The death penalty

First off, apologies as this has been discussed before but not recently and it went all political the last time!

i was watching the box the other night with the O.H, on a certain no. channel about death row. Covered by a certain fast food named presenter.
fascinating insight into the death row etc etc.

Now about half way through, we got into a bit of a heated discussion (not quite a domestic!!) and i had to pause it.
The O.H said 'don't agree with the death penalty, they should be locked up for life and rot there for the rest of their lives'

i couldn't quite see the logic behind this and had to have it out with her.

i quite calmly said, 'life for a life' and there......it started!!

Now my thought on this is that, if your willing to stoop that low and take someones life (granted there is spur of the moment things to discuss), then i totally agree with the state and you should be no more!

She then went on to say that, if someone had taken her family members life, she wouldn't like to see them killed, just have them locked up for life, only allowed out for 1 hour a day to exercise/walk about etc, and rot in there for life until they eventually die of old age, thats the best punishment for them and gives them time to think about what they have done.
plus quite nasty in saying it, she would like them to suffer!

Many states are abolishing this law now and are opting out of the death penalty but i think i read that 50-60% of Americans still agree with it.

any other thoughts??
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Comments

  • I completely disagree with the death penalty. It has no place in civilised society. State sponsored murder, which is what the death penalty is belongs in the dark ages.

  • i disagree with it 100%, the case of troy davis alone should be enough, an innocent (and quite obviously) man as executed in america, even his executioners delayed the process by 4 hours almost expecting the stay call, it never came, the whole prison and death row officer team believe they executed an innocent man. i feel bad for them too.

  • For 'regular' crimes - I disagree with it. For war crimes - I agree with it. Someone like Saddam Hussein or Herman Goring  (although he committed suicide before he was executed) had so much power over so many people and abused it so horrendously. I think they deserve to pay the ultimate price for their actions. 

    However, I disagree completely with death row. I think it is worse than the death penalty. If there is no doubt as to the guilt of the accused and the ultimate punishment is to be applied, then it should be done as swiftly as possible. Torturing someone with the uncertainty of when they are going to die is worse than executing them, and it goes beyond whatever rationale you could apply to the death penalty (fitting punishment for crime, deterrent to others).

     

  • Jason Wintin wrote (see)
    First off, apologies as this has been discussed before but not recently and it went all political the last time!


    Funny that!  Maybe tomorrow we can discuss the Middle East problem without bringing religion into it?  image

    Death penalty - no.

  • David Falconer 3 wrote (see)
    xine267 wrote (see)
    For 'regular' crimes - I disagree with it. For war crimes - I agree with it. Someone like Saddam Hussein or Herman Goring  (although he committed suicide before he was executed) had so much power over so many people and abused it so horrendously. I think they deserve to pay the ultimate price for their actions.   

    What about for Oscar? Would you sit him down on a chair and turn the electricity on?

    No. We hardly have any of the facts about this case so we don't know what happened.

    And killing your girlfriend is not a war crime. Reprehensible? Yes. If guilty, should he be punished? Absolutely. But I've already said that I don't agree with the dealth penalty outside of the war crime context. I think the state has to be better than the people it punishes, and held to a higher standard than the people it governs.

  • David Falconer 3 wrote (see)

    The one problem with the death penalty is that you don't get a chance to 'rectify' the error if new evidence comes to light.

    But on a more general note, if you are asking me if Oscar should fry, then the answer is yes.  

    david whens your "i hate Oscar thread" starting??

  • ok so to everyone that strongly dis-agrees.

    what about them staying in prison for the rest of their lives, while being payed for by the tax payer?

  • Jason Wintin wrote (see)

    ok so to everyone that strongly dis-agrees.

    what about them staying in prison for the rest of their lives, while being payed for by the tax payer?

    What about it? The economic burden of keeping someone in prison is not one of the factors considered during sentencing, nor should it be.

  • Jason Wintin wrote (see)

    ok so to everyone that strongly dis-agrees.

    what about them staying in prison for the rest of their lives, while being payed for by the tax payer?

    in a civilised societhat doesn't have the death penalty, it's a small price to pay.

    how many murderers are there in the prison population as a whole??  there are no accurate figures but it's thought to be around 5%.   we pay more to keep people in prison who really shouldn't be there

  • Diametrically opposed to the death penalty.

    The institutionalised taking of a human life is simply barbaric.

    A revenge meted out out by a nation that refuses to acknowledge its social failings. 

  • No!
    ...Yes David, not even for Oscar.

     

  • At one time I used to be a supporter of the death penalty for the following reasons. I thought that it acted as a deterrent, that it made them pay the price of their crime, it showed the general public that justice was being done, and that it gave closure to the relatives of the murder victim to see the killer being executed.

    Now lets examine those points. The death penalty isn't a deterrent, as the American states that kill murderers have a higher murder rate than those states without the death penalty. It doesn't make them pay for their crime and only acts as retribution, which has no place in a civilised society. It doesn't really show the general public that justice is being done, only that the state knows how to kill. Killing the killer won't give the murder victim's relatives closure, only leave an empty space in their lives.

    Nowadays I am opposed to the use of the death penalty. If the state executes a murderer, this then makes the state a killer as they are killing to prove that killing is wrong. This makes the state a hypocrite. Also, the American use of the death penalty violates the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which outlaws the use of any cruel or unusual punishment. The gas chamber is a gruesome and painful way to execute someone, described by doctors as dying with the feeling of suffocating, intense muscle cramp and having a heart attack all at the same time. The electric chair causes severe burning, and even the lethal injection isn't pain free if it's not carried out properly. The biggest problem with the death penalty is that if you execute someone and it turns out afterwards that they are innocent, then it's too late to do anything about it. Even with DNA evidence, mistakes can be made and some of the evidence can be falsified.

    I think that the answer to regaining public confidence is to give longer tariffs (the minimum amount of time that must be served on life sentences). At the minute, the starting point for setting a tariff on a life sentence for murder is 15, with it being increased or decreased accordingly to take in to acount any aggravting or mitigating circumstances. If the starting point for setting tariffs was 25 years, then this would give the public more confidence in the criminal justice system, and less likely to call for the death penalty.

  • against. of course.

    and it won't ever be repealed. next?

  • Also, we wouldn't be able to bring it back, as it contravenes Article 2, the right to life, of the European Convention on Human Rights. This is an absolute right, so can't be derogated from.

  • 100% against, for all of the reasons already mentioned.

     

  • xine267 wrote (see)
    What about it? The economic burden of keeping someone in prison is not one of the factors considered during sentencing, nor should it be.

    Couldn't agree more.

  • i feel so ashamed image

  • David Falconer 3 wrote (see)

    Its like seeing a gaggle of Guardian readers all come together .......

    I'm a Conservative voting Times reader actually, but I'm still against state-sponsored murder.

  • David Falconer 3 wrote (see)
    Rickster wrote (see)
    David Falconer 3 wrote (see)

    Its like seeing a gaggle of Guardian readers all come together .......

    I'm a Conservative voting Times reader actually, but I'm still against state-sponsored murder.

    Even for scum who deserve it? Didnt see the murder victims get much of a say in when or how they died.

    Give them a longer tariff on their life sentence. If the state kills, then the state is lowering itself to the level of the murderer. Of course a murderer deserves to be punished for their crime, but the death penalty is not the answer.

    How about this for an example. Anders Brevick killed over 100 people in Norway. If Norway had the death penalty he would most certainly would have been executed. but even if he had beed executed, it wouldn't have brought a single one of his victims back to life.

    The death penalty is all about revenge. It's not about serving justice.

  • Breivik killed 77. But aside from my pedantry, I agree with you that his murder by the state would have resolved nothing. I can scarcely think of a single example of someone more reprehensible or deserving of punishment, but his murder would neither have restored his victims, nor would it have deterred people from committing murder (as there is no evidence that capital punishment has any deterrent effect).

    I also agree that vengence should not be a function of government. Murder is not a right that I wish governments to have the power to exercise.

  • AgentGinger wrote (see)

    Breivik killed 77. But aside from my pedantry, I agree with you that his murder by the state would have resolved nothing. I can scarcely think of a single example of someone more reprehensible or deserving of punishment, but his murder would neither have restored his victims, nor would it have deterred people from committing murder (as there is no evidence that capital punishment has any deterrent effect).

    I also agree that vengence should not be a function of government. Murder is not a right that I wish governments to have the power to exercise.

    77 people. I stand corrected. image

  • There should be the death penalty only for the most severe crimes like Genocide or being James Corden.
  • It is a tough one, I think it is easy to argue that some people may deserve it but there are a couple of reasons I would oppose it :

    - There is no chance to rectify it at all.
    - I could personally not flick the switch to end a life on someone else's say so. Therefore, I would not expect anyone else to have to have that responsibility.

  • I believe the trial judge should have the discretion to impose the death penalty if:

    (a)  the crime is sufficiently heinous that it cries out for it; and

    (b) as well as the jury having convicted, the judge himself is 100% satisfied that the case against the accused has been proven.

    (If there isn't any doubt about guilt - and there often isn't - then arguments about the danger of putting to death the wrong person fly out the window.)

    However, it is rather pointless discussing this. Although the British public favour the death penalty, our Westminster Parliament won't give it to us. So much for the notion of democracy.

     

  • Does the death penalty work in the US where they have it ? Are their crime rates any lower ? If they aren't then it doesn't work so why have it ?



    Plus we do convict people wrongly. What happens then ? Execute the judge/jury/lawyers ?
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