Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is it Right to Hang a person in the name of Justice ?

  1. Aug 13, 2004 #1
    Is it Right to Hang a person in the name of Justice?

    In INDIA , one criminal is going to be hanged on 14th Aug as a punishment for a crime.


    what my concern is ....is human mind irreversible ? Cant we change a human mind? Is “death sentence” an ultimate solution to eliminate dangerous criminals from society ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2004 #2
    The answer is YES...

    He deserves to be hanged...

    Every criminal must be executed if we are to live safely..

    Think about this (I dun intend to offend you here), if it was the same person who brutally murdered someone you loved a lot, what wud you say?

    A man who has taken the life of another doesnt deserve to live at all...
  4. Aug 14, 2004 #3
    Thanks for the response...

    however....looks like u didnt understand my question....

    is Human brain something rigid ? cant it be put in right path ?

    is hanging a person a failure of humanity in making a radical change in human mind ? we vote for death sentense becaz we r not capable of putting a disorder mind in order ?

    if this incident happens to someone in my family , i wont probably turn introvert abt death sentence . i agree...

    i am not showing any sign of pity on the hanged person by posting this question. but somehow i feel like we r lost in handling a issue.
  5. Aug 15, 2004 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I beleive some criminals cannot be rehabilitated. Therefore, I am in favor of the death penalty.
  6. Aug 15, 2004 #5
    In general I believe the death penalty is a bad idea. Some criminals are genetically predisposed to do things, while others can be rehabilitated.

    I believe humanity as a whole should strive to achieve the great amount of pleasure and the least amount of pain, by working together. If this person can spend a life in a prison cell then perhaps he'll get pleasure. While prison isn't an ideal place for self-enjoyment I think he should be able to choose life in prison or death.

    When the death penalty is executed it shouldn't be seen by anyone but the executioner. It's barbaric to watch someone die for the pleasure of a so called justice. That's my opinion at least. I don't even know if I support the death penalty at all. I'd have to think it over for awhile.
  7. Aug 15, 2004 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    When you get hungry enough you will commit crimes in order to obtain food. Shall we hang you when the time comes? Let us know...
  8. Aug 16, 2004 #7
    What a joker..Do u think criminals commit crimes in order to get a living? Thats one of the biggest jokes man...So if a criminal murders someone, hes actually doing it for food, if he rapes a woman, hes is actually doing it for food..huh?
  9. Aug 16, 2004 #8
    In a lot of cases i find the deathpenalty to be to soft.
    For instance a person like Marc Dutroux (for the non europeans, this man has been sentencedto life emprisonment for raping and murdering several young girls).
    In the Us (some states at least) he would have been sentenced to death.
    Whitch in fact would shorten his punishment.
    I'm in favour of complete solatairy confinement in those cases, to go even further, people who commit crimes as hideous as this should be locked away in a lightless room without ever in their lives being alowd to see or hear another human being.
    This in IMO is the ultimate punishment.
    Death penalties are to humane for some crimes.

    Ok of to the changing of brains.
    In a lot of cases it can be done, provided you can give all the support and counseling for possibly a long time.
    Ofcourse there are some ppl who i shall refer to as evil, they embody the tiny group of ppl who are indeed evil cold harted and emotionless, thank god little of them exist.

    In practice i don't think it is realistic to try and change all criminals.
    You get the best chance with young offenders and small timers.
    No country has the recources to help all criminals.
  10. Aug 16, 2004 #9


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What about when justice makes mistakes then ? There are many examples of people having been executed, only to find out, 10 years later, that they were innocent because the true criminal was found.
    Recently, someone who had been sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape and murder of 2 children, was released AFTER 15 YEARS, because a well-known serial raper and killer, who had been arrested much later, admitted those crimes, and even put forward some material elements of it (showing that at that moment, he was very near the place etc...).
    Of course, for the person who has been released, he lost 15 years of his life etc... but at least, he now gets a (huge) indemnisation and can make something of the rest of his life. For information, the person is Patrick Dils.
    If they would have hung him, what would justice have to say now to his family ?
    This is just one example, but there are many. Death penalty is too irreversible when the slightest doubt remains.

  11. Aug 16, 2004 #10


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Since the death penalty was abolished in the UK, there have been a number of convicts (serving life sentences) who have since been pardoned and cleared of their previous convictions due to new evidence, often arising from the development of forensic techniques which have since become available. If the death penalty had been in place when these people had been sentenced, they would not be alive when pardoned. That seems to me like an opportunity missed to say the least.
  12. Aug 16, 2004 #11


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Hah, yes Vanesh, point seconded...
  13. Aug 16, 2004 #12
    I don't see how anyone can support the death penalty if it is imperfect as it has been proven to be. I would like to hear some of you in favor of the death penalty propose a fail-safe way to convict and sentence a person to their death (absolutely certain of guilt). What crime deserves the death penalty (there appear to be obvious answers, but think about circumstances)? Do you think it is possible that you could be erroneously convicted and sentenced to death (wrong place, wrong time)?

    There is one thing I will concede, an imperfect justice system is something we all must deal with, but people falsely imprisoned is a far cry from people falsely put to death.
  14. Aug 17, 2004 #13


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Exactly. In fact, I do not have many moral oppositions to death penalty in that certain criminals have done such attrocious things that by all standards, they'd deserve to die. I do not talk about simple murder ; this to me is not sufficient, but I'm talking about "human monsters" like serial killers, merciless mafia leaders and so on.

    However, as I pointed out, the idea that an innocent person is put to death is so unbearable, that I think it is a sufficient reason not to have capital punishment. But then what in those cases that guilt has been proven beyond any doubt ?

    I think that even in these cases, there are reasons for not applying the death penalty. Indeed, one should avoid at all cost that the legal system is abused as a political means of oppression. The big difference between someone in prison and someone executed, is that the person in prison can still TALK. So having your political opponents thrown in prison, will, sooner or later, come out. Having them killed makes them shut up for always.
    Even for justice, it is probably more interesting to have a criminal in jail, than under the ground, because you can always interrogate him concerning other crimes he might be aware of. This is, btw, how this case of Patrick Dils was resolved.

    Another example: many years ago, a dead body with knife wounds was found in a basement, and on the wall was written in blood: "Omar killed me!" Omar was quickly found, and a popular jury sentenced him to life inprisonment for the murder. Years later, when DNA tests and so on became available, it was however found out that the blood on the wall had nothing to do with the blood of the victim or the blood of Omar. So Omar is (in the process of being) released.

  15. Aug 20, 2004 #14
    What is our meaning of Justice? Is it not just righteous revenge? I constantly hear the argument of "If this had happened to you, would you not want them executed?", but the fallacy to that is, in my eyes, the law should be a logical system that is seperate and uneffected by emotion.(Can you tell Im a physicist yet?). There are only a finite number of types of crimes, with certain permutations and circumstances. Eventually over time I believe we should focus more on what punishments fit which crimes (we sort of have this now). Unfortunately the lawyer/jury relationship used now is completely based on emotion and the ability to easily sway a persons decision using it(emotion).

    I guess for my current standing on the death penalty is that we should not have it. I don't believe we have the right to take someone else's life based on their decisions. I DO believe that, due to the society influence our free will has, we have the right to punish people for crimes that we,as a society, agree are crimes. But, since we decide that we have the right to punish, we must accept the financial responsibility of carrying out their punishment (be it inprisonment or service).

    The problem with a logical approach without emotion is that it would lead us to execute anyone who commits severe crimes or shows an inability to reform their behavior. There is also the argument that it is obvious we need a population control, and society can be better without criminals, and it costs us money to inprison them, so we might as well just kill the criminals. This would also, presumably, deter would-be criminals due to the harshness of punishment.

    Its a tough call that can go both ways.

    PS : My car cd-player was stolen this morning; I would love to find them and give them a good beating.
  16. Aug 21, 2004 #15
    Sword Of Damocles Based Capital Punishment


    1. The jury system can and does make mistakes

    2. There is some evidence (though small) for the idea that some people are genetically pre-disposed to violence.

    3. There is very little evidence that an actual murderer can be re-habilitated.

    4. The concepts of justice and punishment are arbitrary human constructs that have no bearing on the safety of society

    5. Punishment is meant to convince someone not to repeat an offense

    6. A dead person has not been convinced of anything

    7. Justice is fallible (See #1 above

    8. Society will not and probably cannot afford the risk of a convicted murderer remaining in contact with society

    Based on the above ideas I propose a change to capital punishment.
    If a person is sentenced to capital punishment the execution should be held in abeyance indefinately. The person convicted should be held in high security conditions until one of the following occurs.

    1. The person proves his innocence in which case he is freed.
    2. The person dies
    3. The person commits and is convicted of a felony including an attempted or successful escape in prison in which case the execution is conducted immediately.

    This allows the person if he is actually innocent to continue to try to prove it and to avoid death by avoiding bad behaviour and is a sort of Sword Of Damocles Based Capital Punishment.
    What do you think?
  17. Sep 6, 2004 #16
    IMO people spend too much time thinking on the nature of the criminal, not enough on the nature of the punisher. When a person is sentenced to death and the sentence is carried out, the government has killed someone.

    The state is not merely an abstract concept. It is made up of people. Those people have killed someone.

    And in a democratic nation, it's no great exaggeration to say that the citizenry has conspired to kill someone.

    Does that person deserve to die? Maybe. But I would not want to be ruled by people who think they have the right to kill. Do you?

    It's not 'justice'. It's blood on our hands.
  18. Sep 6, 2004 #17
    How does the US even decide whether a person deserves the death penalty or not?

    We see on the news that I person who murders 2 people gets the death penalty. While 1 other guy rapes and kills 30+ women, and he gets life - the same as a person who murdered 1 person.

    How is this fair and just?
  19. Sep 7, 2004 #18
    Yeah, "Do not kill!" ; and then we kill him. uhhhhh
    It's also wrong because everyone can change.
    And who is this new eringj person. You're very smart :)

    "in the name of Justice " I think it's not about justice when people excecute others, it's then of Practical reasons, or because they just want revenge. And I don't believe in revenge.
    Punishments should be there because we want to set people in place. And our laywers and prisons are here so that we can put dangerous people aside to protect others. Even the prison can be a hopeless situation because it often doesn't teach them what they've done wrong, and then they get out.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2004
  20. Sep 12, 2004 #19
    the death penalty should be used only if somebody is unable to be rehabilitated or if their crime was extremely horrific. Some people really do deserve to die. Im not sure of the statistics of how effective it is as a detterent, but I would think that it would be, which may save many innocent lives as opposed to the lives of murderers.
  21. Sep 13, 2004 #20
    Pace, lets say the authorities caught those resposible for the russian school tragedy... would it not be justice for those involved to be given the death penalty? I bet you they would prefer this punishment as opposed to being locked up all their lives and most likely being murdered in jail. Instead of taxpayers paying for these people to live in our jails without any chance of ever getting out, why not just end it right then?

    Might be wrong, but it makes the most sense to me.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook