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Joseph-Sulphur
17-11-2011, 07:03 PM
So, the issue of the death penalty seems to be back on the agenda on both sides of the pond. In the UK we have the e-petition demanding that Parliament debates returning the death penalty in the UK. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14400246)
In the USA we have the questionable execution of Troy Davis, (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15013860) and Rick Perry's electric-chair happy gubernatorial record in the spotlight during the 999999th Republican primary debate (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXH7Z6M4vOs).

So what do you guys think? This has always been a contentious issue, with supporters using arguments ranging from the (false) (https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=43994) belief that it is cheaper than imprisoning someone for life, to simple moral equivocations that someone who takes a life should lose their own.

Is this a non-issue? Is it right to house a serial child murderer at the taxpayers' expense? Is the threat of the death penalty a deterrent, or even a useful bargaining chip when trying to coax confession/co-operation out of a suspect?

Xercies
17-11-2011, 08:41 PM
You know i think we really shouldn't be killing people it just seems to final. Even serial rapists I think might have some kind of redemption maybe to them. I think the complication of evidence and everything else basically means we can't really ever be 100% sure that they ever committed a crime, i mean there's some prisoners out there after 20 years still defending there innocent. Also something like rape which is a thorny subject evidence wise already could never be in there.

You know what I think I think we should be copying Norway focus on rehabilitation of the prisoner and usually people don't commit crimes afterwards. Also if we had a better society i think less people would commit crimes.

Lukasz
17-11-2011, 10:51 PM
When I was younger I supported the death penalty.
With age I realized that it does lots of harm yet brings nothing positive.

It costs more than life imprisonments and our modern morality cannot allow lowering the cost as:
we have to prove without doubt that person deserves death. It takes time, it takes time of tens of people. So unless we are prepared to lower the cost by increasing the risk of sending innocent person to his or her death then it will always be more expensive than life imprisonment.
It does not work as deterrence. Criminals who murder people do not think logically. It will not stop a person from killing bunch of people just because he or she can get the chair. Do states with death penalty have lower crimes than rest of the country?
High possibility of killing innocent person. It happened few times. It is not the case most of the time but most states do not have death penalty, yet often they had to release prisoner after a decade or even a couple of imprisonment after it was found out that he/she is actually innocent. Does that make the system a murderer? If judge sent innocent person to death is he/she not the murder then? what about the guy who pulled the switch? This kind of thing is not acceptable to me.
Death penalty also creates social problem as it acts as vengeance for a family who got hurt. That's not healthy in my opinion. It teaches the society to spill blood for spilled blood.

I would also agree with King of Persia, that adopting Norwegian focus on not punishing but rehabilitating criminals will lower the crime rate and better the society as a whole.

Althea
17-11-2011, 11:23 PM
Actually, I'm in a bit of a strange position with my beliefs. I don't believe in the death penalty, but perhaps it should be considered for those who commit the most atrocious crimes. I mean those who go above and beyond. There has to be a point where it's just unsafe for everyone for someone to be kept alive in prison. Even then I'd be worried about it happening, because how do you define where the line is?

I've got to say, though, that I like how some US prisons operate. They "employ" their prisoners, putting them to work. Yeah, I guess it's a sort of slave labour but not. It gives them skills to find work, I think they're rewarded for good behaviour and earn a little bit of money whilst doing it, so basically it's a form of rehabilitation but it gives something back to the prisoners as well as simply giving them something to do. I think it's a great idea, and one that's vastly underused.

Either way, the crime rate won't reduce until the world situation is improved. Some people commit crimes to get back in prison as life is better for them there. That speaks volumes both about the situation inside prisons, but also outside.

Nalano
17-11-2011, 11:24 PM
New York hasn't executed anybody since 1963, despite having it on the books. I hope this trend continues.

I think there are five key issues when you talk about any incarceration, of which the death penalty is the most extreme:

1) Prevention & Deterrence - Harsh punishments have little effect on crime levels because potential criminals don't expect to get caught.
2) Error in Rulings - With new evidence, all court rulings are reversible. The death penalty is not.
3) Cost of Incarceration - It costs close to $24k a year to house and police an inmate. Since the average wait on Death Row is well over a decade, you don't save any money by killing them.
4) Rehabilitation & Recidivism - Put anybody in federal or state penitentiary, and they're far more likely to end up returning after release, no matter the original crime. The original ruling matters more than any subsequent punishment.
5) Social Policy - are you incarcerating the inmate to punish him, or are you incarcerating the inmate to remove him from potentially harming the public? If the latter, then life without parole does the same thing.

The problem with America is that we're punishment-happy. We have more inmates both per-capita and in raw numbers than both Russia and China, and thanks to recidivism, we've essentially manufactured a criminal class. The Death Penalty doesn't fix that: Texas is still four times more violent than New York, despite having the most bloodthirsty governor ever. If the UK is looking for examples, let us hope they take the American system to heart as a case study of how harsher rulings do not work.

Xercies
18-11-2011, 02:19 PM
I've got to say, though, that I like how some US prisons operate. They "employ" their prisoners, putting them to work. Yeah, I guess it's a sort of slave labour but not. It gives them skills to find work, I think they're rewarded for good behaviour and earn a little bit of money whilst doing it, so basically it's a form of rehabilitation but it gives something back to the prisoners as well as simply giving them something to do. I think it's a great idea, and one that's vastly underused.

But it doesn't work and it clearly is a form of slave labour, America basically needs it for a lot of things. In fact screw Mexicans stealing peoples jobs, i think its prisoners over there stealing most of the jobs. Lots of manufacturing happens in prisons because its cheap over there and they can sell it for a big profit. No wonder many companies want to make stuff in prions. Also do you see any jobs accepting prisoners because they did that job in prison. They don't touch them like a barge pole.

Althea
18-11-2011, 02:43 PM
But it doesn't work and it clearly is a form of slave labour, America basically needs it for a lot of things. In fact screw Mexicans stealing peoples jobs, i think its prisoners over there stealing most of the jobs. Lots of manufacturing happens in prisons because its cheap over there and they can sell it for a big profit. No wonder many companies want to make stuff in prions. Also do you see any jobs accepting prisoners because they did that job in prison. They don't touch them like a barge pole.
Alright, maybe it needs tweaking so that it's not used by companies. I dunno, but it's at least a basis of a good idea.

Nalano
18-11-2011, 03:47 PM
In fact screw Mexicans stealing peoples jobs

The terminology used here seems to imply that Mexicans aren't people.

Taidan
18-11-2011, 03:54 PM
The terminology used here seems to imply that Mexicans aren't people.

I think the phrase he was looking for was "screw Mexicans stealing real peoples jobs".

Fun fact: I have never met a real Mexican. Only fake ones.

Xercies
18-11-2011, 05:28 PM
The terminology used here seems to imply that Mexicans aren't people

Its a terminology that a lot of other people would use and in that context that is what i was trying to relate to. I have nothing against Mexicans.

Ooo that made me feel like a PR person just then :)

deano2099
18-11-2011, 07:40 PM
I like Rev Stu's idea:

http://wosland.podgamer.com/?p=11819


So how do we square this tricky moral circle? Well, like most things it's pretty simple if you're prepared to adopt a radical and rational solution. Every nation on Earth should hand over the decision on capital punishment to a referendum of its electorate. There should be a free vote, on any and all aspects of the issue right down to the method used and whether the condemned gets a last meal (http://www.odt.co.nz/news/world/179163/texas-abolishes-special-last-meals-condemned-inmates) or not. But there's a small twist.
Supporters of the death penalty argue either directly and openly or by unavoidable implication that a few mistaken executions are a price worth paying, either for the deterrent effect or the principle of judicial vengeance. So the only reasonable thing to do is to make them face up to the reality of that situation, and to do that in the only meaningful way possible.
The names of everyone who votes "Yes" to retaining/restoring capital punishment must be recorded and entered into a lottery. On the first of every month, one name (or more, determined as a proportion of how many people that nation or state executes in a typical year) will be drawn at random and executed on the last day of that month by the nation/state's chosen method, with no exceptions or appeals.
After all, if you're willing to accept the state killing of innocents, you have to accept that one day it might be you (or your son or your daughter or father or mother or brother or sister) who is the innocent in question. Because everyone who's ever been wrongfully executed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_exonerated_death_row_inmates) was someone's son or someone's daughter, and why should you be magically exempt? If the random sacrifice of the innocent is a price worth paying to kill murderers, you must be prepared to pay it yourself.

Nalano
18-11-2011, 07:49 PM
I like Rev Stu's idea:

The humor of all the legislation and policy that backs all this harsh punishment is that it is always enacted by those who are looking to control other people. Never would they themselves ever imagine the law being applied to them. Like the Three Strikes laws... or, y'know, this (http://i.imgur.com/VMusy.jpg).

Kandon Arc
18-11-2011, 10:12 PM
The thing that I find strangest about the death penalty is all the tinkering that goes into the methodology, e.g. whether lethal injection is truly painless. If you've accepted that a person needs to die for the good of the state, why not just use a firing squad or guillotine - it's quick, cheap and effective. I think the continuing debates about the morality of certain methods of execution betray that even pro-capital punishment advocates are still uncomfortable with the practice if not the theory.

Hanban
18-11-2011, 11:02 PM
I am staunchly against the death penalty. Nalano lists the relevant concerns better than I would have.

To me what I think it boils down to is simply the intention of court rulings. Are they to mete out 'justice' or are they for preventing crime in society. If the latter, then I do not see any reason for the death penalty to exist.

DigitalSignalX
18-11-2011, 11:40 PM
I'm against the death penalty for all the logical reasons posted previously. However I still also want to be able to kill people myself if I feel my home or family is being threatened. It's seemingly at odds, but I'm also very pro-gun provided there is proper training and background checks. It makes me wonder if I'm being hypocritical since I'm also pro-choice on the abortion issue. Some would argue it's all murder in some form. Thankfully the world is gray.

Nalano
18-11-2011, 11:50 PM
I'm against the death penalty for all the logical reasons posted previously. However I still also want to be able to kill people myself if I feel my home or family is being threatened. It's seemingly at odds, but I'm also very pro-gun provided there is proper training and background checks. It makes me wonder if I'm being hypocritical since I'm also pro-choice on the abortion issue. Some would argue it's all murder in some form. Thankfully the world is gray.

Gun control is a whole 'nother can of worms, but from a purely pragmatic point of view, guns have a deleterious effect on a macro and micro level. High gun ownership rates don't correlate with low crime rates and, statistically, the person most likely to be killed by your gun is you.

Zetetic
19-11-2011, 12:51 AM
1) Prevention & Deterrence - Harsh punishments have little effect on crime levels because potential criminals don't expect to get caught.
Depends very much on the criminal, and the crime (and, obviously, the two are linked). With the sort of violent crimes that the death penalty might be used for, a great many offenders are unlikely to have formed any kind of idea of the risk involved. So I'd say the issue's even more one-sided than you suggested.


4) Rehabilitation & Recidivism - Put anybody in federal or state penitentiary, and they're far more likely to end up returning after release, no matter the original crime. The original ruling matters more than any subsequent punishment.I think there's quite a few caveats around this, particularly the last statement given that there plenty of punishments that don't involve entering the prison system (and, indeed those that do enter the prison system often re-offend - of course, that's not talking about why certain people are chose to enter the prison system and others not).

It's worth considering the kind of individuals that are prone to violent behaviour, and how there really are risk factors that can be deal with. Substance abuse comorbid with psychoses is fairly good example.


If the UK is looking for examples, let us hope they take the American system to heart as a case study of how harsher rulings do not work. I don't really believe that there's any genuine debate about such things over here, and whilst forensic psychology isn't nearly as popular in the courts in the UK, it's fairly well integrated with Justice and the prison system so there's that aid. Lone e-petitions don't mean much.

For me there are other, perhaps less pragmatic, concerns. I'm not happy with the state having that power, simply because the concerns of the state change constantly. I'm not happy with either with any individual, or indeed a people, having those killings be by them or on their behalf.

Keep
19-11-2011, 01:02 AM
Controversial opinion coming up: I'm actually not all that worried about the idea of an innocent person being punished in circumstances where you could reasonably mistake them for the guilty party.

Mind, I am where the punishment has an irreversible effect on that person's ability to improve their lot.

In fact, I'm against any punishment having such an effect on anyone, no matter how guilty.

So death penalty is a no for me.

But public beating or corporal punishment? Are they actually more inhumane than locking someone away from society altogether, or trying to devise a least painful way to murder them?

Nalano
19-11-2011, 01:05 AM
Depends very much on the criminal, and the crime

Statistically speaking, there is no strong correlation between sentencing and crime deterrence. Prison stops crime through incapacitation, not deterrence.


I think there's quite a few caveats around this

Statistically speaking, it's generally the case: Federal and state prisons have exceptionally high recidivism rates. In the case of, say, the relatively violence-free crime of drug possession, the recidivism is strongly correlated to incarceration in these prisons, rather than the crimes themselves. The person becomes largely unemployable and emotionally destroyed. As it turns out, housing somebody with a society of hardened criminals does not in any way prepare them to deal with the real world when they come back out again (who knew, right?).

Prisons create convicts, not repentants.

I speak largely on the macro-scale and stick to pragmatism mainly because any time morality is injected into these discussions, they devolve into tit-for-tats.


Mind, I am where the punishment has an irreversible effect on that person's ability to improve their lot.

Every time you hear of somebody doing any substantive portion of a prison term for a crime he did not do, it is always a horrible tragedy. Make no bones about it: The state has destroyed his life.

Zetetic
19-11-2011, 01:39 AM
Statistically speaking, there is no strong correlation between sentencing and crime deterrence. Prison stops crime through incapacitation, not deterrence.
This is a gross over-generalisation. The process of risk assessment differ considerably between individuals, and as I said crimes. This is hardly surprising given the great variety of criminals and crimes; you'd be hard pushed to suggest there's a trivial psychological definition of a crime, which would indicate that the process governing criminal behaviour may be rather disparate.

A very well-publicised example of deterrence having a considerable effect on behaviour of a massive number of individuals would be the introduction of the Road Safety Act 1967 and subsequent decrease in road deaths; but it may be noted tat the behavioural changes have not been maintained as the decades have passed.

Don't get me wrong, deterrence is a relatively weak tool. But it's not utterly inconsequential. However, violent crimes of the relevant kind and the death penalty is case where there's little well-produced evidence for a deterrence effect. I was agreeing with you, broadly, but noting that the issue is more nuanced.


Statistically speaking, it's generally the case: Federal and state prisons have exceptionally high recidivism rates.Right, and I'm suggesting that there might other factors that interact with this. You, known statistically speaking. A fairly well-known study is Walker et al. (1981) - effect of prison (vs. probation or fines) interacts considerably with whether or not you're a first offender or already a recidivist. If you're a first offender, so suggested the study, prison may be more likely to prevent you re-offending.

The current state of the United States' prison system - which is exceptional as you say - makes it unhelpful for generalising to other countries. There's also a great difficulty with taking criminals as a single, homogenous cohort - it's dominated by multiple-offence repeat offenders for one thing, so you end up losing any possible effect on first offenders if you don't examine these factors.

Wooly Wugga Wugga
19-11-2011, 03:52 AM
In a world with a perfect judicial system where no mistakes are made I'd be all for the death penalty. I see absolutely nothing wrong with permanently removing someone from society who has proven that they do not belong in society. Even in prison these people have an impact on society so I say take them out back and put a bullet in their brain. There is too much emotion involved in these arguments when we should be clinical about it.

I would rather prisons be places of rehabilitation where people who can be rehabilitated are not locked up with violent individuals who cannot be rehabilitated and should be in a hole in the ground.

soldant
19-11-2011, 07:27 AM
Absolutely nobody is going to come up with a suitable answer for crime, especially if you want to start tearing apart the definition of "crime" itself. Which is one of the reasons I stopped studying criminology; lots and lots of people shouting about how the other side is wrong, while neither can actually develop any suitable response for why they're correct. Some people will fear the punishment of deprivation of liberty imposed by a prison sentence, others don't care or become institutionalised and don't mind the prison system. Some who undergo rehabilitation programs will turn their life around, others sail through and go right back to re-offending. The only thing that can be said is that while they're incarcerated, their capability to cause crime is reduced (for the most part, gangs I guess are a bit of an exception). Nobody can come up with an adequate explanation for crime or methods of deterrence, which is why incarceration is still so popular; if we can't find a way to prevent crime or deter crime, we might as well just keep criminals away from society so that their capacity to offend is reduced.

I support the death penalty for cases where it's unquestionable that a person committed a murder with malicious intent to kill. People like Ted Bundy, or Ivan Milat. Rehab programs aren't going to work for those sorts of people, and prolonged incarceration is just as pointless. You can argue about the benefits of rehab or intervention strategies, because sometimes they do work, but they're not blanket solutions and easily allow people who will reoffend to go free. The inverse innocent-mistaken-for-guilty argument applies here; why institute a program which will arguably make it easier to allow the guilty to go free?

On the other hand, I actually don't agree with incarceration for drug users, but coming from a healthcare background I don't agree with legalising every illicit drug and letting people go apeshit with drugs (people can't be responsible with alcohol, increasing the availability of other intoxicants sounds just as dangerous). I'd rather the substances never existed, but I'd legalise drugs if it was a a state-owned industry with heavy regulation, and extreme punishments for those who committed crimes under intoxication.

Xercies
19-11-2011, 09:07 AM
I think if you go individually and see guilty going to rehibilitation and killing someone then yes maybe you shouldn't do it. But if statistically it rehabilitates more prisoners and cuts down reoffended by a lot then I would say go for it. Statistically its not been proven that the death penalty works.

Keep
19-11-2011, 12:27 PM
But if statistically it rehabilitates more prisoners and cuts down reoffended by a lot then I would say go for it

My good man. If statistically, assassinating random citizens was proven to reduce crime, would you go for that? If statistically, launching pogroms against gays or koreans or single mothers was proven to reduce crime, would you advocate doing that?

Xercies
19-11-2011, 02:56 PM
By your logic we should have crime down by 100%, I don't know what planet your living on but that would never be possible, and you'd go crazy trying to get it. So the best possible way is to go with the one that is better then most.

I hate when films say that the 0.01% is bad and you should do 100% every single time, and saying for the greater good is bad. Well both of them are not like it is in real life, sometimes yes you do have to make sacrifices.

Also your being wrong, assaulting people isn't the way to get crime down, being nice to people usually is.

Keep
19-11-2011, 03:32 PM
By your logic we should have crime down by 100%

Huh? I don't follow you there.


What I'm saying is, if you justify a practise (e.g. the death penalty) by its statistical effect on society, you're paving the way for this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4) type of thinking.

You're absolutely right, we've got to accept the planet we live in. Crime won't go down 100%. But I'd say not only that, but we shouldn't even think in those terms, of how can the statistics be changed. What we should try to do is treat the people in our society as best we can, in a way that enables everyone to better themselves. Hopefully that'd correlate with reduced crime, but even if it didn't it'd be preferable to endorsing barbarism of any kind, no matter how effective such barbarism was on reducing crime rates.

soldant
20-11-2011, 12:15 AM
What we should try to do is treat the people in our society as best we can, in a way that enables everyone to better themselves. Hopefully that'd correlate with reduced crime, but even if it didn't it'd be preferable to endorsing barbarism of any kind, no matter how effective such barbarism was on reducing crime rates.
I think you can turn that into circular logic though; what do you do with people like serial killers who simply won't cooperate with society and will never respond to any treatment programs at all, or those who decide that being treated the "best they can" runs in conflict with others and lashes out at them? If you want to treat everyone else as best you can, then you need to take action against these people who won't be reformed.

DigitalSignalX
20-11-2011, 12:29 AM
Off topic: More games should have perm death btw.

R-F
20-11-2011, 10:52 AM
In my opinion, there are certain people who are just... Unredeemable. They have no chance of rehabilitation, or they're perpetrated (or, rather, helped perpetrate) such crimes that are against humanity itself. If they go to jail and are eventually released, they'll CARRY on perpetrating those crimes. If they are permanently in jail, they can still carry on doing them or something along those lines.

We're not talking about singular murders, they should have the usual 15-year penalty we have in England. I'm talking about stuff like serial rapists / killers over 20 years or that guy who did the bombing / shooting in Oslo. They're people who have, in their full consciousness of mind, caused harm to such a degree that it will likely never be fixed. They've planned it, they've been careful and they've executed it. If they get out, they will cause more harm. If they're in jail, it's a sign to every single other person who's considered doing something similar that they can get away with it, for all intents and purposes.

They're essentially human-shaped animals. What do you do with an animal once it's bitten a person? You try to train it not to. What do you do with an animal once it's bitten another person? You put a muzzle on it permanently. The third time? Well... See the thread title.

squirrel
20-11-2011, 12:43 PM
Off topic: More games should have perm death btw.

We will. Sister fxxking cheaters deserve to be permanently banned, with their money spent on the games they cheated on being wasted, and we honest gamers thrive, yahooooooooo~

Back to the topic, I dont know why people are easily tricked into simple logic of conceiving correlation between severity of punishment and crime rate. I see every year corrupted officials, who are bribed in millions and killing innocents trying to expose their crimes, being eventually busted and executed. So what, there is no sign of any clean government. Violent crimes, organized crimes, corruption at the level of treason (some steal nation's assets and escape to western countries to enjoy their life there in retirement), are still as serious as hell. See? Such correlation is just so damn elusive.

There are two things we need to consider for sentencing a convicted felons:
1. Will this punishment be effective in stopping this felon from committing the crime again? (of course yes, huh, the felon's head's been chopped off already.)
2. Will this punishment serve well to be deterrence to the public from committing such felony?

There is an old Chinese saying, "Profitable business with risk of being beheaded will always have new entrants." For low life, value of life is too trivial to be compared with criminal profits. Some may even feel it worth the price to be a "one minute hero". For prestigious criminals, they always have their way out. We dont even know if we have chance to convict them for their crimes.

Instead of considering on economic rationale of capital punishment, that say, rather it effectively reduce crime rate; I rather view it as a means of war. Come to think of this, if we consider convicted felons as enemies of our societies, what means should we employ to combat those enemies? Under what circumstances can we terminate those enemies once and for all?

If such enemies pose threat to our safety, we terminate them, simple as that.

Xercies
20-11-2011, 01:35 PM
I'm kind of uncomfortable with people saying these people will always kill people no matter what you do and its better just to kill these people. I'm sure there are probably some people out there that are like that but i don't think its as common as you think. And its a really bad judgement to make really, if you have someone at trial for murder how do you know there personality really?

Also you get into the double standard mentality, its it cool to kill people when those people are killers? Aren't you as bad as them really? We should really have laws that deem to be better then the perpetrator doing the crime.


What I'm saying is, if you justify a practise (e.g. the death penalty) by its statistical effect on society, you're paving the way for this type of thinking.

I was justifying a practice(rehabilitation) with its statistics. but I get where your coming from. Though with crime its very hard to really not to that.

Keep
20-11-2011, 03:54 PM
I think you can turn that into circular logic though; what do you do with people like serial killers who simply won't cooperate with society and will never respond to any treatment programs at all, or those who decide that being treated the "best they can" runs in conflict with others and lashes out at them? If you want to treat everyone else as best you can, then you need to take action against these people who won't be reformed.

Right, or worse: the people who will trick the rehabilitation. I read about one man's attempt to engage convicted psychopaths in emotional therapy. What they ended up learning were a bunch of tricks and deceptions to help manipulate others even better than before.

There isn't a good solution to that problem. But maybe it's better to shift away from looking at it as "problems" and "solutions", and ask which action is the right thing to do, rather than which action will fix things.

Xercies
20-11-2011, 11:00 PM
and ask which action is the right thing to do

Ah but that starts the argument all over again. Some people think the right thing to do is to kill anyone who has done a crime against people. Some people think its good to go to prison and make them eat gruel. Some people think they should earn there stay into soceity. Which one of these are the right thing to do? No one knows.

zookeeper
20-11-2011, 11:29 PM
I wasn't aware that the death penalty was something that required discussing anymore?


In my opinion, there are certain people who are just... Unredeemable. They have no chance of rehabilitation, or they're perpetrated (or, rather, helped perpetrate) such crimes that are against humanity itself. If they go to jail and are eventually released, they'll CARRY on perpetrating those crimes. If they are permanently in jail, they can still carry on doing them or something along those lines.

We're not talking about singular murders, they should have the usual 15-year penalty we have in England. I'm talking about stuff like serial rapists / killers over 20 years or that guy who did the bombing / shooting in Oslo. They're people who have, in their full consciousness of mind, caused harm to such a degree that it will likely never be fixed. They've planned it, they've been careful and they've executed it. If they get out, they will cause more harm. If they're in jail, it's a sign to every single other person who's considered doing something similar that they can get away with it, for all intents and purposes.

There's a big assumption here that we're able to tell who the "unredeemable" people are, which we just can't. And one of the big problems with executing people is that it removes any opportunity to find out.


They're essentially human-shaped animals. What do you do with an animal once it's bitten a person? You try to train it not to. What do you do with an animal once it's bitten another person? You put a muzzle on it permanently. The third time? Well... See the thread title.

What would perhaps be more useful (and more humane) would be to look at why the animal is biting people. Very few animals (and, by extension, people) do anything for no reason. We could execute people who we view as problematic, but that does nothing to stop more problematic people being raised.

Keep
21-11-2011, 12:24 AM
Ah but that starts the argument all over again.

Ah but that's the argument we should've started off with in the first place.

What actions are right? Which are wrong?

This debate's wondering about an appropriate way of dealing with those who we think have done Very Wrong Actions. So we started off with an assumption: There are certain actions we know to be wrong.


No one knows.

If you really believed that, you would've replied to the OP with "How can we judge these murderers as wrong at all? Who's to say that serial killing isn't a morally good action?"

...Actually, I'm not sure you'd have managed to get out of bed in the morning, if you really believed that.

soldant
21-11-2011, 03:12 AM
There isn't a good solution to that problem. But maybe it's better to shift away from looking at it as "problems" and "solutions", and ask which action is the right thing to do, rather than which action will fix things.
Um, the right thing to do is a solution to a problem. Crime by definition implies there's a problem since it's a divergence from what society establishes as normal and acceptable. If a problem didn't exist it wouldn't be a crime, and there'd be no need for intervention.

Xercies
21-11-2011, 05:47 PM
f you really believed that, you would've replied to the OP with "How can we judge these murderers as wrong at all? Who's to say that serial killing isn't a morally good action?"

Right and wrong is something we humans arbitarillay decide. I mean we used to think it was right to smoke and pregnant women were encouraged to smoke but now we know that is wrong. So in a hypothetical future when humans are immortal murder wouldn't be as wrong to us as it is now since it doesn't really affect us as much.