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The Death Sentence.

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Tallulah
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Tallulah
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December 24th, 2008 at 05:29pm
How do you feel about cases such as Derek Bentley?
He was convicted of a crime he did not exist. He was executed for a crime he was not guilty of. You can read more here. He is one of the main factors for me being against the death sentence.

I agree that life should mean life and think there should be an overhaul of the prison system here in the UK but I do not think, in todays civilized society that there is a place for the death penalty.
Cigarettes And Suicide
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December 25th, 2008 at 02:03am
^ What's 'civilised', though?
I don't think any community can call itself truly civilised when there are still individuals that rape, murder, torture, harm children and animals, for no particular reason other than for their own pleasure. And that's just the worst aspect - there's all the greed, walking all over others/stabbing people in the back in order to gain something petty for oneself, drug abuse, domestic violence... I could go on, but I think you get what I'm saying.

Not that I expect the world to be a utopian society, but I do expect that when somebody commits a heinous crime, the community and its innocent citizens should be able to sleep at night knowing that said criminal is never going to be allowed the chance to hurt them or a member or their families.
I do agree that there should be absolute definition of guilt before the death penalty is imposed on a person - ie, DNA evidence that has been tested by at least two independent sources so there are no screw-ups. But, I think the way society is at this point, the justice system is a joke - a burglar gets more jail time for an unarmed robbery than a murderer gets, habitual drug abusers are let off with probation because 'they weren't aware of what they were doing', any idiot can say 'but my father molested me as a kid' as an excuse to get them less jail time for committing a crime (and it works).
SianVonLoser!
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December 25th, 2008 at 01:38pm
Personally, i am completely against the death sentance,
i dont feel that anyone deserves to die for anything that they may (or indeed may not) have done
its inhumane in my opinion.
I have to say i agree with cigarettes and suicide though about the fact that we couldnt have a civilised society even without the death penalty because people would still commit hideous crimes.
I think we need to find ways to prevent people from murdering etc.
Prevention is better than punishment!
Mindfuck
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December 25th, 2008 at 09:34pm
Lights of Paris:
Are our taxes worth paying to keep them alive after what they did?
So for you it's the issue of money? If the death penalty existed where you lived, then you'd still have to pay taxes for the death penalty trial and the actual execution of the prisoner. And other prisoners on death row. Introducing the death penalty won't lower taxes, in case that's what you were getting at...
Lovesick Melody.
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December 27th, 2008 at 05:36am
Tallulah; Schechter:
How do you feel about cases such as Derek Bentley?
He was convicted of a crime he did not exist. He was executed for a crime he was not guilty of. You can read more here. He is one of the main factors for me being against the death sentence.


While I am not familiar with that particular case, I agree with you. The death sentence is so final, the end of a persons life. With newer technology comes better ways to catch criminals.
But, evidence is not solid. What if you had a tape of the person committing the crime? Well, what if the person was forced by someone offscreen? It's just not solid enough. Therefore, the death sentence is too final for me. If the evidence turns out to be flawed, how can you go back and release the person whom you killed? How can you look in that persons family's eyes and say "Sorry, I made a mistake."

If you kill the killer, that makes you a killer yourself. However direct or indirect you were involved.

And I know my argument is common, but that is how I view things.
Cigarettes And Suicide
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December 27th, 2008 at 07:38am
Lovesick Melody.:
If the evidence turns out to be flawed, how can you go back and release the person whom you killed? How can you look in that persons family's eyes and say "Sorry, I made a mistake."

But, what about the vast majority of cases where the evidence is sound and the right person is convicted? What of the victim's rights, what of their life? I know nothing can bring a person back once they're gone, but surely paying for a heinous crime with your own life is appropriate justice, seeing as you've taken one yourself?

Besides, I figure that even in cases where wrongly convicted persons are later vindicated, well, the fact still remains that they have spent years of their life locked up in prison, away from their friends, family, job, and society in general. So, whether a person receives the death penalty or 'merely' spends decades in prison for a crime they didn't commit, the end result is the same.
Mindfuck
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December 27th, 2008 at 08:56am
Cigarettes And Suicide:
Besides, I figure that even in cases where wrongly convicted persons are later vindicated, well, the fact still remains that they have spent years of their life locked up in prison, away from their friends, family, job, and society in general. So, whether a person receives the death penalty or 'merely' spends decades in prison for a crime they didn't commit, the end result is the same.
How do you figure the end result is the same? If someone spends years in prison and then is vindicated, at least they can pretty much walk free and still have their life in tact. But if someone is wrongly accused and ends up executed and then later the truth is found out, then the person cannot get their life back.

Are you suggesting that even if someone is wrongly accused, then it's no loss of life if they are executed for a crime they never committed merely because they spent "years in prison" away from their normal life? I'm a bit confused on your point.


Cigarettes And Suicide
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December 27th, 2008 at 09:04am
^ No, I wasn't trying to say that, exactly... just that, when a person is wrongly convicted of a crime, their life is still pretty much down the hole... I mean, look at, say, Schapelle Corby (and of course, most believe she's guilty, I wasn't there obviously so I don't know) - let's say she's found innocent after all, and allowed to come home - sure, she has her family and she has her life, but how many years will have been wasted in prison? She might be too old to marry, to have children, too old to get a job, and of course this is all providing she can stay out of the spotlight. Most people who are found innocent of a crime years after their conviction cannot really go back to 'normal', and if anything else, they would probably have issues with things like PTSD and what not from all the stress of the ordeal, so they may never function normally again.

What I'm saying is, that while it's very sad that *a few* people are wrongly convicted of crimes (and in this day and age, it's quite rare because we have things like forensic evidence that make it very hard to get a conviction without that certainty), I don't think the death penalty should be done away with in places where it *does* exist, because surely the 99% of people who are in fact entirely guilty of their crimes should be made to face appropriate justice.
Tallulah
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December 27th, 2008 at 10:05am
see this is where we disagree. I don.t see the death penalty as appropriate justice. There are too many miscarriages of justice for it ever to be viable again in the uk. Barry George and Sion Jenkins are both innocent men who were convicted of murder in the last ten years, based on forensic evidence. When this was questioned their cases were overthrown and they were freed. If we had the death penalty still they would be dead. I personally couldn't live with that.
doctor.
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December 27th, 2008 at 12:03pm
Mindfuck:
Lights of Paris:
Are our taxes worth paying to keep them alive after what they did?
So for you it's the issue of money? If the death penalty existed where you lived, then you'd still have to pay taxes for the death penalty trial and the actual execution of the prisoner. And other prisoners on death row. Introducing the death penalty won't lower taxes, in case that's what you were getting at...



I'm sorry, you seem to have misunderstood my point- I am not saying that the death penalty will lower taxes or that I would wish it to.

For me, it's a personal preference. I'd rather pay money to see these people well punished than pay money to see them have a comfortable life after the crimes they have committed.

I realise, the death sentence is not always an answer to problems, particulary when it's possible that they are incorrect. However, in some cases where there is no doubt that someone has committed the crime (for example, they plead guilty or there are too many witnesses or evidence to say otherwise) then they should be punished appropriatly. As I said in my previous post, prisions need to get harsher.
Lovesick Melody.
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December 27th, 2008 at 11:49pm
Cigarettes And Suicide:

But, what about the vast majority of cases where the evidence is sound and the right person is convicted? What of the victim's rights, what of their life? I know nothing can bring a person back once they're gone, but surely paying for a heinous crime with your own life is appropriate justice, seeing as you've taken one yourself?

Besides, I figure that even in cases where wrongly convicted persons are later vindicated, well, the fact still remains that they have spent years of their life locked up in prison, away from their friends, family, job, and society in general. So, whether a person receives the death penalty or 'merely' spends decades in prison for a crime they didn't commit, the end result is the same.


But no evidence is sound. Sure, you may make the right conviction, but how can you be 100% sure? There is no way, there is always a small margin for error.

And I agree, they are the same. So why kill someone when you can lock them up in prison? What if something changes in the case and you found out you got the wrong man? You can take him out of prison and put the right man in. You can't do that kind of thing when the person is dead.
Cigarettes And Suicide
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December 28th, 2008 at 02:09am
^ Why kill someone when you can just lock them up? Because I believe that people who are capable of committing certain crimes have no place being a member of the human race, let alone existing on this planet.
I know not everybody agrees with me, and that's fair enough, but I can't help but think 'and if it were a member of *you* family...'

Basically, I believe that innocent, law-abiding citizens should have the right to sleep at night, and never be afraid, knowing that there is a possibility that somebody who has committed a terrible crime could one day be released on parole, and be free to walk the streets amongst us.

And, while I know that prison isn't the most pleasant of places, in some countries it really is more reminiscent of a three-star resort than a place where offenders are meant to be punished for their actions. They have free access to cable TV (which plenty of free citizens cannot afford), internet access, education (which, again, some law-abiding people cannot afford), and are placed at the top of waiting lists for medical care because a prisoner might sue if they have to wait to get a rotting tooth pulled - whereas I, as a person who cannot afford private health cover and have never committed a worse crime than underage drinking, have to languish for months on the waiting lists for public health care and have no avenues of complaint.
I just don't think it's fair that they can get such decent treatment and opportunities to further themselves, when many people who have never committed a crime are forced to go without. And our taxes pay for it.
I'd rather my taxes pay for capital punishment than a lifetime of hot meals and gym euqipment.
Marilyn Monroe
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December 28th, 2008 at 04:25am
I have nothing against the geath penalty, but I honestly think that life in jail without parole would be a better punishment.

beucase then if they are innocent they can be realeased... and if they aren't. It's a better punishment, it's harsher.
Personally I'd rather die than spend my whole life in jail.
Tallulah
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December 28th, 2008 at 08:24am
I feel the death penalty to be an easy way out for the criminal. Once they are gone that's the end. No living with the guilt of their crimes, no having to face on a daily basis the reminder of what you did, death for many is an easy option, it's all over for the criminal then. The people who really suffer with death penalty are the family of the criminal. Often totally innocent and devastated by their offsprings crimes, they are the ones who suffer. Studies have also shown that the families of victims often feel remorse for the killer being executed, as they themselves feel as though they had blood on their hands.

If a member of my family was murdered by someone I would want justice. But that does not mean the death penalty. I would want to criminal to live with what they had done for the rest of their lives, sharing the 'life sentence' victims families say they too have been given. I remember two british criminals, Fred West and Harold Shipman. West killed over 10 people, including his own daughter and Shipman was a Dr who murdered over 200 people. They were both public figures of hate and both were very high profile cases. Both murderers took their own lives in Prison. I personally, although not connected to the crimes, was left with a huge sense of them having cheated the system once more. The fact was they were, as Donna said, unable to commit any more crimes but as far as I was concerned they had not had full punishment for their crimes. I personally think punishment should be much more than 'an eye for and eye'. Prisons shouldn't be too cushy, thats for sure, but killing off criminals in my eyes makes society as bad as the killers themselves.
Cigarettes And Suicide
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December 28th, 2008 at 10:06am
I think what a lot of people forget, or simply don't understand, is that the filth who end up on death row are incapable of feeling remorse for their crimes. They don't feel bad about what they did, they don't feel bad for the victims or their families, or even their own - all they feel is frustration at being caught and locked up, instead of being able to escape their punishment. So, if they take their own lives in prison, I think that has a lot less to do with expressing remorse for their actions, rather it's a way of escaping the prison they've put themselves in.

I'm not trying to change anybody's minds here or say that your opinions on the matter are wrong... just trying to explain how I feel about things.
I mean, I guess I must be a completely heinous bitch myself because one of my family members murdered someone a few months ago - and guess what? I want him dead, too. I want him so far out of my life he's not even a shadow of a memory (and I can't do that with him calling twice a week and writing constant letters, sending my daughter Christmas gifts and the like, which he is capable of doing from his prison cell). I want him to pay the ultimate price for what he did to his victim (another close family member), and while I'm glad that he failed in his attempt to kill himself at the time (because now he gets to see the mess he's made and has to watch us clean up) - but on the other hand I'm petrified that his defence team will come up with a persuasive enough argument to get him an easy sentence. At the very least, in Australia 'life' doesn't mean anything of the sort, and chances are he'll be darkening my door before my daughter starts high school.
I don't really see it as 'eye for an eye' - I see it as, my world is a much less safe place with him in it, and I want him out of it. Entirely. I'm sure there are people out there who possess that amazing virtue of being forgiving or for not wanting more bloodshed, but I'm not one of them.
Green Faerie
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December 28th, 2008 at 10:36am
My issue with the death penalty, even if the person is guilty, is the hypocrisy. I don't understand the rationalisation of "They killed someone, lets make it all better by killing them".

Some prisons are too soft, that is sadly true. They need to be sorted so that they actually act as a prevention and not just a stopping place between crimes.

I can fully understand the desire to want someone out of this world if people feel a threat when they are alive. But my personal morals could never justify the death of anyone prematurely.
Tallulah
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December 28th, 2008 at 12:31pm
I too find the hypocrisy the hardest part of the whole system. How can we punish someone for killing someone by killing them?! I will never understand that part of it. As for prisoners (such as Fred West and Harold Shipman) taking their own lives, their suicides were away of controlling their own lives, once their liberties were taken away. I never suggested they killed themselves due to guilt.

I too am not trying to change anyone's points of view, I am simply stating my reasons for being against the death penalty.

As for prisons being too comfortable? I have been to Walton Prison in Liverpool. I went with my job as part of a programme for young people to avoid them falling into a cycle of crime. I can honestly say that it is not a place I should ever wish to enter again. The place is cold and stark and there are no creature comforts or pleasures. If a prisoner wishes to write to a relative they have to pay for the postage, they have to pay their way whilst in the prison, they don't sit around all day doing as they wish. Spending time in prison is not a holiday camp, it is a complete loss of your liberty. There is no "oh I think I'll have a day off today" or "I'm not up for doing things today I'll stay in bed" there is not only the loss of freedom but the loss of liberty within the jail. Everything is regimented, from the time you get out of bed to the time you go to sleep. There is no choices, everything is taken away from you. Sure there might be hot water and TV but it is a choice made by others as to when you access these amenities, they are merely saved as a reward for good behaviour and as a way of teaching criminals to be rehabilitated. Prison is not something I would see as a soft option, it is something to be avoided at all costs. The heath care prisoners receive in prison is not better than they would get on the outside, they are merely awarded basic human rights. They don't rush to the front of the queue and don't get specialist treatment. If the prison service is so appealing and an easy option for prisoners, why is the suicide rate so high amongst prisoners? Statistics show that many of the young people that commit suicide in prison are more likely to be suffering with mental health issues, not a statistic that shows how prisoners are given better treatment than many on the outside.

The irony is, if you put someone on death row they quite often can do up to 10+years in prison before they are executed, therefore the cost to the taxpayers is immense, but that's not the issue, more than that it is cruel and can be classed as torture. I don't want to live in a society where the state tortures their criminals. We may as well go back to chopping off the hands of thieves.

The other irony is that the death sentence is more often than not, not for the worst crimes but is for the criminals with the worst lawyers. The death penalty is quite often a class issue. How many rich and successful people have you seen recently executed? Only poor, working class.

The death penalty is often seen as martyrdom to the criminals. True, as Donna said, many of those on death row don't feel remorse (although, for everyone who doesn't, there is one who does), in fact they are waiting for their death to become infamous and historic. I personally cannot live with that, the last thing I would want would be to give a convicted criminal a chance to "go down in a blaze of glory" or whatever twisted view of death they may have.

Many say the death sentence is a deterrent. There is no proof. In many states/countries where the death penalty is in place the level is crime is higher. No one has ever been able to demonstrate statistically that killing murderers deters others. When countries (eg Canada) got rid of the death penalty there was no instant increase in crime.

This all brings me back to the point about making mistakes. There are far too many miscarriages of justice in the world to allow the death penalty to come back. DNA/Forensic evidence is not a secure as people might think it is, there is no way of proving 100% someone committed a crime.

Every time this topic is raised, I think about the same thing. "There but for the grace of God go I." I don't agree that I would want to death penalty back if someone killed someone close to me. In fact, my thoughts are always about "How would I feel if someone very close to me (mother/father/sibling/child) had committed a serious crime?" I would not stop loving them and I certainly wouldn't want them dead. I would want them to be punished for a crime they had committed but I would also hope and pray for their rehabilitation. If my child had committed a crime I don't know if I would be able to turn my back on them totally, and therefore I cannot say I supported the death penalty because my views would change according to the situation. Think about the case of Timothy Evans. He was wrongly executed for the murder of his baby daughter, the child was actually killed by the serial killer Christie. I can only image what it must have been life for him, convicted and executed for a crime he did not commit. In today's day and age these miscarriages still happen, but luckily most countries do not use the death penalty and these false convictions can be overturned.

Life should mean life. The removal of liberties and freedom. The time to think about that lost of freedom and a way of repaying your crimes to society. I am a huge supporter of Amnesty International and this is their stance on the debate.

'The death penalty has no place in a modern criminal justice system. The death penalty is not an effective deterrent. Because all judicial systems make mistakes and because of its irrevocable nature, the death penalty kills innocent individuals who are wrongly convicted. The death penalty brutalises society and breeds contempt for human life.'

For those of you who agree with the death penalty, please consider this. Could you do it if you were the one who had to administer the execution? I certainly couldn't. Without people like Albert Pierrepoint there would need to be someone else to do that. It would take a certain type of person to be able to do that job without conscience. Pierrepoint himself, although a perfectionist, struggled with doing his job. He was the most prolific hangman in the UK and yet he became opposed to the penalty during his life.

"I have come to the conclusion that executions solve nothing, and are only an antiquated relic of a primitive desire for revenge which takes the easy way and hands over the responsibility for revenge to other people...The trouble with the death penalty has always been that nobody wanted it for everybody, but everybody differed about who should get off."

(Sorry for the essay LOL.)
The Original Bob.
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December 28th, 2008 at 12:43pm
Seriously, Lulah, stop making the rest of us look so bad compared to you.
You said everything I wanted to say.
Tallulah
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December 28th, 2008 at 12:52pm
Thanks Sarah. It's just something I feel pretty strongly against. As I said before, the case of Derek Bentley influenced me so strongly.

It's all good and well saying that the death penalty should be reinstated, but if you were the person on death row, especially if you had been provoked or it was a crime of passion rather than a premeditated offense, would you think it was such a good idea?
Spirit of Jazz.
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December 30th, 2008 at 12:31pm
Tallulah; Schechter:
The irony is, if you put someone on death row they quite often can do up to 10+years in prison before they are executed, therefore the cost to the taxpayers is immense, but that's not the issue, more than that it is cruel and can be classed as torture. I don't want to live in a society where the state tortures their criminals. We may as well go back to chopping off the hands of thieves.

I agree. it is pretty sick that we keep our prisoners rotting in jail for ten years, even though they're going to end up dead anyway. But, on the other hand, what happens if the convicted turns out to be not guilty? then, you have someone who died for no particular reason. But on the other other hand, if the convicted is guilty, then it is a quiet form of torture.
Tallulah; Schechter:
The death penalty is often seen as martyrdom to the criminals. True, as Donna said, many of those on death row don't feel remorse (although, for everyone who doesn't, there is one who does), in fact they are waiting for their death to become infamous and historic. I personally cannot live with that, the last thing I would want would be to give a convicted criminal a chance to "go down in a blaze of glory" or whatever twisted view of death they may have.

Yes. very much so. I think for some criminals, dying is their final "screw you" to the government. (not that the government doesn't deserve that.. =)

I think that the death sentence is good and bad. It's good, because honestly, sometimes the billions of people who are locked up, rotting in prison, are kind of a blow below the belt to the taxpayers. each one takes something like 10 grand a year to feed and clothe. Kind of like a super-demented crowd control. (that sounds REALLLY harsh.) But it's also a really bad thing, because once again with the crowd control thing. Is this what humans have come to? The earth is so heavily populated, we just kill our inmates when they kill someone else? That is such a huge form of hypocrisy (yeah i know, i can't spell) that it is sickening. True, some people DO deserve to die. But is it reallly worth becoming a huge hypocrite (sp?) just to punish a convict who probably would rather die than rot in prison anyway?

Its kind of like sending a kid to his room, and having all these elctronic games and stuff in there. So really, even though it was meant as punishment, it's really just what the kid wanted in the first place. It's the same deal with the death penalty. A lot of the time, they just want death anyway, so if you're aiming to punish these guys, why give them what they want? Its just so messed up. =/

I don't know. just my personal (demented) spin on things.