Capital Punishment and Death Sentences

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by finrod, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus Constantly Around :D

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    using the search function i cannot find those quotes anywhere in my post...

    i'm not agreeing with everything he says, only some of it, and some of the things i agreed with or found reasonable i have posted.

    the "christianity" section is in response to running wolf's post about christianity and what jesus said.

    the other data is to refute the "no evidence of deterrence" posts by both running wolf and turambar.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  2. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    That site, WM, is hardly unbiased; They claim to be a "Pro Capital Punishment Page". A little internetting will show that most of the research presented is not at all unquestioned.

    As I don't have access to a university library anymore, it's hard for me to check up on all the data presented. I did find the Dezhbakhsh and Shepherd article quoted above. They conclude at first that there is an opposite to a deterring effect at first glance. However, their main argument is that the deterring effect of the actual execution is lagged one to three years for reasons which are not quite satisfactory explained.

    What is more, Berk argues that the measured effect of this research, as well as a few others above must be statistical artefacts based on that fact that the sample size (<5 per state per year) is too small to draw any conclusions. Other than Wesley Lowe, Berk also did a meta-analysis earlier, of which I only found the abstract, which shows that when all publications are polled, no statistical inclination towards accepting the hypothesis at hand can be shown.

    ProCon.org, a debating site has a overview of the better arguments for and against.

    However, given the current state of data and statistics, as well as research in other countries, I am inclined to accept that the difinitive research showing that - in this case - the death penalty has a deterring effect should still be conducted. The Columbia Law School has a decent, readible article which reflects my opinion pretty well.


    But thank you anyway for taking me into a scientific endeavour anyway :)
     
  3. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

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    I admit I read not all of the above quoted. But I read the christian part:

    Jesus was in favor of capital punishment: is laughable.

    And I always thought that the bible taught that God has the right to give and take lives - and no one else. Plus I am pretty sure none of the judges who sentence people to death hear God's voice in their heart.

    "Let him without sin cast the first stone" - does NOT say: If you are a robber don't judge other robbers
    But says: if you are entirely without sin, cast the first stone. And if it's only that you stole your neighbors land, how would you dare judge someone who killed a man? Because he made a mistake, but you did as well.

    Genesis is the old testament, even I know that, and in the old testament God destroyed the whole world except for Noah and his animals. I'm no scholar, but it seems the "old" God is rather vengeful and unforgiving.

    is the old testament as well, but nevertheless:
    a) It was written in a time where the people were in need of discipline. So it's adapted to the situation
    b) and who kills the man who put the other one to death? And who kills that one?
    Because he who is without sin shall cast the first stone, right?

    -.- that is seen too simple. It doesn't mean that if you pick up a sword to fight, you should be killed immediatly. Instead it says:
    If you pick up a sword to fight, you force the hand of someone else to fight as well. And then someone will come to defend you and the other one. And a war / a feud will evolve. And all who picked up the sword will die by the sword because that's how war goes.
    ...

    The bible is not a book full of commands that hold in each and every situation.
    The bible is a book filled with advice and parables to make people think.
    The bible also is a book written by mere human being, 2000+ years ago, censored by the roman catholic church and translated multiple times.
    And the bible is a book written in a culture very different from our own. Were women were 'unworthy', democracy was unthinkable and the bigges part of the population fought for their bare skin every day anew.
    The bible holds truth inbetween the lines.

    I am no scholar, but I know this: He who takes the bible literally shall be struck by lightening.


    And even if, EVEN IF, scholars prove me wrong time and again, and EVEN IF the bible would state that capital punishment is the way to go: I'm not 'christian' enough to apply that to our age. Because the bible remains a book written by men who interpreted God the way they needed him to be.
     
  4. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus Constantly Around :D

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    And the notion that the Bible is untrue or unapplicable in modern times is blasphemy, just pointing that out if you're a christian.
     
  5. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    The Bible is thick book and subject to interpretation. It would grace you if you made an equal plea to the opposite, WM.
     
  6. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus Constantly Around :D

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    Law and science-oriented:
     
  7. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    ... and Justice for all. No pun intended, no doubt.

    I think the quoted articles, much as they seek to justify the system as it is in place in the US, don't touch the heart of the debate. Capital punishment, after all, is not about money, it is not about laws and procedures. The debate might be about the effectiveness of capital punishment as a deterrent - but with that debate hung on "inconclusive", it must be discarded as a reason nonetheless. It might also be about religion; on a personal level, there is nothing against being guided by religion when forming an opinion. However, given the seperation of church and state, I would rather refrain from using it on a legislative level.

    Whether or not to install capital punishment is much more a philosophical debate. I must admit that, in principle, the death penalty might be applicable following some crimes. Whether to install it is, in my opinion, a democratic process. If a solid majority is in favour, the death penalty can be installed and executed. If not, it should be refrained from.

    So the people, the individuals are important in this matter, it is a choice of society. John Locke would agree that when certain individuals place themselves outside society, for instance by not adhering to the decree against murder, that person should be persecuted and is liable to be killed by society. However, the question remains whether people want to live in a society where a single choice, a single moment in ones life can irrevocably end all prospects and chances of that person. I like to believe that people (at least in Western society) believe in second chances. That, at least, is a very Christian thing to adhere to.

    Also, although the murderer killed, the burden of killing the murderer is shared by society as a whole. And, whilst the murderer is assumed to have such a twisted and corrupted mind to resort to murder, the rest of society is examplified by being exactly not that. I don't know about Christians, but at least humanitarians believe in the bounty of mercifulness rather than revenge, in part to distinguish themselves from the twisting and corruption of the murderer (in this case).

    I stand at the conclusion that each person should make up his own mind about the death penalty, preferrably with all the independance and intellect a free society should harbour - and society should collectively arrive at a conclusion by consensus or, at least, census.
     
  8. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

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    WM, I did not read those things you quoted.
    Because all you did the last few posts, was quoting loooong passages of other peoples oppinions.
    How about using your own words and give the links to those articles, instead of just burying me under the mass of information?

    As an answer to your christian quotes, look at Tur's responses.

    And I'll not take the thing you said about blasphemy personally ;)
    Because the bible remains a subject to personal interpretation. And I'll be damned if God simply gave us a brain but doesn't want us to use it.
    But since you are not religious - at least you made no such notion - I'll just shut up about it.
     
  9. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus Constantly Around :D

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    what, twenty quotes from the bible isn't enough to counter somebody's interpretation? :p

    jk, and really all this is debating for the heck of it. nothing personal i hope, everyone :eek:
     
  10. Daenerys

    Daenerys Blood of the Dragon

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    I think capital punishmet for serious crimes like serial killing/rape, as long as its certain that the person is guilty, should definitely be used. Those types of people are the scum of the earth, they do not deserve the luxury of life in prison. Prison has been made into a hotel where all the bad guys get to go and stay for a while. It is not so much a punishment as a vacation from the rest of the world. Its getting too soft, people are too concerned with making sure the prisons are "humane"...well, given the opportunity I don't think those people would have treated you very humanely! Get off your high horse and consider the fact that these people are vulgar scum and actually punish them. Don't give them television, television is a luxury not a necessity, give them a cold empty hard cell with no windows. They don't deserve to see the light of day let alone television shows. Once you give yourself over to raping and killing you're no longer a proper human being. You have no rights. You deserve no priveleges. All you deserve is life in a cold empty prison cell or death.
     
  11. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    This to me is, as the author states below, exactly the sort of case that I describe as "100% clear-cut guilt in an exceptionally heinous crime". No grey area. No doubt. He strayed so far beyond the realms of modern society that he forfeits his right to be a part of it.

     
  12. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus Constantly Around :D

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    well, next time he decides to go out and prove all his "but he reformed!" supporters wrong, give us a call ;)
     
  13. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Breivik is a terrorist. Following up on them is generally interesting.

    It appears that terrorism is associated with youth. The older people get, the less likely it is they choose to adhere to the radical beliefs that form the foundation to terrorism. Very few indeed adhere to violence after a decade or so. It usually seems to wash out.

    From what I understand, Ted Lapkin is not very moderate in his opinion. Get your own :)
     
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