoo-encrusted woman any of us have ever seen. The way she was staring at our drummer, I was astonished he didn't burst into flames halfway through our first number. Needless to say we kept him close to a guard at all times until we were out of there.

The scariest memory I have was of playing another prison called Warkworth Pen. The soundman we had at the time was a cocky little snot. The way they worked things in this place was to have one of our crew go with a pair of guards to drive our equipment truck in through the gates and have it searched, etc., while the rest of us, in the company of two guards, were walked across the hundred yard wide greensward that lay between the outer and inner fences. We were told to stay in a tight group with them. Sure enough, before anyone realizes what he's doing, our moronic soundman trots off ahead of the rest of us. All you could hear was the sound of guns in the guard towers being cocked as they took aim at him. Our escort screamed at him to freeze and keep his hands where they could be seen. Stupid twit nearly got himself shot.

Anyway, just remembered this stuff ... I'm glad nobody every got hurt during one of these adventures.