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Call for an End of Executions

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  • #16
    Yeah i think that the law should be changed so that they can only prosecute for the biggest criminal act.
    How do you go about changing a law such as this though
    "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

    Hunter S Thompson

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    • #17
      If the will is there, it's easy enough - you said it yourself, you define the crime as the greatest punishable offense from a single criminal episode. But, the will is lacking. At least in my state, the legislature has been incanting the words "tough on crime" for so long that it is a requirment of office. Still, hope springs eternal. My own observation of history indicates that reforms in the criminal law often occur at the same time as economic downturns and unpopular wars. My guess is that what you get is folks who have formerly been secure in the knowledge that they will never be prosecuted suddenly being able to imagine a state of affairs that would end the pipe dream. One of the things serving the poor as counsel has taught me is that the biggest difference between a person on skid road and the classes which judge him is the money. I think most people suspect this on a subconscious level, but it is only the prospect of hard times that causes them to consciously admit they are living from paycheck to paycheck and could hit the skids themselves in a matter of months, if the world turned on them. This allows a sociological view of crime, rather than a psychological view. To put things differently, people can understand that negative economic conditions breed crime, that it's not always, or even usually, a matter of an inherently bad person. Just a normal person who runs out of choices, makes a bad choice, and is consigned to the criminal class for the rest of his/her life by the computers. When sufficient people feel threatened by the possibility of bad times, they become remarkably more open to ideas like rehabilitation.
      Kevin McCabe
      The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson

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      • #18
        I agree.Well put,
        I am also tired of politicians who,even when in office,talk as if they are aware of the sociological aspects of crime and how they are going to act on it henceforth,do nothing about it.
        Isnt it a gross abuse of office to have the power to do things like change laws or fund and promote rehabilitation and do nothing.
        You"re right Kevin,unfortunately a wheel or two will have to fall of the applecart before things are done but lets not let that stop us from keeping snapping at their heels
        "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

        Hunter S Thompson

        Comment


        • #19
          Absolutely!
          I never knew that.
          Do you know if any other states are thinking of following suit.
          "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

          Hunter S Thompson

          Comment


          • #20
            I would also feel tainted even being in the same building.
            You would think that you would be given an option on that one but as you said on your last point the attitude of the prison system would not stretch to that.
            In fact they would probably come out with some nonsense involving heat/kitchen which would just re-inforce your point
            "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

            Hunter S Thompson

            Comment


            • #21
              Which brings us back to the Philosophical Repugnance bit:

              1) The greatest of all crimes is to take life,
              2) You have taken life,
              3) Therefore, we will take your life.

              Even if the person - by any measure - has earned the fate, it lessens us all to participate in the same sin.
              Kevin McCabe
              The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson

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              • #22
                For my part, I quite like corrections officers. Unlike (slightly less than half of) the cops, I've never known a corrections officer to lie on the stand. But, what really gets my respect is that they are kind to the mentally ill. To my state's shame, the second largest in-patient mental health facility in the state is the King County Jail. The CO's deal with a large population with the difficult needs in a largely empathetic and humane way.
                Kevin McCabe
                The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson

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                • #23
                  I generally agree pretty much with almost everything written here - prisons dehumanizing both prisoner and guard, the abhorrence of state murder, even the concept of personal vengeance.

                  But sometimes there are crimes committed that are so far beyond mitigation, where The Line has been stepped so far over (and I am thinking specifically about sexually motivated serial killers - Jeffery Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, Fred West, Ian Brady, Dennis Nillsen etc) that you have to question whether the perpetrator is what can be described as "human" anymore.

                  It may well be true that these individuals have themselves suffered abuse that has deformed their personalities to the point that their world vision makes what they have done logical and in their eyes acceptable. But the fact remains that sometimes you can look at another "person's" actions and say that what they have done is something so contrary to being "human" and is so threatening to other humans that they can never be part of human society again.

                  Granted such people are "sick". But what can be done with them? Generally speaking they are beyond rehabilitation. Do you imprison them for the rest of their lives? Or, like a rabid dog, kill them?
                  Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.
                  Bakunin

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                  • #24
                    In the case of sexually motivated crimes i have always thought that a mixture of chemical castration and rehabilitation might do the trick.
                    "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

                    Hunter S Thompson

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I am completely against death sentences! I would immediately give back my passport if I'd belong to a country that still uses this penalty or reinstates it. I would refuse to be part of it.
                      The chance of an error is always there, and I wouldn't want it on my conscience to know that a certain percentage is executed because of a judgement failure. And then, once you have it, it is always quickly extended to other offenses besides murder. I know it is the ultimate revenge for the families and friends of murder victims, but I think we still have the human and moral capacity to overcome ancient eye-for-an-eye instincts. And I want the society I live in to be on a higher moral level, with all possible costs.
                      And honestly, if you look at the persons getting executed and those who don't (or even get free), you find it is very much a question of who can afford top notch lawyers and who can't.
                      Google ergo sum

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                      • #26
                        The topic of the death penalty in the UK has arisen again in light of the comments of certain of the families of the victims of Steve Wright, the Ipswich "serial killer".

                        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/suffolk/7257402.stm

                        While one understands the emotional reaction of Wright's victims' families, it simply is perverse to for the State to punish murder with (State-sanctioned) murder. The taking of life is either wrong or it isn't. That, more so than the risk of miscarriages of Justice, is the reason why I'm opposed to the death penalty.

                        Krzysztof Kieslowski's film A Short Film About Killing was particularly significant in forming my views on the matter.
                        Last edited by David Mosley; 02-22-2008, 02:23 AM.
                        _"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


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                          The taking of life is either wrong or it isn't.
                          I understand this and also TheAdlerian's point about executions have an impact upon those involved in them. However I do wonder how you can square that with soldiers fighting in just wars, unless you think they are all wrong as well.

                          I also wonder whether if executions were carried out humanely, they would not be a lesser punishment than genuine life imprisonment. Consider Myra Hindley, who never gave up trying to get released.

                          However I am totally against the death penalty because of the miscarriages of justice argument that you alluded to.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by David Mosley View Post

                            Krzysztof Kieslowski's film A Short Film About Killing was particularly significant in forming my views on the matter.
                            Very brilliant of you to mention this movie!
                            I wonder if it ever got anywhere west of NYC in the US though. Not to mention those countries of "the East" where the penalyt is still in use.
                            Google ergo sum

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by johneffay View Post
                              Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                              The taking of life is either wrong or it isn't.
                              I understand this and also TheAdlerian's point about executions have an impact upon those involved in them. However I do wonder how you can square that with soldiers fighting in just wars, unless you think they are all wrong as well.
                              Oh, you don't need to point to the 'just war' argument, what about all the abortions that take place up to 24 weeks? I think many politicians, for example, fall back on the 'miscarriages of Justice' argument because it's less complicated than arguing about the sanctity of human life. It's the old paradox that if you kill x people during war time you get a medal but if you kill them in peace time you get a life sentence.

                              I would say that the taking of human life (by others) is usually wrong, although in the case of self-defence - and some wars could fall into that criteria where one is not the aggressor party - some justification can be made. On the other hand, I happen to believe individuals should have the right to terminate their own lives - particularly in cases of terminal and debilitating illness - through euthanasia, if they so choose.
                              _"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


                              • #30
                                I dont see where war and abortion comes into the execution argument.
                                When you sign up for the forces you are trained to kill to "protect your country" so that is just part of the deal.
                                And forcing any woman who has been raped to have the baby regardless of time passed is just sick and should have no place in any society.
                                The crux of the biscuit here is that if any set of peers decide that someone who has killed should then be killed by them have no right to pass judgement in the first place as they have shown no moral superiority and have resorted to the justice of the playground.
                                "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

                                Hunter S Thompson

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