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Deified Data
(02-22-2012, 12:28 AM)
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Originally Posted by Raist

An eye for an eye eh?
I mean by that logic the person who executed the murdered deserves to die, too.

I think most people see the difference between a convicted murderer and an executioner. Not calling you out, because you have a point (murder being murder being murder), but the vast majority of people I know believe in such a thing as "necessary murder", such as in the case of self-defense (though I am in no way comparing executing a prisoner to self defense, just setting a precedent).
The Technomancer
card-carrying scientician
(02-22-2012, 12:29 AM)
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Originally Posted by godelsmetric

and to also be attacked every day by inmates with ropes

I might be tentatively for it if "rope" was replaced with "a psych evaluation and period of counseling followed by a lethal injection"
Raist
(02-22-2012, 12:29 AM)

Originally Posted by JGS

The person doing the executing isn't guilty of murder.

How so? Because his act is justified? According to... what?
Deified Data
(02-22-2012, 12:29 AM)
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Originally Posted by The_Technomancer

I might be tentatively for it if "rope" was replaced with "a psych evaluation and period of counseling followed by a lethal injection"

I support this.
Chichikov
Member
(02-22-2012, 12:30 AM)
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Originally Posted by Deified Data

Then kill them all, yes? There are better ways of punishing people than feeding them, housing them, providing them with education, vocational enrichment, etc, correct?

Our system overwhelmingly favors rehabilitation. Whether it works or not is another discussion entirely.

Oh, that's not what I'm suggesting, I would love the US penal system which is less about moralizing and more about getting the best results for society as a whole.

It's just that the entire system is geared toward punishment, so you're framing your question wrong.
EatinOlives
Harass A Bull?
Report to HR.
(02-22-2012, 12:31 AM)
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Originally Posted by Raist

How so? Because his act is justified? According to... what?

He's not guilty of "murder", the crime. This isn't about "murder", the action.
JGS
Banned
(02-22-2012, 12:31 AM)
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Originally Posted by Raist

How so? Because his act is justified? According to... what?

The law? His job description? His salary?

If you are going to get into morality issues, that's a different and broader topic. As it stands, the person flipping the switch is required to do so by his job function. Not guilty.
Kentpaul
When keepin it real goes wrong. Very, very wrong.
(02-22-2012, 12:32 AM)
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spending a decade or two in one of these is punishment enough.

Raist
(02-22-2012, 12:33 AM)

Originally Posted by EatinOlives

He's not guilty of "murder", the crime. This isn't about "murder", the action.

The distinction between these being highly subjective.


If you are going to get into morality issues, that's a different and broader topic. As it stands, the person flipping the switch is required to do so by his job function. Not guilty.

The whole topic automatically involves morality issues. There's no way around that.
Ploid 3.0
Member
(02-22-2012, 12:33 AM)
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Also there's money to be made in keeping prisons full. Having a life prisoner is good for some groups.
Deified Data
(02-22-2012, 12:34 AM)
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Originally Posted by Chichikov

Oh, that's not what I'm suggesting, I would love the US penal system which is less about moralizing and more about getting the best results for society as a whole.

It's just that the entire system is geared toward punishment, so you're framing your question wrong.

Did not mean to put words in your mouth. What I mean to say is, if punishment is the goal, there are better, more efficient ways of doing it than imprisoning them for the rest of their life. If it is not the goal, there are better means of rehabilitation. See what I mean?

Originally Posted by Ploid 3.0

Also there's money to be made in keeping prisons full. Having a life prisoner is good for some groups.

This is starting to sound like the most practical explanation. Who's making this money? How influential are they?
UrbanRats
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(02-22-2012, 12:35 AM)
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I think ideally, we should strive to achieve a society where the idea of rehabilitation has taken over the idea of punishment completely.
Practically speaking i don't know how feasible that is, but i think it should be the goal.

I was actually surprised by the reaction of almost.. disappointment, in that guy from the VICE video on Norwegian prisons.
To me that's a standard everyone should be looking for and take inspiration from.
Surely locking up a kid who sold drugs, in a building isolated from society, with gang members, murderers, rapists etc etc, can't make him a better person, once he's out of the cage.
As a general rule of thumb, ofcourse.
If there are individuals who cannot be rehabilitated, in that case a permanent detention is required (better if not in an alienating environment).
As a final note, i get enraged by everyday shitty stories (as well as personal stuff) like the next guy, but i also think that society should be and work above the human condition, this is essential for cultural/moral growth.
ReBurn
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(02-22-2012, 12:37 AM)
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I'm against the death penalty. It's wrong to take another human life, even as punishment.
JGS
Banned
(02-22-2012, 12:39 AM)
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I don't understand the whole concept of intermingling between prisoners. Any documentary I've seen makes it pretty clear that people gravitate to particular groups. Have those suckers in semi-solitary confinement.
SapientWolf
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(02-22-2012, 12:41 AM)
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Originally Posted by JGS

I don't understand the whole concept of intermingling between prisoners. Any documentary I've seen makes it pretty clear that people gravitate to particular groups. Have those suckers in semi-solitary confinement.

People lose their sanity in solitary.
Deified Data
(02-22-2012, 12:43 AM)
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Originally Posted by ReBurn

I'm against the death penalty. It's wrong to take another human life, even as punishment.

In every case?
vitaminwateryum
corporate swill
(02-22-2012, 12:46 AM)
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Originally Posted by Deified Data

In every case?

Yes. Also, keeping prisoners around for life is much cheaper than killing them.
CornBurrito
Member
(02-22-2012, 12:47 AM)

Originally Posted by Deified Data

Money doesn't concern me. Society has apparently given up on rehabilitating them, so what's to do?

There have been false convictions overturned with DNA evidence. Some of those released prisoners were on death row.

That is why I am against the death penalty. Our justice system is not perfect. I'd rather have a punishment that is at least somewhat reversible (we can't give them their time back, but at least they still have their life) if there is a chance for mistakes to occur.
Trent Strong
Has a $20,000 pair of lederhosen he won in a game of Parcheesi.
(02-22-2012, 12:49 AM)
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Originally Posted by Deified Data

Hello, GAF. Conversation came up today among friends regarding the death penalty, for and against, what have you. Generally, my stance has always been "for", because the only alternative to a death sentence tends to be life imprisonment, which I've never understood. Keep in mind that I live in the USA. Problem is, as a nation we've always stated "rehabilitation" is the purpose of our criminal justice system, where it's applicable. Those who are put to death are, for some reason or another, deemed resistant to rehabilitation, right? So what of the lifers? Why do we keep them around? What ends are we serving by locking people up for the rest of their lives, feeding them, clothing them, etc. when we've essentially admitted they're a lost cause?

I don't mean to present this as a thread discussing the death penalty - it's not. My question is this: in a system devoted to the rehabilitation of some and the grave punishment of those who cannot be rehabilitated, what purpose does the life sentence serve? Or any absurdly long sentence, for that matter? Is it somehow more humane to deprive someone of their life by locking them in a cage until death than out-right killing them? What are your thoughts?

Our criminal justice system shouldn't just be about rehabilitation (most of the time rehabilitation doesn't work), it should mostly be about deterrence.
UrbanRats
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(02-22-2012, 12:50 AM)
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Originally Posted by Trent Strong

Our criminal justice system shouldn't just be about rehabilitation (most of the time rehabilitation doesn't work), it should mostly be about deterrence.

It's not either one or the other.
CornBurrito
Member
(02-22-2012, 12:51 AM)

Originally Posted by Trent Strong

Our criminal justice system shouldn't just be about rehabilitation (most of the time rehabilitation doesn't work), it should mostly be about deterrence.

How well does deterrence work? Was draconian law successful?
vitaminwateryum
corporate swill
(02-22-2012, 12:52 AM)
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Originally Posted by Trent Strong

Our criminal justice system shouldn't just be about rehabilitation (most of the time rehabilitation doesn't work), it should mostly be about deterrence.

The death penalty doesn't work as a deterrent.

Also, instead of citing a bunch of sources and quoting multiple people in here, I'd suggest people interested to read this. It should answer most of your questions.
Deified Data
(02-22-2012, 12:52 AM)
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Originally Posted by vitaminwateryum

Yes. Also, keeping prisoners around for life is much cheaper than killing them.

God help my soul if I'm ever forced to use lethal retaliation in an act of self-defense, then. I respect your position, though I greatly disagree with it.

Killing vs. keeping, the cost is in the paperwork. Either option could be made more or less expensive seemingly on a whim.
LordCanti
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(02-22-2012, 12:56 AM)
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Originally Posted by Deified Data


Killing vs. keeping, the cost is in the paperwork. Either option could be made more or less expensive seemingly on a whim.

We could streamline the death row process, but I'm not sure that would be in anyone's best interest. It's a good thing that people are allowed to appeal pretty extensively before being executed. Yeah it may cost more, but I personally think it's worth it.
Trent Strong
Has a $20,000 pair of lederhosen he won in a game of Parcheesi.
(02-22-2012, 12:57 AM)
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Originally Posted by Cereal KiIIer

Since when is the US penal system about rehabilitation? It's about punishment.

Originally Posted by Obsessed

How well does deterrence work? Was draconian law successful?

There are a lot of countries with harsh punishments and very low crime rates. Also a lot of US states have greatly reduced crime with stricter laws and harsher sentencing.


Originally Posted by vitaminwateryum

The death penalty doesn't work as a deterrent.

Also, instead of citing a bunch of sources and quoting multiple people in here, I'd suggest people interested to read this. It should answer most of your questions.

I wasn't talking about the death penalty, but other kinds of harsh punishments. Also, I don't trust the ACLU to answer my questions about anything. The ACLU is borerline psychotic.
squidyj
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(02-22-2012, 12:57 AM)
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Originally Posted by Trent Strong

Our criminal justice system shouldn't just be about rehabilitation (most of the time rehabilitation doesn't work), it should mostly be about deterrence.

Most of the time rehabilitation doesn't work.... i think you're going to have to demonstrate that to me friend.

Oh by the way, most of the time punishment as a form of deterrent doesn't work.


Originally Posted by Trent Strong

There are a lot of countries with harsh punishments and very low crime rates. Also a lot of US states have greatly reduced crime with stricter laws and harsher sentencing.

shockingly high level anecdote there. No indication of any sort of causal link.
JGS
Banned
(02-22-2012, 12:59 AM)
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Originally Posted by SapientWolf

People lose their sanity in solitary.

Semi- solitary.

have pods of 4 or 5 prisoners (No more than 10). There should never be dozens of them together. That's not helping morale either.

Originally Posted by Obsessed

How well does deterrence work? Was draconian law successful?

It works well but isn't fair which is why it works well.
Deified Data
(02-22-2012, 01:02 AM)
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Originally Posted by squidyj

Most of the time rehabilitation doesn't work.... i think you're going to have to demonstrate that to me friend.

Oh by the way, most of the time punishment as a form of deterrent doesn't work.




shockingly high level anecdote there. No indication of any sort of causal link.

...and why should it?

A man pondering whether he should hold up a liquor store or not. He's nervous - what if he gets life in prison? - but then he remembers the punishment is 20 years, not life. "Oh, I guess that's okay, then!" Crime is very rarely committed with the assumption that you'll get caught, and rarely in a state of mind where one is fully cognizant of the consequences.
hey_it's_that_dog
benevolent sexism
(02-22-2012, 01:03 AM)
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Originally Posted by squidyj

Most of the time rehabilitation doesn't work.... i think you're going to have to demonstrate that to me friend.

Oh by the way, most of the time punishment as a form of deterrent doesn't work.




shockingly high level anecdote there. No indication of any sort of causal link.

It's extraordinarily difficult to establish a causal link between punishment and deterrence or rehabilitation, in any case.

Also relevant to the debate about evidence, a classic psychology study comes to mind, in which people were highly critical of studies that supported their non-preferred conclusion, but very accepting of studies that supported their position, even though the studies had identical methodology.

Because the evidence for a causal link is always imperfect, there's lots of wiggle room for "biased assimilation" of evidence to occur.
Johann
Member
(02-22-2012, 01:05 AM)
The US justice system is extremely flawed. Every year, evidence is found that exonerates people serving life sentences or on death row. Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld (two of OJ Simpson's lawyers) founded the Innocence Project in order to use advances in DNA evidence to free imprisoned men. This project has freed hundreds of men who were imprisoned due to false accusations or lacking the money to mount an effective defense. This project has freed men who were days away from their execution date.

A life sentence, with or without parole, allows wrongfully convicted men to go free. I don't think we've found a way to brings people back from the dead.
usea
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(02-22-2012, 01:05 AM)
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The reality of the situation is that prison is not rehabilitation, and sentences aren't designed on the premise that it is. If prison was rehabilitation, is the logic that longer sentences = more rehabilitation? Because the crime was more severe?

Sentences are designed in the US almost entirely based on a sort of bloodlust/money reasoning. The masses accept "more prison time = less crime" easily, and there's a massive for-profit industry (with a powerful lobby) that thrives on longer sentences. Even on gaf, you see people outraged that a person who committed X crime only got Y months in prison. Why? Because they don't think very hard about the subject.

The US has more people in prison than any other country in the world, period. I don't mean per-capita either. [revised, removed "combined." Study is here: pew study]

Sorry I rambled a bit. My point is, trying to find some kind of reasoning behind sentencing other than a combination of the private prison industry, money, and ignorant views that longer sentences = better is a futile effort.
Last edited by usea; 02-22-2012 at 01:11 AM.
JGS
Banned
(02-22-2012, 01:06 AM)
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It is contemplated on the risk & reward. The only thing that messes up that mentality is drugs &/or emotion. Otherwise, criminals are usually smart enough to know they aren't going to get caught that particular time.

Statistically, it's in their favor since, at any one time, most people get away with a non-murderous crime.
CornBurrito
Member
(02-22-2012, 01:06 AM)

Originally Posted by Trent Strong

There are a lot of countries with harsh punishments and very low crime rates. Also a lot of US states have greatly reduced crime with stricter laws and harsher sentencing.

Link to the data so I don't have to do work?
Big-E
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(02-22-2012, 01:07 AM)
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It is an interesting question as full on life imprisonment with no chance of parole is fundamentally the same as execution as you are removing that person from society until the end. One it is done through confinement, the other through death. My opinion is that in general, small offenses are treated too harshly and severe offenses not strong enough. I really do believe that overtly heinous crimes need to be dealt with differently by bringing on the death penalty only for the super heinous. Ultimately, prison should be about rehabilitation but there are some that have hurt society so much that giving them the chance to rehabilitate is an insult to those that are still living.
ReConstructDead
Junior Member
(02-22-2012, 01:08 AM)
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The American justice system scares me :(
Trent Strong
Has a $20,000 pair of lederhosen he won in a game of Parcheesi.
(02-22-2012, 01:11 AM)
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Originally Posted by squidyj

Most of the time rehabilitation doesn't work.... i think you're going to have to demonstrate that to me friend.

Oh by the way, most of the time punishment as a form of deterrent doesn't work.




shockingly high level anecdote there. No indication of any sort of causal link.

But punishment as a form of deterrence does work. Again, that's why all these countries with harsh punishments have lower crime rates, and that's why when states start introducing harsher punishments, crime rates in those states go down. Harsher punishments is part of the reason for the big decrease in crime rates since the seventies. (Although there are other reasons for this decrease, such as legalizing abortion). And the evidence I'm talking about is not acedotal. At worst, the evidence I'm talking about just proves that there is a correlation between harsh punishment and crime rates, and, of course, correlation doesn't prove causation.
Snowman Prophet of Doom
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(02-22-2012, 01:11 AM)
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Originally Posted by Raist

How is murder a better option?

Every decently civilized country has given up death penalty. There is probably a good reason for that, don't you think?

"Everybody's doing it!"

I think that there's a place for the death penalty in cases where there really is no doubt (think Bundy, the Unabomber, those types), but the curve for proving it (and the punishment for tampering in cases where it's a possibility) needs to be steep.
JGS
Banned
(02-22-2012, 01:13 AM)
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Originally Posted by ReConstructDead

The American justice system scares me :(

It shouldn't unless you're a criminal or hang around them. That drops imprisonment risk down dramatically.
Pinzer
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(02-22-2012, 01:13 AM)
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Putting someone to death is more expensive than life in prison. Moreover if you put someone to death and find out they are innocent later then you can't free them for their remaining years. It does not deter crime either.

There is no legitimate reason to support the death penalty.
usea
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(02-22-2012, 01:13 AM)
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Originally Posted by Trent Strong

But punishment as a form of deterrence does work. Again, that's why all these countries with harsh punishments have lower crime rates, and that's why when states start introducing harsher punishments, crime rates in those states go down. Harsher punishments is part of the reason for the big decrease in crime rates since the seventies. (Although there are other reasons for this decrease, such as legalizing abortion). And the evidence I'm talking about is not acedotal. At worst, the evidence I'm talking about just proves that there is a correlation between harsh punishment and crime rates, and, of course, correlation doesn't prove causation.

Can you please provide some sort of evidence? This runs contrary to everything I've read.
SapientWolf
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(02-22-2012, 01:14 AM)
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Originally Posted by Big-E

It is an interesting question as full on life imprisonment with no chance of parole is fundamentally the same as execution as you are removing that person from society until the end. One it is done through confinement, the other through death. My opinion is that in general, small offenses are treated too harshly and severe offenses not strong enough. I really do believe that overtly heinous crimes need to be dealt with differently by bringing on the death penalty only for the super heinous. Ultimately, prison should be about rehabilitation but there are some that have hurt society so much that giving them the chance to rehabilitate is an insult to those that are still living.

Prison is also part of society. Some might argue that it's the most informative part.
Big-E
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(02-22-2012, 01:14 AM)
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Originally Posted by Snowman Prophet of Doom

"Everybody's doing it!"

I think that there's a place for the death penalty in cases where there really is no doubt (think Bundy, the Unabomber, those types), but the curve for proving it (and the punishment for tampering in cases where it's a possibility) needs to be steep.

I am of this opinion as well.


Originally Posted by Pinzer

Putting someone to death is more expensive than life in prison. Moreover if you put someone to death and find out they are innocent later then you can't free them for their remaining years. It does not deter crime either.

There is no legitimate reason to support the death penalty.

In the current form in the US it is more expensive but it does not have to be the case.
Trent Strong
Has a $20,000 pair of lederhosen he won in a game of Parcheesi.
(02-22-2012, 01:15 AM)
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Originally Posted by Obsessed

Link to the data so I don't have to do work?

I'm getting most of what I'm talking about from the book Freakonomics. If I had the book with me, I could look up the studies the book cites as evidence. But I don't have it with me unfortuately.
Snowman Prophet of Doom
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(02-22-2012, 01:15 AM)
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Originally Posted by Pinzer

Putting someone to death is more expensive than life in prison. Moreover if you put someone to death and find out they are innocent later then you can't free them for their remaining years. It does not deter crime either.

There is no legitimate reason to support the death penalty.

How about... if you think that somebody is undeniably guilty of murder, then they forfeit the right to life? (Undeniably is the key word in the previous sentence.)

While I think that human life is extremely important, it doesn't strike me as something so sacrosanct that we as a society have no right to decide through the arms of the justice system that somebody is no longer deserving of it.

Edit: also, a writer friend of mine who was involved in NYC gangs in the late 70's/early 80's contends that the "death penalty doesn't deter murder" meme is only true for unorganized crime; he recounts in his memoir how the various gangs would pretty much stay out of New Jersey because they had the death penalty, whereas NY didn't at the time.
Last edited by Snowman Prophet of Doom; 02-22-2012 at 01:17 AM.
Pinzer
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(02-22-2012, 01:19 AM)
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In terms of cost, in North Carolina the average capital trial averages at $57,000 while noncapitals are $17,000. Including every expense, a cpital prosecution usually costs $216,000 more than a non-capital life sentence. Texas spends $2.3 million on each capital case. Many small counties go bankrupt due to capital cases or have to cut their police forces to remain afloat.
Snowman Prophet of Doom
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(02-22-2012, 01:22 AM)
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Originally Posted by Pinzer

In terms of cost, in North Carolina the average capital trial averages at $57,000 while noncapitals are $17,000. Including every expense, a cpital prosecution usually costs $216,000 more than a non-capital life sentence. Texas spends $2.3 million on each capital case. Many small counties go bankrupt due to capital cases or have to cut their police forces to remain afloat.

You're assuming that the motivation for capital punishment is economic, when in fact a person might actually just think that it's the just course of action in some cases.
JGS
Banned
(02-22-2012, 01:25 AM)
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Originally Posted by Pinzer

Putting someone to death is more expensive than life in prison. Moreover if you put someone to death and find out they are innocent later then you can't free them for their remaining years. It does not deter crime either.

There is no legitimate reason to support the death penalty.

Again, costs do not matter. It is very easy to make the death penalty cheap. besides, the cost should not have anything to do with the justice of it and killing a murderer is very easy to justify...if you're sure.

Death penalty does not deter crime because it's not universal even in the states that it's practiced. Also, it's error prone which is why it isn't fair.

Originally Posted by Valnen

The justice system is broken because your fate is decided by humans who may or may not be stupid. Until that problem is fixed, the death penalty should really only be used in cases where 100% proof of a crime exists (like say, the crime gets caught on video tape and the person committing the crime in said video can be identified with 100% accuracy).

At that point, it's too minuscule to even bother keeping.

Death Penalty could be reserved for high treason though since there should be ample evidence of it and it's tantamount to war. Everyone knows killing during wartime is fair game.
Last edited by JGS; 02-22-2012 at 01:29 AM.
Valnen
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(02-22-2012, 01:25 AM)
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The only issue with the death penalty is with innocent people being put to death. If there was an easy way to tell if someone was guilty with 100% certainty every time, there would be no problems with the death penalty.

The justice system is broken because your fate is decided by humans who may or may not be stupid. Until that problem is fixed, the death penalty should really only be used in cases where 100% proof of a crime exists (like say, the crime gets caught on video tape and the person committing the crime in said video can be identified with 100% accuracy).
Pinzer
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(02-22-2012, 01:29 AM)
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Originally Posted by Snowman Prophet of Doom

You're assuming that the motivation for capital punishment is economic, when in fact a person might actually just think that it's the just course of action in some cases.

At least 268 people have been exonerated by DNA testing, 17 of which were on death row. Even if you think that killing a murderer is just, it is very much possible that we would be killing some innocent people along the way, which is far worse.

Do not trust that our justice system is perfect. Racial minorities and people with mental disabilities are persecuted by the death penalty also.
Snowman Prophet of Doom
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(02-22-2012, 01:32 AM)
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Originally Posted by Pinzer

At least 268 people have been exonerated by DNA testing, 17 of which were on death row. Even if you think that killing a murderer is just, it is very much possible that we would be killing some innocent people along the way, which is far worse.

Do not trust that our justice system is perfect. Racial minorities and people with mental disabilities are persecuted by the death penalty also.

The very rise of DNA testing is why I think capital punishment is more appropriate than ever, in cases where the evidence against the plaintiff is undeniable (I'm talking DNA, eyewitnesses, the whole shebang). As I said, I have no problem saying that the state should have the right to put the Ted Bundys and Unabombers of the world to death.

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