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Pregnant Muslim mother stabbed 16 times in German courtroom.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mmm, death panels
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mouse



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lasairfiona wrote:
Darqcyde wrote:
Here's why I look at the death peSay a person is caught in the act and shows no remorse, no potential for rehabilitation, a true misanthrope. I realize that this would only apply to a very, very small percentage of cases but that's as is should be.

When I think of a situation like this and how it would merit the death penalty, I understand why society would want to apply it to that person. However I see it as a failing of our society in that we do not have the science or other knowledge to help that person become a functioning human being. We don't know how to help those people or even most of the other people society elects to put into prison.

We kill them and imprison them because society doesn't know what else to do.



Of course there is also the emotional appeal of a life for a life and all that but I think the law should be beyond that.


well, these days we often aren't even _trying_ to do things to rehabilitate them. a couple of weeks ago, my npr station had a weeklong series about the state of california prisons. california used to have the lowest recidivism rate in the country, thanks to a very active rehabilitation program. rehabilitation has pretty much gone by the wayside, thanks in part to budget problems, and in part to an increasingly punitive view of sentencing; now we have something like a 70% recidivism rate.

the thing is, the urge to cause someone extreme pain in return for some harm you believe they have done to you or society as a whole seems to be a strong one, and society lately is giving in to it - hence increasingly harsh sentencing guidelines and laws that force judges to hand down long sentences, regardless of the specifics of the case. darq is pretty much an example of the type - note that he says if _his_ loved ones were hurt. it's the urge to hit back, regardless of the fact that this doesn't really fix anything.

and sadly, we have quite definitely executed innocent people. the new yorker had an article about a texas man who was executed for setting a house fire that killed his children; later forensic evidence proved (as near as one can prove anything) that the fire was, in fact, accidental. (i'd post a link, but the new yorker's search engine is down for the moment - but the case was mentioned in another thread.)
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E-boy



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Outside the genetics and molecular side of the house forensics has been subjected to justified and very nasty criticism.

Our means of handling suspects has also been put under the microscope and found wanting.

Even our very system of jurisprudence has been shown to be flawed in deep and predictable ways. Our jury system for example, would be far more fair and impartial if jurors were kept seperate throughout the proceedings. We do our best to insulate them from outside influences and almost nothing to insulate them from each other. One author went so far as to say given a choice he'd opt for a trial by jury if he was guilty and dispense with the jurors altogether if he was innocent based on statistics from study simulations.


I haven't seen a lot in the way of any attempt to address these failings. That being the case a debate about punishments that can't be taken back seems a bit premature.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i would think now is exactly the time for the discussion - if you have a faulty system for assigning guilt, the _last_ thing you want to do is punish it permanently.
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E-boy



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I probably should have spelled out the fact that I think that the death penalty should be suspended throughout our country indefinitely until such time as all this is ironed out.

Of course, it's highly likely it never would be. Damn the luck.
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
and sadly, we have quite definitely executed innocent people. the new yorker had an article about a texas man who was executed for setting a house fire that killed his children; later forensic evidence proved (as near as one can prove anything) that the fire was, in fact, accidental. (i'd post a link, but the new yorker's search engine is down for the moment - but the case was mentioned in another thread.)


http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/10/perry_death_penaltys_working_fine.php#more

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/09/07/090907fa_fact_grann
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The Highlord



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being soft on imaginary crime is just as bad as being soft on real crime.
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E-boy



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

one theme I've seen over and over in this discussion are appeals to emotional thinking. Some of them more honest than others. Hell, I'm not immune to it. My first instinct regarding the incident that started this thread was to wish something really terrible on the guy in question. I often let anger get the better of me for brief periods of time. They are brief though. Ample evidence exists that the death penalty is NOT an effective deterrent. Ample evidence exists that it is not in fact cheaper than life imprisonment. Ample evidence exists that there are major flaws in our system.

So, do what everyone does when hard cold obervable facts get in the way of their arguments. Appeal to emotional thinking. "what if it were your family?" Well that's a great way to stir up non-critical thinking. When you feel fearful your ability to focus and think suffers. This isn't theory it's been shown again and again. About the only group of people who don't seem to suffer cognitive decline from fear are sociopaths (who don't seem to be real good at feeling fear at all). Fear mongering is an old trick and a particularly destructive one. If the only effective tool at your disposal is stirring up fear then chances are your argument needs work.
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Kilgore



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

E-boy wrote:
one theme I've seen over and over in this discussion are appeals to emotional thinking. Some of them more honest than others. Hell, I'm not immune to it. My first instinct regarding the incident that started this thread was to wish something really terrible on the guy in question. I often let anger get the better of me for brief periods of time. They are brief though. Ample evidence exists that the death penalty is NOT an effective deterrent. Ample evidence exists that it is not in fact cheaper than life imprisonment. Ample evidence exists that there are major flaws in our system.

So, do what everyone does when hard cold obervable facts get in the way of their arguments. Appeal to emotional thinking. "what if it were your family?" Well that's a great way to stir up non-critical thinking. When you feel fearful your ability to focus and think suffers. This isn't theory it's been shown again and again. About the only group of people who don't seem to suffer cognitive decline from fear are sociopaths (who don't seem to be real good at feeling fear at all). Fear mongering is an old trick and a particularly destructive one. If the only effective tool at your disposal is stirring up fear then chances are your argument needs work.


Try not to pat yourself too hard on the back, e-boy. The anti-death penalty crowd's main argument in this thread has been primarily emotional as well. They've given lip-service to the notions that life-imprisonment is cheaper, and that the death penalty isn't an effective deterrent, but they're mostly arguing that the possiblity that an innocent person might be executed is the most compelling moral absolute in the discussion. There's nothing wrong with that, but trying to dress it up as some sort of dispassionate cost-benefit analysis, or the only conclusion that a reasonable thinking person could come to is pretty damn sanctimonious.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been very careful to stick strictly to the cost-benefit analysis without using it to dress anything else!
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Mizike



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kilgore wrote:
E-boy wrote:
one theme I've seen over and over in this discussion are appeals to emotional thinking. Some of them more honest than others. Hell, I'm not immune to it. My first instinct regarding the incident that started this thread was to wish something really terrible on the guy in question. I often let anger get the better of me for brief periods of time. They are brief though. Ample evidence exists that the death penalty is NOT an effective deterrent. Ample evidence exists that it is not in fact cheaper than life imprisonment. Ample evidence exists that there are major flaws in our system.

So, do what everyone does when hard cold obervable facts get in the way of their arguments. Appeal to emotional thinking. "what if it were your family?" Well that's a great way to stir up non-critical thinking. When you feel fearful your ability to focus and think suffers. This isn't theory it's been shown again and again. About the only group of people who don't seem to suffer cognitive decline from fear are sociopaths (who don't seem to be real good at feeling fear at all). Fear mongering is an old trick and a particularly destructive one. If the only effective tool at your disposal is stirring up fear then chances are your argument needs work.


Try not to pat yourself too hard on the back, e-boy. The anti-death penalty crowd's main argument in this thread has been primarily emotional as well. They've given lip-service to the notions that life-imprisonment is cheaper, and that the death penalty isn't an effective deterrent, but they're mostly arguing that the possiblity that an innocent person might be executed is the most compelling moral absolute in the discussion. There's nothing wrong with that, but trying to dress it up as some sort of dispassionate cost-benefit analysis, or the only conclusion that a reasonable thinking person could come to is pretty damn sanctimonious.


Anti-death penalty crowd? Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

1.) People make mistakes.
2.) Death is irreversible.

I guess you could say it's an emotional appeal, but at least it's an accurate one. There is no argument to be made in favor of the death penalty that bears scrutiny. Or if there is one, I've yet see it presented.
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Guest



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kilgore wrote:
E-boy wrote:
one theme I've seen over and over in this discussion are appeals to emotional thinking. Some of them more honest than others. Hell, I'm not immune to it. My first instinct regarding the incident that started this thread was to wish something really terrible on the guy in question. I often let anger get the better of me for brief periods of time. They are brief though. Ample evidence exists that the death penalty is NOT an effective deterrent. Ample evidence exists that it is not in fact cheaper than life imprisonment. Ample evidence exists that there are major flaws in our system.

So, do what everyone does when hard cold obervable facts get in the way of their arguments. Appeal to emotional thinking. "what if it were your family?" Well that's a great way to stir up non-critical thinking. When you feel fearful your ability to focus and think suffers. This isn't theory it's been shown again and again. About the only group of people who don't seem to suffer cognitive decline from fear are sociopaths (who don't seem to be real good at feeling fear at all). Fear mongering is an old trick and a particularly destructive one. If the only effective tool at your disposal is stirring up fear then chances are your argument needs work.


Try not to pat yourself too hard on the back, e-boy. The anti-death penalty crowd's main argument in this thread has been primarily emotional as well. They've given lip-service to the notions that life-imprisonment is cheaper, and that the death penalty isn't an effective deterrent, but they're mostly arguing that the possiblity that an innocent person might be executed is the most compelling moral absolute in the discussion. There's nothing wrong with that, but trying to dress it up as some sort of dispassionate cost-benefit analysis, or the only conclusion that a reasonable thinking person could come to is pretty damn sanctimonious.


Anti-death penalty crowd? A bit strong, isn't it?
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Kilgore



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the possible exception of sam, I haven't seen anyone who criticized the death penalty in this thread indicate that they'd be okay with it under some other system, so...no?
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

would it be unfair to reserve the final solution for an infallible system?
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The Highlord



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kilgore wrote:
With the possible exception of sam, I haven't seen anyone who criticized the death penalty in this thread indicate that they'd be okay with it under some other system, so...no?

Are you saying that not being okay with something under any circumstances makes it an emotional argument?
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