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Hanging in Japan / Execution

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  • #61
    I'm not touching that with a ten foot pole. Oh wait... obviously the abortion issue hinges on whether or not one feels an unborn fetus is a 'person', what point does a fetus become a 'person' etc., and people have very strong feelings one way or the other. No one denies that a convicted killer is a person.

    Aside from my feeling that a kill for a kill is dodgy morality and we left it behind somewhere around zero AD, it's pretty evident that the government falsely convicts people of crimes all the time. When a bunch of cases on death row got reopened a few years ago, they did DNA tests and a bunch of them were let go. Especially in Texas IIRC. I gues before then, it was just tough luck. I don't remember the specifics but the percentage of false convictions was pretty high. Just one would be too many in my book and that's a power we REALLY can't trust the government with. Becasue as I said, you could be next, any one of us could be in the wrong place at the wrong time and that's it.

    As far as inconsistency goes, how can people claim to be against big government, not trust the government, but are OK with the government putting people to death? Or, for that matter, deploying troops all over the world and in the US? Why do people that talk incessently about Liberty support the Patriot Act? It makes no sense. It gives the lie to the whole 'big government' thing.
    Last edited by opaloka; 09-29-2009, 09:14 AM.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by opaloka View Post
      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.
      Actually, when you are forced to kill in self defence because there is no other possibility, it is not murder. If you have a means of escape or preventing someone from killing you, you should take it.
      As a society, it has been proven time and time again that only locking a murderer up for a short while and then releasing them is not a surefire way to stop them from killing again. We have far too many instances where murderers kill while in prison and after thier release. Ergo, locking them up for a short while and then releasing them, is not an sufficient method of protecting ourselves. Simple facts prove this.

      Anyone who assumes capital punishment is a "kill for a kill" is showing dodgy mentality and an inability to seperate personal feelings from the judicial system.
      To be honest, false conviction rates are very low. So low as to be less then 1%.
      Now the truth comes out. I had thought I was having a discussion with an anarchist. We have governments for a reason. It keeps anarchy out of the streets and protects us as a nation. Yes, I am very happy with the government putting convicted criminals who have been proven to be guilty beyond the shadow of a doubt. That makes it safer for those of use who do not make a habit of killing people. I understand that the U.S. fought for and won our freedom. That is old history. Get over it.

      V.A., you bring a valid point with the abortion. I support the right of people to make thier own decision. On a personal note, that is not a decision I would ever make myself. Make of that what you will.

      Comment


      • #63
        "The death penalty, whenever and wherever and however it is enacted, should be seen not as our having found a solution to a problem but rather as a massive failure on our part to live up to what is expected of us as human beings."
        On the flipside of this very wise statement...
        Have we as humanity not in turn then let down the defenseless victims of released re-offenders?

        I truly believe that some inmates have an easier life than Joe public who must keep a steady income going to maintain a house, heat, food and water which is all supplied automatically in jails through the judicial system.

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        • #64
          Evil Inc, as I tried to infer, trying quick answers on all the points I raised results in very few reasoned-debate answers, just some statements.

          Section 1) Execution only for murder (and treason). Why?
          Why not mass torture? Serial infant rape? What makes a single murder worse than 500 permanent crippling injuries?
          And what type of murder? Murder 1, 2 etc as in the US system? Any accounting for a "simple" unlawful killing, say due to stupidity (keeping a gun loaded and friend killed in drunk-fueled 'prank').

          Section 2) Justice is a LOT more than a stick to deter/stop crime. As I said however, it is a matter for POV. Another poster raised some statistical doubts if stiff penalties actually deter crime and the figures didn't look like they did. Given what I think is "general knowledge" that most murders are between spouses, then the re-offense rate is likely to be low anyway. So is re-offense is the reason to execute, why execute within this group?

          3) What are reasonable causes for killing (as opposed to 'murder')?
          Self defense we all get, but you didn't elaborate on the difficulty of establishing what legally constitutes self-defense. I do take your meaning on the "get away" aspect, but as I said, with guns in every pocket it is very difficult to establish if you can get away from a mugger for example. Is it then reasonable to kill them just in case, as to wait for them to draw a gun is to loose the opportunity to use (the potential) it? Get the choice wrong, don't shoot, and they might kill you. Get it wrong an shoot them in a manner the better-skilled lawyers say was bad and that's you on a murder rap and facing execution yourself.

          (3b) Insanity / diminished responsibility? No.
          A difficult question and an interesting response. What say a police detective comes across a serial infant rapist who surrenders. In a state of rage (that's diminished responsibility), he shoot the rapist. Time to kill the cop? If not, then "no" is too simple a rule.

          4) ... Essentially, what error rate in executions is acceptable? ... this is not a facter to consider.
          Oh but it is. According to your answers to (1), murder (unlawful killing) is uniquely significant when it comes to killing the perpetrator. If death then is so unique, to treat the use of death in sentencing as routine seems incongruent.
          As to the estimate of false conviction rates at less than 1%, that's not a number anyone will have many stats to hand on, as legal systems tend to self-protect themselves (as almost any group will do, particularly one with such power and where elections - thus external image - are important).
          The purpose of the question however was to focus on the very real issue that no system is perfect, so by implementing execution, you know you will kill innocent people. Just how many innocent deaths can a system 'allow' itself?

          5) How do (or should) cost issues influence laws, legal process and punishment?
          Cost of death vs. imprisonment has been discussed above: again, contrary facts have been presented. But what I was getting at is that looking at he system as a whole, one can choose to interpret any criminal cost as removing cash from a fixed pool that could have been used to keep somebody else alive. Its a indirect means of any crime causing death. Of course, the same goes for street lights - healthcare can suck up as much money as you have, but I thought it an interesting thought question.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by EVIL INC View Post
            Actually, when you are forced to kill in self defence because there is no other possibility, it is not murder. If you have a means of escape or preventing someone from killing you, you should take it.
            You keep bringing up this 'self defence' argument in the context of executing people and I'm calling you on it because it's entirely bogus (or, as we say in Britain, 'bollocks').

            'Self defence' is an acceptable course of action when your life is threatened up to the point and not one moment beyond where that threat is no longer imminent. Let me give some examples of what I mean:
            • An assailant comes at you with a knife, intent on killing you, but you happen to be armed with a gun and you're able to draw, cock and shoot your attacker before they reach you. Your training in such circumstances is to shoot to kill rather than shoot to disable and as a result you do kill them. That's arguably a bona fide case of 'self-defence' because the threat to your life was imminent and had you failed to defend yourself you could reasonably assume you may have been killed.

            • An assailant comes at you with a knife, intent on killing you, but you happen to be armed with a gun and you're able to draw, cock and shoot your attacker before they reach you. However, your shot is 'off' and you only manage to hit them, say, in the shoulder but it's enough to make them drop the knife. Once the knife is out of the equation, the threat to your life may not be considered to be imminent and consequently you would not be able to cite 'self-defence' if you shot your attacker a second time. Or a third, or a fourth, or a fifth, or until your firearm was fully discharged.

            • A terrorist cell has plans to detonate a 'dirty bomb' in a large metropolitan area. The effects of such a detonation would be catastrophic; thousands would die and tens of thousands would suffer long-term side affects. Intelligence leads the security services to the terrorists' base and an assault by special forces results in the deaths of the entire cell, consequently the threat is neutralised. This is arguably fully justifiable as 'self-defence' on the part of the State on behalf of its citizens.

            • An armed bank robber takes a bank teller hostage and threatens to kill them if the police don't allow him to escape. A police marksman is able to get a 'bead' on the robber and is instructed to shoot the gunman, resulting in his death. While the marksman's life was not in imminent danger the instruction to shoot to kill is justifiable given theperceived imminent threat to the life of the bank teller.

            • You are attacked by an unarmed assailant intent on harming/killing you. You are also unarmed, however you are able to grab a nearby heavy object - a paper weight, a golf club, a lamp stand, whatever - and crack them over the head with it, rendering them unconscious. Your actions are justifiably 'self-defence' because you felt yourself to be in imminent danger.

            • You are attacked by an unarmed assailant intent on harming/killing you. You are also unarmed, however you are able to grab a nearby heavy object - a paper weight, a golf club, a lamp stand, whatever -and crack them over the head with it. Your blow is sufficient that unintentionally (or maybe even intentionally) you kill your attacker. However, your action is justifiably 'self-defence' because at the time you reasonably felt you were in imminent danger.

            • You are attacked by an unarmed assailant intent on harming/killing you. You are also unarmed, however you are able to grab a nearby heavy object - a paper weight, a golf club, a lamp stand, whatever -and crack them over the head with it, rendering them unconscious. Taking advantage of their 'temporary' disablement you then proceed to cave their head in with the aforementioned heavy object, killing them in the process. From the moment they were rendered incapable of harming you any defence of 'self-fence' goes out the window because you were not by that stage in imminent danger.

            • A serial killer has been captured, tried and found guilty of several heinous crimes (including murder). However, because they are now in custody and have been kept in a maximum security facility for the duration of their trial, they can not be considered an imminent threat to Society. They may be considered a permanent threat and thus incapable of being rehabilitated or released back into Society without posing a renewed threat but while they remain incarcerated their 'imminent threat' status is negligible. As such, it cannot be considered necessary or essential to execute them.

            In other words, what I'm saying is that you cannot possibly - or reasonably - use the 'self-defence' argument as an excuse for executing convicted murderers because, by definition, if you are in a position to execute them then they are not in a position to pose a threat to the Society you seek to defend.

            Disclaimer: this is my opinion only and it does not necessarily have any basis in law in either my own or anyone else's legal jurisdiction. I am not a lawyer. The opinions expressed above are my own and are not necessarily the views of this web site, the owners of this web site or other members of this web site. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. The value of shares can go down as well as up. An apple a day does not necessarily keep the doctor away. You're fit, but my gosh don't you know it.
            Last edited by David Mosley; 09-29-2009, 02:21 PM.
            _"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


            • #66
              Rothgo, you actually raise valid poitns and do so without country bashing or flaming. I thank you for addressing me in the manner I address you and others.
              1. Murder because it is the ending of a person's life. It is to prevent them from continueing to kill more and more and to dissuade others from doing the same. Treason for the same reason. treason kills people and is an actually attempt to kill the nation as a whole. For example, a traitor detonates all of a nation's nukes while on native soil. That would kill millions of thier own citizenry and allow an invading nation to kill off the few people who survived. Yes, that is extreme but it is the general gist.
              I leave rape and torture out because those are crimes where it is possible for the victom to recover. others may disagree with me on that and so be it. Objectively, I say no. If I were to allow personal prejudices and emtion to enter, then I would say yes. Our judicial system needs to be objective. That is why I advocate objectivity and leaving emotional baggage at the door.
              2. You are right. POV does make a difference. That is why I advocate looking at it objectively. That brings the POV to a narrow focus and does away with the problems cause by them. It is much more then a stick to deter people from committing murder. It is the self defence of a society to keep the person from killing more.
              3. Self defence is self explanatory. If you are forced to kill or be killed, it is self defence.
              3b. In your cop example, the cop has committed murder. It is up to the courts and psychs to determine whether or not it was an actual mental illness or if he was only trying to be judge, jury and executioner.
              4. A wrongfull conviction (rare) is done, it is a travesty regardless of what the sentance is. Saying that it is ok to wrongfully find someone guilty is ok if they are just going to prison but not ok if they are executed is, to me, silly. If someone is wrongfully executed, so be it. It still serves as a deterrent to others who may commit murder. In our society, there are travesties that occurr every day. Not a reason to put the murderers who did commit thier crimes out on the street. I know this is a sad old saying but sometimes, the ends DO justify the means.
              5. Facts have been presented. the actual due proccess, court costs ect are no more for an execution then it is for an incarceration. The only difference is that after the execution, the costs end while in incareration, the costs continue to mount so that the END number is much higher. Then the murderer gets back on the street to kill again anyway.
              D.M., you are looking at self defence on a personal level. I am looking at a society as whole. Therin lies the difference. When you are looking at an entire nation of people, you need to be even more objective then on a personal level.
              Last edited by EVIL INC; 09-29-2009, 02:40 PM.

              Comment


              • #67
                Evil, if you are talking about "self defense" on a society wide level, then you realy have to combine that with your own statement about when "self defence is not murder", which was "cu and pasted from your post "If you have a means of escape or preventing someone from killing you, you should take it" (emphasis by me)
                errr, that would be imprisnonment, surely?
                Last edited by Nathaniel; 09-29-2009, 03:37 PM. Reason: Origional post was a bit, er, ott

                Comment


                • #68
                  Evil, it's not one percent. You can google the figures for yourself, there have been about 130 exonerations and not quite ten times as many executions. So how many of those executed were innocent?

                  These people were exonerated after years of appeals. The part you think is a waste of time.

                  The death penalty is immoral, unless you live in a pre-industrial society where the people are illiterate, follow the orders of the landowning priest class or face cruel punishment, the women are treated exactly like cattle except for the rich ones that get love poems written to them first, and everybody lives in houses made of shit or the equivelant thereof.

                  Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth is at best prarie justice, when the law of the land was brute force. It has no place in a moral civilization.

                  If someone is wrongfully executed, so be it. It still serves as a deterrent to others who may commit murder.


                  You are a waste of time.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Evil, could you insert some paragraph breaks into your response to Rothgo, if only to aid those of use with dyslexia who otherwise find huge swaths of dense text difficult to take in? (I'd do it myself but don't want to be accused of editing someone's posts with whom I'm disagreeing on this emotive issue without their permission.)

                    Originally posted by EVIL INC View Post
                    D.M., you are looking at self defence on a personal level. I am looking at a society as whole. Therin lies the difference. When you are looking at an entire nation of people, you need to be even more objective then on a personal level.
                    Hmm, I confess I was rather hoping for a slightly more in-depth response than a mere two-line brush-off to my post, which I spend some considerable time on. Perhaps you would care to expand upon your reply giving examples, where necessary, to aid understanding of the difference between our POVs?
                    Last edited by David Mosley; 09-29-2009, 04:33 PM.
                    _"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


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by opaloka View Post


                      You are a waste of time.
                      Any more of this sort of thing and this thread will be permanently locked.
                      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by The Cosmic Balance View Post
                        Any more of this sort of thing and this thread will be permanently locked.
                        Sorry, in that it violates 'reasoned' decorum.

                        Maybe there should be a 'horrified' emoticon.

                        I can't see reason here. Best for me just to use the killfile or whatever.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                          [After many excellent examples]...In other words, what I'm saying is that you cannot possibly - or reasonably - use the 'self-defence' argument as an excuse for executing convicted murderers because, by definition, if you are in a position to execute them then they are not in a position to pose a threat to the Society you seek to defend....
                          When added to the previously mentioned and undefeated paradox, I think it makes it impossibly hard to find a completely rational argument for executions.

                          Be this thread all as it may, since I previously posted that "I don't think 'the State' in any form has any business killing anybody," I am perhaps of an unchangeable disposition and should withdraw from this thread before I find myself in an unpleasant situation.


                          --Lucius

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

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by EVIL INC View Post
                            ...This options show...an anarchists view of wishing to tear down society itself.
                            Not all anarchists want to tear down society.


                            Originally posted by Vazkar Asquinol View Post
                            ...I ask those of you that are against capital punishment what your views on abortion are?...
                            Not sure the implied analogy stands up, capital punishment is forced/enforced by the State, abortion, in the US, is a personal choice, within a certain frame of law. I believe that China, communist China, not Taiwan, would be an example where there is, or was, a mandate concerning state forced abortions after one child.
                            "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Nathaniel View Post
                              Evil, if you are talking about "self defense" on a society wide level, then you realy have to combine that with your own statement about when "self defence is not murder", which was "cu and pasted from your post "If you have a means of escape or preventing someone from killing you, you should take it" (emphasis by me)
                              errr, that would be imprisnonment, surely?
                              Not me in particuler. That is a personal level. I am talking about a societal level. Murderers still committ murder while they are in prison. They kill other inmates. Usually, these additional voctoms that they murder after thier incarceration are short timers in for non-violent crimes who have a good chance of becoming productive citizens once more. Then much later after the murderers are released, they are literally back on the street to kill anyone they wish again. This means that on a societal level, imprisonment does nothing to prevent the murderer from continuing to keep killing and nothing to deter them as they then know the worst they are going to get is a couple years of free food and shelter. "Please Berr Fox, dont throw me in that briar patch".
                              Opaloca, please try to keep this civil and reasonable. The low percentage of false convictions, 1% or less, is a shame.They would have been falsly convicted regardless of the sentance so they are not a part of the issue. You might look throughout the history of the world. The U.S. is not the ONLY country to have ever used capital punishment. Painting the U.S. as "you live in a pre-industrial society where the people are illiterate, follow the orders of the landowning priest class or face cruel punishment, the women are treated exactly like cattle except for the rich ones that get love poems written to them first, and everybody lives in houses made of shit or the equivelant thereof. " is rather insulting. It would be immoral to give murderers a lollypop and shoo them back out the door to continue killing. "Here, we will just put you in a cage full of other people who have committed such crimes as embezzelment or unpaid parking tickets so that you can kill off a few of them. Then, we will shoo you back onto the street to kill more innocents and we can start the proccess over again". It would be immoral to not protect our society from the deviants.
                              D.M. the examples you gave were on a personal level. where they were aimed at a direct person. Just because you put them in prison for a short while does not stop them from killing. It gives them a captive group of victoms to choose from who have no means of self defence or getting away. Then afterwards, they go right back onto the street to start again. It does nothing to deterr them and rather reinforces to them that it is ok to kill. Your point of view is aimed at the personal level. For example, so long as they cant get to me, I dont care if he kills others." I look on it from a societal level. For example, I dont want this murderer to kill other innocents who live in my society.
                              Look on it also from this level, a country wages war. Look for example when the colonies waged war with England to gain our freedom. The anti-capital punishment posters would say that that was immoral because lives were taken. On a societal level, we had to do that killing to survive as a country. While we do not condone that sort of killing on a personal level, we were forced to do so on a societal level.
                              L.S., there is indeed a paradox. If we do not execute this murderer, he will continue to kill others. If we do execute him, we are adding to the death toll ourselves. In that situation, you need to do the math and take the lesser of the two evils. If you dont execute, they will kill an undetermined number of additional people. This could be one or it could be fifty (and you dont know who they could be, your mother or an entire school of children. On a societal level, I would go for the lesser ofthe two evils. Of course, others will disagree and that is thier right.
                              Talisant, you are absolutely correct. The ones who think it is ok to murder at will with no repercussions show a tendancy towards that direction though.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                What then for a prison (or prison area) containing only murders? Or to generalise slightly, only containing those that would otherwise have been executed. If a murderer continues to murder while imprisoned, unless there is a 100% incidence that is still less death than execution would have generated. As the victim here would have been killed by the state, then they at least got to live longer, and the state did not kill them.

                                I've no idea of the stats of murder in prison as defined by their imprisonable offense, but I'm thinking it won't be all that high.

                                I must add as an addendum that it's a grand thought to still consider prisoners as a part of society. There are some folks who are imprisoned that I might consider to be beyond society (e.g. serial pre-pubecent pedophiles) but for the most part, the prison population is indeed part of our people and so still can expect our protection in the same way anyone else does.

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