Death Penalty

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Bally Posts : 355 Registered: 9/25/08
Death Penalty
Posted: Oct 13, 2009 6:53 AM

In the vaccine thread there was a link to an article which had another link to another article about a botched execution in Ohio (I think).

So what are your opinions on the death penalty?

I imagine this is a pretty hot topic in America?


I'm not too sure what to think about it. I used to work in the pharmacy dispensing medicines to the prisoners in our jails, and a lot of them didn't deserve to be alive in my opinion. We waste lots of tax money housing them, feeding them and educating them and then when they get released, a lot of them re-offend. Or else they can't be released because they are so dangerous, so we waste money caring for them for the rest of their lives. I personally think that when you murder/rape someone, you forfeit your right to live.

I think if we are keeping them alive, we should at least use them for something. So why not use them for medical/cosmetic testing? They shouldn't have a choice about their lives anymore since their victims didn't have a choice.

I know its not always this simple. There are always exceptions such as someone being wrongfully convicted or someone with mental health problems.

So what do you all think? And is the method of execution fair?

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starfish701 Posts : 465 Registered: 12/10/08
Re: Death Penalty
Posted: Oct 13, 2009 8:29 AM Go to message in response to: Bally

Bally,
I think this is the story you are talking about.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/11/AR2009101100502.html


This is one issue I am really unsure about how I feel. I think I am against it but there are certainly times where I question that. On the one hand there are times I hear about a crime and I think "wow that person does not deserve to live" but then I wonder whose place is it really to decide who should live or die. I do not think I would be able to serve on the jury of a death penalty case (which is a non issue where I live as we do not have the death penalty).

I think my biggest concern with the death penalty other than the moral question of who has the right to ever decide to take someone life, is the fact that there have been cases of innocent people being executed. Does the risk of having even one person falsely executed out-way the perceived benifits of executing the guilty ones?
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CheetahAngel Posts : 2,017 Registered: 11/29/08
Re: Death Penalty
Posted: Oct 13, 2009 8:42 AM Go to message in response to: Bally

I agree with the death penalty. However, there has to be proof that the person comitted the murder (DNA) otherwise the person shouldn't be put to death. I think punishment in this country should be more strict. I can't stand the people that hurt innocent children. People that rape, hit, or abuse their child in other ways. I can't stand poeple that hit their wives/girlfriend. I can't stand people that open gun fire on innocent people! Therfore THOSE people should get punished more severe. They should be tortured. I'm sorry if I sound harsh but I think that if criminals see the way you will be punished then maybe they will think twice about doing the crime. I believe an eye for an eye. If a person rapes a child or another person then THAT person should be tortured to death and not just given an injection where they can go peacefully to sleep. Maybe they should be hung like they used to do a long time ago! I just cant stand people that do crimes!!
                           
  

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Celiny Posts : 285 Registered: 7/23/07
Re: Death Penalty
Posted: Oct 13, 2009 10:46 AM Go to message in response to: CheetahAngel

Bally, I agree with EVERYTHING that you said.

I don't believe that everyone who commits murder, should be put to death. It depends how the murder was carried out, and whether it was premeditated. I completely agree with the statement that if you take another person's life, you forfeit your right to live. It makes me feel ill when I hear stories of children being raped and brutally beaten to death. To imagine how scared and alone that child would have felt. How much pain they would have had to endure. Why should we pay to keep that murderer alive? Why should they be able to wake up every morning, and sleep every night. They don't deserve the air they breathe, and should be tortured mercilessly until their heart stops beating.

My uncle was murdered by his wife 5 years ago this Halloween. They had an 8 year old son together. My uncle was tired of her gambling and lying. He was going to leave her, so she hired a 21 year old boy, and paid him $5,000 to wait for my uncle in the park, bash him over the head with a baseball bat, and then strangle him to death. My uncle was only 33 yrs old. His life is over because of someone else's selfishness. Their son was left abandoned (because she was found guilty and went to jail for life). She lives in a little building next to the prison (even though it's still behind the prison gates) with 7 other women. They are allowed to watch television, go to school, exercise, etc. She basically gets to live rent free and have one big slumber party for the rest of her life, while my uncle is 6 feet under the ground. How is that fair?

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Death Penalty
Posted: Oct 13, 2009 11:34 AM Go to message in response to: Bally

This is a hot topic. I don't disagree with the death penalty, BUT it has not been implemented fairly in this country for many years - hence why we are seeing a number of overturned sentences. This is happening for many reasons such as eye witness testimony is not reliable, the cases were prior to DNA testing (which is not infallible, but is more reliable then eye witnesses) and the extremely obvious skewing of convictions of black males (which is due to a number of things, the least of them being rampant prejudice and faulty eye witness testimony).

I however, disagree with using prinsoers for testing - there are other etical issues with that. First of all, almost all (I say almost because one never knows) cosmetic testing is done in vitro and does not even rely on animal testing - why should be be back tracking to do it in prisoners? For other testing, the population is not ideal as far as a homologous sampling and there are concerns about participation and the idea that they will be 'rewarded' in some way for their participation.

And trust me, I understand the frustration of how prisoners are treated as my husband works in that system and is getting screwed over job-wise constantly (the attitude is of course things can't be taken away from the people in jail, but for those that are working there, guarding them, we'll cut their pay).

So I'm not against the death penalty in theory, but I am not supporting how it's been used in the US to this point. (And I'm sorry but how did Dahmer NOT get the death penalty?)

 

 

 

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Death Penalty
Posted: Oct 13, 2009 11:39 AM Go to message in response to: Celiny

No, I am not in favour of the death penalty, and am glad we don't have it in Canada anymore. Of course, occasionally I see a particular murderer and think "that guy deserves to die" but otherwise I do not support the death penalty. Here are my reasons:

1. Innocent people being convicted. Don't be naive and think it doesn't happen. Since we eliminated the death penalty in Canada, TOO MANY people who were once on death row have been cleared using DNA evidence...sometimes 20+ years later. Mind you, DNA evidence does not always PROVE murder, only provide stronger evidence, so even though we have much better technology these days, it still isn't enough. Unless you catch the murder on tape, you can NOT know, 100%, whether or not the person is truly guilty. And ONE innocent person being executed, ever, is too many for me.

2. I don't understand the selection process, when I've heard about cases. Why does a guy get the death penalty for shooting someone in the head (OBVIOUSLY wrong, not excusing that) and someone who brutally tortures and kills four people doesn't? Just seems weird to me...the second crime is more heinous in nature.

3. I do think it ignores the mentally ill. Some people who committ crimes are legitimately not in the proper mindset to know right from wrong. They do not deserve punishment, they deserve severe psychiatric help (and obviously to be kept away from the public in the interest of public safety)

4. It's been shown that when you break down all of the costs involved, it actually ends up costing taxpayers MORE to execute someone than keeping them in jail for life

5. If your son/daughter/mother/father kills someone, you probably still love them. Why make ANOTHER family go through the pain of losing their loved one?

6. States that have the death penalty actually have HIGHER murder rates, so it obviously isn't a deterrent. Some people would rather die that go to jail, anyway.

7. The BIGGEST REASON? The death penalty doesn't punish the person. It really doesn't. Once you're dead, you're dead. You don't have to think about what you've done, you don't have to wither away in jail. The death penalty is the kindest punishment, if you ask me. And some murderers just don't deserve it.

8. I just don't think the "eye for an eye" mindset makes ANY sense. It's wrong to kill, so kill someone who killed? So now the State is the murderer? Illogical, if you ask me.

I'd rather see what some have eluded to, which is making the conditions of prison not-so-nice for violent offenders. I'm pretty sure that one of Canada's most notorious serial killers, Paul Bernardo, spends most of his time (23 hours a day) in a tiny cell, in solitary confinment. THAT is much better punishment.

And Bally...as much as I'd rather see murderers tested on rather than animals...I can't fully agree with you on that. I would agree that taking a life, in most instances, should forfeit that person's rights, but again there are the problesm with innocent people being convicted, mentally ill being ignored, etc etc.

I also don't believe that every murderer is evil. People may disagree, but think about it. A guy could be in jail for killing someone who threatened his family. A woman could be in there because she "snapped" and didn't realize what she was doing. I don't think that every murderer is beyond redemption.

Celiny, I'm so sorry about your uncle. I hope that there is a special place in hell reserved for that woman. Basically left her child an orphan, too. Did he have any family to take him in, rather than end up in foster care?
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Bally Posts : 355 Registered: 9/25/08
Re: Death Penalty
Posted: Oct 13, 2009 11:39 AM Go to message in response to: Celiny

Celiny,
Thats a terrible thing to happen to your uncle, I am so sorry that happened.

I think prisoners are also given too much. Yes they don't get to go out whenever they wish but like you said, they get food, housing, healthcare, education, etc all off our tax money. The most they have to do is light chores. Why not make them do back breaking labour instead? There is no incentive to stay out of jail. The UK actually had an illegal immigrant come to the UK and commit an awful crime, because the prisons are so good. He raped and murdered a woman and told the jury he did it intentionally so he could get a comfy life behind bars. Makes me sick!

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Death Penalty
Posted: Oct 13, 2009 11:55 AM Go to message in response to: Bally

Back-breaking labour...now we are talking.



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Celiny Posts : 285 Registered: 7/23/07
Re: Death Penalty
Posted: Oct 13, 2009 12:23 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Bird - You brought up many valid, good points. I do agree with you about some things. I don't think that EVERY person that murders should be murdered. I think the punishment should fit the crime. If a man finds another man in bed with his wife, and out of rage he kills him, I don't agree with him getting the death penalty. Only the most heinous of acts should require the death penalty. I also think there needs to be solid evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt. I think it is a great tragedy when people are wrongfully killed. You said that you thought it was punishment for people to live with the knowledge that they killed another human being. I don't necessarily think that's true. I saw an Oprah show a couple weeks ago, where a serial killer said that he had no remorse for what he did. He said another person's quality of life meant nothing to him. Our prisons are actually overflowing to the point that some people who should be in jail, aren't because there's no room for them. Our laws need to be stricter. A couple months ago, I read an article about a man here in Canada who raped young children. He was caught on several different occassions, spent about 2 years in prison each time and then would be released again. Eventually he killed one of his victims after raping them. He shouldn't have had the opportunity to kill that child, because he should have been rotting in jail, or he should have been dead.
My parents actually have custody of my cousin. My mom said it was very hard for her because she was basically starting over. She already raised her 4 children, and now she was raising someone else's child. He had many issues (which is understandable) and my parents didn't know how to deal with him. My sister Chloe even took him for a year, but she couldn't deal with him either. He now lives with his mom's uncle because my mom is on the road so much with her job, that she isn't able to have him live with her anymore.

Bally - That story is crazy. Eleven years ago my brother-in-law broke into an elderly couple's home to rob them. He was surprised to find them home, and instead of running out of the house, he beat them up so severely that they almost died! He got 4 years in jail! When he got out, he broke his parole and was given one more year back in jail. My MIL said she felt good knowing he was in jail, being taken care of and fed because he couldn't afford rent when he wasn't in jail. When he was released, he cried to the government that he couldn't get a job because he had a criminal record, and people would pass judgment on him. The government agreed, so he is permanently on "disability" for the rest of his life, and is given a paycheck of $2000 a month for the rest of his life. Why should our tax dollars support him? It just drives me nuts.

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CheetahAngel Posts : 2,017 Registered: 11/29/08
Re: Death Penalty
Posted: Oct 13, 2009 12:44 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

BirdLover you've made some good points. Once a person is dead they don't get to think about what they did or to suffer. So ok....then they should be put in a tiny dark cold cell all by themselves and do HARD LABOR (like some of you mentioned). They should think about what they've done and they should suffer alone with their thoughts.

I don't like the idea that they live in jail and get education and health care and all those perks while the rest of us are working our butts off just to make a living. It's not fair. So maybe we should take away all those perks. Why do they deserve to live for free? Why should our tax money go to them?


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MissApril Posts : 276 Registered: 1/21/09
Re: Death Penalty
Posted: Oct 13, 2009 1:17 PM Go to message in response to: Celiny

I actually agree with Bally about medical testing on prisoners. Makes it worth paying taxes to feed them. But I also believe the justice system should do no blanketing. Every crime has to be handled on a case by case basis. Working with the disabled and advocating for them, I've seen an assload of prejudice. The kind of prejudice you would expect against African Americans 60 years ago. It's pretty fucking severe. And many people withmental disabilities also have to deal with emotional issues to top if off. Being picked on and taken advantage of all their lives can lead some to snap. And with nowhere to turn for help, how can you blame them? If they're lucky enough to avoid being institutionalized, they are then left on their own to try and keep up in a world moving way too fast. It's sad. But on the other hand you have serial killing sociopaths who could give two shits about you. They just want to watch you die. I have no issue testing drugs on them. Spare a few rats. And rapists too. They all get away with it, claiming they can't help it because they were assaulted as children. No excuse buddy. So being a victim yourself, you knew exactly what you were doing to that person and honestly it just makes me want to hurt them more. I think rapists should be mutilated. Destroy all that makes them human. But that's just my opinion.
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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Death Penalty
Posted: Oct 13, 2009 2:06 PM Go to message in response to: Bally

I think that it's easy to say that there are people who deserve to die. That's a no brainer.

The more troubling question is. . .do we have the right to kill them?

Given our deeply flawed criminal justice system, where those who are sentenced to death are disproportionately poor, uneducated, mentally ill, black or hispanic, have inadequate access to representation of counsel . . .where's our moral authority to kill them?

Not to mention all the times we've come dangerously close to killing an innocent person, and the time when we actually did.

If the system worked better, and I knew that all defendents, black, white, rich and poort had equal access to justice, and people weren't being hustled through a crappy system, then I'd have no problem with the death penalty. But I honestly feel that the criminal justice system as it currently exists has no business acting as an executioner.

Especially since we are getting nothing -- I mean absolutely nothing -- out of the death penalty currently. It has no link whatsoever to public safety. So what exactly is it good for?

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Death Penalty
Posted: Oct 13, 2009 2:36 PM Go to message in response to: MsDenuninani

Celiny - you are correct that some people just don't have remorse. But still, killing them isn't going to do anything. They won't suffer if they are dead. What I think SHOULD happen is (and I think most of us agree on this) is to not make prison so darn fluffy for prisoners. You kill someone, no TV for you.

Now, about education in prison...I don't think it would be fair to say that NO criminals should get access to education in prison. If people in prison have no chance to better themselves, then once they get out (for people who WILL get out) they are more likely to reoffend. The may "not know any different way of life". (which is not an excuse, just an explanation) Allowing them to learn some skills, get a better job might be better in the long run (I'm not talking about violent offenders here, by the way...maybe like thieves and drug dealers)

However, I disagree with their education being paid for. If they can pay for it themselves, would have qualified for student loans prior to being in prison, fine. Basically, go about it in a way that any other person would have to go about it, I'm not opposed to it. But having it paid for bothers me.

Mrs D. brought up a lot of good points. We don't live in an ideal world. Wish, wish wish we did.
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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Death Penalty
Posted: Oct 13, 2009 3:40 PM Go to message in response to: MsDenuninani

If the system worked better, and I knew that all defendents, black,
white, rich and poort had equal access to justice, and people weren't
being hustled through a crappy system, then I'd have no problem with
the death penalty. But I honestly feel that the criminal justice system
as it currently exists has no business acting as an executioner.

Again, MrsD - this is exactly how I feel. I really don't disagree with the principle of the death penalty - and that's just something I feel and beleive and I won't change my mind on - but it is FLAWED in our system.

And as for using prisoners for pharm testing - the fact is that the necessary data will NOT be gleaned from testing these drugs in people at that stage. I've been in this field for several years and the data won't be there and won't be enough.

 

 

 

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starfish701 Posts : 465 Registered: 12/10/08
Re: Death Penalty
Posted: Oct 13, 2009 4:00 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Mrs. D I agree with you. I do not object to the death penalty per say I just don't think I have the moral authority to decide who lives or dies any more than a murderer does. That and the gloriously flawed system.......
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