Invincible

The Death Penalty

46 posts in this topic

Inspired by loyalhero90's controversial topic on patient assisted suicide, I thought why not add another hot topic into the mix. The issue here is capital punishment. Do you believe there are moral or practical justification to put certain criminals to death? Why or why not?

I personally oppose the death penalty for practical reasons. Here are the main reasons why:

1. Our legal system is too broken to legitimately apply the death penalty. In recent years, more and more criminal convictions have been overturned due to higher standards of DNA testing. This puts into question how many innocent people have been wrongfully executed before these standards were put in place. Secondly, prosecutors are known to withhold evidence in court that would otherwise prove a suspect's innocence.

2. The death penalty is much more costly than life in prison. Which puts a much higher burden on tax payers especially in this tough economy. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2009/1020/p02s04-usju.html

3. I do not believe capital punishment bears any meaningful effect on crime. It is usually reserved for the most heinous crimes such as murder. Those who would go so far as to murder another human being is almost surely to have some sort of mental or sociopathic disorder that they have absolutely no regard for consequences or human life.

What are your thoughts?

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I am 100 percent against the death penalty, regardless of someone's crime and nature of crime another human should not have the right to take another's life away, it's a violation of the basic human rights, it is also proven to have no effect of crime. I did a speech on this last year for English class : D

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This is a story I once heard from a retired prison guard on a radio show. There was a homeless cat that could get into the prison yard and a convicted murderer befriended it. He would pet and play with him as the guard looked on. One day, as the guard was watching him play with the cat as usual, the man suddenly snapped the cat's neck, killing him :(! I literally had chills run down my body and started crying when I heard this. I think for those truly evil people, who put other prisoner's lives at risk, who put the lives of the staff who work at prisons at risk, who have been proven guilty 100% , backed up with DNA, it should be an option. True psychopathic murderers, which are definitely a minority, will never regret what they did and they will ALWAYS put other people's lives at risk.

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Well I don't believe it should ever be an option, regardless of the crime or mentality of the prisoner, it's cruel and inhumane to murder a prisoner convicted of a crime, just because they were inhumane doesn't mean we have to be as well and kill.

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I don't believe in the death penalty. I don't think it's a humane thing to do. It's also unnecessary in most countries nowadays, because we have prison systems that are secure enough to keep criminals from being a threat to the public. Plus, like people have mentioned already, there's not really any evidence that it reduces crime rates.

 

xxx

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I don't agree with the death penalty. I don't think one should kill someone unless it is absolutely necessary and if someone if secured in jail there is no need to kill them. For more practical reasons, it is more expensive to execute a person.

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I'm against it. Sorry, but the government shouldn't have the right to kill you. Add in the heinous flaws of the American justice system, and my answer is a resounding no. 

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The death penalty also violates the 8th amendment which stops cruel and unusual punishment.

 

Just playing devil's advocate here, there is a lot of ambiguity as to what is considered "cruel." Also, one could also argue that if the death penalty was used more often, then it wouldn't be so unusual anymore.

 

I don't mean to sound like a bleeding heart, but I think if the state, in their quest to pursue justice and order wrongfully executes an innocent person, then they are worse than a murderer.

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I don't mean to sound like a bleeding heart, but I think if the state, in their quest to pursue justice and order wrongfully executes an innocent person, then they are worse than a murderer.

 

I agree with the worry that an innocent person would be executed. That was actually a real problem in the past that sparked a lot of racial tensions. For example, a white woman could say a black man raped her and he would automatically be put to death. A few years later they realize that she completely lied. This is why I don't think the death penalty should be used freely; it should be a highly restricted form of punishment. I think it should be restricted to those who cannot/will not conform and will continuously go on mass murders/have no empathy for human life. A mass murderer like Ted Bundy had massive evidence against him without any racial profiling or ambiguity.  He even confessed to more than 30 murders and completely spilled how he drew women in and killed them.  The guy even escaped twice and committed more murders before finally being caught for good. He once called himself "...the most cold-hearted son of a bitch you'll ever meet." (wikipedia). He was glorified in murder/rape and even necrophilia. I just wouldn't mind my money being spent on this guy going to DP especially since he escaped prison so many times.

These mass murders that are obvious, piles of evidence and even a confession I'm okay with DP. It comes down to a level of safety for me. But with cases that have obvious ambiguity like drug store murders, rapes, street shootings where the person cannot be easily identified I would say life in prison is good enough. For DP the murders would have to have been as serious as Ted Bundy and other similar figures.

I don't think anyone for the DP is saying death to everyone for every murder because I would like to think most people understand the flaws of the legal system but they are usually thinking of people like good ol' Ted.

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I'm not sure on the topic my Christian values want to think anyone can change no matter how far gone they are, but I know some of them won't change, the problem is knowing who will change and who won't.

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Their are times that i believe killing a criminal is the best thing to do. Some people are so evil that they are a threat to everybody around them. Its people like this who need to die. While we can say its not right ti kill somebody, their are crimes that are so evil, and people who are evil, that killing them is the safest thing to do.

So, yes, i support the death penalty. 

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I am very torn on this topic. I don't believe it is right to kill anyone, no matter what they've done. But at the same time, if someone is continuously a threat to innocent people, and even to the prison workers, then you are knowingly putting innocent lives in danger every day.

 

Is it really less expensive to keep someone in jail for over 50 years, than to execute them? How is that possible? I believe you, I'm just curious since it seems it would be the other way.

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First of all I support it for majorly heinous crimes. Like with the whole case going on with James Holmes(the movie theater shooter). This may sound cold hearted to some of you guys, but with some of these crimes do you really believe they deserve rights? Does a serial rapist, serial killer, or even a mass murderer think of the rights of their victim? No, they take them away from them. I'm not saying every criminal should get the death penalty, not even a murderer or a child molester. I'm saying the worst criminals get it. The only thing that sways me against the death penalty is that is more expensive than putting somebody in prison for life. 

 

Jenny on your question about it being more expensive, it is more expensive because of the trials and hearings they have to go through to get the death sentence. Most of these offenders attorneys are paid for by the state because the offender can't necessarily afford one. Not only that you have to add in the prosecution, the judge, and the jury. Those numbers add up and quick. Plus, one the offender is sentenced to death that is the end all be all. An offender has to sit on death row for a minimum of 10 years(at least where I live they do). This is done to make sure they got the right guy and to make sure everything went right in the trials and hearings. 

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First of all I support it for majorly heinous crimes. Like with the whole case going on with James Holmes(the movie theater shooter). This may sound cold hearted to some of you guys, but with some of these crimes do you really believe they deserve rights? Does a serial rapist, serial killer, or even a mass murderer think of the rights of their victim? No, they take them away from them. 

 

Every single person deserves rights, no matter what they have done and how far from human they seem, they still have rights and we cannot be like them and murder.

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Is it murder though? I was always taught(by my pastor, nonetheless) that God gives us the right to take the life of a human to the authorities, should the circumstances deem necessary. Murder is when somebody wrongfully takes the life another person. If God has given the right to the authorities to determine whether or not to give somebody the death penalty, then it isn't wrongful taking of life. As for everybody has rights, yes. But, don't we also have the right to justice. What kind of justice is being served when somebody has killed many people gets live out his life in prison with three meals per day, the right to earn privileges(such as tv and internet), and can get regular visits from family and friends, while somebody else's family suffers the loss of a loved one, somebody else doesn't get those "rights" because this person decided to take their life. In fact, most of these guys will be placed in protective custody because the other prisoners could hurt, or worse kill, them for what they did. Where was that protection for the victim? I do not mean give everybody the death penalty, just the ones who have committed crimes against a number of people. I dare you to ask the families of James Holmes victims, Ted Bundy's victims whether they deserve to have rights. I bet some of them will say where was my family member's rights when they were committing their crimes. 

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Asking the victims of the families gets you no where, they are angry and feel others need to die to pay for their losses. But more human loss isn't the answer. The ones who took the lives of those people had so unfairly done so, though they had taken the rights to live from those people they themselves still hold those rights and a "civilized" society shouldn't be so blood thirsty as to take the lives of more to satisfy their thirst.

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So you would rather protect a criminals rights than a victim's right to justice. Trust me asking victims families gets you somewhere, and no they aren't angry, they are hurt, there's a difference. Should we allow the victims families to decide the fate, no. But we do need to take their opinions in consideration. Saying asking the families gets you nowhere is like saying they don't matter. They are the ones who have to carry on and deal with the pain. They matter and their voices need to be heard. Not only the family is now the voice of the victim, it is like saying the victim also doesn't matter. The fact their rights were taken away doesn't matter, all that matters now is that the person that hurt them gets their rights. It doesn't matter what a person does as long as they have their rights, right that is what you are saying. And shouldn't somebody pay for their loss, I mean really wouldn't have a justice system if we didn't believe this. Having a death penalty doesn't make a civilized society blood thirsty. It is there just in case a person commits a crime so bad that they deserve the death penalty. A blood thirsty society would go around giving every one the death penalty for murder or manslaughter. Not only that they would carry out the sentence much faster than the current standards. 

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Actually according to the Bible(if you live by that standard) we do. As I've stated before I was taught in Bible study that God gives the right to the proper authority to take the life of another individual if they deem their actions worthy. The only reason prisoners are  given such privileges such as tv, internet, visits, etc is because they made the claim that they have the right to have at minimum the right to earn those. The reason many people sit so long on death row is because we have to make sure all their rights are met. See where this rights argument goes. All it takes is someone to say well this is my right as a human and have a valid argument to get that right. You may say that is ridiculous, but it's true. As long as there is a valid argument anything can be considered. Solitary confinement(which is locked in your cell 23 hours a day, but they may or may not have certain privileges just based on behaviors IN the prison) is actually said to be a worse form of punishment than the death penalty. Imagine sitting locked in a cell room with no view to the outside for the rest of your life. In fact I have watched documentaries where these prisoner stated they would rather be put to death than know they would sit in that cell for the rest of their life rotting away, for who knows how many years. They say at least with the death penalty there is an end in sight. Would it suck sitting there forever waiting for your execution day, yes. But at least there is a definite end. I do agree to stricter standards, however. I do feel that prisoners have been given too many privileges and prison systems  have lost sight of what they were actually meant to do and that is not only punish, but to rehabilitate.

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God has no place in law or the justice system, religion is to be separate from law. A true justice system shouldn't have or feel they need the right to take a life.

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As a Canadian, I am 100% against it. 

 

My argument: The Steven Truscot Case

 
Due to the total result of ending someone's life in error due to unforeseen variables, politics, evidence issues, etc; if one mistakenly terminates a life has a 0% chance to rectify the error later on.
 
Furthermore, regardless of the horrible nature of the crime, I agree we all want to see justice done, but we are not law makers, or judges, we do not have all of the information. 

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Separation of Church and State, I know. But think about it how many of our laws are based off of the ten commandments? How many laws are based off of what God tells us is wrong in the bible? The United States was built on Christian values. Now should we be citing scripture in court for reasons things are right or wrong, no. I was just stating that if you believe in God, then yes people have been given the right to take the life of an individual if the circumstances deem necessary. And a true justice system should have a variety of punishments to include death, and not just a number of years to be sentenced. This way the judge can punish somebody in a manner he sees best, and yes sometimes(rarely) it may include death. Isn't justice about paying your debt to society? How is sitting in prison for x amount of years paying a debt to society? 

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