death penalty

Since we seem to accept…

  1. There are problems with the current death penalty.
  2. On occasion some innocent people are killed.

If you support the death penalty, what would the justice system have to do for you to change your position? What punishment, other than death, would you consider adequate?
If you’re against the death penalty, what would the justice system have to do for you to change your position? What evidence would you consider adequate to justify the death penalty?

I’m not asking for people to say, “I never want someone to be killed ever, or I always want someone to be killed.” What I’m asking is if you’re forced to live with the opposite of what you want how would you set up the system?

I would accept the death penalty if the accused was caught in the act, or better yet, video-taped in the act.
I was going to say if the accused confessed, but then I remembered a link I posted in another thread. That link to a story of man shot in the chest by a policeman while in custody and handcuffed to a chair. I assume the gun was used to coerce a confession when it went off.

Here is a good fact sheet on torture used to extract confessions.

Frankly, oldscratch, there’s nothing the U.S. justice system could do to reverse my opposition to the death penalty. As a matter of fact, right now I’m forced to live with the opposite of what I want so I’m doing what I would do - organizing and working for its abolition.

I am for the death penalty, but would rather see castration, then forced consumption of the severed limb to the guilty…especially with rapists. I hate rapists. :mad:

Hey Olentzero. What are you implying here. There is nothing the U.S. can do to reverese my opposition to the DP either.

However if I’m forced to live with it, as I am now. The best thing to ask for is increased scutinity into how the system actually works. With increased exposure of how barbaric the system actually is, we can eventually abolish it.

In response to this. If people are opposed to the Death Penalty on moral reasons, no ammount of evidence can make them change their mind. What you might want to ask is if there is a specific event or person that could change their mind. For example, if your mother was brutally raped and murdered would you want the death penalty for the person who did it? My answer is no.
However, I’m not morally against killing people. I am only against the state carrying it out. So for me there is nothing the state could do to change my opposition.
There is a large difference between DP proponents and opponents. Most pro-DP people are only mildly so. Tey don’t want to see innocent people executed, and when you inform them that happens they tend to be a lot less pro-DP. There are other facts that can change their minds. Most anti-DP people are opposed for moral reasons, or else like DavidB, believe that you can never have sufficient proof to take aways someones life. There really isn’t much point in asking anti-DP people what would convince them that the DP is ok.

I have no problems with the concept of the State issuing the Death Penalty. Some people like John Wayne Gacy or Timothy McVeigh flat out deserve it. I realize that the punishment in no way deters the crime but I see no reason to feed and house scumbags of this level on the taxpayers dollar.

That said I oppose the Death Penalty as it stands and am not sure a workable solution can be found that I’d be comfortable with.

To go with the OP I’d be happy with the type of prison that I believe McVeigh is locked up in now. A place where you see no one except your jailers and spend 23.5 hours a day on your cell. Screw rehab for these guys…they’re never getting out anyway. At least I don’t have to feel I’m providing them recreation while they rot.

I’ve also thought that a modern version of the Stocks from olden days should be revived. What better place to dump someone like Hitler than in a secure place where the public can come and revile him in person? He’d deserve no less in my view.


If that is your main reason for supporting the death penalty I have good news for you.


And don’t worry there are plenty more statistics on the page. See, it’s more expensive to kill people. You don’t have to be pro death penalty anymore. :slight_smile:

The only way I would be for the death penalty is if someone killed someone I love. It’s a total revenge thing, not the type of behavior I want the state to engage in.

I was fully aware that keeping people on Death Row is more pricey than just in plain jail. I took a semester class on death penalty and its issues in college and this was certainly a notable statistic. I decided not to enumerate my reasons when I said, “I oppose the Death Penalty as it stands and am not sure a workable solution can be found that I’d be comfortable with.” I thought about elaborating but figured this is a topic that has probably been discussed multiple times on this board and I wouldn’t be adding anything new.

I still stand by my belief that society has a right to execute certain members under certain circumstances that the society defines. It’s figuring out those circumstances and how to apply them fairly across all members of that society that’s the sticky part AND the reason I said I don’t believe a really workable solution will ever be found.

Damn! Sorry, oldscratchp, I misread the name of the OP. I mean that for labdude, not you. My sincerest apologies. We’re on the same page as far as this issue is concerned. Hopefully several others :slight_smile:

The only way I could be persuaded to change my pro-DP view is if there were another punishment given that was WORSE than death. Maybe we could put murders in a large pit with a bunch of boulders, and have them bust rocks for 18-20 hours a day. The punishment would have to be so bad, that the criminal would actually wish that he could get the DP. Maybe that Chinese tickle torture would work… :wink:

On the opinion side, I’m sick of hearing people whining about the rights of the man who hacked 15 people do death with a hatchet. If you consciously, purposefully, take another human being’s life, in my opinion, you have just nullified your rights. In fact, I think the best punishment for these types of criminals would be to put them through the same horror they put their victims through. If you chop someone up with an ax, plan on getting tied down, and chopped up with an ax. If you beat someone to death with a baseball bat, you should know that you’re going to spend several LONG agonizing minutes, being beaten to death with a baseball bat. The Bible says, “an eye for an eye”, right?

I will not feed the troll - I will not feed the troll - I will not feed the troll.

I am opposed to the death penalty, but there is one change to our justice system that would change my position.

If it were in the power of judges and juries to resurrect those who were murdered, then, and only then, it would be just to take the life of a murderer.

Those who cannot deal out life should not be so quick to deal out death.

I am mildly pro DP, my main reason for it- is to prevent pyschopaths from killing again, which life imprisonment does NOT do. If we lobotomized them, I would think that would be about the same. It would be nice if someone could invent a reversable surgery that would do that. Drugs are no good, unless they are the sort that would work for a year + between treatments. The “reverable surgical” lobotomy would be great for any violent lifer, and would cut prison costs WAY down, as we could be these “happy” semivegetables in a minimum security compound instead. They might even be happier, who knows? We would all be safer, anyway.

And, if later evidence turned up that showed him innocent, they could reverse the proc., give him a modest but substantial check, and he would have his life back, with a gap in the memory, maybe.

I am Pro Death Penalty. However, I want to be certain the person is guilty, got an adequate defense, and there is slim or zero chance the person is wrongfully being punished.

The Death Penalty is a deterrant. After Ted Bundy was fried, his killing career was over.

An alternative would be the infliction of lots and lots of pain.

I think there are people that just can’t be helped and are a menace to society. I believe in rehab and jailing as long as it going to work. But, for people who have killed MANY people or Raped MANY people I don’t think that thier is a better option. If anyone has a better option I would all for considering it!!

Given that people act as, well, people, I can’t imagine a legal system that is free of all error and treats everyone equally. Obviously we can do better than we are doing now, but that doesn’t make the death penalty any more righteous to me.

An eye for an eye approach to justice doesn’t justify the use of the death penalty, it only reduces me down to the same level as the killer. There is a universal social tenet; do not kill others just as there is one against sleeping with a biological child or sibling.

Is there a benefit in keeping the sociopathological serial killer alive? Yeah, just look at the FBI’s work on profiling which has helped identify, catch and stop some serial killers. We might not know what we need to know about these types so why waste the potential resource.

It’s cheaper to keep 'em locked up than run thru all the expense of killing them. That’s clear, however I would not want the extensive appeals review to be completely cutoff for the convicted but innocent.

I guess there is another aspect which doesn’t appeal to me, but might appeal to others. That aspect is revenge, continual and unstoppable. I am not going to go there because this, to me, is not a rational reason against the death penalty.

Bottom line: no to the death penalty.

I guess I’m against DP on the simple ground that we (Society, you know) are supposed to be the Good Guys in White Hats and therefore we should abide by higher moral standards than the criminals.

If we can’t do that - if we kill people because we can, through whatever mechanism gives us the power to do so - we’re less of a society, and more of a mob. The criminals don’t deserve to live ? - probably not, but since we’re better than they are, we let them live anyway.

I am, however, willing to admit the necessity of DP for one crime: That of deliberately starting a war. If a criminal has shown himself to be adept enough at manipulating a political system to bring himself to power and then unleash a war, he’s too dangerous to have around for the rest of his natural life. (I suppose “no contact” incarceration, the Rudolf Hess model, could work).

Well off go all our politicians. :slight_smile: Really though Norman, you raise a good point. Clinton and Albright are responsible for the deaths of millions of Iraqis and countless other innocent people around the world. Will they ever get their comeuppance? Probably not.