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Mormril, just give us straightforward reasons why there are a benefits to execution that does not exist with life sentences.

 

A numbered list would be preferable. This is what I've gotten out of your posts so far:

1) There's a chance the inmate could hurt a prison guard.

2) ....

 

I think we're all having a very hard time understanding your viewpoint, so this may be the best way to start. Please skip the giant paragraphs of commentary this time- they do more harm than good. Keep it simple.

This is what I always find amusing about the debate room. So far, Lilshu, I have not heard one argument from you opposing the death penalty. I have heard that I should wiki the subject. I have heard that you are deeply offended that I would arrogantly state that people are emotionally opposed to the death penalty. What argument have you actually made against the death penalty? SImply saying 'why', 'well, I don't agree with that. Why?!', etc gets really old quickly. I have to respect Phoenix Rider because he actually backs his beliefs with arguments. All you do is boiled down to the question why. It is a silly little childhood game that you can never beat. Yuanrang argues by using some kind of extreme form of hyperbole. Phoenix Rider seems to be the only one who actually considers what he is writing. If you have a point to argue, then say it.

 

 

1) Crimes and punishments are clearly detailed.

2) Death penalty is justice based on equitable treatment.

3) Appeals to stop the death penalty are based on emotion, not logic.

4) The death penalty removes a violent member of society permenantly.

5) It has not been clearly demonstrated that life in prison is more of a punishment than death.

6) Saying 'why' the death penalty compared to life in prison is not a fudgeing argument.

7) What punishment is there going to be for future offenses? A murderer with a life sentence has NOTHING to lose.

Edited by mormril

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I'm gonna try to jump back into this... it's exploded a bit since my internet has been down.

 

You've added something new to your list:

1) The inmate could hurt a guard.

2) Life sentenced inmates have nothing to lose, which is encouragement to continue committing crimes within the prison population. (Which is largely a repetition of your first point.)

 

Number one in your list is an argument based on tradition, a logical fallacy.

Crimes and their accompanying punishments are clearly detailed. That's not an appeal to tradition. That is the legal system. By your same logic, life sentences are an appeal to tradition because those have also been handed out :mellow:

 

Number two on your list is an appeal to emotion, another logical fallacy.
Once again... the term "justice" swings both ways. Some people view it is just to have a life sentence. Some view the death penalty as equitable. By saying one is fallacious, you've essentially said both are.

 

Number 3 in the list is pretty ignorant. There have been viewpoints displayed. But you're being ignorant in saying that every reason for the death penalty has been an appeal to emotion. Maybe you were referring to his reasons, but we went back and forth for several pages which I laid out reasons :)

 

Number four on your list is a benefit equally provided by life sentencing.
And that makes it not a reason? There's more than one way to skin a cat.

 

Number five on your list is irrelevant because it has been proven that death sentences are not a better deterrent to crime over life sentencing.
Nor are life sentences a deterrent. If you recall the video posted by Kwinten (page 4 maybe?) neither are deterrents. Neither will stop psychopaths from committing heinous acts.

 

6 is bad too, I agree.

Edited by _Zj

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Lilshu, I'm still waiting for an argument. I'm not wasting my time.

 

 

edit:

 

Number 3 in the list is pretty ignorant. There have been viewpoints displayed. But you're being ignorant in saying that every reason for the death penalty has been an appeal to emotion. Maybe you were referring to his reasons' date=' but we went back and forth for several pages which I laid out reasons :)[/quote']

Is it really ignorant? Lilshu, despite protestations to the obvious, has not presented an argument. So, am I being ignorant? Or purposely obtuse. :D

 

 

in additions, those were not all arguments. I was just helping you to follow along.

 

Well, I'm not going to repeat the "Lilshu, I'm still waiting for an argument." When you are ready to do more than posture, let me know.

Edited by mormril

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@Lilshu: Fair enough. It seems I may have interpreted your post poorly... this is why I hate trying to get back into threads, especially debates. But this one particularly interests me.

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You don't seem to understand how a debate works. Let me break it down for you a little bit. A topic is presented and then people debate the topic. Presenting a link and saying 'that is my argument' seems like a cop out. When you add in the petty rude comments, and misinterpreting what people say (after browsing through 8 pages), I'm still waiting to have a genuine debate with you. Where is your argument? Where in the entire thread have you actually presented a breakdown of your reasons for why the death penalty should be abolished. I mainly see you tearing down people's arguments who are in favor of the death penalty, which is, of course, always the easy way out. I guess I should just go have a debate with wikipedia. :P Or maybe I should just let Wikipedia debate the issue.

 

A further point, you never really rejected my initial argument. I stated that for most people, it was an emotional reason. You have never stated (correct me if I'm wrong), that no, I disagree with the death penalty because of X, Y, and Z. I don't see this emotionally. I would never be so naive as to assume that I can read somebody's mind. Yet you have never stated this. Nor, for that matter, has anybody else on this entire thread, as far as I'm aware. There have been other reasons presented. ZJ_, and you called me ignorant. Well, here is this ignorant college senior. Now correct me, people. Tell me that no, your reasons are based in X, Y, and Z. I won't call you a liar.

 

Furthermore, I find your explanation a bit weak for the 'wrong way that you came off.' You do not know if I read the wikipedia page or not. With this all of this being said, I'm just going to summarize this with stating that I'm not willing to have a debate with wikipedia. :lol: So, good evening, shu. And I don't think that I will be answering your comments anymore, unless they actually bring something to the debate.

 

 

To attempt to make this a bit more on topic. I will reiterate what I have already stated. Our criminal justice system is based on equitable treatment. People who murder innocent people deserve some form of justice. We've already agreed on that. How do you propose to prove that the life sentence is more of a punishment than the death penalty? If you have sympathy for those convicted of death row, this seems like a contradiction. (6)

 

edit:

 

Very succinctly put. That's all I wanted to hear. I'll think about this.

Edited by mormril

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It is so nice to have a heated debate like this. See, this is why I love coming here. The back and forth struggle between two ideological position with the most articulate and reasonable winning out. ^_^

 

You base your moral views on this desire for justice. You claim there is a need to restore balance' date=' order and fairness and that can the death penalty brings that. That is so wrong in so many levels. The principle of Lex talionis or "an eye for an eye" has been rightly condemned as far back as Jesus Christ and Saint Augustine on the grounds that the purpose of the justice system is to limit or prevent vengeance and violence rather than encourage it. Saint Augustine wrote in his letter "Contra Faustrum" how it is a bygone concept and how Christ abolished it. The eye for an eye mentality is archaic, breeds anger and is rejected by modern society.[/quote']

You are kind of right, but I just don’t like the way that you are presenting the information. Executing justice (no pun intended :P ) does not restore balance or fairness to life. Life is inherently unfair, and any attempt to make it so is pretty much doomed to fail. A court system built on precedent with penalties for those who severely break the law is based on justice, or equitable treatment. Even for the taking of another person’s life – which I do not think should be done lightly at all!

I think we both can agree that Jesus had a lot of moral teachings that were contrary to the usual views (an eye for an eye mantra). I believe that your perception of this is flawed. These were personal teachings for us as human beings. Jesus also stated (Matthew 22:21) ‘…Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’, and to God the things that are God’s.’ What I’m saying is that there is a definite distinction between us, personally, and governmental authority.

Except Caesar is fallible and can even sin against the people of God. That verse shows how we must respect civil authorities in order to preserve social order. No man is an island. We must cooperation with each other and that cooperation involves respect for institutions of government which prevents anarchy from taking over.

 

This does not however mean we submit to Caesar's wishes if he attacks human dignity and steps of the toes of God. Caesar's power is a gift from God and any abuse of it must be met with resistance. I reject this notion of separating authority like this as all authority is from God in the Christian understanding.

 

Think about it! On these grounds' date=' the murderer is killed yes! But the rapist is also sexually abused, the torturer tortured, the thief robbed of his belongings and a wife beater beaten. How is this rational or sane? How do you expect to limit violence when we respond to it with more violence. That is not how modern society thinks.[/quote']

Yes, and I’m not in favor of that. Yuanrang, on the other hand, seems comfortable with this idea. Ok so temporarily skipping over that point, so answer me this: Is there EVER a circumstance where a person should be put to death in the United States, for any reason?

The only reason in the modern world where exucution is ever justified is when the judicial and security institutions of a state or region has collapsed or has become unable to hold/prevent criminals and terrorists from committing further harm on society. That would have to be a catastrophic collapse of civil institutions to the point where we can't even run prisons properly without criminals escaping or being broken out. A state where it is better to kill a person because there is no way to stop him harming more people other than ending his life.

 

That is not the case in nearly all the countries of the world. That is not the case in the US. War-torn Somalia maybe? Some parts of Afghanistan? Even then I'm hesitant and will only agree in the most severe circumstances seeing as such power can easily be abused by military/security personnel.

 

I understand you are Seventh Day Adventist and have a different view on the Old Testament than I have but for Heaven's sake man. This mentality of seeking vengeance' date=' it's precepts and logic, was flawed from the start and have been rejected by the greatest thinkers of the Christian and secular world so you are wrong to assume that it can be applied today.

 

I believe in justice. I believe in an absolute and I believe in an objective Truth. But we are temporal creatures. Our job here is to simply limit the violence and pain of the world. It is He who makes the final call. Why does killing a man change anything or bring more justice? Doesn't putting a criminal on trail, finding him guilty, locking him up and preventing him doing more harm already give that?[/quote']

 

What motivation does a person who has a life sentence in prison (our Hannibal Lecter) to not kill again? If he EVER has the opportunity, he will. Do you deny this? Do you think that you can rehabilitate a person with enough time in jail? So, these people are carefully watched. The odds of this happening are extremely remote, right? Let’s assume that a prison guard is killed by Hannibal. What is the punishment? Isolation? Tell him that he should not do it again? Give him a bible? Play scream music in his cell 24 7? Are you going to give him 25 life sentences instead of 20 (I’m being partially facetious).

If we want to use a parallel, consider Sal’s. In this ecosystem, you can get 7 warnings before you are banned. Moderators warn you, and tell you this information. As you get closer to the magic 7 point, they caution you. Is it then vengeance when you get banned?! How is that rational, PR? Clear warnings, clear rules, and clear violations. The punishment was clearly stated. Tell me, what makes it vengeance? The answer lies in the fact that you are emotionally conflicted by the severity of the penalty. This is NOT based on logic. There is a victim when people are murdered. But there is also a duty to society to protect against such people.

 

I am not foolish enough to think that everyone on a life sentence can be rehabilitated. But in functioning penitentiary system, they can be prevented from doing more harm. You can't use use the hypothetical scenario of Lecter killing a guard because that is an extremely rare, even unheard of event. I wouldn't say it never happened (though I never heard of it ever happening) but regardless, we don't base policy decisions on anomalous events. A functioning penitentiary system would be able to keep that maniac safely locked in isolation for the rest of his life.

 

If your going to use the Sal's analogy then I rebut by pointing out that it is more of a form of exclusion. You are harmful to the community so you are excluded from it, the same was a prisoner is excluded from society because he/she is harmful to it. You can't really compare the death penalty to our warn system can you?

 

Lastly, you mentioned our moral duty to society to protect it from harmful criminals and maniacs. I agree, we have such a duty. We fulfil it by locking people up and preventing them from committing more evil on other human beings. We do it rather effectively IMO.

 

You mentioned back then how God and death is the final judge. I agree but if that is the case, how does the execution on criminals by limited, sinful creatures add to the Divine Justice in anyway? It's a rather naive and self-aggrandising if you ask me.

Edited by Phoenix Rider

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Mormril, just give us straightforward reasons why there are a benefits to execution that does not exist with life sentences.

 

A numbered list would be preferable. This is what I've gotten out of your posts so far:

1) There's a chance the inmate could hurt a prison guard.

2) ....

 

I think we're all having a very hard time understanding your viewpoint, so this may be the best way to start. Please skip the giant paragraphs of commentary this time- they do more harm than good. Keep it simple.

This is what I always find amusing about the debate room. So far, Lilshu, I have not heard one argument from you opposing the death penalty. I have heard that I should wiki the subject. I have heard that you are deeply offended that I would arrogantly state that people are emotionally opposed to the death penalty. What argument have you actually made against the death penalty? SImply saying 'why', 'well, I don't agree with that. Why?!', etc gets really old quickly. I have to respect Phoenix Rider because he actually backs his beliefs with arguments. All you do is boiled down to the question why. It is a silly little childhood game that you can never beat. Yuanrang argues by using some kind of extreme form of hyperbole. Phoenix Rider seems to be the only one who actually considers what he is writing. If you have a point to argue, then say it.

 

 

1) Crimes and punishments are clearly detailed.

2) Death penalty is justice based on equitable treatment.

3) Appeals to stop the death penalty are based on emotion, not logic.

4) The death penalty removes a violent member of society permanently.

5) It has not been clearly demonstrated that life in prison is more of a punishment than death.

6) Saying 'why' the death penalty compared to life in prison is not a fudgeing argument.

7) What punishment is there going to be for future offenses? A murderer with a life sentence has NOTHING to lose.

You're missing the bigger picture. None of this matters. The death penalty does NOT lower crime rate and does NOT reduce costs. The fear of death does NOT reduce crime. The burden of proof is on you. Prove to me the death penalty is objectively useful with accurate and complete sources.

 

Reason 1 and 2 are emotional fallacies. Reason 3 has just been proven untrue in my previous paragraph. Reason number 4 is a fallacy. It's like when Bin Laden was killed; just because one terrorist is dead, does not mean all of them are dead. Reason number 5 is a burden of proof fallacy - prove to me that death is a harder punishment than a life sentence. Reason 6 is a fallacy fallacy - just because an argument is a fallacy, doesn't make it untrue.

 

So, that leaves 7, you have punishments in prison you know.

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I took a microeconomics class 4 years ago : An economist did a study evaluating parking tickets in a public university. More specifically, he was trying to determine what drove people to risk tickets. He determined, after studying these things, that it was not the severity of the punishment (i.e. the dollar fine) that deterred the crime. It was the likelihood of getting caught. I'm assuming the same can be said of the death penalty. So, I will just state up front that I think the death penalty provides no deterrence to crime. With that being said, I do not think that this is a valid reason to ban the death penalty.

 

The problems with the death penalty costing more due to housing the inmates in special locations and other issues are due to flaws with the system. In California, it can take up to 20 years to execute somebody (or more). This provides ample reason to revise the law. A bullet only costs a few pennies. These stringent requirements for death row cases should be considered seriously to find a more cost effective way to kill somebody. So, to list the 'excessive' price of the death penalty is an argument against the death penalty, yes, but also an argument against the way that things are done. These things need to be fixed.

 

Except Caesar is fallible and can even sin against the people of God. That verse shows how we must respect civil authorities in order to preserve social order. No man is an island. We must cooperation with each other and that cooperation involves respect for institutions of government which prevents anarchy from taking over.

 

This does not however mean we submit to Caesar's wishes if he attacks human dignity and steps of the toes of God. Caesar's power is a gift from God and any abuse of it must be met with resistance. I reject this notion of separating authority like this as all authority is from God in the Christian understanding.

You have not demonstrated how the death penalty is a sin in the eyes of God. God's own authority when the Israelites were around did involve the death penalty' date=' and I'm sure that punishment was relatively cheap. You referenced Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ's admonitions were to us living as humans.

 

I am not foolish enough to think that everyone on a life sentence can be rehabilitated. But in functioning penitentiary system, they can be prevented from doing more harm. You can't use use the hypothetical scenario of Lecter killing a guard because that is an extremely rare, even unheard of event. I wouldn't say it never happened (though I never heard of it ever happening) but regardless, we don't base policy decisions on anomalous events. A functioning penitentiary system would be able to keep that maniac safely locked in isolation for the rest of his life.

 

If your going to use the Sal's analogy then I rebut by pointing out that it is more of a form of exclusion. You are harmful to the community so you are excluded from it, the same was a prisoner is excluded from society because he/she is harmful to it. You can't really compare the death penalty to our warn system can you?

 

Lastly, you mentioned our moral duty to society to protect it from harmful criminals and maniacs. I agree, we have such a duty. We fulfil it by locking people up and preventing them from committing more evil on other human beings. We do it rather effectively IMO.

 

You mentioned back then how God and death is the final judge. I agree but if that is the case, how does the execution on criminals by limited, sinful creatures add to the Divine Justice in anyway? It's a rather naive and self-aggrandising if you ask me.

Why are we sheltering people who have killed other human beings? Your sense of justice seems skewed when your compassion lies with the murderers. My problem lies in the fact that you are making the assumption that life in prison is better than the death penalty because you seem to think that God backs this viewpoint. I am very skeptical.

 

 

@404,

 

I never said that the death penalty lowered crime rates (see above). This is irrelevant to me. It should be cheaper, however, to execute people. This only means that the justice system is flawed. It is also impossible to find completely accurate costs for the death penalty compared to life in prison without parole. I find that your explanation for number 4 to be superficial and weak. Feel free to expound on that if you have more details, otherwise I can only assume that you are responding to a different person's comments.

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I believe it's wrong because no matter how you paint it, the Death Penalty is an act of violence. It's purpose is to destroy life. Any unwarranted or useless act of violence is sin and travesty against humanity.

 

It serves no use mormril! It doesn't save lives, it doesn't save money, doesn't lower crime and doesn't add to justice in any way, shape or form. Why maintain a system of violence when we get no result from it? To do what? Just for the sake of maintaining the system and satisfying the people's call for blood?

 

And don't you dare suggest I have more pity for the criminals than the victims. I support extremely long, even permanent sentences in cold, hard prisons for some of the scum out there but never lose sight of why we keep them there in the first place. To keep society safe and to prevent more violence being committed and provides temporal punishment.

 

Just because I don't support the death penalty it doesn't mean I don't have sympathy. There you are playing the emotional card again by implying I somehow apathetic to the victims because of my views.

 

Oh and lastly, news flash but it aint Ancient Israel anymore mate. Like I said, different rules for different times. Alot of the Old Laws do not apply anymore. This is the age of the Universal Church. An age of mercy, peace and forgiveness for all men. We don't believe in violence and will only use it a last resort; certainly not when it offers nothing other than the satisfaction of the blood thirsty.

Edited by Phoenix Rider

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I took a microeconomics class 4 years ago : An economist did a study evaluating parking tickets in a public university. More specifically, he was trying to determine what drove people to risk tickets. He determined, after studying these things, that it was not the severity of the punishment (i.e. the dollar fine) that deterred the crime. It was the likelihood of getting caught. I'm assuming the same can be said of the death penalty. So, I will just state up front that I think the death penalty provides no deterrence to crime. With that being said, I do not think that this is a valid reason to ban the death penalty.

 

The problems with the death penalty costing more due to housing the inmates in special locations and other issues are due to flaws with the system. In California, it can take up to 20 years to execute somebody (or more). This provides ample reason to revise the law. A bullet only costs a few pennies. These stringent requirements for death row cases should be considered seriously to find a more cost effective way to kill somebody. So, to list the 'excessive' price of the death penalty is an argument against the death penalty, yes, but also an argument against the way that things are done. These things need to be fixed.

 

Except Caesar is fallible and can even sin against the people of God. That verse shows how we must respect civil authorities in order to preserve social order. No man is an island. We must cooperation with each other and that cooperation involves respect for institutions of government which prevents anarchy from taking over.

 

This does not however mean we submit to Caesar's wishes if he attacks human dignity and steps of the toes of God. Caesar's power is a gift from God and any abuse of it must be met with resistance. I reject this notion of separating authority like this as all authority is from God in the Christian understanding.

You have not demonstrated how the death penalty is a sin in the eyes of God. God's own authority when the Israelites were around did involve the death penalty' date=' and I'm sure that punishment was relatively cheap. You referenced Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ's admonitions were to us living as humans.

 

I am not foolish enough to think that everyone on a life sentence can be rehabilitated. But in functioning penitentiary system, they can be prevented from doing more harm. You can't use use the hypothetical scenario of Lecter killing a guard because that is an extremely rare, even unheard of event. I wouldn't say it never happened (though I never heard of it ever happening) but regardless, we don't base policy decisions on anomalous events. A functioning penitentiary system would be able to keep that maniac safely locked in isolation for the rest of his life.

 

If your going to use the Sal's analogy then I rebut by pointing out that it is more of a form of exclusion. You are harmful to the community so you are excluded from it, the same was a prisoner is excluded from society because he/she is harmful to it. You can't really compare the death penalty to our warn system can you?

 

Lastly, you mentioned our moral duty to society to protect it from harmful criminals and maniacs. I agree, we have such a duty. We fulfil it by locking people up and preventing them from committing more evil on other human beings. We do it rather effectively IMO.

 

You mentioned back then how God and death is the final judge. I agree but if that is the case, how does the execution on criminals by limited, sinful creatures add to the Divine Justice in anyway? It's a rather naive and self-aggrandising if you ask me.

Why are we sheltering people who have killed other human beings? Your sense of justice seems skewed when your compassion lies with the murderers. My problem lies in the fact that you are making the assumption that life in prison is better than the death penalty because you seem to think that God backs this viewpoint. I am very skeptical.

 

 

@404,

 

I never said that the death penalty lowered crime rates (see above). This is irrelevant to me. It should be cheaper, however, to execute people. This only means that the justice system is flawed. It is also impossible to find completely accurate costs for the death penalty compared to life in prison without parole. I find that your explanation for number 4 to be superficial and weak. Feel free to expound on that if you have more details, otherwise I can only assume that you are responding to a different person's comments.

The whole point of justice is to lower crime rates! Otherwise we wouldn't need one, because letting criminals roam the streets would be just as ineffective. We have prison, rehabilitation and mental asylums to lower crime rates; not to seek vengeance. And if the death penalty does not decrease crime rates, then I do not believe it should be part of justice.

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The whole point of justice is to lower crime rates! Otherwise we wouldn't need one, because letting criminals roam the streets would be just as ineffective. We have prison, rehabilitation and mental asylums to lower crime rates; not to seek vengeance. And if the death penalty does not decrease crime rates, then I do not believe it should be part of justice.

 

Too simplistic. Vengeance (or retribution) is most definitely a factor, especially in the US legal system. Our justice system isn't merely about rehabilitating criminals, but also about exacting a punishment that fits the crime.

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The whole point of justice is to lower crime rates! Otherwise we wouldn't need one, because letting criminals roam the streets would be just as ineffective. We have prison, rehabilitation and mental asylums to lower crime rates; not to seek vengeance. And if the death penalty does not decrease crime rates, then I do not believe it should be part of justice.

 

Too simplistic. Vengeance (or retribution) is most definitely a factor, especially in the US legal system. Our justice system isn't merely about rehabilitating criminals, but also about exacting a punishment that fits the crime.

'Exacting a punishment that fits the crime', you know what this is for? This is for lowering crime rates. Say rape robbery and murder were all a life sentence - then a person committing a robbery would have no reason not to rape someone, and kill the said person and all the witnesses also. Why? Because the criminal had nothing to lose, only to gain. The reason we set some crimes above others is to make sure, a criminal doesn't cause further damage.

Edited by error404

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The whole point of justice is to lower crime rates! Otherwise we wouldn't need one, because letting criminals roam the streets would be just as ineffective. We have prison, rehabilitation and mental asylums to lower crime rates; not to seek vengeance. And if the death penalty does not decrease crime rates, then I do not believe it should be part of justice.

 

Too simplistic. Vengeance (or retribution) is most definitely a factor, especially in the US legal system. Our justice system isn't merely about rehabilitating criminals, but also about exacting a punishment that fits the crime.

Says who? Regardless, it would be tough to argue that a life sentence with no chance of parole isn't a punishment fitting of the crime. If you have arguments towards that point, I'm all ears (eyes?). (In addition, that's an appeal to tradition: a logical fallacy. Just because some people have viewed that as a purpose in the past doesn't justify its continued use.)

 

And does vengeance really have a place in the modern judicial sphere? :/ Are we talking about the government or drug cartels here? Does that not strike you as entirely archaic? Have we not progressed beyond unnecessary government-supported violence in the domestic realm?

 

Well, it's clearly a matter of debate. You could claim that vengeance/retribution should have no place in the justice system and that we should emphasize the rehabilitation of criminals (or deterrence, or what have you). I felt like you and Error were presenting the debate as more one-sided than it really is. You can't pretend that retributive justice doesn't exist or isn't worth addressing.

 

Edit: Ok, good point. I've just made descriptive statements about what is, rather than prescriptive statements about ought to be. For many people "justice" has not been rendered until we take something from the criminal. Something that is presumably proportional to the crime committed.

 

'Exacting a punishment that fits the crime', you know what this is for? This is for lowering crime rates. Say rape robbery and murder were all a life sentence - then a person committing a robbery would have no reason not to rape someone, and kill the said person and all the witnesses also. Why? Because the criminal had nothing to lose, only to gain. The reason we set some crimes above others is to make sure, a criminal doesn't cause further damage.

 

Strongly disagree. Deterring crime is one consideration, but it is not the sole consideration. We punish severe crimes more harshly because we value a proportionate response by the state. We mete out punishment to a criminal not just to prevent him from committing further crimes. It goes beyond that. We want to specifically inflict punishment upon him, to make him pay for his crime.

Edited by Common Sense

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I believe it's wrong because no matter how you paint it, the Death Penalty is an act of violence. It's purpose is to destroy life. Any unwarranted or useless act of violence is sin and travesty against humanity.

 

It serves no use mormril! It doesn't save lives, it doesn't save money, doesn't lower crime and doesn't add to justice in any way, shape or form. Why maintain a system of violence when we get no result from it? To do what? Just for the sake of maintaining the system and satisfying the people's call for blood?

 

And don't you dare suggest I have more pity for the criminals than the victims. I support extremely long, even permanent sentences in cold, hard prisons for some of the scum out there but never lose sight of why we keep them there in the first place. To keep society safe and to prevent more violence being committed and provides temporal punishment.

 

Just because I don't support the death penalty it doesn't mean I don't have sympathy. There you are playing the emotional card again by implying I somehow apathetic to the victims because of my views.

 

Oh and lastly, news flash but it aint Ancient Israel anymore mate. Like I said, different rules for different times. Alot of the Old Laws do not apply anymore. This is the age of the Universal Church. An age of mercy, peace and forgiveness for all men. We don't believe in violence and will only use it a last resort; certainly not when it offers nothing other than the satisfaction of the blood thirsty.

That is a matter of opinion. The death penalty is not the best option in MOST cases, but I completely reject the argument that the death penalty should be banned. Any kind of viewpoint that ignores that there are exceptions to the rule is susceptible to being wrong. Do I think Hannibal Lecter should be killed? Yes. It has to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. For these people who have killed multiple people with witnesses along with confessions, why are we bothering screwing around with an appeal process. It is the twisting of justice, wasting money and time to save people who lack a conscience for their deeds.

 

Secondly, I find this concept that man has evolved to be completely conceited (nothing against you, mind). It just bugs me that we somehow think that we are any better than we were in the past. It is just silly. People just lack the opportunities that they had in the past. If we had gladiator fights in the United States, I think you would be surprised at the number of people who would watch this. It would probably be even more popular than MMA. But I digress... My point lies in the fact that while we are living in this temporal world, we should not reject violence. Violence has played a role in shaping civilizations and societies. It has a point. And sometimes bloodshed is a good thing.

 

The only thing the death penalty does is satisfy your need for revenge. This "leveling out of the universe" as you referred to it earlier. It's barbarism' date=' it's violent, it's archaic. Why should we keep a policy that has absolutely no benefit? Because it makes you feel better knowing the criminals got their just desserts? That's not a reason. That's unbridled violence. There is no place for this in the modern world; it is contrary to what our justice system claims to stand for.[/quote']

When I think of vengeance, I think of an event where I would feel very emotionally involved. In this matter, I just want to see justice. When a person is killed, it is not something to celebrate. It is something to be sober about, because it is sad to have to take somebody's life. To deserve the death penalty, these people have committed terrible crimes. This should be rewarded with a 'just' punishment. What I reject is this argument that we would be better off completely removing the possibility of the death penalty. Obviously the death penalty commands a certain amount of fear, otherwise why would people do plea bargains for life in prison to avoid the death. penalty. We live in a violent world. I believe in causality, Lilshu. I don't want to pay to have Hannibal Lecter fed, clothed, given medical attention, for the rest of his life. The victim of the crimes deserve way more consideration than the murderer. They deserve the right to see him removed from society in a fair manner, without being bogged down in excessive appeals, or the wailing of people who oppose the death penalty.

 

 

Well said, CS.

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Obviously the death penalty commands a certain amount of fear, otherwise why would people do plea bargains for life in prison to avoid the death (otherwise known as a reason for why the death penalty is viewed more negatively than life in prison, i.e. more severe of a punishment).

 

And you want the death penalty to be removed because you consider it to be another form of racism. An emotional appeal if I ever heard one. I I have already agreed that the death penalty provides a problem with the excessive cost and that that the initial act of crime is based mostly on the likelihood of being caught, not severity of the punishment. These are not arguments against the death penalty. The first is only an argument against the inefficiency of how the process is being done. Life in prison vs the death penalty both are a form of punishment. As Common Sense aptly described, our law system tries to match the punishment to the crime.

 

Being an extremist is an argument in itself. I'm willing to look at this issue and consider the facts and even see some merit in both sides of the debate. I freely admitted that I do not consider the death penalty provides a deterrence to crime, even though you could argue that this weakens my debating position. You are completely biased. You have not considered the validity of the argument that the death penalty should be reserved for extreme cases where there is no reasonable doubt, and that horrific things have been done. There are several reasons that can be provided: 1) victim's death is trivialized. 2) rehabilitation is not possible. 3) taxpayers should not have to pay for lifetime in prison. With consideration given to our current appeals process, I think that this could be handled far more efficiently. And could even prove cheaper.

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Any unwarranted or useless act of violence is sin and travesty against humanity.

I believing you are grossly misusing the word "unwarranted".

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I believe it's wrong because no matter how you paint it, the Death Penalty is an act of violence. It's purpose is to destroy life. Any unwarranted or useless act of violence is sin and travesty against humanity.

 

It serves no use mormril! It doesn't save lives, it doesn't save money, doesn't lower crime and doesn't add to justice in any way, shape or form. Why maintain a system of violence when we get no result from it? To do what? Just for the sake of maintaining the system and satisfying the people's call for blood?

 

And don't you dare suggest I have more pity for the criminals than the victims. I support extremely long, even permanent sentences in cold, hard prisons for some of the scum out there but never lose sight of why we keep them there in the first place. To keep society safe and to prevent more violence being committed and provides temporal punishment.

 

Just because I don't support the death penalty it doesn't mean I don't have sympathy. There you are playing the emotional card again by implying I somehow apathetic to the victims because of my views.

 

Oh and lastly, news flash but it aint Ancient Israel anymore mate. Like I said, different rules for different times. Alot of the Old Laws do not apply anymore. This is the age of the Universal Church. An age of mercy, peace and forgiveness for all men. We don't believe in violence and will only use it a last resort; certainly not when it offers nothing other than the satisfaction of the blood thirsty.

That is a matter of opinion. The death penalty is not the best option in MOST cases, but I completely reject the argument that the death penalty should be banned. Any kind of viewpoint that ignores that there are exceptions to the rule is susceptible to being wrong. Do I think Hannibal Lecter should be killed? Yes. It has to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. For these people who have killed multiple people with witnesses along with confessions, why are we bothering screwing around with an appeal process. It is the twisting of justice, wasting money and time to save people who lack a conscience for their deeds.

 

Secondly, I find this concept that man has evolved to be completely conceited (nothing against you, mind). It just bugs me that we somehow think that we are any better than we were in the past. It is just silly. People just lack the opportunities that they had in the past. If we had gladiator fights in the United States, I think you would be surprised at the number of people who would watch this. It would probably be even more popular than MMA. But I digress... My point lies in the fact that while we are living in this temporal world, we should not reject violence. Violence has played a role in shaping civilizations and societies. It has a point. And sometimes bloodshed is a good thing.

 

What does killing him give us but emotional satisfaction? It serves society no benefit. If we can keep him from doing harm to people then what more pray tell do we need to do? Why do we need to do it?

 

I don't doubt for a minute that society is still corrupted by sin and evil. Genocidal regimes like China and the USSR along with the two World Wars have shattered that Victorian notion that man is slowly reaching perfection. But just because man is sinful, it doesn't mean we mustn't strive to be BETTER. I reject this notion that violence is ever a good thing. Violence is evil and destructive. Violence goes against every ideal taught to us by Christ and the Apostles.

 

We however resort to violence because we are flawed beings with limits. Sometimes, violence is the only thing we can do to stop a greater evil. Does that mean violence is therefore good? No. But we use it to prevent the greater evil. Note, to prevent the greater evil. The writings of St Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas and the School of Salamanca have all warned us time and again violence must always be used as a last resort when all other options have failed. That is the common view of Western writing and culture. So I shall phrase my question differently now. What is the greater evil that must be prevented to the point where we must resort to what is considered one of the worst evils a man can commit just to preserve the common good? What is this evil which has led proponents to evoke the Principle of Double Effect and Just War Theory. I argue that there is no greater evil, the criminal is effectively prevented from doing more evil and it is unwarranted to even consider violence.

 

Obviously the death penalty commands a certain amount of fear, otherwise why would people do plea bargains for life in prison to avoid the death

 

The fear it commands has no effect on the crime rates. I think nearly all men have a fear of dying so I see no point in that argument.

 

As Common Sense aptly described, our law system tries to match the punishment to the crime.

The purpose of the justice system is to restore order and to prevent evil. If you people are so into making the punishment fit the crime, let us therefore torture the torturer, rape the rapist and beat the wife beater. But that would be cruel, useless and barbaric wouldn't it?

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Obviously the death penalty commands a certain amount of fear, otherwise why would people do plea bargains for life in prison to avoid the death (otherwise known as a reason for why the death penalty is viewed more negatively than life in prison, i.e. more severe of a punishment).
Because it does not reduce crime rates! For the last time!

 

Strongly disagree. Deterring crime is one consideration, but it is not the sole consideration. We punish severe crimes more harshly because we value a proportionate response by the state. We mete out punishment to a criminal not just to prevent him from committing further crimes. It goes beyond that. We want to specifically inflict punishment upon him, to make him pay for his crime.
Realistically speaking, if this was true, let us violate the rapists. Stab the people who committed knife crimes. Intoxicate the drug dealers. Justice is no longer about retribution in the modern world.

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I guess there's nothing more to the death penalty than an emotional response- your sole reason for supporting the death penalty is that some people deserve to die.

 

Well, as mormril mentioned, there's the issue of plea bargains. Prosecutors can use the death penalty as a negotiating tactic. That's a pragmatic, not emotional, reason.

 

Obviously the death penalty commands a certain amount of fear, otherwise why would people do plea bargains for life in prison to avoid the death (otherwise known as a reason for why the death penalty is viewed more negatively than life in prison, i.e. more severe of a punishment).
Because it does not reduce crime rates! For the last time!

 

Strongly disagree. Deterring crime is one consideration, but it is not the sole consideration. We punish severe crimes more harshly because we value a proportionate response by the state. We mete out punishment to a criminal not just to prevent him from committing further crimes. It goes beyond that. We want to specifically inflict punishment upon him, to make him pay for his crime.
Realistically speaking, if this was true, let us violate the rapists. Stab the people who committed knife crimes. Intoxicate the drug dealers. Justice is no longer about retribution in the modern world.

 

Although mormril may have conceded that the death penalty does not deter crime, there's really no consensus on the matter. I'm sure I could find recent studies pointing to the contrary. You shouldn't be assuming that there's no deterrent effect as if it were a settled matter.

 

Don't conflate retributive justice with a literal application of "an eye for an eye." I said that the punishment must "fit" the crime, not that the punishment must be "exactly equal" to the crime.

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I guess there's nothing more to the death penalty than an emotional response- your sole reason for supporting the death penalty is that some people deserve to die.

 

Well, as mormril mentioned, there's the issue of plea bargains. Prosecutors can use the death penalty as a negotiating tactic. That's a pragmatic, not emotional, reason.

 

Obviously the death penalty commands a certain amount of fear, otherwise why would people do plea bargains for life in prison to avoid the death (otherwise known as a reason for why the death penalty is viewed more negatively than life in prison, i.e. more severe of a punishment).
Because it does not reduce crime rates! For the last time!

 

Strongly disagree. Deterring crime is one consideration, but it is not the sole consideration. We punish severe crimes more harshly because we value a proportionate response by the state. We mete out punishment to a criminal not just to prevent him from committing further crimes. It goes beyond that. We want to specifically inflict punishment upon him, to make him pay for his crime.
Realistically speaking, if this was true, let us violate the rapists. Stab the people who committed knife crimes. Intoxicate the drug dealers. Justice is no longer about retribution in the modern world.

 

Although mormril may have conceded that the death penalty does not deter crime, there's really no consensus on the matter. I'm sure I could find recent studies pointing to the contrary. You shouldn't be assuming that there's no deterrent effect as if it were a settled matter.

 

Don't conflate retributive justice with a literal application of "an eye for an eye." I said that the punishment must "fit" the crime, not that the punishment must be "exactly equal" to the crime.

That's more of a deterrent than retributive justice though; as I have said before, the reason why the punishment must fit the crime is to prevent a criminal committing more serious crimes without loss. In my opinion, it's not retribution.

 

Secondly, there is what I feel is sufficient evidence to say that the death penalty does not deter crime: this is one such example http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/facts-about-deterrence-and-death-penalty. I also feel that it's up to the supporters of the death penalty to bring up the evidence that it does deter crime, because if there is none, there is no reason to support the death penalty.

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What does killing him give us but emotional satisfaction? It serves society no benefit. If we can keep him from doing harm to people then what more pray tell do we need to do? Why do we need to do it? I don't doubt for a minute that society is still corrupted by sin and evil. Genocidal regimes like China and the USSR along with the two World Wars have shattered that Victorian notion that man is slowly reaching perfection. But just because man is sinful, it doesn't mean we mustn't strive to be BETTER. I reject this notion that violence is ever a good thing. Violence is evil and destructive. Violence goes against every ideal taught to us by Christ and the Apostles. We however resort to violence because we are flawed beings with limits. Sometimes, violence is the only thing we can do to stop a greater evil. Does that mean violence is therefore good? No. But we use it to prevent the greater evil. Note, to prevent the greater evil. The writings of St Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas and the School of Salamanca have all warned us time and again violence must always be used as a last resort when all other options have failed. That is the common view of Western writing and culture. So I shall phrase my question differently now. What is the greater evil that must be prevented to the point where we must resort to what is considered one of the worst evils a man can commit just to preserve the common good? What is this evil which has led proponents to evoke the Principle of Double Effect and Just War Theory. I argue that there is no greater evil, the criminal is effectively prevented from doing more evil and it is unwarranted to even consider violence.

 

You advocate the exact same punishment for the man who has murdered 1-2 people to the man who has murdered thousands. This one-size fits all punishment approach is inherently flawed in my views. The ultimate punishment is death. Not food, water, medical care until the day they die. God did some things that seem questionable to us today (mainly referring to some of the stories in the Old Testament). If these people want to be 'redeemed', then they have the opportunity to claim repentance prior to execution, provided that their heart has not been hardened by the willful violence that they have committed.

 

With that being said, I had not heard of the Double Effect or the Just War Theory. I have not been exposed to very much Catholic teaching. But it seems to me that the Catholic church as an entity has found that violence is an acceptable form of force throughout the ages.

 

Because it does not reduce crime rates! For the last time!

And?

 

Upon reading Common Sense's post' date=' I do agree that having it a pushing force as a plea bargain is pragmatic. However, is it necessary? These people could be found guilty without needing a death penalty threat. What about life in solitary as an alternative? I can think of a few ways that the death penalty could be avoided, and still provide the prosecution a way to push for a guilty plea.

 

In short, while it is a practical purpose, I don't see it as a reason to necessitate the continuance of the death penalty since it is easily avoided. I'd be curious to find out how often the death penalty is used to force criminals towards a guilty plea.[/quote']

I'm a bit hesitant to really argue this point out all the way. I think that in a lot of cases, it could be argued that this would save a lot of time and money. I searched this a little bit, but I did not find any great sources on the matter. From my perspective, even if a handful of people were executed each year, this would prove beneficial for making plea bargins a force.

 

I will admit that my mind is not fully made up on the matter, Common Sense. It is entirely possible that I'm wrong. In my mind, most people who commit crimes (who are not just psychotic) do it based on a risk/benefit analysis (finance major). Life in prison vs the death penalty would both be seen as terrible results. A true analysis would have to cover the possibility of the death penalty, which is obviously the more negative of the two choices. In most cases, I suspect that life in prison would be preferable. Most people adapt very well to new environments.

 

@ error404,

 

for some reason your link does not work correctly (I'm willing to check out evidence).

Edited by mormril

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@ error404, for some reason your link does not work correctly (I'm willing to check out evidence).
Remove the full stop at the end of the link. :D

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Nobody should play God, nobody should have the right to decide who lives and dies - yes. Yet, when an individual murders someone they are in a sense playing God; or at least God's ugly brother. Some people do require the death penalty, look into the past for some examples of serial killers who were given the death penalty. In almost every instance they require such a ruthless punishment for the crimes they committed. However, a 15 year old boy murdering his parents? That's a cry for help. He has to be extremely mentally disturbed. He's only 15, his life should not be cut short for actions that will destroy him anyway. Waking up daily knowing you took the lives of those who gave you your life? That's punishment enough in my opinion..

 

Also, you make it seem like jail is great? You are extremely narrow-minded and naive. (directed at OP)

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Nobody should play God, nobody should have the right to decide who lives and dies - yes. Yet, when an individual murders someone they are in a sense playing God; or at least God's ugly brother. Some people do require the death penalty, look into the past for some examples of serial killers who were given the death penalty. In almost every instance they require such a ruthless punishment for the crimes they committed. However, a 15 year old boy murdering his parents? That's a cry for help. He has to be extremely mentally disturbed. He's only 15, his life should not be cut short for actions that will destroy him anyway. Waking up daily knowing you took the lives of those who gave you your life? That's punishment enough in my opinion..

 

Also, you make it seem like jail is great? You are extremely narrow-minded and naive. (directed at OP)

I don't think that killing could be called 'playing God'. Messing with DNA, perhaps, or similar things. Killing, rather, is something that goes directly against God's commandments. Not particularly important.

 

I disagree about this kid being mentally disturbed per se. It all depends on the circumstances. There's a reason why many legal systems differentiate between a crime of passion and premeditated murder. The kid could very well have mental problems, and probably does, but he's not necessarily insane.

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The key question for me in this debate is "what defines murder"?

 

For me, murder is the intentional taking of innocent life. The key word here, however, is not "innocent"—it is "intentional."

 

Thus, I cannot rationally justify the death penalty. If even one innocent person is executed, then the authority of the death penalty (a punishment for people who wrongly and intentionally take innocent life) is null and void, because an innocent life has been taken by the will of someone else.

 

Some would say that murder is the intentional, illegal taking of innocent life. But what of honor killings? In the US, they are illegal, but a cultural argument could be made stating that honor killings are only illegal because of the way the law is worded in the US, which states that murder is the intentional taking of innocent life. But in Saudi Arabia, honor killings are legal. Are honor killings in Saudi Arabia therefore not murder? By this definition, you have no choice but to answer that honor killings in the US are unethical, but in Saudi Arabia they are ethical. So once again, you defeat the authority of the death penalty because there is no moral absolute warranting the killing of people who were more than likely murderers, especially since, again, if you take an innocent life the authority of the death penalty (such as it is) no longer stands.

 

Others might say that murder is the malicious taking of innocent life. Once again, the honor killings example I showed above still holds—in certain cultures, honor killings are not of malice, but out of self-defense. So again, there is a moral double standard, and a lack of authority on which to base the death penalty.

 

In other words, to have a consistent, authoritative stance on the death penalty, you have to accept that it is an invalid form of punishment the moment the switch is flipped on an innocent person. Because once the government kills an innocent person, it is murder. And as a consequence, whether or not you agreed to the death penalty, you are a murderer as well.

Edited by Georgia Sparkle

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