moral question about capital punishment

YOU are the moral leader of your village and you are faced with a self confessed murderer of your people. after a fair trial that proves, without any doubt, that he is guilty, what do you do with him?
this is a poll. feel free to elaborate on your choice. for further, serious discussion on the matter head over to the current GD thread here - DC Sniper to be executed tonight

If I’m the leader of a small village the only practical choices are to kill him or banish him under pain of death should he reappear. I don’t have the resources to imprison him or do many of the other options available in the poll.

If I have no resources beyond the village, i’d have to have him killed.

If the harvest was bad we’d turn him into jerky.

don’t worry about the hypothetical, this is a moral question so just choose one that you think is best, assuming all poll options are available. the key is that this makes it personal, and his fate is now in your hands.

You left out the “other” option.

Life without parole doing community service if possible, locked in a tiny cell if not.

As a matter of course, I’d kill him. Aggravating circumstances might justify making that death slower/more baroque. Mitigating circumstances (such as might argue for classifying the act as “manslaughter” rather than “murder”) might justify an alternative, like life as a slave at hard labor for the village, or banishment.

And you left out the other, other option. Kill him in a similar manner to that in which he killed.

You also left out a fixed prison term < life

Depends on whether he shows remorse.

I’d have him killed quickly. Killing a murderer is no different than killing a stinging insect. Smash it quickly and move on. Don’t pull the legs off it or toss it into a spider web to watch it wriggle. Just make it dead and go on about your day.

The survivors of the victim or victims have first option of dispatching the killer themselves or appointing someone to do it on their behalf. If none of them want to do it directly, I’ll appoint someone.

I’d kill him. Then grind his bones to make my bread. Because that’s just the way I am.

No doubt whatsoever? Death. Quick as possible.

Any doubt at all? Life, moderately well taken care of (no luxury).

Life sentence with a chance of parole. Some leopards might not change their spots but I know that in a lot of ways I’m not the same person I was 10 years ago. How much could a person change after 20 years, 30, 40 or more? If it gets to the point where the person in the prison is no longer anything like the person that did the crime I don’t see much point in keeping them locked up any longer.

It wouldn’t be an easy process, any opportunity of parole would err on the side of caution more so than compassion as the last thing I’d want is to release somebody and have them hurt somebody else in my village. Extenuating circumstances of the crime would also influence the likelihood of a murderer being released, but for the most part it’s not an option I’d want closed off for good.

I don’t think death should be a form of punishment. I opted for life without parole reasonably well taken care of.

This. No death sentence and no harshness to his punishment. I want to rehab the guy

yeah, i should have included an ‘other’ option =\

as for more choices, the poll is limited to 100 words so there’s only so many options i can put up. i would assume community service would naturally go with choices 3, 4, 5 and 8. ‘eye for an eye’ option i forgot, though i suppose you might choose the ‘kill slowly’ option in this case. as for fixed prison term less than life…, really? would anyone else want that option too? (imho) isn’t a life sentence with parole a safer option for society?

in case it’s not clear the 5th option should read as “life sentence without parole, where you expect him to be well taken care of” (not in luxury of course)

would you elaborate on this? isn’t it more merciful to grant a quick death than to lock someone up forever with no intention of letting them go?

I might add that in any prison our village had, prisoner-on-prisoner violence would not be tolerated. The fact that some prisoners are more brutal and dangerous than others should not make their stay less unpleasant.

If our village prison population got so large that we couldn’t properly control the prisoners without letting them work each other over, keeping in mind that we’d be executing any that killed other prisoners, I think we’d need to banish the more violent ones.

well anyway, we’re at 99 votes and here’s my interpretation of the results: 39% for a quick death, a similar 40% for various forms of punishments resulting in eventual death, 13% for rehab and 7% for exile. so overall consensus seems to be - murderers must die and never re-enter society again, question is how they are disposed of.

am sorta surprised that there’s only 1 vote for keeping the prisoner in a dangerous prison facility. i suppose despite what is said people expect prisons to be a safe place for its charges. also surprised at the 7 votes for exile, as i read that not so much as a punishment nor deterrent but as a “you’re no longer my problem, get out” solution. happy that no one chose the movie trope for Karmic Death. sad that only 13% think rehab is viable.

You need to consider more how people would have voted without the ‘village’ concept. I certainly would have voted differently if the question were about punishment in a large integrated society. If I had an option to ship the murderer off to a state prison funded by a whole bunch of villages like mine, I would do that. But having to deal with him strictly using our own resources, he’s gotta die.

And IMO the exile option for the village isn’t realistic, as then you’ll have to put guards around the village so the guy doesn’t sneak back in to kill more, or to steal food or cause some other form of mischief.

A small village is a precarious social and economic structure, and it can’t afford to have some members spending time imprisoning others. There’s hunting and gathering and crip tending and goat herding to do, etc.

though i clarified in post #4, i think you have a point. i (or someone else?) might run an edited poll again in the future to see if the results tally with this one.