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The Death Penalty

TLK Valentine

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The trditional argument was the death penalty was a deterrent.

I forget who originally made the argument, but they attempted to refute the "death penalty as deterrent" argument by pointing out that killers generally fall under 3 categories:

1. Professionals -- the mobsters, gangsters, cartel hitmen, etc... They're not deterred because they don't plan on getting caught, and they know their bosses will do a lot worse to them if they don't kill.

2. Passion -- You come home early one day and find your wife in bed with your neighbor... you flip out, grab the nearest blunt object, and bash both their brains in. You're not deterred because you weren't thinking -- that's what it means to "flip out," after all.

3. Psychos -- The serial killers, mass shooters, etc... They're not deterred because, well.... they're nucking futs, aren't they?

So...who's left?
 

Jarhyn

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The trditional argument was the death penalty was a deterrent.

I forget who originally made the argument, but they attempted to refute the "death penalty as deterrent" argument by pointing out that killers generally fall under 3 categories:

1. Professionals -- the mobsters, gangsters, cartel hitmen, etc... They're not deterred because they don't plan on getting caught, and they know their bosses will do a lot worse to them if they don't kill.

2. Passion -- You come home early one day and find your wife in bed with your neighbor... you flip out, grab the nearest blunt object, and bash both their brains in. You're not deterred because you weren't thinking -- that's what it means to "flip out," after all.

3. Psychos -- The serial killers, mass shooters, etc... They're not deterred because, well.... they're nucking futs, aren't they?

So...who's left?
Those who are somewhere between 2 and 3: they go a little psycho after an event such that they gain a passion towards killing someone specific. The knowledge of not being 1, and being past best-by date on 2 while being just enough 3 leads someone to be more motivated to be none of the above when chances of getting caught are high.

This is how people become inducted into 3 properly, though, and occasionally into 1.
 

steve_bank

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In the old west a cattle rustler or horse thief could get lynched on the spot. Not a complete deterrent but certainly gave people pause.

Stealing cattle took food away from someone. Stealing a horse could mean a farmer could not plow or someone got stranded on foot far from help.

If someone does not care if he lives or die then the death penalty is not much of a deterrent.
 

TLK Valentine

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certainly gave people pause.
Did it?

How do you know?

Certainly it's not the complete cessation of cattle rustling that tipped you off, 'cos that didn't happen.

People need to realize that it's not the severity of punishment that deters crime, it's the certainty.

"If you're caught, we'll put you in front of a firing squad" deters less crime than "You WILL get caught."
 

Jimmy Higgins

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certainly gave people pause.
Did it?

How do you know?

Certainly it's not the complete cessation of cattle rustling that tipped you off, 'cos that didn't happen.

People need to realize that it's not the severity of punishment that deters crime, it's the certainty.

"If you're caught, we'll put you in front of a firing squad" deters less crime than "You WILL get caught."
Of course, a lot of people that commit crimes don't think they'll get caught or in the heat of the moment, don't even consider the issue of being caught at all. Texas sends murderers to death row... and Texas still has murderers. The math really implies that the death penalty isn't about deterrence at all. It is about revenge. And most often, a sense of revenge for people not remotely adjacent to the crime.
 

TomC

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Texas sends murderers to death row... and Texas still has murderers. The math really implies that the death penalty isn't about deterrence at all. It is about revenge. And most often, a sense of revenge for people not remotely adjacent to the crime.
I think you're being too kind. I see it as much worse than that.

As done here in the USA, I see capital punishment as political theater. It's an ugly kind of performance art.

It's a big expensive episode of "Tough on Crime". The same politicians who cannot find fundage for prevention can find millions of dollars to pay lawyers, both defense and prosecution, in order to justify a state sponsored killing. They haven't the political will to deal with the NRA and get rid of some of the guns, but they get lots of airtime to talk about their valiant efforts to make America Safe. They get political ads on the internet and news shows without doing anything more than spending taxpayer dollars on lawyers bills.

Call me a Prolifer if you must, but I remain opposed to people choosing death for other people.
Tom
 

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I support the Death Penalty if the person's guilt is direct and cannot be unproven. Famous killers like John Wayne Gacy, Willaim Bonin, and Ted Bundy deserved to be executed. So did Jeffrey Dahmer. These people murdered for their own pleasures and there is no other recourse than the Death Penalty. Maybe the other recourse would be them locked up in a cell with nothing to read or do, a cot, a toilet and a sink for the rest of their lives. But I think this would be a worse punishment than death itself. But I also support the Death Penalty for someone who kills a clerk in a convenience store robbery for instance. I think rape of a child under 10 deserves the Death Penalty although the Supreme Court disallows this.

I will say if I was a juror for the Boston Bomber, Tsarnev, during the penalty phase, I would have voted neutral on whether to execute him or not. It would not have mattered to me. Life without parole meant a life in Supermax ADX at his young age. I mean, which is worse. For myself, if I was convicted of Capital Murder, sentence me to death. I dont want to spend the rest of my life in prison. A maximum security prison is Hell. To sit in a cememnt box most of the day, having to live with a stranger using the same toilet in a room the size of a closet. The real possibility of being murdered by someone over a slight, or being used as a sex toy for rape. Eating awful food bought the cheapest possible. Execute me, I'll even drive the van to the execution site.

No, Capital Punishment is not a deterrant. Nor is people committing other crimes. Someone strung out on heroin sticking up a liquor store and leaving are not thinking that getting caught might mean years in prison. People driving drunk home from a party doesnt think that getting caught means heavy fines and imprisonment. Other people get caught, not me.

The Death Penalty is not given equally since there are plea deals and things, and people end up escaping it to spend the rest of their lives in prison. There is an inmate in Indiana named Frederick Baer who was in a documentary on Youtube called (Welcome to Indiana State Prison) who home invaded the home of a young mother and her three year old child and he slit both of their throats. He was caught and was sentenced to death. The guy was hated on Death Row and the other inmates openly stated that they would kill him if they could. Baer lamented in the interview that if his penalty was overturned to life, he would have to live in solitary the rest of his life or get killed. His penalty was overturned to life (somehow). Again, I would rather make my peace with God (I know, this is an atheist board) and then be executed, my life is over, why wait?

Lastly, lethal injection is not painless. Better than gas or the electric chair but the person is strapped down and shot up with chemicals that puts them to sleep, suffocates them and incurs a heart attack. Not fun.
 

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It may be satisfying for some, but shouldn't a progressive society seek a higher standard of morality than using execution as a solution?
 

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It may be satisfying for some, but shouldn't a progressive society seek a higher standard of morality than using execution as a solution?
Why is non-execution considered a higher standard of morality? I would prefer a standard of morality that protects society and its members.
 

DBT

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It may be satisfying for some, but shouldn't a progressive society seek a higher standard of morality than using execution as a solution?
Why is non-execution considered a higher standard of morality? I would prefer a standard of morality that protects society and its members.

Justifiable self defence is one thing, executing someone who is in custody and poses no further risk to the community is another thing altogether.
 

Tigers!

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It may be satisfying for some, but shouldn't a progressive society seek a higher standard of morality than using execution as a solution?
Why is non-execution considered a higher standard of morality? I would prefer a standard of morality that protects society and its members.

Justifiable self defence is one thing, executing someone who is in custody and poses no further risk to the community is another thing altogether.
The claim that they pose no further risk to the community is debatable. Violence and murders occur in prison and being in Australia you would be well aware that there are far too many people who are 'no risk to the community' are released and then go and pose a risk to the community.
 

bilby

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It may be satisfying for some, but shouldn't a progressive society seek a higher standard of morality than using execution as a solution?
Why is non-execution considered a higher standard of morality? I would prefer a standard of morality that protects society and its members.
You just answered your own question.
 

Copernicus

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It may be satisfying for some, but shouldn't a progressive society seek a higher standard of morality than using execution as a solution?
Why is non-execution considered a higher standard of morality? I would prefer a standard of morality that protects society and its members.

Justifiable self defence is one thing, executing someone who is in custody and poses no further risk to the community is another thing altogether.
The claim that they pose no further risk to the community is debatable. Violence and murders occur in prison and being in Australia you would be well aware that there are far too many people who are 'no risk to the community' are released and then go and pose a risk to the community.

It seems to me that the term "higher standard of morality" invites a debate over standards of morality rather than a secular civil policy of capital punishment per se. A legal code is not quite the same thing as a moral code, although people tend to believe that laws are based on some moral standard. The way US law is supposed to work is that a law ought to address some perceived need that the Constitution grants the government the right to regulate. IOW, there ought to be some civic justification for it. How does the law promote the interests of the public at large?

There is no question that murder is an existential threat to individual citizens, who have a right to life and liberty, so it is illegal. The question at issue is whether capital punishment is the best way to minimize the number of murders committed. So the question can be addressed on empirical grounds. Does capital punishment actually deter murders in comparison to other forums of punishment, for example, incarceration? Ought it to be cruel or unusual punishment, which is constitutionally forbidden? Can it be justified in light of the fact that it is not remediable in cases where the person found guilty is later discovered to be innocent? These are the kinds of questions that need to be addressed, not whether the practice is moral.
 

bilby

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It may be satisfying for some, but shouldn't a progressive society seek a higher standard of morality than using execution as a solution?
Why is non-execution considered a higher standard of morality? I would prefer a standard of morality that protects society and its members.

Justifiable self defence is one thing, executing someone who is in custody and poses no further risk to the community is another thing altogether.
The claim that they pose no further risk to the community is debatable. Violence and murders occur in prison and being in Australia you would be well aware that there are far too many people who are 'no risk to the community' are released and then go and pose a risk to the community.

It seems to me that the term "higher standard of morality" invites a debate over standards of morality rather than a secular civil policy of capital punishment per se. A legal code is not quite the same thing as a moral code, although people tend to believe that laws are based on some moral standard. The way US law is supposed to work is that a law ought to address some perceived need that the Constitution grants the government the right to regulate. IOW, there ought to be some civic justification for it. How does the law promote the interests of the public at large?

There is no question that murder is an existential threat to individual citizens, who have a right to life and liberty, so it is illegal. The question at issue is whether capital punishment is the best way to minimize the number of murders committed. So the question can be addressed on empirical grounds. Does capital punishment actually deter murders in comparison to other forums of punishment, for example, incarceration? Ought it to be cruel or unusual punishment, which is constitutionally forbidden? Can it be justified in light of the fact that it is not remediable in cases where the person found guilty is later discovered to be innocent? These are the kinds of questions that need to be addressed, not whether the practice is moral.
Current US law ought not to be used as a framework for discussion of whether US law is appropriate; That is to say that the Constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment is itself subject to analysis and potentially rejection, as part of a discussion of the morality (or otherwise) of laws and their associated penalties.

Your questions are excellent, but I would add: Should the constitution limit what punishments are available to lawmakers, and if so, what limits should there be?

I personally think that "cruel and unusual" is a dreadfully vague phrase that has no place in law, much less in constitutional law. Certainly a strong argument could be made that almost any penalty is 'cruel'; and 'unusual' is apparently just eliminating the possibility of change, without regard for the consequences of that change.

Perhaps the meaning of the phrase was more specific, and well understood to be so, for the people of the USA at the time that the Constitution was written; But it certainly isn't a helpful phrase today.

Horse: Everyone can see what a horse is.
 

TomC

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It may be satisfying for some, but shouldn't a progressive society seek a higher standard of morality than using execution as a solution?
Why is non-execution considered a higher standard of morality? I would prefer a standard of morality that protects society and its members.
The generic term I use is "Pro-life".
Tom
 

Copernicus

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It seems to me that the term "higher standard of morality" invites a debate over standards of morality rather than a secular civil policy of capital punishment per se. A legal code is not quite the same thing as a moral code, although people tend to believe that laws are based on some moral standard. The way US law is supposed to work is that a law ought to address some perceived need that the Constitution grants the government the right to regulate. IOW, there ought to be some civic justification for it. How does the law promote the interests of the public at large?

There is no question that murder is an existential threat to individual citizens, who have a right to life and liberty, so it is illegal. The question at issue is whether capital punishment is the best way to minimize the number of murders committed. So the question can be addressed on empirical grounds. Does capital punishment actually deter murders in comparison to other forums of punishment, for example, incarceration? Ought it to be cruel or unusual punishment, which is constitutionally forbidden? Can it be justified in light of the fact that it is not remediable in cases where the person found guilty is later discovered to be innocent? These are the kinds of questions that need to be addressed, not whether the practice is moral.
Current US law ought not to be used as a framework for discussion of whether US law is appropriate; That is to say that the Constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment is itself subject to analysis and potentially rejection, as part of a discussion of the morality (or otherwise) of laws and their associated penalties.

Your questions are excellent, but I would add: Should the constitution limit what punishments are available to lawmakers, and if so, what limits should there be?

I suppose the problem is with the way the thread topic frames the question. Morality is about what is right or wrong human conduct, and there is a lot of philosophical debate over what that could mean. Consequentialism, a form of utilitarianism, seems to be the basis for a moral standard in modern secular terms. But penalties for moral transgressions are a different kind of issue altogether, because penalties tend to be thought of in terms of government regulations. Since a constitution necessarily spells out the powers of government, penalties are subject to how it defines those powers. That's why I raised it here. One could, of course, argue back and forth over whether revenge killings ought to be in some form codified legally. That is what I think capital punishment is--a legal form of revenge killing. However, I know that a lot of people object to framing it as merely revenge killing.


I personally think that "cruel and unusual" is a dreadfully vague phrase that has no place in law, much less in constitutional law. Certainly a strong argument could be made that almost any penalty is 'cruel'; and 'unusual' is apparently just eliminating the possibility of change, without regard for the consequences of that change.

Perhaps the meaning of the phrase was more specific, and well understood to be so, for the people of the USA at the time that the Constitution was written; But it certainly isn't a helpful phrase today.

Horse: Everyone can see what a horse is.

Well, the vagueness was intentional, because standards of norms and cruelty differ over time. The Supreme Court is supposed to interpret laws not just in terms of historical norms, but also in terms of how those norms conform to modern times. I don't want to get into a debate over so-called Constitutional originialism, but I don't think that people who advocate for it understand the spirit in which the Constitution was drafted, nor do I think it practical or possible to interpret laws in the way that framers and ratifiers of the Constitution did. That's a topic for a different thread, I think.
 

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There is no question that murder is an existential threat to individual citizens, who have a right to life and liberty, so it is illegal.

The question at issue is whether capital punishment is the best way to minimize the number of murders committed.
That is not the only question but we can address it.
So the question can be addressed on empirical grounds. Does capital punishment actually deter murders in comparison to other forums of punishment, for example, incarceration?
We can set up am empirical experiment to determine whether incarceration or capital punishment works in deterring murder? In Australia the last capital punishment was 03/02/1967. We now rely on incarceration. But murders are still being committed so incarceration is not a deterrence. We could try capital punishment again but that will not stop murders.
So the question is should we be so concerned about deterrence? Is that the only reason for a 'justice' system?
Ought it to be cruel or unusual punishment, which is constitutionally forbidden?
Always depends upon who you ask what is cruel or unusual punishment.
Can it be justified in light of the fact that it is not remediable in cases where the person found guilty is later discovered to be innocent? These are the kinds of questions that need to be addressed, not whether the practice is moral.
The situation is also non-remedial where a guilty party is released and then commits again. We rarely discuss that though.
 

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The question at issue is whether capital punishment is the best way to minimize the number of murders committed.
That is not the only question but we can address it.

OK, but you did not do that in your last post. Instead, you addressed the question of whether capital punishment and incarceration could be expected to end all murders in Australia, pointed out that neither ended all murders in Australia, and somehow arrived at the conclusion that you were addressing something I asked in my post, which I did not. Here, see for yourself:


So the question can be addressed on empirical grounds. Does capital punishment actually deter murders in comparison to other forums of punishment, for example, incarceration?
We can set up am empirical experiment to determine whether incarceration or capital punishment works in deterring murder? In Australia the last capital punishment was 03/02/1967. We now rely on incarceration. But murders are still being committed so incarceration is not a deterrence. We could try capital punishment again but that will not stop murders.
So the question is should we be so concerned about deterrence? Is that the only reason for a 'justice' system?

I asked for a comparison, so a valid response would be for you to provide a comparison of murder rates before and after capital punishment was replaced by incarceration, i.e. 03/02/1967. I asked for a comparison. Your last two questions get us back into territory we've already discussed in the past: Should revenge be a criterion on which to base a legal punishment? What is justice, and is revenge part of it? We could go on for weeks disagreeing on that one. Been there. Done that.

Ought it to be cruel or unusual punishment, which is constitutionally forbidden?
Always depends upon who you ask what is cruel or unusual punishment.

That's right, and that's why our Constitution assigns that role to the courts.


Can it be justified in light of the fact that it is not remediable in cases where the person found guilty is later discovered to be innocent? These are the kinds of questions that need to be addressed, not whether the practice is moral.
The situation is also non-remedial where a guilty party is released and then commits again. We rarely discuss that though.

No, we discuss it all the time. You and others bring it up all the time. That's one of the most common arguments for having a death penalty--to stop the miscreants from being released by liberal, leftist, "woke" judges and parole boards. :rolleyes:
 

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The situation is also non-remedial where a guilty party is released and then commits again. We rarely discuss that though.
We discuss this a great deal.
Efforts to improve prison conditions to help rehabilitation and reduce recidivism get dismissed as "coddling criminals".
Tom
 

steve_bank

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It has happened several time in recent times in Seattle.

In one case a social justice .org posted bail for a violent felon who went out and murdered.

The thought of a murderer getting our on parole is intense long lasting pain and anxiety for family and friends of the murdered.

From what I have seen in Seattle for tye last 10 years rehabilitation of a murderer is a rare exception. They are seen in the news once in a while telling their story, but it is an exception.

Yesterday in Seattle 3 teens 11-15 punched a woman in the face trying to get her fanny pack, tried to rob somebody at gunpoint, and took a walet from a third viction.

What If they had shot and killed somebody?

I'd say the growing vionce teen to young adults will swamp rehabilitation efforts.
 

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In one case a social justice .org posted bail for a violent felon who went out and murdered.
Oh no!

One whole case!?

It's a disaster!!!
Well, you do live in a place where summer is colder than winter. So I won't be too judgemental, it's not your fault you poor Australian thing you.

But this happens a lot here. SJWs pop for bail or lawyers or something. Then the perp goes and commits another violent crime or two.

Or three.

It does happen. It's not "one whole case".
Tom
 

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So, is it the solution to execute prisoners in case they reoffend if released, or be very careful about who to release? Perhaps there are some who should never be released.
 

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So, is it the solution to execute prisoners in case they reoffend if released, or be very careful about who to release? Perhaps there are some who should never be released.
There are plenty who should never be released. But they likely belong in secure psychiatric care, rather than in prison.
 

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So, is it the solution to execute prisoners in case they reoffend if released, or be very careful about who to release? Perhaps there are some who should never be released.
The most violent criminals usually get life in prison without the possibility of parole. Some who are released are very old. I had a home health patient once who fit that category. He was dying, and was released from prison. His neighbors helped care for him until he died. A lot of these criminals commit violent crimes when they are very young. Once they reach middle age, most, not all, but most, are no longer dangerous. Some prisons have areas that are like nursing homes. Why not release these people to nursing homes that take M'caid, or to their families if they have someone willing to care for them?

Most of our prisons are disgusting hell holes. I've been reading a lot about them. It's not necessarily private prisons. It's almost all prisons. They are under staffed and the prisoners are treated very inhumanely. It makes us seem no better than the prisoners, sometimes worse. Sometimes prisons influence non violent criminals to become violent. We drastically need prison reform.

I know this thread isn't about prison reform, but that's a topic we should discuss sometime. Since most of our large mental health institutions were closed down in the late 80s and 90s, there really isn't an alternative for the criminally insane, other than prison.

Then again, some of the remaining mental institutions are disgusting hell holes too. The AJC did an investigation a few years ago about one that was still open in central Georgia. It was so poorly staffed, that people were dying from constipation from bowel obstructions. I'm off topic, but imo, all of this is related.

I've already said earlier in this thread that I don't support the death penalty for a variety of reasons.
 

Copernicus

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So, is it the solution to execute prisoners in case they reoffend if released, or be very careful about who to release? Perhaps there are some who should never be released.
The most violent criminals usually get life in prison without the possibility of parole. Some who are released are very old. I had a home health patient once who fit that category. He was dying, and was released from prison. His neighbors helped care for him until he died. A lot of these criminals commit violent crimes when they are very young. Once they reach middle age, most, not all, but most, are no longer dangerous. Some prisons have areas that are like nursing homes. Why not release these people to nursing homes that take M'caid, or to their families if they have someone willing to care for them?

Most of our prisons are disgusting hell holes. I've been reading a lot about them. It's not necessarily private prisons. It's almost all prisons. They are under staffed and the prisoners are treated very inhumanely. It makes us seem no better than the prisoners, sometimes worse. Sometimes prisons influence non violent criminals to become violent. We drastically need prison reform.

I know this thread isn't about prison reform, but that's a topic we should discuss sometime. Since most of our large mental health institutions were closed down in the late 80s and 90s, there really isn't an alternative for the criminally insane, other than prison.

Then again, some of the remaining mental institutions are disgusting hell holes too. The AJC did an investigation a few years ago about one that was still open in central Georgia. It was so poorly staffed, that people were dying from constipation from bowel obstructions. I'm off topic, but imo, all of this is related.

I've already said earlier in this thread that I don't support the death penalty for a variety of reasons.

Not off topic. We are discussing the death penalty, so it is appropriate to talk about alternative penalties and their consequences by way of comparison. A point raised above, but not fully addressed is the problem that some murderers are released and then commit more murders and violence. They are still a danger to society. The question that needs to be addressed in that case is whether killing them while in custody, including possibly innocent people wrongly convicted and people who longer pose a realistic threat, is the best solution to the risk of early release of those who will reoffend. Is life without the possibility of parole a better or worse idea than just killing them while we have incarcerated them? Killing them would certainly reduce the number of those getting out and committing more murders. The others could just be written off as collateral damage. :shrug:
 

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The situation is also non-remedial where a guilty party is released and then commits again. We rarely discuss that though.
We discuss this a great deal.
Efforts to improve prison conditions to help rehabilitation and reduce recidivism get dismissed as "coddling criminals".
Tom
Oh we discuss rehabilitation an awful lot.
What we don't discuss is why are those who are not rehabilitatied released? And if they re-offend what do we do with them then? That is rarely discussed. And the existence of a another set of victim(s) and their family/friends is not discussed at all.
 

Copernicus

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The situation is also non-remedial where a guilty party is released and then commits again. We rarely discuss that though.
We discuss this a great deal.
Efforts to improve prison conditions to help rehabilitation and reduce recidivism get dismissed as "coddling criminals".
Tom
Oh we discuss rehabilitation an awful lot.
What we don't discuss is why are those who are not rehabilitatied released? And if they re-offend what do we do with them then? That is rarely discussed. And the existence of a another set of victim(s) and their family/friends is not discussed at all.

Even less discussed is what people who complain about recidivism think would remedy the problem. We already have legislatures that try to second guess judges who hand out sentences. Is it your opinion that we abolish parole altogether? What reforms do you think necessary? Of course, we could just try to kill everyone convicted of murder, but the process of actually meting out a death sentence tends to be extremely time-consuming and expensive, given all of the appeals processes and special provisions for death row inmates. Actual executions tend to be very rare, take a long time, and often get botched in a way that brings extreme suffering to the victim. But I suppose that suffering is part of the solution that advocates for the death penalty think would help to deter more people from committing capital offenses.
 

Tigers!

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The situation is also non-remedial where a guilty party is released and then commits again. We rarely discuss that though.
We discuss this a great deal.
Efforts to improve prison conditions to help rehabilitation and reduce recidivism get dismissed as "coddling criminals".
Tom
Oh we discuss rehabilitation an awful lot.
What we don't discuss is why are those who are not rehabilitatied released? And if they re-offend what do we do with them then? That is rarely discussed. And the existence of a another set of victim(s) and their family/friends is not discussed at all.

Even less discussed is what people who complain about recidivism think would remedy the problem. We already have legislatures that try to second guess judges who hand out sentences.
That is why we keep polies out of the process of individual cases. But the broad policy outlines need some legislative input and since the pollies represent us and are part of society they do need some input.
Is it your opinion that we abolish parole altogether?
For some crimes that is a possibility - murder, child abuse, rape spring to mind. It is a great risk to release those who should not be. Safer fro the community for that risk to be eliminated if possible. I wonder how many of these rehabilitation programs actually work? Attending X numbers of classes over N weeks/years is not a guaranteed way to ensure rehabilitation. It will ensure a box is ticked but that may be all.
What reforms do you think necessary? Of course, we could just try to kill everyone convicted of murder, but the process of actually meting out a death sentence tends to be extremely time-consuming and expensive, given all of the appeals processes and special provisions for death row inmates.
The process itself can be tortuous i agree.
Concerning murder, rape etc. - if there is a free, unforced confession. physical evidence etc. then it makes it easier to justify an execution.
Actual executions tend to be very rare, take a long time, and often get botched in a way that brings extreme suffering to the victim. But I suppose that suffering is part of the solution that advocates for the death penalty think would help to deter more people from committing capital offenses.
If you make the process such that it is impossible to execute someone then it is no surprise that no-one is executed.
 

Copernicus

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The situation is also non-remedial where a guilty party is released and then commits again. We rarely discuss that though.
We discuss this a great deal.
Efforts to improve prison conditions to help rehabilitation and reduce recidivism get dismissed as "coddling criminals".
Tom
Oh we discuss rehabilitation an awful lot.
What we don't discuss is why are those who are not rehabilitatied released? And if they re-offend what do we do with them then? That is rarely discussed. And the existence of a another set of victim(s) and their family/friends is not discussed at all.

Even less discussed is what people who complain about recidivism think would remedy the problem. We already have legislatures that try to second guess judges who hand out sentences.
That is why we keep polies out of the process of individual cases. But the broad policy outlines need some legislative input and since the pollies represent us and are part of society they do need some input.

Judges already use established sentencing guidelines to try to fit the punishment to the crime. For a legislature to try to establish such guidelines on the basis of how their legislation looks to voters, that is taking the judgment out of the hands of those appointed to do the judging and making the whole process subject to political whims. It is taking a sledgehammer to the legal system, since there are plenty of cases where judges and juries know a lot more about the circumstances of the case than those legislators and voters who try to second guess them from afar.


Is it your opinion that we abolish parole altogether?
For some crimes that is a possibility - murder, child abuse, rape spring to mind. It is a great risk to release those who should not be. Safer fro the community for that risk to be eliminated if possible. I wonder how many of these rehabilitation programs actually work? Attending X numbers of classes over N weeks/years is not a guaranteed way to ensure rehabilitation. It will ensure a box is ticked but that may be all.

Incarceration without parole is already an established process within the judicial system. You simply can't have a system of parole without some risk, since nobody can predict the future. Nobody opposes reforming the system to try to make it less likely for people released to re-offend. I don't know what "rehabilitation programs" you are thinking about, but the US does have some of the highest recidivism rates in the world. I suspect that that has something to do with how tough we make it for those released to integrate back into society. As usual, we could probably learn more by studying what other countries do to achieve lower rates, but that would be admitting that other countries sometimes have better solutions than we do.



What reforms do you think necessary? Of course, we could just try to kill everyone convicted of murder, but the process of actually meting out a death sentence tends to be extremely time-consuming and expensive, given all of the appeals processes and special provisions for death row inmates.
The process itself can be tortuous i agree.
Concerning murder, rape etc. - if there is a free, unforced confession. physical evidence etc. then it makes it easier to justify an execution.

That, in a nutshell, is why the death penalty so rarely leads to execution and is far more expensive than simply incarceration without parole. If unforced confessions are grounds for not killing the person at the end of a trial, then only the suicidal murderers will end up being killed during incarceration--probably just a small number of those caught and sent to trial.


Actual executions tend to be very rare, take a long time, and often get botched in a way that brings extreme suffering to the victim. But I suppose that suffering is part of the solution that advocates for the death penalty think would help to deter more people from committing capital offenses.
If you make the process such that it is impossible to execute someone then it is no surprise that no-one is executed.

From my perspective, that would be ideal. I oppose the death penalty for the same reason that people abolished outright torture. I believe that it sends out a signal that murder is justifiable, if done properly. A great many murderers seem to feel that their actions were justified--at least at the time they committed the murder.
 

Tigers!

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It may be satisfying for some, but shouldn't a progressive society seek a higher standard of morality than using execution as a solution?
Why is non-execution considered a higher standard of morality? I would prefer a standard of morality that protects society and its members.
You just answered your own question.
No.
We both agree on the aim - the protection of society and its members.
It is the means where we disagree.
 

DBT

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It may be satisfying for some, but shouldn't a progressive society seek a higher standard of morality than using execution as a solution?
Why is non-execution considered a higher standard of morality? I would prefer a standard of morality that protects society and its members.
You just answered your own question.
No.
We both agree on the aim - the protection of society and its members.
It is the means where we disagree.

You argue for expediency? Kill them just to make sure they cause no further harm?
 

Tigers!

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It may be satisfying for some, but shouldn't a progressive society seek a higher standard of morality than using execution as a solution?
Why is non-execution considered a higher standard of morality? I would prefer a standard of morality that protects society and its members.
You just answered your own question.
No.
We both agree on the aim - the protection of society and its members.
It is the means where we disagree.

You argue for expediency? Kill them just to make sure they cause no further harm?
No, I argue for the protection of society from those who are a threat to it.

Or perhaps let all murderers live and release them at some time and see what might happen.
 

bilby

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It may be satisfying for some, but shouldn't a progressive society seek a higher standard of morality than using execution as a solution?
Why is non-execution considered a higher standard of morality? I would prefer a standard of morality that protects society and its members.
You just answered your own question.
No.
We both agree on the aim - the protection of society and its members.
It is the means where we disagree.
I suspect it's whom we count as a member of society that is the point of disagreement.

In my philosophy, a person doesn't cease to be a person when they commit a crime.

Protection of society and its members includes, as a subset, the protection of convicted criminals.

People being killed strikes me as a major failure to protect them, even if they fall into the subset of "convicts".

It's more moral to not harm a person yourself, than it is to protect them from being harmed by others. Therefore the death penalty (and corporal punishment, torture, and even imprisonment under poor conditions) represents a greater failing by a government than the existence of crime within that society that they govern (unless, of course, that crime is committed by the government themselves).

People who do horrible things must be prevented from repeating those horrible things. People who contemplate doing horrible things must be dissuaded, as far as possible, from carrying them out.

Killing someone is a horrible thing.

Governments should not kill citizens (including convicts), and should be dissuaded, as far as possible, from planning to do so.
 

DBT

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It may be satisfying for some, but shouldn't a progressive society seek a higher standard of morality than using execution as a solution?
Why is non-execution considered a higher standard of morality? I would prefer a standard of morality that protects society and its members.
You just answered your own question.
No.
We both agree on the aim - the protection of society and its members.
It is the means where we disagree.

You argue for expediency? Kill them just to make sure they cause no further harm?
No, I argue for the protection of society from those who are a threat to it.

Or perhaps let all murderers live and release them at some time and see what might happen.

It's the means of protecting the community that you propose that has serious moral implications. As there is no need to kill those who are in custody and no longer pose a risk to the community, killing them regardless is a form of cold blooded murder.
 

Tigers!

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It may be satisfying for some, but shouldn't a progressive society seek a higher standard of morality than using execution as a solution?
Why is non-execution considered a higher standard of morality? I would prefer a standard of morality that protects society and its members.
You just answered your own question.
No.
We both agree on the aim - the protection of society and its members.
It is the means where we disagree.

You argue for expediency? Kill them just to make sure they cause no further harm?
No, I argue for the protection of society from those who are a threat to it.

Or perhaps let all murderers live and release them at some time and see what might happen.

It's the means of protecting the community that you propose that has serious moral implications.
I do not deny the serious moral implications. But that is not the same as ignoring them. Having the possibility of release also has serious moral implications.
As there is no need to kill those who are in custody and no longer pose a risk to the community, killing them regardless is a form of cold blooded murder.
Being in Australia you might be familiar with Julian Knight https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Knight_(murderer). He is currently held by special legislative order because he is up for parole but is still a threat to society. He freely confessed to what he did, the physical evidence is overwhelming. He has no remorse for what he did. He is constantly before the courts to be freed.

My (and many others) fear is that some day an "enlightened or progressive" (read blithering idiot) magistrate or judge will order his release as "he has suffered enough".

Without remorse and if there is the possibility of release then they are still a threat to society and its members.
 

Tigers!

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It may be satisfying for some, but shouldn't a progressive society seek a higher standard of morality than using execution as a solution?
Why is non-execution considered a higher standard of morality? I would prefer a standard of morality that protects society and its members.
You just answered your own question.
No.
We both agree on the aim - the protection of society and its members.
It is the means where we disagree.
I suspect it's whom we count as a member of society that is the point of disagreement.

In my philosophy, a person doesn't cease to be a person when they commit a crime.
No disagreement from me. But having committed a crime we treat them differently to other members of society.
Protection of society and its members includes, as a subset, the protection of convicted criminals.
Indeed
People being killed strikes me as a major failure to protect them, even if they fall into the subset of "convicts".
Now we are looking at a possible hierarchy of protection. Whom do we protect first and most? The criminals or their victims and possible future victims?
Call me a radical but I am firmly on the side of the victims and preventing possible future victims.
It's more moral to not harm a person yourself, than it is to protect them from being harmed by others. Therefore the death penalty (and corporal punishment, torture, and even imprisonment under poor conditions) represents a greater failing by a government than the existence of crime within that society that they govern (unless, of course, that crime is committed by the government themselves).

People who do horrible things must be prevented from repeating those horrible things. People who contemplate doing horrible things must be dissuaded, as far as possible, from carrying them out.
There are only 3 options regarding people who do horrible things
1. Life imprisonment - no possibility of parole
2. Capital punishment
3. Limited imprisonment then release - with the possibility of a repeat

Take your pick.
 

TomC

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There are only 3 options regarding people who do horrible things
1. Life imprisonment - no possibility of parole
2. Capital punishment
3. Limited imprisonment then release - with the possibility of a repeat

Take your pick.

Maybe
"Bible believing revelational redemptionist (Baptist)" people
see this differently from nontheist people like me.

We're all God's Children. In my nontheist opinion.

All of us. Even when we've done extremely bad things. So you're gonna have to give me a damn good reason before I'll agree that deliberately killing another Child of God is the best, most moral, Choice.
Tom
 
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bilby

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Whom do we protect first and most? The criminals or their victims and possible future victims?
Call me a radical but I am firmly on the side of the victims and preventing possible future victims.
I don't think you're a radical. I think you're a victim of a false dichotomy.

We can protect both. Nobody needs to be killed by the state for that to occur.
 

bilby

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There are only 3 options regarding people who do horrible things
1. Life imprisonment - no possibility of parole
2. Capital punishment
3. Limited imprisonment then release - with the possibility of a repeat

Take your pick.
I reject #2 for reasons already given; And I think your take on #3 is assuming your conclusion.

There's always the possibility that someone will kill, or attempt to kill, another person. That's true whether or not they have killed before.

Insofar as your option #3 is a rational approach, it implies that we should lock up everyone, just in case they decide to commit a serious crime.

The likelihood that a person who has killed once will kill again is a spectrum from the violent psychopath who will always someone if the opportunity presents (and such people are highly unlikely ever to be released once caught), to the person whose killing was in a limited or controlled environment (a person who kills her husband who is regularly beating her up is unlikely to repeat the offence if she never remarries; A soldier who kills enemy soldiers under orders and in compliance with the rules of engagement is unlikely to kill unlawfully).

Your assumption that most convicted murderers are at the psychopathic extreme is unwarranted; The VAST majority of murders are one-off events (usually related to settling of scores amongst people unwilling or unable to enlist the assistance of the authorities), and the vast majority of released murderers do not reoffend.
 

spikepipsqueak

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The situation is also non-remedial where a guilty party is released and then commits again. We rarely discuss that though.
We discuss this a great deal.
Efforts to improve prison conditions to help rehabilitation and reduce recidivism get dismissed as "coddling criminals".
Tom
Oh we discuss rehabilitation an awful lot.
What we don't discuss is why are those who are not rehabilitatied released? And if they re-offend what do we do with them then? That is rarely discussed. And the existence of a another set of victim(s) and their family/friends is not discussed at all.
I think the discussion has to go a couple of levels deeper than that.

A fairer and better educated, calmer, society would go a long way to reducing all levels of crime. (and some of the mental illness)

Just saying.
 

TomC

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I think the discussion has to go a couple of levels deeper than that.

A fairer and better educated, calmer, society would go a long way to reducing all levels of crime. (and some of the mental illness)

Maybe if we all pray hard enough Jesus will heal the people with violent psychosis? Before they commit ugly crimes?


According to the pastor of a local Baptist church, the church's prayer warrior team convinced Jesus to heal his sister's breast cancer. Why don't we ramp this up!

Tom
 

Tigers!

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The situation is also non-remedial where a guilty party is released and then commits again. We rarely discuss that though.
We discuss this a great deal.
Efforts to improve prison conditions to help rehabilitation and reduce recidivism get dismissed as "coddling criminals".
Tom
Oh we discuss rehabilitation an awful lot.
What we don't discuss is why are those who are not rehabilitatied released? And if they re-offend what do we do with them then? That is rarely discussed. And the existence of a another set of victim(s) and their family/friends is not discussed at all.
I think the discussion has to go a couple of levels deeper than that.

A fairer and better educated, calmer, society would go a long way to reducing all levels of crime. (and some of the mental illness)

Just saying.
A fairer and better educated, calmer, society would be very nice to have.
 

TomC

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The situation is also non-remedial where a guilty party is released and then commits again. We rarely discuss that though.
We discuss this a great deal.
Efforts to improve prison conditions to help rehabilitation and reduce recidivism get dismissed as "coddling criminals".
Tom
Oh we discuss rehabilitation an awful lot.
What we don't discuss is why are those who are not rehabilitatied released? And if they re-offend what do we do with them then? That is rarely discussed. And the existence of a another set of victim(s) and their family/friends is not discussed at all.
I think the discussion has to go a couple of levels deeper than that.

A fairer and better educated, calmer, society would go a long way to reducing all levels of crime. (and some of the mental illness)

Just saying.
A fairer and better educated, calmer, society would be very nice to have.

I agree.
Too bad there aren't enough Christians who agree to change society. There are, demonstrably, not enough Christians to pull off something like that.

Even Jesus can't manage it.
Demonstrably. Centuries later, it hasn't even come close to happening.
Tom
 

Tigers!

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There's always the possibility that someone will kill, or attempt to kill, another person. That's true whether or not they have killed before.
No argument from me. The issue is not the possibility of whether one may kill another but what to with with killers.
Insofar as your option #3 is a rational approach, it implies that we should lock up everyone, just in case they decide to commit a serious crime.
No it implies that parole should not be automatic for some crimes. Just because someone has served X years does not guarantee release. Yet that happens far too often.
The likelihood that a person who has killed once will kill again is a spectrum from the violent psychopath who will always someone if the opportunity presents (and such people are highly unlikely ever to be released once caught), to the person whose killing was in a limited or controlled environment (a person who kills her husband who is regularly beating her up is unlikely to repeat the offence if she never remarries; A soldier who kills enemy soldiers under orders and in compliance with the rules of engagement is unlikely to kill unlawfully).

Your assumption that most convicted murderers are at the psychopathic extreme is unwarranted; The VAST majority of murders are one-off events (usually related to settling of scores amongst people unwilling or unable to enlist the assistance of the authorities), and the vast majority of released murderers do not reoffend.
So what do we do with the released murders who do reoffend and why were they released in the first place?
It's all good for you to claim that mistakes may happen but there will be more unnecessary grief & suffering.
 

Tigers!

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Whom do we protect first and most? The criminals or their victims and possible future victims?
Call me a radical but I am firmly on the side of the victims and preventing possible future victims.
I don't think you're a radical. I think you're a victim of a false dichotomy.

We can protect both. Nobody needs to be killed by the state for that to occur.
If the state and its organisations were rational and clear thinking that would be true. But the jury is out on that decision.
 

TomC

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Even Jesus can't manage it.
Demonstrably. Centuries later, it hasn't even come close to happening.
Tom
Homo Sapiens is indeed a stupid and wicked species overall.

Why do you suppose Almighty God insists on making us that way?

My explanation is that there is no God who cares about anything, much less the dumbass life forms on a tiny speck hurtling around an unimportant star on the edge of a galaxy.

That's the foundation of my morality. Nobody cares about any human except for other humans. We must care for each other or else it just won't happen at all.
Tom
 
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