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death penalty .... agree or disagree? Options
Truthseeker
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2011 6:45:41 PM

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Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:
Not one of the civilised Western democracies have death penalty,
for one simple reason:
not one of the courts is 100% accurate.


One must assume that you do not consider the United States to be 'civilized'.


Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. Leo Tolstoy
Geeman
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2011 10:12:49 PM

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Truthseeker wrote:
Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:
Not one of the civilised Western democracies have death penalty,
for one simple reason:
not one of the courts is 100% accurate.


One must assume that you do not consider the United States to be 'civilized'.

...or Japan.
antonio
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 3:41:32 AM

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DISAGREE


NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO TAKE SOMEONES' LIFE. PERIOD...

You can do anything, but not everything. —David Allen
intelfam
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 1:34:49 PM

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Interesting article on the background in the UK (courtesy of New Statesman magazine:

What does Cameron think about the death penalty?
Posted by George Eaton - 01 August 2011 11:12
Parliament could soon debate capital punishment but what does the PM think?


Parliament hasn't voted on the death penalty since 1994 but that could be about to change with the launch of the government's e-petitions site. The site promises that any petition that receives at least 100,000 signatures will be "eligible for debate in the House of Commons".

Guido Fawkes has submitted a petition to reinstate the death penalty for "the murder of children and police officers when killed in the line of duty." So far, he's won the public support of three Conservative MPs - Philip Davies, Priti Patel and Andrew Turner. Davies said: "It's something where once again the public are a long way ahead of the politicians. I'd go further and restore it for all murderers."

With this in mind, I thought it was worth investigating what David Cameron has had to say on the subject. The PM is opposed to capital punishment but does not regard it as an "unacceptable" view for Conservative MPs to hold. He told Dylan Jones, the author of Cameron on Cameron:

"If someone murdered one of my children then emotionally, obviously I would want to kill them. How could you not? But there have been too many cases of things going wrong, of the wrong people being executed, of evidence coming to light after the execution, and sometimes there is just too much of an element of doubt. And I just don't honestly think that in a civilised society like ours that you can have the death penalty any more."

If, like me, you regard capital punishment as state murder, you should relish the prospect of a Parliamentary debate on the subject - the best arguments are on our side. The death penalty is not a deterrent (the US murder rate has risen, not fallen, since the penalty was restored in 1976), it can lead to the death of innocents, and it has a brutalising effect on society. As George Bernard Shaw put it: "It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their kind."

The last time Parliament voted on the subject the death penalty was rejected by 403 votes to 159. A separate attempt to restore the penalty for the murder of a police officer was rejected by 383 votes to 186. The public, by contrast, continue to support capital punishment, although in diminishing numbers. A YouGov poll in September 2010 found that 51 per cent supported the death penalty for murder, with 37 per cent opposed.

So long as Britain remains a member of the European Union there is little prospect of the return of capital punishment - it is illegal under EU law. But this is a debate, one suspects, that will run and run.

Tags: David Cameron Capital Punishment


"The voice of the majority is no proof of justice." - Schiller
kingfisher
Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2011 12:20:36 PM
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I disagree with the death penalty, even in cases where the person is caught red-handed and there is no doubt about his/her guilt.

I think it's wrong for the state to kill people. It does not serve as a deterrant, and it is barbaric.
Truthseeker
Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2011 2:20:17 PM

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kingfisher wrote:

I think it's wrong for the state to kill people.


Would it be ok for the State to kill people during a War?

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. Leo Tolstoy
Geeman
Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2011 7:08:47 PM

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OK, I'd like to apologize in advance because this is going to be a little unpleasant. I'd also like to warn anyone up front that if you're bothered by this kind of thing then please stop reading now.

Let's say there's a guy who, along with 2-3 accomplices, goes out an kidnaps a young woman. They take several days subjecting her to hideous sado-masochistic tortures in a home-made dungeon. After up to a week, they finally kill her and dump her body in a nearby lake where it is never found.

Now, let's say they do it again.

And again.

And again.

Let's say this goes on for years. Maybe even for decades. Maybe they even lose track of how many young women they've killed. Eventually, one of their victims manages to escape before she is murdered, and they are arrested. Let's say nobody ever actually finds a body, making a conviction very difficult.

Unfortunately, this is a true story.

Now, does anybody reading this really think we can equate the actions of these people who dedicated their lives to kidnapping, torturing and murdering young women to the use of a lethal injection to end that person's existence on the planet? Would you prefer these guys die of natural causes?

Well, natural causes is what happened in this case. He lasted eight months after sentencing, for a total of about 3 years behind bars for as many as 60 murders. His last victim herself said she wanted him to get life in prison because death was "too easy" but, of course, she survived. (She also said she wanted him to suffer as she had made her suffer. I don't think she realized at the time that that wasn't a possibility.) I can't help but wonder if the dozens of women he murdered would have been so pleased with him getting free meals, and getting to reimagine his crimes every day for the rest of his life, even if that weren't going to be for very much longer.

Of course, there is no justice in a situation like this one. Executing Ray would not bring a single person back, nor would it prevent any future crimes (except from him, of course.) My point, however, is that those who want to equate state execution with murder are fundamentally missing the reality of the situation on several levels. Even the most basic murder contains elements that fundamentally differentiate it from execution, namely motive. The state executes out of a sense of justice.

One can argue the death penalty on a list of merits: the cost, the desires of the victims and/or their families, the impact on society, etc. But actually equating the two misses the mark so badly as to make me wonder if there's really been a lot of thought dedicated to the reality of the situation at all....

If anyone cares to really investigate the situation I'll make this suggestion: go talk to some murderers. You could probably get some visits if you ask nicely. Maybe you could even have some unsupervised visits... alone in a nice locked room with no cameras. (One young man investigating seriel killers did get just such an interview with John Wayne Gacey.) See how much suffering these guys are REALLY going through being "forced" to live in cells where they can relive their crimes in their imagination every night, gloating over the death and mayhem they've caused. Then think about the value to society of ending that reverie.
memphis jailer
Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2011 8:22:46 PM

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i read the book slow death about david parker ray .... what made it so bad was that he'd drive around in a state vehicle performing the crimes ... also i read the book about john wayne gacy that you referred to when he had a visitor that was a young boy .... both books are a good read ...and there are many more like them

i'm not saying we should convict and kill everyone of crimes .... just ones where they planned it out ... a guy goes in a store to rob the place and the clerk does not give up the money and the guy shoots the clerk .... now he might have planned on the clerk giving the money up but in case the clerk didn't he had to think of what happened next .... a gang member gets shot by a rival gang so the gang loads up a car full of people and shoots up the house of said rival gang ... now they probably planned on shooting another gang member but they shot someone else by accident .... does it make much sense to let some people just terrorize the neighbor hood? ... nope ... not to me

your signature is silly!
Geeman
Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2011 11:21:13 PM

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memphis jailer wrote:
also i read the book about john wayne gacy that you referred to when he had a visitor that was a young boy .... both books are a good read ...and there are many more like them

Do you recall the title and author of the JWG book? I heard writer interviewed on the radio when I was on a roadtrip years and years ago, and I can't remember his name. It's one of those books that's been in the back of my mind for a long time since his experience sounds interesting.
intelfam
Posted: Friday, August 5, 2011 8:02:28 AM

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Geeman wrote:
OK, I'd like to apologize in advance because this is going to be a little unpleasant. I'd also like to warn anyone up front that if you're bothered by this kind of thing then please stop reading now.


I guess, being a large country, the incidence of this type of offence must be higher, purely in offences per head of population terms. I'd be interested in how direct comparisons work out - but that's an aside, really.

I can relate to what your saying on several levels Geeman but all of them are (for me) coloured with vengeance and anger. The idea of the state meting out justice (well in the UK history books) was to remove vengeance and un-rationalised anger from the process of trial and sentence. I know nobody who has been burgled in the UK, for instance, who would not, if they thought they could get away with it, beat the perpetrator to a pulp. One of the effects of having no death sentence in the UK, is the disappearance of "Death Row". Murderers and rapists now find themselves mixing with other prisoners, albeit graded by security risk. I would guess that, if the experience of child murderers is a standard to gauge things, life is not a bowl of cherries.

But bottom line for me is that the death penalty sends the message that life is cheap, and is subject to too great a degree of error to be bought back here. Your experience in the US, is I am sure, different.

Actually, can anyone in the UK recall what happened to the "indeterminate" sentence discussion we had in government some time ago?




"The voice of the majority is no proof of justice." - Schiller
Geeman
Posted: Friday, August 5, 2011 4:38:01 PM

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intelfam wrote:
I can relate to what your saying on several levels Geeman but all of them are (for me) coloured with vengeance and anger. The idea of the state meting out justice (well in the UK history books) was to remove vengeance and un-rationalised anger from the process of trial and sentence. I know nobody who has been burgled in the UK, for instance, who would not, if they thought they could get away with it, beat the perpetrator to a pulp. One of the effects of having no death sentence in the UK, is the disappearance of "Death Row". Murderers and rapists now find themselves mixing with other prisoners, albeit graded by security risk. I would guess that, if the experience of child murderers is a standard to gauge things, life is not a bowl of cherries.

Which do you think more speaks to an attitude of vengeance and anger: inserting a needle into a murderer's arm so that he quickly and (apparently) painlessly slips into death, or taking that same person and hoping that he will be subjected to years of sexual violence and beatings meted out by prison justice? If the standard is to take vengeance out of the system, then I'd suggest that putting all one's hopes into the possibility that a murderer will have some sort of gladatorial existence in prison for the rest of his/er days is probably more emotionally inspired.

The other problem, of course, is that the prisoner might not be particularly inconvenienced by prison.... Drugs, sex, and all manner of entertainments are commonly available in prison. Serial killers get married and have conjugal visitation rights--all sponsored by the same government that is being argued can't do something as immoral as take such a person out of society. Rather, the argument goes, government should maintain the murderer indefinately... because keeping such a person alive, healthy and unemployed--but hopefully violently fighting for his/er life as long as we don't know about it--is, somehow, the moral thing to do.

Were the death penalty really about revenge, it wouldn't take place in the anti-climactic way it (usually) does in modern life. Rather, there'd be the modern equivalent of a torture chamber, filled with medical equipment to keep the murderer alive as long as possible while suffering as badly as technology can allow. Arguably, that'd be justice in certain cases... but nobody is actually suggesting that.

Losing one's freedom is, of course, a penalty. But the standard of living in most prisons of the developed world is better than the standard of living for free people in a lot of the third world--substantially better in some cases--and in a lot of the developed world, the concept of "freedom" is itself rather arguable. Often it is, at least, debatable. Prisoners lose RELATIVE freedom compared to others in the same society. So I don't know that the loss of freedom is really a standard in and of itself.

I'm told that is generally more costly to execute a prisoner than it is to maintain one. However, my understanding is that cost is really mostly lawyers fees and court costs, not the expense of needles and sodium pentathol, so the argument kind of breaks down in that context. But isn't it worth paying lawyers and judges to take such a person out of society rather than maintain him/er indefinitely?
Truthseeker
Posted: Friday, August 5, 2011 6:38:08 PM

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Geeman wrote:
intelfam wrote:
I can relate to what your saying on several levels Geeman but all of them are (for me) coloured with vengeance and anger. The idea of the state meting out justice (well in the UK history books) was to remove vengeance and un-rationalised anger from the process of trial and sentence. I know nobody who has been burgled in the UK, for instance, who would not, if they thought they could get away with it, beat the perpetrator to a pulp. One of the effects of having no death sentence in the UK, is the disappearance of "Death Row". Murderers and rapists now find themselves mixing with other prisoners, albeit graded by security risk. I would guess that, if the experience of child murderers is a standard to gauge things, life is not a bowl of cherries.

Which do you think more speaks to an attitude of vengeance and anger: inserting a needle into a murderer's arm so that he quickly and (apparently) painlessly slips into death, or taking that same person and hoping that he will be subjected to years of sexual violence and beatings meted out by prison justice? If the standard is to take vengeance out of the system, then I'd suggest that putting all one's hopes into the possibility that a murderer will have some sort of gladatorial existence in prison for the rest of his/er days is probably more emotionally inspired.

The other problem, of course, is that the prisoner might not be particularly inconvenienced by prison.... Drugs, sex, and all manner of entertainments are commonly available in prison. Serial killers get married and have conjugal visitation rights--all sponsored by the same government that is being argued can't do something as immoral as take such a person out of society. Rather, the argument goes, government should maintain the murderer indefinately... because keeping such a person alive, healthy and unemployed--but hopefully violently fighting for his/er life as long as we don't know about it--is, somehow, the moral thing to do.

Were the death penalty really about revenge, it wouldn't take place in the anti-climactic way it (usually) does in modern life. Rather, there'd be the modern equivalent of a torture chamber, filled with medical equipment to keep the murderer alive as long as possible while suffering as badly as technology can allow. Arguably, that'd be justice in certain cases... but nobody is actually suggesting that.

Losing one's freedom is, of course, a penalty. But the standard of living in most prisons of the developed world is better than the standard of living for free people in a lot of the third world--substantially better in some cases--and in a lot of the developed world, the concept of "freedom" is itself rather arguable. Often it is, at least, debatable. Prisoners lose RELATIVE freedom compared to others in the same society. So I don't know that the loss of freedom is really a standard in and of itself.

I'm told that is generally more costly to execute a prisoner than it is to maintain one. However, my understanding is that cost is really mostly lawyers fees and court costs, not the expense of needles and sodium pentathol, so the argument kind of breaks down in that context. But isn't it worth paying lawyers and judges to take such a person out of society rather than maintain him/er indefinitely?

Applause Applause

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. Leo Tolstoy
Joseph Glantz
Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 8:50:06 AM
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I've been involved in the criminal justice system. Justice is a crapshoot.
memphis jailer
Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 7:43:50 PM

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i wouldn't call what some of the prison and jail systems mead out as justice ... most prisons are modernized and made for the comfort of the lesser criminals and/or the ones that conform ... some prisons offer projects such as a band or training animals .... they also offer tv to watch and cards to play with ... those that don't meet those qualifications will be housed 23 and 1 ... that means they will come out of their cell for 1 hour out of a day ... now that is hard time ... for the others its easy for some ... most have been there before and are reconnecting with friends and sometimes family .... playing basketball, playing dominoes, trying to get over on the guards ... well i guess it beats standing on the corner waiting to sell a rock, or living in a government paid for rundown apartment, or trying to figure out how to hide from someone you robbed for their dope and money

justice for some comes at the end of the needle, or the bullet that hit them

your signature is silly!
memphis jailer
Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 7:45:14 PM

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@ geeman ... i can't remember the name of the author ... but i will look when i get beck to the house and let you know

your signature is silly!
Geeman
Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 8:13:04 PM

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memphis jailer wrote:
@ geeman ... i can't remember the name of the author ... but i will look when i get beck to the house and let you know

Thanks. 'preciate it.
memphis jailer
Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011 1:55:53 PM

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@geeman ... Sorry its taken a bit longer ... But the book is last victim by Jason Moss ... It gives a history of him and an inside look at his life ... As opposed to killer clown which focused more on the investigation and the trial

your signature is silly!
Geeman
Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011 8:01:36 PM

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memphis jailer wrote:
...the book is last victim by Jason Moss ...

Thanks. I'll keep an eye out for it.
bturpin
Posted: Sunday, August 21, 2011 5:44:19 AM
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I'm sorry I missed the thick of this conversation which seemed to be pretty lively at times. For those of you christians I give you Genesis 9 6 "Whoso ever shed the blood of man, by man his blood be shed" which sounds like the dealth penalty to me.

Other comments I saw were of how it cant be that much just to keep them. On death row in America there are about 3000 people currently. It costs from 20-30 thousand a year to house these people, totaling 75 Million dollars a year. That is a pretty good amount of money being the fact that most death row inmates will be locked up for at least 5 before sentence is carried out. That's 375 Million only working off the minimum.

Yes every effort possible needs to be sure that they are truely the ones responsible for the crime before getting to that point.

I also have to agree with MJ that public executions need to be brought back. If some of these thug wannabes knew that if they were caught their deaths would be a social event maybe, just maybe, some may think twice.

It's amazing what people will do when they feel they are entitled.
intelfam
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 9:10:06 AM

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I am unsure if my question requires another topic, but there you go. Because it is related to this one I'll just post here. Has anyone got a link to an article, or anything really, that discusses the role of the doctor in executions, please? My (small, I admit) research locally (in the UK) finds doctors saying that they would have no part in capital punishments, even to be present to verify the death, because of their Hippocratic oath. The attitude seems to be that, even in verifying death, they are colluding with a process which is against the oath. But I'd like to read something by physicians who do take part.


"The voice of the majority is no proof of justice." - Schiller
Geeman
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 3:07:49 PM

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intelfam wrote:

I am unsure if my question requires another topic, but there you go. Because it is related to this one I'll just post here. Has anyone got a link to an article, or anything really, that discusses the role of the doctor in executions, please? My (small, I admit) research locally (in the UK) finds doctors saying that they would have no part in capital punishments, even to be present to verify the death, because of their Hippocratic oath. The attitude seems to be that, even in verifying death, they are colluding with a process which is against the oath. But I'd like to read something by physicians who do take part.

That's an interesting question. Like the implementation of death penalty itself, I imagine this would differ from state to state in the U.S. In some places the doctor might only be present to verify death and the time of death. In others, they might require a doctor to insert the needles for a lethal injection, but I doubt they'd be the person who flips the switch that pushes down the syringe. They might not even require a doctor since one needn't go that far in medical training to give injections. It might be a nurse, or someone with equivalent training.

However, I can't claim to have any specific info on the matter. It might be the kind of thing that state officials try to keep quiet for the sake of the doctor's privacy....

An interesting note, I'm told the Hippocratic oath isn't actually sworn by most doctors these days. It's still a sort of general rule/guideline, but they a big "swearing in" ceremony isn't actually required, so a lot of schools have dropped it. Again, I don't have a lot of specific info on that one. It's just something I was told.

It doesn't seem to me that being present to verify the ToD would violate that oath, though. Using that as a defense seems like dodging the issue for personal reasons behind a smokescreen. I don't think a doctor should necessarily HAVE to do that kind of work, but it seems to me that anyone who took a job at a prison where there is a death row would be cognizant of that potential.
intelfam
Posted: Friday, September 2, 2011 7:30:48 AM

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Geeman wrote:

It doesn't seem to me that being present to verify the ToD would violate that oath, though. Using that as a defense seems like dodging the issue for personal reasons behind a smokescreen. I don't think a doctor should necessarily HAVE to do that kind of work, but it seems to me that anyone who took a job at a prison where there is a death row would be cognizant of that potential.


Sorry, Geeman, I somehow missed your reply. I guess you are right, it would take some delving to find an answer to my query.
When I said that those I had asked said it would violate their Hippocratic oath, I did them a disservice; I was using it as shorthand for "I am against taking life in this situation and, anyway, I think it would violate my professional ethics" - sorry for my brevity.



"The voice of the majority is no proof of justice." - Schiller
pedro
Posted: Monday, September 5, 2011 7:18:58 AM

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Thank you Geeman for the link. Apart from the death penalty it raises other issues, one being freedom of speech. I cannot believe that the internet, alongside the many indisputable benefits of free public information, is not also a factor in such horrific crimes. Someone with unhealthy obsessional tendencies will tend to look for more and more material to feed it. Either we accept this as a price we pay and find other ways to try and weed out these individuals before they offend or we start to think about censorship. I am not overly fond of censorship so perhaps some joined up thinking from educational institutes (many of these offenders will have caused some concern in their earlier years by their behaviour- Geoffrey Dahmer collected roadkill as a hobby as I recall)and perhaps (dare I say it) psychometric tests. It may be my imagination but it seems to be the vital period between primary school and secondary school where any such concerns get lost only to re-emerge, too late, at the trial. Teachers by their nature try and get the best out of their charges so perhaps it isn't natural to them to voice concerns about unusual behaviour patterns. I'd be interested in your thoughts.

All good ideas arrive by chance- Max Ernst
kitten
Posted: Monday, September 5, 2011 8:25:03 AM

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intel,

I was intrigued by your query. I haven't yet look up whether the oath is still taken but if not that would explain much, but I digress.

A corner will sign off at a crime scene and there are at times doctors who will sign off at a crime scene not knowing it may be a crime scene and then there are those who are doctors who sign of on crime scenes period. A crime scene would mean a life taking a life. Or, so I would think????Think

Here are some articles I found. Thank you for bringing this question into the light. I think the articles answer some questions and concerns as well as leaving the door open with respects to other states. As each state can make their own laws, usually.

The second site is saying that executions were put on hold but if you read down further you will see that our lovely, NOT, Supreme Court made a ruling. Also within the Supreme Court article there is another link on the bottom left that you can click on and see a map of all the states. It shows who has the death penalty and who doesn't and method used.Brick wall There are several sites on this link that gives much information.

The third site is just the gist of it as I don't wish to pay nor am I in the medical profession. And the last site has to do with the Hippocratic oath, and signing off on death certificates.

A Prison Doctor, an Execution, and a Resignation

Executions were effectively put on hold

Unwilling executioners?

How Doctors Got Into the Torture Business

Please thank http://blogs.plos.org for the first article, WRAL, http://www.bmj.com and Time Magazine for the above information.


peace out, >^,,^<


The poor object to being governed badly, whilst the rich object to being governed at all. G.K. Chesterton
intelfam
Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 6:20:09 AM

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Thanks, kitten, I didn't realise that you had been quietly beavering away.
I'll tuck them away for a serious perusal.

Thank you, again.



"The voice of the majority is no proof of justice." - Schiller
intelfam
Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 6:36:29 AM

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pedro wrote:
.............. perhaps some joined up thinking from educational institutes (many of these offenders will have caused some concern in their earlier years by their behaviour- Geoffrey Dahmer collected roadkill as a hobby as I recall)and perhaps (dare I say it) psychometric tests. It may be my imagination but it seems to be the vital period between primary school and secondary school where any such concerns get lost only to re-emerge, too late, at the trial. Teachers by their nature try and get the best out of their charges so perhaps it isn't natural to them to voice concerns about unusual behaviour patterns. I'd be interested in your thoughts.


I do think it must be possible to spot "unusual" characters. I hope there is a teacher on here to correct me but something tells me that a child doesn't begin to have "moral intelligence" until age 11 or 12 - and some not until well into adulthood. In part this explains the concept of "criminal intent" in UK courts. Having worked with young people and the multiple-agency monitoring of their behaviour, I would agree that, for this and other reasons, there is a tendency - no almost an ethos - of avoiding labels which might become self-fulfilling, applied at a time when a kid is changing a lot psychologically, the "She''ll grow out of it." model (which is so true in an overwhelmingly high proportion)

Having said that, most children in the UK change schools at age 11 and, as you hint, the whole "fresh start" mode kicks in. I have a feeling that the only way a message can be sent from primary to secondary schools is by "medicalising" the kid in some way. While this might send the message "there is something different", it is somewhat self defeating because the info on "how different" is then subject to medical confidentiality.

And then, when the kid (if my assumption up there ^, is correct) is beginning to be able to make informed moral decisions, you have thrown away the relationships built up with teachers in primary schools which might have been the vehicle for diversion.




"The voice of the majority is no proof of justice." - Schiller
percivalpecksniff
Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 7:20:41 AM

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I find some of the comments in this thread revealing.

There is the revenge factor very evident in those in favour, and the sense of possible injustice weighs heavily on those against the death penalty.

For me the notion of revenge is degrading. If the death penalty is to be exercised then surely then it must be carried out in the hope that in some it will act as a deterrent. Of course that would be hard to quantify.

If one could remove the uncertainty of guilt would that make the decision easier? If you murder then you must suffer the death penalty? The paradox is that it would not since there are degrees of culpability. There is the unpremeditated murder in a fit of rage of pain and hurt… wrong yes… but a moment of rashness. Since there are shades of intent and motivations and at times mitigating circumstances such as jealous rage, momentary imbalance and at the other end of the scale calculating wicked amoral acts of murder one is faced with a dilemma.

In principle I am in favour of the death penalty, but in practice find it hard to see how to work it out, except in extreme cases. So on balance I think it is best not to apply it.


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle
pedro
Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 5:57:09 AM

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I looked for some data on the death penalty and murder rates following percy's comment. It semed logical to look at the US for statistically significant data. It actually shows that where states have abolished the death penalty, it has led to a decline in murder rates. this is at first sight a puzzle. With a null result you could argue that the only deterrent to a murderer is that of being caught. However, you will see a general decine in both sets of data which is probably caused by increasingly sophisticated methods of detection, notably DNA forensic science.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/deterrence-states-without-death-penalty-have-had-consistently-lower-murder-rates

All good ideas arrive by chance- Max Ernst
Geeman
Posted: Sunday, October 2, 2011 7:16:32 PM

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Sorry to revive an old thread. I'm doing so because the book The Last Victim by Jason Moss was mentioned here, and I've just finished reading it. The verdict:

Guilty. That is, you probably shouldn't bother. I don't recommend it.

It's not really a bad book, but also not a particularly good one either. The author spends an awful lot of time giving us his conversations with his mother, which is about as interesting as you'd imagine--especially if you picked up the book to specifically read about his conversations with a serial killer. There are some interesting bits in the book, and the author's experience itself is also very interesting, but his writing isn't. Who cares about his relationship with his girlfriend? His relationship with his mom makes some sense in that it relates to the fact that the killers he deals with had troubled families, but the comparison is strained at best, and breaks down into a kind of whiny narcissism more than anything insightful.

Essentially, we learn very little about anything in the book, despite the access the author had to his subject. I'll grant that he was very young and inexperienced, but that youth an inexperience show throughout the whole book, and makes it little more than the memoir of a creepy kid with a few IQ points above the norm. For that kind of thing we can turn to any number of goth kids at a local high school.

So, overall, I wouldn't recommend it. The book does, in my opinion, validate a lot of the opinions I've expressed in this thread about the relative loss of freedom of prisoners. After all, Gacy managed to arrange a 3-day, pretty much unsupervised, visit with a teenage boy while in prison a few weeks before being put to death during which he repeatedly threatened to rape, torture and murder his "guest" and clearly revelled in memories of his past horrific crimes daily in his imagination and with his fellow serial killer inmates. Was an assault in his plan for the 3rd day--which the author wisely cancelled? It certainly read that way to me. Of course, we can't really know, but it seems Gacy was actually attempting to arrange for a victim to be brought to him like a delivery service--which seems to run counter to the idea that a lot of folks have suggested that he should be kept alive in prison "to suffer" for his crimes behind bars.

Personally, I think it's of value to society to take that kind of person off the planet, rather than have him around like some recurring cancer in our media. I don't think reading the book will necessarily convince others of the same thing, though, so I don't think it's worth bothering with no matter which side of the death penalty debate one falls on.
Choson
Posted: Monday, June 11, 2012 4:19:27 PM

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I'd welcome my death. And far as I'm concerned, anyone who asserts life is wonderful is either lying or hasn't grown up. It stands to reason then a felon on death row who's afraid of dying should be spared.
Tovarish
Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 2:05:59 AM

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You sound a bit down Choson, welcome to the forum, I hope you enjoy the interaction from us regulars.

We dont have the death penalty in Australia, the most anyone can get is multiple terms of Life in Prison or papers marked Never to be Released.

The last person hung was Ronald Ryan in the '60s.
Klaas V
Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 2:42:49 AM

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Choson wrote:
I'd welcome my death.


Agree with Tovarish. Anyways, welcome to Farlex's FreeDict Forum and an advice: Go and talk to a therapist.

I am against using death as a punishment. I am also against using it as a reward.

Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, Polish writer & aphorist.






With maybe the exception of the unasked there just isn't such thing available as a dumb question - Z4us
almostfreebird
Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 7:34:36 AM

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ClubFavolosa wrote:
Choson wrote:
I'd welcome my death.


Agree with Tovarish. Anyways, welcome to Farlex's FreeDict Forum and an advice: Go and talk to a therapist.

I am against using death as a punishment. I am also against using it as a reward.

Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, Polish writer & aphorist.








I thought the man in the picture was an inmate on death row who was an aphorist, because the picture was so huge and had an impact.d'oh!







GeorgeV
Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 7:40:09 AM

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Location: Canada
.
Is it aphore or aphter photo?
.

Brain-washing starts in the cradle. - Arthur Koestler
Choson
Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 5:00:53 PM

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Joined: 5/31/2012
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Location: United States, NY
Tovarish wrote:
You sound a bit down Choson, welcome to the forum, I hope you enjoy the interaction from us regulars.

We dont have the death penalty in Australia, the most anyone can get is multiple terms of Life in Prison or papers marked Never to be Released.

The last person hung was Ronald Ryan in the '60s.


Thanks for the welcome Tovarish. I just was trying to be provocative. Actually I'm happy go lucky.
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