Execution in United States Are You For It?

by jayhawk1 36 Replies latest jw friends

  • under74

    I'm against it. I can't see any good or even relief coming from it. It's a conflict of principle. Also, there are too many times here in the state where people have been wrongfully convicted and even executed--


    Good documentary to watch is Murder On A Sunday Morning
    look here

  • wunce_wuz


    The 1000th Execution
    December 1st, 2005

    Evidently, reporting the constant drip, drip, drip of casualties from the Iraq War has been so much fun for the American media that they have decided to apply the same water torture technique to propagandizing another favorite cause: death penalty abolition.

    Yes, this week we have been treated to a deluge of spontaneous stories marking the fact that the United States will soon execute its 1000th poor, helpless murderer since 1976, the year the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty – after having suspended it foolishly in 1972.

    One thousand is, of course, an important milestone, since numbers ending in zero have a magical power upon little minds – and “1000” has three zeroes at its end. Thus, we are all to reflect on the horror we have wrought as a nation. One thousand deaths – and for what? Obviously, we should withdraw from capital punishment immediately.

    You can’t blame the left for trying to recreate its latest glory, I suppose. The death clock in Iraq has been very effective in creating a sense of despair and the news is what you make it, after all.

    But it is interesting that not all milestones seem equally worthy of commemoration. For example, no one marked 1525 this week. That is the minimum number of people that have been murdered by the 999 evil people we have executed since 1976. And that estimate is undoubtedly low, since many of the media-mourned 999 killed more people than those for which we bothered convicting them.

    For example, Ted Bundy, important death number 106, was convicted of just 3 murders. His true total is estimated in the dozens. If we assign him only the 28 murders he has confessed to, then the non-magic milestone this week is actually 1553.

    Maybe it’s because it doesn’t end in even a single zero that the 1525 victims figure is ignored? But then the all-important “1000 victims of the executed” milestone has long since passed. We reached that un-marked total sometime around mid-2000, possibly when Texas executed Jessy Carlos San Miguel (important death number 650) for killing four people while robbing a Taco Bell – including a pregnant teenage girl and her 23-year-old cousin.

    Or what about 573,553 as a milestone? That is how many murder victims there have been in the United States since 1976. Again, that milestone is inexplicably not being covered by those who can so value 1000 lives – if they are lost on death row. The 500,000 victims mark was also missed back in 2001, even with five zeroes in its favor. As was 400,000 (1995), 300,000 (1991), 200,000 (1986), 100,000 (1981), or even 1000 – reached just three weeks after the court reauthorized capital punishment in the midst of one of the greatest violent crime epidemics in the nation’s history –an epidemic that began coincidentally with the modern Left”s obsession with the rights of criminals and has eased as the nation has increasingly rejected this movement.

    Or how about 400,000? That is a rough estimate of the number of murderers that the nation has had to subdue since 1976. That figure assumes that each murderer killed about 1.5 people. This is likely too conservative an estimate, since most murderers are not as bad as the few that end up on death row, where 1.5 is the average. If one assumes that most non-death row murderers have killed only once, then the number of murderers is closer to 500,000.

    In the last 29 years, we have been cursed with 500,000 murderers and yet we have executed only 1000 of them –just one-fifth of one percent. And yet the media would have us believe that America’s justice system is harsh. Far from being a state-run killing machine for huge numbers of run-of-the-mill murderers, our capital punishment system is incredibly lenient—99.8% of murderers are spared its sting.

    The only remarkable thing about the 1000th execution is that it didn’t occur twenty years ago. If we had applied the death penalty only to the worst 10% of murderers, and allowed 90% to serve only jail time, we could have easily executed 50,000 by now – and still been lenient. One wonders what the effect on the murder rate would be if every potential murderer knew he had a 1 in 10 chance of having his crime visited back upon him.

    If the media want to keep a count of something, perhaps they should count the innocent lives lost to murder. Any six weeks of Peace in America are as deadly to Americans as the last three years of War in Iraq. Yet we continue to treat violent crime as a national nuisance to be handled with politically correct gloves.

    The media can tolerate huge numbers of deaths when it suits their agenda. And they can whine over the deaths of a statistical handful when that suits the agenda better – even if that handful is composed of extremely evil men, found guilty by a jury of their peers, and judged to be among the worst one-fifth of one percent of all murderers in the country.

    One thousand executions? It’s a start; but that’s about all it is.

  • under74

    give me a break. I actually know 2 republican hardliners that don't agree with the death penalty. The writer of the article wants the death penalty to be a black and white non-issue--which it isn't. Why is it these same people think abortion should be abolished--yet won't want their tax money going to help children born? They want the Ten Commanments posted in public places...but don't really care if their support of the death penalty conflicts with commandment 13. It's okay to violate 13 when you agree with it? So long as it's supported by a court system? I don't understand the logic.

  • bull01lay
    One more thing. Allow the victims families to pull the switch, if they wish

    Interesting point. The 'caveman' in me Uggs in agreement - If I had been wronged, would I feel cheated if someone else had the task of killing them.

    However, the more civilized Bull wonders what the mental / emotional ramifications of that would truly be - knowing that you were responsible ( from the point of view of being the 'trigger' man) for the death of another human.

    I've always said that if someone was to hurt my loved ones in such a way, I would kill them myself. However, I think that my really be testosterone talking - I'm not sure if I could actually kill someone.

    One thousand is, of course, an important milestone, since numbers ending in zero have a magical power upon little minds – and “1000” has three zeroes at its end. Thus, we are all to reflect on the horror we have wrought as a nation. One thousand ;deaths – and for what? Obviously, we should withdraw from capital punishment immediately.

    Is that factual - the numbers ending in zero have an affect ? I ask cos I'm interested in psychology, and your statement does make a kind of sense...

    Bull !

  • AuldSoul

    Thanks for putting this in a US context. My comments will be in the same context.

    We seem to have become a nation devoted to the concept of eliminating—or at least mitigating—consequence for choices. If we call something "punishment" then that is what it actually should be. Recidivism rates indicate that punishment isn't working.

    Did your child choose to use drugs? Is that the dealer's fault, or your child's fault, or the grower/manufacturer's fault, or society's fault? Who do you blame for your child's choice? For me, this is an easy one. If there weren't children (and adults) choosing, there wouldn't be dealers, and there wouldn't be grower/manufacturer's. Who is to blame? The users. Why is tobacco such a big business? The consumers buy the friggin' product! Who is to blame? The consumers.

    But, hey, I don't care if your child wants to poison their body. They can buy rat poison and do themselves in if they want to, for all I care. It would still be their choice and their fault. Society is not at fault for their life choices. Too many people choose otherwise.

    It is within this context of restoring the concept of societally imposed consequence and individual responsibility and accountability that my view of the death penalty is born. This is I believe the death penalty is valid in one context, but in its current context is not. If this were simply view as a dispassionate elimination of an unsustainable, intolerable member of human society as a consequence (not a punishment, just an outcome) for societally determined intolerable conduct I would be in favor of it. I am opposed to it currently because it is viewed as punishment (which it is not) and a deterrent (which it is not).

    People on death row frequently become famous due to the notoriety of their crimes. The best deterrent would be a nearly total lack of publicity. The best deterrent would be incarceration awaiting execution along with criminalization of profit from the crimes, through sale of their story or networks profitting through airing of the story.

    I think the list of offenses society CANNOT tolerate should be very short—but expanded from the current list—and the standard of evidence requirements should be very high.

    1. Sex with a minor under age 10
    2. Intentional taking of someone's life, not in self-defense
    3. Any murder conviction where the murder was non-concurrent to a previous murder, at any degree.
    4. Third rape conviction
    5. Second conviction for SEC violations
    6. Third conviction for non-concurrent embezzelment, misappropriation of funds, or fraud
    7. Fifth conviction for violent crime where crimes are non-concurrent (but the standard for "violent" should be raised)

    I believe we could all agree with not minding the dispassionate elimination of such persons from the gene pool. I could even see changing the name to make it more palatable to those opposed to the idea of such people "dying." We could call it the "Elimination Consequence." The fact of the matter is that everyone is subject to the Elimination Consequence, and their only crime is often simply aging. We will be making sure certain people don't live long enough to experience the natural death penalty.

    To solve the drug problem, I believe drug offenders of all kinds should have their drug offenses pardoned after legislation is put in place to legalize and regulate all known drugs, including meth. The price of drugs would plummet overnight and within two generations the economy would take care of the problem for us. If there is no money in it there is no reason to be in the business. Plus, legalization would open the doors of communication with a secretive and reclusive generation of teenagers so that dialogue can comfortably happen. When it's illegal, it is attractive and "fun." When it's legal, it's just a deliberate choice to pump low-priced poison into yourself.

    Would it stop all drug use? No, of course not. Would it sharply reduce drug experimentation and initial addiction? In a heartbeat. Would it stop the senseless waste of Government funds on an utterly failed "War on Drugs?" Yep. Would it turn a sever economic loss into a potential profit center from taxing imported goods? Yes.

    Hate Crimes, in my opinion, is junk legislation. It is an example of legislation attempting to penalize state of mind rather than conduct. I am firmly opposed to any law designed to punish thoughts, or feelings, or beliefs, however distasteful those thoughts, feelings, or beliefs may be to me. Intolerable actions should be penalized, but they should be penalized dispassionately.

    I think we have to face the fact that incarceration does not rehabililtate lawbreakers effectively. There are a few success stories, but recidivism is the order of the day. Society's taxpayers are burdened with heavy costs associated with room and board for those who have already damaged society by their behavior, thus experiencing a double-whammy of sorts. I know conditions in prisons have "improved" due to legislation, but the inmates rarely learn anything about responsibility toward society from prison. So-called "reforms" did much to relieve the prisoner's discomforts but little to insure society that offenders would actually learn from their punishment.

  • truthseeker

    In cases where there is NO DOUBT about the guilt, then yes, execution is justified.

    Execution is not just seen as a deterrant.

    The punishment should fit the crime, a life for a life.

    Some may view this as barbaric, yet there only to happy to be patriotic during times of war, when both sides are slaughtering each other.

    Besides, keeping prisoners on death row only costs the state more.

  • truthseeker

    Pope of Eruke

    What about the young Australian guy hanged in Singapore this morning?

    He was caught at Changi airport trying to smuggle some heroin back home to Australia.

    The Australian must have been aware of the strict laws of Singapore.

    Although harsh, the laws of the land had to be complied with.

  • 144001

    I see a strong trend here among those who responded to this thread favoring capital punishment. I think the reason for this is twofold; people are sick of hearing of heinous crimes committed by individuals who have no respect for the value of life, and society in general has become quite desensitized to violence and death.

    As a very young man, I thought the death penalty was a good idea. But in my older and wiser years, I have come to realize that the death penalty should be abolished for too many reasons to list here. The first one that comes to mind is that the death penalty has nothing to do with justice, and everything to do with politics. Here in California, a man (Stanley Williams) is scheduled to die on 12/13/05 for a brutal and senseless killing of 4 people back in 1979. In addition to the murder convictions, Mr. Williams is credited (although there is some debate on this) with being one of the founders of the crips street gang in Los Angeles, a gang known throughout this country for its brutality and violence. However, Mr. Williams has apparently reformed while in prison, and written children's books warning children of the dangers of getting involved in gangs, etc. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, while in prison awaiting execution. Mr. William's appeals are effectively over, and the only thing that has a real chance of saving him now is a favorable ruling from Governor Schwarzenegger on his clemency petition. Mr. Schwarzenegger is not doing well politically in California, so this decision is critical to his political future. Rather than the decision being based on the merits of the petition, Mr. Schwarzenegger will base his decision on what is best for Mr. Schwarzenegger's political interests.

    Another example is in the infamous OJ case. OJ was accused of crimes that under California law warrant the death penalty (i.e., multiple murder, lying in wait). Immediately after the district attorney announced that the death penalty would not be sought against OJ, Marcia Clark, a lousy lawyer who was selected to prosecute OJ, declared, "it would not be just to seek the death penalty against OJ." She did not offer an explanation as to why it would be unjust. Was it because he was a famous athlete and television personality? Was it because they knew it would be tough to get a conviction if the jury knew he'd face death? We'll never know the real reasons, but I can't help but wonder why it's unjust to execute OJ, a filthy rich guy who had everything yet chose to kill people, but ok to execute some poor slob who killed someone during a robbery he committed to put food on his table?

    Notwithstanding my comments above and my opposition to the death penalty, I do believe that almost all individuals executed in the US deserve to die. Nevertheless, the mere fact that a criminal deserves to die does not make state-sponsored killing just. Two wrongs don't make a right. I hope for a day when our world becomes more compassionate and sensitive to killings and violence.

  • jaffacake

    I am totally opposed to the death penalty for the reasons expressed eloquently by the minority of posters on this thread who think likewise.

    Of course I re-examine my opinion, in the heat of the moment, each time a truly terrible crime is committed. But frankly, I cannot see one single bit of good that it does. Perhaps it would make us feel better for a while after an atrocity, but that would be a selfish motive. The only way I could conceivably reconsider, would be if I believed it to be a real deterrant, but clearly it is not.

  • DanTheMan


    Excellent points, great food for thought. What jury is going to send a wealthy celebrity to the electric chair?

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