Saying it over and over again does not make it true (abortion and death penalty)

If their entire argument for being pro-life is “I’m Catholic, that’s what the church says, I can not question that”, but they DO question the church when it comes to the death penalty (or conveniently ignore it), then you are right, THAT is hypocritical.

Wars are a completely different tangent that isn’t even worth speaking about in this thread.

As a Catholic I can definitely say someone isn’t being a good Catholic if they support the murder of innocents in the form of murder of the unborn as practiced in society today or if they support the killing of defenseless persons such as convicted criminals.

Both are things a Catholic should abhor and oppose.

I agree that equating abortion with the death penalty is not a valid analogy.

For the record, I’m that rare combination of being pro-choice and pro-death penalty. (Pro-death penalty when there is no question of the person’s guilt and the crimes committed are utterly reprehensible. I’d say John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy and Timothy McVeigh would fit that category perfectly).

I don’t think it’s rare at all. Most people in the US are pro-choice, and most are pro-death penalty. There must be significant overlap.

Well, sure, it’s possible, but that’s frankly a pretty disgusting and immoral position to hold, isn’t it? It’s saying that one person’s right to live is less important than another person’s (who’s actions helped to create the first person, and therefore has a special responsibility toward them) right not to be inconvenienced for 9 months.

It’s a statistical virtual certainty. I recall that you can make statistics go away with a wave of your hand.

Can you make aritmetic errors go away with a wave of your hand?

6/1000 = 99.4%. See? Just move the decimal point over and you’ve got your 994 out of 1000, like you’d expect.

Not exactly. It’s saying that a right to life isn’t absolute, and you don’t get to borrow, steal, use, or appropriate anyone else’s body in order to survive.

Calling pregnancy an “inconvenience” doesn’t lessen its burden. Donating blood to the Red Cross is closer to an “inconvenience” yet there are no laws that force me to do it.

What jsgoddesssaid. Keep in mind also that I can stipulate that the cellmass growing in Linda’s uterus is a) alive and b) human and therefore c) a person, while still also asserting that it is d) not cognizant, e) incapable of emotion, f) not in possession of any sense of self, g) has no memories, and h) has neither plans or projects whereby the time invested in this life’s various works and activities all go down the drain when it dies.

It may be human, alive, and “a person”, but killing it is still nowhere near the callous action that killing an 8 year old, an 8th grader, or the communications director on the 88th floor would be. For those folks, the parameters on items d through h are spectacularly different.

And when they are not, e.g., Terry Schiavo, then again we are open to reevaluating the situation. In the case of Schiavo, people could also say i) these parameters are not going to change, i.e., she’s permanently and irrevocably without consciousness, plans, sense of identity, capability of feeling emotions, and so on. (And for anyone reading this who believes this is not a valid & accurate description of Terry Schiavo, please substitute a hypothetical brain-dead person for whom it is true and refrain from hijacking this thread, please, thanks).

In the case of the contemplated abortion, you could say parameter i does not apply and that makes a difference, i.e., in the absence of elective (or spontaneous) abortion, the cellclump will most likely eventually become conscious, feeling, develop an identity, make plans, and so on.

I would say it certainly does make a difference, but not sufficient to make it wrong for a pregnant woman to have an abortion. It is all only potential, those things. To whatever degree it is still a less-than-intrinsically-joyful thing, this ending of potential, it certainly doesn’t rise to the level of crime, and very definitely not to that of “murder”.

So the answer then is no, correct? You have no evidence.

Thank you for correcting my math. Would you care to address the underlying point?

Sure. I should have done that with the last post. I did this once before- here’s the post and the math:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showpost.php?p=6851921&postcount=343

Right. Thanks for clarifying. No evidence.

Dave’s World, Part I:

Fingerprints? No evidence. DNA? No evidence.

Know why? Because those are both based on probabilities TOO!

Dave doesn’t believe smoking causes cancer, because that’s based on probabilities.

Now, you know that besides the one case in Virginia, no already executed person’s case has been allowed DNA testing, right?

That leads to

Dave’s World, Part II:

Dave: Since I know probabilities don’t prove anything, I need something less reliable - like recantations - oh, wait, I say witness recantation isn’t evidence either!

Dave: Prove that there’s someone in one of these 1000 houses.
Me: Let me in the houses.
Dave: No.
Me: Well, a stufy of 157 houses showed people were in 13 of them - that’s a rate of over 8%. The odds that there’s nobody in these 1000 houses is less than 2 in 10,000.
Dave: HA! No evidence!

Go 'way, kid. Ya bother me.

Actually, you are assuming that the incidence of actual innocence among the executed is the same as for the general population on death row, which, almost by definition, can’t be demonstrated.

I see the thrust of your argument, but the DNA testing to which you refer has eliminated an unknown proportion of actual innocents from your population of executed. It is possible that all the innocents were exonerated; it is possible that all 999 of the executed were actually innocent. We don’t know (without referring to other evidence produced at trial).

Regards,
Shodan

Alright. Actual communication. I can deal with this.

I see what you’re saying - but what if I change the population to the 157 who were executed before DNA evidence was ever used? In other words, from Gary Gilmore until the first DNA exoneration (1992) there were 157 executions. (Just coincidence it’s the same number as were on Illinois’ death row)

Do you agree they should have the same guilty/non-guilty breakout as the people on Illinois’ death row that were found to be innocent?

Going to that same page ( http://math.uc.edu/~brycw/classes/148/tables.htm ), and using 157 degrees of freedom instead of 999, we get .0003 - 3 out of 10,000.

Or would you agree if I limited to only those prisoners who had exhausted their appeals (for both the numberator and denominator)? I can’t find that right now, but I’d be happy to look later.

And recall that my sample was based on Illinois - 8.28% of death row was exonerated via DNA. Illinois has (and had) a lower conviction rate than most states:

http://www.justicedenied.org/landmarkstudy.htm

As I recall, you were one who acknowledged that “beyond a reasonable doubt,” by definition, allows for the occasional mistake, but the murder recitivism rate, in your view, made up for it (saving more innocents in the long run).

Bup, Shodan has already alluded to part of the problem, but your statistics are only as good as the underlying assumptions behind them, and I’m not buying them. Being convicted and sentenced to death is only the beginning of the process. There are layers upon layers of appeals beyond that before an execution is carried out, this process is designed to weed out the bad convictions. Taking the cases where they did so and then applying them to the total number of executed as a whole is dishonest. It’s manipulating the numbers. If you were to take the total number of convicts who had exhausted all their appeals but were subsiquently exhonerated as a starting point, you’d be a whole lot closer to coming up with a meaningful statistic, but you haven’t done that. You also assume that Ill. is representative of the nation as a whole. I have seen no evidence that you have demonstrated that either. In short, your entire ststistical probabilirty is completely meaningless. It’s a house of cards. Statistics aren’t evidence.

This is not particularly accurate. There are certainly second chances, and third, but in most states that’s about it. If you’re convicted in federal court, you get even less. So layers, yeah, I guess. But “layers upon layers” has a connotation not consonant with the facts.

This is even less accurate. First of all, it’s incorrect to say the process is designed at all; it’s rather a haphazard evolution of common law writs over the last several centuries which wax and wane over time (and have in the last few years been full-on wane). More importantly, most post-conviction relief (and definitely most direct appeals) don’t get anywhere near the facts of the case; they concentrate only the procedure at trial. Given that most death penalty candidates are not well-represented by counsel, that means that the facts that are generated at trial may well have very little connection to the actual occurrance, but they’ll still be enough to send the fellow to the Chair. Post-conviction relief can sometimes be based on new evidence, but the standards are very high (although they seem to be loosening the in the ways of the Innocence Project and others showing how many innocents really are on Death Row), and as noted above, in most states you only get one or two swings. Now, the reason people think convicts linger on death row is because these appeals often take a long time. But that’s not the same as saying there are very may of them or that they’re particularly effective at fixing the problems in unfair convictions.

–Cliffy

P.S. to Shodan – But none of the fetuses are innocent human lives. Fetuses aren’t people. Ergo, there’s nothing hypocritical about saying we should never kill innocent people and still supporting abortion. Of course, I dont’ think we should be executing even guilty people, but that’s neither here nor there.
. Taking the cases where they did so and then applying them to the total number of executed as a whole is dishonest. It’s manipulating the numbers. If you were to take the total number of convicts who had exhausted all their appeals but were subsiquently exhonerated as a starting point, you’d be a whole lot closer to coming up with a meaningful statistic, but you haven’t done that. You also assume that Ill. is representative of the nation as a whole. I have seen no evidence that you have demonstrated that either. In short, your entire ststistical probabilirty is completely meaningless. It’s a house of cards. Statistics aren’t evidence.
[/QUOTE]

I’m pro-choice all the way: Pro-cp and anti-abortion (accept rape or health)

fetus = human
fetus = alive
fetus = innocent

Strike 3, try again.

If an individual cell capable of developing into an adult is a human life, then every fetus that exists is a cannabilistic monster that can only exist at the expense of at bare minumum dozens of other human lives (to wit, the cells that it creates by division that do not split off and form twins). Abortion is therefore simple justice.

Or, just maybe, we can get both sides to concede that this isn’t a debate that’s going to be settled with pre-existing sound bites, no matter how many times they are shouted. Only when people realize that it’s damnably difficult to map existing law onto the unborn will we see progress beyond slogan-slinging.

As a working assumption, it seems reasonable.

IOW, the chances are that none of them were innocent, if I am following you. IANAStatistician.

Again, it is a reasonable assumption for the purpose of discussion. The same trouble exists, however - it does not seem to be possible to determine what the actual incidence of innocent executions is. If you find that any individual is innocent, you don’t execute them, and therefore they can’t be included in your population.

I hope it does not sound too much like a nitpick.

Yes, that is my position.

I am afraid I don’t have time to do a real discussion of the issue, but if you don’t execute murderers, it is possible to reasonably assume that the 1.4% of those who are released who re-murder within three years, plus the percent who re-murder but more than three years after release, plus the percent who commit murder in prison (like that old guy who was the most recent executee), plus those who are sentenced to life without parole but get released anyway (like Willie Horton and Ed Wein), probably add up to more than one.

So yes, I would maintain that overall, even if I grant your assumptions, overall executions, on net, save innocent lives.

ISTM that unless you are willing to argue that it is not possible that a fetus is an innocent life, then you can’t argue that the DP is immoral but abortion is OK. And that is more or less impossible to establish.

If you are arguing that the DP is immoral because it is possible that it is destroying an innocent life, then abortion is immoral because it is possible that a fetus is an innocent life. As I mentioned, I am rejecting the argument, not advocating it, but if you want to be consistent, that’s how it seems to me.
Regards,
Shodan