Sometimes the death penalty is needed (in Off-topic)


QBRanger September 22 2011 4:12 PM EDT

http://www.ktre.com/story/15519578/james-byrd-jrs-family-speaks-out-as-his-killer-is-executed

Goodbye scumbag!!

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] September 22 2011 4:13 PM EDT

Death is too good, life is the only punishment fitting enough.

Lord Bob September 22 2011 4:14 PM EDT

I also remain largely in support of the death penalty, despite what happened in Georgia last night.

QBRanger September 22 2011 4:19 PM EDT

We can debate the Georgia situation. I have read a lot on the topic in question and think the sentence was deserved.

This is the most indepth article I could find on the subject that tackles a lot of the issues raised. yes, it is from Redstate but the facts in the article seem honest enough to me;

http://www.redstate.com/erick/2011/09/21/there-is-no-travesty-of-justice-in-georgia-executive-troy-davis/

I do, however, admit the death penalty is asymmetrically given to African Americans. I also will admit that there have been rare times the person on death row was found eventually to be innocent.

However in this particular case in the OP, this scum deserved to die. He got off way to easy being able to die without pain compared to what he did to James Byrd.

Reyth September 22 2011 4:54 PM EDT

Well, while you fellows are on the topic, isn't it rare that someone maintains their innocence right up to the needle?

QBRanger September 22 2011 4:58 PM EDT

I do not have the stats for that Reyth.

Demigod September 22 2011 6:24 PM EDT

I support the death penalty with great reservation. I hate the idea of giving the government or any person power to actually kill someone who has already been detained, but I'm also not a fan of paying to keep someone alive and fed for a lifetime when that person is all but guaranteed to kill again if set free. Ultimately, I support the death penalty, but I hope I never cheer for it.

Ultimately, I support the death penalty for unprovoked murders with solid evidence and reason to believe the attacker is a continued threat. Last year's Petit murder case is a prime example.

isn't it rare that someone maintains their innocence right up to the needle?

I've always heard the exact opposite.


sebidach [The Forgehood] September 23 2011 9:16 AM EDT

I also will admit that there have been rare times the person on death row was found eventually to be innocent.

350

sebidach [The Forgehood] September 23 2011 9:26 AM EDT

Even more interesting:

"Since 1973 122US prisoners have been released from death row after evidence emerged of their innocence of the crimes for which they were sentenced to death."

And that's of the ~3500 people in death row (or dead) since then.

QBRanger September 23 2011 10:39 AM EDT

122/3500 = <5% = rare.

BadFish September 23 2011 10:48 AM EDT

Still far too common...



*runs off*

QBRanger September 23 2011 10:52 AM EDT

I agree. If if one innocent person is executed, that is too much.

However, in this specific case, the death penalty was justified as there was no doubt to this scumbags guilt.

Just like the current case in Conn, the home invasion that left the doctor's wife and 2 kids dead. No doubt about the guilt. Kill the bastartds and save the money keeping them in jail.

AdminTitan September 23 2011 10:54 AM EDT

http://www.deathpenalty.org/article.php?id=42

Demi and Ranger ^

It's not the first time I've heard that information. I could probably find a better site if you don't believe that one as well.

QBRanger September 23 2011 11:01 AM EDT

Yes Titan.

Because there are so many appeals, so many lawyers involved, so much time wasted between the sentence and the execution.

With the 9th District court in california, nobody gets executed. They look for any loophole or way to overturn that sentence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_Bird

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] September 23 2011 11:04 AM EDT

Thanks Titan, you saved me from finding it.

The way I explain this to folks is asking them if they trust laywers (no) then asking if they trust cops (maybe or most of them) then ask if they trust judges (often, but not always) then 12 strangers, with your own life. Would you be willing to put your life in the hands of a system made up of real people with real biases and mistakes.

The overwhelming answer is no.

It's not cheaper, it's not a deterrent, and one mistake is too many.
State sponsored murder has no justification in our (or any) society.

AdminTitan September 23 2011 11:06 AM EDT

It's not cheaper, it's not a deterrent, and one mistake is too many.

Yeah, I agree with you on this novice. I think there are some people deserving of torture for the rest of their lives for the heinous crimes they committed. Yet I just think that currently with the current system the death penalty doesn't work very well.

QBRanger September 23 2011 11:06 AM EDT

So you are against killing obvious murderers like those who tortured and killed James Byrd?

Or what about those that commit genocide? Or Bin Laden? Or Tim McVeigh?

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] September 23 2011 11:08 AM EDT

Nope nope nope... LIFE alone is punishment fitting for those crimes

Living alone and separate from the world they've chosen not to be a part of.

Death is too good

AdminTitan September 23 2011 11:09 AM EDT

I don't know if you're responding to me or nov, but:

I think there are some people deserving of torture for the rest of their lives for the heinous crimes they committed.

Yet I just think that currently with the current system the death penalty doesn't work very well.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] September 23 2011 11:10 AM EDT

I don't see there ever being a "just" enough authority to mete out that kind of punishment

AdminTitan September 23 2011 11:15 AM EDT

Yeah I don't think the govt should ever do it, but I do think there are crimes deserving of it.

QBPit Spawn [Abyssal Specters] September 23 2011 11:16 AM EDT

"LIFE alone is punishment fitting for those crimes"

That only works if the person regrets it at all. Some people are so messed up that they don't regret it. These are the same kind of people that will not "get better".

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 23 2011 11:19 AM EDT

regardless of how you feel about capital punishment, it will likely become enough of a liability issue alone that states will decide to stop it.

it will just take a few cases where surviving family members discover irrefutable evidence (dna or such)post execution and then we will find out just how much a human life is worth. i feel that even one such case will likely be enough.

QBsutekh137 September 23 2011 11:29 AM EDT

This all seems to be focusing on the criminal.

That's only one side of it.

I am against the death penalty because of what it says about the rest of us, not what it says about the guilty.

So, no, Ranger. I'm not for killing anyone, even the scum you mention.

As far as bin Laden and McVeigh, I am not sure. War crimes, terrorism, and treason have always had different penalties. I see war crimes as war, and in war, death can be handed down more...intrinsically. I'll have to think more on that, though.

The biggest hypocrisy (in my opinion) in supporting the death penalty comes when Christian religions are introduced (read: Christ-based, New Testament denominations). Anyone who calls themself "like Christ", Christian, or asks "What Would Jesus Do?", they get one of the clearest and simplest answers on this issue: no, don't kill. Jesus would say that in every single scenario, not to kill.

That's the Word of God. If one believes in that, if one believes in the New Testament, the Words Jesus states are the way and the life, on what basis can one continue to believe and call oneself a Christian? While supporting killing someone -- passing the ultimate judgment that the Bible makes clear is God's job and His alone?

Anyone of the Christian persuasion care to tackle that one? I'm incredibly curious how that seemingly intractable contradiction can be worked through or even remotely rationalized? Maybe there aren't any Christians here of that state of mind, though (I don't know anyone's religion/faith for sure...)

QBRanger September 23 2011 11:52 AM EDT

An eye for an eye?

From the bible.

QBOddBird September 23 2011 11:54 AM EDT

An eye for an eye? From the bible.

Oh god I'm going to shut down the computer now before i type any more

QBsutekh137 September 23 2011 12:00 PM EDT

An eye for an eye?

From the bible.

Not from the New Testament, it's not. So, that's not the Word of Jesus Christ, the guy who's name is sort of at the core of the Word Christian. Christ's death to provide Salvation for human-kind is one of the most important aspects of Christian faith. He's the Man. Literally. And he tended to say things that were exactly the OPPOSITE of Old Testament idiocy (look up the Beatitudes and "turn the other cheek" passages).

So no, Old Testament blather doesn't matter. If it did, we would also have to make those to our North slaves, just to name something quick off the top of my head. There is a reason the Gospels (all New Testament) are central to many Christian religions, including Catholicism.

Though, if you must go OT with it, there's always the basic: "Thou shall not kill". Last I checked, it doesn't say, "Thou shall not kill, you know, unless someone else killed first and you feel the need to pass judgment (My Job) by killing that person. That's cool."

QBsutekh137 September 23 2011 12:01 PM EDT

Oh god I'm going to shut down the computer now before i type any more.

Heh, just like your user pic, eh OB? Love that!

QBPit Spawn [Abyssal Specters] September 23 2011 12:16 PM EDT

You could also look at it as letting god judge them sooner rather than later ;)

"Forgiveness is between them and God. It's my job to arrange the meeting."

QBsutekh137 September 23 2011 12:32 PM EDT

Funny, Pit Spawn, but certainly not something Jesus ever quipped about. We are not here to pass judgment, arrange meetings, or hand down mortal sentences -- at least according to the New Testament that many in the Bible Belt literally swear upon.

Lochnivar September 23 2011 12:50 PM EDT

"Forgiveness is between them and God. It's my job to arrange the meeting."
~from the movie 'Man on Fire', not the bible :-)

I actually don't have any philosophical objection to the application of a 'death penalty'. The current implementation is flawed I agree, but as far as snuffing someone, I'm ok with that.

Like this guy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Bernardo


QBPit Spawn [Abyssal Specters] September 23 2011 12:51 PM EDT

Perhaps but it does illustrate a point that you can draw a line between mortal judgement and God's judgement. The bible seems all concerned about the soul, which we can't pass judgement on in any way. As to what it says about us passing mortal judgement, thats another argument.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] September 23 2011 12:55 PM EDT

Why even bother bringing god into it?

We're incapable of fairly judging, and know it. Using methods of punishment we can't "take back" or make reparations for is unconscionable.

The death penalty is simply too permanent

Lochnivar September 23 2011 1:03 PM EDT

We're incapable of fairly judging, and know it. Using methods of punishment we can't "take back" or make reparations for is unconscionable.

Yep, but as with the gentleman I mentioned above, when there is video of you raping and murdering a young girl then I don't know how much 'judgement' is actually required....

QBsutekh137 September 23 2011 1:06 PM EDT

Perhaps but it does illustrate a point that you can draw a line between mortal judgement and God's judgement. The bible seems all concerned about the soul, which we can't pass judgement on in any way. As to what it says about us passing mortal judgement, thats another argument.

That's precisely what Jesus was trying to tackle in the NT, Pit (in my opinion). There is no line when it comes to something like vengeance, up to and including harming your enemy. There is no line because there is NO PART of that which should be man's doing (according to Jesus). It is all left up to God. There is no such thing as "mortal judgement" (Jesus makes that quite clear with lines like "turn the other cheek", because, if you are following what Jesus said, you simply don't get to do that. It's not your job and it is not something God wants you to be doing.

QBsutekh137 September 23 2011 1:08 PM EDT

Why even bother bringing god into it?

I'm only "bringing god into it" insofar as I am curious as to how any Christian can reconcile Jesus's direct Gospel with being for the death penalty. I suppose there is plenty of catechism out there which discusses it, I'm just not that well versed on it, so I asked.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 23 2011 1:44 PM EDT

To throw another viewpoint into the mix, isn't the Death Penalty the merciful option?

Would you rather lock up, and punish (either through forced rehabilitation, or whatever other 'correctional' measures are taken) by the removal of all the privileges a human being expects, for the remainder of their life.

Especially someone who *cannot* be rehabilitated, and therefore has to be segregated from the rest of civilisation for the rest of their life.

Usually at an expense to the rest of us.

Or do we let them have the release of death?

Isn't locking someone away for the rest of their life a form of torture? Which is more humane? To torture someone for the rest of their life, or end their suffering through death?

QBRanger September 23 2011 1:45 PM EDT

Isn't locking someone away for the rest of their life a form of torture? Which is more humane? To torture someone for the rest of their life, or end their suffering through death?

A lot of people in solitary confinement feel that is extreme torture.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 23 2011 1:53 PM EDT

I don't doubt it.

We're social pack animals by nature.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 23 2011 1:55 PM EDT

if proven innocent for the crime they are being punished for though you can release someone from prison, death is pretty final at this point though. ; )

it would be an interesting question to put to those on death row.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] September 23 2011 1:57 PM EDT

Don't care what you call it really, they've shown they don't want to be a part of society and if I didn't still consider it murder I'd be putting them in the tundra with turnip seeds and a big sign reminding them that the guards on the fences are bored, cold, and armed.

They didn't have to be alone, it's just the most natural consequence of their actions. Killing them would absolutely be more merciful, but I'm not concerned about mercy at the expense of my morals. Killing is wrong, there isn't even a question about it, we have to use examples so extreme they sicken us before the majority of folks are willing to consider it the best option.

QBRanger September 23 2011 1:57 PM EDT

Dude,

Right now for this exercise of this post, I am typing about people that there is absolutely no doubt of their guilt.

Like this scum who killed James Byrd.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] September 23 2011 1:59 PM EDT

You've previously talked about "who gets to decide" where it concerned tax brackets, I wonder why you're so much more comfortable drawing lines in these scenarios? I for one am not comfortable telling the family of a victim that their loved one didn't suffer enough to warrant death.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 23 2011 2:03 PM EDT

they were all three drinking together. what if tomorrow the other guys comes out and says the one that was just executed passed out on him and had nothing to do with it? he woke up afterwards and the other guy convinced him that he had helped with the whole thing?

we can't really know for certain unless we were there as far as i know.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 23 2011 2:06 PM EDT

i am not saying that i think the guy was innocent, i am merely performing a mental exercise to come up with a way he could have been.

stranger things have happened for certain and i said above, death is very final.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 23 2011 4:05 PM EDT

Killing them would absolutely be more merciful, but I'm not concerned about mercy at the expense of my morals. Killing is wrong, there isn't even a question about it

Discussing 'Mercy Killings' (not just for criminals) would be an off topic aside.

But an interesting debate. ;)

QBRanger September 23 2011 4:13 PM EDT

Yea, I see your point Dude,

There is a chance that Jared Lee Loughner is also innocent. Perhaps he was drugged, and someone from the mission impossible team put on a mask that looked just like him and did the killings. Then they did the switch back while he was in the police station.

Or maybe someone implanted a microchip, unyet discovered, that mind controlled him.

You never know 100.0000000% do you?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 23 2011 4:41 PM EDT

your sarcasm convinced me when your arguments failed! let's kill 'em all!

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 23 2011 4:47 PM EDT

aww, it only lasted a little bit until logic prevailed once again, sorry man!

http://www.livescience.com/16194-crime-eyewitnesses-mistakes.html

AdminTitan September 23 2011 5:07 PM EDT

20+ mistakes!!! ....

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 23 2011 5:08 PM EDT

just out of curiosity ranger, do you really think that the jared loughner case has that much in common with most death-row cases?

QBPit Spawn [Abyssal Specters] September 23 2011 5:14 PM EDT

How about the amount spent on keeping them around, $24k per year per prisoner in the US in 2005. This can easily add up to over a million in the prisoner's lifetime. Money that could be better spent elsewhere, rather than keeping the person around as a detriment to society.

AdminTitan September 23 2011 5:18 PM EDT

Pit, life in prison is cheaper... I already linked this.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 23 2011 5:18 PM EDT

see titan's post this morning pit, it covers that argument pretty well.

10:54 post i believe it is.

QBPit Spawn [Abyssal Specters] September 23 2011 5:26 PM EDT

I missed that... leave it to lawyers...

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 23 2011 5:35 PM EDT

aye, they are the ones truly profiting from capital punishment in my opinion. sadly enough when someone sues the pants off of a state for wrongful death and wins, the lawyers will likely make off with most of that as well.

Godpanda September 23 2011 7:37 PM EDT

This debate has always bothered me.

The Death Penalty just seems wrong to me, though. The fact that so few can even agree on whether it's right or wrong should say all that needs to be said about it, really.

The death penalty is a punishment. But not a punishment used for any purpose. What does it truly accomplish in FAVOR of society? Logically, it removes someone horribly dangerous from our society. but so does life in prison. So what does it accomplish extra?

You could argue it prevents them from ever re-entering society, which I suppose is valid. But isn't that what consecutive life sentences are given for? To prevent people from ever leaving jail (Not entering into society ever again)?

So the death penalty is more expensive, more time consuming (Which could be interpreted as violating at at least 2 of our countries constitutional amendments) and removes our ability to make mistakes. Because, well, if we do we have no chance to make amends, do we?

So we're back to it being simply a punishment born of rage and disgust. The death penalty is society's way of saying that this crime is just too heinous, too terrible for us to allow you to continue to live. So we take your life away in a only slightly more direct way (Death instead of life in prison) NOT to remove you from our society, but in revenge. Isn't that what punishment without a goal or purpose is? Revenge?

Not only is this murder (It's not technically murder, because it's been legally decided that it's not. Similar to soldiers killing in war or a police officer killing under certain circumstances.) But look at it like this.

If a person, any old person, saw someone commit this crime (The one in the above link) and then took that man, put him in a small cage in their basement, made him argue for his life for several years and then gave him a lethal injection, what would you say about him?

I'm sure the answers vary, but I'd like to believe that our society and by extension our government operate on a grander scale. One that does the right thing, even if it's harder, because it's right. Murder isn't right. Not like this. Not out of revenge or revulsion.

So many of us are so angry, so upset at that man for what he did. But premeditated killing of a human being is not the answer. It's not worth the stain on our society. Not worth the risk of MURDERING an innocent man (And if someone convincted of a crime is put to death because of it is later deemed innocent, what else is it but premeditated murder?)

I don't think the death penalty is tolerable, even in cases like this. In the vast majority of cases, it's even more ridiculous.

On a related note, I know very well that some people claim that the death penalty acts as a deterrent against heinous crimes. I don't believe it. Maybe I'm wrong, but a strong part of me believes that if a human being is capable of commiting a crime vile enough to be rewarded with the death penalty, that same person won't care about the risk of being put to death. Certainly not in the moment of actually doing the act.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 23 2011 7:41 PM EDT

you bring up something that i have always overlooked, it does seem to be a more emotional reaction rather than a logical one. that is probably what bothers me about it.

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] September 23 2011 8:15 PM EDT


We kill people who kill people 'cause killing people is wrong.

I just don't like being a member of The Stupid Society.

DERPA [Red Permanent Assurance] September 23 2011 11:10 PM EDT

Am of the mind to allow death but at greatest caution. In the manner that 122 mistakes should be the total of all murdered by justice.
Accompanied with a hardline pass or fail scientific methodology. In that you need absolute conclusive DNA, video, and/or open court admittance of guilt. Outside of that I have a wobbly stance that if the evidence isn't infallible, should be elected by punished and treated like assisted suicide. Judge Dredd doesn't need a special killing chair and audience room either.
As Pit pointed to there are the criminally insane. Am far from the mind set of hanging Sadam & Osama, but am sadly aware persons like BTK might need to be sentenced from existance by court order.
This thread is closed to new posts. However, you are welcome to reference it from a new thread; link this with the html <a href="/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=003E47">Sometimes the death penalty is needed</a>