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The Death Penalty

steve_bank

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A major topic, the death penalty. Is it cruel and unusual punishment? I doubt the founders would have thought so.

Here in Washington in 1980. a man killed 3 people and tortured two. One person was shot in the head while bound. One was stragled. He was semteced to three life terms. Recently a parole board recommended parole saying he was rehabilitatedv and npt a danger to society. Public outcry resulted in the governor overdring the decison.

H e was caught and admitted to it and was dismissive of the victims. There is no issue of the man not being guilty.

Should such a person forfeit his life for having taken three lives?

My objection to the death penalty is irreversible error, an innocent man being executed. That does not apply in this case.

Would oiu have voted for parole?
If yu were on a jury would you vote for the death penalty?


 

Politesse

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I doubt the founders would have thought so.
The day I take moral advice on the inherent value of human life from an unashamed slave trader is the day I toss my degree into the Potomac.

Here in Washington in 1980. a man killed 3 people and tortured two. One person was shot in the head while bound. One was stragled. He was semteced to three life terms. Recently a parole board recommended parole saying he was rehabilitatedv and npt a danger to society. Public outcry resulted in the governor overdring the decison.

H e was caught and admitted to it and was dismissive of the victims. There is no issue of the man not being guilty.

Should such a person forfeit his life for having taken three lives?

What good does this man's death accomplish? If it's just to create a vague feeling of schadenfreude, I think the value of a human life should be assigned as being greater than a moment of childish emotional release.

Would oiu have voted for parole?
If yu were on a jury would you vote for the death penalty?
Your attempted equivocation between these two VERY different decisions is noted but easily ignored. Obviously, not killing someone does not oblige one to grant them parole.
 

thebeave

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A major topic, the death penalty. Is it cruel and unusual punishment? I doubt the founders would have thought so.

Here in Washington in 1980. a man killed 3 people and tortured two. One person was shot in the head while bound. One was stragled. He was semteced to three life terms. Recently a parole board recommended parole saying he was rehabilitatedv and npt a danger to society. Public outcry resulted in the governor overdring the decison.

H e was caught and admitted to it and was dismissive of the victims. There is no issue of the man not being guilty.

Should such a person forfeit his life for having taken three lives?

My objection to the death penalty is irreversible error, an innocent man being executed. That does not apply in this case.

Would oiu have voted for parole?
If yu were on a jury would you vote for the death penalty?


I don't have a problem with the death penalty in cases such as what you described. My problem with the death penalty is now mostly due to how long it takes to get it done, and the expense. Its ridiculous. The families of the victims who want closure and to just get on with their lives are just dragged along with the process for decades.

Another thing I'm troubled with is the idea that the death penalty is often rejected because its considered barbaric and cruel, but life in prison is not? Knowing how much I appreciate my way of life and freedom to come and go as I please, I think I would prefer death, rather than spend 50+ years confined to living in essentially a tiny, concrete block box the rest of my life, surrounded by society's worst.
 

TomC

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I'm with Politesse here.

I no more care about the genocidal slavers who were the Founding Fathers than Moses.

In other places, keeping someone in prison will reduce the ability to feed and house the poor. I have a different opinion about death penalty in Indonesia than the USA. Because the USA can very well afford both.
In a tiny number of cases, the perp can continue causing death and mayhem from prison. Drug lords and terrorist leaders come to mind. But those are the rare exceptions. Usually, it's raw schadenfreude. And very expensive, because the USA has a legal system requiring years of lawyers before we're confident to have all the facts necessary to kill someone. Far less expensive to just lock them up.

And there is a huge area between killing and setting free.
Tom
 

TomC

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Knowing how much I appreciate my way of life and freedom to come and go as I please, I think I would prefer death, rather than spend 50+ years confined to living in essentially a tiny, concrete block box the rest of my life, surrounded by society's worst.
I've no idea how this works, legally.
But, yeah, I'd be fine with giving people like the OP described the option of ending it all.
Tom
 

Bomb#20

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A major topic, the death penalty. Is it cruel and unusual punishment? I doubt the founders would have thought so.

The day I take moral advice on the inherent value of human life from an unashamed slave trader is the day I toss my degree into the Potomac.

I'm with Politesse here.

I no more care about the genocidal slavers who were the Founding Fathers than Moses.
Steve was no more inviting us to take moral advice from the Founding Fathers than from Moses. He was inviting us to take legal advice from them. There are legitimate arguments to be made for the authors' original intent being legally irrelevant to what the Eighth Amendment and the rest of the constitution mean, but Madison et al being slave owners isn't one of them.
 

Bomb#20

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In a tiny number of cases, the perp can continue causing death and mayhem from prison. Drug lords and terrorist leaders come to mind. But those are the rare exceptions.
But it's not a tiny number of cases or a rare exception when the perp can continue causing death and mayhem in prison. We the law-abiding tend to be far too casual about taking for granted that locking up a murderer for life solves the problem of the threat he poses to others, and then far too casual about locking up a thief in the same cage with him.
 

Politesse

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A major topic, the death penalty. Is it cruel and unusual punishment? I doubt the founders would have thought so.

The day I take moral advice on the inherent value of human life from an unashamed slave trader is the day I toss my degree into the Potomac.

I'm with Politesse here.

I no more care about the genocidal slavers who were the Founding Fathers than Moses.
Steve was no more inviting us to take moral advice from the Founding Fathers than from Moses. He was inviting us to take legal advice from them. There are legitimate arguments to be made for the authors' original intent being legally irrelevant to what the Eighth Amendment and the rest of the constitution mean, but Madison et al being slave owners isn't one of them.
Nonsense. There is no question about whether or not the death penalty is legal in any particular jurisdiction, or trivially easy to look up if you don't know. He asked us what we thought should happen (an ethical question), not what is or is not presently legal.
 

Bomb#20

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Steve was no more inviting us to take moral advice from the Founding Fathers than from Moses. He was inviting us to take legal advice from them. There are legitimate arguments to be made for the authors' original intent being legally irrelevant to what the Eighth Amendment and the rest of the constitution mean, but Madison et al being slave owners isn't one of them.
Nonsense. There is no question about whether or not the death penalty is legal in any particular jurisdiction, or trivially easy to look up if you don't know.
Nonsense. You can't just look up whether an action is legal in the U.S. -- we have a Constitution. To ask whether the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment amounts to asking whether Gregg v Georgia was decided incorrectly.

He asked us what we thought should happen (an ethical question), not what is or is not presently legal.
He asked us that too. "Should such a person forfeit his life for having taken three lives?" But that wasn't the question he brought up the founders to address.
 

steve_bank

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A major topic, the death penalty. Is it cruel and unusual punishment? I doubt the founders would have thought so.

Here in Washington in 1980. a man killed 3 people and tortured two. One person was shot in the head while bound. One was stragled. He was semteced to three life terms. Recently a parole board recommended parole saying he was rehabilitatedv and npt a danger to society. Public outcry resulted in the governor overdring the decison.

H e was caught and admitted to it and was dismissive of the victims. There is no issue of the man not being guilty.

Should such a person forfeit his life for having taken three lives?

My objection to the death penalty is irreversible error, an innocent man being executed. That does not apply in this case.

Would oiu have voted for parole?
If yu were on a jury would you vote for the death penalty?


I don't have a problem with the death penalty in cases such as what you described. My problem with the death penalty is now mostly due to how long it takes to get it done, and the expense. Its ridiculous. The families of the victims who want closure and to just get on with their lives are just dragged along with the process for decades.

Another thing I'm troubled with is the idea that the death penalty is often rejected because its considered barbaric and cruel, but life in prison is not? Knowing how much I appreciate my way of life and freedom to come and go as I please, I think I would prefer death, rather than spend 50+ years confined to living in essentially a tiny, concrete block box the rest of my life, surrounded by society's worst.
That was my point about the founders and COTUS. Cruel and unusual punishment is used today to ban the death penalty.

The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” This amendment prohibits the federal government from imposing unduly harsh penalties on criminal defendants, either as the price for obtaining ...
 

steve_bank

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I doubt the founders would have thought so.
The day I take moral advice on the inherent value of human life from an unashamed slave trader is the day I toss my degree into the Potomac.

Here in Washington in 1980. a man killed 3 people and tortured two. One person was shot in the head while bound. One was stragled. He was semteced to three life terms. Recently a parole board recommended parole saying he was rehabilitatedv and npt a danger to society. Public outcry resulted in the governor overdring the decison.

H e was caught and admitted to it and was dismissive of the victims. There is no issue of the man not being guilty.

Should such a person forfeit his life for having taken three lives?

What good does this man's death accomplish? If it's just to create a vague feeling of schadenfreude, I think the value of a human life should be assigned as being greater than a moment of childish emotional release.

Would oiu have voted for parole?
If yu were on a jury would you vote for the death penalty?
Your attempted equivocation between these two VERY different decisions is noted but easily ignored. Obviously, not killing someone does not oblige one to grant them parole.
Humans have a near infinite capacity to moralize without taking a clear moral position. Moral hand waving and misdirection. Bringing up slavery is a diversion form the issue.

You are on a death penalty jury and the evidence is irrefutable video and eye witness, do you vote yes or no? I would vote yes in the case I posted. If evidence was largely circumstantial I would vote no, the possibility of irreversible error.

Real world morality not just in the case of deh penalty is far more difficult then acaemic debate. That is why I asked the question.

The fouders whatever their faults did give is a dyrable system with a mecahnism for change and ecolution that led to civil rights. That would be another thread.

If yiu graduated unaware of the 8th Amendment you might want to ask your school for a refund.
 

Politesse

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You are on a death penalty jury and the evidence is irrefutable video and eye witness, do you vote yes or no? I would vote yes in the case I posted. If evidence was largely circumstantial I would vote no, the possibility of irreversible error.
I would vote yes. As that is my job as a juror in that case, regardless of my personal ethical views. But I do think the punishment in question is barbaric (like most elements of our penal system).
 

Politesse

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That was my point about the founders and COTUS. Cruel and unusual punishment is used today to ban the death penalty.
Wait, what? No, it isn't. The death penalty is legal in the United States. Maybe you are the one who could use a recap on high school civics lessons. If the Supreme Court were to rule that 8th Amendment prohibited the death penalty, it would be illegal in every state, not just "liberal" states. Gregg v. Georgia has been the standing measure of this principle since 1976 when that case was tried -- it lifted a then four year ban on the practice and established relatively clear guidelines about how executions could take place within the confines of the 8th amendment. Now, the Democrats do have a bill before the Congress right now that would introduce a blanket ban on state executions. But it's success or failure will come to a vote, not a court case on the Constititionality of the process. That is already settled law. And despite the current Court's feigned allergy to stare decisis, this is one precedent they are almost unthinkably unlikely to revisit, given that conservative Christians love spilled blood even more than they love hypocrisy.
 

Bomb#20

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To ask whether the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment amounts to asking whether Gregg v Georgia was decided incorrectly.
Yes, it would be. Had that question, in fact, been posed.
What, you mean something like this?

"A major topic, the death penalty. Is it cruel and unusual punishment?"​

https://iidb.org/threads/the-death-penalty.26102/#post-1011405

That was my point about the founders and COTUS. Cruel and unusual punishment is used today to ban the death penalty.
Wait, what? No, it isn't. The death penalty is legal in the United States.
It's used today to ban the death penalty retail, not wholesale. There are a number of cases where the death penalty was found to be cruel and unusual in particular situations. They banned the death penalty for rape; they banned the death penalty for mentally retarded people; they banned the mandatory death penalty where mitigating circumstances aren't considered; and so forth.
 

Copernicus

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You are on a death penalty jury and the evidence is irrefutable video and eye witness, do you vote yes or no? I would vote yes in the case I posted. If evidence was largely circumstantial I would vote no, the possibility of irreversible error.
I would vote yes. As that is my job as a juror in that case, regardless of my personal ethical views. But I do think the punishment in question is barbaric (like most elements of our penal system).

My response to the hypothetical is that I would decline to be on a jury in which a guilty version could end up killing the defendant. Even if I agreed to serve on it, a prosecutor would exclude me during voir dire, because I wouldn't lie about my opposition to the death penalty. I believe that it is cruel and unusual punishment, given that most murderers, even in death penalty states, do not get executed. Conditions in the death wing of prisons can be horrific and last for years, sometimes even decades. Moreover, there is no clear evidence that capital punishment even deters people from committing their crimes.

In my opinion, capital punishment is simply revenge killing by a government. That is clear from the kinds of arguments brought forth in its defense--the horrendous nature of some of the crimes committed. If revenge is the motive, then maybe those convicted should be tortured before we kill them. Many methods of execution end up being torture to the victims anyway. The basic effect of capital punishment is that it vindicates the motive of revenge killing, which is actually a frequent motive of people who commit the murders they are charged with. Many murderers are taking some sort of revenge on their victims. If the government does it, why shouldn't they? Capital punishment is wrong not because it saves the lives of murderers and others convicted of capital crimes. It is wrong because of the dehumanizing effect it has on the society that imposes the death penalty.
 

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If we assume that it's morally wrong to kill people for reasons other than self defense, your life is under immediate threat, why would it be morally justified for a government to take prisoners and execute them?
 

Politesse

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You can't decline to be on a jury, at least not in my state. But it is highly unlikely that someone with strong moral objections to the death penalty would be placed on a jury for a capital punishment case, unless they lied during the jury selection interview. I wouldn't want to decline such a role, personally. I highly value trial by peers on basic principle, and see the exercise of those rights as inherently worthwhile. The defendant will be put on trial, whether or not I personally agree with the laws that will determine their fate. There is no other outcome for them. As such, they deserve a fair trial before honest and rational jurors whether or not their ultimate sentencing will reflect my personal views on what is appropriate. In fact, if their life may be on the line, they all the more so deserve to have their case considered by many ears, and if I were a defendant, I would want someone like myself on the jury far more than someone who responds to the death penalty with an ill-considered "hell yeah I'd kill'em! Dayum he looks shifty!" Ya know?
 

Copernicus

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You can't decline to be on a jury, at least not in my state. But it is highly unlikely that someone with strong moral objections to the death penalty would be placed on a jury for a capital punishment case, unless they lied during the jury selection interview. I wouldn't want to decline such a role, personally. I highly value trial by peers on basic principle, and see the exercise of those rights as inherently worthwhile. The defendant will be put on trial, whether or not I personally agree with the laws that will determine their fate. There is no other outcome for them. As such, they deserve a fair trial before honest and rational jurors whether or not their ultimate sentencing will reflect my personal views on what is appropriate. In fact, if their life may be on the line, they all the more so deserve to have their case considered by many ears, and if I were a defendant, I would want someone like myself on the jury far more than someone who responds to the death penalty with an ill-considered "hell yeah I'd kill'em! Dayum he looks shifty!" Ya know?
You can't decline to be on a jury in Washington state either, but you can easily decline to be chosen for a specific jury. Everyone has to fill out a set of questions before going into voir dire, and you are always asked if there is anything about the case being litigated that could prevent you from rendering a fair verdict. My objection to the death penalty is so strong that I would always answer say "yes" to that question. I wouldn't sit on a jury where the outcome could lead to the defendant being tortured either.
 

southernhybrid

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You are on a death penalty jury and the evidence is irrefutable video and eye witness, do you vote yes or no? I would vote yes in the case I posted. If evidence was largely circumstantial I would vote no, the possibility of irreversible error.
I would vote yes. As that is my job as a juror in that case, regardless of my personal ethical views. But I do think the punishment in question is barbaric (like most elements of our penal system).

My response to the hypothetical is that I would decline to be on a jury in which a guilty version could end up killing the defendant. Even if I agreed to serve on it, a prosecutor would exclude me during voir dire, because I wouldn't lie about my opposition to the death penalty. I believe that it is cruel and unusual punishment, given that most murderers, even in death penalty states, do not get executed. Conditions in the death wing of prisons can be horrific and last for years, sometimes even decades. Moreover, there is no clear evidence that capital punishment even deters people from committing their crimes.

In my opinion, capital punishment is simply revenge killing by a government. That is clear from the kinds of arguments brought forth in its defense--the horrendous nature of some of the crimes committed. If revenge is the motive, then maybe those convicted should be tortured before we kill them. Many methods of execution end up being torture to the victims anyway. The basic effect of capital punishment is that it vindicates the motive of revenge killing, which is actually a frequent motive of people who commit the murders they are charged with. Many murderers are taking some sort of revenge on their victims. If the government does it, why shouldn't they? Capital punishment is wrong not because it saves the lives of murderers and others convicted of capital crimes. It is wrong because of the dehumanizing effect it has on the society that imposes the death penalty.
I basically share your viewpoint. To me, the death penalty is giving the state permission to commit the same crime as the defendant. It's rather Old Testament, as in an eye for an eye. It's also not given out fairly and many people, especially black males have later been found to be innocent after sitting on death row for years. Sometimes, they've already been murdered by the state, so that's another reason that I see the death penalty as an unjust sentence. Even when it's obvious that the person is guilty, we really don't know all of the influences that causes a person to murder.

I also would not be able to serve on a jury that might allow the defendant to be given a death sentence. It would be a moral dilemma for me to be put in such a situation. I think it's likely that one's views would be expressed regarding the death penalty prior to jury selection, so I doubt anyone with strong opposition to the death penalty would be chosen for such a jury. It's common for potential jurors to be asked how they feel about certain controversial laws and sentences prior to jury selection.
 
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