Do you beleive in the death penalty?
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31-03-2017, 01:26 PM
RE: Do you beleive in the death penalty?
(31-03-2017 11:47 AM)John Derderian Wrote:  I'm against it for many of the reasons others have already given here: it's never been shown to be a deterrent, it's simply revenge, it's often applied mistakenly or in a biased manner, it's actually more expensive than incarceration, etc. I'd add one more: its effect on society. I think it diminishes all of us. And I think it normalizes the idea of simply killing people as a solution to problems. I think it makes us more comfortable with accepting this "easy" solution in other areas as well.

I agree. And that's what I was getting at when I said it was barbaric.
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31-03-2017, 02:02 PM
RE: Do you beleive in the death penalty?
(31-03-2017 12:12 PM)abaris Wrote:  But there's still another aspect to that case. Two experts were examining the offender for his mental state. They couldn't agree if he suffered from a schizophrenic episode, but he's got a history of mental illness. So the case went on appeal. If he were to be found to be not responsible for what he did, he still wouldn't be released to the public. The only difference being that it would be in a closed mental facility instead of prison.

Death penalty or not, the practice of using one's mental state as a factor in determining their sentence is a concept increasingly under fire as the neurosciences continue to evolve. I mean... When we say someone had mental health related issues and is therefore not responsible for their actions, we're essentially saying "It's not their fault because their brain made them do it." Once we accept that there is no soul guiding their actions and that every action we have ever taken or will ever take is simply the result of a complex series of reactions within our brains, this standard becomes irrational as it can be equally applied to everyone whether they're diagnosed with a mental illness or not.

Fairness thus becomes an illogical way to prescribe sentences. It should instead be based on probability of recidivism. If they're a danger to society, they should be separated from society until they can be rehabilitated. If they cannot be rehabilitated, then they should not be reintroduced to society. It's not any less fair for someone who is, through no fault of their own, suffering from schizophrenia than it is for someone who is, through no fault of their own, suffering from being an asshole who enjoys killing people. In either case, the physical makeup of their brain, as determined by both their genetics and the experience that have guided the forming of their various neural connections, is at fault. The end result is the same, and the end goal in either case should be to safeguard the society we'd like to reintegrate them with.

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31-03-2017, 02:07 PM
RE: Do you beleive in the death penalty?
I agree with you 100% there, yak. Every word. I see it exactly the same way myself.

And yes there is no ultimate free will or ultimate moral responsibility and you're right about all those things for that reason.

Consequentalism > retributivism

Recidivism > fairness
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31-03-2017, 02:12 PM
RE: Do you beleive in the death penalty?
(31-03-2017 02:02 PM)yakherder Wrote:  
(31-03-2017 12:12 PM)abaris Wrote:  But there's still another aspect to that case. Two experts were examining the offender for his mental state. They couldn't agree if he suffered from a schizophrenic episode, but he's got a history of mental illness. So the case went on appeal. If he were to be found to be not responsible for what he did, he still wouldn't be released to the public. The only difference being that it would be in a closed mental facility instead of prison.

Death penalty or not, the practice of using one's mental state as a factor in determining their sentence is a concept increasingly under fire as the neurosciences continue to evolve. I mean... When we say someone had mental health related issues and is therefore not responsible for their actions, we're essentially saying "It's not their fault because their brain made them do it." Once we accept that there is no soul guiding their actions and that every action we have ever taken or will ever take is simply the result of a complex series of reactions within our brains, this standard becomes irrational as it can be equally applied to everyone whether they're diagnosed with a mental illness or not.

Fairness thus becomes an illogical way to prescribe sentences. It should instead be based on probability of recidivism. If they're a danger to society, they should be separated from society until they can be rehabilitated. If they cannot be rehabilitated, then they should not be reintroduced to society. It's not any less fair for someone who is, through no fault of their own, suffering from schizophrenia than it is for someone who is, through no fault of their own, suffering from being an asshole who enjoys killing people. In either case, the physical makeup of their brain, as determined by both their genetics and the experience that have guided the forming of their various neural connections, is at fault. The end result is the same, and the end goal in either case should be to safeguard the society we'd like to reintegrate them with.

Yeah. Slippery slope. In fact a mental impairment argument can seem more appropriate for the worst repeat offenders.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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31-03-2017, 02:14 PM
RE: Do you beleive in the death penalty?
It's appropriate for everyone and hence no one. Yak's point exactly.
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31-03-2017, 03:09 PM
RE: Do you beleive in the death penalty?
(31-03-2017 12:19 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(31-03-2017 12:12 PM)SYZ Wrote:  Not so—there have been 5 times more whites executed in the last 40 years. Since 1976, the percentages of blacks executed is 15.3% of the aggregated criminal total, and 75.6% for whites, with 9.9% for Hispanics and others. [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) "Death Row USA (July 1, 2016)"]

Approximately 12–13% of the US population is African-American, but they make up 35% of jail inmates (as of 2014).

—Yours is a common misconception, unsupported by any data.


Actually it is not a misconception and is highly supported by many studies. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/race-and-death-penalty

You have a horrible history on this forum of bigoted and racist sentiments, might want to reevaluate that.

I have to apologise. I misquoted the figure for victims by race, rather than executions by race. My bad. Blush

The corrected figures for executions of criminals by race is 34.5% for blacks, and 55.6% for whites. Regardless, my claim still stands, and indicate Tomilay's claim about blacks being more likely to be executed to be unfounded.


(I'd also refute your claim that I "a horrible history on this forum of bigoted and racist sentiments" on these forums. If you'd care to PM me any offending comments, I'll reassess them and amend them if necessary.)

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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31-03-2017, 03:20 PM
RE: Do you beleive in the death penalty?
Sorry, no time today to read the whole thread, so apologies if this has been mentioned.

ANY form of justice, to be effective, must be swift.

Typically, it takes 20-ish years to convict and execute someone via the death penalty in the US.

One can argue that swiftness would increase the frequency of false convictions, and that's arguably true, however, the point remains: the death penalty is just not an effective deterrent if it's hard and highly time-consuming to enforce / make stick / make happen. A typical criminal often has impulse-control issues as it is; what sort of pause will it give them that they MIGHT be killed in 20 years? Many such people don't, at some level, even expect to live that long on the street anyway.

I note that someone DID point out that from an expense standpoint, it's cheaper to just imprison someone for life without parole, and in fact, one could also argue that this is in many ways a punishment worse than death anyway, particularly if, like most of us here, you don't believe in an afterlife anyway. Spending the rest of your life contemplating the error of your ways and avoiding the various depredations of our penal system seems like the maximum possible punishment to me.

The only value I see in the death penalty is that it's sometimes cathartic to some survivors / victims and it also short-circuits any chance of parole or escape for traumatized victims.
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31-03-2017, 04:03 PM
RE: Do you beleive in the death penalty?
(31-03-2017 03:09 PM)SYZ Wrote:  
(31-03-2017 12:19 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Actually it is not a misconception and is highly supported by many studies. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/race-and-death-penalty

You have a horrible history on this forum of bigoted and racist sentiments, might want to reevaluate that.

I have to apologise. I misquoted the figure for victims by race, rather than executions by race. My bad. Blush

The corrected figures for executions of criminals by race is 34.5% for blacks, and 55.6% for whites. Regardless, my claim still stands, and indicate Tomilay's claim about blacks being more likely to be executed to be unfounded.


(I'd also refute your claim that I "a horrible history on this forum of bigoted and racist sentiments" on these forums. If you'd care to PM me any offending comments, I'll reassess them and amend them if necessary.)

The numbers you share at best show that blacks are over-represented in executions relative to their population. And not much more. Absent further analysis, you are likely to only come up with simplistic conclusions. More specifically they do NOT address who is more likely to be executed between a black and white criminal all else being even. Rendering them irrelevant data points for the question.

Every study I have seen on the question, including one I have shared from Revenant77x's link http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...id1162159, that look into this particular question, in fact supports my point.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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31-03-2017, 04:23 PM
RE: Do you beleive in the death penalty?
(31-03-2017 03:20 PM)mordant Wrote:  Sorry, no time today to read the whole thread, so apologies if this has been mentioned.

ANY form of justice, to be effective, must be swift.

Typically, it takes 20-ish years to convict and execute someone via the death penalty in the US.

One can argue that swiftness would increase the frequency of false convictions, and that's arguably true, however, the point remains: the death penalty is just not an effective deterrent if it's hard and highly time-consuming to enforce / make stick / make happen. A typical criminal often has impulse-control issues as it is; what sort of pause will it give them that they MIGHT be killed in 20 years? Many such people don't, at some level, even expect to live that long on the street anyway.

I note that someone DID point out that from an expense standpoint, it's cheaper to just imprison someone for life without parole, and in fact, one could also argue that this is in many ways a punishment worse than death anyway, particularly if, like most of us here, you don't believe in an afterlife anyway. Spending the rest of your life contemplating the error of your ways and avoiding the various depredations of our penal system seems like the maximum possible punishment to me.

The only value I see in the death penalty is that it's sometimes cathartic to some survivors / victims and it also short-circuits any chance of parole or escape for traumatized victims.

That's the only good thing about the death penalty in the USA, more time to be sure the person is guilty, surely a good thing, unless you're not particularly bothered about getting it right which wouldn't surprise me as justice is so damned arbitrary.
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31-03-2017, 04:25 PM (This post was last modified: 31-03-2017 04:33 PM by BackSlider.)
RE: Do you beleive in the death penalty?
(31-03-2017 10:58 AM)abaris Wrote:  
(31-03-2017 10:42 AM)BackSlider Wrote:  There appears to be a slight misappropriation of purpose in reading the replies above. As I percive it the death penalty is first and formost the price one pays for the crime, not to discourage others. You did the heinous crime, you pay the fine.

In short, a revenge killing. It serves no other purpose. That's an established fact.

Okay guess we'll disagree then.
Yeah, I'm old school. I grew up in a generation where there there could be "grave" consequences for one's actions. No revenge here!?? Sadcryface Its simply the advertised price one willingly accepts to do the horrific deed(s) your sweet little predatory heart desires / deserves.
So WhyTF would we not follow through given you knew that cost going in?

Plus the single most awesome purpose I think it does serve (IMO) is it does permanently removes any fuc'n chance of you ever getting out and doing it again. Consider
I find that a comforting thought; confounds me how you don't.

I was hoping to get more feedback on the lobotomy suggestion. So the bastards still alive but effectively "neutered" from his / her bad ways & inabilities to cope or control or whatever the fuc.

You have to be odd to be #1.
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