Talk:Capital punishment

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Icon law.svg

This Law related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


Archives for this talk page: , (new)

Funny how "pro-lifers" support it.[edit]

I still wonder how one can be pro-life while not being anti-capital punishment. It just doesn't make sense. 2003:C3:371D:1000:8547:D2BB:DC60:8288 (talk) 21:29, 8 January 2021 (UTC)

They're very different topics; one is supporting the death penalty, and one is supporting abortion. "Pro-life" does not necessarily mean "pro-all life". It just means they don't like abortion. :p Twodots (talk) 21:34, 8 January 2021 (UTC)
Well said. That is what I meant when I adressed the hypocrisy of "pro-lifers". 2003:C3:371D:1000:4D99:85B5:CBB:7DCC (talk) 23:51, 8 January 2021 (UTC)

Federal Death Penalty[edit]

This article is alright, but I feel that it's very outdated. Executions are hardly mentioned, and only state executions are talked about. Trump reinstated the federal death penalty last July and executed 13 people- the most for any president. I think a section should be added under US about this reinstatement and the 13 victims. (talk) 17:51, 8 February 2021 (UTC) Franz Ferdinand

reinstated and executed 13 people at the same time as he was handing out pardons like confetti. what a fucking sack of shit trump is. i dont think amongst all that was going on that particular bit of shitbaggery was noted or commented upon on this site. maybe on the trump page - i havent looked. hijinks around his pardons more interesting and got more people more animated than the state murder of some dreadful people who its difficult to have any sympathy for but you dont oppose the death penalty because the folk on death row are good people. they really are not good people on death row, one saves ones outrage when it feels more righteous opposing it and saving the life of a condemned serial rapist/murderer not the most uplifting feel good causes
its too often forgotten that how we treat the worst of us is just as important as how we treat the best of us. AMassiveGay (talk) 19:21, 8 February 2021 (UTC)
Trump's usage of the death penalty is noted in the Trump article on his authoritarianism but an update here might be good, too. As this chart shows, Trump's use of executions heavily stands out, surpassing all other state executions combined last year (capital punishment is overall declining in usage in the United States, thankfully). PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 19:40, 8 February 2021 (UTC)
its not just the number carried out, it was the headlong rush to get them done before he left office. no reason for the haste. there was not even any political gain from half of em, his tough on crime credentials not affirmed to potential voters when the election was already over and lost. that would have been bad enough. but this just pure and petty spite. its sick. he's pushed through these executions, had people killed, because biden and harris not fans of capital punishment. what was the rush otherwise? what a cunt AMassiveGay (talk) 07:06, 9 February 2021 (UTC)
I feel "cunt" doesn't really describe the utter repulsiveness, the monstrosity, the ghastliness that was on display regarding Trump's motivations with these executions. It's just worth shining a flashlight into that dark, sickly orange blackhole and wondering, for a long time, how many souls got shredded into there and how millions of people were okay with this. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 07:19, 9 February 2021 (UTC)

Death Penalty in the UK[edit]

It is doubtful if it could be reintroduced - given the proportion of people who were born after it was repealed: and how effective would it be in deterring those people who 'wish to kill the one person who annoyed them most' (John Mortimer reference)?

What about drink drivers (they chose to do both, knowing that they could cause death and damage), criminal negligence, corporate manslaughter 'and other cases where capital punishment could have a deterrent effect ('pour encourager les autres')? Anna Livia (talk) 15:25, 3 July 2021 (UTC)

I did my masters thesis on the ethics of the death penalty. Every single study I came across showed there was absolutely zero deterrent effect with the death penalty or harsh penalties for serious crimes in general. In fact, if anything recidivism generally tends to go down as strict and harsh penalties are eased (and a justice system moves towards rehabilitation from retribution). As for the UK reintroducing the penalty? While it wouldn't happen now, now that they are out of the EU it is possible. They would certainly face immense pressure from the rest of the Western world if they did. However support for the death penalty is higher in the UK than in most continental countries and a very effective, nationalistic, fear mongering government could, in theory, if it needed a distraction with "tough on crime" rhetoric whip the people into a retributive panic and bring about the death penalty. I wouldn't bet money on it at the moment, but political trends can change very quickly and things can get very ugly very quickly as we have seen this decade in the USA. I certainly hope the conservative government gets booted out next election as I cannot imagine any other party trying to reinstate it. ShabiDOO 16:21, 3 July 2021 (UTC)
we have a home secretary who is known to be a fan of capital punishment. i feel like if there were plans to, or any public support, it would already be being debated. i cant imagine, with current crime rates, anything that could or would be used to generate fear in the general public that would make the death penalty seem like an answer. its not just that we dont have death penalty, but i dont think we get enough of the sort of crime that would get that sentence to bring it back. terrorists a few and far between thankfully, and even fewer people stashing numerous bodies under the floor boards to suddenly provoke enough sustained national outrage. as much as a bunch of cunts the tories are, im not convinced any of think it would be worth their time. i think support for a reintroduction is 48% and dropping. i think peoples day to day lives have to significantly worsen, blighted by crime for that to really change. and we are quite happy with locking up more people and throwing away the key if a politician really needs the tough on crime stance. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:12, 3 July 2021 (UTC)
If the death penalty had a "deterrent effect", then the US would have a much lower homicide rate than Europe. However what we see is exactly the reverse.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:10, 4 July 2021 (UTC)
Could probably include those too young to be aware of the death penalty before repeal in my comment above (ie 'everybody up to, and slightly over, retirement age). And support for a notional death penalty would probably not translate into ticks in boxes ('Ruth Ellis, Derek Bentley, Birmingham Six... and look at the number of people in the US on Death Row, which causes undue mental suffering to them and their families').
The question is - how could 'the death penalty' be imposed so that it would act as a deterrent (given that if it did there would be almost no executions).
There might be stronger support for 'severe punishment (not being delegated to other prisoners or having to be protected in prison from said prisoners) to those committing certain crimes seen as particularly heinous.'
The 'tough on crime' mantra would probably be countered by 'why not also be tough on the causes of crime?' Anna Livia (talk) 18:52, 4 July 2021 (UTC)
you can counter it maybe but it wont mean some one 'tough on crime' is going accept some wishy washy rehab prog or improved social security safety net. the causes of crime is always choosing to commit crime, the same way poverty is a choice. your poor health is your own poor lifestyle. poverty and associated ills are a moral failing. as my good health and finances show good character, good judgement, good moral fibre. if you are born and stay poor you are lazy and not working hard enough. if you are poor and commit a crime instead of hard work? that is a wickedness that must be punished. im not as heartless as you may thinking. the light of my soul can shine like a beacon and burn away some their wretchedness if they only ponder the example i set as they serve their time.AMassiveGay (talk) 20:41, 4 July 2021 (UTC)
The law of diminishing returns is very severe when it comes to punishment. A one month penalty will do little to deter serious crime. A 1 year will deter it dramatically. Going from 1 year to 5 years will diminish it somewhat. From 5 years to say 10 years will see little if any change, at some point there is no meaningful decline in crime. Jumping to life in prison, life in prison without any chance of parole (a cruel punishment IMHO) or death penalty...there is no demonstrable change. How many criminals are psychologically capable of thinking about the risk/punishment when you are about to murder someone? ShabiDOO 21:57, 4 July 2021 (UTC)
There are many 'causes' of crime, some of which will be more tractable than others - tagging expensive items in shops will reduce shoplifting of those items somewhat, removing some of the quirky or now redundant laws, people being persuaded by various means against drink-driving etc. There is a combination of reasons why people commit crimes - which cover the spectrum from the trivial (from the very trivial - going just over the speed limit on the motorway on a clear day, taking paperclips from the office stationery cupboard etc - to the very serious: and there is a range within murders - accidental/manslaughter, 'assisted suicide and mercy killing' and intentional etc. Is someone who sets up a massive fraud depriving people of their life savings 'better' or 'worse' than someone who kills during the course of a fight?
The point being made is not about the morality of murder and crime but whether it is likely to be reintroduced in the UK should there be a vote on the matter 'present circumstances continuing' (and the drink driving example/'would the instigators of (course of action which led to people's needless deaths) be hanged (no they probably wouldn't)' argument would probably convince some of the possible Yeas). Anna Livia (talk) 10:17, 7 July 2021 (UTC)
The good news is that capital punishment fangrrl and disgraced former International Development Secretary Piggi Patel is no longer Home Secretary. The bad news is that her replacement is the even more stupid Suella Braverman, described – in one of his more flattering comparisons – by Russ “RussInCheshire” Jones as “what happens when a Horcrux gets into a guinea pig”. Braverman probably doesn’t know herself where she stands on the issue. Mr Larrington (talk) 20:04, 8 October 2022 (UTC)

if deterrence is so much the cause of people not committing murder[edit]

(short essay)

Most people would eschew murder because it offends their ethical sensibilities, so for them no deterrent is necessary. The death penalty is a deterrent only to those who value their lives and expect to get caught after a murder, be convicted, and then be sentenced to death. The death penalty is then more effective only if its presence is something of which people are made aware of in case they do not know of it or forget it. To that end, jurisdictions that perform capital punishment need make it known at highways entering the jurisdiction "Welcome to State X, where for your safety we have the death penalty", with a place for a U-turn in the event that such scares a potential murderer (in theory anyone who enters that jurisdiction) but not only there: airports, train stations, bus terminals, and docks. Even at that, yacht clubs, in case someone who docks there is warned of the death penalty in case he should decide to commit an armed robbery and shoot someone to death during that robbery. If one truly believes in the death penalty we must even make the people least likely to commit a capital crime aware of capital punishment in the unlikely case that an unlikely person would commit a murder.Pbrower2a (talk) 05:23, 25 October 2021 (UTC)

If the death penalty worked as a deterrent then countries which have the death penalty would see fewer murders. We do not see this. In fact, the US, which has the death penalty in some states, has vastly more homicides then the EU which does not have the death penalty anywhere.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:20, 25 October 2021 (UTC)
That's well known. Most violent offenders are stupid or at least stupefied (drugs or alcohol). The bulk of murders involve family arguments, bar-room brawls, armed robberies, and drug trafficking. The best way in which to reduce murders is to reduce the number of circumstances in which murder has a high likelihood of happening. With few exceptions, murderers are not particularly cunning.Pbrower2a (talk) 21:15, 25 October 2021 (UTC)
Then I guess we are in agreement: the "deterrence" argument is totally flawed. So now I'm not sure what your initial point was.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:29, 26 October 2021 (UTC)
"Most violent offenders are stupid or at least stupefied (drugs or alcohol)." @Pbrower2a Could you cite a source for this claim? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 13:47, 26 October 2021 (UTC)

Permission to rewrite the article[edit]

As the edit history of the article will attest I just got done changing the lede to excise the word "murder", only to discover that the article is rampant with misuse of the term. For reference, "murder" is generally defined as "The unlawful killing of another human being without justification or excuse." or similar. Please note that murder is definitionally unlawful. This means that executions, as unjust as they may be, cannot be murder without them being part of a violation of the law. Thusly, I seek permission from the community to excise all unnecessary mentions of the word "murder" from the article. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 03:32, 24 January 2022 (UTC)

The three cases where "murder" was used outside of its "definition" is now "homicide", a more fitting term. Done ShabiDOO 03:47, 24 January 2022 (UTC)
@Shabidoo Well, that's that resolved then. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 05:04, 24 January 2022 (UTC)


Could someone explain why so many people who oppose the death penalty are fine with war? Because that's definitely the case with the EU and Canada and Australia and multiple other "civilized" countries that have invaded Vietnam and Iraq and Afghanistan and sent their own kids to die (sometimes by force) and bombed children and families and killed plenty of soldiers on the other side. (talk) 22:16, 21 February 2022 (UTC)

Speaking for myself I am certainly not "fine with war". I regard it to be an occasional horrible necessity, and the world would certainly be better if we could eliminate it. Capital punishment is never necessary and those countries which inflict it could eliminate it to make a better world.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:44, 21 February 2022 (UTC)
I'm not saying I agree with capital punishment. I'm just saying that if I had a choice between killing someone who raped and strangled a 12 year old girl, and some 24 year old kid who's fighting for what his country told him to fight for, that I know who I have more a problem with killing. (talk) 22:16, 21 February 2022 (UTC)
You don't seem to have responded to my answer to your question at all. But now I'm confused: Are you a supporter of capital punishment or not? (And could you please sign your posts)Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:03, 21 February 2022 (UTC)
I oppose it due to philosophical reasons, not out of any kind of sympathy for the people who receive it. I simply don't want the government to have that kind of power. But that doesn't mean I think a murderer deserves to be treated any better than he treated his victims. (talk) 22:16, 21 February 2022 (UTC)
I also oppose it because I don't feel that governments should have that kind of power - said governments have, in fact, killed vast numbers of innocent people by mistake. Just one innocent deliberately killed by mistake would be enough to question the the system. But in the United States alone at least 186 people have been killed incorrectly since 1973! That's more than most mass murderers manage. I also oppose it because it serves no purpose: it reforms nobody and it deters nobody.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:59, 22 February 2022 (UTC)
the false dichotomy of killing either a rapist or what i assume is meant to be an 'enemy' soldier is as stupid as it is irrelevant. AMassiveGay (talk) 22:17, 22 February 2022 (UTC)
For severe crimes, the death Penalty is necessary. However, it should only be used when all else fails. Think, someone is arrested and causing disruption, and then do the same in solitary, they need to be executed. Or, if they do something like kill a hundred people. Andrew5 mobile (talk) 22:30, 22 February 2022 (UTC)
and that is also irrelevant to this thread. you really cant help yourself can you. AMassiveGay (talk) 22:32, 22 February 2022 (UTC)
or more to the point, your view to matter is not really needed on the subject. considering the furore on your own talk page on the subject. one would think you'd say well enough away, especially when you are just restating the same assertions. AMassiveGay (talk) 22:37, 22 February 2022 (UTC)
I know everyone know my stance. But I just want to put it here. Good bye. Andrew5 mobile (talk) 22:43, 22 February 2022 (UTC)
Is pro-war sentiment common among anti-death penalty supporters? I'm under impression it's not? Those warring actions by the "civilized" countries typically draw condemnation from the same camps that are associated with opposing the death penalty (for instance, progressives and socialists), but I could be under false impression. I don't think you should extrapolate entire country actions to general public opinion. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 06:26, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
i dont even know where this notion even came from that anti-death penalty/state murder types are somehow also pro war. AMassiveGay (talk) 08:01, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
its simply a false equivalence. AMassiveGay (talk) 08:07, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
The majority of arguments I have come across regarding the immorality of the death penalty are relating to issues of justice (unfair application of penalty to certain groups and/or arbitrary application), the possible state homicide of innocent suspects, cost, the devaluation of human life, government overreach and respecting human agency. One can be against the death penalty for any one or combination of these reasons (or others including from some absolutist moral code). Those who tend towards the "devaluation of human life argument" are likely to also be fairly "avoid war at most cost" group. Almost all people I know who are against the death penalty are also in the "avoid war at most cost" group. But this would be a very unempirical argument. Having said that, intuitively I wouldn't even suspect that "most anti-death penalty" people are pro-war. So I'd like to see some fairly strong evidence for this as it sounds pretty absurd to me. ShabiDOO 13:13, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
If you look at the start of the thread the OP was unable to mount any reasonable justification to his argument when challenged. In fact, they seemed to have an Andrew-level of ability to justify their position.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:32, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
[1] this is the best i can find in the subject - the only other article i could find on the subject is blog thats more about christopher hitchens specifically. shit tonne of stuff about the death penalty and abortion, and its support by the religiously inclined in the us. AMassiveGay (talk) 16:21, 24 February 2022 (UTC)