View Poll Results: Do you support the Death Penalty

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  • I support the Death Penalty

    38 42.70%
  • I Oppose the Death Penalty due to Principle

    27 30.34%
  • I Oppose the Death Penalty due to Practicality

    17 19.10%
  • Other

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Thread: Death Penalty in Theory

  1. #11
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    Re: Death Penalty in Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by Anagram View Post
    I used to be very pro-capital punishment. Lately though, ....
    But I'm curious about how the people on DP feel about it. Especially to see if there are significant groups of people among those who oppose the death penalty who support the idea in theory, but not in reality and those who simply oppose the idea in principle.

    I can't really say that I am totally against cp. It is costly and there are mistakes made. It does not seem to be a rational choice. Also I would very much prefer living in a state without cp. You never know.

    Having said that if voters want cp it is their choice. I will live elsewhere.

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    Re: Death Penalty in Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by Anagram View Post
    In theory, I accept that the death penalty can be an appropriate punishment. If a mentally healthy person willfully takes the life of another, I see that as forfeiting their own right to life.
    I would also point out that mentally healthy people do not commit murder and as mental illness is never a choice how can you possibly condemn someone for being a victim of circumstance. A counterargument might involve a drug addict (or something along those lines) but most drug addicts show a neurological propensity towards dependency which again would make them a victim of circumstance beyond their control.

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    Re: Death Penalty in Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by Anagram View Post
    I used to be very pro-capital punishment. Lately though, I've been moving away from that position somewhat.
    In theory, I accept that the death penalty can be an appropriate punishment.
    If a mentally healthy person willfully takes the life of another, I see that as forfeiting their own right to life. However, in our practice I'm not sure I can support it. There is at the very least controversy over whether or not the cost of the capital case outweighs that of life in prison, with actual statistics being very hard to come by. There is also the trouble of exonerated death row inmates and wrongful executions. In my opinion the difference in punishment between death and life in prison is not worth the chance of wrongful execution, which seems to be significant. There is also the question of whether the death penalty is equally applied among everyone. Lastly, although I'm not sure I agree with this, some people have argued that the death penalty is not an equal response to murder, because death row inmates must spend years waiting and knowing that they are going to die. It is suggested this is a torture exceeding that which the convicted gave his or her victims. I think this is the weakest argument of them, but it may have some merit. In a perfect world where a 100% guilty person was immediately put to death, with the whole thing costing less than life in prison, I could easily support that, but in our real world I'm not sure anymore that capital punishment is practical.

    But I'm curious about how the people on DP feel about it. Especially to see if there are significant groups of people among those who oppose the death penalty who support the idea in theory, but not in reality and those who simply oppose the idea in principle.



    In theory the death penalty should put a stop to death penalty-eligible crimes.

    How has that worked out in real life?

    If you don't know, I'll tell you - it has had very little effect.

    People are still killing people all over the USA and every other country that uses the death penalty.




    I am opposed to the death penalty for both principle and practical reasons.

    It is a barbaric thing to do and it has had very little effect on crime.
    Last edited by shrubnose; 08-26-13 at 06:24 AM.

  4. #14
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    Re: Death Penalty in Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    The argument that it is not equally applied to all people is invalid - that some who may deserve the death penalty do not get it is not an argument against giving it to others that do, any more than the fact that some murderers do not get caught invalidates the law against murder.

    Similarly, the waiting period and cost arguments are invalid - they are not a function of the death penalty itself, but rather of a backed up judicial system and government penal bureaucracy.

    The idea that the death penalty does not deter crime I find mostly invalid - the death penalty is not structured in such a way as to deter crime. Deterring crime requires that a punishment be swift, sure, and public. The death penalty as it is currently structured is none of these things. It could be, which means that the lack of deterrence falls (as does the cost and time period) on workings of the government, not the death penalty itself.


    Like you, I was formerly strongly death penalty, and am since moving away from it.

    The strongest arguments I find in favor is that it could theoretically be restructured to provide deterence to crime in a manner that is not cost-prohibitive nor lengthy, and that victims and their families deserve closure. There are people who deserve to die, and there are killings that are not wrong.

    The strongest arguments I find against is that we are all sinners, and deserve more than we probably get, and are in desperate need of a chance at redemption. If one who hates his brother is a murderer, do not all murderers need the same forgiveness and redemption that those who have hated a brother have access to? It is hard to find pity for some people. But that is precisely what I am called by Christ to do (He's got you coming and going, that guy does) - love even your enemy, He says. The other argument I find compelling is the one you mention - that while the process is infallible, the execution of it is final; it is a putting of total power into a fallible structure when doing so is not necessary (as it can often be in self-defense, crime fighting, or war).
    I would assume that when he spoke about inequality he was talking about injustices about the asking for the death penalty itself when it comes to race, area of the country and financial realities of defendants. Also, some police investigations are way more capable than others. That capability can be because the police kept an open mind when investigating and not trying to convict the suspect they have by ignoring other evidence that does not fit their investigation. In other cases a confession is obtained by the police due to plea bargaining with other suspects who can make their own part smaller and enlarge the part of the other suspect. Then there are jailhouse snitches who get a lower punishment etc. for "testifying" on what a suspect supposedly will have said.

    In a perfect world the police would still investigate the case vigorously after that confession to make sure that the right person is indicted and not one of the other co-defendants was the true criminal but sadly I have a sneaky suspicion that this may not happen.

    Sometimes the police beat the confession out of a suspect or force him to make a statement even though it is not the truth just because they will then will no longer be interrogated aggressively by the police.

    Sometimes the police beat out that confession, have a suspect eyewitness account and then do no further work and just go for the conviction. It is sad but true but not all police forces/offices competently perform their duties.
    Former military man (and now babysitter of Donald Trump) John Kelly, is a big loud lying empty barrel!

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    Re: Death Penalty in Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter King View Post
    I would assume that when he spoke about inequality he was talking about injustices about the asking for the death penalty itself when it comes to race, area of the country and financial realities of defendants. Also, some police investigations are way more capable than others. That capability can be because the police kept an open mind when investigating and not trying to convict the suspect they have by ignoring other evidence that does not fit their investigation. In other cases a confession is obtained by the police due to plea bargaining with other suspects who can make their own part smaller and enlarge the part of the other suspect. Then there are jailhouse snitches who get a lower punishment etc. for "testifying" on what a suspect supposedly will have said.

    In a perfect world the police would still investigate the case vigorously after that confession to make sure that the right person is indicted and not one of the other co-defendants was the true criminal but sadly I have a sneaky suspicion that this may not happen.

    Sometimes the police beat the confession out of a suspect or force him to make a statement even though it is not the truth just because they will then will no longer be interrogated aggressively by the police.

    Sometimes the police beat out that confession, have a suspect eyewitness account and then do no further work and just go for the conviction. It is sad but true but not all police forces/offices competently perform their duties.
    I may be wrong but I thought his point was more to do with the fact that different States have different requirements for the death penalty.
    For example:
    The following aggravating circumstances constitute capital murder in the state of Arizona:[1]
    prior conviction for which a sentence of life imprisonment or death was imposable;
    prior serious offense involving the use or threat of violence;
    grave risk of death to others;
    procurement of murder by payment or promise of payment;
    commission of murder for pecuniary gain;
    murder committed in an especially heinous, cruel, or depraved manner;
    murder committed while in custody;
    multiple homicides;
    murder of a victim under 15 years of age or of a victim 70 years of age or older; and
    murder of a law enforcement officer.

    Whereas Texas' looks like this:
    With one exception, the only crime for which the death penalty can be assessed is "capital murder".
    Unlike the Model Penal Code (which does not specifically define the crime of capital murder), the Texas Penal Code specifically defines capital murder (and, thus, the possibility of the death penalty as a punishment) as murder which involves one or more of the elements listed below:[6]
    Murder of an on-duty public safety officer or firefighter (the defendant must have known that the victim was such)
    Intentional murder in the course of committing or attempting to commit a felony offense (such as burglary, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, arson, obstruction or retaliation, or terroristic threat)
    Murder for remuneration or for promise of remuneration (both the person who does the actual murder and the person who hired them can be charged with capital murder)
    Murder while escaping or attempting to escape a penal institution
    Murder while incarcerated with one of the following three qualifiers:
    While incarcerated for capital murder, the victim is an employee of the institution or the murder must be done "with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination",
    While incarcerated for either capital murder or murder, or
    While serving either a life sentence or a 99-year sentence under specified Penal Code sections not involving capital murder or murder.
    Multiple murders (defined as two or more murders during the same "criminal act", which can involve a series of events not taking place at the same time)
    Murder of an individual under ten years of age
    Murder of a person in retaliation for, or on account of, the service or status of the other person as a judge or justice of any court
    The Texas Penal Code also allows for the death penalty to be assessed for "aggravated sexual assault of child committed by someone previously convicted of aggravated sexual assault of child".[7] The statute remains part of the Penal Code; however, the Supreme Court of the United States's decision in Kennedy v. Louisiana which outlawed the death penalty for any crime not involving murder nullifies its effect.
    The Texas Penal Code also provides for the crime of "Capital Sabotage", which while being essentially the same as Capital Murder (the statute provides for the death penalty for "sabotage directly resulting in death") is still listed in its own section of the Texas Penal Code.[8]
    The Texas Penal Code also allows a person can be convicted of any felony, including capital murder, "as a party" to the offense under its "law of parties", a variant of the common law felony murder rule. "As a party" means that the person did not personally commit the elements of the crime, but is otherwise responsible for the conduct of the actual perpetrator as defined by law; which includes:
    soliciting for the act,
    encouraging its commission,
    aiding the commission of the offense,
    participating in a conspiracy to commit any felony where one of the conspirators commits the crime of capital murder
    The felony involved does not have to be capital murder; if a person is proven to be a party to a felony offense and a murder is committed, the person can be charged with and convicted of capital murder, and thus eligible for the death penalty.
    As in any other state, people who are under 18 at the time of commission of the capital crime [9] or mentally retarded[10] are precluded from being executed by the Constitution of the United States.

    You don't even have to physically commit a murder in Texas to receive CP

  6. #16
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    Re: Death Penalty in Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by joG View Post
    I can't really say that I am totally against cp. It is costly and there are mistakes made. It does not seem to be a rational choice. Also I would very much prefer living in a state without cp. You never know.

    Having said that if voters want cp it is their choice. I will live elsewhere.
    First off, let's me be clear, this is a thread about the death penalty, and while I'm flattered, we should stick to the topic.

    That being said, I would venture to guess that while an overwhelming percentage of voters want CP, (he just hasn't run ( yet )), you may find his leadership more palatable than you initially suspect.

  7. #17
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    Re: Death Penalty in Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by ZapFinch42 View Post
    You don't even have to physically commit a murder in Texas to receive CP
    You probably actually do. Even the most horrendous of child-rapes has been tossed out by SCOTUS as undeserving of the Death Penalty.

  8. #18
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    Re: Death Penalty in Theory

    A state should have ultimate respect for all human life.
    God Bless the Marine Corps.

  9. #19
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    Re: Death Penalty in Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseone View Post
    I mean for example MAJ Hassan, who shot all those people at Ft. Hood, or Sergeant Bales that killed 16 Afghan civilians. I would execute these two because their crime brings shame on the entire US military and United States in addition to the high body count, but if a man breaks into a house and ends up killing the guy living there I wouldn't support the death penalty simply because of costs. To go through the trails and appeals to put someone, and keep someone, on death row costs far more money than it would to just lock them up forever.
    Why does the "honor" of civil institutions count as more important than a persons life? Why does that matter at all?

  10. #20
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    Re: Death Penalty in Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by Anagram View Post
    I used to be very pro-capital punishment. Lately though, I've been moving away from that position somewhat. In theory, I accept that the death penalty can be an appropriate punishment. If a mentally healthy person willfully takes the life of another, I see that as forfeiting their own right to life. However, in our practice I'm not sure I can support it. There is at the very least controversy over whether or not the cost of the capital case outweighs that of life in prison, with actual statistics being very hard to come by. There is also the trouble of exonerated death row inmates and wrongful executions. In my opinion the difference in punishment between death and life in prison is not worth the chance of wrongful execution, which seems to be significant. There is also the question of whether the death penalty is equally applied among everyone. Lastly, although I'm not sure I agree with this, some people have argued that the death penalty is not an equal response to murder, because death row inmates must spend years waiting and knowing that they are going to die. It is suggested this is a torture exceeding that which the convicted gave his or her victims. I think this is the weakest argument of them, but it may have some merit. In a perfect world where a 100% guilty person was immediately put to death, with the whole thing costing less than life in prison, I could easily support that, but in our real world I'm not sure anymore that capital punishment is practical.

    But I'm curious about how the people on DP feel about it. Especially to see if there are significant groups of people among those who oppose the death penalty who support the idea in theory, but not in reality and those who simply oppose the idea in principle.
    I am for the DP, I have heard others say it is a deterrent. I really don't think so. I think all the DP does is make absolutely sure that whoever committed murder will never do it again. The DP guarantees no repeat offenders. But I do think the DP should be carried out in an expeditious manner. None of this waiting 5 or 10 years or more years for someone to be executed.

    I believe respect for human life is a two way street, that someone who goes out and kills three, four or more people has shown no respect for human life and thus respect for his life has been forfeited. Bring on the juice
    This Reform Party member thinks it is high past time that we start electing Americans to congress and the presidency who put America first and their political party further down the line. But for way too long we have been electing Republicans and Democrats who happen to be Americans instead of Americans who happen to be Republicans and Democrats.

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