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Old 12-24-2008
Netherlands DaDaimon
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Originally Posted by Khushrenada View Post
How you can equate the death penalty to life imprisonment in terms of reversability truly boggles the mind.

No matter how much you try and equate the two, it is infinitely more possible that a person who has been wrongly accused can be recompensed for this than that of a corpse.

You've rightly said that every punishment comes with the risk of doing it to the wrongly accused, and we dole out larger and larger punishments for this, we have to draw a line somewhere and something which can never be taken back is where I draw the line. That's the main difference.
A life sentence ones elapsed cannot be taken back either, any sentence ones elapsed cannot be taken back either that's the reality of our system. The difference between the two is simply in the amount of time to rectify the wrong and the odds of it being rectified. You state that there is a bigger chance of someone getting out of a life sentence vs a death sentence.

This must imply that 1. the life sentence to death is longer than the death sentence and 2. that odds of people finding out the 'real truth' is bigger.

Tell me how many times have you heard of a life sentence being overturned and the prisoner being released? How many times have you heard of a death sentence being overturned and the prisoner released? I can tell you that the latter is far more likely.

Assuming that the degree of error in each is equal, since we're using the same system to determine guilt this seems reasonable. This means that a lot of people are serving a life sentence whilst being innocent that will never be freed.

According to your logic we should ban life sentences as well, since the likelihood for an innocent person, wrongfully imprisoned, to die in prison is at least the same.

How is this a point in your favour in the slightest? Shall we pose another question, how many wrongly accused victims do you think would choose to die rather than serve life in prison considering that there's ever hope they may be freed upon overturn of their charges?

This is without even factoring in that there would be a constant diminishing chance that this would happen which would cease to be upon the last person previously serving the death penalty dying.

I'm sorry but saying that we should keep the death penalty just so that death row inmates get more publicity which apparently will increase their likelihood of being pardoned borders on madness, it is by far the most whimsical argument I've ever heard.
That was hardly the point of the argument, the point of the argument was that according to your logic we should not imprison people for life either, since that would equate for most innocent people with a death sentence.

I'm sorry but it's not It's sometimes a coincidental companion of justice, but justice and revenge are fundamentally different.

I understand fully the victims desire for revenge but it makes it no less morally questionable.

If this system is all about revenge, if you kill my mother so I kill hers in a similar fashion am I to assume that I will be allowed to walk freely ?
This is a strawman, I never said that you could take your revenge on an innocent victim. If you want to play by that game fine, but you can play by yourself then.

No it doesn't - it shows a realistic view of how a lawful and moral society must function and someone who hasn't overdosed on shit like Batman. Killing them will give momentary reprieve from the crushing blow of losing someone close or a similar trauma, this wont be solved at all by the killing however. It's purely the way the brains wired, nothing more. They're going to have to grieve and there is nothing anyone can do about that. So I'm sorry revenge isn't a reason because it doesn't actually achieve much of anything either.

Killing the murderer for someone elses personal satisfaction is completely immoral no matter which way you slice it and that's what it boils down to.
I never said it should be done for someones personal satisfaction, that's a broad generalization. One of the functions of the criminal justice system is revenge, any law student can tell you that, but let me provide you with a source for it:

Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Five objectives are widely accepted for enforcement of the criminal law by punishments: retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation and restitution. Jurisdictions differ on the value to be placed on each.
  • Retribution - Criminals ought to suffer in some way. This is the most widely seen goal. Criminals have taken improper advantage, or inflicted unfair detriment, upon others and consequently, the criminal law will put criminals at some unpleasant disadvantage to "balance the scales." This belief has some connection with utilitarianism. People submit to the law to receive the right not to be murdered and if people contravene these laws, they surrender the rights granted to them by the law. Thus, one who murders may be murdered himself. A related theory includes the idea of "righting the balance."
  • Deterrence - Individual deterrence is aimed toward the specific offender. The aim is to impose a sufficient penalty to discourage the offender from criminal behavior. General deterrence aims at society at large. By imposing a penalty on those who commit offenses, other individuals are discouraged from committing those offenses.
  • Incapacitation - Designed simply to keep criminals away from society so that the public is protected from their misconduct. This is often achieved through prison sentences today. The death penalty or banishment have served the same purpose.
  • Rehabilitation - Aims at transforming an offender into a valuable member of society. Its primary goal is to prevent further offense by convincing the offender that their conduct was wrong.
  • Restitution - This is a victim-oriented theory of punishment. The goal is to repair, through state authority, any hurt inflicted on the victim by the offender. For example, one who embezzles will be required to repay the amount improperly acquired. Restitution is commonly combined with other main goals of criminal justice and is closely related to concepts in the civil law.
Whether or not you accept the death penalty as a punishment should be based upon these objectives.

I'm sure it does.

We should then by this reasoning legalise murder for pathological psycopaths as they recieve a similar "biological function" from the "hormones and endorphines released and the rush give some form of pleasure".

The victims never had control, they had the illusion of control and I'm sorry I'm not willing to murder someone to make someone else feel better ever.

Much less risk murdering innocent people to do so.
I am sorry, but this is a strawman again. I never said we should let pathological psychopaths loose upon the population, nor can that be infered by my argument, nor the context of the argument. If your only arguments are strawmen, perhaps you should reconsider your careerchoice and start making scarecrows.

Tell me, if I was with the mother and father of 3 murdered children and I told you behind the glass there was someone who there was a 50/50 chance was guilty who had been convicted would you be keen to flip the switch?

I'm going to hazard a guess and say no.

Can you perhaps provide a reason for any system that will kill someone innocent eventually it's only a matter of time when you would say no to this scenario? Where's the line then? What are your "acceptable losses"? Would a ratio like 100:1 comfort you enough to murder someone? 1000:1?

This is sweeping aside the fact that victims in other nations without the death penalty [e.g the whole of europe, canada, australia and pretty much anyone else in the developped world) do fine without it (bringing us back to the problem being the grieving process and not the momentary benefit of revenge)?
That's nice, but that's not how our system works. Beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt. That is if the evidence does not convince you must aquit. You're trying to tackle a problem here that's already been tackled in the courtroom.

But that's basically your entire point really, your problem is with the way we weigh the evidence. I have not heard you make one argument in favour of not killing someone who was absolutly guilty of said crime.

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