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Saudi Arabia May Put End To Beheadings
Posted: 15 March 2013 05:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 14 March 2013 03:36 PM

...However, the idea of Islamic style punishment in the US still wouldn’t fly. It hasn’t been used since the"Indian Wars” of the last century. ( “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”).

Exactly, because it would force the US to realize just how barbaric capital punishment is. We can’t us poor US citizens get hurt feelings now can we.  On a related note, the most recent email blast from Michael Moore was spot on. He talked about how showing photos of various events in US history has had such an effect, for example Emmett Till, Vietnam, and now Newtown (he’s knudging someone to leak the photos).  Once americans are forced to see the brutality that exists in this country then maybe they’ll finally act.

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Posted: 15 March 2013 08:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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I’ll admit to being of two minds on the death penalty.

Here is a post I made on this subject on one of the public Yahoo comment forums:

“The last time anybody published any data on the question, the Innocence Project has managed to exhonorate over 250 wrongfully convicted prisoners, a lot of whom were facing either execution or lifetime incarceration for crimes which they did NOT commit and who were cleared by DNA evidence.

I have no problem with execution where there is no room for even the slightest doubt, but the PROBLEM is that the system which exists is ruled as much by emotion and the notion that “SOMEBODY’S gotta pay!” This leaves the door wide open for a lot of abuses ranging from so-called witnesses with personal agendas, to prosecutors who will do anything for a conviction and to hell with the facts.

Unfortunately, this is not debatable. All these abuses happen, and that means there is way too much potential for a whole string of hideous mistakes.

The reason FOR the death penalty has nothing to do with deterrence. The evidence for that is questionable at best. The reason for the death penalty is the same which one has for shooting a rabid dog: The person in question is so anti-social and dangerous that his/her very existence poses an unacceptable risk to society.

The reason for ABOLISHING the death penalty or at least placing a long moratorium on it is because in the system as it stands, there is too much potential for a mistake, and if you kill and innocent person, saying “I’m sorry/” after the fact ain’t good enough.”

I’m not what you would call a “touchy feely” sort of guy but if we’re going to be retentionist, the system needs a major cleaning up so that evidence rules instead of egos and due process doesn’t take it in the shorts. If we can’t manage that, then we would do better without it.

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Posted: 16 March 2013 04:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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The reason FOR the death penalty has nothing to do with deterrence. The evidence for that is questionable at best. The reason for the death penalty is the same which one has for shooting a rabid dog: The person in question is so anti-social and dangerous that his/her very existence poses an unacceptable risk to society.

This is the heart of the argument IMO. These predators are rare in our society but they do exist a la Ted Bundy, and the have to be delt with in some way. You may recall that Bundy escaped and went on a killing rampage until they caught and eventually executed him. The rest deserve a long prison sentence commensurate with their crime. My point is that if the states do outlaw the death penalty (Maryland became the 18th state to do so yesterday) they had better have a secure prison to house them in with a fail safe system to keep them from society for a lifetime. and that’s super expensive.

 

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 16 March 2013 06:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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the system needs a major cleaning up so that evidence rules instead of egos and due process doesn’t take it in the shorts

And pressure to get rapid convictions to show the public that law enforcement is “efficient.”
Spelling again.

[ Edited: 18 March 2013 01:35 PM by garythehuman ]
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Posted: 16 March 2013 06:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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mid atlantic - 14 March 2013 03:43 AM
Lois - 13 March 2013 11:36 AM

  On a practical level, as we’ve learned, capital punishment in this country, where even the convicted have rights, is far more expensive than life in prison.

Capitol punishment is only more expensive than life imprisonment, when people are on death row, constantly re-appealing for years and years. Execute the most messed up people quickly, and be done with that problem. Of course that doesn’t mix with Humanism, though. rolleyes

It’s impossible to execute anyone quickly, as it should be.  Even the worst cases have an unacceptable error rate and it’s always inhumane to kill people in cold blood no matter what their crime. We should know we already live in an only half civilized society (saying half is being generous) in the US now.  It will never be any better until we get rid of the death penalty for good. Civilized countries around the world have proven that it’s possible to have a decent society without a death penalty and that it’s a barbaric practice.  Too bad the US couldn’t have been a leader in this area instead of the last holdout for barbarism. IMO, it’s a sign that the US is on a steep downward trajectory when it comes to being an admirable society.

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Posted: 16 March 2013 06:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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And pressure to get rapid convistions to show the public that law enforcement is “efficient.”

I’m afraid that’s where a lot of egos come into play, and not just with capital crimes either.

Remember the McMartin Preschol affair? One acquittal after another and yet the prosecutor just kept after them, and after them and after them with one indictment after another. it became something of a holy crusade with her and she could never admit she was wrong.

Same issue with the Dale Akiki deal. You might recall sayings like “Believe the victim” and “Nobody would ever make up stories about a thing like that! It all started coming apart when the children who were the star witnesses against Mr. Akiki gave testimony about sexual acts involving elephants. The whole witch hunt mentality was…and to a large degree…still is alive and well when it comes to sex crimes.

I can’t say as it’s all that different with capital crimes either.

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Posted: 16 March 2013 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 16 March 2013 04:09 AM

The reason FOR the death penalty has nothing to do with deterrence. The evidence for that is questionable at best. The reason for the death penalty is the same which one has for shooting a rabid dog: The person in question is so anti-social and dangerous that his/her very existence poses an unacceptable risk to society.

This is the heart of the argument IMO. These predators are rare in our society but they do exist a la Ted Bundy, and the have to be delt with in some way. You may recall that Bundy escaped and went on a killing rampage until they caught and eventually executed him. The rest deserve a long prison sentence commensurate with their crime. My point is that if the states do outlaw the death penalty (Maryland became the 18th state to do so yesterday) they had better have a secure prison to house them in with a fail safe system to keep them from society for a lifetime. and that’s super expensive.

 

Cap’t Jack

U

Not as expensive as the death penalty.  We do need an overhaul of our whole prison system and system of justice and punishment.  It would cost less in the long term and maybe the US could finally hold its head up among civilized societies.  It certainly can’t now.

http://www.deathpenalty.org/section.php?id=13

1) Executions are carried out at staggering cost to taxpayers.
It costs far more to execute a person than to keep him or her in prison for life. A 2011 study found that California has spent more than $4 billion on capital punishment since it was reinstated in 1978 and that death penalty trials are 20 times more expensive than trials seeking a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole. California currently spends $184 million on the death penalty each year and is on track to spend $1 billion in the next five years.

2) There is no credible evidence that capital punishment deters crime.
Scientific studies have consistently failed to demonstrate that executions deter people from committing crime anymore than long prison sentences. Moreover, states without the death penalty have much lower murder rates. The South accounts for 80% of US executions and has the highest regional murder rate.


3) Innocent people have been convicted and executed.
The wrongful execution of an innocent person is an injustice that can never be rectified. Since the reinstatement of the death penalty, 140 men and women have been released from Death Row nationally….some only minutes away from execution. Moreover, in the past two years evidence has come to light which indicates that four men may have been wrongfully EXECUTED in recent years for crimes they did not commit. This error rate is simply appalling, and completely unacceptable, when we are talking about life and death.


4) Race plays a role in determining who lives and who dies.
The race of the victim and the race of the defendant in capital cases are major factors in determining who is sentenced to die in this country. In 1990 a report from the General Accounting Office concluded that “in 82 percent of the studies [reviewed], race of the victim was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty, i.e. those who murdered whites were more likely to be sentenced to death than those who murdered blacks.”


5) The death penalty is applied at random.
Politics, quality of legal counsel and the jurisdiction where a crime is committed are more often the determining factors in a death penalty case than the facts of the crime itself. The death penalty is a lethal lottery: of the 22,000 homicides committed every year approximately 150 people are sentenced to death.


6) Capital punishment goes against almost every religion.
Although isolated passages of religious scripture have been quoted in support of the death penalty, almost all religious groups in the United States regard executions as immoral.


7) The USA is keeping company with notorious human rights abusers.
The vast majority of countries in Western Europe, North America and South America — more than 139 nations worldwide — have abandoned capital punishment in law or in practice. The United States remains in the same company as Iraq, Iran and China as one of the major advocates and users of capital punishment.


8) Millions currently spent on the death penalty could be used to assist the families of murder victims.
Many family members who have lost love ones to murder feel that the death penalty will not heal their wounds nor will it end their pain; the extended process prior to executions can prolong the agony experienced by the family. Funds now being used for the costly process of executions could be used to help families put their lives back together through counseling, restitution, crime victim hotlines, and other services addressing their needs.


9) Bad Lawyers are a Persistent Problem in Capital Cases
Perhaps the most important factor in determining whether a defendant will receive the death penalty is the quality of the representation he or she is provided. Almost all defendants in capital cases cannot afford their own attorneys. In many cases, the appointed attorneys are overworked, underpaid, or lacking the trial experience required for death penalty cases. There have even been instances in which lawyers appointed to a death case were so inexperienced that they were completely unprepared for the sentencing phase of the trial. Other appointed attorneys have slept through parts of the trial, or arrived at the court under the influence of alcohol.

10) Life Without Parole is a Sensible Alternative to the Death Penalty
In every state that retains the death penalty, jurors have the option of sentencing convicted capital murderers to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The sentence is cheaper to tax-payers and keeps violent offenders off the streets for good. Unlike the death penalty, a sentence of Life Without Parole also allows mistakes to be corrected. There are currently over 3,300 people in California who have received this alternative sentence, which also has a more limited appeals process last approximately 3 years.  According to the California Governor’s Office, only seven people sentenced to life without parole have been released since the state provided for this option in 1977, and this occurred because they were able to prove their innocence.

[ Edited: 16 March 2013 07:03 AM by Lois ]
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Posted: 16 March 2013 05:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Lois - 16 March 2013 06:50 AM
mid atlantic - 14 March 2013 03:43 AM
Lois - 13 March 2013 11:36 AM

  On a practical level, as we’ve learned, capital punishment in this country, where even the convicted have rights, is far more expensive than life in prison.

Capitol punishment is only more expensive than life imprisonment, when people are on death row, constantly re-appealing for years and years. Execute the most messed up people quickly, and be done with that problem. Of course that doesn’t mix with Humanism, though. rolleyes

It’s impossible to execute anyone quickly, as it should be.  Even the worst cases have an unacceptable error rate and it’s always inhumane to kill people in cold blood no matter what their crime. We should know we already live in an only half civilized society (saying half is being generous) in the US now.  It will never be any better until we get rid of the death penalty for good. Civilized countries around the world have proven that it’s possible to have a decent society without a death penalty and that it’s a barbaric practice.  Too bad the US couldn’t have been a leader in this area instead of the last holdout for barbarism. IMO, it’s a sign that the US is on a steep downward trajectory when it comes to being an admirable society.

The US has never been, nor will it ever be, an admirable society.

What do you mean by stating - even the worst cases have an unacceptable error rate? If the person of interest has undeniable evidence against them, and they admit their guilt, where’s the error?

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Posted: 16 March 2013 06:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Lois - 16 March 2013 07:00 AM

Not as expensive as the death penalty.  We do need an overhaul of our whole prison system and system of justice and punishment.  It would cost less in the long term and maybe the US could finally hold its head up among civilized societies.  It certainly can’t now.

 

The correctional system needs overhaul, but the judicial system just needs some cleaning up.

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Posted: 16 March 2013 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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We should know we already live in an only half civilized society

Whoa…jam on the brakes here. Full stop.

FULL STOP.

Civilization does not and never has spoken to our ideas of moral sophistication, whatever they may be.

Civilization speaks to organization.

Period.

We need to stop projecting here.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled debate, already in progress.

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