Death Sentence Vs Life Imprisonment

  • Thread starter arunbg
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Death sentence or Life imprisonment

  • Life imprisonment only

    Votes: 23 50.0%
  • Both, depending on crime

    Votes: 23 50.0%

  • Total voters
    46
  • #126
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Kurdt said:
It may make certain individuals weaker but many more stronger.
Feel free to demonstrate that that is the case?

People get stronger when they are prepared to deal with, and face up to the challenges of life, not when they are dwelling on ideal fantasyworlds.

People with ideals prefer to replace reality with a "better" view, they put their heads in the sand. They deny truth for a better truth, a truth they can find either in religion or in the platonic truths of metaphysics. Their motivations are merely based on hope, they think Pandora's box is a threasured gift to them, the thing to strive for. No do not face reality, shy away from it, here look, how beautiful these ideals are, see now we don't have to face the ugly truth and we can be happy in our little fantasy world. And that kind of an attitude is supposed to make a person stronger?
 
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  • #127
Kurdt
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MeJennifer said:
Feel free to demonstrate that that is the case?

People get stronger when they are prepared to deal with, and face up to the challenges of life, not when they are dwelling on ideal fantasyworlds.

People with ideals prefer to replace reality with a "better" view, they put their heads in the sand. They deny truth for a better truth, a truth they can find either in religion or in the platonic truths of metaphysics. Their motivations are merely based on hope, Pandora's box is a threasured gift to them, the thing to strive for. No do not face reality, shy away from it, here look, how beautiful these ideals are, see now we don't have to face the ugly truth and we can be happy in our little fantasy world.
Feel free to demonstrate this is the case?

I most certainly do not bury my head in the sand. I like to work out problems and find solutions and there is certainly nothing wrong with hope. The time when hope becomes a problem is if that is all anyone has and they expect it to be realised by dreaming. I expect to achieve things through hard work. I say the ideal is nice but it will never be the case (feel free to check my previous posts) which means I know they never will be reality. I know people murder but I'd like to find out if there is a reason or reasons why someone murders rather than just say it happens and remain an ignoramous as to the reasons (if any) why.

You say "People get stronger when they are prepared to deal with, and face up to the challenges of life". I agree but the way in which we disagree is how to go about it and you have assumed that I like to live in a fantasy world and deny the facts of existence. I have never denied any facts. I have presented my opinions on different matters but I have not denied that murder exists nor have I denied your view that some people have evolved to have the capacity of murder. What I have done is expressed a desire to find the resons why people murder. Is it just genetic is there some sort of mental impairment we do not yet know of? Is their an underlying societal factor that links all murderers? I ask these questions to see if there is a better way of dealing with these people rather than just killing them. What is wrong with that?
 
  • #128
SpaceTiger
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arunbg said:
Is death more humane as compared to almost 15 years of rigorous confinement ?
I think that depends on the person. I have no problem with the state executing criminals who prefer it to life imprisonment.


Do you think some criminals actually deserve the ultimate punishment ?
I think that's the wrong question to be asking. I don't like it when the justice system is used to exact revenge for something that we view as "awful" or "despicable". Laws and punishments should be designed to protect our citizens, not pander to their emotions. If the death penalty is a deterrent, then there's a good case to be made for keeping it, but I don't find any of the statistics particularly convincing (it's very easy to cherry-pick, especially in sociology). If it is not a deterrent, then it should be abolished. The risk of executing an innocent person, however small, constitutes a threat to the law-abiding members of our society.
 
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  • #129
selfAdjoint
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arunbg said:
Here's a detailed site with statistics on death penalty.
Indeed statistics show that death penalty does have deterrant effects, which I feel is the single most important argument for death penalty.
http://www.wesleylowe.com/cp.html#deter

Here are a few excerpts





It looks like life imprisonment is losing the contest.:frown: :grumpy:
I long ago stopped believing anybody's statsistics on DP.

Long ago I read a careful and fascinating article in the Statistics Journal. The authors took a commonly used data set of death penalty statistics and made up eight artificial positions ranging form bleeding heart to kill 'em all and let god sort 'em out. They then showed that by using very plausible transformatioons, that nobody but a highly trained statistician would spot, they could skew the numbers to support any one of the eight positions. Since nobody does statistics on this issue unless they have a dog in the fight, I can't see why I should trust them.
 
  • #130
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arunbg said:
Should capital punishment be abolished and replaced with life imprisonment ? Is death more humane as compared to almost 15 years of rigorous confinement ? Do you think some criminals actually deserve the ultimate punishment ?

I feel death penalty should indeed be abolished .It doesn't make the judges any different from the convicts themselves. Every man has a right to live his life to the fullest. It is not reasonable to take what you cannot give back. Sure there may be people who are rotten to the core and are a threat to society, but even they ought to be given a second chance, while taking necessary precasutions of course.

Arun
In responce to the original question and poll, I think there should be both the death penalty and life imprisonment.

My position is based on two simple factors: deterance and abrigation. The first one is self-explanatory. I want people to be afraid of punishments. I want them to stop and tremble at the idea of being caught. What better deterence can you find? While this concept can be taken the extreme, the basic premise is valid. If a potential criminal is afraid of going to jail, or being sentenced to death, then they are a lot less likely to risk themselves.

Secondly, abrigation. You said that every man has a right to life, and that we cannot take what is not ours. But do we not make thieves pay resitution, fines and go to prison. They didn't lock their victims up, why should we lock them up? Why should they be forced to pay more money then they stole? What right do we have to do this? Simple: they loose their rights. If you steal from someone, you loose rights equal to that which you stole. Ergo, you pay it all back, and since your action harmed society, you get punished by them by being locked up. You abrigated your rights.
The same is true of a murderer. They took someone's life and by so doing abrigated any right they have to their own life. It's a very simple principle, and one without which we really have no justification for any punishment. And how can you possibly say that the judge is just as bad as the murderer? Suppose a serial killer is captured, someone who kidnapped and raped ten people. He is sentenced to death, and you claim that by removing him completely from society, the judge is just as evil as he is? It doesn't take a genius to see how ludicrous that is.
 
  • #131
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Dawguard said:
You said that every man has a right to life, and that we cannot take what is not ours. But do we not make thieves pay resitution, fines and go to prison. They didn't lock their victims up, why should we lock them up? Why should they be forced to pay more money then they stole? What right do we have to do this? Simple: they loose their rights. If you steal from someone, you loose rights equal to that which you stole. Ergo, you pay it all back, and since your action harmed society, you get punished by them by being locked up. You abrigated your rights.
This reasoning is flawed. You kill 10 people and so you get killed 10 times ?
Also a person rapes someone, he gets raped himself ?:confused:
:biggrin:
Also, there are many cases where the thief is asked to pay much less than what he has stolen(sometimes nothing). As said earlier, society has advanced far beyond morally from the tit for tat or an eye for an eye principle. Is it not a paradox, that the very heinous crime of murder that we accuse him of committing, is what we give him as a sentence ?
In my books that is evil.
As I said earlier, deterrance seems to be the only logical basis for upholding the death penalty.

Arun
 
  • #132
About 3 million years ago give or take a decade, Pengwuino asked me top show any links that agreed with my assertian that there is no correlation between the deterent effect and the death sentence. Or that abolishing it in fact increases murder rates, I know this most people know this but not everyone, so here a link and some, I think, reliable evidence, I will say this though, this stuff is incredibly easy to find on the internet, it all seems to say the same thing too. The death sentence is not beneficial, least of all the poor chump you just iced for revenge. I like the fact that in Canada when it was abolished murder rates fell, so what in all truth is the reason to keep it, abolish it and who knows you may save lives:smile: .

http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGACT500062006 [Broken]

7. The Deterrence Argument
Scientific studies have consistently failed to find convincing evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than other punishments. The most recent survey of research findings on the relation between the death penalty and homicide rates, conducted for the United Nations in 1988 and updated in 2002, concluded: "… it is not prudent to accept the hypothesis that capital punishment deters murder to a marginally greater extent than does the threat and application of the supposedly lesser punishment of life imprisonment."

(Reference: Roger Hood, The Death Penalty: A World-wide Perspective, Oxford, Clarendon Press, third edition, 2002, p. 230)


8. Effect of Abolition on Crime Rates

Reviewing the evidence on the relation between changes in the use of the death penalty and crime rates, a study conducted for the United Nations in 1988 and updated in 2002 stated: "The fact that all the evidence continues to point in the same direction is persuasive a priori evidence that countries need not fear sudden and serious changes in the curve of crime if they reduce their reliance upon the death penalty".

Recent crime figures from abolitionist countries fail to show that abolition has harmful effects. In Canada, for example, the homicide rate per 100,000 population fell from a peak of 3.09 in 1975, the year before the abolition of the death penalty for murder, to 2.41 in 1980, and since then it has declined further. In 2003, 27 years after abolition, the homicide rate was 1.73 per 100,000 population, 44 per cent lower than in 1975 and the lowest rate in three decades.

(Reference: Roger Hood, The Death Penalty: A World-wide Perspective, Oxford, Clarendon Press, third edition, 2002, p. 214)
Dawguard said:
In responce to the original question and poll, I think there should be both the death penalty and life imprisonment.

My position is based on two simple factors: deterance and abrigation. The first one is self-explanatory. I want people to be afraid of punishments. I want them to stop and tremble at the idea of being caught. What better deterence can you find? While this concept can be taken the extreme, the basic premise is valid. If a potential criminal is afraid of going to jail, or being sentenced to death, then they are a lot less likely to risk themselves.
Indeed problem is criminals obviously don't quake with fear. the failure of the deterrent argument and the extra cost incurred(from internment and retrials) by this are alone enough to warrant abolishing it, throw in the positive effects in abolishing it and to my mind you don't have to be a genius to see that the the argument for the death penalty is a straw man.
 
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  • #133
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MeJennifer said:
People get stronger when they are prepared to deal with, and face up to the challenges of life, not when they are dwelling on ideal fantasyworlds.
But, maddest of all, to see life as it is — and not as it ought to be!
- Man of La Mancha
 
  • #134
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0
Schrodinger's Dog (:D), did the study give any particular reasons(s) as to why death penalty did not show much deterrance as compared to life imprisonment ?
The only explanations that I can come up with are :

1)There is some unknown facet or trait in the minds of the murderers, that kicks in when they commit the crime, and later vanishes.
It is not because they don't fear death or anything, otherwise, why would they fear a policeman's gun while being arrested or prefer appeals in courts ?

2) The statistics are wrong, biased or inconclusive .
Self Adjoint said:
Long ago I read a careful and fascinating article in the Statistics Journal. The authors took a commonly used data set of death penalty statistics and made up eight artificial positions ranging form bleeding heart to kill 'em all and let god sort 'em out. They then showed that by using very plausible transformatioons, that nobody but a highly trained statistician would spot, they could skew the numbers to support any one of the eight positions. Since nobody does statistics on this issue unless they have a dog in the fight, I can't see why I should trust them.
That should explain the contradictory statistics.:grumpy:

Eight countries since 1990 are known to have executed prisoners who were under 18 years old at the time of the crime – China, Congo (Democratic Republic), Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, USA and Yemen. China, Pakistan and Yemen have raised the minimum age to 18 in law. The USA executed more child offenders than any other country (19 between 1990 and 2003) before the US Supreme Court ruled in March 2005 that the execution of children under the age of 18 was unconstitutional.
How can developed countries like USA and China execute children ???!!!!
I hope nonbody's going to justify that.
This just makes me sick.

Arun
 
  • #135
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I don't remember where I had heard this (I believe it was a 60 Minutes episode), and it was quite a while ago (mid 1980's I think), but there were interviews with inmates on death row who had been sentenced after the Supreme Court reinstated the ability to impose the death penalty. When asked if the thought of being executed was a deterrent, an overwhelming majority stated they didn't think they would get caught, so no it wasn't. Granted, this proves nothing since this doesn't take into account those who didn't want to take that much of a chance (and hence didn't commit the crime). The same program also examined the psychology of serial killers and found a large number of them actually wanted to get caught (according to their psychological profiles). Again, this proves nothing since I imagine the sample population was small. However, these could be another reason why the statistics still show nothing.
 
  • #136
Aether
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I haven't heard a compelling argument here either for or against the DP. However, this discussion has raised two red flags for me: 1) The role of DP as a means for satisfying the people's thirst for revenge is interesting...is the DP really the best way to deal with that? 2) I am wary of those on the anti-DP side who would equate justifiable homicide (e.g., self defense, DP, war, etc.) with premeditated murder...the lady doth protest too much, methinks.
 
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  • #137
BobG
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arunbg said:
Here's a detailed site with statistics on death penalty.
Indeed statistics show that death penalty does have deterrant effects, which I feel is the single most important argument for death penalty.
http://www.wesleylowe.com/cp.html#deter

It looks like life imprisonment is losing the contest.:frown: :grumpy:
There's too many variables to isolate the death penalty as the most important factor. In fact, I would tend to think it is a deterrant for a very small percentage of potential murders. At best, it might reduce the number of premeditated murders where a person entrenched in society has time to consider the chances of success or failure.

I don't think the death penalty is a practical means of dealing with normal crime. The ability to make all members of a population feel they belong to the overall society will have a greater impact on making individuals accept certain norms than the actual tools used, hence the slant of some crimes being blamed on society's failures vs. individual failures. If an individual feels detached from society or has joined the local sub-culture instead of the greater society, the behavioral norms of society won't have as much affect in spite of the punishment for violating the norms.

It's more effective as a statement of which crimes society finds too abhorrent to accept. As a statement, it could help socialize individuals within the society to find the act equally abhorrent, making those types of crimes less likely. It surely wouldn't do that if the death penalty were the only thing expressing how despicable some crimes were viewed by society. In fact, it's probably only capable of adding support to other means of expressing which crimes are totally abhorrent to society, even if it is a very strong statement.
 
  • #138
arunbg said:
Schrodinger's Dog (:D), did the study give any particular reasons(s) as to why death penalty did not show much deterrance as compared to life imprisonment ?
The only explanations that I can come up with are :

1)There is some unknown facet or trait in the minds of the murderers, that kicks in when they commit the crime, and later vanishes.
It is not because they don't fear death or anything, otherwise, why would they fear a policeman's gun while being arrested or prefer appeals in courts ?

2) The statistics are wrong, biased or inconclusive .

That should explain the contradictory statistics.:grumpy:
The post aludes to the fact that the UN did a study which took into account all the previous studies on this issue, none of which found a deterant effect, whilst I'm still willing to say the statistics could be wrong or the conclusions based on the stats, I find it unlikely that all previous scientific studies were biased or inconclusive. They could all be wrong that is not in question, but until someone puts up something to the effect claiming the opposite, I'm still going with this evidence, I wish I had access to that particular book mentioned in the link, I suspect it would be much more revealing than the short excerpts here.

Also Arun, there is no comparison on your linked web site to what happens in states where the death penalty has been abolished, do they fall by more than other states? The same? Higher. This information is pretty non correlative, because it is devoid of a comparison with life imprisonment. There has been a gradual slide in most developed countries in murder rates in the last 20 years, most don't have the death penalty, so what exactly is the point here? The best country for comparisson is yours where they have not unilateraly abolished the death penalty, it should be possible to compare states where the death penalty has been abolished to states where it still exists to see if there is greater decrease in death rates in death penalty states. I'll try and dig something up, but like I said before don't wait up, should be pre next ice age with a bit of luck :smile:
 
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  • #139
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Schrodinger's Dog said:
The best country for comparisson is yours where they have not unilateraly abolished the death penalty, it should be possible to compare states where the death penalty has been abolished to states where it still exists to see if there is greater decrease in death rates in death penalty states
It is a sad fact, but in India the death penalty has not been abolished in any state so far :frown:
I would say I would find few sympathisers with me here to support life imprisonment over DP . But it is nice to see that Amnesty Intl. has taken up the fight:smile:

Aether said:
I haven't heard a compelling argument here either for or against the DP.
If after over a 100 posts, there is no argument for or against DP, that itself is an argument for LI :wink:
 
  • #140
Aether
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arunbg said:
If after over a 100 posts, there is no argument for or against DP, that itself is an argument for LI :wink:
"Declare the past, diagnose the present, foretell the future; practice these acts. As to diseases, make a habit of two things — to help, or at least to do no harm." -- Epidemics, Bk. I, Sect. XI
 

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