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News Capital punishment

  1. Dec 3, 2006 #1
    Capital Punishment, A punishment, or a crime itself?

    For example, In 1984, a man named Gene Hathorn Jr. took a friend named James Lee Beathard to visit the Hathorn family. Hathorn's father, mother and brother ended up dead of shotgun blasts.
    Hathorn and Beathard battled it out at a courtroom, pointing the fingers at each other, untill finally, Beathard was convicted for the triple homicide, and was sentanced to death.
    However, There was no physical evidence that connected him to the crime scene, or the crime itself. He had been put to jail and sentanced to death based on Hathorn's testiment.

    Later, it was found that Hathorn was guilty of the crime, and then he himself was sentanced to death.

    Beathard, an innocent man, had been put to death because of Capital Punishment, and would still be alive to this day had it not been for his early and unnecisary conviction, and capital punishment itself.

    So guys, what do you think about capital punishment? Are you For it or against it?

    Im against it, just because
    1. i think that people would suffer more being in jail.
    2. its possible that the person convicted was innocent, and he could eventually, when evidence was found that supported that he wasnt connected, or didnt do the crime, leave jail, instead of being put to death for crimes he did not commit.

    So, What do you think?
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  3. Dec 3, 2006 #2


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    Some people see that as a plus. I think life without parole is a form of slavery.
  4. Dec 3, 2006 #3
    I think that the sort of life that some can lead even in jail isn't justified when you consider the lives that have been terminated because of them

    I think a worse punishment for a crime such as murder, is not the termination of existance (death penalty) but relegation to a miserable one, and plenty of time to lament over it. By this I don't mean inlicting upon them horrific acts of torture...merely that you feed them just enough to keep them alive and offer them no other stimulus other than four bare walls that serve as their prison...no interaction with other inmates...no communication with the outside world...nothing that would serve as recreation...and for a considerable amount of time, no hope of the situation changing...also make sure that the rest of the world including any wanna be scourges of society know whats in store for them (as long as you can catch them of course).
  5. Dec 3, 2006 #4


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    So it's about revenge, Greg. Do you realise how dangerous that is?

    I was just watching a documentary on World War 2 and they mentioned that as Hitler was advancing eastwards, in many towns in places like Lithuania, jews were rounded up and killed before the german forces got there.

    Public revenge-lust must be withstood; revenge should form no part of dealing with criminals.
  6. Dec 3, 2006 #5
    Prison should be about rehibilitation, not revenge. I would hope society would have evolved beyond the need to settle scores, but it appears not.
  7. Dec 3, 2006 #6
    I don't agree with taking a person's life be it for personal gain or for punishment. For that reason amongst others I am against the death penalty...however for me, making someone who was once alive forever not-alive for their own selfish reasons is an attrocity that should not be dealt with lightly

    You may call it revenge...I call it removing people who have brought about the destruction of someone else's existance from society and ensuring that for a considerable length of time they have little more benefit from their own existance than the one which they thought it was their right to take away... I never said you could not make efforts to try and rehabilitate them at a later stage...I just don't see the virtue in allowing murderers any compensation for their lack of freedom until such time that they have probably come to realise that it is not an act they wish to commit again and would agree to re-pay society in some way or another (though the person(s) who were killed can never be un-killed).
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2006
  8. Dec 3, 2006 #7
    Rehabilitation can't be the only reason, because prisoners serving a life sentence don't need to be rehabilitated (beyond what is required inside the prison). Rehabilitation might be the primary goal for many short sentences, but I also believe deterrence is important. In addition, sometimes prisoners are able to repay the society by doing community work.

    I do however agree that revenge has no place in a modern society, and I don't believe it has.
  9. Dec 3, 2006 #8

    D H

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    That is a liberal point of view, and one with which I disagree. Punishment is an integral part of the purpose of prison. Rehabilitation is necessary also, as we want former criminals to remain so upon release. Society should not want them to become criminals once again. Our prisons are failing in that regard.

    With regard to the narrow question of the death penalty, my view is that the death penalty is the only appropriate way to address those who have irrevocably surrendered their humanity by committing a truly attrocious crime.

    The problem with the death penalty is that mistakes are irrevocable. The OP describes one such mistake. The burden of proof needs to be much higher than 'beyond a reasonable doubt' in the case of the death penalty. There was no doubt that Hitler was responsible for the deaths of millions. Had Hitler been captured alive, it would have been a crime against humanity to let him live. Rehabilitate him? Never.
  10. Dec 3, 2006 #9


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    Obviously there is a deterrence element but people try to use it to justify getting revenge, especially with emotive language like "they are getting away with it".
  11. Dec 3, 2006 #10
    i dont like the idea of a function of government to ever involve killing someone. i dont like capital punishment for other reasons but this is the primary one
  12. Dec 4, 2006 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    I used to be a big supporter of capital punishment, but, revenge and deterrence issues aside, I no longer trust the justice system, or any system, or any government enough to concede the right to take a life as a form of punishment. To do so is insanity IMO. We all know the corruption potential of humans given power. We all know that people make mistakes. We all know that no system can be perfect.
  13. Dec 4, 2006 #12
    The principle concern of the criminal justice system is public safety (i.e. keeping killers off the street). The problem with the death penalty is that it really is not about public safety. Arguments that it is a deterrence or that it keeps dangerous criminals off the street are disingenuous. Capital punishment is about reprisal, and I do not support it.
  14. Dec 4, 2006 #13
    Not justice?
  15. Dec 4, 2006 #14
    "Justice" is a very subjective term when you think about it. Justice is an ideal, and there are many varying philosophical arguments that attempt to define it. I realize that I am in the minority in opposing capital punishment, but to me, justice (in the context of crime and punishment) is the minimum amount of force necessary to ensure public safety.
  16. Dec 4, 2006 #15


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    You really think someone like http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/notorious/henry_lee_lucas/2.html [Broken]?

    There's some sick people out there that are beyond rehabilitation. There's only two choices for them: keep them alive in a cage or execute them. Either one is good enough, but I don't see much point in keeping them alive. About the only real justification for not executing them is that the execution process winds up being more expensive than keeping them alive in a cage.

    (Lucas is the answer to an interesting trivia question. Out of 152 death sentences reviewed by Bush as governor of Texas, Lucas is the only one that Bush ever commuted.)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  17. Dec 5, 2006 #16
    You certainly arent in the minority by opposing capital punishment. The Majority of western/1st world, Democratic countries abolished this years ago. It is deemed barbaric, and counter productive. A judicial system in Europe at least, or European influenced nations, isnt supposed to be about revenge. Thats the cold hard logic...
  18. Dec 5, 2006 #17
    I can understand that and most people in Europe will agree with you. However, how about the fact that those inmates cost a lot to society. In the end prisoners are just parasites of society because they produce nothing, yet to need to be kept alive.

    I don't see the value in making all this effort and that is why i support capital punishment for convicted murderers, (child) rapists, and other sick/lost people.

    Well, i again understand this, but what you state here is that one cannot entirely trust the judicial system. That is true, yet think you need to consider the majority of the cases where the conviction is correct !!!

    Besides, putting somebody behind bars, in a cage, for the rest of his/her life is the same as killing somebody. Once you are in prison, you lose one of the most fundamental human rights : FREEDOM.

  19. Dec 5, 2006 #18
    How on earth is jailing someone and killing them the same thing?

    When you kill someone they loose all their 'fundamental human rights' plus their life, and you punish anyone who cared for that person.

    What about Mentally Ill people, they add no value to be kept alive either. So where does one stop? If someone is Sick, or Lost wouldnt it be better to cure that person? I am sure you dont mean we should execute all Mentally Ill people, or do you?
  20. Dec 5, 2006 #19
    How can we put these two aside? :smile:
    Ivan what is your position on these two fundamental aspects of Capital Punishment. I presume you must think that they are null. Do you believe that CP does detere people?
    Do you believe that revenge has a place in the context of a Justice system?

    I ask these because you were for Capital Punishment, but now are not because you dont trust the justice system...
  21. Dec 5, 2006 #20
    Nope, you cannot lose something you don't have. You lose those right when you kill or rape women, children, men,...

    I don't care because the parents of a murdered child feel far worse.

    Why do you defend such criminals. Why are you not talking about the feelings of the victims and their family, huh ?

    Ofcourse i am not saying that. Actually, your line of reasoning in this case (and many others as well i noticed) is very cheap and childish. You don't need to insult my intelligence, Anttech. Anybody can see the difference between people with epilepsia or whatever and a rapist.

    Even, a rapist should be trialed in ANY case, even if the guy/woman has a psychiatric history.

  22. Dec 5, 2006 #21
    Incorrect, logically and lawfully. You do not loose the right to live after you kill or rape.
    A) I am not defending Murders and rapist, I am defending a judicial system. A judicial system that isnt geared around revenge and efficiently disposing of 'parasites of society' by executing them.
    B) How do you know or even gage the grief of a murder victim compared to family of someone who has been sentenced to death? There is no logical reasoning behind that statements just emotion.

    The only use of Capital punishment is revenge, and as we all know the circle of violence isnt stopped by state sponsored execution.

    No Marlon, you need to specify what you mean, when you say we should execute 'sick/lost' people, the burden is on you to define what you mean, not me, and not anyone else. I am not going to dance to your tune, and try and second guess what you are saying. YOU need to tell us what you mean...

    Anyway so going by your last post if someone is mentally ill and Murders/Rapes someone, we should cure them right?
  23. Dec 5, 2006 #22
    The right to live is not a part of the judicial system that "stands on its own". There is always a context surrounding it. It is incorrect, logically and lawfully, to assign more value to the destiny of rapists than to the destiny of the victims.

    Nobody is asking you to do that. I know the judicial system very well. I am just sharing my personal opinion on capital punishment as the best solution for convicted murderers and other scum.

    Absolutely NOT. I reply with these words because YOU started bringing in the words "and you punish anyone who cared for that person". Don't turn things around and respect the CONTEXT in which i replied. What i wanted to say is that we need to focus on the grief of the victims , NOT on the grief of the family of the killer.

    Remember in this game we call life that no one said its fair.

    Even your cheap logics and intellectual terror are not gonna deny that, Anttech

    Rubbish, the circle of violence can only be stopped by killing a killer. Each rape case is a circle of violence in itself. Rapists are NOT organised like terrorist organisations you know...

    But i clearly defined those terms i was using. Then you started again with childish replies like "ohh, so do you think we should also kill handicapped people because they are a burden to society". Even to those stupid answers i replied very clearly. So, what is your point, buddy ???

    NOT AT ALL. THAT IS NOT WHAT I SAID. Learn to read man. I said those peole need to be sentenced as well. A rapist needs to be punished IN every case.

  24. Dec 5, 2006 #23
    In the US, the legal system generally reserves death for those who've committed an "especially heinous" crime. How do you define "especially heinous?" What makes one crime "heinous" and another "especially" so? The use of such subjective language and the inherent inconsistency it introduces are one of the main reasons I oppose capital punishment.

    In my opinion, the only reason the death penalty still exists in the US is that it isn't applied consistently. Take a look at the crime statistics from the US Dept. of Justice: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_04/offenses_reported/offense_tabulations/table_01-01a.html" [Broken]

    If every murderer were executed, there would be roughly 15-16000 executions every year. Add ~95000 more if you want to execute rapists as well. I highly doubt the public could stomach the systematic execution of 100000+ people every year, no matter how heinous their crimes.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  25. Dec 5, 2006 #24
    I am not assigning any value, I just disagree with you that "you lose those right when you kill or rape women, children, men" because you dont, and its irrational to assert you do.
    :confused: You state I am defending Murderers and rapist so I tell you what I am actually defending, I dont need an invitation and its within the context of this thread, but now nobody is asking about the judicial system or rather nobody is asking anyone to defend it? Make your mind up
    YOU didnt say that tho... I cant know what you mean unless you tell me
    Thanks I love you too :!!) want to stop the ad hom attacks now, you got your shot away? Do you feel better now? :smile:

    No that doesnt work, if it did we would have stopped killing each other. Revenge killing does not stop the circle of violence. Look at tribal warfair history to see that argument just doesnt hold any water at all. You kill my brother, I go after you, your brother goes after... someones father dies, his son grows up a product of his environment.... circle isnt stopped, its magnified.

    My point is, that you need to define what you are talking about, because I wont do it for you. Yes I know the context, but I dont know you and thus I dont know your views... So Sick/Lost people can mean anything
    No people need to be tried, and then if found guilty sentenced.... You didnt answer my question again. What is your stance, you believe they should be executed, even if they are found to be mentally ill?
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2006
  26. Dec 5, 2006 #25
    Seems to me you are just regurgitating the judicial system as it is. I know it's content and i dont' have to have it read back to me.

    That is what i meant.

    I think my vision is very clear so stop shouting such superfluous remarks.


    Nope, this is a common misconception. Everey crazy child murderer is a case on itself. They are NOT related to one and other. That is why i wrote about the "circle of violence on itself". Just by not killing one rapist, you do NOT prevent another rape from happening. That is why i say : KILL AND CLEAN UP. I know it sounds hard but this is the only way. I never claimed that this method will exclude all future violence but at least we don't keep the sinners of the past that are living off honest people's backs. THAT IS THE POINT.

    But this is NOT the intention. The crux is to get rid off the ballast of the past. I do NOT want soe rapist living off my tax money. This is a FU**ING outrage. Why is this so difficult to see, huh ?

    Please, stop terrorising me intellectually. IT DOES NOT WORK. I am not a little child, you know.

    Tell me, if someone rapes your sister, would you not want to kill him. Indulge into your natural behaviour. There is NOTHING wrong with it.

    Again, one killing is not related to another. I kill your brother and some other dude kills some other dude's brother in France. BOTH OF THEM SHOULD BE PUNISHED.

    I think it is very clear what we are talking about and i certainly won't ask YOU to define what I am talking about. Why do you keep saying this ???

    MY VIEW IS VERY CLEAR. Sick/lost people means rapists and murderers. People that commit the worst crimes which involves killing other human beings.

    Irrelevant. We are not talking about the entire judicial process but about the punishment specifically. Again, refrain from such cheap rethoric tactics.

    YES for the third TIME. Rapists should be executed irrespective of their psychiatric history if there would ever be one...

    I already said this several times, man.

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