# Capital Punishment returns?

• News
Capital Punishment returns?"

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/747748-half-of-us-back-death-penalty

More than half of voters back the reintroduction of the death penalty, a new poll suggests.

So there is a chance that they are going to bring back the death penalty in the UK.

So what do you guys think?

Is it really wrong to put terrorists and murderers to death? Is it more expensive to the country to keep thousands of criminals in a building just to dehumanize them? Or none of the reasons really matter because we are actually putting people to death and it is just immoral.

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This boils down to what is moral vs immoral and the relationship with justice. It's all opinion based since there really is no way to philosophically prove it one way or the other.

The concern for me is this

Harris questioned 1,100 people aged between 16 and 64.

Sixteen-years-old? They've all been probably overinfulenced by Death Note or something

Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/747748-half-of-us-back-death-penalty

So there is a chance that they are going to bring back the death penalty in the UK.

Now here is what I want to know. Is it really wrong to put terrorists and murderers to death? Isn't more expensive to the country to keep thousands of criminals in a building just to dehumanize them?

Or is it just wrong to kill people.

There's no chance it will be bought back. This poll from a free London news paper is largely irrelevant, there's no political backing for this and no motion to do so.

The problem with capital punishment is twofold

1) It violates a fundamental principle behind out legal system that everyone has the capacity to be a good person

2) If you kill the wrong person you can't take it back

On the subject of terrorists and murderers. Firstly a terrorist may be young and brainwashed and secondly killing them may make martyrs out of them rather than keeping them in conditions that show them for what they really are, criminals (also the potential damage to the movement if a suicide bomber becomes rehabilitated is huge IMO). With murderers it's even more complicated, many murders are crimes of passion and not premeditated. They are committed by normal people who were caught in a situation that got out of hand and again the problem runs into the two things mentioned above.

People may disagree with me here but I see criminals as a symptom of society that should be rehabilitated (whilst the fundamental causes are addressed). I don't think capital punishment solves anything and whilst my emotional response may be different if I was a victim* that is largely irrelevant to my opinions on how justice should work.

* A common argument I find presented to me on this issue is "Oh yeah, how would you feel if your mother/father/sibling/spouse/friend was murdered/beaten/raped?" and my response would be "I would want to kill the bastard who did it". But just because that is my emotional response doesn't mean that I think it is a moral one.

I think the victim should be given the authority whether to capital punish or Imprisonment. Its basic natural right to fight back.

DaveC426913
Gold Member

I think the victim should be given the authority whether to capital punish or Imprisonment. Its basic natural right to fight back.

On the contrary, that's the one person who should not be given any say in the matter.

Curbing the basic natural urge to simply "fight back" is what separates savages from civilizations. Civilized societies decide what is the right thing to do (whatever that might be), not the thing that encourages revenge.

I think the victim should be given the authority whether to capital punish or Imprisonment. Its basic natural right to fight back.

But is it just a feeling of one instant (well unless he or she killed your relatives maybe it isn't an instant) or just to feel better?

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/747748-half-of-us-back-death-penalty

So there is a chance that they are going to bring back the death penalty in the UK.

So what do you guys think?

Is it really wrong to put terrorists and murderers to death? Is it more expensive to the country to keep thousands of criminals in a building just to dehumanize them? Or none of the reasons really matter because we are actually putting people to death and it is just immoral.

It is really wrong to put people ACCUSED of being a terrorist or a murder to death. How many people on death row have been exonerated? A lot. How many innocent people were killed by the government before they had a chance to be exonerated? We'll never know, but I'd bet everything I own that the number is greater than zero.

I'd rather see a million murderers rot in jail for the rest of their lives than have one innocent man killed.

DaveC426913
Gold Member

I'd rather see a million murderers rot in jail for the rest of their lives than have one innocent man killed.
I think this is actually carved somewhere in the annals of justice. Better 20 guilty men go free than 1 innocent man die.

The question must be asked though: are you willing to pay to have a million murderers put up in jail for the rest of their lives? Not all taxpayers are.

The question must be asked though: are you willing to pay to have a million murderers put up in jail for the rest of their lives? Not all taxpayers are.

I think the average taxpayer already hates paying tax...

DaveC426913
Gold Member

I think the average taxpayer already hates paying tax...

Then they'd really hate paying even more to keep murderers in comfort, wouldn't they?

(PS. This is not my personal view, I am simply laying out the common classic argument(s).)

Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus

The question must be asked though: are you willing to pay to have a million murderers put up in jail for the rest of their lives? Not all taxpayers are.

I think the average taxpayer already hates paying tax...

Then they'd really hate paying even more to keep murderers in comfort, wouldn't they?

(PS. This is not my personal view, I am simply laying out the common classic argument(s).)

If true this presents us with a quandary, most people would be unwilling to let innocent men and women die but may not be willing to pay to keep criminals alive.

However I do not believe this is the case. It is simplistic (IMO) to say "do you want your tax spent on keeping murderers in comfort" because the real question is "do you want your tax spent on jails to keep murderers out of society". Sometimes I feel the my-tax-money arguments are a bit fallacious as the huge benefits from paying tax towards certain projects are overlooked for simplistic and evocative arguments.

The question must be asked though: are you willing to pay to have a million murderers put up in jail for the rest of their lives? Not all taxpayers are.

Yes, absolutely. A million murderers times about 50,000 a year to keep them locked up... 50 billion dollars. That's a drop in the bucket for one of the core functions of government.

Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus

Yes, absolutely. A million murderers times about 50,000 a year to keep them locked up... 50 billion dollars. That's a drop in the bucket for one of the core functions of government.

Do you have any real figures for that?

EDIT not the best source but http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/nov/04/prisons-reoffending-rates" [Broken] quotes the cost of keeping a UK inmate is £45,000 (~$75,000) yet the cost of reoffending is £11billion (~$17billion). Frustratingly there's no reference for where these figures come from nor a time frame over which they are meant to apply.

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well most of our tax money go to the dirty pockets of politicians anyways.

The question must be asked though: are you willing to pay to have a million murderers (in which may be few innocent) put up in jail for the rest of their lives? Not all taxpayers are.
We have to add the bold part, because if we were sure there aren't any innocents then we would have already accepted Capital Punishment in the first place as per the argument "Better 20 guilty be free than 1 man die".

Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus

well most of our tax money go to the dirty pockets of politicians anyways.

Err...what country are you in? Even if politicians partake in activities such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_Parliamentary_expenses_scandal" [Broken] they are hardly taking "most" of the tax money.

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DaveC426913
Gold Member

The concern for me is this

Sixteen-years-old? They've all been probably overinfulenced by Death Note or something
Why single them out as not having valid opinions? Pretty sure the day I turned 18, I wasn't hit with the Wisdom Stick.

Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus

Why single them out as not having valid opinions? Pretty sure the day I turned 18, I wasn't hit with the Wisdom Stick.

Whilst I agree with this there is a valid argument to restricting polls like this to those of an age able to vote on the matter if it did come up.

DaveC426913
Gold Member

Whilst I agree with this there is a valid argument to restricting polls like this to those of an age able to vote on the matter if it did come up.

I thought about that, but I concluded that, on such a pivotal moral issue as this, voters or no, their beliefs should be considered - certainly at least in an informal poll.

Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus

I thought about that, but I concluded that, on such a pivotal moral issue as this, voters or no, their beliefs should be considered - certainly at least in an informal poll.

Agreed with the caveat that the poll should go lower than 16 to include people of younger ages (perhaps 10 and up) and that the poll be divided along demographic lines so that it can be presented as "X% of people of voting age think Yes, interestingly Y% of children thought Yes"

Why single them out as not having valid opinions? Pretty sure the day I turned 18, I wasn't hit with the Wisdom Stick.

They don't know enough to really make good judgment. We are talking about the UK afterall...

Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus

They don't know enough to really make good judgment. We are talking about the UK afterall...

That's a fantastic generalisation you've made there, an offensive one at that.

That's a fantastic generalisation you've made there, an offensive one at that.

Sorry let me rephrase that properly. I shouldn't have added the "Uk" part.

Basically all I am saying is that 16-year-olds aren't well-informed enough and therefore I don't think their opinions should be valued very much. I mean most of them are still in high school

DaveC426913
Gold Member

Sorry let me rephrase that properly. I shouldn't have added the "Uk" part.

Basically all I am saying is that 16-year-olds aren't well-informed enough and therefore I don't think their opinions should be valued very much. I mean most of them are still in high school
And my point was: what makes someone two years older automatically better-informed?

I understand the general idea of voters making policy for general decisions; it just seems to me that this one has more of a moral component to it that doesn't necessarily require being fully-apprised of all the circumstances. Everyone is entitled to have an opinion in the moralistic direction of their country.

It also makes difference who held the poll, and to what purpose it is being put. If an informal pop media poll, there's no reason why minors would/could not have a voice.