View Poll Results: Should there be a death penalty?

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  • Yes

    65 47.10%
  • No

    53 38.41%
  • Under certain circumstances, please explain

    20 14.49%
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Thread: Death Penalty

  1. #581
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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by Mensch View Post
    A very unique instance of conviction. The Stalinists were not found guilty, so a conviction in court is obviously not the key.
    A conviction is a conviction.

    WANTING and premeditating the murders means it is NOT negligent.
    No. Negligence can be intentional.

    What does race have anything to do with anything? I realize they were crimes even if there were no laws to state such crimes. Your logic would dictate the reverse- that a law has to explicitely outlaw something before it can be considered murder.
    Because you are implying that they were only found guilty of a crime that was not illegal until after it was committed. This is false. Genocide came into being after WWII, correct. However, even had it never been conceived, the Nazi's would have still been guilty of war crimes and murder.

    Right. But do YOU see it as murder? Given that they're not bound by the treaty, how would they have violated international law?
    I see it as an unjust application of the death penalty, which I also find unjust. (the death penalty itself, that is)

    That does not adhere to the literal definition of LAW. It is ridiculous to consider a treaty a law in which many do not ratify, many do not sign, and those that do make reservations. We don't pick and choose here, so why is it a legitimate argument to use international treaties in this matter?
    It is not ridiculous to consider it law binding on the parties that DID ratify it.

    I gave you the definition of law. Clearly it does not apply.
    I'm afraid you are wrong.
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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    A conviction is a conviction.
    You're not doing a very good job of arguing your point. A conviction is a conviction? What exactly does that mean? Does that imply a non-convicted power like the Soviet Union is presumed innocent of the holodomor?

    No. Negligence can be intentional.
    A premeditated massacre that is carefully planned and attentively implemented cannot be considered negligence.

    BTW, by which international law is negligent homicide discussed?

    Because you are implying that they were only found guilty of a crime that was not illegal until after it was committed. This is false.
    AGAIN, I am playing devil's advocate in order to prove your theory wrong. I do believe it was a series of carefully planned massacres which were an abomination to humanity. I believe this kind of abomination can be conducted under a legal framework. The prosecuting judges at the trial would agree with me. DESPITE it being legal at the time (given the absence of any restrictive or criminalizing law) under their own national jurisdiction, it was an abomination to the rest of mankind (and is and will always be MURDER in spite or in absence of any law).

    Genocide came into being after WWII, correct. However, even had it never been conceived, the Nazi's would have still been guilty of war crimes and murder.
    Of course! The same logical conclusion can be applied to the death penalty. Regardless of any treaty signed and ratified and implemented by absolutely every country on the planet, the US government (and its various state governments) are guilty of murder.

    I see it as an unjust application of the death penalty, which I also find unjust. (the death penalty itself, that is)
    You're carefully avoiding the term murder. Why can't you acknowledge that the Saudi Arabian government is, indeed, guilty of murdering thousands of its own citizens?

    It is not ridiculous to consider it law binding on the parties that DID ratify it.
    But we're not talking about those countries. We're talking about THIS country. This country did not ratify the covenant and neither did Saudi Arabia (and several others). So, you could argue that our government(s) is/are not guilty of murdering its citizens, but then you would have to concede that SA's killings are not murder in accordance with international and national laws. It's hard to say that with a straight face.

    I'm afraid you are wrong.
    The basic definition of law entails a (1) a judicial process and (2) implementation by a state or national government. Neither one of those are true when looking at the covenants.
    Last edited by Mensch; 03-16-12 at 08:21 PM.

  3. #583
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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by Mensch View Post
    You're not doing a very good job of arguing your point. A conviction is a conviction? What exactly does that mean? Does that imply a non-convicted power like the Soviet Union is presumed innocent of the holodomor?
    You're not very good at following a conversation....it means that the Nazi's were found guilty. Do we need to go over the ramifications of guilt in relation to international law and the death penalty...again?

    A premeditated massacre that is carefully planned and attentively implemented cannot be considered negligence.
    Starvation due to embargo is not a massacre.

    BTW, by which international law is negligent homicide discussed?
    I don't know of one...probably why they got away with it.

    AGAIN, I am playing devil's advocate in order to prove your theory wrong. I do believe it was a series of carefully planned massacres which were an abomination to humanity. I believe this kind of abomination can be conducted under a legal framework. The prosecuting judges at the trial would agree with me. DESPITE it being legal at the time (given the absence of any restrictive or criminalizing law) under their own national jurisdiction, it was an abomination to the rest of mankind (and is and will always be MURDER in spite or in absence of any law).
    You can play the violin if you like, it doesn't change facts. The facts are that the Nazi's were tried and convicted. Rightfully so.

    Of course! The same logical conclusion can be applied to the death penalty. Regardless of any treaty signed and ratified and implemented by absolutely every country on the planet, the US government (and its various state governments) are guilty of murder.
    No, it can't be. The death penalty is not awarded indiscriminately and without trial anywhere in the US, therefore it is not a violation of any law. Domestic or international.

    You're carefully avoiding the term murder. Why can't you acknowledge that the Saudi Arabian government is, indeed, guilty of murdering thousands of its own citizens?
    I'm not avoiding the term murder, I have been addressing it quite directly. The Saudi government has laws and punishes those that break them. We may not like that, but until we are willing to infringe on their sovereignty, there is nothing we can do about that. If their law is that being convicted of homosexuality is a death penalty offense, then executing that sentence is still not murder, as unjust (and horrific) as you and I think it is.

    But we're not talking about those countries. We're talking about THIS country. This country did not ratify the covenant and neither did Saudi Arabia (and several others). So, you could argue that our government(s) is/are not guilty of murdering its citizens, but then you would have to concede that SA's killings are not murder in accordance with international and national laws. It's hard to say that with a straight face.
    It is what it is, and there is no law or treaty that makes the US' death penalty illegal and murder.

    The basic definition of law entails a (1) a judicial process and (2) implementation by a state or national government. Neither one of those are true when looking at the covenants.
    Not in those that have not been signed and ratified, sure, but not so in those that have. Regardless, there is still no law or treaty binding on the USG that makes the death penalty illegal. Murder is an illegal killing, the death penalty is a legal killing, therefor the death penalty is not murder.
    Last edited by mac; 03-16-12 at 11:13 PM.
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  4. #584
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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    You're not very good at following a conversation....it means that the Nazi's were found guilty. Do we need to go over the ramifications of guilt in relation to international law and the death penalty...again?
    Yes, we do. Answer YES or NO. Does a conviction by an international court enough, in and of itself, to declare a state-sanctioned killing as "murder?"

    Starvation due to embargo is not a massacre.
    It was theft in Ukraine.

    I don't know of one...probably why they got away with it.
    Does that mean it is "legal" and therefore not "murder?"

    You can play the violin if you like, it doesn't change facts. The facts are that the Nazi's were tried and convicted. Rightfully so.
    No argument there. However, what happens to the states committing genocide who are not convicted?

    No, it can't be. The death penalty is not awarded indiscriminately and without trial anywhere in the US, therefore it is not a violation of any law. Domestic or international.
    Read the treaty again. At the least- at the VERY least, U.S. state governments murder juveniles and the mentally retarded. There should be no argument there.

    I'm not avoiding the term murder, I have been addressing it quite directly. The Saudi government has laws and punishes those that break them. We may not like that, but until we are willing to infringe on their sovereignty, there is nothing we can do about that. If their law is that being convicted of homosexuality is a death penalty offense, then executing that sentence is still not murder, as unjust (and horrific) as you and I think it is.
    See again genocide convention, the year at which it was implemented, and the years in which genocide had been carried out. You call the Nazis murderers for the simple fact that they were convicted in a court (only after pushing the rest of the world into war). If you look at the thousands of genocides that took place in world history, most of which took place before any international consensus or law or treaty and before any international court trial, could these be considered murder?

    It is what it is, and there is no law or treaty that makes the US' death penalty illegal and murder.
    Read the treaty again. You'll notice several places where our acts to execute are either explicitly or implicitly viewed as illegal and unjust.

    Not in those that have not been signed and ratified, sure, but not so in those that have. Regardless, there is still no law or treaty binding on the USG that makes the death penalty illegal. Murder is an illegal killing, the death penalty is a legal killing, therefor the death penalty is not murder.
    You have to sign and ratify the ICC in order to subjugate your nation's justice system under the international community. That is separate from the other covenants. And again, it doesn't make any sense to make convenient reservations when signing these treaties. The fact that these reservations exist means that the "laws" are nothing more than symbolic promises. In any rational sense, laws are not symbolic promises.

  5. #585
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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by Mensch View Post
    Yes, we do. Answer YES or NO. Does a conviction by an international court enough, in and of itself, to declare a state-sanctioned killing as "murder?"
    No, but you are conflating the issue. You are trying to paint me into a corner with a tactic rather than an honest question. "State sanctioned killing" as you are using it regarding the Nazi's is a far different thing than the death penalty in the US. In the case of the Nazi's, they (or many of them) were convicted of war crimes following a war....this has precious little to do with the Death penalty as it is applied in the US.

    It was theft in Ukraine.
    Still not a massacre...

    Does that mean it is "legal" and therefore not "murder?"
    Unless there is a law or binding treaty that makes it not so, then yes, it's not murder. I don't know of one. Do you?

    No argument there. However, what happens to the states committing genocide who are not convicted?
    Nothing, usually.

    Read the treaty again. At the least- at the VERY least, U.S. state governments murder juveniles and the mentally retarded. There should be no argument there.
    Perhaps you can quote the relevant part that makes your argument. Please don't edit it to fit your argument. I've read nothing in any treaty the US is a party to that makes our death penalty illegal. Unfortunately.

    See again genocide convention, the year at which it was implemented, and the years in which genocide had been carried out. You call the Nazis murderers for the simple fact that they were convicted in a court (only after pushing the rest of the world into war). If you look at the thousands of genocides that took place in world history, most of which took place before any international consensus or law or treaty and before any international court trial, could these be considered murder?
    Non-sequitur. Has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia executing homosexuals. All the relevant international law on the subject states that there must be a conviction in an authoritative court in order for the execution of the death penalty to be legal. You are obfuscating the point.

    Read the treaty again. You'll notice several places where our acts to execute are either explicitly or implicitly viewed as illegal and unjust.
    again, please quote where you think it does so. And again, in whole and in context.

    You have to sign and ratify the ICC in order to subjugate your nation's justice system under the international community. That is separate from the other covenants. And again, it doesn't make any sense to make convenient reservations when signing these treaties. The fact that these reservations exist means that the "laws" are nothing more than symbolic promises. In any rational sense, laws are not symbolic promises.
    Are you now going to go on record saying that no law is on the books that is not enforced? No domestic law exists that is anything more than symbolic? Please, please challenge me on this....
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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    No, but you are conflating the issue. You are trying to paint me into a corner with a tactic rather than an honest question. "State sanctioned killing" as you are using it regarding the Nazi's is a far different thing than the death penalty in the US. In the case of the Nazi's, they (or many of them) were convicted of war crimes following a war....this has precious little to do with the Death penalty as it is applied in the US.
    So again, we conclude that the Nazis are murderers and virtually everyone else (only a small handful of villainous psychopathic tyrants have been brought to trial) is not.

    Still not a massacre...
    A denier...I'm not surprised. It was a GENOCIDE!

    Unless there is a law or binding treaty that makes it not so, then yes, it's not murder. I don't know of one. Do you?
    I find it absurd to consider Herman Goehring a murderer but not Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin.

    Nothing, usually.
    I'm not talking about the courts. I'm talking about within the context of our moral judgements.

    Perhaps you can quote the relevant part that makes your argument. Please don't edit it to fit your argument. I've read nothing in any treaty the US is a party to that makes our death penalty illegal. Unfortunately.
    "Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age and shall not be carried out on pregnant women."

    I could have sworn I also read the same provision for the mentally retarded, but I suppose that was a separate covenant.

    Non-sequitur. Has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia executing homosexuals.
    I wasn't limiting my argument to SA. I was referencing genocides of past existence. Were the Amalekites murdered? Were the Armenians? Were the Carthaginians? I guess not, given the lack of international "laws" or convictions.

    All the relevant international law on the subject states that there must be a conviction in an authoritative court in order for the execution of the death penalty to be legal. You are obfuscating the point.
    And how conveniently that translates to the Stalinists NOT massacring, NOT murdering Ukrainians.

    again, please quote where you think it does so. And again, in whole and in context.
    Explicit: UDHR Article 3 (where's the exception?)

    Implied: United Nations resolution 62/149

    Are you now going to go on record saying that no law is on the books that is not enforced? No domestic law exists that is anything more than symbolic? Please, please challenge me on this....
    No, but I would like to know what homicide code in any one of the 50 states and US territories allows us citizens to hold specific reservations to that law. The reservations of the international treaty has nothing to do with enforcement.

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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by Mensch View Post


    "Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age and shall not be carried out on pregnant women."

    I could have sworn I also read the same provision for the mentally retarded, but I suppose that was a separate covenant.
    I realize you are talking about international law here but I thought this would be an interesting to the discussion of the death penalty in the US.

    The below is a research paper from Cornell University Law School that discusses the adherence to and implications of the Atkins vs Virgina US Supreme Court Decision regarding the execution of mentally disadvantaged individuals. Convicted persons must file for an Atkins Claim and the merit of their of mental disadvantage claim is determined.

    We report three basic findings. First, Atkins has not opened floodgates of
    non-meritorious litigation. Second, the success rates for Atkins claims vary
    dramatically between states. Third, as compared to their representation on
    death row, African-American defendants both file and win a
    disproportionately high number of Atkins claims.
    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/docu...icalAtkins.pdf

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  8. #588
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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by Mensch View Post
    So again, we conclude that the Nazis are murderers and virtually everyone else (only a small handful of villainous psychopathic tyrants have been brought to trial) is not.
    Alleged vs convicted.

    A denier...I'm not surprised. It was a GENOCIDE!
    You're getting confused again....are you talking about the Nazi's or Stalinist Russia?

    I find it absurd to consider Herman Goehring a murderer but not Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin.
    You can consider them murders all you want, you just can't execute them for it until you prove it.

    I'm not talking about the courts. I'm talking about within the context of our moral judgement.
    Our moral judgement are want make us try to change laws that we don't find agreeable. Like the death penalty....they don't change they definitions of words.

    "Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age and shall not be carried out on pregnant women."

    I could have sworn I also read the same provision for the mentally retarded, but I suppose that was a separate covenant.
    Ok, so long as we don't violate that, our death penalty is legal according to international law.

    I wasn't limiting my argument to SA. I was referencing genocides of past existence. Were the Amalekites murdered? Were the Armenians? Were the Carthaginians? I guess not, given the lack of international "laws" or convictions.
    Genocide is a crime, those that committed it before is was identified as a specific crime, still committed genocide. This doesn't include Saudi Arabia though.

    And how conveniently that translates to the Stalinists NOT massacring, NOT murdering Ukrainians.
    No, it doesn't. What it also doesn't do is prove they did.

    Explicit: UDHR Article 3 (where's the exception?)

    Implied: United Nations resolution 62/149
    The UDHR is one of several treaties that make up international law. They have to all be considered together.

    No, but I would like to know what homicide code in any one of the 50 states and US territories allows us citizens to hold specific reservations to that law. The reservations of the international treaty has nothing to do with enforcement.
    International law can not be forced on a country except through war. Even then it can only temporarily be forced to comply. Our citizens can also change laws through their legislative process. Such as is happening with gay marriage throughout the country.
    Last edited by mac; 03-17-12 at 09:53 AM.
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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    Alleged vs convicted.
    What you're saying is that Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and many others were allegedly murdered people. You're very lonely in that belief.

    You're getting confused again....are you talking about the Nazi's or Stalinist Russia?
    Given that you have to ask me what we're talking about, wouldn't that mean you are confused? I was referencing the Stalinist campaign against the Ukrainians.

    You can consider them murders all you want, you just can't execute them for it until you prove it.
    We're not talking about executing war criminals, but having the human decency to denounce them as murderers rather than alleged suspects.

    Our moral judgement are want make us try to change laws that we don't find agreeable. Like the death penalty....they don't change they definitions of words.
    If we applied US statutes toward war criminals, we would consider them murderers. You refuse to do that.

    Ok, so long as we don't violate that, our death penalty is legal according to international law.
    12 states do allow for the execution of juveniles.

    Genocide is a crime, those that committed it before is was identified as a specific crime, still committed genocide. This doesn't include Saudi Arabia though.
    You're conflating two different issues. Saudi Arabia is not involved in the genocide debate. They are separate, but still not murderers according to your logic.

    A genocide is still a genocide, regardless of when it occurred. Unfortunately, your logic dictates that those who committed it before it was identified as a crime cannot be considered murderers.

    No, it doesn't. What it also doesn't do is prove they did.
    You're the one who argued that the Stalinists never massacred the Ukrainians. And what about the thousands of Jews and dissidents who were executed in a kangaroo court? I guess those executions were legal, according to you.

    The UDHR is one of several treaties that make up international law. They have to all be considered together.
    Says who? If one treaty is binding, why does it need to be related to another in order for it to be fully binding?

    International law can not be forced on a country except through war. Even then it can only temporarily be forced to comply. Our citizens can also change laws through their legislative process. Such as is happening with gay marriage throughout the country.
    Right. But that still doesn't change the fact that dictators are murderers.

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    Re: Death Penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by Mensch View Post
    What you're saying is that Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and many others were allegedly murdered people. You're very lonely in that belief.
    Argumentum ad populum. How many people believe a thing has no bearing on whether or not it's factually true. Like it or not, under the laws of those countries at the time, what they did was not murder. You can wave your arms around all you like, it doesn't change reality.
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