Debate and Discussion

Capital Punishment.
isukun at 6:02PM, Sept. 10, 2009
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I've read up on people who had that syndrome, and not every single one of them turned out to be serial killers. nearly most of them ended up being jerks or some such thing because they weren't able to empathize with other people… but they never killed or committed a major crime in their whole life.

First of all, ASPD isn't a syndrome. Second, everybody is different. ASPD isn't characterized by murderous intent, but to the person with the disorder, murder isn't wrong because they can't empathize with others and only value themselves and their interests. That doesn't mean they will necessarily have a desire to kill or find that particular action in their best interests. As someone else mentioned, there are also varying degrees of just about every mental disorder. A sociopath isn't necessarily a psychopath.

there are plenty of normal people out there, who's been abused and treated badly in the same way as ted bundy, yet they didn't go down the same path he did.

I never said it excused his actions, but that wasn't the argument.

people with ASPD still can lead functional, normal lives.

So do thousands of other people with mental illness, that's not the point.

So if an person with ASPD grows up in an family where abuse is the norm, then he's more likely to commit the same sort of abuse when he grows up.

Which leaves me to wonder how you consider this to be an example of a person capable of making a sound decision.

but i wanted to tell you i found that little pot-shot in bad taste.

I call them as I see them.

theraultj gave a reason why he thought capitol punishment could be an understandable thing and that reason was becuase he felt empathetic for the victims, which most people, REGARDLESS OF RELIGIOUS STANDING do.

There is a difference between empathizing with the families of the victims and supporting the death penalty. Public polls also show that Christian sects range between 67 and 74% in favor of the death penalty, while the rest of the people are more evenly divided on the subject.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
Aurora Moon at 6:35PM, Sept. 10, 2009
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It's like pedophila, you know? Most pedophiles were raped/sexually molested as kids themselves. Yet, not all sexually abused kids grow up to be pedophiles. So what makes the few abused kids grow up to commit pedophila or rape?
the reasons are very simple:
1)they simply wanted to harm others in the way they had been harmed, so that they wouldn't be alone in their suffering. Misery loves company, after all.
2) or worse, they were groomed into thinking this sort of thing was normal, was okay.

I'm sure there are more than just two explanations for pedophilia.

it's not just psychological– antisocial tendencies are usually the result of a chemical issue. Some people's brains are just wired differently. Serial killers often have irregular frontal lobes. this article is about the man who developed pedophilic tendencies because of a frontal lobe brain tumor; the behavior stopped after the removal of the tumor.

That's why I said “MOST pedophiles” as opposed to “ALL pedophiles”.

it's still only a small percentage of people who develop those chemical imbalances in the brain, as opposed to the majority who doesn't. So that also can't be presented as the one single answer to why all the supposedly normal people go crazy and do those awful things. you know?

So in the end there's always all kinds of reasons for those people out there. That's why I tend to sit on the fence here regarding the death penalty. I understand why some people feel so uneasy about it, but I also understand why it might be an necessary evil.
We have to think about the safety of people at large here. Especially if the most worst and dangerous criminals in the world had a tendency to escape prison often like ted bundy and many other notorious serial killers did. That means there's a chance that there could be more lives lost because we didn't make sure that they couldn't ever hurt anybody again.

I have a citera for how somebody needs the death penalty or not. It's the following:
1)If it was proven 100% without an reasonable doubt, along with confessions to the murders. If there was physical evidence, witnesses and the whole canoodle… then there's no fucking way that this person could ever turn out to be innocent. If there was, then it'd be very extremely low. you wouldn't want to let go a potentially dangerous serial killer go if the chances of his being innocent was only .001%, would you?

2) Depending on how dangerous he/she is on an large scale. For example, does he/she only go after a certain type of target, or does he simply indiscriminately kill randomly?
For example, if Killer A killed only midgets this means that he is only going after a very tiny minority (no pun intended), and would easily be manageable. All we would have to do is just keep him in an confined area or keep him away from areas where midgets live, etc. thus his danger level would be somewhat low for the general population. therefore this person doesn't need the death penalty.
Now we move on to killer B. If this killer killed over 50 people… and they varied from children to old people…this means that this killer could easily kill ANYBODY, even you. There's no way that we could manage him to make sure that he's kept away from anybody who could send him off the deep end (again). this makes his danger level extremely high…. more so especially if he was something of an escape artist, meaning that he could slip away out of security's hands into heavily populated areas. Therefore, in order to keep the community safe, Killer B gets the death penalty to ensure that he never kills anybody ever again.
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
isukun at 10:53PM, Sept. 10, 2009
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If it was proven 100% without an reasonable doubt

Which is near impossible. Unless the suspect has been videotaped committing the murder there isn't any 100% way of proving someone's guilt. Witnesses often misidentify suspects. Evidence collected at crime scenes is simply evidence, not proof, it suggests the possibility of the crime, but doesn't prove without a shadow of a doubt that the suspect is guilty. Confessions are also a poor form of evidence as police will frequently coerce confessions out of suspects even when they aren't guilty. There have been a number of cases where people on death row who had confessed to the crime, had witnesses come forward, and where evidence suggested they might be guilty were proven innocent after their conviction and alternative suspects were found for their crimes.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
Dark Pascual at 12:42AM, Sept. 11, 2009
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Unfortunately, the issue is not a simple one.

While here in Ecuador (and several Latin American countries) we don't have Death Penalty and the majority of our population agrees that is better to don't have it (being Catholic, btw), there was a huge social impact at the end of 80's due the horrible crimes commited by Pedro López aka El Monstruo de los Andes (The Monster of Los Andes) who raped and murdered almost 300 girls between the ages of 8 and 12 in Ecuador, Colombia and Peru.

Some people agreed that López was not a regular case and that a more severe penalty should have been aplied (our most severe penalty by then was barely 16 years of prision) . Specially considering the lack of regret that López showed. It has to be considered that we never saw nothing like that in our country before, and the nature of López crimes was overwhelming for us.

There was another case in Colombia, with Luis Garavito, who raped and murdered 172 young boys.

While I believe that Penitentiary System should aim to the rehabilitanion of criminals and that most crimes could be avoided with better social politics and education, I also believe that in extreme cases like López and Garavito, Death Penalty should be considered.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:07PM
Orin J Master at 5:19PM, Sept. 11, 2009
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isukun
If it was proven 100% without an reasonable doubt

Which is near impossible. Unless the suspect has been videotaped committing the murder there isn't any 100% way of proving someone's guilt-
even then, the courts or highly-paid defense lawyers will try all kinds of garbage to get the video ruled as inadmissible in court, or simply try to make it disappear.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
BffSatan at 4:03AM, Sept. 14, 2009
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Orin J Master
even then, the courts or highly-paid defense lawyers will try all kinds of garbage to get the video ruled as inadmissible in court, or simply try to make it disappear.
You really do watch too many crime shows.
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El Cid at 4:03PM, Sept. 21, 2009
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It's not a complicated issue for me. The law says “don't do it or we'll kill you,” so don't do it or we'll kill you. That's all it comes down to, a simple social contract. You live with the protections offered you by the law and you suffer the penalties designated if you're found in breach. And if you don't like it, you move.

Is there some reason why the state can't take someone's life as punishment? I don't see why. They can already kidnap (arrest) you, rob (fine) you, lock you up. Saying the state can take your liberty and property but not your life is an arbitrary designation. It means nothing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
isukun at 6:25PM, Sept. 21, 2009
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Taking one's liberty and propery are things which can be corrected. A person can be set free or given back the property taken from them. Once you take a person's life, though, that isn't something that can be corrected if you're wrong. That doesn't seem arbitrary and meaningless to me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
El Cid at 5:28AM, Sept. 22, 2009
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isukun
Taking one's liberty and propery are things which can be corrected. A person can be set free or given back the property taken from them. Once you take a person's life, though, that isn't something that can be corrected if you're wrong. That doesn't seem arbitrary and meaningless to me.

So we should give people reduced sentences now because there's a possibility they may be innocent? That's an interesting concept Isukn, but I'm not going for it. If you think they're innocent, let ‘em go. If you’ve found them guilty, punish ‘em. To take a person’s innocence into consideration when punishing them is just downright obscene.

For an innocent person to be executed would be a huge miscarriage of justice, that I grant you. But it's also a huge miscarriage of justice to lock an innocent person up for the rest of his life, or twenty five years, or whatever. Both situations are highly detrimental, the only question is a matter of degrees. One case, the man dies ten years from now on Death Row, the other he dies twenty five years from now in prison, the other he dies twenty five years from now a free man after spending fifteen years in prison. Different degrees of damage done, but nothing intrinsically more wrong with any of the punishments themselves. The damage in all cases is irreparable, as you cannot get back time taken away from you.

What you're suggesting is that we, out of sheer timidity, don't apply punitive measures we otherwise see fit simply because one option may result in more damage than another in the odd chance it is misapplied. Nothing makes this argument any more applicable to capital punishment than to any lesser punishment. The best you can say about that approach is that you're just hedging your bets.
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ozoneocean at 6:00AM, Sept. 22, 2009
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Different degrees of damage done
Nonsense. “Damage”? The issue here is terminating a life or not terminating it. Reverse this concept and apply it to a murder victim and their family- would the the victim and their family would prefer death over being imprisoned for 25 years?

Maybe Fritzl's victim and that poor girl in the states who had a similar fate would've had less “damage” done if they'd been killed on the first day instead of locked up all those years?

In their case they seem pretty happy to be free in spite of all those years of abuse and captivity.

The simple fact is that death is final, whether innocent or guilty. And death is not a “punitive” measure, that's ridiculous because it is impossible, quite a lot of us explained why at the beginning of this thread.
————————

I see that most arguments in favour of the death penalty here are still based on the idea of expediency.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:35PM
El Cid at 7:08AM, Sept. 22, 2009
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ozoneocean
And death is not a “punitive” measure, that's ridiculous because it is impossible, quite a lot of us explained why at the beginning of this thread.

*scratches head*

Sorry, but I don't get that one at all, maybe you could re-explain it to me? (I did browse the thread before posting, even backtracked after reading your post, and did not catch this information)

At any rate, it is a punishment dictated by law, whatever you wish to classify it as, and I'm certain that most people on Death Row feel they are being punished, as do most everyone else. I'm not sure where you were going with that?
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ozoneocean at 7:23AM, Sept. 22, 2009
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El Cid
Sorry, but I don't get that one at all, maybe you could re-explain it to me?
It's obvious: if a person is dead, how are they punished?
“That'll learn ya! Ya'll won't be doing that again!” ??? :)

It's the end for them. There's no punishment or reprieve, there's nothing. Unless there's an afterlife in this equation and the trial verdict somehow influences the course they take there… although in most mythology divine judgement is different from the secular so even then it doesn't really follow.

Death Row isn't death, Death Row is prison.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:35PM
El Cid at 8:07AM, Sept. 22, 2009
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ozoneocean
El Cid
Sorry, but I don't get that one at all, maybe you could re-explain it to me?
It's obvious: if a person is dead, how are they punished?
“That'll learn ya! Ya'll won't be doing that again!” ??? :)



Death Row isn't death, Death Row is prison.

Gotcha. Points taken.

…though that still don't change nuthin'…
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
El Cid at 8:46AM, Sept. 22, 2009
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Um, just to be clear on that, I wasn't agreeing with you (maybe I was being a bit too snarky?). Your statements are factually correct but I wouldn't consider them all that relevant. The statement that “dead people can't be punished” is almost tautological. It's sort of like saying murder victims aren't that bad off. I mean, it's true, but jeez!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
ozoneocean at 9:40AM, Sept. 22, 2009
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You aren't punishing someone by killing them, you're just killing them. It's as simple as that and entirely relevant since it's the subject of the thread. It's not a tautology since the word “punishment” is logically erroneous in that instance.

As I said before, the only real argument here for a death penalty is expediency. Is that justified?
i.e. it's easier to kill a person than pay for them to live in jail, devise and pay for rehabilitation, go to the effort of and paying to find out for sure once and for all that they're truly guilty, and as a society is it easier not to learn to accept the idea that a person can commit a horrible crime and still be allowed to live.
————————————-

Ah well, whatever. Have your easy death penalty. Just watch out if you or a family member is ever wrongly convicted, or if the laws creep and stretch the way they often do to apply that penalty to other instances… Like those stupid mandatory sentencing laws; 3 strikes and you're out. I imagine that it could realistically be applied to combat recidivism like that since recidivism is a popular topic with politicians. It could be “5 strikes and we kill you”.

How about paedophilia? I can already imagine lots of people saying “yay” to that, except we see the “paedo” scare expanding to entrapment TV shows where people are arrested because they fell for a 20 year old actress pretending to be a 14 year old… So kill those Paedos. Then there are the “Paedos” who've bought or created loli style manga or comics… Kill them too. Then the “Paedos” who are parents who've taken photos of their young children playing in the bath or at the beach. Killemall. :)

Then there's stuff like treason, that's very broad. Espionage is broad too. Desertion would end the lives of a few thousand military people…

Now you might cry “STRAW MAN”, and you'd be wrong. What I'm doing here is providing legitimate examples of where the legislative creep can expand into (expanding on a point I made at the beginning of this thread). When you allow the state to have the power to kill people, for whatever reason, that's not the end of the story. After that there's a constant pushing and pulling , attempts to apply the penalty to more offences by the right (typically), and attempts to pull back the use of it by the left (typically).
You could say that to avoid the dangers of legislative crap, it's more expedient not to have the death penalty. :)

I'm very glad we abolished it in Australia!
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:35PM
isukun at 3:28AM, Sept. 23, 2009
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To take a person's innocence into consideration when punishing them is just downright obscene.

Tell that to the innocent people who were convicted and killed and then had their innocence proven post mortem. I find that far more obscene, especially since NOBODY is held accountable for that mistake.

The damage in all cases is irreparable, as you cannot get back time taken away from you.

Not really. A person can be set free and there are procedures in place in many states which allow for those who were wronged by the system to get just compensation for their loss of time and status. There is NO WAY to compensate death. A person's life can not be returned to them. And since the legal system isn't really interested in retrying cases after someone is dead, generally their benefactors get nothing.

What you're suggesting is that we, out of sheer timidity, don't apply punitive measures we otherwise see fit simply because one option may result in more damage than another in the odd chance it is misapplied

For every eight people executed, one is exonerated. On top of that, there is overwhelming evidence that the death penalty is one of the most arbitrarily chosen punishments in the US legal system. There have been numerous studies linking convictions to just about everything from racial prejudice to juries with preconceived senses of justice which DON'T relate to the legal system. Just about the only thing the death penalty doesn't seem connected to is the severity of the crime committed. You want arbitrary, the death penalty is as arbitrary as they come. The system isn't perfect, not by a long shot.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
El Cid at 5:12PM, Sept. 23, 2009
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isukun
Tell that to the innocent people who were convicted and killed and then had their innocence proven post mortem. I find that far more obscene, especially since NOBODY is held accountable for that mistake.

Care to give some examples of these definitively innocent people who were convicted and killed? Preferably from the last fifty years or so, just to keep things relevant. I can't remember any proven case of this ever happening, though of course everyone on Death Row claims to be innocent right up to the very end. Remember Roger Coleman?

At any rate, that's not what I was getting at. What I was saying was that guilt is established during the trial phase. During sentencing, you only concern yourself with how and maybe why the person committed the crime, not whether he did it. This has already been settled. Let the appeals process deal with the rest.

isukun
Not really. A person can be set free and there are procedures in place in many states which allow for those who were wronged by the system to get just compensation for their loss of time and status. There is NO WAY to compensate death. A person's life can not be returned to them. And since the legal system isn't really interested in retrying cases after someone is dead, generally their benefactors get nothing.

*shrugs* I guess I'm just not going to get it then. Wrongfully executing someone takes away more than wrongfully locking someone up for life, which takes away more than wrongfully locking someone up for a long time, which takes away more than wrongfully locking someone up for not such a long time. It's still just degrees of loss to me. The rest is just emotive fluff to muddy the waters.

isukun
For every eight people executed, one is exonerated.

Source? The Death Penalty Information Center only lists 135 exonerations, and they've been keeping track since 1970. And for a lot of those it's questionable whether they actually let an innocent man go free or they just had a guilty man they couldn't prove did it anymore. There's a big difference between being innocent and “not guilty in a court of law.” Just ask O.J. Simpson!

isukun
On top of that, there is overwhelming evidence that the death penalty is one of the most arbitrarily chosen punishments in the US legal system. There have been numerous studies linking convictions to just about everything from racial prejudice to juries with preconceived senses of justice which DON'T relate to the legal system. Just about the only thing the death penalty doesn't seem connected to is the severity of the crime committed. You want arbitrary, the death penalty is as arbitrary as they come. The system isn't perfect, not by a long shot.

Of course it isn't perfect, and I'm guessing we're pretty arbitrary in how we apply a lot of other things too. Oh well. That's not an argument against this or any other penalty; it's an argument against the system which applies them.

Btw we're executing a guy here tomorrow. Not sure what that has to do with anything, but it just didn't seem right not mentioning it.

http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/mosleykenneth.htm
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isukun at 1:38AM, Sept. 24, 2009
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Care to give some examples of these definitively innocent people who were convicted and killed?

Sure. In 2008, Cameron Todd Willingham, who was convicted and murdered by the state in 2004 was proven innocent. What makes this one particularly disgusting is that he was convicted of setting his own house on fire to kill his own children.

Gary Graham, who as executed in 2000, was convicted on the testimony of a single witness who claimed to have seen him for a couple of seconds from a moving car 30-40 feet away. This one is a classic case of being screwed by the system. Graham was appointed a lawyer by the courts who neglected to interview the other people who worked in the store where the crime was committed, both of whom were at the scene of the crime and both of whom claim Graham was not the killer.

Leo Jones was convicted of killing a cop, despite witness testimony which pointed to an alternate suspect. Jones confessed to the crime under duress and the cop responsible was later kicked out of the force for ethical violations. Jones was executed in ‘98.

I could go on, but I don’t want to make this post a few miles long.

Unfortuntely, as I said befoe, the courts don't retry or reinvestigate cases AFTER a person has been put to death, so there are not strict records of investigations to prove a person's innocence post mortem. It is just assumed the system was right, even if evidence claims to the contrary. The Willingham case was one of the rare exceptions.

During sentencing, you only concern yourself with how and maybe why the person committed the crime, not whether he did it. This has already been settled.

My point is that the system isn't perfect and that you can't always rely on the appeals process to correct the errors of a corrupt and arbitrary system of sentencing, especially when it frequently doesn't.

*shrugs* I guess I'm just not going to get it then.

Guess not, which is too bad, since it's not that complicated a concept.

Source? The Death Penalty Information Center only lists 135 exonerations, and they've been keeping track since 1970.

Question and answer all in the same quote.

And for a lot of those it's questionable whether they actually let an innocent man go free or they just had a guilty man they couldn't prove did it anymore.

That's not the impression I get from actually reading up on the individual cases. A lot of the exonerations involve verifying alibis, alternative suspects being identified, purjury and corruption in the justice system, itself (witholding or misrepresenting evidence, forced confessions, bribing judges, etc.), or even the use of DNA evidence to prove innocence.

That's not an argument against this or any other penalty; it's an argument against the system which applies them.

Actually it is an argument against both. If the system doesn't work, then it is all the more important that you not take any actions of a permanent and irreversable nature.
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Rich at 6:31AM, Sept. 24, 2009
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It is safe to say that regardless of which way you swing on the debate, both options are excessively costly and wasteful. To eliminate someone who you're never going to let out again removes a perfectly functioning pair of hands. To store them and never use them, you make them a burden to society instead of an asset.

I'm quite fond of the third option, reforming prison to carry work camps to create goods to sell to help recoup the cost of keeping said people out of society. You are then left with an option to make some profit instead of draining society.

The anti-death penalty people would be cheerful to see a lack of bad people getting murdered. The pro-death penalty people would be satisfied because while the people are not dying, they aren't exactly costing them nearly as much as before.



However in the case that said third option never gets implemented (unlikely due to the prison system being little more than a containment area for criminals), I'd have to say death penalty. So what if a few innocent people have to die here and there? Accidents happen. It's part of life. Unless one can provide evidence that the majority (or at least a significant percentage) of people executed were innocent, their argument holds no water.

Oh, and I'd personally like to see public executions brought back into play. Government could make a killing off of pay-per-view executions.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:07PM
BffSatan at 6:37AM, Sept. 24, 2009
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Send all the prisoners to Australia, that's what I say.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:21AM
Rich at 6:47AM, Sept. 24, 2009
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They did that once. You know what we ended up with? Australians.

Let us not repeat the mistakes of our ancestors.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:07PM
El Cid at 5:56PM, Sept. 24, 2009
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isukun

I could go on, but I don't want to make this post a few miles long.
Good, because you’d be wasting your time. None of those men‘s innocence has been conclusively proven, and you throwing their names out there doesn’t prove anything. There’s just speculation and theories, like the JFK assassination, and the Black Dahlia murder, and all that other crime lore. You know this (I hope), so why did you bother? (and especially why would you sully that list by including a certified scumbag like Gary Graham?)

isukun
My point is that the system isn't perfect and that you can't always rely on the appeals process to correct the errors of a corrupt and arbitrary system of sentencing, especially when it frequently doesn't.
Ignoring all the cheap little “hot button” words you slipped in there, that didn't address my point. You can't address guilt or innocence in sentencing. If there's something wrong with your appeals process, you fix it, but perfection is not achievable and is an unacceptable standard for anything.

isukun
Guess not, which is too bad, since it's not that complicated a concept.
Um, excuse you? Okay, Mr. Wise-ass, you're throwing out this brain-dead argument that locking innocent people in prison is REVERSIBLE because you can give them monetary compensation when they get released? That may mitigate the damage, but it does not give them back the years of their life that were taken away. Your argument said nothing about reversibility whatsoever. And somehow not getting that makes ME the moron? I don't think so. You were dodging my point, and I was trying to let you off the hook because I didn't care.

isukun
That's not the impression I get from actually reading up on the individual cases. A lot of the exonerations involve verifying alibis, alternative suspects being identified, purjury and corruption in the justice system, itself (witholding or misrepresenting evidence, forced confessions, bribing judges, etc.), or even the use of DNA evidence to prove innocence.
And a lot involve legal technicalities, the prosecutor not being able to retry the defendant because witnesses can no longer be located or evidence is lost or degraded, and any number of procedural errors that don’t necessarily suggest innocence. I’ll say it again because it bears repeating: Being acquitted in a court of law does not mean you are innocent. The system is designed to slant more toward letting the guilty free than toward possibly punishing the innocent. Dep. Attorney General Ward A. Campbell’s published some pretty good reports on the DPIC list, both its methodologies and many individual cases. I’m not going to argue the cases here in this forum as you attempted to do, but I’ll leave a link for anyone to follow who‘s interested:

Exoneration Inflation: Justice Scalia's Concurrence in Kansas v. Marsh

Suffice it to say that the DPIC list is not above criticism, and a large portion of those “exonerations” (a word which, by the DPIC’s definition, does not mean what most people think it does) deserve a good deal of scrutiny.

isukun
Actually it is an argument against both. If the system doesn't work, then it is all the more important that you not take any actions of a permanent and irreversable nature.
Actually it isn't. And the system does work. It just doesn't work perfectly. And just because actions may have severe consequences is in no way a reason not to engage in them. It just means you do the best job you can to make sure it gets done right.
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ParkerFarker at 9:49PM, Sept. 24, 2009
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El Cid
isukun
Guess not, which is too bad, since it's not that complicated a concept.
Um, excuse you? Okay, Mr. Wise-ass, you're throwing out this brain-dead argument that locking innocent people in prison is REVERSIBLE because you can give them monetary compensation when they get released? That may mitigate the damage, but it does not give them back the years of their life that were taken away. Your argument said nothing about reversibility whatsoever. And somehow not getting that makes ME the moron? I don't think so. You were dodging my point, and I was trying to let you off the hook because I didn't care.
There's you're problem, you would understand what everyone else is saying if you cared.

It is pretty simple. I mean, no, you can't give back innocent people their prison time, but at least your giving back something. When they get out of prison, they have their whole life back! It's not just degrees of loss. There's death where there's nothing. No thinking, no enjoyment, no nothing. Just death. You can't gain anything out of death, you're dead! That's it! Nothing more! And then, there's life! Where you can think, where you can feel joy, or feel hate at being locked up in prison, whatever! you're alive! In prison or not, you're alive! No degrees of loss, just death and life.

Like, let's say you are guilty of murder. Someone is already dead, and that sucks! It sucks that someone is dead, but if you get murdered by the law, then there's two dead people. Two murders now. Two lives lost, never to be back.

Would you rather get sent to prison for 15 years, or would you rather die? I would rather get sent to prison for life then get executed.

“We are in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun.” - Blackadder
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:39PM
isukun at 10:05PM, Sept. 24, 2009
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None of those men‘s innocence has been conclusively proven, and you throwing their names out there doesn’t prove anything.

Try reading the post again. At least one has been. And likewise I could say you'd be wasting your time trying to convince me that they aren't innocent. That's the problem with the system, when people get fucked by the system, it gets covered up, ignored, and nobody takes responsibility. Not a very good position to take.

and especially why would you sully that list by including a certified scumbag like Gary Graham?

Because his other crimes are irrelevant and there are a number of things wrong with his case. Besides the obvious racial issues, if he had been convicted today, he would not have gotten the death penalty. By today's standards, his execution would be deemed unconstitutional as he was still a minor when convicted. There is also the way in which the police handled the case. With their “key witness” they first took a record of her vocal description of the suspect and then presented her with images of six men, only one of which actually fit that description and only one of which was a suspect. That's not standard procedure, not now or then. When she did the face-to-face, it was the same drill. When other witnesses were questioned in the standard procedure, they were unable to identify Graham as the killer. The judge let this slide and accepted the testimony from the “only witness” who supposedly saw the suspect commit the crime. This was the ONLY EVIDENCE used against him. There was no physical evidence to prove he was the killer, no confession, and the court did not take into consideration that witness testimony was conflicting at best. That's just to name a few.

If there's something wrong with your appeals process, you fix it, but perfection is not achievable and is an unacceptable standard for anything.

Except the problem is not limited to the appeals process. It is a problem every step of the way. The goal is to prove without a shadow of a doubt that someone committed a crime, not to say, well, maybe he did it, so we should kill him. Unfortunatley, that's the way our system works a disturbingly large percent of the time. The investigation is about removing doubt, but not proving guilt. Trials by jury are more often about trying to prove innocence than trying to prove guilt, juror go in EXPECTING the suspect to be guilty and it is up to the defense to prove otherwise (which is the exact opposite of how the system is supposed to work). Sentencing is based on petty prejudices and public opinion, not on the nature or severity of the crime. The appeals process is also highly prejudiced and frequently doesn't give adequate attention to individual cases. Still, the system should be trying to weed out mistakes at step one, not just during the appeals process. Innocent until PROVEN guilty is the way the system should work, not guilty until proven innocent 18 years down the line during the appeals process, which is pretty much how it works now.

And somehow not getting that makes ME the moron?

Do you still have time once released from prison? Yes. Does financial compensation make up for lost wages and allow for one to live comfortably while readjusting to society and possibly longer? Yes. Is it possible to pick up and lead a normal life from then on? Yes. Now if you're dead, what do you get? NOTHING. You may lose time, but that does not negate the possibility of getting your life back on track or even making it better than it was as compensation tends to be pretty considerable With the amount of time your average life or death row inmate stays in jail before getting exonerated, the money they get in states supporting compensation could buy them a house and allow them to live comfortably without a job for 15-20 years, that's going to make up for some time. If you're dead, you're dead. You can't get anything back, you can't make anything of yourself, the government doesn't even give you the opportunity to clear your name so that your benefactors can seek compensation.

I’ll say it again because it bears repeating: Being acquitted in a court of law does not mean you are innocent.

And it doesn't mean you're guilty, either. It means the evidence is not sufficient to prove guilt, which is what the system is meant to establish from the beginning. It is not something that SHOULD be delegated to the appeals process as you seem to think. The appeals process is a safety net. You don't send the performers up to do their act on a broken trapeze and claim that's what the safety net is for.

The system is designed to slant more toward letting the guilty free than toward possibly punishing the innocent.

Really? Because that's not how it works.

Actually it isn't.

Actually it is. Just because your priorities lie elsewhere, that doesn't make it less of an argument. Quite frankly, I find it far more valid than your argumnts up to this point which pretty much just boil down to “it's right because it's the law” which isn't much of an argument when the question is whether or not that law is justifiable. The law is going to support itself, that's a given, but it doesn't make it right. There are a number of unjust laws that have come and gone and this country would be pretty backwards today if everybody thought that way.

And the system does work. It just doesn't work perfectly.

Once again, I would have to disagree. To me, whether a system works or not is highly dependent on whether or not that system upholds the principles it was built upon. Our modern justice system does not do this, so the only conclusion I can come to is that the system does not work.

And just because actions may have severe consequences is in no way a reason not to engage in them.

Actually, in politics, that is quite frequently reason enough not to do something. It also seems to be the argument of people who think the death penalty is a deterrant.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
Rich at 10:10PM, Sept. 24, 2009
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You know, it's not as though the death penalty's focus IS to deter people. It's to remove stains from society that aren't worth keeping around. If they truly intended it to be a deterrent, the death penalty would be very painful and very public, not some thing you vaguely hear about happening from time to time.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:07PM
isukun at 11:16PM, Sept. 24, 2009
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Life in prison with no possibility of parole removes stains from society and does it cheaper than the death penalty, so I don't really see that as being the purpose behind choosing death over life.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
Rich at 6:00AM, Sept. 25, 2009
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It's only cheaper because they insist on being inefficient about it. Simplifying things to just a firing squad six months after conviction rather than lethal injection by paid doctors ten years after conviction would fix that shit.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:07PM
El Cid at 10:57AM, Sept. 25, 2009
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ParkerFarker
There's you're problem, you would understand what everyone else is saying if you cared.
I was saying I didn’t care about the argument, because it’s ancillary to what’s important and I felt it was taking us off-track (and it still is, apparently), and I didn't want to be boorish on the matter (too late for that now I guess).

ParkerFarker
It is pretty simple. I mean, no, you can't give back innocent people their prison time, but at least your giving back something. When they get out of prison, they have their whole life back! It's not just degrees of loss. There's death where there's nothing. No thinking, no enjoyment, no nothing. Just death. You can't gain anything out of death, you're dead! That's it! Nothing more! And then, there's life! Where you can think, where you can feel joy, or feel hate at being locked up in prison, whatever! you're alive! In prison or not, you're alive! No degrees of loss, just death and life.
*slaps forehead* Death IS a degree of loss! I know it’s an unpleasant truth, but is it really that hard to understand?

Both you and Isukun: I’ll try this again, because y’all are both just restating what I said but ignoring the observations I made. YES being released is BETTER than being executed. YES you have a chance at a normal life afterward. That’s why it’s BETTER. Being executed is WORSE. But the difference is quantifiable. It would only not be so if life were infinite, which it is not.

ParkerFarker
Like, let's say you are guilty of murder. Someone is already dead, and that sucks! It sucks that someone is dead, but if you get murdered by the law, then there's two dead people. Two murders now. Two lives lost, never to be back.
The law cannot murder you. That’s an oxymoron. It can KILL, but not murder, at least in any legal sense. Now in the more colloquial sense (“beef is murder!”) I’m sure you could say that, but the definition’s too broad to really mean anything.

ParkerFarker
Would you rather get sent to prison for 15 years, or would you rather die? I would rather get sent to prison for life then get executed.
Me too, which is sort of the whole point, isn’t it? Execution is intended to be the greater punishment.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
El Cid at 11:04AM, Sept. 25, 2009
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@Isukun: I hate to breeze over all that stuff you wrote, but sorry I’m not going to argue legal cases with you here. I don’t have the time, and I’m sure you’d rather be doing something else as well. You know as well as I do that there’s still plenty of debate surrounding exonerations, including posthumous ones, and trying to present claims of innocence as undisputedly true would be irresponsible. Not going to get into any of that here, sorry.

isukun
Actually it is. Just because your priorities lie elsewhere, that doesn't make it less of an argument. Quite frankly, I find it far more valid than your argumnts up to this point which pretty much just boil down to “it's right because it's the law” which isn't much of an argument when the question is whether or not that law is justifiable. The law is going to support itself, that's a given, but it doesn't make it right. There are a number of unjust laws that have come and gone and this country would be pretty backwards today if everybody thought that way.
I try to avoid making statements about “right” and “wrong” in regards to the law. The law is The Law, and if it’s constitutional and enjoys popular support where practiced, the burden is upon you to explain why it should be done away with. You have yet to assert a single solid argument. “You can’t do it because you might screw up and hurt somebody” doesn’t hold water, and is not exclusionary, either in legal practices or a lot of other things for that matter.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
isukun at 1:21AM, Sept. 26, 2009
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And tou have yet to present any solid argument as to why my argument is invalid in this case. The original question posted was not “is capital punishment legal?” it was “is capital punishment right?” You can sit there and preach about court cases till you're blue in the face, but they mean nothing. Between the two of us, I'm the only one who seems to actually be debating the topic at hand. You're offering nothing to support the death penalty except the existance of the death penalty, which isn't really an argument.

“You can’t do it because you might screw up and hurt somebody” doesn’t hold water, and is not exclusionary, either in legal practices or a lot of other things for that matter.

Andonce again, I will simjply state, yes it does and it is quite freequently used in legal practices and in most aspects of our lives. It's called weighing the risks and being responsible.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM

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