Debate and Discussion

Capital Punishment
mlai at 7:58PM, Oct. 19, 2007
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If we cannot accept the idea that 1 innocent must be lost in order to eliminate 100 of the guilty, then why do we fight wars? And honour those who fight in them?

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
Aqua Dragon at 9:26PM, Oct. 19, 2007
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Reading this stuff really changed my opinion. My first thought was “If they were convicted for Death, then they were convicted for a reason. And that reason was their own fault” but seeing as innocents get killed sometimes, my new opinion is now this.

“If you can't prove with 100% certainty, that without a doubt at all, that in no way could it be anyone else and there is enough proof to back it up, then and only then should the death penalty be allowed”.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:54AM
StaceyMontgomery at 7:14AM, Oct. 20, 2007
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mlai said:

>

Actually, i accept that nothing can ever be perfect. If you have prisons, some innocent will be imprisoned. If you have the death penalty, some innocent will be killed.

but first of all, that doesnt sound like something we should be too relaxed about, does it? After all, if “protecting the innocent” is not our main goal, perhaps we need to reconsider our goals! And let's face it - if you imprison someone and find out they were innocent, you can always let them out. False imprisonment is bad, but a lot better than “oops, we wish we hadn't killed that person!”

And I believe that it is better to let 100 guilty go free than to kill an innocent person. I simply value human life more than that. And I do fear the 1/100 number is about right. Why not come back and ask me again when you make it 1 in a million? Lets face it, the recent wave of people freed from death row because of DNA evidence backs up the 1/100 number. Is that number really OK with you? Doesnt being in favor of the death penalty come with some responsibilities?

Also, as a practical matter, I fear the power of government. I do not want it to have the power to kill me. I understand that while some of us fear the government, most people love and trust the government. I have no idea why. Conservatives especially confuse me on this point - they do not trust the government to spend taxes wisely, but they trust the government to kill people wisely. That's obviously crazy.

But my main reason for being against the death penalty is one I feel I have to repeat - in my opinion, and based on my studies, having the death penalty INCREASES the chance of convicting the innocent. Again and again we see the desire to see someone die warps the process. The idea of Killing people just gets our blood going in a way the putting people in prison does not. And we should should make decisions about who is guilty and who is innocent with calm and steady minds - not with our blood flowing. That always leads to mistakes.

And surely when we have a responsibility to avoid mistakes, not just to shrug and say “oh well, nothing's perfect, so who cares?” That path inevitably leads to LOTS of mistakes. And if you're killing lots of innocent people because you can't be bothered to do better… Well, that's not the death penalty, that's murder.



- edited for clarity (I hope)
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Ronson at 9:21AM, Oct. 20, 2007
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mlai
If we cannot accept the idea that 1 innocent must be lost in order to eliminate 100 of the guilty, then why do we fight wars? And honour those who fight in them?

I have no idea.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
mlai at 11:31AM, Oct. 20, 2007
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Someone
And I believe that it is better to let 100 guilty go free than to kill an innocent person.
While I don't have a problem with abolishing the DP, I do have a big problem with this naive statement.

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bobhhh at 12:30PM, Oct. 20, 2007
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mlai
Someone
And I believe that it is better to let 100 guilty go free than to kill an innocent person.
While I don't have a problem with abolishing the DP, I do have a big problem with this naive statement.

Excuse me??? Just because someone differs from you doesn't mean they are naive. I happen to feel the same way, and I assure you I am fully aware of the gravity of the issue and I am not in denial of the consequences. It strikes me as just a touch arrogant to believe you are more wise or cognisant of the ways of the world simply because you advocate killing people for committing crimes.

In fact I could argue you are the naive one for assuming murder is an acceptable form of punishment in a civilized society. To me state sanctioned murder is the ultimate form of cruel and unusual punishment.
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bobhhh at 12:35PM, Oct. 20, 2007
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mlai
If we cannot accept the idea that 1 innocent must be lost in order to eliminate 100 of the guilty, then why do we fight wars? And honour those who fight in them?

Apples and oranges. War is regrettable and often unavoidable. Someone attacks your shores and your country responds.

Captiol punisment is not in response to a clear and present danger, it is a punitive, vengeful matter executed on a prisoner who is shackeled, imprisoned and no longer a threat to society.

One is self defense, the other is petty revenge.
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mlai at 6:10PM, Oct. 20, 2007
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bobhhh
Excuse me??? Blah blah blah
Wow, even though my post was only one sentence long, you still managed to not read it. Bravo.

Someone
Someone attacks your shores and your country responds.
Right. You respond by attacking. Attacking the guilty. With the knowledge that there will be collateral casualties far greater than a 100:1 ratio.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
bobhhh at 9:47PM, Oct. 20, 2007
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mlai
bobhhh
Excuse me??? Blah blah blah
Wow, even though my post was only one sentence long, you still managed to not read it. Bravo.

Someone
Someone attacks your shores and your country responds.
Right. You respond by attacking. Attacking the guilty. With the knowledge that there will be collateral casualties far greater than a 100:1 ratio.

Hey pal I read just fine, and you have no argument, or you wouldn't try to discredit me instead of my assertion.

And executing an innocent man is not collateral damage. CD is accidental death unavoidable due to the inaccuracy of warfare.

The death penalty is all too avoidable.

Oh excuse me, blah blah bla…
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
Hawk at 11:55PM, Oct. 20, 2007
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One could make the argument that capital punishment isn't so much about the person who committed the crime, but the people who are thinking about committing that crime and heard about what happened to the last guy that did it.

However, I kind of doubt it works in most cases, since a lot of the more serious crimes people commit happen because they weren't thinking.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
mlai at 10:09AM, Oct. 21, 2007
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bobhhh
Hey pal I read just fine, and you have no argument, or you wouldn't try to discredit me instead of my assertion.
I don't need an argument, because your blablah was entirely irrelevant to my post. You were talking to somebody but it certainly wasn't to me. I also didn't need to discredit your assertion because it was entirely irrelevant to my post.

Someone
And executing an innocent man is not collateral damage. CD is accidental death unavoidable due to the inaccuracy of warfare.
Exchange a few words and you have the same thing as the DP.

Someone
One could make the argument that capital punishment isn't so much about the person who committed the crime, but the people who are thinking about committing that crime and heard about what happened to the last guy that did it. However, I kind of doubt it works in most cases, since a lot of the more serious crimes people commit happen because they weren't thinking.
Nah, most ppl know that it doesn't work that way. No matter how cruel and publicly-displayed the executions are, you'll always have ppl who commit those crimes.
Being in prison for decades is the same level of deterrent as being in prison for decades then being executed, for someone about to commit a felony. The only thing the DP does is make the criminal fight harder when the cops show up.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
ozoneocean at 10:47AM, Oct. 21, 2007
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I agree with Mlai, that analogy about war was perfect. :)

It's all government sanctioned killing… Although in war it has less justification, or reason. Actually, you'll get many fewer “innocents” dying (by a phenomenal number), in the justice system than you will in war. Heh, I'd go so far as to say that if you think war is in any way acceptable or unavoidable, or if “collateral damage” is even an acceptable term, then you must also accept and support the death penalty, since it's the same thing only a lot more humane, and in relation to war it kills a tiny amount of people and kills hardly any innocents at all.

Personally though, I'm against it all. :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:28PM
bobhhh at 2:54PM, Oct. 21, 2007
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Ok one more time.

Mlai you called someone naive, so I was responding to that by stating a defense of that argument as more than reasonable, and your apparent decision that the death penalty is a pain in the ass is not the same as being morally against it, so I feel I have a contrary position to you.

Further this argument about CD is so flawed I'm surprised Ozo doesn't see it. Bombs are by design messy. CD is inevitable. Unless you are fighting an agressive(the popular term is ‘Premptive’ these days)war you have no choice but to kill some innocents.

The death penalty is elective. There is no moral imperative to kill people except in self defense. Soldiers kill in self defense. Executing prisoners is not the same.

Explain to me how a shackled, imprisoned convict presents a mortal danger to the judge and jury who sends him to death. You see a soldier cannot send the enemy to prison for life, he has to fire weapons. A judge and jury, or legislators more aptly can make a decision to not barbarous murder people, and therefore risk killing an innocent man.
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maritalbliss at 3:37PM, Oct. 21, 2007
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I didn't always believe in Capital Punishment.

When my cousin was murdered by two carjackers and I drove the blood encrusted car from San Antonio to Dallas, I changed my mind a bit.

After I worked closely with the prison system in conjuction with the “educational system” I lost the belief in rehabilitation.

While I agree, putting an innocent man to death is unforgivable; there are many open and shut cases.

I've since: Cradled the body of a girlfriend murdered by an ex-boyfriend who had been beaten to death while we waited for the ambulance, and seen three other people close to me put in the ground through equally violent methods. So, opinions are like A-holes, we all got 'em.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:53PM
bobhhh at 6:49PM, Oct. 21, 2007
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maritalbliss
I didn't always believe in Capital Punishment.

When my cousin was murdered by two carjackers and I drove the blood encrusted car from San Antonio to Dallas, I changed my mind a bit.

After I worked closely with the prison system in conjuction with the “educational system” I lost the belief in rehabilitation.

While I agree, putting an innocent man to death is unforgivable; there are many open and shut cases.

I've since: Cradled the body of a girlfriend murdered by an ex-boyfriend who had been beaten to death while we waited for the ambulance, and seen three other people close to me put in the ground through equally violent methods. So, opinions are like A-holes, we all got 'em.

Yes precisely. I would not presume to argue with the bereaved.

What bugs me is folks who think that state sanctioned murder is an intellectual exercize. You lost a loved one, my opinion means nothing, but if you just sit on your moral high horse and declare ratios of acceptable innocent convicts murdered in the name of justice ok, well I got a problem with that.
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mlai at 8:00PM, Oct. 21, 2007
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@ Bobhhh:

Because you fail so massively at reading comprehension of a post that is not more than 2 sentences long, I had refused to explain it to you before. But now I'll do so in hopes that you'll become a better person.

You said this:
Mlai you called someone naive, so I was responding to that by stating a defense of that argument as more than reasonable,

Because I said I have a big problem with this:
And I believe that it is better to let 100 guilty go free than to kill an innocent person.

Obviously, by “the guilty”, we mean 100 felons who were guilty of heavy crimes. Let's say 100 murderers.

The sentence states that if we had to let 100 murderers go free onto the streets because some innocent person is being held hostage, we should give in to that demand.

Where in that above statement is capital punishment mentioned?

Then you go into a tirade about “you are the naive one for assuming murder is an acceptable form of punishment in a civilized society.” So I repeat, where in that above statement is capital punishment mentioned?

Further this argument about CD is so flawed I'm surprised Ozo doesn't see it. Bombs are by design messy. CD is inevitable. Unless you are fighting an agressive(the popular term is ‘Premptive’ these days)war you have no choice but to kill some innocents. The death penalty is elective. There is no moral imperative to kill people except in self defense. Soldiers kill in self defense. Executing prisoners is not the same.

Your argument for war and collateral damage is itself flawed, because you assume there is only 1 type of warfare, the “righteous self-defense” type.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
Ronson at 8:56PM, Oct. 21, 2007
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mlai
The sentence states that if we had to let 100 murderers go free onto the streets because some innocent person is being held hostage, we should give in to that demand.

The original, from William Blackstone: “It is better that ten guilty escape than one innocent suffer.” was in regards to the English Law.

You are misunderstanding the spirit of that phrase. It applies to a government's justice system, not a criminal hostage situation. “Escape” in this context means that they are not found guilty.

And I do agree with it, but I have to wonder how high that number should be. To prevent an innocent person from ending up in jail, how much looser should our legal system be? Enough to allow 100 guilty to be free? 1000, 10000, more?

When trying to quantify how many innocents per guilty is acceptable, I think you lose sight of the fact that imprisoning the innocent is a crime in itself. But it's a crime that no government cares to address much.

Where in that above statement is capital punishment mentioned?

Well, it's a capital punishment thread, and countless folks have mentioned that innocent people have and will be killed with any form of capital punishment in the governmental system.

You're implication that worrying too much about innocents who fall victim to the system surely applies to capital punishment. Maybe it was an assumption, but it is a worthy one. Are you saying you are against capital punishment or not?

___________

The big questions, I think, should be about WHY there are so many things out there that are considered crimes, and whether or not we have become much too authoritarian a society.

Things like drugs, prostitution and gambling are illegal in many places. By giving the management of these things to the criminal element, we actually create the higher crimes of theft and murder.

Also, it cannot be denied that all of these crimes are disproportionally higher among the lower economic groups, and that the amount of crime committed rises as the economy worsens.

And upper class crime is something that usually goes unpunished.

Examples:

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article2906344.ece
texas
A 30-year old man, Kenneth Foster, is set to be executed today for a murder which he not only did not commit, but which the authorities in Texas accept was carried out by another man in 1996.

The trial judge, the prosecutor, and the jury that sentenced Mr Foster to die admit that he did not murder the victim Michael LaHood. But, under a controversial “law of parties”, in Texas an associate of a perpetrator can be found co-responsible in a capital case. The law imposes the death penalty on anybody involved in a crime where a murder occurred.

Compare this to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Canal;
Love Canal
In 1994, Federal District Judge John Curtin ruled that Hooker/Occidental had been negligent, but not reckless, in its handling of the waste and sale of the land to the Niagara Falls School Board. Curtin's decision also contains a detailed history of events leading up to the Love Canal disaster. Occidental Petroleum was sued by the EPA and in 1995 agreed to pay $129 million in restitution. The cleanup of the site was investigated, designed, and overseen by the environmental consulting firm Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

In the first case, a man's life is up for grabs because he was with the actual murderer. In the second, NO ONE was sent to jail for countless deaths and miscarriages. A company paid a fine and moved along.

For some reason, the first case makes some of our citizens feel “safe” because they know that they live in a country that is “tough on crime”. The second case is generally dismissed and ignored, and the lives spent are considered unimportant. I could easily have used an article from a negligent pharmaceutical company or Blackwater but I wanted to use a case that isn't still pending.

Money controls our justice system because government changes it's laws to favor money. Talk about innocents and guilty as much as you wish, but the really heinous crimes are rarely discovered and only unsatisfyingly tried if it even gets that far.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
mlai at 10:07PM, Oct. 21, 2007
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Ronson
“Escape” in this context means that they are not found guilty. And I do agree with it, but I have to wonder how high that number should be. To prevent an innocent person from ending up in jail, how much looser should our legal system be? Enough to allow 100 guilty to be free? 1000, 10000, more?
As soon as you say “It's better to let 2 guilty go free so that 1 innocent won't be wrongfully convicted,” you must say the same for 10, 100, 1000, 10000 guilty. And those 10000 guilty go back onto the street to ruin/kill 10000 innocents. Therefore that statement is subversive, regardless of its intent. It cannot be agreed with.

Someone
… surely applies to capital punishment. Maybe it was an assumption, but it is a worthy one. Are you saying you are against capital punishment or not?
No it doesn't. Read my original post concerning that Blackstone statement. Bobhhh didn't saying anything vs me until he latched onto that post and wouldn't let go, even though I structured that post so that it specifically doesn't address CP.

I am against CP, but that's not the point.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
ozoneocean at 2:37AM, Oct. 22, 2007
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So your take on the actual statement (not your sentiments though) is that it means there should be no death penalty because innocents will always die?

That's not what the statement originally meant though, it was just about (as I understand it) the careful application of justice;
erring on the safe side when it comes to deciding penalties, but still having those penalties, whatever they are (capital punishment, corporal punishment… -Which is why the “CP” abbreviation really shouldn't be used)

As for Bobhh's instance that death in war is more acceptable, I have to strongly disagree: it is ALL unacceptable, and even though I'm well aware that comparing incomparable things leads to silliness, I still state very strongly that if you find any death in war acceptable in any way then you SHOULD find the death penalty to be completely OK since it is much more carefully applied (in the US), it is entirely selective and only applied to a minute section of a population.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:28PM
bobhhh at 5:18AM, Oct. 22, 2007
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mlai
@ Bobhhh:

Because you fail so massively at reading comprehension of a post that is not more than 2 sentences long, I had refused to explain it to you before. But now I'll do so in hopes that you'll become a better person.

You said this:
Mlai you called someone naive, so I was responding to that by stating a defense of that argument as more than reasonable,

Because I said I have a big problem with this:
And I believe that it is better to let 100 guilty go free than to kill an innocent person.

Obviously, by “the guilty”, we mean 100 felons who were guilty of heavy crimes. Let's say 100 murderers.

The sentence states that if we had to let 100 murderers go free onto the streets because some innocent person is being held hostage, we should give in to that demand.

Where in that above statement is capital punishment mentioned?

Then you go into a tirade about “you are the naive one for assuming murder is an acceptable form of punishment in a civilized society.” So I repeat, where in that above statement is capital punishment mentioned?

Further this argument about CD is so flawed I'm surprised Ozo doesn't see it. Bombs are by design messy. CD is inevitable. Unless you are fighting an agressive(the popular term is ‘Premptive’ these days)war you have no choice but to kill some innocents. The death penalty is elective. There is no moral imperative to kill people except in self defense. Soldiers kill in self defense. Executing prisoners is not the same.

Your argument for war and collateral damage is itself flawed, because you assume there is only 1 type of warfare, the “righteous self-defense” type.

You got me there I presumed that go free meant not executed. If that wasn't her intent as you point out, I wouldn't strongly disagree, killing an innocent is pretty abohorrent to me, but I would also concede you had a point.

Also, for a soldier there is only one kind of war, follow orders and don't die. Further there is concerns like the Geneva conention, and honor. If however you want to qibble the reasons to go to war, and politicians' motivations, I think I have stated in several threads how I feel about that. Most wars are fought for less than honorable reasons.

But If you are in a war, there isn't much choice in the matter for a soldier, youre shooting, people will die.

My point is that there is no war in CP. It's just a punitive measure that sux as a deterrent and manages to get innocent people executed to boot. It's a situation that we don't have to enter into. We can imprison people for life. That way people can be exonerated if innocent. In fact i would argue that the threat of a living breathing person proving his innocence and the incompetence of the judicial system is much more likely to hold said system to task than a corpse.


So I guess you could say a blockade and sanctions might be like life imprisonment, if you were to torture this metaphor, but I officially give up on this tangent, especially since I may have misinterpreted the original statement.

But back on topic, we kill people because murder is bad, so I personally don't want to become party to murder. I to really teach our children the value of life we must show them that even though some people are so heinous as to take another man's life, we won't emulate their behaviour by doing so in vengance. Once you justify murder then you are just quibbling about the particulars.
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bobhhh at 5:30AM, Oct. 22, 2007
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ozoneocean

So your take on the actual statement (not your sentiments though) is that it means there should be no death penalty because innocents will always die?

That's not what the statement originally meant though, it was just about (as I understand it) the careful application of justice;
erring on the safe side when it comes to deciding penalties, but still having those penalties, whatever they are (capital punishment, corporal punishment… -Which is why the “CP” abbreviation really shouldn't be used)

As for Bobhh's instance that death in war is more acceptable, I have to strongly disagree: it is ALL unacceptable, and even though I'm well aware that comparing incomparable things leads to silliness, I still state very strongly that if you find any death in war acceptable in any way then you SHOULD find the death penalty to be completely OK since it is much more carefully applied (in the US), it is entirely selective and only applied to a minute section of a population.

Agreed both are pretty horrible, and I'm not ok with war, I was just being realistic about the prosecution of battle and the consideration of the soldiers. In your analogy the soldier is akin to an executioner, I have a real problem with that. Soldiers are honorable, executioners are despicable. Soldiers are in mortal danger, executioners are as far from in danger as you can get. Soldiers try to gain tactical advantage towards and end and take prisoners when they can. Executioners flip switches and pump people full of electricity, or poison.

Unfortunately, it's impossible to imagine we can abloish war, we can however abolish capitol punishment for reasons stated above, so at least some of the more senseless killing can stop.
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StaceyMontgomery at 7:35AM, Oct. 22, 2007
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First of all, I'd like to thank those who came to my defense - Mlai is free to say my ideas are wrong, but calling me “naive” was just silly in that context. It's the debate and discussion forum, after all, not the name-calling forum.


then Mlai said:

>

Actually, the “you must” part here is an mistake. Of course, in any process that is not perfect, we get to set the margin of error we find acceptable. We can say “50/50 isn't good enough” or “1/100 is not good enough” but we can also say “1/1000 is good enough for us.”

I say we can and should be arguing over what kind of accuracy we can accept from any system. Mlai appears to argue that we cannot debate the level of acceptable accuracy - but why? Why must I accept 50/50 accuracy just because it's ok with Mlai?

Still, I like that Mlai went from calling me naive to calling me Subversive.

I like it when people call me names - it mean they're running out of coherent arguments.

And when people call me “subversive” I know I'm on to something.

I'd be very interested to know what kind of accuracy everyone here expects from their Justice system. I'm still thinking about mine. I'd say 1/1000 sounds arguable. I like 1/50,000 much better. One in a million sounds ever better - but of course we are talking about a trade off between what we want and how much we are willing to pay for it.

Meanwhile, I expect that this post is also subversive. That's OK with me - I'm an American, you see. My country was founded by subversives.

(edited for garbled sentences)
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
mlai at 8:25AM, Oct. 22, 2007
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StaceyMontgomery
First of all, I'd like to thank those who came to my defense - Mlai is free to say my ideas are wrong, but calling me “naive” was just silly in that context.
How are “wrong” and “naive” different in terms of sensitivity potential? To take that statement literally: “I will let 100 murderers go free to save the life of 1 innocent” is worse than naive. There is no double jeopardy in the US. It assumes that those 100 murderers will not rob/rape/kill again. You just killed >1 ppl in the future to save 1 person now.
You should have stated your sentiments better. Such as “I will forgo the DP for 100 murderers if it means I save the life of 1 innocent man.”

Someone
I say we can and should be arguing over what kind of accuracy we can accept from any system. Mlai appears to argue that we cannot debate the level of acceptable accuracy - but why? Why must I accept 50/50 accuracy just because it's ok with Mlai?
Of course you can't. A major premise against CP is that humans can't play God. But this would obviously be playing God. Worse, playing God with numbers.
Pro-CP ppl can do this. Anti-CP ppl don't get this luxury.

Someone
Still, I like that Mlai went from calling me naive to calling me Subversive.
I was referring to the Blackstone quote. To expound, Blackstone's sentiment is correct, but the way he stated it is very questionable. Written words can be easily distorted to fit personal truths (as seen from the Bible/Koran), so writers have a responsibility to be clear. Blackstone was being very negligent (unless this is a quote out of context), and it hurts his own argument.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
StaceyMontgomery at 9:14AM, Oct. 22, 2007
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Mlai

“Naive” simply means that I lack experience or understanding - that is, it is a judgement about *why* you think i am wrong. That's very different from simply saying that I am wrong. I could just as easily say that you are wrong because you a poo-poo head, but it doesn't really add anything to my argument, does it?

Actually, I am not at all Naive. I am smart and rather experienced. Of course, I can still be terribly, terribly wrong about anything (or everything). If you must call me names, you should call me a “pervert” or a “freak” or just keep calling me a “subversive.” I get those all the time, honestly, so they are likely true.



>

At this point as we quote and paraphrase, Im not sure who to attribute this to - or even if it was originally mine - so my apologies. But let me address it anyway.

I accept it. If I were in charge (and of course, I am not) and I was presented with 100 people and told that I could kill them all or free them all, and 1 of them was totally innocent,and the other were murderers - yes, i would let them all go.

It is a matter of moral perspective, which of course varies from person to person. I am not a big fan of authority (I am, after all, a subversive) and I do not consider it government's responsibility to guarantee my safety in all things. I prefer that the government err on the side of NOT punishing the innocent.

After all - I could just as easily say that I have 100 people - one is a terrible psychopath. The others are just innocent people. No way to figure out which is which. How can you justify ever letting that psychopath go? Better to kill them all, right?

Again - no system is perfect. If we have trials and courts and police, then we accept that they will make mistakes. I feel comfortable saying “well, ok, let's have police and courts and lets do our best - but our best is not so accurate that I trust it with CP.”

In 1780 Ben Franklin said “It is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a maxim that has been long and generally approved” and i agree with him.

Pol Pot is often quoted as saying that “it is better that ten innocent men suffer than one guilty man escape.”

I feel that they have laid my argument out well.

But in the end, i agree that the numbers become a distraction. I do think that it is reasonable to set standards for things like CP, and I am always suspicious when I am told that the government should give a criminal what they deserve.

Because i do not know anyone who is getting what they deserve. Why start with the criminals?

When we plan our system of justice, more humility would serve us very, very well.




last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
StaceyMontgomery at 9:19AM, Oct. 22, 2007
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I said:

>


Just for clarity, i am still opposed to CP. I feel like I can discuss the need for high standards for a CP system and still be against CP, that is, if there MUST be CP, it must be more accurate than what I have seen lately.

However, I realize that is confusing of me to seem to argue two sides at once, and my apologies. In discourse, it is generally better to focus, but while I have a few virtues, focus is not one of them.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
mlai at 9:37AM, Oct. 22, 2007
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Ah, then I as king of the parable would kill the 99 criminals together with the innocent man, call the opposers naive, then close the court for the day and go home to sleep soundly.

And the next day, when presented with 99 innocent men and 1 criminal, I would let them all go free, then close the court for the day and go home to sleep soundly.

As I said before, a person who is pro-CP is entitled to play with numbers, to weigh the costs and benefits without the intrusion of human morality. An anti-CP does not have that freedom. And that is why Blackstone and Franklin are correct in that statement; because once they cross the line they no longer have the freedom. They can say “1 million guilty” rather than “100 guilty” and they'd still be morally correct. But even though their morals can rest easy, could the citizenry do so with 1 million guilty free men out there?

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
Tantz Aerine at 10:59AM, Oct. 22, 2007
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By enforcing the Death Penalty you are by virtue of modelling teaching people that killing someone is actually an effective solution to a problem.

It's not.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
StaceyMontgomery at 11:23AM, Oct. 22, 2007
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Mlai said -

>

No doubt you would volunteer to serve as the innocent person. Good for you.

But I think I have higher standards for government. When the police come for me, the claim “well, we got it right the other 99 times” will mean nothing to me.

It is true, of course, that you cannot make an omelet without breaking some eggs. But if you break too many eggs, it probably means you are not up to making omelets.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
usedbooks at 11:40AM, Oct. 22, 2007
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I agree with Tantz.

I also want to add that while killing someone might feel like “justice” to a victim's family, I honestly don't think it is. Death isn't a punishment. All of the most horrific crimes I've read about (especially recently) ended in a suicide. I always viewed that action as cowardly – not as the perpetrator “punishing himself.” He doesn't have to see the repercussions of his actions. He almost certainly never feels regret or acknowledges any wrong-doing.

If someone killed someone I loved, I would not want to see them dead. I would want to see them off the streets and thinking about their actions … for a long time. I would want them to know the pain they caused. I would want them to have every possible chance, every moment, to consider their actions and maybe even feel true regret and be actually sorry for it. – And if their whole life passes in jail and they never feel any remorse, they would never have felt true remorse on death row either, fear perhaps but not remorse. And on death row, their chances and their suffering would be greatly reduced.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:37PM
bobhhh at 11:45AM, Oct. 22, 2007
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Let's get to the issue. Why should we kill criminals? Will it solve anything? Will it bring back the dead? Is one more murder the prescription to heal societies woes? Will it make us safer?

As far as I can tell there are only two effective reasons for state sanctioned murder.

1. Revenge. Eye for and eye, to sate the bereaved's sorrow and anger as well as the outrage of society.

Murder should never make anyone feel better, its just wrong, that's why we get mad when it happens. It was wrong when the victim was killed and its wrong when the convict is killed. Again I find it hard to get past the central conflict in this discussion. If murder is such a terrible thing then why are we so intent on committing the same act upon the criminal? How can we sink to the actions of a fkn killer and claim we are serving civility?

Does anyone else see the irony?

2. To placate the voters and prove you are serious about fighting crime.

It doesn't deter crime, so it doesn't make us safer. When life is hell, sometimes death is romantic, even heroic to a criminal. There is a reason people commit suicide, they think death is a better deal. Thinking that the death penalty will make sense to a psychopath or sociopath and give them pause is a stretch at best.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM

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