Here's the deal. My group was assigned to debate capital punishment. For one of my points, I am taking an opinion survey. So, what do you people think? Are you for it or against it? Any reasoning would be nice as well too.
I would say i'm against it. Two wrongs dont make a right ... This is just my opinion of course ...
What are you teaching the person by killing them? I'm sure they'll remember that for next time *sarcasm* It just makes no sense to me.
I understand that people are dangerous to society and whatever, but that doesn't mean they have to die for it. There could be mental problems or something that made them do what they did. I think people today are just all too willing to jump on the bandwagon and go along w/ whatever else is happening ... and it costs less to kill someone then it does to keep them in jail and feed them and help them get better doesn't it? We wouldn't want THAT now would we??
Against, always have been, unless (odd case) the criminal him/herself chose that for themselves.
Bluntly put: if killing another whole being to do them harm isn't okay, it simply isn't okay, no matter whom the victim is. It sends a very powerful oxymoronic message when one states through action that murder isn't okay...and so we're going to murder a person who did it.
First, the legal system is not perfect. Here recently many convictions have been overturned due to the use of DNA evidence, something which was not possible at the time of the trial.
Second, it doesn't act as a deterrent to anyone else.
Third, it is largely a matter of revenge by proxy rather than true justice. Someone kills someone else and the state kills them in revenge for the crime.
Forth, and this is the reason that'll get me labeled as a nut, I believe in reincarnation. There are aspects to my personality and my outlook on life that have been with me since the beginning. There are things that I've just always known as well. I've had experiences with what I guess could be called emotional memories. There are things that elicit from within me feelings of familiarity and attachment that I cannot explain. I have almost no mental memories of anything before this life. I do have one of me walking over a rise in what appears to be a field of wild grass of some kind. I think I'm on my way home, but I'm not sure. I only have the scene of what was right in front of me and the emotion which I cannot describe.
But my point is that just killing someone without doing anything to deal with whatever issues they might have which led them to kill is about the same as intentionally turning newborn babies into psychopaths. I know that is an exaggeration, but if reincarnation is what happens to us after we die, then dealing with problems and emotional issues in this life might go a long ways towards helping us avoid those same problems next time around.
I'm against it. I don't think killing a person for doing something wrong isn't right. What is this teaching someone? I think that this also triggers things that we see in our society such as treating people badly because that particular person was treated badly themselves. I just think it's wrong.
The only perk that I see is that the criminal can't make the same mistake again since he/she is gone. But what does that teach?
------------------ "No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap." --Carrie Snow
"A mistake is simply another way of doing things." --Katharine Graham
Kool. Thank you very much. It's almost an even split at my school. Out of 65 people, 33 were against capital punishment. The opinions are across the board-eye for an eye, and does it really teach anything?
My debate is Tuesday. When I can, I'll let you know the results.
One my friends is debating legalizing prostitution. Of the people asked, most guys were against it and most of the girls were for it. I thought it was really interesting.
------------------ "If stupidity kills, then why aren't you dead? Obviously stupidity is a survival trait" -P.K. Dick
Capital punishment is a hard one for me. I used to be strongly opposed to it, but then I thought- what if someone I loved was murdered or raped? I would want the person who did it to die. Full stop, no two ways about it. I'd be willing to flick the switch myself.
However, the arguments against it are still very good, especially the one about humans being falliable in who they judge guilty. And the other arguments put forward here already are also very good- I'm just not sure they would convince me if I loved the victim. I suppose you could say that I don't support capital punishment, but I do see how some people could support it.
That is interesting about the prostitution thing. I guess it's easier to place restrictions when it's not your own body. I'm assuming here that your friend was talking about (or at least strongly implying) female prostitution. I wonder what the guys would have said had it been male prostitution. I remember a similar sort of thing when I was in high school, we surveyed my history class about abortion, and the women were more pro-choice than the men- most of the guys were against it. Once again, it's not their bodies we were talking about, so it was easy for them to make harsh judgements. I wonder if females do the same regarding issues like male circumscision.
I had to do a debate on Capital punishment in grade 12 psychology. I learned quite a bit.
Capital punishment is a VERY GOOD IDEA. The crimes have to merit the punishment, though. In the Bible it says, "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed." (Genesis 9:6) And I really believe this.
However, as there are two sides to every arguement, I have debated the coward theory. This theory states that capital punishment is in indirect suicide attempt. Too scared to kill himself, he goes and kills someone else hoping to get caught and put to death himself. However, the small amount of brain power that a murderer uses to commit his crime could hardly be enough to devise such an elaborate scheme. Therefore, kill the bastards and be happy you did it. You did the right thing.
------------------ My madness is accentuated by my obsession...so be it.
Umm. . . didn't Jesus come along and revoke all of that Old Testement dogma? Wasn't there the thing about turning the other cheek, forgiveness seven times seven, and love thy neighbour? I'm not a Christian, but I have read bits of the Bible, and that's the way it seemed to me.
There is another couple of things that're worth mentioning. Firstly, most non-psychopathic murders are done in the heat of the moment, when the person isn't thinking about consequences, so the death penalty doesn't act as a deterrent. Meanwhile, psychopaths usually aren't thinking about consequences anyway. Secondly, I read something once that said that many executioners actually have the prime traits of psychopathic killers- things like they keep a piece of property of the person they killed, etc. Basically, this study found that while some murderes were being executed, others were being paid to do just that.
I see both sides of the coin on this one. I'm pretty much undecided, and I want to say that I disagree with it because, in most cases I do...but if there is someone like a serial killer who has raped and murdered people and is a serious danger to society, I don't think anyone should ever have to deal with them again......hmm..well I guess I'm mostly against it though because the justice system unfortunately has no guarantee's for correct judgements.
------------------ http://beam.to/anode2ryan *My Ryan Page* "Don't go in the teepee without a condom on your peepee"~Dumb & Dumber
I think capital punisment doesn't work because it is based on religious beliefs. The feeling that death is the worse punishment for murder or terrible crimes comes only from the belief in hell... but, in most cases, the criminals commited painful acts of violence on others to deserve such a punishment, and recieve fairly non-painful death in return? I think that if we are going to go with capital punishment we really should torture the criminals to their death. Slowly streatch them apart until their bones crack. Makde them lie in between boards of needles that cut through their body in a weeks time. Let them feel the pain they caused. this might be cruel, but less people would commit crimes because they would know the worst punishment is not only peaceful death- it's torture.
Posts: 91 | From: Chicago, Il | Registered: Jun 2000
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I'm not totally sure what I think, in one way I'm for it and in another I'm against it. As many people have posted before, if it were someone in my family or a friend, ect., ect., then I probably would want them to die for it. I'm sure it would also be argued that "everyone dies" at some point or another, it is just a matter of when. But then again, if you look at the other side of it, if we are against killing, how does then turning around and killing someone else justify it? I know it would cost more to keep the person inprisioned, but I don't think it's right to kill them. I think everyone should get a second chance,(at least)because everyone makes mistakes. I'm not sure what else, this is a hard topic. Good luck with your debate!
To add something here from a more personal vantage point, I have been raped and attacked. Several members of my larger family have also been murdered and killed.
My culutral and political beliefs aside, have I ever felt I'd wanted those peopple to dit? Absolutely, I have felt that. Have I thought they should and I or someone else should do it? No, never. And flatly, I think that may well be because I understand *from* the vantage point of being a victim that having someone inflict something upon you that is not your choice nor your doing is really what crime is all about. I know, quite strongly inside myself, that while it really is okay to want someone to hurt or to want someone to die, to kill them or hurt them for the puspose of making them suffer is criminal, and is neither compassionate nor just.
I think , on some level regonizing those feeling of "wanting someone to pay," while also recognizing karma and the nature of people who commit these crimes, and thus knowing they ARE paying, regardless, and that playing God, as it were, is what makes most of us even able to know that rape and murder ARE crimes.
I agree with a lot of what Lee said (now there's a first, eh Lee?), and I do also think a lot of it is based on Biblical notions of justice, which were penned at a time when people were far different -- and in FAR lesser number -- than we are now. One would like to think we've evolved some, and flatly, by the whole of Biblical beliefs, if you ascribe to them, most of the things we consider crimes now wouldn't be so at all. It's important to look at the whole context of something.
(And yes, Jesus did basically make clear a lot of the Old Testament should be out with the bathwater, Beppie, as an aside.)
Really, I tend to be a bit of a cynic with things like this. All in all, I think it's important we remember that we -- as a culture -- often create the environ for the criminal things we detest to thrive in. I also think until you have watched or experienced someone's life being taken by another, it's going to be really hard to get a good tack on how you feel about it.
In Canada,no one has been executed by the state since the early 1960's. By the 1970's. capital punishment was removed from law as a form of punnishment. In the 40 years since we stopped executing people, the murder rate in Canada has declined. I think that this indicates that capital punishment was never a deterrant.
Also, we have recently had a spate of overturning murder convictions because of new evidence. One person spent 20 years in prison for a murder we now know was committed by someone else. What if we had executed that person? Would our conciences be clear when the evidence that led to the arrest and conviction of the real murderer turned up?
Hey!! I think, I am not sure...but I may have won my debate! My opponents entire side was based on a cartoon. And the teacher favored my side anyway. So I am happy!
Posts: 2789 | From: The Evergreen State | Registered: Jun 2000
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my take on the whole thing is that if someone thinks that they are above every law of basic humanity and feels they are superior enough to take the life of someone or the dignity of someone through rape, then they are almost asking to be put to death. im a strong believer in "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth." hammurabi knew what he was talking about.
Posts: 59 | From: Mountaintop | Registered: Nov 2000
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I find it very interesting how everything that everyone has said so far about capital punishment is a result of someone else's opinion being pushed upon them. Neither opinion is the "right" one, we simply propagate eachothers beliefs, and neither opinion was reached by a sole individual (or even the person who speaks it).
Posts: 18 | From: Sebastopol (SeaBass!), California | Registered: Dec 2000
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quote:Originally posted by playingbyheart: I think that if we are going to go with capital punishment we really should torture the criminals to their death.
Criminals on death row <i>are</i> tortured, by having to know exactly when, where, and how they are going to die.
------------------ "Artists can color the sky red because they know it's blue. Those of us who are not artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we're stupid." -Jules Feifer
I strongly disagree with capitol punishment. I could go on forever talking about evrything wrong about it, but I think that Lee and miz Scarlet and the othrs pretty much covered it. But I would like to add that they do make mistaks, the government is not perfect (far from it...) and there have been cases where they have made serious mistakes, but it has been too late.
I also believe in reincarnation, I think that the soul has many lessons to learn, and it will be reincarnated until they learn these lessons, and if you commit murder, obviously you have some emotional issues that need to be addressed. The death penalty does not fix the problem, it only hides it, and if we continue killing people in the quest to show that killing is wrong, then are we really taking a good approach in this quest?
No, we are teaching them thatlife is not values. Two wrongs do not make a right.
Do you all know the story of Carla Fay Tucker? She had a religious turn-around in jail, then she got put to death after being enlightened.
Jesus came and told us to forgive, turn the other cheek.
I think that a much better solution would be to put the person in jail, also council them.
although i strongly agree with what a lot of you are saying about the death penalty being hypocritical and not really effective as a deterrent, my main problem with it is a practical one. with all the new DNA and other evidence being introduced, i think that there is just too much doubt, in every case, to justify possibly killing an innocent person. didn't they just ban the death penalty in illinois because they found out that 2/3 (or something like that) of the people on death row were not guilty? that's sort of scary.
I know this is a v. old thread, but might be good to revive it. there have been a lot of people making some very good points, but not using facts & figures to back them up, and there were also a few points I thought hadn't been made. To rectify this I thought I'd do a little cut and paste job from an essay I wrote. Sorry if the style is a little strange.
"many people support capital punishment in special circumstances, for instance in the cases of serial murderers and those who kill police officers or children, abolitionists claim these crimes are often impossible to deter. Murders of police officers are rarely premeditated. They often occur when someone is caught committing another crime by the officer and panics. They are therefore unlikely to be deterred. Also, serial killers and killers of children are often mentally retarded or disturbed. They are therefore unlikely to understand or care about the consequences of their actions, and because of this they cannot be deterred.
much research appears to show that capital punishment has little effect on crime rates. Thorsten Sellin found that the murder rate in non-capital punishment states in America was lower compared to states with capital punishment with similar social and economic situations. Bowers and Glenn looked at the monthly murder rate in New York State between 1907 and 1963. They found that there were, on average, two extra murders committed in the month following an execution. They argued that, rather than deterring murder, capital punishment encouraged it due to its “brutalising” influence.
Miscarriages of justice are a great concern when discussing capital punishment, and are surprisingly common. A study found evidence that between 1900 and 1985 349 people were wrongly found guilty of crimes punishable by death. 23 of these were executed. In many cases it transpired that no crime was committed. In some of these the “murder victim” was found to be alive.
A major argument against capital punishment is that it legalises murder. Abolitionists argue that people may think that if the state can kill the people that they feel it is right to, people can do the same. This is reinforced by the fact that in many countries with the death penalty not everyone who is convicted of a capital offence is sentenced to death. This decision is often arbitrary, and may therefore be seen as unjust. If people see the state as killing people unjustly, they may feel they can do the same. In addition, the state may be seen as killing for revenge, which could lead to people seeing revenge as justifiable. In cases where the state is not seen to be acting people may take the law in to their own hands through lynching.
Abolitionists also argue that capital punishment is degrading to human dignity. The prisoner is put to death by someone who has complete control over them. They are entirely at this person’s mercy, unable to protect themselves or fight back. Because of this complete control the prisoner is also no threat to their killer. It is seen as excessively cruel, as for purposes of deterrence and protecting society a lesser punishment, for instance life imprisonment, would be sufficient.
Many abolitionists also argue that the death penalty is too severe a punishment. The murderer killed his or her victim, so they are killed. This may seem equal, but the murderer also suffers through imprisonment and the wait for execution, which in many countries takes years. Also, when the death penalty was in place in Britain people were hanged for crimes other than murder, such as rape and spying. In these cases it is harder to see equity between crime and punishment."
In case you hadn't noticed I am very strongly anti-capital punishment.
one other point that I didn't see anyone make was that when somebody is put to death it is not just they who suffer. A lot of people have made the point that "what if my friend/family member was murdered?", well, what if your friend or family member was sentenced to death? capital punishment does not just punish the criminal, but also those around them.
quote:Murders of police officers are rarely premeditated. They often occur when someone is caught committing another crime by the officer and panics . . .
Does that mean it's more okay to kill a cop than a child, or multiple people?
Being a police officer is a dangerous enough job to begin with, without having being killed taken so lightly. It's also a very, very necessary profession.
While the murder may not always have been premeditated, most crimes that are serious enough to provoke such panic are. Crimes are crimes for a reason. If you get caught doing something wrong, freak out, and do something even worse, you still have no excuse for either action. Especially when said actions were against someone whose job it is to keep people safe.
I'm sure you didn't mean to be offensive, but I find your methods of making some of your points rather questionable. I'd like to remind you, too, that Scarleteen is a sex education site. While we have forums on many topics, we request that users balance their board use. The vast majority of your topics have been about politics, not sex education. It's certainly a very interesting subject, but you might find a site that's fully dedicated to such things suits your purposes better. At very least, try not be inflammatory about making your points. You're probably aware that several users here have had abortions, or been involved in sex work; I'm sure, regardless of your personal feelings on such things, you'd treat the topics with sensitivity, in respect for their feelings. You may not be aware that anyone's been shot at while on duty, or had to deal with murderers and violent criminals, but in certain lines of work such things are certainly not uncommon. Knowing that, and knowing that certain users are going to be affected by such topics, I'm sure you'll show a bit more sensitivity in the future.
------------------ Milke, with an L, SSBD, RATS, TMNTP, MF
Recently, my cousin was murdered. It was premeditated. The murderer, in short, killed her for money (she worked as a bartender and got MANY tips). I thought that I would want this guy to die, too, but then the more I thought about it the more I didn't want him to die. There pretty irrefutable evidence against him (such as him confessing to the crime) so to me, instead of giving him an easy way out, make him sit in prison for the rest of his life and contemplate what he did. The kid who killed her (that's right, a kid) is 19. A bit over a year older than I am and he will be sitting in jail for a long time knowing the reason he was in there, I think, is far worse punishment than death.
quote:Originally posted by Milke: Does that mean it's more okay to kill a cop than a child, or multiple people?
I've re-read my post, and realised I did a pretty lousy cut and paste job. Those points were supposed to be making the point that in these cases the death penalty would not work as a deterrent. It was clear in the whole essay, but didn't come accross in the bits I chose to post here. whoops. sorry. So, if a person's argument for the death penalty is about punishment rather than deterrent that first part of my previous post is irrelivent.
I am in favour of capitol punishment, in rape and murder cases.
(As a matter of fact, I did a debate in English about this, before it I was anti, but after the things I've read, the crimes, I'm pro.)
I think that many murders could be averted if the death penalty was a threat. It is a deterrent affect. I know it would put me off murdering someone(if i was in that frame of mind, of course).
I do believe that society has thr right to take revenge. and that an eye for an eye is often the only way to deal with the people who commit crimes worthy of capitol punishment.
People say that there's a risk of executing the innocent, but tough safeguards have been in place since the 70's, and sometimes those who are proven "innocent", turn out to be only "technically" innocent, as in there was a fault eith evidence, the jury etc.
When the allies sent their armies and their planes into Europe during WW2, they knew innocent people would die, but sometimes the needs of the many outway the needs of the few.
I am one of the few people my age that is for capitol punishment. I feel that for murder crimes, the convicted should be executed. We have no need nor want for these kind of people in our society. Some people argue that killing someone for killing isn't solving anything. What would solve it? To allow these people to sit in jail? Some punishment.
Here are two examples in my family alone:
At the moment, my cousin is serving time in the Dwight Correctional Facility in Dwight, Illinois ( USA ) Granted, she did not kill anyone, and is missing her family and friends something fierce, but I don't feel she is really learning from her mistakes. She is being educated, and has free room and board ( bord? ) for the next ten years of her life. It was supposed to be twenty years, but just because she didn't get into any fights, it's less, and will probably be reduced to five years at most. SO she's basically being rewarded for donig what she's supposed to. Everyday people go to work, don't kill anyone, don't pick fights, but are they rewarded? My oncle, who I unforutanly did not get the chance to know, was killed when I was just six months old. He was stabbed in the back after a man poured Lysol in his eyes to prevent him from seeing to defend himself. Why? Because my oncle who was a landlord at an appartment building heard fighting one night in an appartment and went to go see if everything was all right. My oncle's killer is now walking the streets again - he spent only 7 years in jail. And my family has to live with the fact that the man who killed their son, brother, husband, father, is living a normal life - something he deprived my family of more than ten years ago.
This is why people commit crimes - there is no punishment. When I was young, there were certain things, like lying to stealing, that were not permitted, and my siblings and I were terrified of facing the consequences, so we didn't do anything like that.
The world is a crazy, crazy place. We need to help the poor and the hungry; we shouldn't be worried about people who have no respect for another's life. In such cases, their own life does not deserve respect.
------------------ "The drama queen is 17 and sleeping with the boys for free - she's got a reputation of being easy.."
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