The Death Penalty

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The Death Penalty

Post by HAL9000 on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 15:54

Stemming from an off-topic conversation in the Asian History Thread, this thread asks the question: What are your opinions on the death penalty?
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Re: The Death Penalty

Post by peugeot407 on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 17:04

In principle I've got nothing against the death penalty, but it does come with a massive drawback; death can't be undone...

Two recent case reviews in the Netherlands would be perfect examples,. In one case, a man was accused of raping and murdering a girl, then disposing of her body. In the second, a woman was accused of smothering six babies to death. Both were found guilty, both were sentenced to life inprisonment (though if we had the death penalty, both would have been on Death Row), and in the recent case reviews, both were found to be innocent, having spent five to ten of their years in jail. At the time of writing, both are free to live their lives again, having been released from jail and given million-Euro compensations (which is quite fair), but what if they'd have been put to death?


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Re: The Death Penalty

Post by Pepp on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 17:14

In principle, I am against the death penalty. The reason is back to the ten commandments (yes, I am a Christian). The fifth command forbid us to murder mankind, whatever is the reason. For that, life imprisonment is the highest punishment we can give to the guilty peoples. Terrorism, however, is the only exception for this. I do support death penalty for them who commit terrorism, especially in the name of religion. Besides, if we give someone a life imprisonment, it would end in death, wouldn't it?

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Re: The Death Penalty

Post by Nero on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 18:42

Life imprisonment seems worse in my mind. Peugeot I perfectly agree with you there as in death is final and there is always the possibility of error in judgement. However I believe that we are spending too much taking care of people who've committed acts that are so vile they revoke their humanity. Life imprisonment is either worse than death or not harsh enough (depending on freedom of prisoner within confinement).

(From Asian history thread)
To me, the death penalty is fine. The main arguments against it is that it is inhumane, well, to be eligible for the death penalty you would have to have done something that renounces your humanity (like you said, cannibal, serial killer etc). And the other argument is that it costs a lot. Apparently, in the US when the death penalty was still live and well, it cost over 10,000 dollars to kill someone (due to legal fees mainly as they need to be proven guilty beyond any doubt). Well that can be easily resolved, set up a tribunal to independently judge the man and then shoot him in the head in a closed room. Done and done.
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Re: The Death Penalty

Post by HAL9000 on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 19:14

I personally think it is fine, even if my own Catholic Church and Christianity as a whole disagrees. I think that those who have committed acts so heinous that they are not worthy of living and have declared their life forfeit through their acts should, after due process, be shuffled off this mortal coil with the greatest expediency. Preferably with a lethal injection.
peugeot407 wrote:In principle I've got nothing against the death penalty, but it does come with a massive drawback; death can't be undone...

Two recent case reviews in the Netherlands would be perfect examples,. In one case, a man was accused of raping and murdering a girl, then disposing of her body. In the second, a woman was accused of smothering six babies to death. Both were found guilty, both were sentenced to life inprisonment (though if we had the death penalty, both would have been on Death Row), and in the recent case reviews, both were found to be innocent, having spent five to ten of their years in jail. At the time of writing, both are free to live their lives again, having been released from jail and given million-Euro compensations (which is quite fair), but what if they'd have been put to death?


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This would be the due process part. The death penalty should be used in extreme cases only when the accused has been thoroughly tried to ascertain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are truly innocent so that people don't get wrongly accused and tragically killed for nothing.
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Re: The Death Penalty

Post by peugeot407 on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 20:51

True, but the problem is that it would be very hard to increase the accuracy of trials. Well, unless you live in a country that has trial by jury, then it would be very easy to increase the accuracy, just get rid of the jury and let the judge do the judging, as it is done in most countries, and indeed is rather a judge's job...

Another important point is parole. The whole idea of imprisoning people is to give them a chance to get back into society eventually, that's the very point of providing education and work in prisons, to make sure that the inmates can eventually get back into society and lead normal, acceptable, non-criminal lives. Life inprisonment does away with that because the people in question are supposedly not very likely to be able to return to society, but if a prisoner breaks that rule and shows that he does stand a chance, there's always the chance of a sentence reduction, or even full parole, none of which is available for, well, dead people...


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Re: The Death Penalty

Post by iliander on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 23:10

you know what I think?

let the prisoners WORK.
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Re: The Death Penalty

Post by HAL9000 on Mon 15 Apr 2013 - 5:44

Indeed. Prison sentences - especially life sentences - would be so much more productive if we re-instituted the policy of prison gangs working on public works projects. it would help defray the massive costs of the prison system, that's for sure.
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