Texas death row inmate pulls out eye, eats it

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  • #26
Hurkyl
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So life and death is reduced to a logic problem?
Of course. At least if we plan on using reason.
 
  • #27
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Of course there is reason to keep people like this alive -- it's exactly the same reason that justifies keeping people like you and me alive.

The question is whether or not the reasons to keep people like this alive outweigh the reasons to kill him.


And what would be a good reason to keep him alive? Participation in a comedian show? Or in a circus? Or maybe for a plot of a horror movie where he depicts how he chopped his wife and children or how he ate his left eye? For the life of me, i cannot think of a single reason why i would want to have a neighbour like that.
 
  • #28
Monique
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My news source says his other eye underwent the same fate in 2004.
 
  • #30
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So he should get out on an insanity plea while the ones who could theoretically live life as decent people oughtn't? LOL! sorry... that just sounds rather silly.
That's not where I was going. Thomas is a danger to everyone and himself. But I don't see any justice in treating him as a criminal. He needs therapy.

The sane murderers need a swift kick up their arses. But at least they have the ability to rehabilitate, to become an asset to their community via their own decisions. Thomas has no such ability.

So we should only execute those capable of being an asset to their community?
I wasn't supporting any execution in this argument. Only that Andre Thomas shouldn't be. As for others, I think it all boils down to individual intentions. Does a sane murderer (I know, there's a separate issue about whether murderers can be sane/insane) intend to lead a good, meaningful, productive life or continue preying on people? That's entirely up to him. I don't see any such choice even within Thomas' potential.
 
  • #31
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And what would be a good reason to keep him alive? Participation in a comedian show? Or in a circus? Or maybe for a plot of a horror movie where he depicts how he chopped his wife and children or how he ate his left eye? For the life of me, i cannot think of a single reason why i would want to have a neighbour like that.
I think that Hurkyl was saying the following:

Reasons to keep him alive = Reasons to keep an innocent person X alive
Reasons to kill = Irreparably insane, probably would kill again repeatedly, cannibalism violates cultural norms

Considering the matter in this light, we essentially have a balance, the tipping of which determines the outcome we should choose. This is flawed as I see it as it disallows consideration of merit in addition to 'basic human rights'.

As for the decision being a logic game:Matters of import all boil down to logic games if we are to look at them in any systematic way. I fail to see how it could be sane to decide something as complex as whether or not to execute a person without applying a logical structure to the considerations even unconsciously.
 
  • #32
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Am I just sick or is there something slightly morbidly funny about what this guy did?
 
  • #33
Hurkyl
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Considering the matter in this light, we essentially have a balance, the tipping of which determines the outcome we should choose. This is flawed as I see it as it disallows consideration of merit in addition to 'basic human rights'.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I don't see how the 'balance' would disallow such consideration. If you think 'merit' is relevant, then wouldn't it go on the balance?
 
  • #34
Ivan Seeking
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Of course. At least if we plan on using reason.
It seems to me that morality plays a bit of a role here. But simple logic tells me that one should never give a bureaucracy power over life and death.

A bit paradoxical that Conservatives don't think the government can run a business, but it can properly negotiate the business of killing people. So the logic is to trust the government with lives but not widgets.
 
  • #35
CRGreathouse
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It seems to me that morality plays a bit of a role here. But simple logic tells me that one should never give a bureaucracy power over life and death.
So are you with Neville Chamberlain, or do you only mean in domestic law?
 
  • #36
Hurkyl
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But simple logic tells me that one should never give a bureaucracy power over life and death.
While that makes for a wonderfully stereotypical joke, it sounds like you mean it seriously. It would be interesting to hear that logic. (At least if it's not overly naïve, in which case it would be rather tiring)
 
  • #37
I don't think anyone should be put to death. Someone who does what he did is probably living a life of unfathomable misery anyway. I can't imagine what drives a person to do something like that.

Some people are just not apt for living amongst other people unsupervised... someone who goes over the edge like this is likely to have shown signs of instability, same with kids who shoot up schools, etc. -- what is needed is to better understand this sort of behavior and either a) learn to prevent and treat it, if possible, before it becomes a problem; or b) lock them up in a safe place where they can't harm themselves or others.

Thugs who go around beating homeless people and starting gun-fights in crowded places deserve to be locked up and punished, but a man like this who is driven to murder his entire family needs treatment-- he must be suffering enough as it is.

From the article, it sounds like he wanted treatment and was not given it. Or that someone was aware that he needed treatment. This is what happens; this whole ordeal could've been prevented.
 
  • #38
Am I just sick or is there something slightly morbidly funny about what this guy did?
I hear when he went to culinary school, he was the class's top... pupil.
 
  • #39
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I hear when he went to culinary school, he was the class's top... pupil.
Yet no one kept an eye out for him.
 
  • #40
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Gives new meaning to the UT fight song, "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You".
 
  • #41
Ivan Seeking
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While that makes for a wonderfully stereotypical joke, it sounds like you mean it seriously. It would be interesting to hear that logic. (At least if it's not overly naïve, in which case it would be rather tiring)
Clearly you are not open to the notion that no State has the right to execute its citizens, so I won't waste my time. However, I will say that there is nothing sophisticated about murder; esp when innocent people are killed by mistake. And it is naive think any system is flawless. So beyond any other concerns of morality or ethics, to support the death penalty is to support the murder of innocents. Also, anyone who feels that there is an acceptable number of innocents that may be murdered for the common good is free to be the first in line.
 
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  • #42
Ivan Seeking
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So are you with Neville Chamberlain, or do you only mean in domestic law?
I am only referring to domestic law. Defense of the nation is another matter. I don't see how we can get out of that one for a time. And the same is true for self defense for citizens as well as law enforcement - the need for lethal force is unavoidable at times. I am only talking about legal executions.
 
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  • #43
Hurkyl
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Clearly you are not open to the notion that no State has the right to execute its citizens, so I won't waste my time.
Why do you think that? Because I didn't immediately fall in line after a non-argument? Executions definitely violate my moral and ethical standards -- but I'm not going to impose those standards on everybody, or even pretend a functional government could adhere to them.

Also, note that you asserted bureaucracies shouldn't have power over life and death -- that assertion has far greater implications than the death penalty, and seems obviously false.

And it is naive think any system is flawless.
Exactly. And thus it's silly to condemn any system on the grounds that flaws exist.

So beyond any other concerns of morality or ethics, to support the death penalty is to support the murder of innocents.
So what?

Incidentally, I would like to point out that this is a highly misleading characterization. While literally accurate, the connotation is definitely a strawman.

Also, anyone who feels that there is an acceptable number of innocents that may be murdered for the common good is free to be the first in line.
I'm offended that you would actually present this as if it was a rational argument.
 
  • #44
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http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2003/20030815h.gif [Broken]
 
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  • #45
mheslep
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...A bit paradoxical that Conservatives don't think the government can run a business, but it can properly negotiate the business of killing people. So the logic is to trust the government with lives but not widgets.
Its not just conservatives/libertarians. A better question is who does think the government can run a business? Surely its not the pending leadership (Pres. Obama)
 
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  • #46
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I pretty much have some faith in the jury of his peers, which found him guilty.
 
  • #47
mgb_phys
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It seems to me that morality plays a bit of a role here. But simple logic tells me that one should never give a bureaucracy power over life and death.
It's one of the requirements of joining the European Union that you don't have a death penalty.
 

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