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IMJack
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(I can't decide whether this belongs in P&R or Polls. I'll stick it here unless one of the mods decides to move it.)

Yee-haw! Texas, my new adopted land, is gearing up for the biggest execution spree in five years. Over the next 31 days, the state of Texas is going to put nine men to death for their various acts of muder and mayhem. In this thread we're gonna talk about the death penalty in general, and we're also going to talk about each of the nine folks whom the Lone Star State think deserve a quick, expensive death.

The following are pasted verbatim from the CNN.com article. Please use the boldfaced names when talking about specific cons.

Rodolfo Hernandez, 52, makes his second trip to the death house Tuesday. He was spared March 21 moments before he was to have been executed for his role in the 1985 robbery and fatal shooting of an undocumented immigrant in Comal County. The reprieve came from Gov. Rick Perry after Hernandez told San Antonio police earlier that week he had information about other killings in his native city. Hernandez, 52, lost a leg to diabetes and prison officials have said a recurring infection has prevented him from getting his wish: an artificial leg so he can walk to the death chamber.

Stanley Baker, 35, born in Paris, France, faces injection May 30 for the September 1994 robbery and shooting death of a clerk at a College Station adult video store.

Curtis Moore, 34, faces death Wednesday for the November 1995 abduction and shooting deaths of three people in two separate killing sprees. In one of the cases, a shooting victim who had been doused with gasoline and set afire survived to testify against his attacker.

Davis, 33, is set to die May 7 for the fatal stabbing of a mentally retarded man he and his girlfriend picked up at a Houston bar in August 1991. The victim told Davis he would provide gas money for a trip home. When he said later he had no money, he was stabbed 11 times and had a swastika carved into his abdomen.

Reginald Reeves, 28, faces a May 9 execution date for the September 1993 rape-strangulation of a 14-year-old girl who had run away from a group home in Paris, Texas. Her body was found at a vacant house. Reeves was 19 at the time.

Henry Dunn, 27, has a May 14 death date for the abduction and fatal shooting in November 1993 of a Tyler man. Dunn also was 19 at the time of the slaying. Prosecutors said he justified the murder because the victim was gay.

Ronford Styron, 32, faces execution May 16 for the beating death of his 11-month-old son in October 1993. He told police he did not believe the child was his own offspring and took out his anger on the infant.

Johnny Martinez, 29, has a May 22 execution date for the July 1993 fatal stabbing of a Corpus Christi convenience store clerk during a robbery.

Napoleon Beazley, 25, set to die May 28 for the 1994 shooting death of a Tyler businessman during a carjacking outside the victim's home. Beazley was 17 when he killed 63-year-old John Luttig, father of a federal appeals court judge in Virginia. Death penalty opponents worldwide have rallied behind Beazley, contending it would be cruel to execute him because he was a child when the crime occurred.

So the topic is: Are each/Is any of these nine men getting what they deserve?

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Old Post 05-01-02 02:59 #
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Zaldron
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I live in a country where murderers spend only 5 minutes in jail before comiting another crime. They kill kids, cops, old people and pregnant womans on a daily basis. Often they just do it to steal $20 or even less. Sometimes they just don't even steal anything.

Fry them. Mantaining them for 10 or so years in a jail until they either escape or die raped doesn't really seem to work for anything at all.

I've been lucky so far, but the crime rate here has gone beyond control in the last years. We sure could use death penalty here.

One could say that's inmature and childish, but crimes are all about our feelings. Everyday we see news saying X killed Y people and we go like "That sucks" and that's it. That level of I-don't-careness (?) doesn't really seems to make the observer a valid individual to judge these things.

If they kill someone you care/love, you go nuts. If they get only 5, 12 or 20 years that means nothing to you. Nothing at all. I don't think it satisfies the victims.

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Old Post 05-01-02 06:07 #
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fodders
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I don't advocate the death penalty in every case but the ones you highlight seem fair, unlike the last one I heard of where George W as Governor allowed the execution of someone with the mental age of 9

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Old Post 05-01-02 12:38 #
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wasted
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I live in a country where Death penalty was a usual practice, but for this time its banned by government becouse of Europe Union. I mean Russia.

Death is simple - pain of living as non-human much more cruel. I can call that penalty Banishment: out of famylies, friends, people. Society should use their lifes.

I think that punishment should be not only death - those men should be treated for medicine researches and used as a fodder to do the dangerous works to save lifes of others...

i vote for the SUPPLICIUM CAPITALE...

Old Post 05-01-02 14:53 #
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dsm
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Well capital punishment has been banned so many places, because people find that it is no solution to increasing crime rates.

As much as I would love these worthless freaks wiped off the face of the Earth so that they don't waste the tax payers money and kill more innocents, I have to say that a punishment isn't just to satisfy the victims. it's also to lower the crime rate. Does capital punishment really lower the crime rate (that was a hidden request to fodders to conjure up a web page with some figures or other info)?
I've been told that death penalty doesn't really lower the crime rate, though I don't know the actual facts.
People say so many things, so it could easily be wrong - I'll just wait and see if someone comes up with facts backing that statement up.

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Old Post 05-01-02 15:12 #
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fodders
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Yeh, if the "Governments" really felt it deterred further crimes, death penalties should be performed in public, not hidden away like an act of shame.
The dozen states that have chosen not to enact the death penalty since the Supreme Court ruled in 1976 that it was constitutionally permissible have not had higher homicide rates than states with the death penalty, government statistics and a new survey by The New York Times show.most issues are covered here
I think I am right in saying that in some cases the death penalty is still in force in England although most people think it was abolished

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You are my opponent, but not my enemy, for your resistance gives me strength. Your will gives me courage. Your spirit ennobles me. And, although I aim to defeat you, should I succeed, I will not humiliate you, instead I will honour you..For without you, I am a lesser man.

Old Post 05-01-02 16:57 #
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IMJack
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fodders said:
Yeh, if the "Governments" really felt it deterred further crimes, death penalties should be performed in public, not hidden away like an act of shame.
You have a point there. Modern methods of execution seem to be very shameful and secret acts, designed to quickly and clinically end the con's life while making sure nobody seems to be "guilty" of performing the execution. The lethal injection, in particular, seems to be designed to make the agents of the state feel good about themselves. IMHO, the most honest form of execution still practiced is the firing squad (even if they still try to alleviate the gunmen's guilt), and I believe Utah is the only state to still use it.

The death penalty would also probably be more deterrant if performed in public. It'll never happen, though. People would be screaming and moaning about bystanders and kids being able to see the person die. They'd holler that it would teach kids that killing is okay. It'd make the anti-Doom uproar after Columbine look like a walk in the park.

Regardless of how the death penalty occurs, it should be the state that actually does the job. We should not do as they do in the Arab world, where the victim or their family is tasked with killing the convict. (Nine this year and counting, according to FARK.com) The whole purpose of a government legal system is to take up the process of revenge and retribution in the victim's stead.

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Old Post 05-01-02 18:32 #
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fodders
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China has the most matter of fact way of performing the death sentence, head shot with a pistol, and then the next of kin get a bill for the cost of the bullet

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You are my opponent, but not my enemy, for your resistance gives me strength. Your will gives me courage. Your spirit ennobles me. And, although I aim to defeat you, should I succeed, I will not humiliate you, instead I will honour you..For without you, I am a lesser man.

Old Post 05-01-02 19:02 #
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I think it oughta be up to the family of the victim(s) whether the guy gets life in prison or the death penalty, not some judge in a stuffy courtroom.

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Old Post 05-01-02 21:57 #
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Lüt
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IMJack said:
The death penalty would also probably be more deterrant if performed in public. It'll never happen, though. People would be screaming and moaning about bystanders and kids being able to see the person die. They'd holler that it would teach kids that killing is okay. It'd make the anti-Doom uproar after Columbine look like a walk in the park.
Heh, that reminds me...

I just had to rip this track and post it here: Henry Rollins - World Peace (1.2MB, 64K MP3) <--- I have nothing to say in addition =)

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Old Post 05-01-02 22:01 #
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xooz98
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hi

about the death penalty... how is more right for the government to kill someone than for someone to kill someone? according to the aclu and amnesty international, it doesnt even reduce crime rate.

in fact, it reminds me of a certain saying...


two wrongs dont make a right



-xooz98

Old Post 05-02-02 00:49 #
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IMJack
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xooz98 said:
hi
about the death penalty... how is more right for the government to kill someone than for someone to kill someone? according to the aclu and amnesty international, it doesnt even reduce crime rate.
in fact, it reminds me of a certain saying...
two wrongs dont make a right
-xooz98

So what's life like in a black and white world? I bet it's a whole lot simpler than it is here on Earth.

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Old Post 05-02-02 02:26 #
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nxn
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Archvile64 said:
I think it oughta be up to the family of the victim(s) whether the guy gets life in prison or the death penalty, not some judge in a stuffy courtroom.

could you ask for a more biased sentance than that? The person making the decision shouldn't be related in any way to the case or the people involved in the case. Regardless if it's a choice of life in prison or death, it still shouldn't be decided by anyone related in any way to the case. That's why lady justice has a blindfold over her eyes.

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Last edited by nxn on 05-02-02 at 02:54

Old Post 05-02-02 02:37 #
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xooz98
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uh

a black and white world? i know its not that simple, but my point is: why should i not be able to kill somebody while the government is able to. it makes no sense to me. i will quote from the aclu's Case Against the Death Penalty.(http://www.aclu.org/library/case_against_death.html)

Capital punishment is cruel and unusual. It is cruel because it is a relic of the earliest days of penology, when slavery, branding, and other corporal punishments were commonplace. Like those barbaric practices, executions have no place in a civilized society. It is unusual because only the United States of all the western industrialized nations engages in this punishment.

Opposing the death penalty does not mean sympathy with convicted murderers. On the contrary, murder demonstrates a lack of respect for human life. For this very reason, murder is abhorrent, and a policy of state-authorized killings is immoral. It epitomizes the tragic inefficacy and brutality of violence, rather than reason, as the solution to difficult social problems.

Capital punishment denies due process of law. Its imposition is often arbitrary, and always irrevocable – forever depriving an individual of the opportunity to benefit from new evidence or new laws that might warrant the reversal of a conviction, or the setting aside of a death sentence.

The death penalty violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection. It is applied randomly – and discriminatorily. It is imposed disproportionately upon those whose victims are white, offenders who are people of color, and on those who are poor and uneducated.

Changes in death sentencing have proved to be largely cosmetic. The defects in death-penalty laws, conceded by the Supreme Court in the early 1970s, have not been appreciably altered by the shift from unrestrained discretion to "guided discretion." Such changes in death sentencing merely mask the impermissible randomness of a process that results in an execution.

The death penalty is not a viable form of crime control. When police chiefs were asked to rank the factors that, in their judgement, reduce the rate of violent crime, they mentioned curbing drug use and putting more officers on the street, longer sentences and gun control. They ranked the death penalty as least effective*. Politicians who preach the desirability of executions as a method of crime control deceive the public and mask their own failure to identify and confront the true causes of crime.

Capital punishment wastes resources. It squanders the time and energy of courts, prosecuting attorneys, defense counsel, juries, and courtroom and correctional personnel. It unduly burdens the criminal justice system, and it is thus counterproductive as an instrument for society's control of violent crime.

A society that respects life does not deliberately kill human beings. An execution is a violent public spectacle of official homicide, and one that endorses killing to solve social problems – the worst possible example to set for the citizenry. Governments worldwide have often attempted to justify their lethal fury by extolling the purported benefits that such killing would bring to the rest of society. The benefits of capital punishment are illusory, but the bloodshed and the resulting destruction of community decency are real.



read the article and tell me what you think.
you know, i expected most of you to be against the death penalty... wonder why


thanks,
xooz98

Old Post 05-02-02 03:07 #
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fodders
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I think the way the world is/has been for the last year, a lot of people are jaded and think "Well if he was dead, he couldn't repeat that", when they see so many people guilty of murder that have done it before

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You are my opponent, but not my enemy, for your resistance gives me strength. Your will gives me courage. Your spirit ennobles me. And, although I aim to defeat you, should I succeed, I will not humiliate you, instead I will honour you..For without you, I am a lesser man.

Old Post 05-02-02 03:33 #
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Lüt
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xooz98 said:
uh

a black and white world? i know its not that simple, but my point is: why should i not be able to kill somebody while the government is able to. it makes no sense to me.

Because that's what people decided when they formed the government.

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Old Post 05-02-02 04:00 #
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IMJack
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Nice article. Good read. Let's break it down by the bullet points.

Capital punishment is cruel and unusual.

Here's a fun fact: Up until the 1960s, and the American civil rights movement, prisoners were legally defined as "slaves of the state". It's an apt description: these people were proved to have done wrong to the state and its people, and are forced into confinement and servitude to pay for their wrongdoings. The state's going to try to rehabilitate most of its prisoners and return them to society. Unfortunately, it's not always possible.

Opposing the death penalty does not mean sympathy with convicted murderers. On the contrary, murder demonstrates a lack of respect for human life...

Here's another fun fact: The vast majority of murders are emotional crimes, commited by someone on somebody close to them due to some familiar reason. However, the nine fine human beings noted above not only killed their victims (random people in eight of the nine cases), but killed either in the course of another crime (Hernandez, Baker, Dunn, Martinez, and Beazley), or killed multiple times (Hernandez and Moore), or killed in a truely cruel and bizarre fasion (Moore, Davis, and especially Styron).

Capital punishment denies due process of law.

They were properly arrested. They were tried. They were given every opportunity to defend themselves during the trial. They were convicted. They were sentenced. They were given every opportunity to defend themselves during the sentencing. They were given the death penalty by a dozen of their peers. If the due process of law had been violated at any point, they would have walked free. That's the way the adversarial system of justice used in the United States works. And if they are exonorated after their execution, realize that no system is absolutely airtight and they just happened to roll the triple zero on the 3d10. Sometimes, bad things happen to good people.

The death penalty violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection.

See above. Also realize the disproportional representation of minorities is a symptom of a greater social issue and not a knock specifically against the death penalty. And it's not the poor's fault if their court-appointed defense attorney is fresh out of law school while the rich can afford Johnny Cochran to protect them from justice.

Changes in death sentencing have proved to be largely cosmetic.

Of course. The death penalty is a very taboo subject in the states. Lawmakers are afraid to touch it because people are apt to scream "ethics" and "morals" and other such things. Same way with drugs, prostitution, and drugs. I rather like the British take on this sort of thing, where they do away with the arbitrary moral aspect and focus on what will protect the greater society whilst satisfying and helping those who are wont to do illegal things anyway. But I'm on a tangent.

The death penalty is not a viable form of crime control.

Compared to putting cops on the street, no. That's because cops are far more visible than the death chamber ever will be. Note that, if there are more cops on the street, there will be more arrests: it's a direct, algebraic relationship between cops and arrests. "Cutting down on drug use" is more a goal for police, while "putting more cops on the street" is an immediate action. Also note that surveys can be terribly biased, as I suspect the one the ACLU gave the chiefs of police was. Research design, the creation of a reasonable and accurate study, is its own major topic, and a subject I'd like to study while I'm in college.

Capital punishment wastes resources.

Of course. Protecting the rights of the accused, and affording them their due process of law, is a time- and money-consuming proposition. The two arguements are directly related, and the main way to try to improve one would be to make the other one worse.

A society that respects life does not deliberately kill human beings.

I want you to do something for me. Take a good look around you. Read a newspaper, flip through a couple television channels, browse a few internet news sites. Then tell me, with a straight face, that our modern society is one that respects life.

Maybe if we changed society, and its priorities and values, and weren't any sort of hypocrite about them, we could have a better world. Maybe people like the nine gentlemen listed above wouldn't need to, or wouldn't want, to, commit their crimes, or would feel bad enough about them that the death penalty would not be necessary. But the way things are in the world right now, there are times when drastic measures would be appropriate or could not be avoided. And moralizing about it doesn't help anybody.

So many theories.
So many prophesies.
What we need now is a change of ideas.

BTW, xooz, thank you for helping me study for my Comparitive Criminal Justice final exam. A good, honest debate helps get the blood flowing through my brain. Cheers.

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Old Post 05-02-02 04:19 #
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fodders
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Let's boil this down to one fact, capital punishment works, ok , there are States without capital punishment that have lower crime rates, murder rates or rape rates (although I do think rape should be reduced to assault with a friendly weapon), but let's face facts, capital punishment makes people think and talk about the pro's and con's that means it's doing something, it places it squarely in the face of the public, and gets it talked about, and perhaps makes one or two people think first, it is never going to stop crimes of passion, those murders that just happen because one person is so fired up he ain't thinking, if you was actually stood there with a gun, he would still do it, and I think those should be looked at differently, but any murder that has the slightest hint that it could have been avoided, burn the fucker...oh, unless it's me :)

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You are my opponent, but not my enemy, for your resistance gives me strength. Your will gives me courage. Your spirit ennobles me. And, although I aim to defeat you, should I succeed, I will not humiliate you, instead I will honour you..For without you, I am a lesser man.

Old Post 05-02-02 04:41 #
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I don't believe in the death penalty because of the simple fact that not all prisoners on death row are guilty. There was a case just a few years ago where a man was executed then discovered to be innocent 6 months later. Then again it was a black guy so the media didn't care.

An innocent man is MURDERED, but who goes to gets punished for it? No one.

I condone it only if it's the victims direct blood relative who personally kills the person convicted. If later the person turns out to be innocent, the executor is then executed. Fair is fair. What, do they just keep killing people till they find the right guy?

Look at the case of Timothy McVeigh, I can't believe he was executed. How retarded. The guy kept telling people he WANTED to be executed so he would become a martyr. So in the end he got EVERYTHING he wanted. If america had really wanted to punish him they would have kept him alive as long as possible and broken his spirit.

Then again the prison system in both the US and Canada is so screwed up. They've just become big country clubs / criminal universities.

Personally instead of execution or prison, I think we should paralyse people who are undoubtedly guilty. Rape someone? spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair. Kill someone, get paralysed from the neck down. it would punish and nuetralize the threat of repeat offense at the same time. Not to mention THAT would be a hell of a deterrent.

IMHO

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Old Post 05-02-02 05:41 #
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IMJack
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So there was one guy executed who they later found was innocent. Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. It's a fact of reality. No system can be perfect. And the system did take steps to rectify things with the man's family.

The whole point of a governmental justice system is to make personal vendettas into state vendettas. The point is the government is the only party that has the right to kill anybody, and they have to go through procedures to justify that killing. If you're gonna advocate personal revenge instead of a proper justice procedure, we might as well abandon democracy and go back to feudalism.

But then there are some people for whom death is too kind, and who would be candidates for a cold, clinical immortality.

But, for the reasonable, thinking humans in this country, the death penalty is a very effective deterrant. Anybody with a brain in their head and a soul in their corpse is going to think twice before they commit a capital crime.

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Old Post 05-02-02 06:08 #
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fodders
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When a guy is innocent and executed, his life suddenly becomes sacrosanct, a value way above what it was 2 mins afore, suddenly it's worth more than the 1,000s killed on the roads, in the air, that die in hospitals, why?

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Old Post 05-02-02 06:24 #
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Whatever happened to exhiles and penal colonies?

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Old Post 05-02-02 07:45 #
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dsm
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Thinking that we live in a "civilized society" is kinda naive - just look at all the crimes comitted and all the wars fought.
A war is the closest thing you can ever get to a "Hell on Earth" - humans become the wild animals they originally were, deeds that are abhorred in a society at peace become legal (murdering).
And what's worse: Too many soldiers become physically fucked up throughout the course of a war - this is where they break conventions and attack innocent civilians.

Humans are nothing more than animals - an advanced animal perhaps, but an animal nonetheless. And it's a known fact that animals KILL each other to survive. In nature, it's a rule of thumb that "only the strongest survive". Most human societies try to bend this rule, but that's it, they only bend the rule so that others die instead - and sometimes the weak perish all the same.

Killing criminals who DESERVE to die is far better than letting them live at the risk of having them kill more innocents. Letting them live would be like participating in comitting murder on those innocents. It's inevitable that people die, better make sure the right people die instead of those who don't deserve it.
And I don't give a livin' fuck about moral. Moral was invented by humans and has turned out to be a tool to twist the reality.

Life isn't as simple as just saying: It's immoral, thus we can't do it.
Wake up! Immoral things happen everyfuckingday.

There is *one* of valid argument though: Capital punishment doesn't seem to reduce the crime rate - I dunno why.

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Old Post 05-02-02 16:53 #
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There is *one* of valid argument though: Capital punishment doesn't seem to reduce the crime rate - I dunno why.
This is a mistake a lot of people make: the fact is, there is no way to directly link the crime rate to the practice of the death penalty. There are only a very few crimes the U.S. will execute people for, and those crimes make up a very small part of the felonious crime committed. Linking a statistical tangible (the base, felonious, violent, or even capital crime rate) to an intangible (the effects of the death penalty) is a research boo-boo that sounds really good when you're delivering a speech, but doesn't hold up under scrutiny.

Do you want to know if the death penalty is a deterrant? Ask yourself if you want to do something that the government would want to fry you for.

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Old Post 05-02-02 18:16 #
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So its like government measures to keep the system of control. Politic of the death penalty is simple then - what fears the governers, fears the others, and then comes grate salvation from the bloodlusting beast. Well it might be so...

As for me, i think that making death penalty a usual practice will be a bad thing to do. There will be no fear of death and pain, the same way as it was in medieval times: there were so many tourtures for crimes (cutting out limbs, frying and etc.), but people was not afraid to do crimes. Position of the 'slave of the state' should be the main punishment and the measure to humiliate the criminal - just waste their lifes.

Old Post 05-02-02 19:27 #
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dsm
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IMJack said:

Do you want to know if the death penalty is a deterrant? Ask yourself if you want to do something that the government would want to fry you for.


Sure, if I'm crazy enough. Luckily, I ain't.
It appears to me that most people who commit such crimes are already pretty fucked up.

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Old Post 05-02-02 21:05 #
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If the penalty was a real detterent why are there still so many murders committed every DAY? I just think it's funny that so many very religeous people are in favor of execution. The first fucking rule in their bible is

THOU SHALT NOT KILL.

I'm not sure how they think they can get around that one. It's pretty clear. :-)

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Old Post 05-02-02 22:13 #
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Interpretation of: “Thou shalt not kill.” Ex. 20.13.

Biblical presentations - David with premeditation killed Goliath. Israelites upon entering the promised land, at instructions from God (with foreknowledge/premeditation) were to kill every man, woman, and child.

Kill, in the context of the commandment, would refer to the premeditated taking of the life of one or more innocent persons. Innocent in the context of the commandment “thou shalt not kill” would refer to someone not guilty of a Biblical capital crime. The concept of capital crime could reasonably be extended to cover certain criminal activities which commonly result in the unwarranted premature deaths of otherwise innocent persons such as drug lords and crime bosses. In common parlance it is understood that guilty could refer to everyone --in the sense that all have sinned-- but under the commandment it is limited to circumstances involving innocent deaths and/or, as can be extended in grave circumstances, to defense of livelihood or to major properties.

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Old Post 05-02-02 22:43 #
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IMJack
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Not to split hairs, but it's the fifth fucking rule in their bible. And it didn't stop people from killing five thousand years ago; it's not gonna stop people now.

Once again, the vast majority of murders commited in the world are crimes of familiarity or passion. Such cases are usually pretty open-and-shut, and they're never gonna execute someone for these crimes (outside of Utah, which has its own bizarre cultural standard). The nine folks dying in Texas this month truly earned their sentences.

In theory, the government that the people choose to represent and rule them is the only party authorized to kill people. The United States government is required to justify any act of killing or violence performed by its agents, including soldiers, police, or whatever. If, at any time, it can be proven the government was wrong in its acts of authority or aggression, there are mechanisms in place for the government to remand itself and make up for its mistake. In the end, the system works. And whether or not it works is the only good way to judge a system of government.

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Old Post 05-02-02 22:53 #
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Danarchy
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Rellik said:
I just think it's funny that so many very religeous people are in favor of execution. The first fucking rule in their bible is

THOU SHALT NOT KILL.


The bible says a lot of things. It also talks about how the followers of 'God' slaughtered thousands of innocents, and it pretty much says it was a good thing.

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Old Post 05-03-02 00:09 #
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