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The W - Current Events & Politics - US executed 1,000 person
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messenoir
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Since: 20.2.02
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.84
US executes 1,000 person. What a sad, sad milestone.

The US has executed the 1,000 person since the death penalty was reinstated. It feels wonderful to have common ground with China and Iran as some of the few countries remaining to still have state-sponsored murder.

It also disgusts me so many "Christians" support an act who's only purpose is revenge.

In addition, there have been several cases recently of already executed individuals who are almost certainly innocent. But of course, because we killed them, we can't go back and change that, can we?

http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/12/02/america/web.execute.php

U.S. reaches death penalty milestone
By Brenda Goodman The New York Times
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2005

Just after 2 a.m., a North Carolina man became the 1,000th person to be executed in the U.S. since the Supreme Court upheld states' rights to order the death penalty in 1976. The somber moment drew a sizeable crowd to Central Prison in Raleigh, N.C., to protest capital punishment.

Kenneth Lee Boyd, 57, of Rockingham, N.C., died by lethal injection for the 1988 shootings of his estranged wife, Julie Curry Boyd, who was 36, and her father, Thomas Dillard Curry, 57. Members of both families had asked to be present.

Boyd's son, Kenneth Smith, 35, who visited his dad every day for the last two weeks, said in an interview on Thursday that he felt the attention paid to the milestone had hurt his father's chances for clemency.

Smith also said his dad was deeply troubled that he might only be remembered as a grim hash mark in the history books.

"He didn't want to be 999, and he didn't want to be 1001 if you know what I mean," said Smith. "He wanted to live."

Boyd's attorney, Thomas Maher, had hoped to win a stay for his client, who he said had an I.Q. of 77. The cutoff for mental retardation, a mitigating factor in some capital cases, is 75. He also hoped the U.S. Supreme Court and North Carolina Governor Mike Easley would consider that before these murders, Boyd had no history of violent crime, and that he had volunteered to go to war in Vietnam.

Belinda J. Foster, District Attorney for Rockingham, N.C., who prosecuted Boyd, said she felt confident that the death penalty was warranted in this case.

In March of 1988, Boyd shot his father-in-law twice with a .35 Magnum before turning the gun on his estranged wife. He shot her eight times. Christopher Boyd, their son, was pinned underneath his mother's body. Paramedics later found the boy hiding under a bed, covered in her blood, Ms. Foster said.

"There are cases that are so horrendous and the evidence so strong it just warrants a death sentence," Ms. Foster said.

Michael Paranzino, President of the pro-death penalty group Throw Away the Key, agreed.

"You'll never stop crimes of passion, but I do believe the death penalty is a general deterrent, and it expresses society's outrage," Paranzino said. An October 2005 Gallup poll found that 64 percent of all Americans support capital punishment in murder cases.

Boyd never denied his guilt, but said he couldn't remember killing anyone and didn't know why he did it.

"We believe this occasion is the perfect time to reconsider the whole issue of execution," said William F. Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International, a group that has sought to end the practice of using executions as a punishment for crime around the world.

"Since 1976, about one in eight prisoners on death row in the U.S. has been exonerated. That should raise serious questions about ending a person's life," Schulz said.

Others argue that the death penalty should be reconsidered because it is so arbitrarily applied.

The vast majority of those sentenced to death for their crimes are impoverished and live in the South, said Stephen B. Bright, director of the Southern Center for Human Rights and a long time advocate for death row inmates.

"Texas has put 355 people to death in the last 30 years, with just one county in Texas, Harris County, accounting for more executions than the entire states of Georgia or Alabama. Where is the justice in that?" asked Bright.

As to the provision of justice, Marie Curry, who lost her husband and her daughter when Boyd shot them 17 years ago, said she was at a loss to provide any answers.

"I really don't know, " she said.

Curry raised Boyd's three sons, Christopher, Jamie, and Daniel, after their father was sent to prison for their mother's murder.

"It's just a sad day. The bible says to forgive anyone that asks you, and I did," she said, "But I can't ever forget."



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DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.35
While I am opposed to the death penalty for several reasons, some argue that its purpose is more than revenge. They feel that once they are dead, they can kill no more.



Perception is reality
spf
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
And of course I would argue that once someone is locked up without possibility of parole for the rest of their life, they effectively are unable to kill again. And this is done without the state sanctioning murder.

It just always strikes me as odd that we'll look at Saudi Arabia using lashings or cutting off hands as "barbaric" yet we will engage in the ultimate eye-for-an-eye penalty.
ShotGunShep
Frankfurter








Since: 20.2.03

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.37
They can still kill in prison.
And there are other justifications for the death penalty other than revenge.
Remember good old utilitarianism?
Leroy
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Since: 7.2.02

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.33
    Originally posted by spf
    And of course I would argue that once someone is locked up without possibility of parole for the rest of their life, they effectively are unable to kill again. And this is done without the state sanctioning murder.


Not to mention that it's a little late to overturn a conviction after you've executed someone.

More in U.S. Expressing Doubts About Death Penalty



    Ruben Cantu is long gone, executed by Texas authorities in 1993 after he was convicted of murdering a man during a San Antonio robbery when he was 17 years old. To the end, Cantu insisted he had been framed, and now his co-defendant and the sole surviving witness both say he was telling the truth.

    A state legislator called for an investigation this week as prosecutors moved to study the 20-year-old case. Opponents of the death penalty suspect that Cantu may be what they have long expected to find: an innocent person put to death. Houston law professor David Dow said the case shows that "we make mistakes in death penalty cases, too."


Crimedog
Boerewors








Since: 28.3.02
From: Ohio

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
    Originally posted by messenoir
    US executes 1,000 person. What a sad, sad milestone.

    The US has executed the 1,000 person since the death penalty was reinstated. It feels wonderful to have common ground with China and Iran as some of the few countries remaining to still have state-sponsored murder.

    It also disgusts me so many "Christians" support an act who's only purpose is revenge.


Okay, first of all, what makes number 1,000 any more worthy of your sympathy than number 999? Or 1,001? Or 563? Yes, the United States has executed 1,000 people. So what? It's an arbitrary milestone because it's a nice round number.

Secondly, I love how people always feel the need to compare the United States _ which executes people after a long, lengthy process of trials, appeals and possible government intervention _ to places like China and Iran, where due process is a theoretical concept. Yeah, that's really a valid comparison. Next, why don't you tell me how the U.S. and Iran are both theocratical dictatorships. After all, there are places of worship in both countries.

And last, you show a complete and utter lack of understanding of Christianity by labeling all of us who are Christians _ and support the death penalty _ as revenge-driven wackos who think that anybody who commits a crime should be beaten to death with a ball-peen hammer. Well done.

Now it's possible that IHBT, but I'm going to assume that you actually meant everything that you said in that post _ both implied and explicitly.

Here's why I'm so cranked up about this: I'm sick and tired of people coming out of the woodwork to protest how "inhumane" and "cruel" the death penalty is now that there's been 1,000 people executed. Well, golly gee, you mean that being executed isn't pleasant? I'll be darned. Here's what else I bet isn't pleasant: Being murdered. Or having a family member murdered. Why do the criminals who commit these crimes have more people concerned about their rights than the victims have concerned about theirs? You want to be anti-death penalty? Fine. I understand your point. But don't accuse those of us who support it of somehow being lesser human beings because we can't understand the blinding logic of the argument that says "1,000 people have been executed. That's much, much worse than 995 being executed."

The death penalty is not about revenge, okay? If you've ever seen an execution, then you'll know that there's no cheering. There's no celebration. It's an extremely grueling process for everybody involved.

My stance on this, as you've probably gathered, is simple. If someone is convicted of a crime heinous enough to warrant the death penalty _ which applies only to murder with an aggravating factor _ and it stands up through the appeals process, and the governor of the state feels confident enough to let the execution go through, then I support the death penalty. Some people deserve to die for their crimes.
CRZ
Big Brother
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.22
    Originally posted by messenoir
    US executes 1,000 person. What a sad, sad milestone.
Sad that people still commit crimes for which the penalty is death, too, but nobody seems to issue press releases when we pass a round number of *victims* unless the topic is "military killed in Iraq."

(I apologise in advance for saying the I word)

    The US has executed the 1,000 person since the death penalty was reinstated.
You've said it twice now in three sentences - and both times you said it wrong because it needs a "th" in there. Forgive my proofreading.

    It feels wonderful to have common ground with China and Iran as some of the few countries remaining to still have state-sponsored murder.
Here's a news flash: America has something in common with EVERY country in SOME way. This comes perilously close to trolling. I'll take America over China and Iran any day.

    It also disgusts me so many "Christians" support an act who's only purpose is revenge.
Well, now I KNOW you're trolling. Using "air quotes" is usually a dead giveaway. So I'll stop now.

Here are some numbers. They may prove what you're saying, they may prove something else, they may prove all of the above. YOU DECIDE

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/homtrnd.htm
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cp.htm
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/welcome.html




CRZ
BigSteve
Pepperoni








Since: 23.7.04
From: Baltimore, MD

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.36
    Originally posted by messenoir
    US executes 1,000 person. What a sad, sad milestone.


More or less sad then the over 32,000 people murdered in 2003 and 2004 alone? Funny how we get frontpage headlines about this "milestone" but none when we hit the 1,000 homicide "milestone".


    The US has executed the 1,000 person since the death penalty was reinstated. It feels wonderful to have common ground with China and Iran


I'm sure China and Iran would not grant clemency to a death row inmate after inadvertantly destroying evidence. I hate relativism.


    . . .of the few countries remaining to still have state-sponsored murder.


There are more than a "few" countries that still have the death penalty. 78 countries still had it as of 2004.


    It also disgusts me so many "Christians" support


What about Catholics whose faith is not categorically against the death penalty -- are they disgusting? What about Christians who are pro-choice -- are they disgusting? What about everything I've always heard about "not imposing your own morality?


    an act who's only purpose is revenge.


Also deterrance (disastercenter.com). Texas, with the most executions in the US has had its murder rate fall from 1 every 8,220 residents to 1 in every 16,823 residents in 2000. Certainly, Texas is doing something right.

Also incapacitation and the crazy concept of justice are reasons that people support the death penalty.

Not that I personally mind the death penalty being used as a source of revenge. I find it hard to feel sympathy for murderers who have the power to avoid being executed by not murdering people in the first place .

(edited by BigSteve on 2.12.05 1713)
drjayphd
Scrapple
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Since: 22.4.02
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.16
You wanted the best, you got... Out of Context Quote of the Week.

"Because personally if I was being choked by Ric Flair, my personal reaction would be well, "Glrrrrkkk, can't breathe" but after that... "Man, I'm being choked out by Ric Flair, this is so cool." and then some more "Gllllrrrrk, can't breathe."" (Llakor)


    Originally posted by ShotGunShep
    They can still kill in prison.


Except then, they'd more than likely be killing other inmates, which we've decided we can safely ignore. Besides, who else will uphold the prison justice system regarding child molesters?

As far as messenoir's "Christian" quip, I think it's more of a bad choice of words than anything else. It's too easy to say that in reference to the hypocrite Christocrats (sanctity of life ends once you're out of the womb) instead of the general populace. It's just me talking, but I'd find it easier to respect someone like Pope John Paul II, who was anti-abortion but also anti-capital punishment, than someone who professes to be "pro-life" but supports capital punishment. And out of that respect comes legitimacy (well, at least in my eyes).

So why are we talking about the death penalty now that we've hit 1,000 executions since the reinstatement? Easy. We like dealing with round numbers. It's a starting point. Who murdered who and who was executed is irrelevant, it's a number that we can place with a practice.

BigSteve: Where did you see that? All I see there are total murders and murders/100,000 residents. I was going to use that against you, but if you think declining murder rates are evidence that the death penalty deters murderers, then they back you up. (According to the page, murders/100,000 residents have dropped every year from 1991-2000, going from 15.3 to 5.9.)



BigSteve
Pepperoni








Since: 23.7.04
From: Baltimore, MD

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.36
    Originally posted by drjayphd
    Where did you see that? All I see there are total murders and murders/100,000 residents.


I'm not totally sure what you're reffering to here. If it is the "one murder per X residents" stat, I just divided total residents by number of murders as given in the first chart. (I didn't even see the second chart or else I would have just used the murders/100000 residents number they gave).
AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.28
Now, I am not happy that we have to execute people, but if people commit crimes, they need to be punished for it.

I think you can look at our history and see that when we started to try to rehabilitate criminals instead of punishing them that we started to have an increase in crime. And that goes for the lightest crimes to the heaviest.

I'm not that old, but when I was a kid, if you talked back to your teacher, the assistant principal (who in every school was an ex-stud athlete with a tough of megalomania) would take you out in the hall and give you a couple swats on your ass. If you got caught shoplifting, your Mom or Dad made you apologize to the shop owner, then your Dad beat you to within an inch of your life.

And if you did the crime, you paid the time. Murderers got the chair.

But no - now even murderers get our compassion. Criminals are just misunderstood. Cops are the bad people, hassling those poor rapists and murderers. All the stuff kids used to get punished for is allowed because they are "expressing themselves."

I vote for more punishment and less tolerance of that kind of expression. They used to call that civilization.


Oh, and let me speak to the issue of pro life and pro execution. The kids didn't do anything but be there after Mommy and Daddy did their thing. If a baby in the womb commits murder, rape, maybe kidnapping, I am for executing the child. Otherwise, I think we should at least treat the child with the same compassion we treat shoplifters with today.

There - That ought to take my artificially elevated rating down.


(edited by AWArulz on 2.12.05 1920)

We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.
TheBucsFan
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Since: 2.1.02

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
    Originally posted by BigSteve
      Originally posted by messenoir
      US executes 1,000 person. What a sad, sad milestone.


    More or less sad then the over 32,000 people murdered in 2003 and 2004 alone? Funny how we get frontpage headlines about this "milestone" but none when we hit the 1,000 homicide "milestone".


If 32,000 people are still being murdered each year, at what point do you realize the death penalty doesn't work as a deterrent?

Also, do you feel safer for living in a country where your government can kill you legally if they think you probably committed a crime, even when it's obviously not working because thousands of Americans are murdered each month?
Nag
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.72
The chair isn't any more of a deterrent to murder than sweeping the rug is to dirt. But you still sweep your rugs, it's the right thing to do.

We are a society which glorifies and identifies, far too much the with victimizer rather than the victim. There are exceptions; children, dogs, and rich people in LA; everyone else is just a line on the blackboard. All the tired bleeding heart rhetoric, that the trigger man is merely a victim of a cruel unjust world really makes me laugh, so hard that I puke.

The trigger man is a piece of shit; no statistics, Freudian psychology, new age philosophy, or Hollywood movie can replace the word shit. If we focus the attention on the mother who stands in front of her 17 year old son's bedroom door everyday for six months, and watch the tears in her eyes contemplating rather today will be the day she can reenter his world, his world as it was before he was mowed down for making eye contact with the wrong person, maybe we could get somewhere.

My only problem with putting these animals down is that we have yet to find a method which is less of a burden on the taxpayers.
AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.28
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    If 32,000 people are still being murdered each year, at what point do you realize the death penalty doesn't work as a deterrent?


Let's look at some stats.

From The US Department of Justice page on crime statistics
At the beginning of the century, there were 1.2 homicides per 100,000 population. Rates rose significantly after 1904 reaching a peak of 9.7 in 1933. From 1934 to 1944, rates fell to 5.0 per 100,000 in 1944. After a slight increase from 1945 and 1946 when rates reached 6.1 per 100,000, rates declined, falling to 4.5 in 1955. After 1955 rates increased slightly each year until the mid 1960s when there was a steep increase reaching a peak of 10.1 per 100,000 in 1974. Rates fell slightly in 1975 and 1976 but began rising thereafter, reaching an all time high of 10.7 per 100,000 in 1980. From 1981 to 1984, rates declined, falling to 8.4 per 100,000 in 1984. After 1985, rates increased again peaking in 1991 at 10.5 per 100,000. After 1991 rates declined slightly but remained at around 10 per 100,000 through 1993. Starting in 1994, rates declined each year, reaching 6.1 per 100,000 in 2000, the lowest rate since 1967. In 2001, the rate increased to 7.1, a number that included the victims of the 9/11 terrorism attacks.

Execution rates - also from the DOJ
Between 1930 and 1947, executions averaged 151 per year, ranging from a low of 117 in 1945 to a high of 199 in 1935. Beginning in 1948, the number of annual executions began to drop off, declining steadily to zero in 1968. No executions were carried out from 1968 through 1976.
The number of executions was sporadic from 1977 through 1983. Starting in 1984, the number began to gradually increase, averaging about 21 per year until 1993. The number of executions jumped from 45 in 1996 to 74 in 1997. After a peak of 98 in 1999, the number of executions has declined: 66 persons were executed in 2001, 71 in 2002, 65 in 2003, and 59 in 2004.

I think you can compare the data and see that, generally, when executionsgo up, murder rates per capita go down.

Execution rates
Murder  rates







(edited by AWArulz on 3.12.05 0811)


We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.
EddieBurkett
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Since: 3.1.02
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.86
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    I think you can compare the data and see that, generally, when executionsgo up, murder rates per capita go down.


What's it called when someone makes the argument that since A does this and B does that then A causes B, even if there's do direct proof, causality or something?

It doesn't help the chart because its hard to see the years, but wouldn't it make sense that the homicide chart would generally follow the execution chart, since as more murders are committed, more people are sentenced to death and then executed. I'm just not sure about the lead time.

Regardless, for me, the issue of the death penalty comes down to is it worth it given the inevitability that eventually an innocent man will be convicted and executed for a crime he didn't commit. Depending on my mood I can come down on either side of that argument.



Indiana! Indiana!

. . . let it go.
BigSteve
Pepperoni








Since: 23.7.04
From: Baltimore, MD

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.36
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    If 32,000 people are still being murdered each year, at what point do you realize the death penalty doesn't work as a deterrent?


That's just silly. By that logic, since crime still exists then any form of punishment we have has failed as a deterrent. But regardless of that, you are missing the point of the claim that capital punishment is a deterrent. No one is saying that it will end all murders. What they are saying is that the murder rate will decrease as a result of capital punishment.

Is that true? Looking at the graphs AWA posted, there is most certainly a correlation between the number of executions and the homicide rate. Namely, as execution numbers go up over a period of time (for instance the last 15 years) it seems that there is a corresponding fall in murder rates. As executions decrease (for instance 1965-1985), the murder rate climbs.

Look at the peak murder rate in our history in roughly 1980. How many people did we execute? Perhaps ten in the previous fifteen years at most.

So to look at those graphs which show indisputably that there is a rough correlation between executions and murder rates and say with certainty that it is not a deterrent is ridiculous. I'm not claiming the graphs are definitive proof that it is a deterrent, but it certainly points that way.


    Also, do you feel safer for living in a country where your government can kill you legally if they think you probably committed a crime,


This is a straw man. The government does not execute you because you "probably committed a crime." They execute you because you were found guilty of first degree murder with at least one aggravating factor beyond a reasonable doubt by a unanimous vote of a jury of twelve of your peers after which you received a copious amount of appeals on both the state and federal level and the governor of your state has the unfettered power to change your death sentence to life imprisonment.

So yeah, I have to say that I do feel safer.
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
    Originally posted by EddieBurkett
      Originally posted by AWArulz
      I think you can compare the data and see that, generally, when executionsgo up, murder rates per capita go down.


    What's it called when someone makes the argument that since A does this and B does that then A causes B, even if there's do direct proof, causality or something?

    It doesn't help the chart because its hard to see the years, but wouldn't it make sense that the homicide chart would generally follow the execution chart, since as more murders are committed, more people are sentenced to death and then executed. I'm just not sure about the lead time.

    Regardless, for me, the issue of the death penalty comes down to is it worth it given the inevitability that eventually an innocent man will be convicted and executed for a crime he didn't commit. Depending on my mood I can come down on either side of that argument.


Eddie, that factor should be eliminated. Presumabely the death penalty does not make law enforcement better at catching criminals or juries better at judging guilt, so you would have to assume that the only difference between life in prison as a sentence and the death penalty as an option is that people will think twice before committing murder if they could be executed for it.

Personally, I don't think murderers are rational people. I consequently don't give any credence to the notion that there are people out there who would kill, if only they knew that they couldn't be executed for it.

I'm not saying that I'm against the death penalty by saying that - I just don't buy that justification for it.

//edit: Also, just because I didn't rail into the graphs immediately, please don't read that as tacit acceptance of the truth of them. I could correlate a lot of things to the murder rate. Did you know more people are murdered when we have a shitty economy? Or that there are fewer murders / 100,000 during periods with a mandatory draft? How about the lingering after effects of a lower murder rate following periods where large numbers of Americans were killed in a war?

OK, so I didn't go and make graphs for all of those... but I bet I could.

(edited by Guru Zim on 3.12.05 0923)


Ignorance is bliss for you, hell for me.
EddieBurkett
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Since: 3.1.02
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.86
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Eddie, that factor should be eliminated. Presumabely the death penalty does not make law enforcement better at catching criminals or juries better at judging guilt, so you would have to assume that the only difference between life in prison as a sentence and the death penalty as an option is that people will think twice before committing murder if they could be executed for it.


But that's precisely the problem. Law enforcement will not improve, and we know that every so often an innocent man is convicted. The difference there applies to are we willing, as a society, to kill an innocent because we made a mistake? Conversely, if the death penalty truely does lower the crime rate, is it then worth it knowing that the rare innocent will die? How many innocent lives are worth a percentage point on each of those graphs, especially given that each murder that isn't deterred is another (presumably) innocent life lost that could have been stopped.

Plus, given the choice of locking up an innocent man for life as opposed to outright killing him, I'd choose locking him up for life, as there's always the chance he can get out. But then I'm subjecting an innocent to years in the prison system regarded as a murderer, which can't be pleasant either. Surely, for some, death might be the nicer option.

I can go round and round on this. So I'll just say I'm evenly split on this issue.



Indiana! Indiana!

. . . let it go.
OlFuzzyBastard
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Since: 28.4.02
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.18
    Originally posted by BigSteve
    There are more than a "few" countries that still have the death penalty. 78 countries still had it as of 2004.


You're right. 78 Islamic theocracies, Communist regimes, military dictatorships, us and Japan - who almost never actually use it. Such wonderful company!



"That's my problem - I'm too frank. That's why my mother shoved me down the stairs. But then she is fat."
David Adams
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Since: 2.1.02
From: NJ

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.41
    Originally posted by OlFuzzyBastard
      Originally posted by BigSteve
      There are more than a "few" countries that still have the death penalty. 78 countries still had it as of 2004.


    You're right. 78 Islamic theocracies, Communist regimes, military dictatorships, us and Japan - who almost never actually use it. Such wonderful company!


"Here's a news flash: America has something in common with EVERY country in SOME way. This comes perilously close to trolling. I'll take America over China and Iran any day."

- CRZ, in his post to messenoir in this very thread, when he made a statement almost identical to yours...
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Yeah, at the very least you should say "I got this in a chain letter." For more - is there any other place you should consult than Snopes (snopes.com)?
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