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What do you guys think of the death penalty?

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Darth_Ole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:04 PM
Original message
What do you guys think of the death penalty?
I'm writing a 10 minute speech on it for my English class and wanted your thoughts...

I'm very against it. The risk of losing an innocent life is just too high. And when a government murders someone, innocent or not, they become no better than the people they are executing.
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loveable liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. life is life. taking life is taking life.
no one can justify taking life.
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Wols Donating Member (194 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Agreed
I'm opposed to it. Even if the person is guilty the state reduces itself to the level of a murderer. Every evil scumbag, even those with a life sentence, deserves the chance to hopefully grow and change. And that doesn't mean I'm opposed to life sentences. Anyway, that's my personal opinion.
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Downtown Hound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'm opposed to it
I really have nothing else to say. I just think it's hypocritical to kill someone to show that killing is wrong. I hold the justice system of my country to a higher standard than that. And I've had friends of mine murdered. And I still wouldn't want the killers executed for it.
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PROGRESSIVE1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
3. I am GENERALLY against ALL killing......
Edited on Sun Oct-24-04 09:09 PM by PROGRESSIVE1
Death Penalty, War, and Abortion.

I understand that CERTAIN cases exist where we need to have the option of War and Abortion(such cases: rape, incest, mother's life in danger). The Death Penalty has been used unfairly against those who are not well connected and wealthy. Too many innocent people have died because of this. George Bush, while Governor of Texas, executed 152 people and most likely 20 or more of them were innocent!!!

War should be used STRICTLY for the means of defending one's Nation against any threat that may hurt it's existence.
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searchingforlight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:08 PM
Original message
The chance of making a mistake is too great and has been proven time
and again.

Each person who supports is must realize that it is as if they personally are doing the killing.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'd prefer the government not kill people.
First, as you stated, the risk of innocent people being executed is too great. Second, although most of us might feel that individual people deserve the death penalty, we need to move towards becoming a civilized society. Killing people hinders that progress.
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MrSlayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. I'm for it.
I know what I'd want done if someone hurt my family.
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LibLover Donating Member (248 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
7. It kills innocent people
If there were a 100% effective means of filtering out the innocent, I'd be a lot more comfortable with it. Some people are so barbaric that the only way to punish them is to take their lives.

Of course, if there were a 100% effective means of determining guilt then we wouldn't need juries and judges either.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. I'm against it, but I can understand certain circumstances when
I would feel differently.

If someone, for whatever reason, killed one of my kids (grown now) or my husband, deliberately, and out of anger, I sure can see wanting an eye for an eye. I realise that's vengence, but I do believe I'd feel that way.
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AnnInLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #8
23. I agree with the above poster
if one of my children is killed, then I would be for the death penalty for the murderer. If one of my children killed someone else, I would be opposed to the death penalty.

I can't get this out of my mind when I think of the death penalty: I remember seeing Mr. Klaus (can't remember his first name) talk about the death penalty for the man who raped, tortured and murdered his little girl. He said the murderer sits in prison every night, and in his thoughts he rapes her, tortures her, and kills her all over again...every night, over and over. Mr. Klaus wants that man dead, so he will stop killing his daughter. I would feel the same.
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camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
9. Against it
It puts the government on the same level as the murderer. It's barbaric.
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stavka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
10. First Paragraph -
The Death Penalty, when used as a tool of a State, is the gravest of responsibilities. Executions are State sponsored and condoned murder(as difined by the Bible), whether they be done after years of legal review, or minutes of in-the-field military justification.

To have the State legally execute anybody, is to be retroactively doing what the State is specifically designed not to do in the EXTREME

...and enjoy a cold Mountain Dew
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Raiden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. Funny, I was chugging a cold Mountain Dew as I read that
I am for the most part against it. Besides, letting someone rot in prison is a much better punishment than killing them and ending their suffering. It's cheaper too. Why should anyone be afraid of death? It is the end of all suffering and the release from physical existence, that isn't something that I really fear. So, that sums it up basically.
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Maiden England Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
11. "Thou Shalt Not Kill"
Goes hand in hand with the saying, "two wrongs don't make a right". Really I believe only G-d has the right to take 'an eye for an eye'. We are not to assume the ability to make such a choice, we have no right to take life away no matter how heinous the crime. I also think, that one innocent life lost in a miscarriage of justice, is one innocent life too many and that it is not worth the risk to have a death penalty and risk that happening. Also its not like its really worth the financial cost, it would be just cheaper to throw them in prison till they rotted, without the special fuss, the appeals processes, yadda, yadda.
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Lost Creek Donating Member (115 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #11
22. ""Thou Shalt Not Kill""
It is that simple. I met Carla Fay Tucker shortly before w had her killed. Her crime was truley horrible. When
I met her she was a changed person. Killing her was an even more horrible crime. She was bring good to many involved in the criminal justice system on both sides of the bars.
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quisp Donating Member (926 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
12. I am opposed to it except in
proven cases of espionage and treason. I guess that's the Navy vet in me talking.

The chance of executing an innocent person is too high, it is not a deterent, and providing the necessary appeals is more expensive than keeping someone in maximum security for 60 years.
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MGKrebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
13. I have no basic moral problem with it,
but as others have said, unless we can be DAMN sure we are doing it right, we should not do it. Also, if I thought it really served to 'discourage" crime and criminals, I would be more supportive, but I am not convinced that is the case. In any event, for me "revenge" is not a good enough reason to execute someone.
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George_S Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
14. Against it
1) Too easy to put an Innocent person to death.

2) It costs more.

3) Killing to condemn killing doesn't make sense.

4) States with the death penalty have a higher murder rate.
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PBX9501 Donating Member (231 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
15. DNA
A good counter point is that those positions are easy to support if murder is not inflicted on you.

Place your self in a position where your mother was abducted in a wal-mart parking lot, taped up and put in the trunk, driven out of town raped and then beaten to death with a tire iron.

I think that a positive match on rape/murder should earn someone the death penalty.

If you have ever seen the end results it is hard to keep black and white opinions. I do social work now and have seen things that would motivate most people to lash out against attackers. Speaking to someone who had been raped repeatedly over years or someone who was killed with a tire iron after being raped tends to soften your stance on death penalty. Dead kids have that effect as well.

Louisiana has a law that earns anyone adult who rapes a child 12 or younger the death penalty.

Another thought is that mandatory life is no fun either.

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democracyindanger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
16. Let the kin decide nt
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anti_shrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
17. My view is thusly:
I have no problem with the death penalty as long as it's 100% correct the right person is being put to death. The only time that's ever the case is people like serial killers and other extreme cases pro-DP folks always throw in your face.

They say "well what about Ted Bundy? Would you want to spare his life?" to which I say "well it's the kid from a poor family sent to death row on shaky evidence that concerns me".
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livinginphotographs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
19. You just summed up my thoughts on it.
n/t
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jerryman814 Donating Member (422 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
20. It's funny how the president is an advocate of the death penalty...
but is against funding unrestricted stem cell research.... What a funny man to support pro-death policies such as the death penalty and not pro-life research...
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Abelman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
21. Tough Question
That is a very tough question. I personally believe in a strong sense of forgiveness. It's part of my religion, and I think revenge only breeds more revenge. I think that many murderers can become better people, but the amount of work necessary to do it is just so difficult and ravaging on the people who must do it.

I think at a certain point, a person can lose their humanity, their soul if you want to call it that. At that point, it's like putting a rabid dog to sleep. It's sad, but must be done, and is the most compassionate thing to do with someone. This sounds very terrible, but its how I think.

But this is only in extreme cases, where the person has been proven as the murderer beyond a shadow of a doubt, shows no remorse for the lives they have taken and there is no one to forgive them.

I don't know how I would be able to deal with someone who killed someone I cared about. I hope that I would be able to forgive them for it, but I don't really know for sure. The death penalty should be the last thing we look for as punishment, but it shouldn't be cast aside totally. The stark reality is that some people will never be able to live in society as a normal and healthy person, they won't be able to stop their horrific crimes.

It's impossible to look at the issue in right/wrong terms. I guess I don't have a very good answer.
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AlamoDemoc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. I am against it
You see, people that favor the death penalty agree that the death penalty itself is barbaric act, as murder itself is barbaric, yet they think death is a fitting punishment for it...I just don't get it
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
24. Government tells us it's OK to KILL.
We kill innocent people merely because it's too "expensive" to tell the difference, so why bother? They're all regarded as "collateral damage" - not really human.

Since when does the "government of the people" have a power that the people themselves don't have??

:puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke:
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
26. Another reason to oppose it that is rarely mentioned:
Execution creates another innocent family with a parent, child, or sibling who has been murdered.

Regardless of whether you believe the person who is being executed deserves to die, his or her family is is innocent. Even the most vile criminals rarely hold their victims hostage for decades, torturing their families by repeatedly announcing new execution dates which come and go, with the family never knowing whether this date is for real or another false alarm. Every time a new execution date draws near, the details of the planned execution are explained in great detail, and are nearly impossible for the family to avoid if they are maintaining contact with their loved one.

When the family of the victim does not support the execution, it is doubly hard on them because they have not only lost a member of their own family they also feel responsible in some measure for the loss of the killer's family because they were unable to convince the state not to carry out vengeance on their behalf.

Here are snippets of an article about one such story. If you want the full article, send me a PM with your e-mail and I will send you a copy. It is no longer available on on line or I would provide a link.

"Early Saturday morning, March 29, 1980, two Quaker families near Central City, Nebraska, received messages that are perhaps the most devastating in human experience. One family received news that a daughter and sister, Janet Mesner, 30 (and her visiting friend, Victoria Lamm, 28), had been stabbed to death. The other family learned that their son, Randolph Reeves, 24, had been arrested for committing those crimes, crimes that occurred in an upstairs apartment of the Friends meetinghouse in Lincoln, Nebraska, where Janet lived."

<<ship>>

"Kenneth and Mildred presented, on February 5, 1985, formal testimony to the Judiciary Committee that said in part: '. . . I am a member of the Religious Society of Friends. . . . I was born and raised in the belief that violence is not an acceptable method of solving the problems that arise in our daily lives. . . . The fact that my daughter, Janet, was a victim of murder has not changed that belief. . . . I would like to encourage this committee and the full legislature to repeal the death penalty in the interest of a less violent society. . . . The use of the death penalty only lowers the standards of government to the mentality of the murderer himself who may (have thought) at the moment of the murder that his life will benefit by the death of another. . . . For the government deliberately and methodically to execute one of its citizens is to put a black mark on a society that looks to Christianity as a standard to
live by. . . .'"

"But what of the parents of Randy? Don Reeves in the 1983 hearing on the repeal measure gave the following testimony (again in part) to the Nebraska Judiciary Committee: 'I first testified against the death penalty before this committee in 1961, and on two subsequent occasions, little dreaming that we might be here under the present circumstances. Our son Randy has been convicted of taking two lives. One of them was Janet Mesner, one of our favorite young persons, daughter of lifelong friends, member of our Friends meeting, family babysitter, Randy's good friend, and older sister of fellows he had lived with. . . . The Randy who killed Janet and Vicki was not the same person whom we know and love. . . . Neither we, nor any other person we know of, are aware of any other incident in Randy's life that remotely resembles this one. . . . Still we can't help wondering, what if Randy had been born in different circumstances? Or had been adopted by some other family? Were we too naive in accepting Randy's Indian heritage? What if our whole culture were less violent, or if we did not accept or even encourage the use of alcohol and other drugs? The presence of Nebraska's death penalty did not save Janet and Vicki. Taking Randy's life will not bring them back. It did not deter others in death row, or those who took life but with whom the courts dealt differently. . . . Capital punishment is applied fitfully. . . . In Nebraska, as everywhere, it falls most harshly on the poor and on the minorities."
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-04 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
27. Have no problem with the principle, but do not agree with how it is...
pursued in this country.
I agree with the great liberal humanist John Stuart Mill that capital punishment is right because of the precious nature of life.
And remember, the Supreme Court that struck down the death penalty did so because they found it not to be cruel, but unusual (not pursued often enough) Thurgood Marshall was the only jurist who found it "immoral"
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