The Death Penalty

That whole Scott Peterson trial was a bunch of bullshit media hype. The only part I found interesting at all was the jury’s deliberations on whether he should be given the death penalty. What are your feelings about capital punishment? As for me, there is nothing in the world I am more disgusted by. I compare it to the coliseum of ancient Rome, as the institutionalized punishment of those whom justice has already rendered helpless in order to sate the bloodlust of society. Of course, these motives are hidden behind a facade of morbid responsibility.

Oh god… this isn’t gonna be pretty…

Some crimes cost society a bundle because they put people in jail when they’re not really a threat to society. By having more people in jail longer, we have to lose more as a society because we don’t have as much to spend on other stuff, like public health. Other people are a major threat to society and cost society a bundle because they need to be kept in jail for their entire lives. We have to lose more as a society because we don’t have as much to spend on other stuff, like public health. The problem here, however, is that sometimes the justice system fucks up and innocents are executed or jailed for nothing, therefore a punishment like the death penalty is a hard one swallow when there are doubts.

Scott who?

Guy who according to the jury killed his wife and kid. The evidence was all circumstanial but the jury still sentenced him to the death penalty. Part of the reason might be that he had shown no remorse or emotion during the whole trial.

I’m for the death penalty if I feel the crime was severe enough. In Scott’s case, killing your wife and daughter is enough for the death penalty. However I find it sad that it costs the country more money to kill someone than to feed him for life in jail. I know today’s prisons are severly overcrowded and being there for life wouldn’t be a good thing, but certain things (like murdering your own family), deserve the death penalty.

It should be noted that most people convicted of the death penalty don’t get killed for ten or twenty years, at least in California. The appeal process is reeeeally long.

In effect, Scott Peterson was found guilty in the eyes of the media and America long before he went to trial. Much like Gary Condit, Michael Jackson, OJ Simpson, and every other high publicity case/accusation (as in Condit’s case).

I’d say he doesn’t deserve the death penalty (nor do I really think there was that strong of a case against him), but I generally don’t think the death penalty is appropriate. I’m rather torn because I do see there are some cases that might truly warrant the death penalty (McVeigh, Dalmer), but then I’m not wholly convinced that we as a society have the right to deny one’s right to life.

First let me clear the fact that there is no death penalty in my country.

Today, the leader of a criminal band that killed a photographer who had important evidence of their crimes (The “Cabezas case”) was freed. He was supposed to be locked up for life, but thanks to our fucked up penal system he got off after seven years. He’s not the only one either, several murderers are getting out of jail thanks to loopholes and political shit.

I understand the fact that death penalty is a great gamble and it can cause a great loss when used without the proper certainty, but there are cases in which the criminal definitely deserves the worst kind of punishment, especially when odds are big that s/he might be let free after a certain amount of time.

I dont understand why if sentenced to death we dont just kill them off the next day I mean its how thing used to be done. and it worked well enough.

They need a chance to appeal. Appeals take awhile.
If this guy was in Texas though he’d be dead in no time. With them putting to death some 30-60 people per year, compared to California’s paltry one or two. =P

I agree with you completely, and ironically enough, had to right an essay about this for finals this morning. I said basically the same things, only a littlbe bit mroe detail as it ended up over a page-and-a-half in length.

I think the death penalty could only function well in an honest, unprejudiced, media-less, money-less society. Given that the likelyhood of that society existing is probably about the same as all ‘crime’ stopping, the death penalty won’t work. A jury of your peers almost cannot be granted anymore, and the sentencing record is a mess. A crime with a an African-American victim has nearly twice the chance of garnering a capital punishment verdict as one that does not (as of 1998, that is. I doubt it’s gotten any better). The statistic is flipped in terms of perpetrator (i.e. white perpetrator=smaller chance of death penalty).
Honestly, I also dont’ think we are mature enough as a society. We don’t look at what the crime was and what the actual facts are. Our society looks at the weeping victim and stamps guilty on the defendant. We do the same thing if the victim is a child, mother, or municipal official (cop, firefighter, etc). Mumia Abdul-Jamal’s (that may be spelled wrong) is an example of this: Black man kills white cop. Black man is sentenced to death when literally ALL evidence (except that he was a ‘radical liberal’) is stacked in his favour.
I think there are many places where the death penalty would work, but honestly, not here. Here, it’s practically a spectator fucking sport. People cheer for it in the streets. This country is just that fucked up.

If the purpose of our justice system is to reform people, and prepare them to re-enter society, then how can we justify killing someone?

It doesn’t give them the chance to reform and change.

I am against the death penatly, life without parole, “double life”, and sentences of 100+ years without parole.

I think it is wrong to not give someone the chance to change.

I think if the state didn’t implement the death penalty, lynch mobs would be a lot more common these days, and besides that, some people are beyond rehab.

Interesting statistics concerning death penalty as a detterant:

As executions rose, states without the death penalty fared much better than states with the death penalty in reducing their murder rates. The gap between the murder rate in death penalty states and the non-death penalty states grew larger (as shown in Chart II). In 1990, the murder rates in these two groups were 4% apart. By 2000, the murder rate in the death penalty states was 35% higher than the rate in states without the death penalty. In 2001, the gap between non-death penalty states and states with the death penalty again grew, reaching 37%. For 2002, the number stands at 36%.
and for 2003 it’s 44%!

and this newsclip:

Deterrence: U.S. Murder Rate Greatly Exceeds European Non-Death Penalty Nations
Data released by the British Home Office reveals that the United States, which retains the death penalty, has a murder rate that is more than three times that of many of its European allies that have banned capital punishment. (New York Times, May 11, 2002). The data challenges the argument that the death penalty is a deterrent to murder. There are more than 110 nations around the world that have banned the death penalty in law or practice.

As for the costs of killing someone, the State would save lots if they did like the chinese do. There in US you have to shock the guy or use chemical weapons (gas & lethal injection). In China, they shoot the bandit on the back of the head and then send a bill charging the bullet to his family.

This is just rationalizing on the material costs of it. I’m against death penalty because the human cost is too high. I only feel a bit inclined to support death penalties in extreme cases, like 984 put in his post.

But therein lies the question. Is our justice system here to reform people and make them functioning members of society, or is it here to punish those that violate social norms and individual rights? A compelling argument can be made for both sides.

I don’t believe in Capital Punishment. It is wrong to waste a life for any reason, and there are so many worse tortures than execution that much better repay a criminal.

Listen, if a man had by unheard-of and excrutiating tortures destroyed your father, your mother, your bethrothed - a being who, when torn from you, left a desolation, a wound that never closes, in your breast - do you think the reparation that society gives you is sufficient when it interposes the knife of the guillotine between the base of the occiput and the trapezal muscles of the murderer, and allows him who has caused us years of moral sufferings to escape with a few moments of physical pain?

your first statement is completely unjustifiable. many states in america (and the world) dont have a death penalty, and im pretty sure we dont have lynch mobs going around in them.

as for people being beyond rehab, that is where the other part of the corrections system, retention as opposed to rehabiliation comes into play. because we cant rehabilitate someone doesnt mean they must be put to death.

as for one person’s asinine comment about how we should execute them immediately after trial, because it “worked in the old days”: it didnt work in the old days! imagine how many innocent were put to death because they didnt have anything resembling the american judicial system. fuck, if youre a christian, look at your god who was killed in this same manner. there are so many examples from history of innocents being put to death that it is surreal that someone could make such a comment.

Hey, you ASKED. Don’t bite people’s heads off for expressing their opinion. :stuck_out_tongue: