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Old 02-23-2004, 08:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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So would you pay?

Quote:
Poll: Many Americans Support TV Executions
21 Percent Would Pay To Watch Bin Laden Put To Death

POSTED: 4:19 pm EST February 23, 2004
NEW YORK -- Two-thirds of Americans polled last month said they support the idea of televising executions -- and 21 percent said they'd pay to watch Osama bin Laden put to death.

Eleven percent said they would pay to see Saddam Hussein executed.

The opinions on executions came in a poll taken by Harris Interactive for the Trio cable channel.

Even though the poll found support for the idea, 54 percent said they wouldn't watch an execution on television.

Harris Interactive interviewed 1,017 Americans aged 18 or older at random Jan. 24-26. The margin of error for the sample is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
The public spectacle of the execution is as old as government. I have a hard time thinking of a culture that didn't have public displays of the death penalty. It was both a warning and entertainment.

Now lets get back to today in the US. Does the death penalty lose its impact because it is so 'secret'? Its done in about the same fashion as one would put their dog to sleep (in most states) and is rarely even mentioned unless some group is having some vigil outside and its a slow news day.

But lets go one step more. Because the death penalty is so sanitized and hidden now, could that be a factor in its continued approval in the US? A majority of the US population favors the death penalty being an option. Could perhaps showing executions change minds?
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Old 02-23-2004, 08:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Staple their balls to the wall and make them suffer every day of their natural life, people like OBl and Saddam are not worthy of death.
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Old 02-23-2004, 09:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would personally be opposed to the public viewing of executions, and I would not personally watch one, any one, if it were televised. However, Ustwo has an interesting point about how easy it is to approve of the death penalty when we have sanitized and simplified it so much. I don't feel the death penalty is an effective deterrent (there are statistics that show that it is and that it isn't ) and I think that with the ever increasing discoveries of people who are innocent and sitting on death row, we need to be very careful about using it.

Are there any countries that do televise executions?
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Old 02-23-2004, 10:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I rubberneck as much as the next guy when I see an accident, but I would never pay to see someone die.
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Old 02-23-2004, 10:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with splck, how can anyone pay money to see someone die. The problem with these polls is that people are all talk. I would be extremely suprised if more than 1% of the population of TV owning Americans actually paid to watch anyone die. Nobody can get satisfaction out of the death of another human being no matter how much they might want it. The families of the people he killed would get satisfaction knowing that he is dead and will not cause any more pain to anyone, but i doubt they would get actual satisfaction from watching him die.
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Old 02-23-2004, 10:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Tough call. I'd be interested to see the statistics related to whether publicizing execution is a deterrence (if such statistics exist). I'd tend to say no (its not a deterrent), because what criminal ever thinks he's going to get caught? Whether they showed it or not, I still think thered be the same amount of crime. In this day and age of TV, if executions were broadcast, for example, it would be for 'entertainment purposes' and not a deterrent.

Yet I wonder if Id feel any type of satisfaction watching Hussein being executed. Dont know.

Looking forward to reading what others think...
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Old 02-23-2004, 10:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Here's my generic death penalty rhetoric:

The state should have the power to kill people who commit serious crimes. However, the system by which that power is administered should be made as fair as is possible. It must be impossible for an innocent man to slip through the system and wind up with a needle and a last meal, otherwise we must abstain from executions and use life imprisonment.

Would I pay to see an execution, or watch it if it was televised? Probably not. Even if it was bin Laden? Nope.

On the issue of private vs. public executions in general, and your theory that the sterilization of the process has in a way preserved the practice, it's hard to say. Clearly we now have the expectation that an execution will be the capstone in a long process of appeals and hearings designed to make sure that the trial was fair and that the convict has ample opportunity to prove his innocence. The bureaucratic process ends with a bureaucratic execution.

"Electricity will be passed through your body until you are dead; may God have mercy on your soul, and on the people of the great state of Alabama."

Interestingly, public executions died off as mass media emerged. Even early in the early 20th century public hangings still took place. Part of it is that we demand that executions be as humane as possible. The electric chair was a rather effecient way of killing a man (don't know if any women ever got fried), but it was still brutal. Modern sensibilities demand this humanity in the process. The idea is that some abstract justice is served, not that anyone gets pleasure out of it.

When they did firing squads, they had teams of 4 or so shooters, each with one bullet. They picked the bullets at random, and 3 of the 4 were blanks. They fired simultaneously, and no one knew which shooter fired the kill shot. In some states, lethal injection is done the same way, complete with dummy IVs.

http://people.howstuffworks.com/lethal-injection4.htm

Interestingly, Thailand used to execute by machine gun.
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Old 02-24-2004, 01:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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No.

But I am also opposed to capital punishment in principle.
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Old 02-24-2004, 01:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The government shouldn't be in the business of killing its citizens.

That being said, I think an interesting dynamic that hasn't been brought up yet, is today's reality TV culture: I think public executions wouldn't deter capital crimes, they would enable more "fame-killers," those who kill just to get into the spotlight.
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Old 02-24-2004, 06:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sparhawk
That being said, I think an interesting dynamic that hasn't been brought up yet, is today's reality TV culture: I think public executions wouldn't deter capital crimes, they would enable more "fame-killers," those who kill just to get into the spotlight.
I agree. Natural Born Killers come to life. As long as we're trying to use television to deter crime, why not air footage of criminals being gang-raped in prison? That seems about as high-minded as public execution.
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Old 02-24-2004, 06:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Don't want to watch.

Won't pay.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 02-24-2004, 06:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
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No, I would not pay to watch another human being be put to death. Not even it were Osama.

Capital Punishment is one of the very few issues, in my life, that I have done a complete reversal of opinion on. I was formerly a staunch supporter of the death penalty. Now, however, I could not come out more strongly opposed to it. Certain evidence was put before me that forced this change. Suffice it to say, that I want no part of a system in which the sole value of a human life becomes another line in an attorney's resume. Regardless of the truth.

By the way, unless I'm mistaken, and I don't think that I am, Nebraska is now the only State in the Union that still uses the electric chair.
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Old 02-24-2004, 06:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Wouldn't watch even if it was free viewing.
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Old 02-24-2004, 07:30 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Getting my remote now, grabbing a cooler with some beer, reclining the recliner and let the show begin.
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Old 02-24-2004, 07:47 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I'd pay to beat a few people to death myself, I'd better not have to pay to watch Osama die. I'll beat whoever's trying to charge me to death for that.
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Old 02-24-2004, 07:57 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Leaving aside my objection to the death penalty in the first place...

I can't think of a good reason for televising executions, in large part because the level of violence and the advent of special effects have rendered anything on television unreal. The deaths of three thousand people in the World Trade Center became just a clip to play over and over again to the point where it almost lost its impact. Maybe it was the scale of things that made it so unreal, but I don't think so - I think it's the medium and its place in the American psyche.

If your goal is to heighten the deterrent impact of the death penalty by displaying it in public, I think you'd fail, for the above reason: it's just not "real" enough when it's on the tube. How long before the effect of watching even a really grisly execution would just wear off?

If your goal is to show the brutal nature of execution and sway opinion against the death penalty, how are you going to pit, say, a relatively quiet death by lethal injection or the gas chamber, or even the comparatively disturbing electric chair, against the kind of staged brutality that can be seen on most networks?

Television is kind of a cess pool, and regardless of the high-minded intentions behind televising executions, in the end it'd be just another spectacle to generate ad revenue. How can you expect any kind of genuine reaction to this when it'd be sandwiched between commercials for deodorant and ziploc bags?
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:16 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I would not pay, nor would I watch if it were free (unless the person being put to death was responsible for the death of a loved one).

There is a place for the death penalty and in a way it is about deterrence. The prospect of death probably will not stop someone from killing, but it can stop them from killing again.

There are some people who no longer should be allowed the opportunity to kill. Any opportunity to kill. Whether that's killing another prisoner, a guard, a nurse, or doctor in the prison.

The system should be reformed from its current state allowing for all who receive the death penalty to conduct DNA tests to attempt to prove innocence. Further, there should be new criteria set forth where the overall record of a prisoner can incur the death penalty.
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:32 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by onetime2

The system should be reformed from its current state allowing for all who receive the death penalty to conduct DNA tests to attempt to prove innocence. Further, there should be new criteria set forth where the overall record of a prisoner can incur the death penalty.
If I ever want to commit a murder, I'm going to bring a vial of someone elses blood along. DNA is not a cure all.
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:33 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
If I ever want to commit a murder, I'm going to bring a vial of someone elses blood along. DNA is not a cure all.
Never said it was but it should be a part of the process since it has freed several "innocent" people from death sentences.
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:36 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by onetime2
Never said it was but it should be a part of the process since it has freed several "innocent" people from death sentences.
Or just showed there was someone else involved.

Lets say we both kill someone and you bleed. I get arrested and the evidence says I killed her, but I never say you were there as I can't claim innocence and state that. They check the blood and its not mine. I should go free?

I think DNA has also set some very guilty people free.
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:49 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
Or just showed there was someone else involved.

Lets say we both kill someone and you bleed. I get arrested and the evidence says I killed her, but I never say you were there as I can't claim innocence and state that. They check the blood and its not mine. I should go free?

I think DNA has also set some very guilty people free.
So are you arguing that DNA testing shouldn't be involved in the process?

No one has said it's perfect but there is no reason to exclude it. Judges and juries have been convinced by DNA evidence that a person couldn't be proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt, your (or my) beliefs to the contrary don't come into play.
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:58 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by onetime2
So are you arguing that DNA testing shouldn't be involved in the process?
I'm just saying its only part of the process.

I recall reading a book many years ago, some warped piece of fiction a friend of mine had, and the homoerotisisim got a bit to much after a while for me, but one piece has always stuck in my brain. This guy was on trial for rape and the woman was pregnant, and no one would believe her though since the child wasn't the mans in question. His punch line was that whenever you inseminate someone, make sure you fill the squirt gun (what he used) with someone elses sperm.

I'm saying it is not the gold standard of evidence, just evidence.
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Old 02-24-2004, 09:05 AM   #23 (permalink)
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OK, you two, that's enough. If ya wanna debate the pros and cons of DNA evidence, start a new thread. There's plenty out there that it can be sustainable, but that's not what this thread is about. Let's try to keep it at least kind of on topic...o'kay?

Now...let the head bashing resume.
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Old 02-24-2004, 09:33 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Yes I'm sure the original poster would be upset with the change in direction
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Old 02-24-2004, 09:45 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
Yes I'm sure the original poster would be upset with the change in direction
*sigh*
Ustwo, what are you? A Rebublican, or something? Jeez man, ya started something good...now see it through.

/poking Ustwo with the proverbial stick
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Old 02-24-2004, 09:48 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I was just having a bit of fun with my last post, you need to lighten up a bit, what are you a liberal or something?
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:12 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bill O'Rights
OK, you two, that's enough. If ya wanna debate the pros and cons of DNA evidence, start a new thread. There's plenty out there that it can be sustainable, but that's not what this thread is about. Let's try to keep it at least kind of on topic...o'kay?

Now...let the head bashing resume.
I will vote for public airing of executions so long as there is equal time given to the presentation of DNA evidence. If you wanna see death and excitement, you gotta put up with the boring stuff too. Is that better?
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:15 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by onetime2
I will vote for public airing of executions so long as there is equal time given to the presentation of DNA evidence. If you wanna see death and excitement, you gotta put up with the boring stuff too. Is that better?
Much better.

Now...let's continue.
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:21 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Bill O'Rights:

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Old 02-24-2004, 10:26 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I cannot understand the mentality that would enjoy watching another human bieng be put to death. Maybe I am just strange, but it honestly seems a disgusting way to spend my time. As if there is a shortage of death and violence in this world.
If you really want to witness death....join the military. At least then you can pretend it is for a "just" cause.
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:34 AM   #31 (permalink)
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A very frightening look at the pysche of a supposedly civilised nation.

And no, I wouldnt pay, nor watch for free, the state or any other body execute someone.
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:34 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scipio
Bill O'Rights:

Well, I'll be snookered. Nebraska, Alabama and sometimes Oklahoma. Just curious, though. When's the last time anyone's sat in the "hot seat" in either Alabama, or Oklahoma? I'm pretty sure that, in Nebraska, it's just been two or three years since the lights went dim at the Nebraska State Penitentiary.
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:50 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by tecoyah
I cannot understand the mentality that would enjoy watching another human bieng be put to death. Maybe I am just strange, but it honestly seems a disgusting way to spend my time. As if there is a shortage of death and violence in this world.
If you really want to witness death....join the military. At least then you can pretend it is for a "just" cause.
Let me explian it to you.

I would enjoy it to the point that I have witnessed justice served.
Then I would be able to go to sleep, and sleep soundly.

I cant understand the mentality of someone who enjoys killing someone for the pure pleasure of killing, or killing someone for their life insurance, or because they dont want to lose half of everything they own, and I could go on and on with different murder scenerios. But the fact of the matter is these people DO NOT deserve to live a life of 3 squares and a warm bed.

And for your last little anti-war barb I have fought for "just causes". I have seen death at its most violent ends, something I both take great pride and great agony in.

So you can sleep in your warm bed under the blanket of freedom that someone else has provided for you.
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:02 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by reconmike
Let me explian it to you.

I would enjoy it to the point that I have witnessed justice served.
Then I would be able to go to sleep, and sleep soundly.

I cant understand the mentality of someone who enjoys killing someone for the pure pleasure of killing, or killing someone for their life insurance, or because they dont want to lose half of everything they own, and I could go on and on with different murder scenerios. But the fact of the matter is these people DO NOT deserve to live a life of 3 squares and a warm bed.

And for your last little anti-war barb I have fought for "just causes". I have seen death at its most violent ends, something I both take great pride and great agony in.

the blanket of freedom that someone else has provided for you.

(bows head and shudders)

You have my pity on so many levels.
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Old 02-24-2004, 12:43 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I think the death penalty is very ironic. I wouldn't pay to see it, just like i would never pay to watch wrestling. How are any of those things entertainment?

I would, however, pay see gwb duke it out with obl or saddam. Maybe a tag team with rummy. None of this Commodus drug-him-for-the-easy-win bulshit either. UFC rules, may the best man win. Bring it on indeed.
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Old 02-24-2004, 12:46 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by reconmike
Getting my remote now, grabbing a cooler with some beer, reclining the recliner and let the show begin.
Quote:
Originally posted by reconmike
I would enjoy it to the point that I have witnessed justice served.
Then I would be able to go to sleep, and sleep soundly.
Your first post indicates that you would enjoy it as a show. In your second, you seem to backpedal somewhat. Is it simply to see justice done? Doesn't the warden walking out and announcing the death fulfill that desire? What about seeing the death itself makes it more just?
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Old 02-24-2004, 02:02 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by tecoyah
(bows head and shudders)

You have my pity on so many levels.
Well isnt that just the sweetest thing .

But please save your pity for those who really need it like the crack whore who just smoked all of this months welfare check and now she is out giving blow jobs for a 20 spot.
Or the college kid who is not getting enough federal aid to go school on the american public.

And Kadath:

I really dont see the back pedaling, so let me explain it.

I would enjoy the show of justice being carried out you can bet on that.
To sit back and watch if there is remorse or not, sure without a problem.

Maybe you can pity me also.
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Old 02-24-2004, 03:49 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I would pay a lot more to see george bush go on international TV and admit that he has screwed the american people out of 500 plus lives and billions of dollars and admit that he was wrong!!!!

mr b
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Old 02-24-2004, 04:01 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mrbuck12000
I would pay a lot more to see george bush go on international TV and admit that he has screwed the american people out of 500 plus lives and billions of dollars and admit that he was wrong!!!!

mr b
Like there aren't about a dozen more appropriate theads for this?

Keep it on topic, please.
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Old 02-24-2004, 05:33 PM   #40 (permalink)
can't help but laugh
 
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Location: dar al-harb
Quote:
Originally posted by Sparhawk
The government shouldn't be in the business of killing its citizens.
There is no business involved, nor would Osama be a citizen.

Personally, I would not pay to see a man executed. I wouldn't witness it if it were free either. First, I'm not interested even though i support the death penalty in many cases. Secondly, I think it would be treated like a circus. Even though Osama has done things worthy of death... it is still a solemn thing to take a person's life. Lastly, I wouldn't want the footage to make a martyr out of him.

To add to the sideline discussion on this thread: I think the last person to get the chair in this country did so in the state of Florida. Here in Oklahoma, I've haven't heard of anything but lethal injection for a long time.
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