I'm Against Capital Punishment but I'm Not Crying Today

Would anyone’s opinion differ, either for or against, if the pregnant woman had been your wife, daughter or mother?

Of course it would because of the grief, anger, and desire for revenge. That wouldn’t make me right, however, and I think that “right” should ultimately be the point of it all.

I can relate to this question because of the grief and anger I felt when my parents were killed. I wanted them dead. I thought often of killing them. Now, years later, I’m glad I didn’t because it would weigh on my soul.

Nope. Wouldn’t make a lick of difference to me. People ask me this question every once in awhile. I don’t get it. No, I wouldn’t call for the death penalty for the murder of a relative. Their death does not bring back my loved one(s), it doesn’t give me any more closure, and revenge is pointless.

On the other hand, I haven’t walked in those shoes. If someone murdered me, I hope my relatives would not seek the death penalty if it’s available to them.

Good point!

Family members of murder victims often speak at the perpetrator’s sentencing hearing. Sometimes they ask that the perpetrator not be put to death.

I used to think the death penalty was OK, at least in certain cases. But I continued to have complex feelings about it. I have since come to the conclusion that the state should not kill any of its citizens. Moreover, I think the death penalty does terrible harm to those involved in the system, and even the victims’ families. It damages the humanity of the people involved – jurors, wardens, guards, judges, attorneys – not just the actual executioner.

Part of how I came to my current position was hearing a talk by Sister Helen Prejean. You might want to read some of her writing on the subject, or watch one of her talks. One thing she brought up is that people sort of sell the DP to the family of the victim as something that will help them. But she has talked to family members after executions where they don’t really feel better – they wish they could do it again. Their pain is, of course, still enormous. They would be better served by getting real help, not being told that vengeance will make them feel better. It’s an empty promise.

I’ve also known some lawyers involved in the system, and I know it is a terrible thing for people to have to do. Even though they were pro death penalty, I could see that it weighed on them. The state should not be making its citizens do this.

I often wonder if I am a broken person, in that this question is apparently supposed to have some inherent “gotcha” quality whenever it is presented… but no, rules is rules, and my rules of morality apply equally to all, regardless of their proximity to me (whether as victim or perpetrator).

Regarding the OP, or the death penalty, or life imprisonment… I’m just not sure. What is the point of life imprisonment? Why is society expected to be on the hook for the care and feeding of somebody who rejects that same society’s rules of normality to the point that innocent members are at risk of harm?

What is more moral? A quick end, quick removal from society… or decades of forced meager survival? I just haven’t made up my mind. The mistakes and inherent racism in our system make either option questionable… but worse is our apparent need for “retribution”, and not “reformation”. I would much prefer America aimed to make all citizens happy and productive, even when mistakes are made.

And I would like a pony, too.

I suggest listening to a few episodes of the podcast “Ear Hustle” to understand a little about life in prison. This is in San Quentin. It’s no picnic, and if it sounds bad, there are much worse prisons to be in. Yes, it’s a place to live at state expense but there’s not a soul in there who wouldn’t rather be out.

Some societies. The death penalty has been legally abolished in 106 countries and another 28 where it’s still legal but they haven’t executed anyone for at least 10 years. Only 33 countries have carried out any executions at all since 2013, and there are 195 countries. So we are in a small minority, and in the good company of such bastions of humanitarianism as China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Somalia.

Then we should also be amputating the hands of thieves. Right?

Wrong, unless the thief stole someone’s hand.

What I know about the execution of Montgomery is that she will kill no more pregnant women, to steal their babies. That’s enough for me.

So you think life in a prison is maybe not that bad, and you haven’t tried it.
Right on.

The sort of prison life described by @Two_Many_Cats2 is not that atypical for many inmates. Not that I’ve tried it personally, but I’ve talked to thousands of people who have, and seen many of them in their cells, on their jobs, at their recreational activities. Most long-term inmates build some sort of life that is not without some pleasure for them. It’s still dirty, depressing, degrading and at times can be dangerous. But I know of inmates who prefer life on the inside, and a few who even committed crimes to get back into prison.

As for the OP, my emotional side wants to kill the truly heinous people. My rational side recognizes just how horribly many criminals like the one described by the OP suffered from their earliest moments in life, and I understand to an extent how badly they were broken and discarded.

As someone who came dangerously close to committing a violent (non-lethal) act against my family while I was in the throes of a full-on nervous breakdown, I’m not in favor of executing people who are clearly mentally ill.

Oh, OK, I think I’m getting it now. So a guy like this should be punished by stabbing him 11 times in the arms and chest.

Yes, that’s exactly what I meant. :roll_eyes:

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The killed cannot be unkilled.
The executed have no remorse.
The executioner knows they have caused the death of a helpless person.
The family of the victim still has an empty place that the corpse of the murderer cannot fill.
Capital punishment is a morally lazy response to a crime.

I don’t see anything immoral with capital punishment. Unfortunately, the state has proven to be untrustworthy with that responsibility.

I’m not too bothered when someone monstrous like in the case linked in the OP is executed. I am bothered when corruption leads to innocents being convicted of crimes.

Yep, some "club fed’ prisons arent bad, but the majority are horrid, over crowded places, where you are in with the worst degenerate people on earth, who just get worse. It aint like Shawshank.

Mind you the Youth facilities in Santa Clarita county I inspected were more or like schools, except no leaving, and you slept over. Food was decent but bland, education, PE, etc. But I totally concur with that.