the green mile?

by sparrowdown 57 Replies latest jw friends

  • Giordano

    I found this site linked to the Washington Post.

    It looks at how many were executed in the USA but also how many people they murdered. In general there were far more innocent persons murdered by those that were executed. It's not an eye for an eye.

    Also bear in mind that prosecutor's seldom prosecute someone for every murder they have committed. One that is air tight is sufficient for a murder conviction.

    John Wayne Gacy was executed for 12 of the 33 boys he murdered. The DC sniper(s) John Muhammad was executed for 1 person although he and his accomplice executed 12 and were linked to more murders around the country. Muhammad's companion confessed to 7 additional murders and in exchange got a life sentence.

    As I look over these numbers I was struck by the thought that a lot of the executed had murdered more then one person. In Timothy McVeigh's case he killed 168 persons....19 of which were children in the Oklahoma Bombing.

    Like it or not I don't see any sense in keeping a murderer alive if he has not been co-operative in recovery of buried bodies and accomplices.

    As far as the manner of their death goes we need to stop over thinking it. Hangings can go wrong. The Electric Chair was a failure at times, the gas chamber looked medieval, now these death drugs are malfunctioning.

    The most merciful would have to be the firing squad. 6 or 8 will fire only one will have a live round.....but will not know it. Otherwise if the evidence is spot on DNA and confessions etc........I don't see a life term. The Richard Speck's case comes to mind The killer of 8 Nurses one horrific night received a life sentence. A sex tape was made of him engaging with prison friends...... in the tape Speck says "If they knew how much fun I was having in here, they'd have to turn me loose."

    There are many other mas murders who received life sentences an now have their own fan clubs. A life sentance is not the ultimate punishment its a stay of execution with benefits.

  • Finkelstein

    I think there should be in place a separate ruling of overwhelming evidence clause, where if a crime is so

    egregiously large in nature like a terrorist act that kills many or a serial killer where many were killed,

    that execution should be levied upon those individuals, based upon a total preponderance of evidence.

  • Magnum

    Mikado: Magnum ,you would make a great torturer I can't help feeling.

    you do realize your response to watching animals being tortured is a particularly disturbing one don't you?

    Nothing justifies the death penalty, nothing.

    Once people start saying, what if it was your family, they have lost the argument... that's why victims families can't decide punishment, because we aren't savages...

    OK Mikado, let me address your post.

    Magnum ,you would make a great torturer I can't help feeling.

    Your saying that is an ad hominem argument; you attacked me personally rather than my argument. That's indicative of a weak mind and/or cowardice. I stressed in my post that I am appalled by torture of humans and anmials. I am anti-torture. I can't even bear to see a homeless animal. That's why I have about 40 strays and spend thousands of dollars a year on food, shelter, and medical help for them. "You can't feeling" that? So you make that extreme judgement based on a few paragraphs I wrote. Because I'm all for justice and can't stand to see murderers and torturers and heinous, evil people rob innocent people of their lives and/or torture them without being punished, you say I'd make a great torturer? I think you lack comprehension.

    If a human being willfully takes the life of another without good reason, I think such a person should be executed. Even if he does it indirectly, for example, robbing a bank, I think he should be executed. First, he shouldn't be robbing a bank. I am sick of all the theft. I went in a bog box store recently and came out to find that a big, heavy generator had been stolen from my trailer. I felt violated. How dare someone (more than one, in this case) so much as touch my trailer, much more so, take my $700.00 generator. I was mad as hell about that; but what if he (they) had taken a life? I feel he should be punished. Life is precious. If one takes the life of another, he can never give it back; he can't undo the wrong. I think he should die and should have time time to contemplate his death. Feeling that way does not make me a torturer. It makes me one with a stong sense of justice, compassion, and empathy for others.

    you do realize your response to watching animals being tortured is a particularly disturbing one don't you?

    What?? I really don't know exactly what you mean because of your poor communication skills. What "response" are you referring to? I can only think of two. First, I was horrified at the torture of the animal - so much so that it haunts me to this day. I hope you don't find that response disturbing. If so, then I feel that are a cold, heartless, dark soul. Second, I said that I would find great satisfaction in executing the SOB who did the torturing. I stand behind those words. I feel that no man who could do what I saw on that video should be allowed to live. I would find great satisfaction in executing him because of my sense of justice. I am the complete polar opposite of that man. I explained myself in my post, but evidently because of your poor comprehension, you didn't get the point. I explained in my post that my desire for heinous people to be executed is because I respect the lives and weflare of my fellow creatures; I care. I would not find some kind of evil, sadistic pleasure in executing the man referred to above. MY satisfaction would be from seeing justice administered.

    Nothing justifies the death penalty, nothing.

    Why? Because you say so? Who made you God?

    Once people start saying, what if it was your family, they have lost the argument...

    Because you say so? Where did you get that univeral law of argumentation?

    Often, in arguments, an extreme case is presented first just to make a point. That doesn't make the argument invalid.

    that's why victims families can't decide punishment, because we aren't savages...

    I think victims' families should have a say in the punishment. It's odd that you refer to the ones seeking justice as possibly being savages, and you don't call the torturers and murderers savages

  • Magnum

    Giordano: A life sentance is not the ultimate punishment its a stay of execution with benefits.

    I agree. Those with life sentences get the great benefit of just existing - just waking up in the morn. They get the pleasure of eating, reading, watching TV, seeing the sunset, etc. Yet they took all that away from somebody else.

  • Magnum

    Finkelstein: Capital punishment is really being locked away separate from humanity for the rest of a living human life.

    Killing someone as the way the do it in most modern countries like putting people to sleep and giving them

    a lethal injection is not really punishment and when you kill someone, your killing off plausible evidence pertaining

    to the crime, for some people who were given life sentences for murder were later to be found innocent.

    All reasonable points. I agree that lethal injection is not really punishment. In fact, we give our beloved pets lethal injections to relieve them of pain and suffering. That's why I said somewhere in a post above that I would like for those being executed to have time comtemplate (dread) their upcoming executions; that, to me would be the punishment.

    If it's true that being locked away for the rest of one's life would be a punishment greater than death, I could accept that form of punishment. I'm just not convinced about it.

    later to be found innocent

    That's why in an earlier post, I said "in theory" I was for capital punishment - because I'm aware of the possibility of mistaken convictions (or outright fraudulent convictions).

  • Magnum

    Apognophos - I found your post to be interesting & reasonable. I read it rapidly and plan on going back and digesting it later. I have a comment on the first paragraph.

    It's natural that any of us would want to murder someone who killed our loved ones, or maybe even others' loved ones, but that's a knee-jerk emotional reaction. By using the line of reasoning, "Wouldn't you?", the implication is that a person's emotional desires automatically have moral validity. If that's the case, why do we even bother reasoning on anything? Why not just go through life acting on our emotions in the moment? The answer is, because that's what criminals do.

    I agree that we have to be cautious about letting short-term emotional responses guide important actions such as administering justice, but I'm not sure that long-term emotions, emotions that I feel should be part of that which classifies us as being human, can't have moral validity. Emotions having to do with empathy, love, kindness, and concern for others, I feel, should be considered in a code of justice. I feel that such emotions are part of the overall reasoning process. If they are not considered, is justice to be administered in a cold, almost mathematical way, maybe by computers with no emotions?

    It's been several years since I watched the video of the animal being skinned alive (mentioned in my first post on this thread), so my emotions concerning what I saw should no longer be classified as being "knee-jerk", but I do still have strong emotions about it and I think they should be considered in punishing the man in the video; they should be part of the sound reasoning indicating what justice calls for.

    Why not just go through life acting on our emotions in the moment? The answer is, because that's what criminals do.

    I don't agree with that right now. I have never thought that criminals just act on their "emotions in the moment". I think most criminals act on long-term emotions or personalities or patterns of behavior. The man that skinned those animals alive has to be a cold, heartless, cruel, heinous man. He wasn't just acting on momentary emotions. Many murders and other actions inflicting suffering on others and violating their rights are premeditated by people who are scum - not just decent people who are acting on momentary emotions.

  • sparrowdown

    So should the question be "What is justice"?

    Is'nt justice something our internal moral accounting system demands.

    So would true justice reflect more of a checks and balances type of system, so they have to live with the consequences of their actions in a way that actually benefits others.

    For instance, if you murder someone in cold blood, should you be made to pay money ( say from prison wages) to the victims family for life.

    That's just off the top of my head but I figure restitution based justice may change behavior.

    Imagine working all day in prison and barely seeing a dime of it because of paying into a victims fund to send the kids of victims to college or some such arrangement.

  • Apognophos

    Magnum, it's true that that was a weak point in my post. I shouldn't have said that criminals act on their emotions at the moment. They act out of selfish interest, whether impulsively or with advance planning. What I was trying to say is that if we say, "I want to kill this guy or see him executed" then we are putting our anger ahead of our other emotions like compassion. After all, if someone is a danger to society, we can keep them imprisoned; executing them after capturing them is just a revenge murder; it serves no additional purpose.

    Please note my later point that most criminals are damaged, having abusive childhoods and/or brain damage. It's difficult to call someone scum when you have gotten to know the source of their problems. Read about any of the famous serial killers' childhoods. They were essentially doomed to be defective. Should we just throw them away like damaged goods coming off an assembly line?

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