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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Death Penalty

There is a poll at Sir Humphreys about the death penalty. You can vote as many times as you like (although I suspect they might be counting how many times you vote, and if they aren't then they ought to be).

There seem to be quite a lot of pro death penalty votes. I wonder if they're real. What would make someone favour the death penalty? I don't think revenge is a good reason to kill someone - but that is what the death penalty seems like to me.

I also wonder if people who are pro the death penalty are also pro voluntary euthanasia and do they also think "why the hell is suicide illegal?"

For the record, today I am against the death penalty and for voluntary death of all persuasions.

Comments:
Another one of those delightful differences. My arguments in favour has nothing to do with vindication. If vengeneance is what somebody wanted then an aluminium bat in a dark alley will provide hours of pleasure.

No, for me it is a case of elliminating a cancerous growth in society. We've become very soft in recent years; I'm shocked at the light sentences that are handed down. Think about it - a murderer kills somebody, snuffs a life out and ten years later they're out walking the streets and carrying on with their lives. A mother, a father, a child - somebody has been removed from the face of the planet.

That is wrong. So very very wrong. Even for light crimes there are none of the components that made it "corporal punishment". So, rather than keeping somebody locked up at a cost of $75,000 per annum - take them out. It's not a deterrent, but it will damn well make sure they don't do it again.

That is harsh - but so is the act of murdering someone.
 
tcm, are you for the death penalty?

I hope so, cause I really want to interrogate someone intelligent about the death penalty, euthaniasia, suicide, abortion thing... :)

Later, I might write a post on why I am anti-death penalty and pro-euthanasia and ambi-suicide/abortion.
 
People who are pro the death penalty should be more empirical about it, and take a look at the actual results of administering this policy in various parts of the world.

Even in so-called 'civilised' countries... it has killed the retarded and the just plain innocent... it has been used as a political football (e.g. the authorities churning out more executions before election-time)... it has been used disproportionately against ethnic minorities... it has cost more money to carry out than keeping them incarcerated for the rest of their lives... and if it's affected murder rates then there's generally only been a positive correlation.

If this were a perfect utopian world, and if I could, with a click of my fingers, eliminate everyone who I thought truly deserved to die - and nobody else - and whose death would genuinely benefit the rest of us, then I'd do it.

But this is the real world. And things will never be that neat and simple.
 
Suze, I am. Not sure if you'd want to grill me though, I'm on the skinny side.
 
Think about it - a murderer kills somebody, snuffs a life out and ten years later they're out walking the streets and carrying on with their lives. A mother, a father, a child - somebody has been removed from the face of the planet.

OK. Isn't that about vengeance? The murderer killed someone therefore he ought to pay? Cause it's not really about the mother/father/child being removed from the planet - people die all the time.

People who are pro the death penalty should be more empirical about it, and take a look at the actual results of administering this policy in various parts of the world.

I don't think this subject is something people are inclined to be empirical about...

If this were a perfect utopian world, and if I could, with a click of my fingers, eliminate everyone who I thought truly deserved to die - and nobody else - and whose death would genuinely benefit the rest of us, then I'd do it.

That's why I would never want to live in the perfect utpoian world. In order for someone's death to benefit everyone else and for everyone to agree with you about it, people would have to be boringly identical.
 
How about it being a simple matter of the punishment fitting the crime? What's wrong with believing in punishment simply as the payment extracted from someone for violating the rights of another? And in the case of taking someone's life, the payment for that violation is the forfeit of one's own life.

I don't have a problem with vengeance.

However, that being said, since that price is the ultimate price, the evidence would have to be absolute -- there could be no room for error. Which is never the case.
 
I wouldn't class it as vengeance. And saying that people die all the time seems a bit naff, to be honest. That sentence was more to illustrate that what that person did goes against all the tenents of an orderly society - they prematurely ended a life with/without a thought for the consequences. Somebody else paid the ultimate price for carrying a pocket full of change; or for being in a grocery store when some shotgun armed maniac comes charging in.

I agree with David - punishment fitting the crime. But I am generally in favour of heavy punishment for criminal activities - I have no objections to flogging, pointless labour in prison and so forth. Because all we are doing is coddling up to the rights of prisoners / criminals who, by their very actions, have forfeited their rights to live and partake in our society.

And while the death penalty might seem disproportionate towards ethnic minorities there is also an indication that the crimes likely to be punished by death are focussed on certain ethnicities. At least as far as the Human Rights Watch goes as well. It's difficult to obtain accurate statistics though, because most countries forego using race as a determining factor.
 
David,

Personally I don't like vengeance and punishment at all, so I guess I shouldn't really be debating this whole topic. My problem is similar to the problem I have with The Golden Rule....might have to write a post on it.

Anyway, should people always pay the exact same price for hurting another person? Because hurt is relative and you can't force mental and emotional sufferning on someone...
 
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