Capital Punishment

Leisa's picture

So I was wondering everyone's views on Capital Punishment. Personally I disagree with it (ooh big shocker there! LOL!) Anyway, first and foremost, its hypocritical. The lawmakers say, hey you can't kill anyone, but if you do, we can kill you and its lawful. Secondly, its not a deterrant, obviously, people are still out there commiting crimes everyday. And last , but most certainly not least, capital punishment seems to be based on the faith that when a criminal ( a sinner) is put to death he or she will go to a hell, thus furthering his or her punishment. Well my little Christians, what if there is no hell, is death simply enough of a punisment? I certainly can't fathom that it would be. Thus, I propose we bring back torture and public humiliation (ie: the stocks). I'm absolutely serious about this. Torture would be an effective deterrant against crime, and public humiliation would also. To this, the subject of inhumanity comes up. That's the tricky part of punishing criminals. Still, I firmly believe in the torture of criminals that otherwise would be sentenced to death.

adbak's picture

I read somewhere

"To judge the depth of one's kindness don't look at how well they treat their friends but rather how well they treat their enemies."

If one were to look at how well they treat their friends, they would be seeing the greatest amount of kindness that person bears. Yet if one were instead to look at how well they treat their enemies then they would get to see how evil that person can be.

I'm against capital punishment and torture of any kind. They should be treated like people but not like kings. They should not get all the privileges awarded to regular citizens but they should get some. They did wrong, yes, but thats where the aggressive punishment should end.

I may not be portraying my position as best as I can. I worked an 11 and a half hour day at work today. And its midnight now.

jules's picture

points absent of opinion

1) Capital punishment is kind of about public humiliation and it is kind of about torture. But in an different way, and those things are as much about public elevation of the prisoner as well.

2) Crime cannot necessarily be deterred, it simply exists external to us. But on an individual level, capital punishment can be argued to sway. The thing is, you have to really understand the nature of the crimes for which one receives such a sentence. The motivations. And in doing that, no, capital punishment is not necessarily and effective deterrent for that kind of crime.

3) Capital punishment is, bottom line, about economics. It is telling the criminal and their community that they have crossed the line of lines and, in doing so, have sacrificed the rights they otherwise would have had. To exist as citizens. And the state can choose to box them up and spend the tax dollars of the citizens who have chosen not to cross the line - it is a thin line - on preserving life. Or they can deny them that right, the right to live and to live provided for by their government and society. And they can kill them. In killing them, they reinforce the rights of those who have not crossed that line. The death is supposed to be symbolic. But short of those invested in that death, and the activists, and the government and penal institution, sometimes the community...short of that, in the larger realm, most people just don't give a shit.

I am talking out of my ass this morning. These aren't really opinions. Actually, they aren't even really points.

~Jules

______________

Historian of The Movement To Free Ommpa loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalsitic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

Leisa's picture

So you're one of those that j

So you're one of those that just don't give a shit? A subscriber to the channel of apathy?

Chief Political Right Hand Woman to Ceo, Founder and First Member of The Movement to Free Oompa Loompa Land from the Tryanicall Capitalsitic Despot Willy Wonka

jules's picture

Oh, not at all.

Um, well, no. I just wrote that way before I drank a coffee. And it nowhere says that I don't give a shit. If I didn't have a shit to give, I wouldn't have replied.

Capital Punishment. My position.

I have this whole thing about waiting to state my position if it is contrary to an existing framework. Until I can state that position while also providing proactive alternatives.

And here, I really can't.

I have a visceral reaction to the idea of strapping some bastard to a chair and injecting him to death. I don't like it. On the other hand, that bastard is getting treated better than a dog that some kid got for Christmas one year and then lost interest in and it ran away and someone found it and beat the shit out it and then abandoned it. And it ended up at the fucking pound and they gave it a number and subjected it to the holocaust of humane extinction. I have a problem with that, too. Because that dog didn't kill someone. Apples and oranges and one giant tangent.

Capital punishment. I think that the name for it is a joke. Why don't they just say it like it is? Last rope, my friend. If you're lucky, we'll do it properly and when we fry your ass you won't catch on fire. If you're lucky, we'll do it properly and not miscalculate the dosage so that you seize for an hour after the injections start and we try to figure out what went wrong, and the muscular trauma catalyzes rapid rigor mortis so that we have to wait until postmoderm lividity sets in before we can even really move you. If you're lucky, we'll do it properly and when we gas you, you won't suffocate instead of passing out and strain for breath so badly that the deoxygenation results in petechial hemorrhaging. If you're lucky, you won't suffer the way your victims did.

Look, been there, done that and can't even begin to fucking imagine what it's really like. But the case studies, the autopsy photographs, the trips to the morgue. You look at a six year-old kid on a table with a y incision while the pathologist talks about how that kid was sodomized and brutalized for days and starved. You look at that kid's finger nails, raw and broken and gone from clawing at a closet door. Watch that child's family at the funeral, mother weeping so badly she can't even cry anymore. And then, then multiply what you are imagining by infinity.

Imagine that kid is one of your siblings.

Capital punishment. Yeah, I don't like it. But I also can't say that I don't understand.

~Jules

______________

Historian of The Movement To Free Ommpa loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalsitic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

Leisa's picture

"You look at a six year-old k

"You look at a six year-old kid on a table with a y incision while the pathologist talks about how that kid was sodomized and brutalized for days and starved. You look at that kid's finger nails, raw and broken and gone from clawing at a closet door. Watch that child's family at the funeral, mother weeping so badly she can't even cry anymore. And then, then multiply what you are imagining by infinity.

Imagine that kid is one of your siblings."

Hence the torture Jules

Chief Political Right Hand Woman to Ceo, Founder and First Member of The Movement to Free Oompa Loompa Land from the Tryanicall Capitalsitic Despot Willy Wonka

jules's picture

I know.

And I was also trying to reflect something else. Capital punishment is torture, of a different kind. It may not be what you see in a wax museum exhibit chamber, but torture nonetheless.

Look, kids teach good lessons. They understand pain and they understand death in a way we sometimes forget when we grow up. They have a different kind of empathy. Compassion and mercy are good things sometimes. And torture is a good way of unteaching that.

So while I understand that urge to do unto the perpetator what the perpatrator did unto others, that eye for an eye stuff, I just wouldn't. And I don't like it. And it isn't part of my own human principle.

And I respect your principles just the same.

But I suspect that were you ever to watch an execution, or the execution of torture...were it broadcast the way it might be to make it public in a whole new global pay television way, that this post would be about the atrocities of that system of punishment. Because right now it's a very backroom kind of affair. And it is very backroom because to have people watch it would be dangerous to the institution. It has everything to do with not offending the common sensibility. Because it would.

If you watched it, you would be offended.

Watching a person fucking plead for mercy, you would never forget that. And just because their victims may have done the same doesn't make it okay.

We need solutions outside of violence. And I just don't have any.

~Jules

______________

Historian of The Movement To Free Ommpa loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalsitic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

Leisa's picture

In all actuality, I am more i

In all actuality, I am more inclined to agree with you on most of your points Jules. However, I was more concerned with a probably deterrant solution. While I know that torture is impractical and inhumane, it seems as though it would be more effective than the current actions. And yes, you're right, in that my bleeding heart would inevitably take over and I could not and would not ever be able to live with knowing that something of that sort was happening. This was more for arguments sake than anything. And if you could come up with a better solution for deterants then I'm behind you 100 %.

Chief Political Right Hand Woman to Ceo, Founder and First Member of The Movement to Free Oompa Loompa Land from the Tryanicall Capitalsitic Despot Willy Wonka

jules's picture

Scientific American

Find the May issue. And then read the article on recidivism and rehabilitation.

~Jules

______________

Historian of The Movement To Free Ommpa loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalsitic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

Leisa's picture

Read! You think I actually kn

Read! You think I actually know how to read! hehe!

Chief Political Right Hand Woman to Ceo, Founder and First Member of The Movement to Free Oompa Loompa Land from the Tryanicall Capitalsitic Despot Willy Wonka

Luke's picture

I'll begin with a cliched quote:

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." Without compassion, what are we? If we exist in a legalistic society with no sense of mercy or forgiveness, we will eventually deteriorate to a souless, totalitarian police state, where punishment EXACTLY fits the crime. Ok, thats a bit of an exaggeration. But what about humanity? If you don't think that execution is torture, read The Idiot. Brilliant section about capital punishment.
Also, what about those innocently executed? What happened to a system that would rather let a thousand guilty men go free than wrongly punish someone? Anyway, I'm out. No worries:)
-Luke
The Head of Security for the Movement to Free Oompa Loompa Land from the Tyrannical Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka

eTgen's picture

Well

I am too lazy to read the entire thread, so if I am repeating things people have said forgive me.

Lesia,

I completly agree with you on every issue. Capital Punishment is useless- the idea of "humane lethal injection" is simply absurd! Murder can never be humane. Thus the problem with the issue of tortue is that one must remove the humanity from it. This criminals are vile scumbags, who have been proven guilty before the law (an excelent parable von Kafka). As such, they lose their right to humanity- they leave, as it where, the shpere (oh dare I say it! yes yes!)- or the *metanarrative*- of social relations. The human element is null and void.

Capital punishment has failed. I say that with confidence as it is established today- viz., to act as a deteriant. A professor at my university who specialied in prisions, whom I had the great fortune to have, told us about the inefficiancy of capital punishement.

What must be established to work as a deteriant is "a return to the enlightened judicial prinicple of Romanic Barbarisism." IN short- you sidplay the inhumane, the wretched, before the public and publically humilate him. There is no humanity in this, yes, but in order for it to be effective humanity must not play a role.

I however think that the Greeks had it right. That for a criminal the punishment was the slaughtering of his/her family. Thus the criminal survives but lives with enterneal guilt for the innocent- those he loved. (did this work? eh, whose to say)

Well I have made you worship false idols and I have corrupted you. Meletus is telling me not to take the drink they just offered me. But it smells so sweat.

Hemlock I drink thee in the peace of my..............*head hits computer hitting enter submitting post*

latterz,

eTgen
---
CEO, President, Founder, and First member of:

The Movement To Free Ommpa loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalsitic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

[TMTFOLLFTTROTECDWWAA]

Leisa's picture

I love you! Chief Politica

I love you!

Chief Political Right Hand Woman to Ceo, Founder and First Member of The Movement to Free Oompa Loompa Land from the Tryanicall Capitalsitic Despot Willy Wonka

suffragettecity's picture

Lock 'em up, subject 'em to o

Lock 'em up, subject 'em to one straight week of Britney Spears music, and let GOD sort 'em out!

Yeah, I don't think capital punishment works as a deterrent, either. Statistically, US states (and other countries) where it is no longer practiced actually have lower rates of violent crime than states in which it is practiced. I don't know if that's a correlation, but it shows that it doesn't always make people afraid to commit violent crimes.

I think capital punishment is about appealing to people's emotions. If you have some psychopath who murders and mutilates 20 children (or, for that matter, if you have two French monarchs, a Russian royal family, or a bunch of Chinese "reactionaries" and feudal lords), that's going to inspire hatred and anger in his or her community, so you have to placate the people's anger by killing this horrible, horrible individual.

I also think racism has a lot to do with it, at least as far as the US is concerned. Most of the people on death row in the US are Black, and a Black person who commits a crime punishable by death is more likely to be given a death sentence for it than a White person. The government can also use the death penalty to get rid of people it doesn't happen to like by framing them on trumped-up charges and then handing down a death sentence, such as the cases of Mumia Abu-Jamal and Bartolomeo Vanzetti and Nicola Sacco.

hol's picture

ok

Capital punishment and the criminal system in general is just whacked, given that it does nothing to deal with the systemic issues that have people put in jail in the first place. *That* however, is a whole different argument.

I don't think that we should kill people for their crimes, conversely, given the dramatic differences in sentencing in Canada and the US, I think if it were me, I'd prefer death. In Canada a life sentence is 25 years, where in the States, it is considerably more especially given that multiple sentences that are served on top of one another, not consecutively. So if I am sentenced to jail for 117 years, I mean why not just kill me? I am going to live in jail for the rest of my life, what is the point?

There will be no rehabilitation (supposedly one purpose of the penal system), all this time does not necessarily make me reflect and repent on my crimes and change my ways, as I realize I will never be in society again. Just kill me dammit.

And then we can get into the economic slant, especially in the cost and cost in terms of the social and all those interrelated factors I just grazed over above.

Ok. That's just the tip of my point.
~hol

Luke's picture

Good point...

I would say that THAT is one of the only truly convincing arguments for the death penalty. I think that our prison system ought to be more rehabilitative than it is, because people CAN change. However, I don't know if its right to kill people "for their own sake" since their situation is hopeless. Maybe offer them leathal injection, not sentance them.
Ok. That's the tip of my penis. I mean point...NO worries:)
-Luke
The Head of Security for the Movement to Free Oompa Loompa Land from the Tyrannical Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka

linds's picture

hmm.

Leisa,

While I'm not for capital punishment per se, I am a right-to-die sort of person. I think it was Holly that brought up the problem of consecutive life sentences -- faced with that sort of sentence, I would choose death freely. But it's a choice. Capital punishment isn't about choice.

And it is about economics, as Jules points out -- it's much cheaper to kill someone than to spend taxpayer dollars on caring for prisoners, right? The aspect of this entire discussion about which I am most knowledgeable is the prison system and its need for reform -- as the daughter and niece and cousin of at least ten people who work for various aspects of the prison system (my dad investigates fugitives, for example) I can say that the prison system won't become a rehabilitative one until you can change the mindsets of the people who run it. Because my relatives will tell you (and they've been in corrections a long time, my father alone for 21 years) that "rehabilitation doesn't work. Force works." I don't agree, but these are the folks perpetuating the system, at least in the states.

If the prison system were different, I think you'd see a lot less support for capital punishment.

These thoughts are rather disorganized -- I've been living internet-free in Brooklyn and am jumping in late. I don't support the death penalty, but I'm part of a minority, and I don't think that will change until our approach to crime and to violence changes.

That is all.
~Linds

-----
Special Envoy to Tea-Drinking Nations for The Movement To Free Oompa Loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

Jillie's picture

I think the debate is more along the lines of...

Death Penalty vs. Life Sentence. If a prisoner was in jail for life, there would be no need to rehabilitate him, as he would never return to regular society. I do believe that rehabilitation is a good choice for more minor crimes, as kleptomaniacs and sex offenders can be put on drugs and treated to some degree. However, we haven't yet isolated what compels man to kill his own, and someone who has shown to be capable of killing will probably be a danger to others when unmonitered. That said, I am against the Death Penalty.
It is not a deterrant, it is not any safer than life imprisonment, it is not cheaper (on average) to kill someone than to keep someone, because of legal expenses. It is legalized murder.

I, myself, would rather die than face years upon years of life in prison, with all the rape, fights, riots and drug use that goes on there. Death would seem a sweet escape, not a punishment. There is no guarentee of punishment in the afterlife. I, too, believe in the right-to-die. Someone who has demonstrated the monstrosity of murder does not deserve a right-to-die.

The system is far from perfect. Unfair and racist judges and juries exist. A black person who kills a white person is twelve times ( twelve times! ) more likely to be given the death penalty than a white person who kills a black one. Twenty-three innocent people have been executed in the United States in the 20th century. More than 30 mentally retarded people have been executed since 1967, after answering "yes" to cross-examination questions, hoping to please people.

A have a lot more points, but I don't want to waste everyone's time.
Thank you for going through it.

unicornz's picture

its simple

"an eye for an eye will leave the world blind." Really, its that simple. Im against of course. But then again, I've never been in a bad situation...

-unicornz

RoaG's picture

that quote is great. The U

that quote is great.

The Ultimate Oompa Loompa Wannabe

earthquaker's picture

i am adamantly against the de

i am adamantly against the death penalty. the first thoughts that come to my mind are of people who were either falsly charged, or who just royally screwed up and wouldn't usually do something like that. as one of my favorite singer/songwriters once said, how can you judge someone on their worst moment (ani difranco)? also, 90% of all the people sentenced to death in the US have been in the old confederacy. like texas. it also costs just as much in lawyer bills ect. to get through a death penalty trial as it does to keep someone in jail for the rest of their life. one thing that i feel must be understood is that people who are on trial for the death penalty or even that are convicted of it are not necessarily bad people. sure there are sickos out there who raped and tortured little kids. i'm not saying they're good people or that whatever they did is justified. i'm just saying that not all 'criminals' are like that. and even if they are, they need help. it is my nature to forgive.. but forgiveness does not necessarily mean trust. i am not by any means trying to say these people should be released with a minimal sentence. i just do not believe in the death penalty. it is derived from racism and lynching.. they made it legal with racist juries and judges, with-held evidence, and poor defense lawyers provided by the state.

though i'm often in the middle about things, when i choose a side on an issue, i feel very strongly.

peace,
~Claire~

glennjamin's picture

the cost of death

"it also costs just as much in lawyer bills ect. to get through a death penalty trial as it does to keep someone in jail for the rest of their life."

The truth is that it doesn't cost just as much, it actually costs MUCH MUCH more to kill a person in the U.S than it does to imprison them for life.

Tiki's picture

hmm...good topic!

um...let's see....where's this thread gone? oh ok - i think this covers all the topics. adding a few new ones.
basically on death and violence:

against capital punishment.
against torture.
against gun or weapon ownership.
against war.
for right to die.
pro choice.
agree with right of artists to produce violence in fiction and documentary media.
disagree with sensationalised violence in the news media.
don't like war toys or gun-shaped water toys.

that's just kind of informed gut instinct there so i'm not really entering into debate- just sharing how i feel and throwing a few more topics in there.

Dreaming of the Blue Hawaiian Diner...

Jazzer's picture

Jazzer rings in

Since it looks like I'm in the minority, I'll try and make this as short and articulate as possible: yeah, kill the bastard if he or she did something to deserve it (say, killing some innocent person). My only reservation about the capital punishment system that exists today is that it is imperfect. That being said, until there is a way to be 110% sure we're killing the person that should be killed, then we should wait.

I've always had issue with the arguement, "Capital punishment is hypocritical because you're killing someone for killing." Well, not exactly. Like I said, if we're positive that someone is guilty for taking the life of an innocent person/people, I think it only fitting to do the same to him or her. Taking the life of a guilty person versus someone innocent are two entirely different acts with two entirely different motivations behind them: malice vs. justice (at least, they would be in my eyes).

So there we have it. The opinion of a small-town musician moved to the big city. That's where I stand--be easy on me.

Michael

Some people's kids...I tell ya!

adrian's picture

Didn't Jerry Fallwell

Say that Capital Punishment turns the government into a murderer, but life imprisonment turns it into a gay dungeon master?

Well .. that might be true.. since i would get myself locked up in a second if i got decent broadband and was Christopher Meloni's prison bitch. (read: Oz)

(click on prison bitch.. it's funny)

---
Princess Adrian.
Lord Master Supreme of Webcode and Chairmen on the Department of Truthful Documents for The Movement To Free Ommpa loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalsitic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

RoaG's picture

Yeah...

I like how it's okay to kill thousands of people as long as it's in the name of God's country.

*claws her ears as "God Bless America" pops into her head*

The Ultimate Oompa Loompa Wannabe

adbak's picture

Against

Don't judge people by how they treat their equals, treat them by how they treat their lessers.

In this case the lessers would be the criminals who have many of their rights stripped as a punishment for the crime(s) comitted.

In my opinion I don't think it's right that the politicians/justice system stoops to the criminal's level in killing the criminal. Justice, in my opinion, has neither retribution nor vengeance as factors and, therefore, torture/public humiliation have no place there.