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Poll: Is death penalty right?

Is death penalty right?

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#121 Dan

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 02:23 PM

lol Sip, so what you're saying if someone brutally killed a homeless person, he might get away with it? Or not get a life sentence? ... :unsure: I don't know...

You are a comander. How many other soldiers will you risk to recover him? If that guy was infinitely valueable, you would risk ALL your soldiers ... but I am certain you won't.

of course I wouldn't.... that's why Saving Private Ryan was such a stupid movie... :lol:

#122 Sip

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 02:25 PM

lol Sip, so what you're saying if someone brutally killed a homeless person, he might get away with it? Or not get a life sentence? ... :unsure: I don't know...

What? When did I say that?

#123 THOTH

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 02:35 PM

I have always had great skeptisism regarding the death penalty. So much so that in a college writing class when i was randomly assinged to write a paper to convince people to support the death pentalty I could not do it without presenting both sides - thus i got a "D" on the paper and it ended up bringing my overall final grade down to a "B".

I fully understand those who say that death should be the penalty for henious crimes - and that those who are properly convicted of such are deserving of death. Where I have a problem is with the State making this decision. If the State is wrong - there is no accountability. And there are certainly mistakes made...and everyone should be aware that there is a history of racial bias (in the US) for such...making this penalty dubious from that aspect. What i propose is that if one is convicted and senstenced to death - that a second trial is commenced where it is also determined those who have the responsibility to enact the death be chosen - this would be friends, loved ones or whomever might be able to be shown to be affected by the crimes - AND - who agrees to the responsibility of the death. This second trial would allow the parties to again be presented with evidence of guilt - and if reconvicted - by the affected parties - then they could choose death - and they would also be the ones to enact such - to push the button or what have you. And those who did such must agree also to be held responsible in case of any mistake (so they must be sure...etc)..and if later evidence or what have you surfaces to show innocence - then those who murdered the innocnet person wold be held responsible themselves and would be tried and punished. In this way there is accountability - and it is not just some faceless state entity making the decison and carrying it out. Anyway - this is how I feel.

#124 Dan

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 02:36 PM

What? When did I say that?

here's what you said:

I don't think human life is precious in and of itself. And certainly some lives are more precious than others. Obviously the relative values can vary greatly from the utilitarian and egoist perspectives.


so correct me if I'm wrong, but what I understood from it is that you are saying that the killer of a certain Person A ("A" occupies a higher position in society compared to Person B, who is homeless), would be punished more harshly than the killer of Person B... I may have messed up your whole point, and I apologize if I did..

#125 Dan

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 02:39 PM

when i was randomly assinged to write a paper to convince people to support the death pentalty I could not do it without presenting both sides - thus i got a "D" on the paper and it ended up bringing my overall final grade down to a "B".

THOTH, but you are right, you have to look at both points if you want to make an argument... those who gave you a D are illiterate. :angry: :( But really, you have to see the advantages of both arguments and their disadvantages and compare them and then present your point based on that... You have to know the arguments of your opponent in a debate in order to argue against that... :sly:

#126 Sip

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 02:49 PM

Dan I think now you are asking the tough question. I think I made certain of not saying who I think is more valuable than another! Social status (i.e. homeless versus rich) doesn't by itself indicate human value. I think no matter how we look at it, "punishment for past actions" is a fairly rediculous notion by itself since past actions have been done.

The way I look at it, "punishment" (given by the "state") is meant to deter future bad actions. Some go looking for "revenge" ... that is part of human nature. But I don't think the "state" should ever be looking for revenge. For determining revenge and compensation for damages done, we have civil suits. And I don't think civil suits should result in death penalties although anything can have an exception!

Now at some point, it becomes rather clear that any sort of punishment will probably not deter an individual from committing more bad actions. An example would be a serial killer that has already killed 14 people. The 15th one is undoubtedly coming (I agree that no one knows the future) but this is a "high probability situation". This is where the serial killer in my opinion is not only worthless, but also has negative worth and we are better off putting him to rest and save everyone the hastle of his existance.

Am I adovcating punishing people only based on possible future actions? Absolutely not. Am I making a point that punishment is designed to deter and prevent future bad actions? Yes! The past is always done and there is nothing anyone can do to change it.

Now to answer your question ... the guy who kills a homeless ... we have to look at the motives and analyze to determine the killer's worth to society. His victims worth will play a role but it is not the only determining factor. In other words, for the killer's punishment, focus on the KILLER's worth as a human ;)

#127 THOTH

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 02:56 PM

Dan - my paper was supposed to strictly be an advocacy thing...oh well...

#128 Dan

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 03:01 PM

I think no matter how we look at it, "punishment for past actions" is a fairly rediculous notion by itself since past actions have been done.

Yes, but if punishment is used to deter others from doing the same thing, wouldn't that imply that ALL those who committed or at least participated in killing someone should be put to death, in order to have fewer people committing or participating in such crimes? Moreover, do you think that death is the most terrifying thing for those killers? I don't know.. I think people would rather be executed than spend the rest of their lives in a cell. That's why so many criminals (not all) are runaways here in Canada, and when it comes to arresting them, they put up a huge fight.. they certainly aren't doing that cos they're gonna be executed. But they certainly don't want to be put in a cell. Of course, they would love it if they could get away from both being imprisoned or executed. I'm sure they don't go actively looking for their own death.

Dan - my paper was supposed to strictly be an advocacy thing...oh well...

lol THOTH, even then, one can't really advocate something without knowing the other side's views, unless we're talking about the "kill the f***" type of advocacy.. :rolleyes:

Edited by Dan, 11 December 2003 - 03:03 PM.


#129 THOTH

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Posted 11 December 2003 - 03:11 PM

lol THOTH, even then, one can't really advocate something without knowing the other side's views, unless we're talking about the "kill the f***" type of advocacy.. :rolleyes:

Yeah - that was my approach (but apparently not what the proff was after - at all)...and in the end my paper didn't so much advicate as present various sides and say you can judge for yourself - ro an argument can be made either way etc (anbd at the time I was dead set [sic] against the death penalty..where I have somewhat more mixed views now - thoguh still generally against)...the proff also didn't like that I used quotes/references from Monty Python in the paper either..such as one I recall having to do with the fact that the US would likely retain the death penalty for some time to come so i said: "so you better get used to the idea" (and referenced it to Monty Python) LOL

I also did a paper in the class where we had to write our own obituaries - and part of this was to teach us to write in the past tense or some such - and/or to keep the tenses coinsistent - don't remember. So i took it as a challange and wrote in in multiple tenses (which was Ok since I presented myslef as a time traveller reading my obituary in the future after my death)...got an "A" on that one....anyway - always pushing the limits...just my way...




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