Is Capital Punishment ever justified?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by hapaboy, Mar 12, 2003.

Is Capital Punishment Ever Justified?

  1. Yes

    39 vote(s)
  2. No

    21 vote(s)
  1. Please explain your answer.

    Besides being in favor of capital punishment for drug dealers, I also am in favor of executing murderers, rapists and child molesters.

    And before the subject comes up and so there is no shadow of a doubt as to guilt, let the scenarios be that the perpetrator in question has been linked to the crime either via witnesses/security cameras/self-taped videos and DNA testing.

    Furthermore, for those of you worried about costs, i.e. $1 million per capital execution, let us take either the Malaysian method of hanging or the Chinese method of a single bullet to the back of the head and then charging the family for the bullet. Cheap.
  2. why would you ever want to give the State the right to execute you??

    i mean, i'd rather not pay tax dollars to an entity that could potentially kill me. regardless of how i behave.

  3. No. Because it is fundamentally immoral. Thou shalt not kill.

    Violence begets violence. State sanctioned violence like capital punishment belongs in the dustbin of history.

    Do I believe these crimes deserve severe punishment? Yes. Do I think the offenders can be rehabilitated? Doubtful. How would I feel if a loved one were the victim of one of these crimes? I would want to kill the offender. But I would rather have justice served by a court of law than under vengeance.

    I am willing to pay my share of taxes for the judicial system and prisons. I also believe - perhaps with utopian naivate - that these sorts of crimes will be reduced in the future, perhaps distant future, as society matures and finds ways of reducing them and finds ways of raising fewer atrocious criminals among us.

    However, I am not so hopeful as to the reduction of the future Kozlowskis and Waksals, I fear they are a cyclical breed.

    Drug Dealers, Murderers, Rapists, Child Molesters. Is that all? Are you sure there is no other category of criminal that you'd like to have whacked? How have you selected these groups, by the viciousness of thier crime, thier moral repugnance, or their corrosive and destructive effect? And is this answer - capital punishment - one of punishment or deterrence.

    Further, how have you arrived at your position on this issue?
  4. Great topic. I'm glad that you stated that the burden of proof must be very high. I agree.

    I used to be someone who was overwhelmingly in favor of the death penalty. I still am more in favor of it than not, but it doesn't bother me too much if people get life in prison. Both are severe punishments. However, there must be no parole for murder. You kill someone on purpose, you're done.

    That said, I think the death penalty as it is right now should be completely halted. I say this because, IMO, we should only execute if there is absolutely no doubt what-so-ever that the person did the crime--not just a conviction. As you said, there should be DNA evidence, video camera evidence, etc. IMO, execution is only OK if there is absolutely no uncertainty. If there is any doubt at all, the person should get life in prison with no parole.

    As for what crimes should get the death penalty, I say murder only. Rape, etc. are serious crimes, but I think many years in prison is enough. By that I mean more years in prison than is the current penalty, whatever it is.

    BTW, I think penalties should be known for all crimes. There should be a web site where you can check out what the penalty is, if convicted. As it is right now, how many of you really know what the consequence will be if you are convicted of a crime? I'm not sure either. I think that's terrible. People show know what punishments are for crimes. You should also serve the punishment for its full term. A percentage can be deducted for good behavior. However, for some crimes there is no possibility of early release. Instead, maybe there can be some other reward for good behavior. Like time allowed to be outside your cell or something.
  5. Who cares what the Bible says. It's a bogus and flawed document written centuries ago. Why should we have to live in the year 2003 by what cave men wrote?
  6. It is true we should not have to live by an ancient document. (But what about the Kama Sutra?)

    I quoted that for effect, to pander to the beleivers.

    Capital punishment is as old as - forgive me - Adam. Why should we enact an ancient form of punishment? Are we still cave men?
  7. Reward and punishment are concepts that will never completely go away. I don't think it will ever be accepted by humans that it's acceptable to go around killing people (short of war). Therefore, society will always implement some form of punishment for bad behavior, one way or another. As I said in my first post, although I am in favor of an improved death penalty, life in prison without parole is acceptable, too.
  8. No; you can't bring back dead people when you are wrong ...
  9. GG, under our current system, if there is reasonable doubt, you do not convict. Its problematic to say, "I have some doubt he committed the crime, so let's not kill him, let's just lock him up for good."

    And what is an improved death penalty anyway? Is there an upgrade on the way?
  10. Right now it is "beyond a reasonable doubt." People do get convicted of murder when no one saw them do the crime, but the circumstances are just overwhelming that they did it. If the act was not caught on video, or there was no DNA evidence or something, I would not give the person the death penalty. Keep in mind, I did say that I am not hugely in favor of the death penalty. Like metooxx said, when you're wrong you can't bring dead people back. That is a possibility that should not be overlooked. I'm like 51/49 in favor of the death penalty (when there is no doubt, not just "beyond a reasonable doubt"). Maybe in a few years I will be 51/49 against it.
    #10     Mar 13, 2003