Do you believe in Capital Punishment?
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01-09-2011, 01:10 PM
 
Do you believe in Capital Punishment?
This topic is closely tied to the concept of “Free Will” that we have just talked about.

Do christians believe in it?

If not, then we have something in common after all.

Alan Shore, the passionately irreverent lawyer in “Boston Legal” has a closing speech in one of the episodes on the subject. He differentiates “Capital Punishment” by the State from ‘Vengeance’ by the victim (or his family). The state-performed act he finds barbaric, cruel and disgusting killing in cold blood. The victim-performed vengeance he finds just and human.

In both cases the act ends a human life.

What is the purpose? Vengeance, deterrent? safety of society (from the condemned)?

Some would say all three. Some would argue that vengeance is beneath us, deterrent does not work and safety can be accomplished by less permanent means.

Above all that, there is the ever present danger of killing an innocent man – something we can never go back on.

And, above all else, is the question of free will. Suppose we were born with the exact same genetic inheritance, into the exact same social circles (family, race, neighborhood, poverty), are we sure we would have done better?

Do we look upon our criminals as evil to be stamped out, or victims to pity, even though we don’t have any choice but to protect ourselves from them.

I read it somewhere: “every society has the morality it can afford”

Are we sure we can’t afford more than state-performed, cold-blooded executions?
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01-09-2011, 02:47 PM
RE: Do you believe in Capital Punishment?
I honestly dont think passing a law that executes people will stop people doing those crimes. It is an illogical deterent........which is only for the benefit of the people wronged by the "felon".......who later on down the line may see it in there hearts to forgive the (now dead) individual.

Some people are just wired up differently mentally and this is through no fault of there own other than being born.......so if a child turns schizophrenic at the age 14 for example, it is through no fault of there own that they now percieve the world with different eyes and may offend in some way later on down the line.......this is no reason to kill somebody......more coldly deal with them and get rid of them, basicly giving up on another human individual.

There is a reason why we all do things and its the things that we need to pick up and address in society. For eample there are parts of the world where gangs have guns and knifes and they kill each other/people.........these individuals are born into a society that shows them nothing else, some may lack moral teachings from an early age and not have a deep sense of right and wrong.......some people only know pain throughout there lives so I can only try to understand on how they must percieve the world around them.

Where does it end if establishments do start executing??? Is it for just murder and serious sexual offences.......what people class as "evil" Rolleyes

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You are your own emphasis.
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01-09-2011, 05:28 PM
RE: Do you believe in Capital Punishment?
I do support executions. I'm one of the people who believe that is satisfies the need of the victim for justice, the needs of society for safety, and the needs of some criminals as a deterrent. Though I also think that it should come with a caveat that society does need to be made aware of our part in the crime. What role did we play in developing the circumstances that lead to the crime? Has our society become so free that those who fall under hard times require drastic action because support is not available?

It may be because I was once a christian, but I'm not sure how much of the idea of an afterlife plays in this. I once supported capital punishment on the idea of "kill them all and let God sort them out," which is a terrible philosophy, but I don't know how much of that still influences my decision. I still have trouble grasping the idea that true justice will not always be an option.

Of all the ideas put forth by science, it is the principle of Superposition that can undo any power of the gods. For the accumulation of smaller actions has the ability to create, destroy, and move the world.

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." -W. E. Henley
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01-09-2011, 06:22 PM
RE: Do you believe in Capital Punishment?
I don't see capital punishment as something to believe or disbelieve in.
As a good Canadian lefty, of course i oppose it - not on moral grounds but on political and social ones.

Morally, i have no problem at all with removing an incorrigibly antisocial individual from the community. Expulsion is not a viable alternative, because the destructive individual is just being foisted on another community. Quick, clean, dispassionate execution - without the ritual! - would be my preference....
except:
- We can't always be sure the individual we apprehended is the guilty one. Not only is the criminal justice system imperfect, it is very often biased and always prone to corruption.
- How do we know which felons are incorrigible and which might be rehabilitated, unless we try every method of rehabilitation at our disposal. I doubt we've exhausted all possibilities.
- Politically, we have nothing like consensus on whether, and for what crimes, people should be killed. It seems to me, an extreme action taken by agencies of the state in the name of "the people", ought to represent the firm conviction of all the people - not the vacillating opinion of a marginal plurality. (Most North American officials are elected by a minority, and even those representatives are nowhere near unanimous on this issue.)
- Judicially, the sentence of death is generally attached to a specific crime or class of crimes, and does not take into account any other aspect of the case. This either condemns people who should not be condemned, or puts too great a burden of responsibility on the judges.
- As a deterrent, it's never worked. At least, not according to statistics that relate crime-rate to penalties. But those statistics fail to describe all the other ways in which a society prevents or encourages crime and violence.
- On the social front, state violence seems to correlate with individual violence - not surprisingly: they feed on each other and create an atmosphere of anger, vengeance, contempt and suspicion among the citizenry. I think a policy of cruelty and cavalier handling of human life is ultimately catastrophic for the society.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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01-09-2011, 06:57 PM
RE: Do you believe in Capital Punishment?
(01-09-2011 01:10 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  This topic is closely tied to the concept of “Free Will” that we have just talked about.

Do christians believe in it?

If not, then we have something in common after all.

Alan Shore, the passionately irreverent lawyer in “Boston Legal” has a closing speech in one of the episodes on the subject. He differentiates “Capital Punishment” by the State from ‘Vengeance’ by the victim (or his family). The state-performed act he finds barbaric, cruel and disgusting killing in cold blood. The victim-performed vengeance he finds just and human.

In both cases the act ends a human life.

What is the purpose? Vengeance, deterrent? safety of society (from the condemned)?

Some would say all three. Some would argue that vengeance is beneath us, deterrent does not work and safety can be accomplished by less permanent means.

Above all that, there is the ever present danger of killing an innocent man – something we can never go back on.

And, above all else, is the question of free will. Suppose we were born with the exact same genetic inheritance, into the exact same social circles (family, race, neighborhood, poverty), are we sure we would have done better?

Do we look upon our criminals as evil to be stamped out, or victims to pity, even though we don’t have any choice but to protect ourselves from them.

I read it somewhere: “every society has the morality it can afford”

Are we sure we can’t afford more than state-performed, cold-blooded executions?
Re capital punisment.
As for your comment relating to the possibility of executing an innocent man.
Yes, this is one area, despite our scientific advances, that makes such action undesirable. The old Christie murders saw an innocent man tried and condemned over a series of killings.
I know some people who claim that genetic determinism, taken to the extreme,renders a psychotic killer innocent by virtue of his inherited make up.
You mention environment and it is interesting to ponder the issue of where and how nurture becomes manifest. In at least some cases seemingly well brought up people have become notorious killers.
To return to the helpless psycopath (if such exists) what of his fellow traveller who has a minute aspect of empathy towards his proposed victim. It is not too easy to draw the line. Are some receptive to nurture simply from an evolved genetic predisposition (chance) or is there some other force at work?
To hold an extreme deterministic position suggests that even the most sadistic murderer is something akin to a virus.....deadly, but not really to blame.
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01-09-2011, 07:57 PM
RE: Do you believe in Capital Punishment?
It's not rational to determine eligibility for execution on the degree of conscious guilt - or free will.
That's the moral and humanitarian position, which has also become the legal position: if an incorrigible killer and torturer doesn't have perfect control of his faculties and actions, he's considered innocent. That is a reasonable basis for retribution, not for solving a problem.
Whether an individual is insane, genetically flawed, brain-injured, driven to violence by irreversible emotional trauma, or whether he's sane, logical and calculating, it's what he does that effects other people, not how he feels and thinks and perceives the world.
So, if we wanted to protect society effectively, we'd eliminate every individual who poses a threat and can't be rehabilitated. If we are not prepared to be that cold-blooded in every case, then maybe we should re-evaluate our own motives.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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01-09-2011, 08:32 PM
RE: Do you believe in Capital Punishment?
I feel that the death sentence is popular due to the room it frees for new prisoners. The judicial system has to realize how ineffective the whole show is when every day they have plenty of cases to go through. Prisons are rarely ever even at half occupancy because so many things can land you there and so little gets you out. Many innocent people become criminals due to being imprisoned. What's a good system then? we're trying to figure one out for a society that is so large and varied perhaps we'll answer that in another 50 years.

I would argue though that anyone convicted of a sentence with no chance of parole might as well not cost us any more. There is a point where the only reason someone continues to live is to pad a cell, and the people who have no option but to live in prison have no reason to care what happens to anybody else in there. Most of the current societies reproduce way too often, and prisoners are about the only candidates for eugenics that even %40 of the people will endorse. We really should make this system as bad as possible if we want to motivate the creation of one that works. Solutions are found when the current problems become too severe. So I'm actually for severity but only in the case where the person was never getting out anyway.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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02-09-2011, 12:08 AM
RE: Do you believe in Capital Punishment?
(01-09-2011 08:32 PM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  I feel that the death sentence is popular due to the room it frees for new prisoners. The judicial system has to realize how ineffective the whole show is when every day they have plenty of cases to go through. Prisons are rarely ever even at half occupancy because so many things can land you there and so little gets you out. Many innocent people become criminals due to being imprisoned. What's a good system then? we're trying to figure one out for a society that is so large and varied perhaps we'll answer that in another 50 years.

I would argue though that anyone convicted of a sentence with no chance of parole might as well not cost us any more. There is a point where the only reason someone continues to live is to pad a cell, and the people who have no option but to live in prison have no reason to care what happens to anybody else in there. Most of the current societies reproduce way too often, and prisoners are about the only candidates for eugenics that even %40 of the people will endorse. We really should make this system as bad as possible if we want to motivate the creation of one that works. Solutions are found when the current problems become too severe. So I'm actually for severity but only in the case where the person was never getting out anyway.

I have to agree with this for two reasons.
1) A "lifer" convict will only cost the taxpayers an incredible amount of money to keep imprisoned for up to 50 or 60 years. Our gov has to pay all the medical for them from tax dollars, and they get better medical, dental, optical than most honest, working Americans today! They can choose to do nothing but sit around and watch tv, or they can get into the crime scene in the prison, after all, what else can be done to them? There is no higher penalty left for them. They just cost to much, and there will never be a return on the massive investment. Economically, it's it's a ridiculous investment.

2) They have nothing to lose, so they will victimize anyone they can inside those prison walls for the rest of their useless lives. Lesser offenders, who may have had some hope of reforming, probably will not, they will learn to be even more violent, because that's what was required for their own survival in prison. When they get out, they will be a bigger threat to society than they were before, do to the actions of the lifers. The cycle continues, and many eventually become lifers themselves. That means even a bigger bite in the taxes.

Terminate the lifers, and the killers / serial killers, when the FBI psychologists are done studying them. Or, even better, use them for medical research! ( or crash test dummies ) Then, at least, their lives will not have been an entire waste! I believe that our gov is too leanient on violent offenders / hardened criminals. Gang bangers on the outside know that they can live like kings on the inside, with their fellow gang members, with little risk of death, unless by another inmates hands, so there is no deterrent to them. They will do as they please without any major risk of severe consequence.

Our legal system has been left without a leg to stand on in our fight against crime. There is little, if any deterrent left for criminals to have to consider. Therefore, they can pretty much do as they please. And we have to pay for it, all the way around.

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02-09-2011, 05:18 AM
 
RE: Do you believe in Capital Punishment?
(02-09-2011 12:08 AM)blasphemy fan Wrote:  Or, even better, use them for medical research! ( or crash test dummies ) Then, at least, their lives will not have been an entire waste!

What a charming thought!

Their crimes probably had nothing to do with the insanity of the world we all live in.

I have another idea.

How about trying to find and fix the cause instead of torturing and killing the symptom?

On the other hand, if we kill innocent people (happens regularly), then we can console ourselves with the thought that they did not die in vain!

One would hope that such an unfortunate mistake would not happen to one's friends and loved ones.
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02-09-2011, 07:34 AM (This post was last modified: 02-09-2011 07:49 AM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: Do you believe in Capital Punishment?
Which is mercy Zatamon? Death or extended punishment? If someone is going to live their life in a cell or die, it's hard to say which is actually worse. I will admit that those in death row are extremely fearful of death, but it's hard to really suggest which is worse. I am simply discussing things through a societal needs view. The health of those who are not even allowed to contribute to society means little as compared to those who are more capable of contributing. A lifer is never going to help society again, society should not help the lifer. Yeah it's cold and yeah it would be upsetting to happen to know one, but cold i part of life. Existence is not generally about compassion and fairness. Humans desire compassion and fairness but often existence is simply about survival. In the world of survival a man who went against the group would be killed, you know why? his actions might kill everyone. We just happen to live a life of comforts after transcending the survivalist system. Now we can see someone committing those same acts as only being in need of a lesson. There are small crimes and large crimes. I am not an advocate of very much across the board and not an advocate for extreme punishment, (to me death is more a relief than a punishment) but it is truly a question which is better served.

Is a man who has been committed to prison for his entire life going to be better dead or alive? and along with that which will help those not committed to prison? If a man in his 20's is sentenced to life imprisonment without a chance for parole (whole life not 20 years) is it just to expect the entire community to support this person as long as he continues to breathe? It is indeed unjust to leave prisoners in squalor while alive and let them gain diseases due to rarely being fed and getting no medical attention. But if they can die then it's a different question. A death administered as painlessly as possible is still giving someone as many rights as possible while alive while still seeking further benefit to society than to an individual who has committed too much of a crime. Yes sometimes crimes are arbitrary, but once you are given a life imprisonment it doesn't matter how arbitrary the decision is it has completely changed your life. Even 20 years is often a nonredeemable loss. Plenty of young people go to prison and make it out only to see the outside world as worse than prison.

There are points in life where things are already taken too far. What's the difference in which expression of too far we take? Prisons are shown to more often engender criminalization than reformation. When we commit a person to years of imprisonment we are telling them to be a criminal, that's how the world views them. And often enough that's exactly how they begin to see the world as it is constantly reinforced within the system.

I'm not going to say that prison life is hell. it's actually a pretty simple world to live in once you get accustomed. I've never been but I've discussed it with plenty of people who have. I don't think I'd survive but that's because I'm a bit too female to be sent to a cell full of men. The issue with prison is that it stays the same as the world changes. When a person who has been imprisoned for even 5 years comes out they are excessively far beyond the progress that has happened during their departure from the modern world.The hope of parole exists even in those who feel accustomed to prison, the issue with this hope is that if the outside world is seen as more of a prison then there i no reason to hope again.

http://www.animeultima.tv/rainbow-nisha-...sh-subbed/
Here's a very interesting story about those who are wrongly convicted. I like television because there is less interpretation involved. It's about the children of Japan during WWII who get arrested and put in jail after losing their families and not having any real reason to do things as they should. It shows both the difficulties of their life in prison and the difficulties of their life outside of prison. I thought it was a great commentary on the effects. Some of you might enjoy watching it.

(If anyone has trouble watching the video you can find alternative videos underneath the watch area. I like this site because I have very rarely been completely unable to watch something. I also have not run into big viruses which is often an issue with streaming.)

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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