The Death Penalty Debate

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Post by The Demon of Carthage on Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:44 am

This is a map of the legal status of the death penalty and number of executions by countries in 2017:
The Death Penalty Debate W0j4j9gt42j01

Obviously, this is one of the most difficult topics to broach considering how complex the issue is, but there's no harm in having a constructive debate here.

And just to make it even more interesting, let's exclude all the offenders who suffer from severe, untreated mental illnesses that likely precipitated the crimes they committed from the debate and solely focus on mentally healthy criminals who had no psychiatric conditions or excuse whatsoever when they carried out the murder.

At this point, if you're still reading, the last sentence of the paragraph above must have prompted you to wonder how can we prove beyond any doubt that the offender is mentally healthy? The answer is, usually if a person is unaware of what they are doing or that what they are doing is morally wrong, that person should not be held legally responsible for their behavior. They should only be determined to be guilty and receive sentencing if he or she had the free will to commit the crime and the intent to cause harm. Your next question by now must be "Well, how can you possibly know that they were unaware of what they were doing? Wouldn't it be your word against theirs at this point?"

There are certain ways for the criminal justice system to determine if a person is legally insane:

1. M’Naghten Test.
2. Brawner Rule
3. Durham Test


However, even with these tests, there are some cases where it's really difficult to tell whether the offender is legally insane or not. So to avoid wasting time on this, let's suppose that the criminal you have today is perfectly healthy mentally and it was proven beyond any doubt that it was them who carried out the murder or series of murder. Let's also suppose they had no motives whatsoever (not to avenge a family member, ...), I'm really targeting the cases where the offender is perfectly healthy mentally and had no motives to carry out the crime, but still did it anyway even though they were perfectly aware of what they were doing and how wrong it is.

In other words, you have a truly evil criminal in front of you who committed a heinous punishable-by-death crime, would you be for or against giving them the death penalty?

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Post by Myesyats on Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:18 am

A few issues with death penalty off the top of my head:

-new evidence could emerge absolving the alleged offender
-seems like "the easy way out" for the criminal that teaches no lesson
-everyone has the right to live, no matter what
-there is no humane way to kill someone, even lethal injection is not painless
-it's been proven that death penalty doesnt decline crime rate

At this point i dont really see an argument for death penalty other than saving tax money on prison maintenance.

I'm looking forward to other responses though.

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Post by Casciavit on Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:04 pm

Context matters as with all things. All I'm going to say is just don't do whatever it is Canada does. Laughing :facepalm:

Joke of a system.

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Post by Young Kaz on Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:25 pm

It doesnt deter crime.Also comes across as barbaric when it happens.

There have been 4 executions this year in the United States as of today. One has been in my state. A guy who killed his ex wife and her boyfriend 23 years ago. A note is that the children of the guy, and the woman he killed, beg for the life of their dad to be spared. It was ignored.

I do think, in some cases, the death penalty should be done.
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Post by McLewis on Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:10 pm

@Myesyats wrote:A few issues with death penalty off the top of my head:

-new evidence could emerge absolving the alleged offender
-seems like "the easy way out" for the criminal that teaches no lesson
-everyone has the right to live, no matter what
-there is no humane way to kill someone, even lethal injection is not painless
-it's been proven that death penalty doesnt decline crime rate

At this point i dont really see an argument for death penalty other than saving tax money on prison maintenance.

I'm looking forward to other responses though.

Pretty much all of the reasons I oppose it. Also, it's been proven that the death penalty (at least here in the US) is actually more expensive for taxpayers than life in prison.

What do you think of the "it gives the victim(s)' family closure" argument that supporters use?

@Young Kaz wrote:It doesnt deter crime.Also comes across as barbaric when it happens.

There have been 4 executions this year in the United States as of today. One has been in my state. A guy who killed his ex wife and her boyfriend 23 years ago.  A note is that the children of the guy, and the woman he killed, beg for the life of their dad to be spared. It was ignored.

I do think, in some cases, the death penalty should be done.

Can you elaborate on what some of those cases would be? Do they fit the OP or beyond that.
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Post by RealGunner on Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:18 pm

Bit of a strange one.

You will oppose death penalty because it's just wrong. But then, why should the tax payer fund the worst criminals out there? A child rapist is eating, sleeping under a roof etc because we are paying for it... which is kinda wrong too.

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Post by Young Kaz on Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:19 pm

@McLewis wrote:
@Myesyats wrote:A few issues with death penalty off the top of my head:

-new evidence could emerge absolving the alleged offender
-seems like "the easy way out" for the criminal that teaches no lesson
-everyone has the right to live, no matter what
-there is no humane way to kill someone, even lethal injection is not painless
-it's been proven that death penalty doesnt decline crime rate

At this point i dont really see an argument for death penalty other than saving tax money on prison maintenance.

I'm looking forward to other responses though.

Pretty much all of the reasons I oppose it. Also, it's been proven that the death penalty (at least here in the US) is actually more expensive for taxpayers than life in prison.

What do you think of the "it gives the victim(s)' family closure" argument that supporters use?

@Young Kaz wrote:It doesnt deter crime.Also comes across as barbaric when it happens.

There have been 4 executions this year in the United States as of today. One has been in my state. A guy who killed his ex wife and her boyfriend 23 years ago.  A note is that the children of the guy, and the woman he killed, beg for the life of their dad to be spared. It was ignored.

I do think, in some cases, the death penalty should be done.

Can you elaborate on what some of those cases would be? Do they fit the OP or beyond that.


Mass killers. People like Dylan Roof.
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Post by Unique on Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:21 pm

The death penalty is not justice it's revenge but if people do really bad things than I think they should be put to death.

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Post by Blue on Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:10 pm

Even if it deterred crimes it is still barbaric. It is unhealthy to live in a society based on fear. Saudi Arabia is one of the safest country on earth, they have some of the harshest crime and moral laws. I am sure no one here would advocate for those principals.

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Post by McLewis on Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:08 pm

@Unique wrote:The death penalty is not justice it's revenge but if people do really bad things than I think they should be put to death.


"really bad things" is rather subjective, don't you think?

What qualifies, in your opinion? Is it mass murders, like what Kaz mentioned?
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Post by The Demon of Carthage on Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:37 pm

@McLewis, I'm interested in the point you've raised yourself.

What do you think about the argument that capital punishment can sometimes give the families of the victims closure?

And also, since you're against giving the death penalty to anyone no matter how heinous their crimes are, is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole any less inhuman and degrading in your view? Denying them the fundamental right to hope, I mean.

And before you answer this, let me give you a testimonial of a prisoner serving life without parole:
Life in prison is a slow, torturous death. Maybe it would have been better if they had just given me the electric chair and ended my life instead of a life sentence, letting me rot away in jail. It serves no purpose. It becomes a burden on everybody.

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Post by Hapless_Hans on Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:16 pm

@The Demon of Carthage wrote:
Obviously, this is one of the most difficult topics to broach considering how complex the issue is, but there's no harm in having a constructive debate here.


IMO it's not complex at all. Actually, one of the most simple topics.
The death penalty is dead wrong, both morally and pragmatically.

End of debate.

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Post by Unique on Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:33 pm

@McLewis wrote:
@Unique wrote:The death penalty is not justice it's revenge but if people do really bad things than I think they should be put to death.


"really bad things" is rather subjective, don't you think?

What qualifies, in your opinion? Is it mass murders, like what Kaz mentioned?
mass murderers serial rapists. Serial killers. Child killers. Pedos. Terrorists people like that.

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Post by Mamad on Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:28 am

What's the point of letting someone who kills and rapes people live? these people will do it again as soon as they get the opportunity. so what's the point of their life in prison? and why should i pay for it?

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Post by Hapless_Hans on Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:52 pm

@Mamad wrote:What's the point of letting someone who kills and rapes people live? these people will do it again as soon as they get the opportunity. so what's the point of their life in prison? and why should i pay for it?


The point is not that it's about the perpetrator. It's about society tasking someone to kill humans for them.
That's the moral no go.
I'm against the death penalty not because I feel for the murderers or rapists, but for the executioner.

As for the paying part, at least in the US society pays far, far more for death row inmates than for life imprisonment.

That's why I said, both morally AND pragmatically wrong.
And I'm not even getting into misuses and flaws, the high rate of wrongful convictions, the appalling ineptitude and cruelty going on with poison injections, etc

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Post by Unique on Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:55 pm

@Hapless_Hans wrote:
@Mamad wrote:What's the point of letting someone who kills and rapes people live? these people will do it again as soon as they get the opportunity. so what's the point of their life in prison? and why should i pay for it?


The point is not that it's about the perpetrator. It's about society tasking someone to kill humans for them.
That's the moral no go.
I'm against the death penalty not because I feel for the murderers or rapists, but for the executioner.
creating jobs for psychopaths Very Happy

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Post by Hapless_Hans on Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:56 pm

@Unique wrote:
@Hapless_Hans wrote:
@Mamad wrote:What's the point of letting someone who kills and rapes people live? these people will do it again as soon as they get the opportunity. so what's the point of their life in prison? and why should i pay for it?


The point is not that it's about the perpetrator. It's about society tasking someone to kill humans for them.
That's the moral no go.
I'm against the death penalty not because I feel for the murderers or rapists, but for the executioner.
creating jobs for psychopaths Very Happy


you mean, like, keeping them busy so they don't get bored and kill the wrong people? Laughing

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Post by Unique on Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:04 pm

@Hapless_Hans wrote:
@Unique wrote:
@Hapless_Hans wrote:

The point is not that it's about the perpetrator. It's about society tasking someone to kill humans for them.
That's the moral no go.
I'm against the death penalty not because I feel for the murderers or rapists, but for the executioner.
creating jobs for psychopaths Very Happy


you mean, like, keeping them busy so they don't get bored and kill the wrong people? Laughing
yes cheers cheers

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Post by McLewis on Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:19 am

@The Demon of Carthage wrote:@McLewis, I'm interested in the point you've raised yourself.

What do you think about the argument that capital punishment can sometimes give the families of the victims closure?

And also, since you're against giving the death penalty to anyone no matter how heinous their crimes are, is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole any less inhuman and degrading in your view? Denying them the fundamental right to hope, I mean.

And before you answer this, let me give you a testimonial of a prisoner serving life without parole:
Life in prison is a slow, torturous death. Maybe it would have been better if they had just given me the electric chair and ended my life instead of a life sentence, letting me rot away in jail. It serves no purpose. It becomes a burden on everybody.


What do you think about the argument that capital punishment can sometimes give the families of the victims closure?

"closure" is just a polite term for revenge to me. Like revenge, it comes from the same place: anger and sadness. It's the 21st century version of "an eye for an eye". For some families, it's the only way they move on. For others, it solves absolutely nothing. It's effect and definition will vary from grieving family to grieving family.

[quote]And also, since you're against giving the death penalty to anyone no matter how heinous their crimes are, is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole any less inhuman and degrading in your view? Denying them the fundamental right to hope, I mean.

And before you answer this, let me give you a testimonial of a prisoner serving life without parole:
Life in prison is a slow, torturous death. Maybe it would have been better if they had just given me the electric chair and ended my life instead of a life sentence, letting me rot away in jail. It serves no purpose. It becomes a burden on everybody.

Life in prison is less expensive for taxpayers. For me, that's its biggest advantage over the death penalty. I'm personally rather conflicted though. Part of me believes that rotting the rest of one's life away for taking away someone else's life is a proportionate response to the crime committed. The other part believes that prisons as punitive institutions haven't worked and that true, genuine efforts at rehabilitation really hasn't been given a chance. I personally believe that there's room for both. I think efforts should be taken to rehab even the worst criminals while also not entertaining any ideas of parole. The very fact that a lifer would long to be executed is, psychologically speaking, exactly why life in prison appeals more to me. That said, it is no more a deterrent on crime than the death penalty is.
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Post by Unique on Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:45 am

man you cant rehabiitate a pedo a rapist or a serial killer. thats like saying you can rehabilitate a gay person into being strait. and i dont care what you say it is not cheaper to lock a man up for life than it is to kill him. thats just dumb and crazy. scratch

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Post by BarrileteCosmico on Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:52 am

I could be for the death penalty for some instances in life-sentence cases where the crime is severe enough... If anyone could create a perfect judiciary system with no false positives.

As it is, too many people have been sentenced to death who were later found to be innocent. There is no coming back from that and until such a foolproof system is in place its immoral to have a death sentence possibility.

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Post by Unique on Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:01 am

@BarrileteCosmico wrote:I could be for the death penalty for some instances in life-sentence cases where the crime is severe enough... If anyone could create a perfect judiciary system with no false positives.

As it is, too many people have been sentenced to death who were later found to be innocent. There is no coming back from that and until such a foolproof system is in place its immoral to have a death sentence possibility.
thats why you have people on death row who have years to prove with evidence that they are not guilty.

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Post by McLewis on Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:08 am

@Unique wrote:man you cant rehabiitate a pedo a rapist or a serial killer. thats like saying you can rehabilitate a gay person into being strait. and i dont care what you say it is not cheaper to lock a man up for life than it is to kill him. thats just dumb and crazy. scratch


Myth 1: A death sentence costs less than a life sentence
It seems like common sense that it’s cheaper to execute someone than to house, feed and take care of them for the rest of their natural life. But there are a lot of unavoidable costs that make a death sentence far more expensive than a sentence of life without parole.

Most of these costs result from the unique status of the death penalty within the US justice system. Because it’s the only truly irreversible form of punishment, the Constitution requires a long and complex judicial process for capital cases, including several levels of mandatory review after a death sentence is issued. The appeals process takes decades to complete.

Studies of the California death penalty system, the largest in the US, have revealed that a death sentence costs at least 18 times as much as a sentence of life without parole would cost.

My source: https://deathpenalty.org/facts/5-myths-death-penalty/

As for rehabilitation, we have absolutely no idea what's truly possible because no serious effort or infrastructure has been put in place to give it a serious try. If it fails (and there's every chance it could) then fine, but we haven't even tried. That bothers me.
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Post by BarrileteCosmico on Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:49 am

@Unique wrote:
@BarrileteCosmico wrote:I could be for the death penalty for some instances in life-sentence cases where the crime is severe enough... If anyone could create a perfect judiciary system with no false positives.

As it is, too many people have been sentenced to death who were later found to be innocent. There is no coming back from that and until such a foolproof system is in place its immoral to have a death sentence possibility.
thats why you have people on death row who have years to prove with evidence that they are not guilty.
and still they manage to kill the innocent Rolling Eyes

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Post by Unique on Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:59 am

@McLewis wrote:
@Unique wrote:man you cant rehabiitate a pedo a rapist or a serial killer. thats like saying you can rehabilitate a gay person into being strait. and i dont care what you say it is not cheaper to lock a man up for life than it is to kill him. thats just dumb and crazy. scratch


Myth 1: A death sentence costs less than a life sentence
It seems like common sense that it’s cheaper to execute someone than to house, feed and take care of them for the rest of their natural life. But there are a lot of unavoidable costs that make a death sentence far more expensive than a sentence of life without parole.

Most of these costs result from the unique status of the death penalty within the US justice system. Because it’s the only truly irreversible form of punishment, the Constitution requires a long and complex judicial process for capital cases, including several levels of mandatory review after a death sentence is issued. The appeals process takes decades to complete.

Studies of the California death penalty system, the largest in the US, have revealed that a death sentence costs at least 18 times as much as a sentence of life without parole would cost.

My source: https://deathpenalty.org/facts/5-myths-death-penalty/

As for rehabilitation, we have absolutely no idea what's truly possible because no serious effort or infrastructure has been put in place to give it a serious try. If it fails (and there's every chance it could) then fine, but we haven't even tried. That bothers me.
so who do you think can be rehabilitated. a strait man will always be attracted to women. a gay man will always be attracted to a man and a pedo will always go after children so the chances of making a pedo stop going after children is the same as trying to stop strait men from being attracted to women or a gay man being attracted to men. some people can not be rehabilitated

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