Debate:On the death penalty and being a bleeding heart liberal

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Death Penalty[edit]

John Allan Muhammad, one of the two DC area snipers, is scheduled to die tonight via lethal injection, having exhausted all appeals. Only the governor on Virginia can save him now, and the words "political suicide" come to mind.

Like the header says, I'm a bleeding heart liberal, and I have very very serious doubts about the death penalty. I'm not absolutely opposed to it -- I had little problem with executing Timothy McVeigh for the Oklahoma City bombing, since he killed several hundred people, was apparently completely sane, and appeared utterly unrepentant. Basically, he was an evil terrorist. Similarly, if we ever apprehend bin Laden alive, I'd have no problem with him being executed after a proper trial (in part, because I don't want any chance he could escape prison and lead al Qaeda again.)

Muhammad, though... its hard to claim he's sane. His motivation has been hard to pin down.

On the other paw, I live in the DC area. I remember what it was like being in this area during the attacks, doing things like making sure you had cover while filling up your car. I remember the incredible sense of relief when he and his accomplice were caught. And the site of one of the attacks was a Sunoco station about two blocks from where my partner lived at the time. Heck, I had bought gas there before the attacks. (Incidentally, the conviction for that murder is the one that he's scheduled to be executed for.)

So, this is one of those things that really tests my personal values. MDB 12:32, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

What does society gain from killing him?--BobNot Jim 12:50, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Nicely put, Bob. Bob Soles 12:56, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I know. This is a time when my emotions push the limits of my rationality. MDB 13:16, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm against the death penalty as is. I think it should be elective and that participants must undergo a waiting period. i.e., "Bob, I sentence you to life in prison without the possibility of parole. After 10 years, after going through an evaluation and jumping through these hoops, you may elect to be put to death." — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 13:58, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
You could easily say that McVeigh wasn't sane because of those factors you listed - sanity is somewhat subjective like that. But it's true, states and people gain nothing from executions. These people are locked up so aren't immediate dangers to anyone. Scarlet A.pngpostate 15:28, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Society does gain from executing criminals; it gives lots of other people a sense of justice and security, justified or not. Now, it is very easy to argue that this is not worth the cost (dead people) but enough people feel it is that the death penalty will always be a hot-button issue. Z3rotalk 15:51, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
What is the purpose of jail? Is it to serve as an example for others, punishment or rehabilitation? If it's rehab then true life sentences are a mockery & might as well be replaced by the death penalty. If punishment then death rather stops the thing dead in its tracks. If it's an example then it possibly is valid but won't stop the true fanatics or the spur of the moment killers. I don't know; I'm too swayed from case to case and circumstances and a thousand other things. Toast& marmitechat 16:04, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
The deterrent issue is an interesting one, I'm not sure if data actually supports it - certainly Texas (the US is a good testing ground as it's almost culturally homogeneous but has different laws on a state-by-state basis) has the highest rate of executions but the highest rate of murders, so in the words of Ben Goldacre it's a bit more complicated than that. And it's easy to see why; there are basically four motivations for murder - profit, passion compulsion, necessity. Deterrents don't particularly work for these crimes. When someone murders for profit, they do it well, they cover their tracks, they convince themselves they won't be caught therefore a deterrent doesn't work. Murder at the height of passion is equally difficult to deter because for a deterrent to work, people need to think, and someone enraged is hardly thinking are they? Compulsion is basically insanity and you can't deter that. And necessity says that the murderer had little choice in the matter, they're either acting in self defence or their killing witnesses so that they don't get caught (necessity from their POV, of course). So murder, I think, is a difficult one to deter because it doesn't happen on a whim in the same way that stealing things or defrauding others happens, regardless of what people claim, humans just don't kill each other without good (and by good I mean strong) reason. Scarlet A.pngpostate 16:29, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Prison serves all three purposes (and they're not strictly contradictory; they just have to be balanced): to deter, to punish, and to rehabilitate. I suppose the "punish" part could be viewed as a facet of rehabilitation, by giving a reason to not do it again, but punishment also has a societal purpose in that some surety of a "bad guy" suffering for his misdeeds prevents individuals from deciding to take the law into their own hands. And "bad" justice via the courts beats "justice" from an angry mob.
And I submit that there are some individuals who are so dangerous they should never breathe free air again. Now, whether or not we do that by keeping them from ever being free again, or just from ever breathing again is a difficult question. (Though considering the fact the US Supermax prison has never had a successful escape, that's an argument against the death penalty.) MDB 16:46, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

DISCLAIMOR: I'm a weak advocate of the death penalty under the conditions I'll explain below as well as a more or less bleeding heart liberal. You seem to have left out one other purpose of the death penalty, to protect everyone else, unless that is covered under deterrence. I find punishment purposeless and likely immoral. Punishment alone serves no purpose other than to hamr another. Rehabilitation is sort of a non-issue here as Mohamed is never getting out. I think you're correct about deterrence (though deterrence is a good motive for prison in general) not being effective, the bit of data I've read from meta sources all seem to say the death penalty does not deter. So, we're left with protection, as far as I'm concerned. In this case I advocate for the death penalty as if he is dead there is zero chance of him hurting anyone inside or outside of prison. Further there seems no doubt that he and Malvo committed these murders and, thus, no chance that some new evidence will come to light that clears him. As a pragmatic matter it almost doesn't matter if he is insane either, just that he is a real and continuing danger to others. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 17:07, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm going to sound like a Reverse Andy, but there is no logic in a system of moral codes that says that it's always illegal to kill another human being, except if you're the State. It's either OK to kill, in which case you have a societal free-for-all which is clearly non-workable, or it's not OK, in which case no-one gets to kill. It benefits no-one, it clearly has no preventative effect, and it creates a hypocritical and facetious state of mind in society at large as we loudly proclaim murder to be the worst of all evils, while routinely putting people to death in 'our' name. Finally, let's not forget the large number of entirely innocent people who have been put to death. How do we intend to apologise to them for that? It's depraved, disgusting, barbaric, medieval, and it needs to be stopped. That is all. (Go on, ask me how I really feel). DogPMarmite Patrol 17:51, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Playing Devil's Advocate here... there are plenty of powers we reserve to the government, or to civil society collectively, rather than the individual. To give a somewhat silly example, I could not go to war with Iraq, but the United States of America can. (Whether or not that was an appropriate decision is another issue, of course.) If my neighbor killed his wife, I could not lock him up in my basement, but our society could lock him up in a basement (somewhat methaphorically, of course). In fact, the government would probably put me in that "basement", too, if I did lock up my neighbor, even if he was guilty. Now, I can see the point that condeming someone to die is a power that we should not even grant to the government, but I don't think the argument that "we wouldn't let an individual do it, we shouldn't let society do it" holds water. MDB 18:07, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Also it certainly isn't always illegal to kill another human being at all. Self defense and by warriors in combat are two legal ways to kill someone. There are also unpreventable accidents. In point of fact, a local (to me in Virginia) women recently mowed down some guy on a bicycle with her SUV and the cops couldn't find anything to charge her with. Apparently, the situation was such that they determined that she could not see him and thus wasn't at fault. I do understand objections to the death penalty, but I've got to say your reasoning isn't totally air tight or was that the reverse Andy part? Or were you talking about the bible? Cause I wasn't.
The whole society/individual dichotomy holds for practices and what people can actually do (in principle and practice) but doesn't really hold for what is right and wrong. A collective society can't hold a different set of moral principles to the individuals contained within it. Scarlet A.pngpostate 18:24, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
No, but it can say "there are certain actions we will only consider as 'right' if we decide on them collectively, because the ramifications are too great to leave to one individual." That is, in and of itself, a moral principle. MDB 19:45, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
If the death penalty was a deterrent then the US would have the lowest murder rate the in the world. Does the US have a low murder rate? Does the death penalty work as a deterrent? I don't think this is rocket science.--BobNot Jim 21:14, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
The death penalty does not act as a deterrent because it is not visible. It takes place in a room in a prison, it is, to say the least, sanitized (injection), it is not televised, and all you hear is X was executed today for Y. Were it a public execution in some sufficiently violent way, such as beheading, firing squad, hanging, etc, people would see directly the result, and you would see murder rates drop. Yes, this is one of the position where I am not liberal at all. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 23:10, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Nope, but you do have an extraordinary amount of faith in your guessing. I'd guess that public executions would simply feed the sadists and people with morbid fetishes. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 23:16, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Answer the question damn it! - how do you intend to apologise to those who are executed yet are completely innocent? It's a relatively common issue in all societies that have the death penalty. "Oh dear, well, yes, it's a terrible by-product of a necessary policy"? It's necessary for a society to murder innocent people? And drag that pre-meditated murder out for years of agony in the process? Not having a proper health care system is fucking bad enough, but putting to death innocent members of your own society by accident seems to be ineptitude of the highest order. Sorry, there are no circumstances under which I can condone the death penalty, none whatsoever. AND it doesn't even work! DogPMarmite Patrol 00:21, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

It ain't much, but it's the only system we got at the moment. Mob justice tends to have a higher false positive rate with capital offenses, so let's not go there anytime soon, please.
On another note, does anyone else think that the DC sniper episode was a karmic opportunity for chicken hawks to taste a bit of their own medicine? Sadly, I suspect few of them got the message, that constant fear of becoming collateral damage is no way to live. Sprocket J Cogswell 00:38, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
"It ain't much, but it's the only system we got at the moment" - this is hardly a good reason for anything. It's not the only system we could choose from - most civilised nations have banned the death penalty a long time ago, and an ever-increasing number of US States are halting it too as the failures in the system are so evident, i.e. killing innocent people. And who's calling for mob justice? Quite the opposite - I simply believe that the death penalty should be banned worldwide. Lock the fuckers up and throw away the key for all I care - there's no doubt there are irreconcilable scumbags on this Earth, and they need to be a) punished and b) kept out of society. But killing them is just plain wrong - it eliminates the possibility of reconciliation (which is always possible), and which everyone deserves. DogPMarmite Patrol 18:40, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Now that we have DNA testing and other means of virtually guaranteeing guilt, if we speeded up the process and increased the publicity of executions, the innocent lives saved by not being murdered in the first place would far outweigh the deaths of falsely accused. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 01:33, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Forensics is not perfect, and DNA testing takes time. I may be pro-death penalty, but I want to be absolutely certain that it is the right guy. I also think that those who are sentenced to 70 or so years so that they can never get out should have the choice to choose death rather than prison--Thanatos 02:05, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

I am anti-death penalty, for two basic reasons: one, I don't think the State should have the right to kill its citizens, and two, innocent [black men] people get killed. I am, however, pro-cement block wall with only a slot for food, no TV, library access (by wire through the wall?) and habeus corpus of course, for the prisoner's lawyer. I haven't thought the whole "cement block wall" thing out, but it's better than killing the wrong people. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:25, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

The death penalty is Sumthin them goddamn niggers, immigrants, non-Christians, fags an' liberals deserve! Goddammit, killin' is wrong, so we have to educate ya of that by killin' you! And damn those fuckin' "human rights" people who say that "ooh, what if they're innocent, what about minorities, etc." Well, goddamn them! I'd rather have 50000 innocent men killed to kill one guilty man then the other goddamn way round! And the minorities get it worse? Well that's their fuckin' problem! They ain't as good as us straight, white, american guys anyways!

Really, are you fucking serious? I'm not saying that there are scumbags who I'd sure as hell like to kill and who would probably deserve it, but that does not condone the death penalty. Fact: minorities and poor people are far less likely to have a good defender lawyer. Fact: from 1992 to 2004, 39 people were found to be most likely innocent- after they had been killed. Fact: extremely accurate testing such as DNA and otherwise is only available in a tiny fraction of cases for execution. Fact: there is an obvious racial and gender bias, with black people more likely to get killed for similar or lesser offences than white people. In addition, since 1976, only 12 women have been executed in Anerica, in contrast to the 1,317 men. It would be naïve, and not to mention extremely sexist, to assume that women are too "innocent" or "weak" to commit the same crimes as men. Fact: every western, advanced country has abolished the death penalty… except for the USA. Now, a common argument is that "if someone did that to your family member, you'd want them to die." This is true. However, that does not make it right. When a woman is dressed in sexy clothing, one may be tempted to rape her. Does that make it right? If someone cheats on their partner, they may be tempted to attack, abuse, harm or otherwise cause distress to that person. Does that make it right? Vengeance is, simply, a promotion of uncivilised human nature. Now, of course, if the person is obviously guilty, with no proof to state otherwise, has committed an atrocious crime, does not seem to feel any remorse whatsoever, is a danger to society, in or out of prison, is relatively sane and/or various other circumstances, then yes, it should be applied. Bin Laden is an obvious example of when a death penalty should be applied. But in most other cases, all it does is feed our unevolved desire for retribution. In addition, it may be more of a punishment to the murderer's family, who could be completely unrelated to the crime, then to the perpetrator, who gets an "easy way out". Thanks for reading, and that's just my opinion. 101.165.71.7 (talk) 01:29, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

After the Execution[edit]

Ok, he's dead now.... So what's the outcome? Do the dead suddenly rise? Do these weak minded people suddenly feel that closure they've been seeking? Cause I got news, it ain't there...... Closure is an intense Psychological Process that no amount of death will ever bring on..... Now we can go about our days and crow about how America is the greatest nation in the world, because the death penalty acts as a deterrent.... Except for it doesn't... But hey, let me tell you how I really feel. SirChuckBA product of Affirmative Action 07:46, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Ok, he's dead now.... So what's the outcome? He will never hurt another human being inside or outside of prison again. Also, there are quite a few arguments for the death above a bit more subtle and, dare I say, rational than simple revenge and deterrence. I find it a bit annoying that your reply pretends they aren't there. Some of us support the death penalty, albeit with considerable hedging, for reasons other than it feels good (it does not).Me!Sheesh!Mine! 14:06, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Would he have hurt anyone inside or outside of prison again had he been in prison for life? 16:32, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Outside, probably not (certainly not assuming he never escaped) but inside there would seem to be a distinct possibility. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 17:30, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
What makes you think that? I mean, yes, he was a psycopath/sociopath who enjoyed shooting people at random and clearly needs to be kept away from the public, but do you have any evidence he would have been violent in captivity? Anyway, it seems this is a distraction. I'm still curious to know how we are all bettered by his death? DogPMarmite Patrol 17:53, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Escape isn't really a threat. Nobody has ever escaped from an American Supermax prison. As for the other arguments Sheesh, please enlighten me as to what they may be. SirChuckBA product of Affirmative Action 18:09, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
There really aren't any. Saying that they'll never harm anyone again is bullshit, you achieve the same thing through captivity and you can do it without killing. You need to prove why killing is the better answer, and no one really can apart from trying to be all gung-ho and revenge driven. Scarlet A.pngpostate 18:21, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Out come the insults, really? WTF? gung-ho and revenge driven? Thanks, Andy. So you can guarantee that a given person won't commit violence towards the guards or fellow inmates? In every case an inmate on death row has been demonstrated to be violent in the past. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 18:35, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Well, that last line is flat out wrong certainly. But then again, they're going to be horribly killed so why not be violent? Scarlet A.pngpostate 18:40, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I've just looked at the list of capital crimes the only one of the thirty or so listed that does not involve violence is "treason" so in that rare case my last line was wrong, but in the vast majority of cases these are violent people. To say otherwise makes no sense. I frankly think your just saying random things. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 22:15, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Supermax prisons are supposed to be designed as places to keep staff and inmates safe. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:49, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Hang on a second - this is all just wild-eyed speculation. This guy was a random shooter, not Charles Manson. Tthe average death row inmate is NOT in Supermax. And no, Manson's not in Supermax either. DogPMarmite Patrol 19:04, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
The funny thing about Sheesh's concern about death row inmates harming other inmates is that they are (from my extensive experience watching Lockup on MSNBC) isolated from the general population, so he wants the people he wants killed to be protected from the people he wants killed. Just sayin'... — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:07, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

When the state kills people, it is itself behaving like a violent criminal, & sending out some very negative messages to society - 1: that violence is an appropriate retaliation for violence, & 2: that the way to deal with problem individuals is just to write them off & give up any hope of redeeming them.

Criminals are a product of their social & economic background & a lot of complicated psychological influences on them (e.g. in childhood). Most violent criminals have some form of personality disorder or mental health problem. The state should have a duty to help these people, not just write them off as a nasty piece of work & slaughter them. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:17, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

This is in answer to the Supermax point, he was not at the moment. However, if he were sentenced to life (instead of the Death Penalty) and then showed himself to be violent, they would ship him off without a second thought. As for the whole guarantee he wouldn't hurt somebody in prison, the prison system is really good at protecting the dangerous inmates and protecting the others from them. There are a lot of people, arguably much more dangerous than the DC sniper in jail and they are not a threat to anyone. SirChuckBA product of Affirmative Action 19:22, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Jeffrey Dahmer was brained to death in prison so forgive me if I think you've got no point. I guess though he wasn't very dangerous. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 22:19, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Look, this "he might attack other prisoners" thing is COMPLETELY off-topic. If that was the concern, we wouldn't put anyone in prison, and I'm 100% convinced that there are blokes who are fearsomely dangerous prison thugs who've never killed anyone and are simply in for GBH. This has nothing to do with the issue of the morality of putting someone to death or not. If you're going to argue about the costs or something, go ahead, but this is a stupid argument. DogPMarmite Patrol 23:19, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

There are, of course, the guards as I suggested above. i.e. [they] will never hurt another human being inside or outside of prison again. The violence against prisoners problem just makes for easy jokes--something easily discounted with purple crayons. Plus you've got a scope problem with your let the prisoners free so they don't hurt each other argument thing going on. Are you saying (that I'm saying) we can only judge one element at a time? That the safety of other prisoners is completely irrelevant? Are you on some sort of "Escape from New York" trip? It's fine if you don't agree with the death penalty, but to say there is no argument to support it other than being gung-ho and revenge driven is a pure Andy. I think we've come down to this because I said that the protection of society seems the only valid reason to support the death penalty. Punishment,revenge and rehabilitation are all off the table in the death penalty cases (save treason, perhaps). The deterrence and financial arguments are deeply problematic. What other reason is there? Well, there's self preservation and the protecting of the innocent ("innocence" being broadly defined for our prisoners of course) In extreme cases I think self preservation justifies the death penalty, perhaps even in any violent crime where the sentence would otherwise be life without parole. That's a long way from lopping off the heads of anyone with a funny hat. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 02:48, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
As far as I know, death row inmates are kept in isolation. When moved, they are always shackled and never without at least 2 or 3 guards. The fear for safety is well-intentioned, but unwarranted. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 02:58, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Admittedly I'm not privy to the security measures current in modern prisons, but are you? I've seen the prison themed reality TeeVee too, but I'm hesitant to use them as a data point. I'm guessing that these shows and perhaps the box set of Oz is is the depth of your knowledge as well. So thanks for your reassurances but I doubt you know jack about it. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 13:18, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Sheesh - my objection to the death penalty is on moral grounds only - I don't care about practical issues, as I said. I'm 100% with Weaseloid's point above - it is utterly hypocritical of the State to kill while at the same time telling people they can't kill, and it makes it impossible to have a clear code of ethics as a result. (I grant that killing in war or self-defense is 'societally acceptable', but those are separate issues). DogPMarmite Patrol 16:40, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Sheesh, I do happen to know quite a bit about prison security (PS, OZ was a horrible show) and still think that A, the idea of a prisoner being a danger once they're in a good facility or even a holding facility is a joke, and B, I still oppose the death penalty on moral grounds. SirChuckBA product of Affirmative Action 18:16, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Sheesh, your fears are completely baseless. Go ahead and falsify my assertions. Find a prison which doesn't isolate death row inmates or shackle and double-up (or triple-up) when moving individual prisoners. Your fear well-intentioned, but baseless and irrational. Fuckwit. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:20, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Jack ass 72.218.139.46 03:18, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
If you want your eyes opened to prison security, Louis Theroux in San Quentin is a good place to start. Scarlet A.pngpostate 18:35, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

In a discussion on the death penalty at another forum I used to read, someone quoted some source that said that keeping a 25 year old person in prison for life (assuming a lifespan of 75 years, that's 50 years in prison) costs $805,000, whereas executing someone costs roughly $2.7 million, due to the fact that people sentenced to death will often appeal as many times as they can (costing the state money), death row guards get paid more than regular guards, the actual execution itself costs a lot of money etc... Unfortunately, the link is now dead, so I can't link the source. The info I got for this is from the post the person made (quoting the link he cited), so maybe it was a bad source or whateer. I happen to think using cost as a factor in deciding whether someone should die or not is pretty grim, but I've seen people say that it costs less to kill someone than keep them in prison for life, so there's an answer to that.

As for the death penalty as a deterrant, there's this and this. You could argue that low death rates result in no death penalty, I guess, but I don't have any stats looking at that (like whether or not a state that had the death penalty and stopped it continued to see a drop in death rates or whatever). I've always argued, however, that the penalties for such crimes are never a deterrant. The person committing a murder does not think they will be caught (unless they actively want to be caught, as some murderers do). Either they are one of those Ted Bundy types who think they're smart enough to never be caught, or it's a crime committed under strong emotions (hate, anger, whatever) in which case they're not thinking at all. A far better deterrant (to any and all crimes, really) would be a higher arrest rate, coupled with a higher publicity rate of arrests (not publically ID who was arrested and charged in a name-and-shame way, but in a "the person who did this is now caught" way), since a high possibility of being caught in the first place is more likely to enter someone's mind than the penalty they receive *if* caught.

Also anecdotally, with regards to prison security, I have a degree in psychology (finished this year) and as part of my course we were required to watch various documentaries about mental health in various places, including US prisons. In maximum security prisons, prisoners who attend a counselling session are handcuffed to a metal chair, bolted to the floor, inside a locked metal cage. That is, each prisoner in a group session, all in individual locked cages, sitting around a counsellor in the middle. It was amusing and sad at the same time.

This is a long post and I probably fucked with all the formatting and messed up the rules of debate on here (this is the first time I've posted in one) so if I've fucked up, just delete it. X Stickman 00:19, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

The stuff about money is interesting, but not compelling. I value human life more than I value money, so I don't really care if it costs more or less to execute a human being versus imprisoning them.TheoryOfPractice 00:27, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

A late edition to this to this debate[edit]

I am in principle against the death penalty. I have heard some arguments for the death penalty only if the evidence is so conclusive that there is absolutely no doubt of the condemned's guilt - this argument was made earlier with regards to the sniper chappy. I am always reminded of the guildford 4 with this argument. At time of their sentencing, people thought the evidence was cast iron. People thought the crime heinous enough. People thought they should have been hung. It was only after years in prison that just how flimsy the evidence really was, and the failings and corruption of the investigation police was finally revealed. Thank christ we dont have the death penalty in the UK.--AMassiveGay (talk) 13:02, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

"The death penalty is sumthin them goddamn niggers, immigrants, non-Christians, fags an' liberals deserve! Goddammit, killin' is wrong, so we have to educate ya of that by killin' you! And damn those fuckin' "human rights" people who say that "ooh, what if they're innocent, what about minorities, etc." Well, goddamn them! I'd rather have 50000 innocent men killed to kill one guilty man then the other goddamn way round! And the minorities get it worse? Well that's their fuckin' problem! They ain't as good as us straight, white, american guys anyways!" Really, are you fucking serious? I'm not saying that there are scumbags who I'd sure as hell like to kill and who would probably deserve it, but that does not condone the death penalty. Fact: minorities and poor people are far less likely to have a good defender lawyer. Fact: from 1992 to 2004, 39 people were found to be most likely innocent- after they had been killed. Fact: extremely accurate testing such as DNA and otherwise is only available in a tiny fraction of cases for execution. Fact: there is an obvious racial and gender bias, with black people more likely to get killed for similar or lesser offences than white people. In addition, since 1976, only 12 women have been executed in Anerica, in contrast to the 1,317 men. It would be naïve, and not to mention extremely sexist, to assume that women are too "innocent" or "weak" to commit the same crimes as men. Fact: every western, advanced country has abolished the death penalty… except for the USA. Now, a common argument is that "if someone did that to your family member, you'd want them to die." This is true. However, that does not make it right. When a woman is dressed in sexy clothing, one may be tempted to rape her. Does that make it right? If someone cheats on their partner, they may be tempted to attack, abuse, harm or otherwise cause distress to that person. Does that make it right? Vengeance is, simply, a promotion of uncivilised human nature. Now, of course, if the person is obviously guilty, with no proof to state otherwise, has committed an atrocious crime, does not seem to feel any remorse whatsoever, is a danger to society, in or out of prison, is relatively sane and/or various other circumstances, then yes, it should be applied. Bin Laden is an obvious example of when a death penalty should be applied. But in most other cases, all it does is feed our unevolved desire for retribution. In addition, it may be more of a punishment to the murderer's family, who could be completely unrelated to the crime, then to the perpetrator, who gets an "easy way out". Thanks for reading, and that's just my opinion. — Unsigned, by: 101.165.71.7 / talk
Men do commit more violent crimes than women do. EndorasBox — Unsigned, by: 50.84.161.66 / talk