I’ve always debated against the death penalty. If there’s anything dumber in this world, it’s the idea that you spend more money and time trying to kill a person- who in reality may or may not actually be guilty of something- rather than throw them in the cell and forget about 'em.
Come on, killing them accomplishes nothing. Sure, talking to grieving widows and whatnot will make you want revenge, but executing them takes you down to their level… absolutely nothing is accomplished by doing it. It won’t or couldn’t deter others from doing the same thing. And that, when it all boils down to it, is the point- deterrence, right?
I feel I’ve been arguing that point since I was a kid. I firmly believe that stance and will so until I drop dead myself.
On the other hand, I don’t have a big problem with the things going on in Afghanistan lately. Truth is, I think we should hunt down Osama and his ilk and blow them the fuck up. I mean, enough is enough. We’ve been dealing with him and his buddies shit for way too long now… time to kill the prick and get him the hell off this planet.
The problem is, obviously, that it doesn’t fit into this- or my- idea of real justice, or educated justice.
Why not? What’s going on with me here? Why am I breaking with my earlier- and to me- sound argument?
I didn’t know anyone killed in the WTC act. I don’t know anyone involved in the follow up. Why this obvious dissonance within myself?
Anyone else, who disagrees with capitol punishment, having a problem justifying their actions or thoughts? How do you explain it?
Actually, I have the exact opposite problem. I’ve no real problem with the death penalty normally, as I honestly do believe that some people are best removed from society permanently.
But in this case, I want to see the guilty party brought before a court of law, tried openly before the eyes of the world, and then sentenced to life imprisonment. I would argue that the sort of fanatic who’d plan something like the WTC would welcome the chance of maryrdom. Rather than give that to them, let them rot in a cell for the next forty years.
Think about Hess looking at his wall for all those years and eventually killing himself at the age of 92. When I think of Hess I think of a old sad mad man in a cell not a important member of the 3rd Reich.
Let the fucker rot, not be made a hero for all extremists to model themselves on.
Remember he probably has the same mindset as the people who sat in the pilot seat of those planes and pointed them towards the WTC and the Pentagon. Death was meaningless to them, they had bigger things on their mind.
I think maybe because the attack was perceived as an attack on the whole of the USA as well as on those killed directly in New York, the Pentagon and PA.
So in a way you are a victim of the crime, and in the position of the relative of a murder victim who is not allowed to have a say in the murderer’s punishment because he’s “too close”. I do not believe in capital punishment, for the reason that if I am put in the position where someone harms someone I love or puts me through hell in some other way, I still want to know that he will be dealt with according to the rule of the society I believe in, rather than my own direct desire to pull his bollocks off with pliers and feed him to the dogs.
The above may be a load of wishy washy blether - it’s just something that came to mind to explain the apparent contradiction…
But it is still possible to control an organization from behind bars. Especially if you still hold the purse strings. I don’t think Ashcroft’s policy of listening in on lawyers/clients conversations will last long. IMO, it’s better to consider him an enemy we are at war with rather than try him as criminal. If in prison, he’s still a focal point of his ‘movement’. And it’s possible someone could bust him out.
I don’t have a problem with the death penalty, though the process of appeals needs to be streamlined and costs cut if it is to remain a viable option, but in the case of Osma and other terrorists I agree that life imprisonment is the best choice. These are people who aren’t afraid to die for their cause and belief they’ll go straight to Paradise. A padded cell with no windows and no contact to the outside word is would be just retribution.
There is a good curse for this occasion: If your life is happy, may it be short; if your life is miserable, may it be long.
The major problem with leaving him alive to rot in a cell would be the option for al Qaeda members to take hostages and demand Osma’s release. If he is alive, his followers will want him back, and they’d do anything.
The best America could hope for is that some Taliban leaders turn against him, try to sell him out, then he dies or commits suicide in a most humiliating way in the fracas.
If the guy happens to walk in front of a bullet when he’s coming out of his cave to get some water I’ll not shed one tear.
However if OBL is caught and brought to trial and a death sentence was looked for could he not tie the case up for a long time? I’m not very familiar with the American Legal system but I know these things can take years. He certainly has the money or at least supporters who have the money to pay for the best defense.
FTR I’m against the death penalty on principal.
One way or the other it would be a long drawn out thing and his people will be able to focus on some aspect of the situation i.e. the martyrdom or OBL or their leader sitting in the cell.
I feel that locking somebody up for the rest of their life with just the basic amenities available to them and the minimum of human contact is a far harsher punishment that a painless execution followed by Martyrdom. So from a punishment POV IMO imprisonment is the way to go. As for the ramifications, it’s pretty much a case of screwed if you do screwed if you don’t.
Hopefully he’ll walk in front of that bullet and take the option out of the equation
Actually I don’t think “principal” is the right word.
I just think that the death penalty doesn’t work. I don’t think it’s a very good deterrent.
Killers IMO nearly all fall into the following groups.
[ul][li]Those that don’t care about what happens to them afterwards.Those that did it in the heat of the moment and don’t think of the consequences.Those that think they can get away with it.[/ul][/li]The death penalty does not deter these type of people (either does prison)
There are people who have been executed and have been cleared after the fact. There are people who are alive and free today that would have been executed if the option were available to the court e.g. The Birmingham Six
Life sentences should mean LIFE without pleasure. If a miscarriage of justice has been made at least the person can be released and live out the rest of their days free. You can’t resurrect somebody and say sorry.
It would surley be the longest, and most expensive, trial in the history of long trials. And a conviction in a DP case is automatically appealed. It could be ten years before he saw the executioner. I think a long and messy trial would be a victory of sorts for him.
Somehow, I rather imagine that should OBL be imprisoned, his visitors, letters and conversations will be inspected very closely, for the rest of his life.
And that’s if you allow visitors, letters and conversations. Me, I’d say that anyone found guilty of organising the WTC attack should be given a crack at Rudolph Hess’“loneliest man in the world” title.
Alive, he’s a bargaining chip, dead, he’s a martyr. Pretty clear to me, on political grounds. I agree with those who suggest that most likely he’ll die right where he is. For that matter, how will we know? Have we got fingerprints or DNA ID for OBL?
However, there is a complication: if he is alive and in prison, hostages will be taken in order to force his release.
Or worse. While I don’t think that its possible that they could succeed, I can imagine another group of nuts trying to hijack a plane that they could slam into some portion of the prison and thus allowing him to escape in the confusion. Hell, they could go get pilot lessons and try to do the same thing with a rented or stolen plane.
We’re better off with him dead, no matter how it comes about. Keeping him locked up will be a logistical and financial nightmare. The amount of security necessary to keep him incarcerated would be enourmous. I can imagine air patrols, armed guards, and other things all for one man. Keeping Hess locked up worked because the US and her Allies effectively destroyed the Nazi powerbase at the end of WW II. Ridding the world of Bin Laden’s powerbase will be a lot harder and more difficult to do and will put America at greater risk of appearing to be “anti-Islamic” to a portion of the Arab world.
Also, Bin Laden wouldn’t receive a civilian style trial. He’d get a military tribunal which is a lot more cut and dried, so there’d be limited opportunities for appeal, but it’d still be expensive to put on. Probably everyone entering and exiting the courthouse would have to be strip searched to make sure that no one was smuggling anything in or out.
Not that I see that happening. He’ll either be killed by one of his comrades or we’ll whack him.
Kinda damned if you do, damned if you don’t, as I see it. If we kill him in military action, he’s a martyr, if we capture him and execute him, he’s a martyr. Life in prison, those who want blood aren’t satisfied. I don’t know, maybe a strongly worded warning, and a stiff fine?
I’m not opposed to the death penalty in principle, but I do think the current implementation sucks. In any case it’s clear that if the death penalty is ever justified OBL is the guy.
It seems to me the best solution is Super Maximum Solitary Confinement for the rest of his natural life. Realistically, he will be killed either in combat or by those around him, or by himself before he is captured. Even if he were taken alive by the Coalition forces, he would undoubtedly be tried by a military tribunal and executed.
Or maybe he’ll slip in the tub and bite it tomorrow. If he even bathes that is.
My outlook is a little different. This is one of these things where cruel and unusual punishment is ok. I agree lets let him rot but let us also teach him everything about those people who died. Let him spend all his time looking at there faces surrounding his cell. Tell him about there families but for christ sake dont kill him.
I send this message to all of you. May he have a long and sick life.
I’m with you, CnoteChris. My beliefs have been challenged by this, too.
I’m completely against the death penalty.
For that reason, I hope he is killed in a military action.
My beliefs are, that if he was brought back to the USA for trial, I couldn’t condone the death penalty. But, I don’t think that keeping him in jail for the rest of his life is a good idea… I think his followers will keep trying to get him freed, and while my beliefs tell me that those followers who break the law will suffer jail time too, I don’t think that will actually work in practice, or be the intelligent way to go. I can’t believe that a jail sentence is a good idea, as I’m convinced that other innocents will lose their lives as Osama’s followers try to free him.
I don’t think him being killed (probably with a large number of his followers) will create much martyrdom, and I think it probably is the best option, even though it sits a little funny on my beliefs…
This actually makes me wonder about my stance against the death penalty. I need a good think about this. Especially as I don’t believe this is a war. (please don’t jump on me, it’s IMO)
To answer your OP, CnoteChris, I’m going to have to have a good think about this, as I too am having problems reconciling this. Let me know if you come up with an opinion, or a thought.
I would argue that if Osama bin Laden was interested in martyrdom, he wouldn’t be getting other people to sacrifice themselves.
I don’t believe bin Laden is the martyr type. I think he likes being the guy in charge who gets others to die on his behalf.
My guess is that if left to rot in jail, he’ll rot in jail. Nobody’s going to try to rescue him; the scum who make up his organization will drift away into obscurity or will join other terrorist groups. They’ll latch onto the next madman. Bin Laden will die alone in a prison cell.