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Rationalizing the Death Penalty

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by rogue49, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Allow me to answer, out of order.

    1. My apologies, I don't really like doing multiple quotes, too tedious. So my answer was to all of the above. I'll try to be more specific.
    3. I would consider, "dehumanize...easier to kill", "revolting" and being lumped into "sea of brutality" too, something to chew on.
    Let's see if I can continue the debate without actually going negative on my opposition.

    See, I know quite a few people who would consider being kept in prison forever far worse than death.
    Life in prison, would be the torture.
    I know, I've asked them.

    And I can observe the results myself of being kepted in a prison forever
    and you could likely get the responses from those kept too if you took the effort.
    So, what's humane is debatable.

    Perhaps we should give these horrid individuals a choice?
    Be kept for the rest of your life, behind bars, living in a cell.
    Or choose to die.

    Well, that may be fine, considering I think euthanasia is acceptable.
    "As they say, choose your poison"

    Because those are the only two.
    Unless you're shockingly proposing letting these people out at a later time...

    Or are you going to take the choice out of their hands??
    As they did with many people, who were just living their lives.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  2. greywolf

    greywolf Slightly Tilted

    First, I'm glad you read the whole post and understand that I do not accept the death penalty as an option. I'm sorry you don't agree, but if everyone in the world agreed with me, it would be a pretty dull place for everyone except me.

    While I feel the death penalty is unacceptable, I'm not in the camp of those who believe it is inherently wrong. It is just TOO imperfect and final, and mistakes, many mistakes, have been made that cannot be undone in any way. Yes, financial compensation for years of wrongful imprisonment is woefully inadequate, but it is at least compensation to the aggrieved party. The death penalty does not make even that possible.

    Yes, there ARE people who do not deserve to live. But there is absolutely no way to make that judgement infallibly, and given the finality of execution, the lack of infallibility makes it an unacceptable option.
  3. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Now, that's a good argument and something to consider.
    And I've thought that perspective many times and still do.
  4. Remixer

    Remixer Middle Eastern Doofus

    Frankfurt, Germany
    Cheers for your response.

    I fully understand your logic and agree with it completely.

    Do consider the Breivik case, though. Dozens of witnesses to his despicable acts identified him as the shooter without doubt; pictures exist of him wearing a security guard uniform and holding weapons on the camp while 1) the camp's security didn't have firearms on them and 2) he wasn't a security guard in the first place; the special force unit that arrived at the scene first found him at the camp with the guns next to him and Breivik giving himself up to the police; I believe airborne video coverage from a nearby chopper of him walking around the camp and shooting at people exist (I think I saw it a few months ago, but don't clearly remember anymore as the issue quickly was shadowed by other things on my mind); and lastly, he's admitted to carrying out the bombing and shootings.

    As far as infallibility goes, that's as close to certainty as you can get in our very limited human world. Unless you're going to argue mass hysteria as the reason for wrong identification of the shooter; a conspiracy that Breivik was put in place of the shooter while the murderer got away; and that Breivik is consistently lying about what he did... I can't agree that your infallibility concern applies here.

    This man deserves to die for his actions, and in order for him to not be a threat to others anymore. Even the best prisons have been broken out of, and that's a risk right there.

    Emotionally, I would want him to die a very slow and agonizing death, but we can't have everything.
  5. Joniemack

    Joniemack Beta brainwaves in session

    Reading, UK
    Some questions:

    Are murderers like Jeffrey Dahmer mentally ill? Perhaps not "legally insane" but at least acting upon a compulsion for which they can't control or on thought processes which are grossly impaired ?

    How well do we understand, or try to understand, the minds of the Jeffrey Dahmers or Ted Bundys?

    Would it benefit us a society to make a greater effort to understand?

    If we sought to fully understand the brain anomalies at work, might there be a chance someday for treating, correcting or even preventing these sorts of anomalies ?

    Or is it beyond us to do so, either now or in the future?

    If that future is out there, how do we get there if we keep killing off the test subjects or locking them away in mindless cattle barns?

    How much of our failure to understand the physical and psychological nature of extreme sociopathic behavior, and pursue a complete understanding of it, lies in our simplistic summation of such behaviors as intrinsically "evil" with all hope lost, outside of an intervention from God?

    What will it take to motivate reflection, analysis, and action on correcting the underlying factors which "create" deviancy, if it's just so much easier to remove and write off the afflicted permanently? And how sustainable is that course of action if the society which seeds and fosters the growth of such deviancy fails to understand it or its own role in creating it?

    Your solution provides short term pain relief rather than long term treatment or cure. No doubt that, in the short term, we need to act in our own best interests, as a society, but the short term relief looks to be the only treatment available or even considered.

    Oh, and killing off our undesirables is unacceptable, no matter how repulsed or angered we are by their behavior. Justifications for it only serve to exemplify the overall sickness of the society making them.

    Of them all, this is the lowest justification for taking the life of another human being, I can imagine. All too common though, and not surprising in the US where 50% of its citizens believe that paying more than a minimal amount of taxes to insure the health and education of its children is a moral outrage.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  6. Freetofly

    Freetofly Diving deep into the abyss

    hmm...There will always be two sides to this discussion.

    I have for the longest time believed there should be an execution day in the US.

    When growing up in a city where most of your cousins are cops and one was a homicide detective you might lean towards the death penalty.

    Horrible story's that you would only think would happen in a war zone.

    How many times have you heard on the news "he stopped taking his meds and decided to kill 30 some people because he heard voices".
  7. Ayashe

    Ayashe Getting Tilted

    I would have to agree that removes a bit of sportsmanship from deerhunting but the reality is that US military already justifies it via remote control against humans with a fair amount of error. I can't say that I agree with it but that either but that would be another topic.

    Back to the original subject however. I think it has to depend upon the crime, the evidence being beyond any reasonable question (which it should be in theory if they were convicted anyway) with their appeals exhausted, and dependent also on the potential for rehabilitation and of course with regard to the severity of their crimes.
  8. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    I would support a person's right to choose death, but I dare to offer the assumption that relatively few would choose it. Imagining what it might be like is far different from the reality of actually being given that choice. Compound that with the fact that you and your friends are not mass murderers and you really don't have a basis from which to determine what is 'hell on earth' to them. I don't believe you can easily conflate the two perspectives.

    Sorry if my words hurt your feelings, but this is not the garden club. This is how I talk. And those words express how I feel about the idea that we would tell these people essentially, 'we're going to strap you to a table and end your life now because we don't want you to have to suffer through life in prison. it's because we care.' How does that seem rational to you?
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Joniemack

    Joniemack Beta brainwaves in session

    Reading, UK
    And what conclusions do you come to as to why such things occur? Or don't you ever wonder about that? Do the horror stories go directly to your gut and die there without ever sneaking into your brain?

    If someone is prescribed medication which, when not taken, causes them to become violent, why is he or she not in a psychiatric facility where they can be monitored?

    Call me crazy, but rather than an execution day for all the mentally maladjusted who've taken the lives of others, wouldn't measures taken to prevent the killings in the first place make more sense? 30 people lost their lives because our society has, in it's infinite wisdom, decided that fed and state funded facilities to treat and house the mentally ill and impaired are a violation of individual rights. I've always considered that hogwash. I think the fiscal conservative knotheads have had their way. Really folks, its much more cost effective to let them roam about on their own and we can deal with the consequences later. 30 people, 30 families. And you want to hold the mentally ill killer solely responsible.

    Hitler thought similarly to you. He not only gassed Jews, he killed hundreds of thousands of those he deemed mentally ill or deficient. Of course, psychopathic killers and sociopaths were exempt and recruited into the SS, so it's a bit different.
  10. Freetofly

    Freetofly Diving deep into the abyss

    Pretty sad you would compare me to Hitler.

    For one thing 30 families equal aleast 500 family members affected. So its not just 30 families. The mentally ill isn't the subject here. A crime is a crime regardless. I believe he subject is "do you believe in he death penalty", In which I do. If you never had to experience a violent crime, most people won't understand.
    I basically said the same thing on the Penn state issue. Hang them high!

    So yeah, this is my opinion only.
    All rights reserved and I do not have a bit of Hitler blood flowing through my veins.
  11. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Seems very rational.
    Except that the phrase is making those accomplishing the task seem like a comic book villian.
    If they are doing it right, they are doing it formal & sober. (like Tom Hanks character in the film, "The Green Mile")

    And you didn't hurt my feelings, it's just that the rhetoric was getting distracting.
    I'd rather the topic be attacked, not the speaker.

    Interesting, I'm starting to see a trend here where those who are not against the Death Penalty are discussing their views, calm and civil.
    And those fighting against the Death Penalty are getting passionate...using hyperbole, rhetoric & sarcasm. (Guess we satisfied Godwin's Law)

    Nothing bad about that, I'm a big boy...just interesting.
  12. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    Yeah, that's it, just like Tom Hanks in The Green Mile. 'Cause we all know life is just like that.
    That kind of thinking is not rational. It's fantasy. You cannot apply it to the real world.
    I was attacking the topic. I was attacking what I saw as bizarre and irrational thinking that just happened to be coming from you.
    I think I'm done talking to you.
    --- merged: Apr 20, 2012 at 7:40 AM ---
    No, just one more thing. There was nothing hyperbolic or passionate about my last post. You just chose to ignore the bulk of my assertions.
    I see now.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2012
  13. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Yes, I realize that is a work of fiction. I was trying to give a visual example.
    And I'm sorry that you are upset at our debate. "Bizarre and Irrational" as I am.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  14. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    I am not upset. I see there is no point.
  15. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    I don't see it. For example, very few of us are employing all caps.

    Also, yours is some of the most spectacular rhetoric here, I think. But this is to be expected in debates on forums, especially on controversial and/or political matters.

    I wouldn't get caught up on this.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  16. Plan9 FORMAT C:

    This Island Earth
    rogue49, c'mon... the first dozen posts were thrown out to keep the momentum and see if this would develop into something aside from the typical 9th grade debate team action. It hasn't. This is an M.C. Hammer topic. You can't touch it. It's visceral. It's like abortion. It's like gun control. It's like Jesus. Unless you've got a new angle, it's the Same Old Shit. This topic invariably leads to mention of statistics that don't mean shit which parks us in the land of personal opinions on the value of human life: the greatest debate topic of all. Some people think human lives are worth something simply because they're alive. Some people think lives are worth what they give back. Some people believe in honor; some in justice. Some believe in karma.


    We're arguing chocolate versus vanilla here. You're either cool with state-sanctioned killings or you're not.

    TFP is real good at figuring out why a dude likes to put his finger in a girl's butt the first time they have sex.

    TFP, like most discussion forums, is often too polarized to have a reasonable Olde Controversial topic debate.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
    • Like Like x 2
  17. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Yes, I guess I shouldn't expect otherwise.
    True words.

    Thanks for the hit upside the head.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    I think I made this point a page ago. And I think you're exactly right. Either you support state-sanctioned killing, or you don't. Therefore, quit with the 'it's the truly humane way to deal with murderers, whether they like it or not' angle and just say that you support it. Stop trying to put a dress on the goat.
  19. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Uh...that's not how I read his words...
  20. Thats the thing - it isn't cheaper to simply "put them in a box". On average, jail costs $29,000 per inmate (those for-profit prisons are making money somewhere) while the cost of substance abuse treatment in California in 2008 was $1583.

    The issue is that people don't want to solve problems, they want revenge. They object to spending $1500 to help someone who they look down on, but are happy to spend $30,000 to hurt the same person. Especially when the money that they are spending will be borrowed and won't impact them immediately as either taxes or reduced government services.