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Hanging in Japan / Execution

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  • #46
    Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
    Why bother with trials in the first place? That's just additional expense to the hard-working taxpayer, after all. I mean, we've already established these people 'deserve' it, haven't we?

    Of course, all this talk of cost just obscures the paradox I mentioned earlier; namely, that the State kills people for killing other people because killing people is, er, wrong.
    LOL, the trials take place whether they go to the chair or the cell.
    They are not executed because what they do is "wrong". They are executed because what they do is against the law. It is also to protect the rest of the society as a whole by makeing one less murderer. It also prevents others from doing it as a deterrent. If someone knows the worst they are going to get is a cushy cell and 3 hot meals a day, they are FAR more likely to break the law or commit murder.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by EVIL INC View Post
      It also prevents others from doing it as a deterrent.
      It's an interesting theory, but the evidence to support such a claim is not so clear-cut, at least according to this NYT article aiui...

      Does Death Penalty Save Lives? A New Debate By ADAM LIPTAK
      NYT, November 18, 2007

      For the first time in a generation, the question of whether the death penalty deters murders has captured the attention of scholars in law and economics, setting off an intense new debate about one of the central justifications for capital punishment.

      According to roughly a dozen recent studies, executions save lives. For each inmate put to death, the studies say, 3 to 18 murders are prevented.
      The effect is most pronounced, according to some studies, in Texas and other states that execute condemned inmates relatively often and relatively quickly.

      The studies, performed by economists in the past decade, compare the number of executions in different jurisdictions with homicide rates over time — while trying to eliminate the effects of crime rates, conviction rates and other factors — and say that murder rates tend to fall as executions rise. One influential study looked at 3,054 counties over two decades.

      “I personally am opposed to the death penalty,” said H. Naci Mocan, an economist at Louisiana State University and an author of a study finding that each execution saves five lives. “But my research shows that there is a deterrent effect.”

      The studies have been the subject of sharp criticism, much of it from legal scholars who say that the theories of economists do not apply to the violent world of crime and punishment. Critics of the studies say they are based on faulty premises, insufficient data and flawed methodologies.
      The death penalty “is applied so rarely that the number of homicides it can plausibly have caused or deterred cannot reliably be disentangled from the large year-to-year changes in the homicide rate caused by other factors,” John J. Donohue III, a law professor at Yale with a doctorate in economics, and Justin Wolfers, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote in the Stanford Law Review in 2005. “The existing evidence for deterrence,” they concluded, “is surprisingly fragile.”

      Gary Becker, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1992 and has followed the debate, said the current empirical evidence was “certainly not decisive” because “we just don’t get enough variation to be confident we have isolated a deterrent effect.”

      But, Mr. Becker added, “the evidence of a variety of types — not simply the quantitative evidence — has been enough to convince me that capital punishment does deter and is worth using for the worst sorts of offenses.”
      The debate, which first gained significant academic attention two years ago, reprises one from the 1970’s, when early and since largely discredited studies on the deterrent effect of capital punishment were discussed in the Supreme Court’s decision to reinstitute capital punishment in 1976 after a four-year moratorium.

      The early studies were inconclusive, Justice Potter Stewart wrote for three justices in the majority in that decision. But he nonetheless concluded that “the death penalty undoubtedly is a significant deterrent.”

      The Supreme Court now appears to have once again imposed a moratorium on executions as it considers how to assess the constitutionality of lethal injections. The decision in that case, which is expected next year, will be much narrower than the one in 1976, and the new studies will probably not play any direct role in it.

      But the studies have started to reshape the debate over capital punishment and to influence prominent legal scholars.

      “The evidence on whether it has a significant deterrent effect seems sufficiently plausible that the moral issue becomes a difficult one,” said Cass R. Sunstein, a law professor at the University of Chicago who has frequently taken liberal positions. “I did shift from being against the death penalty to thinking that if it has a significant deterrent effect it’s probably justified.”

      Professor Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, a law professor at Harvard, wrote in their own Stanford Law Review article that “the recent evidence of a deterrent effect from capital punishment seems impressive, especially in light of its ‘apparent power and unanimity,’ ” quoting a conclusion of a separate overview of the evidence in 2005 by Robert Weisberg, a law professor at Stanford, in the Annual Review of Law and Social Science.
      “Capital punishment may well save lives,” the two professors continued. “Those who object to capital punishment, and who do so in the name of protecting life, must come to terms with the possibility that the failure to inflict capital punishment will fail to protect life.”

      To a large extent, the participants in the debate talk past one another because they work in different disciplines.

      “You have two parallel universes — economists and others,” said Franklin E. Zimring, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of “The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment.” Responding to the new studies, he said, “is like learning to waltz with a cloud.”
      To economists, it is obvious that if the cost of an activity rises, the amount of the activity will drop.

      “To say anything else is to brand yourself an imbecile,” said Professor Wolfers, an author of the Stanford Law Review article criticizing the death penalty studies.

      To many economists, then, it follows inexorably that there will be fewer murders as the likelihood of execution rises.

      “I am definitely against the death penalty on lots of different grounds,” said Joanna M. Shepherd, a law professor at Emory with a doctorate in economics who wrote or contributed to several studies. “But I do believe that people respond to incentives.”

      But not everyone agrees that potential murderers know enough or can think clearly enough to make rational calculations. And the chances of being caught, convicted, sentenced to death and executed are in any event quite remote. Only about one in 300 homicides results in an execution.

      “I honestly think it’s a distraction,” Professor Wolfers said. “The debate here is over whether we kill 60 guys or not. The food stamps program is much more important.”

      The studies try to explain changes in the murder rate over time, asking whether the use of the death penalty made a difference. They look at the experiences of states or counties, gauging whether executions at a given time seemed to affect the murder rate that year, the year after or at some other later time. And they try to remove the influence of broader social trends like the crime rate generally, the effectiveness of the criminal justice system, economic conditions and demographic changes.

      Critics say the larger factors are impossible to disentangle from whatever effects executions may have. They add that the new studies’ conclusions are skewed by data from a few anomalous jurisdictions, notably Texas, and by a failure to distinguish among various kinds of homicide.

      There is also a classic economics question lurking in the background, Professor Wolfers said. “Capital punishment is very expensive,” he said, “so if you choose to spend money on capital punishment you are choosing not to spend it somewhere else, like policing.”

      A single capital litigation can cost more than $1 million. It is at least possible that devoting that money to crime prevention would prevent more murders than whatever number, if any, an execution would deter.
      The recent studies are, some independent observers say, of good quality, given the limitations of the available data.

      “These are sophisticated econometricians who know how to do multiple regression analysis at a pretty high level,” Professor Weisberg of Stanford said.

      The economics studies are, moreover, typically published in peer-reviewed journals, while critiques tend to appear in law reviews edited by students.
      The available data is nevertheless thin, mostly because there are so few executions.

      In 2003, for instance, there were more than 16,000 homicides but only 153 death sentences and 65 executions.

      “It seems unlikely,” Professor Donohue and Professor Wolfers concluded in their Stanford article, “that any study based only on recent U.S. data can find a reliable link between homicide and execution rates.”

      The two professors offered one particularly compelling comparison. Canada has executed no one since 1962. Yet the murder rates in the United States and Canada have moved in close parallel since then, including before, during and after the four-year death penalty moratorium in the United States in the 1970s.

      If criminals do not clearly respond to the slim possibility of an execution, another study suggested, they are affected by the kind of existence they will face in their state prison system.

      A 2003 paper by Lawrence Katz, Steven D. Levitt and Ellen Shustorovich published in The American Law and Economics Review found a “a strong and robust negative relationship” between prison conditions, as measured by the number of deaths in prison from any cause, and the crime rate. The effect is, the authors say, “quite large: 30-100 violent crimes and a similar number or property crimes” were deterred per prison death.

      On the other hand, the authors found, “there simply does not appear to be enough information in the data on capital punishment to reliably estimate a deterrent effect.”

      There is a lesson here, according to some scholars.

      “Deterrence cannot be achieved with a half-hearted execution program,” Professor Shepherd of Emory wrote in the Michigan Law Review in 2005. She found a deterrent effect in only those states that executed at least nine people between 1977 and 1996.

      Professor Wolfers said the answer to the question of whether the death penalty deterred was “not unknowable in the abstract,” given enough data.

      “If I was allowed 1,000 executions and 1,000 exonerations, and I was allowed to do it in a random, focused way,” he said, “I could probably give you an answer.”
      The irony is that capital punishment would (maybe) be more of a deterrent if you executed 100% of murderers; as it is, anyone who commits a homicide in the US has only a 0.33% (1 in 300) chance of being executed. I suspect the majority of murderers would consider that pretty good odds.
      _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
      _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
      _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
      _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by EVIL INC View Post
        Please note that those high costs are not in the executions but in the high cost or legal issues with people trying to stop it. Wee people to allow the government to just perform the executions, the cost would be a fraction of that.
        This means that those who use the "high cost of execution" argument against capital punishment are the ones making those costs high in the fitrst place.
        So you object to the high cost of due process?

        There ARE countries on earth where life is cheap - where getting accused is often enough to warrant execution. Sometimes, people are executed for even less. Maybe you would like to live in one of those?

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        • #49
          LOL, ADAM LIPTAK puts forth theories. Dont fall into the trap of thinking they are anything more. For every theory he puts out, there are a hundred others putting out theories that say the exact opposite (with facts to back them up). Nice try though.
          opaloka, So far in this thread, it is the PRO-death penalty posters who are supporting and backing up due proccess and the ANTI-death penalty posters who are suggesting we do away with it when the results that the due proccess does not meet thier personal opinions.

          Comment


          • #50
            Appeals are due process. That is what you mean when you say

            "huge costs come in is the anti-capital punishment people fighting against the system trying to put the murderers back onto the street"
            By that you can only mean people like public defenders who make sure that all of the accused get due process.

            Taking someone out right after the trial and executing them is barbaric, a throwback to the dark ages.

            Comment


            • #51
              Actually due proccess is what is done going up to the point of the verdict. Appeals are what is done afterwards when the person has already been convicted. It is not the appeals that crank up the cost (although appeals and the after effects of due proccess tie up U.S. dollers regardless of what the sentance is. so no more money is spent in the due proccess portion of death penalty cases then in prison terms. The only difference is that prison terms have an additional (and great) monatary cost until the convict is eventuall released. It also has a cost to others in terms of life as they have nothing to prevent them from continueing to kill (which many do when they are just put into prison).
              Likewise, you might want to actually READ the thread. No one here has mentioned "taking them out right after the trial and shooting them" except the anti-capital punishment posters telling lies about the pro-death penalty posters and trying to imply or in the case of your post you just made saying we said something that we did not. This dishonesty only weakens your own case. For one, it is an easy matter of reading the thread to prove the lie and second, if you need to resort to that sort of tactic, then your pown resolve to your platform shows a lack and the platform itself is "shakey".

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by opaloka View Post
                Appeals are due process. That is what you mean when you say

                "huge costs come in is the anti-capital punishment people fighting against the system trying to put the murderers back onto the street"
                By that you can only mean people like public defenders who make sure that all of the accused get due process.

                Taking someone out right after the trial and executing them is barbaric, a throwback to the dark ages.
                Exactly, but probably a barbaric world appeals to certain people, it is less complicated. There used to be a president, not long ago, who was a master of simplifications (unwittingly a master though in one skill) who said "you're either for us or against us". The message was understood, obviously, it appeals to fundamentalists of any kind. Only them damned Yurpeans (who after centuries of killing each other had begun to try different, more complicated ways) took offense. And certain Americans (not small numbers even) who defended Human Rights or such superflous decorum, minded too, thereby outing themselves as "leftists", "sheeple", "intellectuals", "artists", and "gay" too (I would imagine).
                That all these people all wanted to save the other America, the beautiful and sane, the merciful and humane America, the one once adored and respected the world over, never occured to these simple message eaters ... and so, among other things, they keep trolling to this very day. They probably can't help it, can they?
                Google ergo sum

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                  ...Of course, all this talk of cost just obscures the paradox I mentioned earlier; namely, that the State kills people for killing other people because killing people is, er, wrong.
                  I've never found a way around this paradox. Perhaps I'm just simple. In search of some perspective, I've talked about this paradox with others. Or rather, I've tried to talk about it with others. Occasionally the responses go something like this (and yes with all the exclamation marks as they usually are shouting):

                  "That's semantics! We need to make sure these people don't kill again and not waste my tax money keeping these scum locked up!"

                  "Academic double-talk! I've heard that liberal mush for too long! If it was up to me I'd make sure everyone who was convicted was killed without all these damn ACLU lawyers and human rights activists screwing things up for the rest of us!"

                  "An eye for an eye and a life for a life! Says so right in the Bible."

                  "If we kill all the murders then there will be less killing!"

                  "If a court convicts 'em they must be guilty! That's the law. Anything after that is just a damn, sorry-assed waste of time and money."

                  "Murders are damned to hell anyway, so why not get on with it? I'll sleep better knowing there's not a jail full of killers waiting to come kill my family."

                  It's a funny world (and has been for a while now.)


                  "When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained."
                  - Mark Twain, notebook entry, 1898.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Our ultimate aim can only be to try to be better than those whose deed's we condemn, can it not?
                    This doesn't necessarily contradict our feeling that certain criminals deserve death, our outrage and dispair are absolutely human reactions! Yet these emotions do not legitimate giving up the ultimate goal above.
                    Google ergo sum

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Yes, there are barbaric people in our past who thought that rape and murder were ok. Many of those fundamentalists are still trolling to this day in attempts to prevent the due proccess of our modern court systems and trying to stop the prevention of murders that occurr today. That is ok though, someday those anti death penalty people will understand that just because a murderer says "I'm sorry", doesnt mean we should give them a lollypop and send them on thier way.
                      We have a choice, we can make sure the murderers can no longer kill others. If your walking down the street and catch a murderer in the act of killing someone and move to defend the one being murdered. The only way to protect the person being murdered (and yourself) if to kill the murderer. According to the anti-death penalty posters, you should not stop the murderer, you should stand and watch. When the guy is done, give them a lollypop and allow them to then murder you. This is because killing others is wrong and you should not do so even in defence. That is because that is what the death penalty is. Self defence. Self defence as a society because we are making sure the murderer does not kill others. As we dont know who thier next victom might be (ourselves, our grandmother, entire schools, or maybe even you) we are essentially protecting ourselves.
                      Emotion has nothing to do with it. it is the self defence of a society.
                      I like the cartoon. It's funny that only countries with dictaters are shown. If it were to be realistic, each and every country in the world would be pictured in it.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        This thread is veering around rather a lot. Might I suggest some ordered topics - not to be answered all in one go!

                        1) What crimes justify execution?
                        (1a) Murder - this has been mentioned above above but not stratified into type; cause; likelihood of re-offense.
                        (1b) Sexual crimes - again I'd expect stratification into type; cause; likelihood of re-offense.
                        (1c) Any others?
                        (1d) None.

                        2) What are the purposes of execution?
                        (2a) to stop that individual committing further crimes
                        (2b) as a deterrent to others
                        (2c) "justice", though note that most legal systems do not declare themselves to be just, they just enact the law, as justice is essentially a POV
                        (2d) retribution
                        (2e) punishment - I'd suggest punishment is really as combo of the above but others may feel differently: even non-lethal punishment can be expressed using the above if (2b) adds a deterrent-to-self.

                        3) What are reasonable causes for killing (as opposed to 'murder')?
                        (3a) To safeguard self or others - but what level and means of assessing danger/risk is ok? At what point does *any* risk escalate to death very quickly due to availability of handguns, or personal physical frailty etc.
                        (3b) Insanity? Diminished responsibility? Can these be rationalized according to the answers to question 2 (e.g. public safety might suggest killing all schizophrenic sociopaths)
                        (3c) As a result of legal process (i.e. executions)
                        (3d) Resisting arrest. Just how much can the police be trusted with such power?
                        (3e) "Anti terror" laws. Just how close to assassination can this get? At what level of risk? As evaluated by whom? What error rate is acceptable? In whose country?
                        (3h) Others? e.g. Medical containment?

                        4) What are realistic estimates of the safety of any legal judgment? Essentially, what error rate in executions is acceptable?

                        5) How do (or should) cost issues influence laws, legal process and punishment? e.g. How much cash going into the penal system could save lives / improve the quality of life via the healthcare system; is it 'fair' to indirectly-link (any?) criminality to death or the suffering of non-criminals due to finite cash in public funds?

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Answered in quote
                          Originally posted by Rothgo View Post
                          This thread is veering around rather a lot. Might I suggest some ordered topics - not to be answered all in one go!

                          1) What crimes justify execution?
                          (1a) Murder - this has been mentioned above above but not stratified into type; cause; likelihood of re-offense. Yes, because then it is a matter of self defence of the society as a whole.
                          (1b) Sexual crimes - again I'd expect stratification into type; cause; likelihood of re-offense. No, unless the crime resulted in a death. Just because the crime is reprehensible does not mean we should allow personal feelings to intefere with the court systom.
                          (1c) Any others? I can see treason or large scale murder (such as bombings.
                          (1d) None. This options shows a lack of self respect as a human being and an anarchists view of wishing to tear down society itself.

                          2) What are the purposes of execution?
                          (2a) to stop that individual committing further crimes Yes
                          (2b) as a deterrent to others Yes
                          (2c) "justice", though note that most legal systems do not declare themselves to be just, they just enact the law, as justice is essentially a POV Justice is what 2a and 2b are. This option is just combining the 2 together.
                          (2d) retribution No. Not at all. Personal emotion and feelings have no business in the courts and especially not in sentencing.
                          (2e) punishment - I'd suggest punishment is really as combo of the above but others may feel differently: even non-lethal punishment can be expressed using the above if (2b) adds a deterrent-to-self. This option is 2d in different words.

                          3) What are reasonable causes for killing (as opposed to 'murder')?
                          (3a) To safeguard self or others - but what level and means of assessing danger/risk is ok? At what point does *any* risk escalate to death very quickly due to availability of handguns, or personal physical frailty etc. If your or another's life is in danger. If it is not possible to avoid the danger without doing so. For example, if you have ample opportunity to escape there is no need.
                          (3b) Insanity? Diminished responsibility? Can these be rationalized according to the answers to question 2 (e.g. public safety might suggest killing all schizophrenic sociopaths) No. Of course, there are many who will hide behind this by faking.
                          (3c) As a result of legal process (i.e. executions) Yes, this goes back to 3a only on a societal level.
                          (3d) Resisting arrest. Just how much can the police be trusted with such power? No.
                          (3e) "Anti terror" laws. Just how close to assassination can this get? At what level of risk? As evaluated by whom? What error rate is acceptable? In whose country? Again, this goes back to 3c. If the person murdered, they need to go through due proccess to accertain thier guilt.
                          (3h) Others? e.g. Medical containment? This also falls under 3c. The perfect example is a HIV patient. They essentially have a weapon they can use to kill others with. If they knowingly infect others, they are committing murder and need to go through due proccess.

                          4) What are realistic estimates of the safety of any legal judgment? Essentially, what error rate in executions is acceptable? The error rate is no more or less depending on what the sentance is so this is not a facter to consider.

                          5) How do (or should) cost issues influence laws, legal process and punishment? e.g. How much cash going into the penal system could save lives / improve the quality of life via the healthcare system; is it 'fair' to indirectly-link (any?) criminality to death or the suffering of non-criminals due to finite cash in public funds?
                          Actually, the cost of imprisonment far outweighs the cost of execution. That is cash that could be being put to use helping criminals who have committed lesser crimes learn to become better citizens, helping to pay for health care for destitute families whose "breadwinner" was murdered, funeral costs, education or college funds for the children of murdered parents, the list goes on.
                          Last edited by EVIL INC; 09-29-2009, 07:34 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by EVIL INC View Post
                            According to the anti-death penalty posters, you should not stop the murderer, you should stand and watch. When the guy is done, give them a lollypop and allow them to then murder you.
                            Ouch!
                            End of exchange for me.
                            Google ergo sum

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              I think that people who can't think of a way to defend themselves other than murder should be locked up.

                              That's about it for me, too.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Just to throw a twist into this...

                                I ask those of you that are against capital punishment what your views on abortion are? We can even break it down into groups. Early-term and late term aboirtion, abortion in cases of rape and incest, abortion that would save the life of the Mother... I am sure there are more.

                                I have spoken to many anti-capital punishment people that are just fine with abortion, not "all" are mind you but some are. That seems to be a bit hypocritcal in my mind.
                                "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." -Robert A. Heinlein

                                "If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however, if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I will help you become that." -Johann Wolfgang Goethe

                                "Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind." -Thomas Jefferson

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