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Capablanca-Fan
20-12-2008, 11:53 PM
Is the death penalty an appropriate penalty for proven murders?

CameronD
20-12-2008, 11:56 PM
Is the death penalty an appropriate penalty for proven murders?

If it is 100% certain and foolproof, then it is appropiate. Doesn't mean I would want it to occur

Kevin Bonham
21-12-2008, 12:03 AM
Is the death penalty an appropriate penalty for proven murders?

I need to know what you mean by "proven" to vote in the poll.

Capablanca-Fan
21-12-2008, 12:56 AM
I need to know what you mean by "proven" to vote in the poll.
Proven means proven. It is meant to get away from "what if an innocent is executed?" to see if this is a real objection, or whether one opposes capital punishment per se.

Kevin Bonham
21-12-2008, 02:43 AM
Proven means proven. It is meant to get away from "what if an innocent is executed?" to see if this is a real objection, or whether one opposes capital punishment per se.

Is it OK if I add "probably" and "probably not" to the poll?

Capablanca-Fan
21-12-2008, 03:12 AM
Is it OK if I add "probably" and "probably not" to the poll?
Sure, go ahead.

Metro
21-12-2008, 03:12 AM
If it is 100% certain and foolproof, then it is appropiate. Doesn't mean I would want it to occur
I would only seriously consider applying capital punishment in the case of 100% certainty of guilt.First degree murder,pre-meditated and planned etc would fit the criteria of one of the worst crimes.
I opposed capital punishment at one time.I have certainly moved in the other direction over the years.
A Catholic friend says,How do we know we have the right to do it?

Capablanca-Fan
21-12-2008, 03:20 AM
A Catholic friend says, How do we know we have the right to do it?
Simple, as I've explained (http://www.chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=222976&postcount=17). Intentionally taking an innocent life means one's own life is forfeit.

Ian Murray
21-12-2008, 08:18 AM
I believe the death penalty is barbaric and brutalises those employing it. If you were looking for a job and a vacancy for Executioner was advertised, would you apply?

There is a well-balanced article on the debate at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_debate

Desmond
21-12-2008, 08:26 AM
Killing is not a punishment, it is a crime. You might as well ask if rape is an appropriate penalty for a rapist. Of course not. Two wrongs do not make a right.

Capablanca-Fan
21-12-2008, 12:10 PM
I believe the death penalty is barbaric and brutalises those employing it.
I think life is trivialized if taking it is not punished by forfeiture of life. It is barbaric to allow murderers to live and likely kill again.


There is a well-balanced article on the debate at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_debate
Wikipedia? Give me a break!

Capablanca-Fan
21-12-2008, 12:13 PM
Killing is not a punishment, it is a crime.
It is not always a crime, but only where it violates the law. Killing in self-defence is not a crime in many places, and a lawful execution is not a crime by definition.


You might as well ask if rape is an appropriate penalty for a rapist. Of course not.
But imprisonment is an appropriate punishment for someone who imprisons an innocent (i.e. kidnapping). Fining or forcibly taking someone's else's property is an appropriate punishment for theft or robbery, which is forcibly taking someone's else's property.


Two wrongs do not make a right.
This is begging the question.

Ian Murray
21-12-2008, 12:18 PM
I think life is trivialized if taking it is not punished by forfeiture of life. It is barbaric to allow murderers to live and likely kill again.
Killing is barbaric.

Do you think murderers are normal well-adjusted people?

Do you think executioners are normal well-adjusted people?

Capablanca-Fan
21-12-2008, 12:30 PM
Killing is barbaric.
Not always. We already know that you don't even approve of lethal force against someone still holding an axe who has already taken a swing. Perhaps the Allies shouldn't have gone to war against Hitler?

My own view is that killing innocents is barbaric, and allowing murderers to live and kill more innocents is barbaric.


Do you think murderers are normal well-adjusted people?
No, people who deserve to have their lives forfeited.


Do you think executioners are normal well-adjusted people?
Some jobs are unpleasant but need to be done, e.g. armed police and soldiers who may likewise have to kill people in the course of their duties.

Kevin Bonham
21-12-2008, 12:59 PM
Sure, go ahead.

Done and voted for "probably not" along the lines discussed in the other thread.

Davidflude
21-12-2008, 01:05 PM
Well Lindy Chamberlain would have been executed

And a guy called Thomas in New Zealand

Kevin Bonham
21-12-2008, 01:21 PM
Well Lindy Chamberlain would have been executed


Based on Jono's #4 he is talking about a hypothetical case where there is no doubt whatsoever as to guilt.

Whether such cases exist in the real world, and how to decide which ones they are if they do, is another question.

Ian Murray
21-12-2008, 01:24 PM
Not always. We already know that you don't even approve of lethal force against someone still holding an axe who has already taken a swing. Perhaps the Allies shouldn't have gone to war against Hitler?
I believe in the rule of law - use of lethal force is illegal in the 'axe-wielder' situation to which you refer. A nation justly declaring war is legal.


Some jobs are unpleasant but need to be done, e.g. armed police and soldiers who may likewise have to kill people in the course of their duties.
Police and military are not unpleasant jobs, and as a rule attract respectable applicants (the Rambo wannabes are weeded out with psych testing). It is not a police officer's primary function to kill, nor is it a soldier's except frontline troops (the military Arms as opposed to Services) in time of war.

Executioner is a bit more than just an unpleasant job. Would you like your daughter to marry one? Thankfully we don't need them here.

Tangentially, I read recently that in war only 5% of combatants actually shoot to kill. The remainder go through the motions, but don't actually want to kill.

Space_Dude
21-12-2008, 01:48 PM
By sentenceing a criminal to death will teach other people not to murder or other serious offense. Wouldn't it:?:

Ian Murray
21-12-2008, 01:54 PM
By sentenceing a criminal to death will teach other people not to murder or other serious offense. Wouldn't it:?:
There is no hard evidence to confirm or deny that capital punishment is a deterrent to would-be offenders

Capablanca-Fan
21-12-2008, 01:55 PM
I believe in the rule of law — use of lethal force is illegal in the 'axe-wielder' situation to which you refer.
I believe in the rule of law as well, but not at the expense of putting my lives or lives of my family in danger because a jackass law tells me I can't neutralize an axe-wielder who has already demonstrated intent to kill, just to please weeny lefties like you.


A nation justly declaring war is legal.
And this involves killing. So you contradict yourself when you claimed that killing is barbaric.


Police and military are not unpleasant jobs, and as a rule attract respectable applicants (the Rambo wannabes are weeded out with psych testing).
It could involve lethal force, and that lies behind their authority.


It is not a police officer's primary function to kill, nor is it a soldier's except frontline troops (the military Arms as opposed to Services) in time of war.
But underpinning their role is the need to kill if necessary.


Executioner is a bit more than just an unpleasant job. Would you like your daughter to marry one?
As long as he's a Christian.

Space_Dude
21-12-2008, 02:00 PM
Executioner is a bit more than just an unpleasant job. Would you like your daughter to marry one? Thankfully we don't need them here.
Or your son!! ;)

Ian Murray
21-12-2008, 02:16 PM
I believe in the rule of law as well, but not at the expense of putting my lives or lives of my family in danger because a jackass law tells me I can't neutralize an axe-wielder who has already demonstrated intent to kill, just to please weeny lefties like you.
Neutralising is legal. Excessive force, which certainly includes killing, is illegal


And this involves killing. So you contradict yourself when you claimed that killing is barbaric.
Not at all - there is nothing civilised about killing in war


It could involve lethal force, and that lies behind their authority. But underpinning their role is the need to kill if necessary.
Right, but they don't join up because they might get the opportunity to kill


As long as he's a Christian.
Of the eye-for-an-eye persuasion, of course. None of this turn-the-other-cheek wimpy stuff

Kevin Bonham
21-12-2008, 02:23 PM
Although most wars are avoidable by both parties, sometimes a nation is forced to defend itself against an unprovoked invasion and in these cases the nation has no choice but to kill enemy soldiers if it is to avoid being overrun.

Similarly although police in intervening in violent situations will sometimes kill unnecessarily there are cases where they have to kill or a potential killer will kill others.

Killing in these situations is doubtless unpleasant for the killer if they are at all normally adjusted but I don't consider it "barbaric".

That is very different from the question of killing a captive murderer - there is always the choice available to simply keep them captive. It may or may not be more expensive, it may or may not be a better deterrent, but it is an option on the table.

Ian Murray
21-12-2008, 02:54 PM
Although most wars are avoidable by both parties, sometimes a nation is forced to defend itself against an unprovoked invasion and in these cases the nation has no choice but to kill enemy soldiers if it is to avoid being overrun.

Similarly although police in intervening in violent situations will sometimes kill unnecessarily there are cases where they have to kill or a potential killer will kill others.

Killing in these situations is doubtless unpleasant for the killer if they are at all normally adjusted but I don't consider it "barbaric".
Barbaric as in uncivilised, but a necessary evil


That is very different from the question of killing a captive murderer - there is always the choice available to simply keep them captive. It may or may not be more expensive, it may or may not be a better deterrent, but it is an option on the table.
Quite so. Apart from retribution, there is no measurable gain

Capablanca-Fan
21-12-2008, 03:07 PM
Neutralising is legal. Excessive force, which certainly includes killing, is illegal
If he still holds the axe, only a weeny lefty would think that he's not neutralized. It's barbaric to make laws that reduce the ability for citizens to defend themselves against violent criminals.


Not at all - there is nothing civilised about killing in war
But sometimes it's not the worst thing.


Of the eye-for-an-eye persuasion, of course. None of this turn-the-other-cheek wimpy stuff
Turning the other cheek refers to personal insults (hence the slap on the right cheek, which for right-handed assailants meant back-handed). As I wrote before, it doesn't mean that we can't defend ourselves or our families, and a ruler doesn't have the right to turn all our cheeks in the face of great dangers.

Capablanca-Fan
21-12-2008, 03:14 PM
Well Lindy Chamberlain would have been executed

And a guy called Thomas in New Zealand
Arthur Allan Thomas.

Naturally I oppose executing the innocent. Both of those were travesties of justice. A much higher standard of proof would be required for a capital punishment precisely because it is irreversible.

Desmond
21-12-2008, 03:36 PM
It is not always a crime, but only where it violates the law. Killing in self-defence is not a crime in many places, and a lawful execution is not a crime by definition.Executing a convicted crimilnal who is behind bars is hardly self-defence.


But imprisonment is an appropriate punishment for someone who imprisons an innocent (i.e. kidnapping). Fining or forcibly taking someone's else's property is an appropriate punishment for theft or robbery, which is forcibly taking someone's else's property.What about rapists? Child molesters? Tit for tat all the way?



This is begging the question.Why is that? We agree on the premise. Killing is wrong, so you want to kill the killer in response.

Space_Dude
21-12-2008, 03:53 PM
Does Women Get Executed if they killed innocent lives?? Or is Death penalty a sexist thing?? Cause the girl in indonesia tried to smuggle drugs in to Australia and got caught and she only got inprissonment but the man that tried to smuggle drugs to australia from indonesia he got sentnced to death.

Ian Murray
21-12-2008, 04:01 PM
If he still holds the axe, only a weeny lefty would think that he's not neutralized. It's barbaric to make laws that reduce the ability for citizens to defend themselves against violent criminals.
It is legal to neutralise using sufficient but not excessive force. I can't see why that is so difficult to understand

Your case for executing murderers seems to be focused on the archtypical criminal in the mask and striped shirt.
http://www.caq.org.au/thief.jpg
However the fact, certainly in Australia, is that most murders are crimes of passion where the killer and victim know each other, the crime is fuelled by anger, alcohol or similar, is unplanned and subsequent remorse is genuine. Proving guilt and gaining a conviction are simple matters.

There is virtually no chance of rescission and every chance of a resumption of relatively normal life after serving a prison term. So why push for execution?

Ian Murray
21-12-2008, 04:12 PM
Does Women Get Executed if they killed innocent lives?? Or is Death penalty a sexist thing?? Cause the girl in indonesia tried to smuggle drugs in to Australia and got caught and she only got inprissonment but the man that tried to smuggle drugs to australia from indonesia he got sentnced to death.

The last hangings in Australia were in 1967 for a man and 1951 for a woman.

Space_Dude
21-12-2008, 04:17 PM
The last hangings in Australia were in 1967 for a man and 1951 for a woman.
But was there an execution for woman this recent years??

Capablanca-Fan
21-12-2008, 04:17 PM
It is legal to neutralise using sufficient but not excessive force. I can't see why that is so difficult to understand.
Someone who still holds an axe is not neutralized. Some things are so easy to understand that only a lefty could possibly misunderstand. But they are so enamoured with bureaucratic procedures that they demand that an innocent home-owner waits for a second life-threatening swing of the axe.


Your case for executing murderers seems to be focused on the archtypical criminal in the mask and striped shirt.
No, it's because a taker of an innocent life deserves to forfeit his own.


However the fact, certainly in Australia, is that most murders are crimes of passion where the killer and victim know each other, the crime is fuelled by anger, alcohol or similar, is unplanned and subsequent remorse is genuine. Proving guilt and gaining a conviction are simple matters.
Irrelevant and typically disingenuous, given that you oppose the death penalty even for the foulest pre-meditated aggravated murders.


There is virtually no chance of rescission and every chance of a resumption of relatively normal life after serving a prison term.
More chance than the murder victim has, or subsequent victims. And what happened to "life means life"?


So why push for execution?
Because it's what they deserve, and shows that society really does value innocent life enough to demand the maximum penalty for taking it, instead of a slap on the wrist.

Kevin Bonham
21-12-2008, 04:21 PM
Irrelevant and typically disingenuous, given that you oppose the death penalty even for the foulest pre-meditated aggravated murders.

Very relevant actually given that the thread question is "Is the death penalty an appropriate penalty for proven murders?" The question clearly doesn't confine itself to a restrictive class of murders, such as premeditated killings. A person who supported the death penalty for premeditated murders only might have second thoughts about answering yes to the poll question as framed.

Oepty
21-12-2008, 04:25 PM
Because it's what they deserve, and shows that society really does value innocent life enough to demand the maximum penalty for taking it, instead of a slap on the wrist.


Jono, the Bible teaches that breaking the law of the land is sin (unless the law forces one to sin), and any sin is worthy of death. This means all who transgress the law of the land are worthy of death. Why not have the death penalty for all crimes including speeding.
Scott

Capablanca-Fan
21-12-2008, 06:03 PM
Jono, the Bible teaches that breaking the law of the land is sin (unless the law forces one to sin),
It does.


and any sin is worthy of death.
Out of context. God has ordained the death penalty for sin, which is why we die. But there are only certain sins that he has mandated that the government punishes with death.


This means all who transgress the law of the land are worthy of death. Why not have the death penalty for all crimes including speeding.
Because the Noahic Covenant prescribes a governmental death penalty only for taking innocent life, not for speeding.

Capablanca-Fan
21-12-2008, 06:06 PM
Very relevant actually given that the thread question is "Is the death penalty an appropriate penalty for proven murders?"
It is very irrelevant to Ian Murray's view that the death penalty is always wrong.


The question clearly doesn't confine itself to a restrictive class of murders, such as premeditated killings.
Not so, as below, because murder itself is a restrictive class of homicide. But it was IM who tried to paper over the seriousness of murders to argue against the death penalty for such crimes.


A person who supported the death penalty for premeditated murders only might have second thoughts about answering yes to the poll question as framed.
Premeditation is presupposed in the meaning of "murder" otherwise it's manslaughter, negligent homicide or non-culpable homicide.

Ian Murray
21-12-2008, 06:07 PM
But was there an execution for woman this recent years??
Outside Australia, certainly. See www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/women-and-death-penalty for US data

Kevin Bonham
21-12-2008, 06:47 PM
It is very irrelevant to Ian Murray's view that the death penalty is always wrong.

But that is not the question. The thread question is whether it is an appropriate penalty. If it is not an appropriate penalty in many or most cases that already justifies a non-yes answer.


Not so, as below, because murder itself is a restrictive class of homicide.

Murder is a restricted class of homicide but not so restrictive as to rule Ian's comment out of order.


Premeditation is presupposed in the meaning of "murder" otherwise it's manslaughter, negligent homicide or non-culpable homicide.

Actually I don't think premeditation is presupposed in most jurisdictions. Intent to kill and premeditation are not the same thing.

Kaitlin
21-12-2008, 06:51 PM
I my post should be in my Pohisophie thread but whocare anywho...
- there is peace in death n even religious people believe that if you repent a second before u die you will be saved from hell so why should we expect people to put on more than a venere that they are good <- not one person who lives beyond 6yo is good (thought the defeintion of good changes the older you get... small bad things get forgotten but new bad things open up)

Its only those who endure hardship that really suffer..

suffering is banishment rather than imprisonment

ask your God to contradic me

Ian Murray
21-12-2008, 06:55 PM
It is very irrelevant to Ian Murray's view that the death penalty is always wrong.
My view and that of a majority so far of your poll respondents


Premeditation is presupposed in the meaning of "murder" otherwise it's manslaughter, negligent homicide or non-culpable homicide.
Rubbish. Most murders in Ausralia are not in the least premeditated

Capablanca-Fan
21-12-2008, 07:23 PM
My view and that of a majority so far of your poll respondents
Truth is not decided by majority vote.


Rubbish. Most murders in Ausralia are not in the least premeditated
Then they are not murders at all but manslaughters or other things.

Capablanca-Fan
21-12-2008, 07:33 PM
But that is not the question.
Lots of subsidiary debates happen in many threads.


The thread question is whether it is an appropriate penalty. If it is not an appropriate penalty in many or most cases that already justifies a non-yes answer.
The intent, even if not phrased in legalese, was to ask whether the death penalty was ever a just penalty for intentional taking of innocent human life. Adding the word "proven" was intended to rule out the "what about Lindy?" type arguments.


Murder is a restricted class of homicide but not so restrictive as to rule Ian's comment out of order.
NSW: "Murder shall be taken to have been committed where the act of the accused, or thing by him or her omitted to be done, causing the death charged, was done or omitted with reckless indifference to human life, or with intent to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm upon some person, or done in an attempt to commit, or during or immediately after the commission, by the accused, or some accomplice with him or her, of a crime..."


Actually I don't think premeditation is presupposed in most jurisdictions. Intent to kill and premeditation are not the same thing.
OK, "premeditation" is a fairly recent term. It implies planning rather than spur of the moment, but in some US states this planning can be a matter of seconds.

Ian Murray
21-12-2008, 07:43 PM
Truth is not decided by majority vote.
Nor by minority


Then they are not murders at all but manslaughters or other things.
I refer to murder convictions

Kevin Bonham
21-12-2008, 07:57 PM
The intent, even if not phrased in legalese, was to ask whether the death penalty was ever a just penalty for intentional taking of innocent human life.

And as far as I can tell that is not inconsistent with what Ian is saying, with the possible exception of cases involving alcohol (not sure there). The intentional taking of a life under the influence of anger is still murder. The intentional taking of a life without substantial prior planning is still murder. The intentional taking of a life followed by remorse is still murder.


NSW: "Murder shall be taken to have been committed where the act of the accused, or thing by him or her omitted to be done, causing the death charged, was done or omitted with reckless indifference to human life, or with intent to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm upon some person, or done in an attempt to commit, or during or immediately after the commission, by the accused, or some accomplice with him or her, of a crime..."

Indeed. Reference to intent. No reference to planning.


OK, "premeditation" is a fairly recent term. It implies planning rather than spur of the moment, but in some US states this planning can be a matter of seconds.

Do you know which states?

In some jurisdictions, if someone is committing a crime and their accomplice kills someone then they are also guilty of murder and therefore at risk of execution in a State that allows for it ... even if they were under arrest at the time that the murder occurred!

Ian Murray
21-12-2008, 08:10 PM
Australian Institute of Criminology
Homicide in Australia: 2006–07 National Homicide Monitoring Program annual report

Homicide rates in Australia have fallen by a third in the last six years. The rate for 2006–07 was 1.2 per 100,000, amongst the lowest for a century. The significant factor has been a decrease since the late nineties in the number of males, especially Indigenous males, killing friends and acquaintances.

In 2006–07, there were 260 homicide incidents, (230 murder, 28 manslaughter, 1 infanticide, 1 unknown) involving 266 victims and 296 offenders. Of the victims, 185 were male and 81 were female. Of the offenders, 242 were male and 54 were female. The male offender rate was 2.3 per 100,000; the female rate was 0.5 per 100,000.

Females were victims of homicide at a greater rate than they were offenders in 2006–07 (0.8, compared with 0.5, per 100,000).

Firearm homicides showed further decline in 2006–07, continuing a decade-long trend. 2006–07 saw the lowest percentage of firearm incidents since the inception of the NHMP, with only 11 percent of homicide victims being killed by a firearm. This is a four percent decrease from 2005–06. The vast majority of firearms used in homicide were unregistered and unlicensed.

Rates of intimate-partner homicide remained constant in 2006–07, with 22 percent of homicides occurring in this context. Of intimate-partner homicide, 23 males and 42 females were victims.

Forty-three percent of homicides between intimates in 2006–07 had a domestic-violence history with the police in some form prior to the homicide incident.

Twenty-seven children under the age of 15 years were killed in 2006–07, the overwhelming majority by a parent (84%).

Thirteen percent of homicides in 2006–07 were committed in the course of another crime. In more than two-thirds of incidents, theft in its various forms (burglary, robbery, etc.) was the precipitating crime.

In 2006–07, Indigenous men were seven times as likely to be offenders as were non-Indigenous males. This was well down from the early 1990s, when Indigenous males were offending at rates of fourteen times or more of those of non-Indigenous males. Indigenous women offended at nearly fourteen times the rate of non-Indigenous females; this ratio has stayed relatively constant since 1990. Indigenous women were also nine times as likely as their non-Indigenous counterparts to be a victim of homicide.

Indigenous homicide also exhibits significantly different sex ratios from non-Indigenous homicide. In 2006–07, Indigenous men and women were equally likely to become homicide victims. The ratio of male to female Indigenous offenders was less than three to one in 2006–07, whereas in non-Indigenous populations the ratio was five to one.

In 2006–07, a third of all homicides for which a male was charged involved a friend or acquaintance as a victim; another third of the victims were intimate partners or family members; and around a quarter were strangers. The other relationships included employer, employee, landlord, and tenant. Strangers accounted for 23 percent of male offenders’ relationships to their victims, with these incidents usually occurring in the context of a precipitating crime or an argument, often fuelled by alcohol.

The pattern of victimisation by female homicide offenders is quite different. They are twice as likely as males to have been charged with killing an intimate partner or a family member. A woman killing a stranger is relatively rare. Even though females are more likely to kill an intimate partner, male offenders murder intimates in greater numbers.

- www.aic.gov.au/publications/mr/01

[Edit: Final 2 paras and source URL added]

Oepty
21-12-2008, 08:37 PM
It does.


Out of context. God has ordained the death penalty for sin, which is why we die. But there are only certain sins that he has mandated that the government punishes with death.


Because the Noahic Covenant prescribes a governmental death penalty only for taking innocent life, not for speeding.

I will have to have another look at Genesis 9. I am not really sure it means what you are saying, but not discounting it either. I will have to make my mind up.
Scott

Ian Murray
21-12-2008, 10:07 PM
By sentenceing a criminal to death will teach other people not to murder or other serious offense. Wouldn't it:?:
As a matter of interest the murder rate in Australia, where there is no death penalty, is 1.2 - 12 murders per million of population.

In Texas, where 37% of all executions in USA since 1976 have taken place and which vigorously enforces the death penalty, the murder rate is 5.9

So on the surface it would seem that the death penalty does not deter homicides, nor does the absence of the death penalty encourage them - rather the opposite. However statistics is nowhere near that simple and other factors will exist and need to be taken into account (for example, there is no way to measure the number of people who have considered a violent crime and decided against it because of the death penalty).

CameronD
21-12-2008, 10:23 PM
As a matter of interest the murder rate in Australia, where there is no death penalty, is 1.2 - 12 murders per million of population.

In Texas, where 37% of all executions in USA since 1976 have taken place and which vigorously enforces the death penalty, the murder rate is 5.9

So on the surface it would seem that the death penalty does not deter homicides, nor does the absence of the death penalty encourage them - rather the opposite. However statistics is nowhere near that simple and other factors will exist and need to be taken into account (for example, there is no way to measure the number of people who have considered a violent crime and decided against it because of the death penalty).

A main factor would also be the educational factors and gun laws in the US. I think you cant compare the two figures art all.

Ian Murray
21-12-2008, 11:42 PM
A main factor would also be the educational factors and gun laws in the US. I think you cant compare the two figures art all.
My point exactly

Capablanca-Fan
23-12-2008, 12:13 AM
Is this what leftist weenies prefer?


TWO teenagers who were part of a vicious gang that kicked a man to death for fun will only spend around two years in youth detention (http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24833691-661,00.html).

In the Supreme Court today Justice David Harper said ... the two youths, who are both 18 and can only be named as MBA and WH, set out with six others to find, attack and rob an innocent victim in Footscray in January this year. ...

Dr Cao, a research fellow at Victoria University of Technology was on his way home when he was confronted by the gang at the intersection of Kinnear and Eldridge Streets. Justice Harper said he was punched and then flung to the ground, hitting his head on the pavement. As he lay stricken another member of the gang kicked him in the head and then his wallet and phone were stolen. The father of one died four days later in hospital…

MBA smiled broadly after the sentence was pronounced.

CameronD
23-12-2008, 12:18 AM
Why on earth arent they getting 20+ years.


Is this what leftist weenies prefer?


TWO teenagers who were part of a vicious gang that kicked a man to death for fun will only spend around two years in youth detention (http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24833691-661,00.html).

In the Supreme Court today Justice David Harper said ... the two youths, who are both 18 and can only be named as MBA and WH, set out with six others to find, attack and rob an innocent victim in Footscray in January this year. ...

Dr Cao, a research fellow at Victoria University of Technology was on his way home when he was confronted by the gang at the intersection of Kinnear and Eldridge Streets. Justice Harper said he was punched and then flung to the ground, hitting his head on the pavement. As he lay stricken another member of the gang kicked him in the head and then his wallet and phone were stolen. The father of one died four days later in hospital…

MBA smiled broadly after the sentence was pronounced.

Kevin Bonham
23-12-2008, 12:28 AM
I agree that one sounds way too short even if they were 17 when the crimes occurred. By comparison a 19 year old here who killed another in a drunken fight at a party (he was armed with a knife, his victim was unarmed, albeit a champion junior boxer) just got 11 1/2 years for manslaughter.

Sometimes too much slack is cut to the marginally underage in cases like this. I don't think a 12 year old who kills someone should spend several years out of circulation but for 16-17 I think there's a strong case for it.

CameronD
23-12-2008, 12:31 AM
I agree that one sounds way too short even if they were 17 when the crimes occurred. By comparison a 19 year old here who killed another in a drunken fight at a party (he was armed with a knife, his victim was unarmed, albeit a champion junior boxer) just got 11 1/2 years for manslaughter.

Sometimes too much slack is cut to the marginally underage in cases like this. I don't think a 12 year old who kills someone should spend several years out of circulation but for 16-17 I think there's a strong case for it.

They should lower the age of responsibilty to 16

Kevin Bonham
23-12-2008, 12:35 AM
They should lower the age of responsibilty to 16

I'm in favour of lowering the age for pretty much anything except driving, smoking and compulsory voting, so I guess that includes that as well.

I do think that 16-17 year olds should be cut some slack on account of their age though - just not as much as in this case.

Capablanca-Fan
23-12-2008, 12:44 AM
Why on earth arent they getting 20+ years.
Exactly. And we are seeing too many cases where killers of innocent people are getting very light sentences. Yet many who wanted to get rid of capital punishment assured the sheeple that the scumbags would get real life sentences. But it was really part of the trend by the Anointed to show more lenience to their Mascots, the crims (http://www.reason.com/news/show/29774.html), blaming "society" and looking for "root causes" of crime, thus de-emphasizing punishment and justice:


In Sowell's discussion of criminal justice, the pattern emerges yet again: Crime rates were in long-term decline prior to the 1960s, then soared as punishment was de-emphasized in favor of a therapeutic approach; this troubling outcome, however, sparked little rethinking among defenders of the new approach.

Oepty
27-12-2008, 06:34 AM
I will have to have another look at Genesis 9. I am not really sure it means what you are saying, but not discounting it either. I will have to make my mind up.
Scott

It has taken me a few days but here goes.
The covenant in Genesis 9 is about God not flooding the earth to completely destroy all life on the earth. The rainbow is the symbol of this guarentee. The convenant does not cover the pervious section of Genesis 9 that is relevant to this discussion.

The part revelant says nothing about governments so I don't know how you can say it provides authority for a govermental death penalty. It says that any animal or man who kills a man will be killed by man. This is far more general than just the goverment.
Scott

Capablanca-Fan
27-12-2008, 10:34 AM
It has taken me a few days but here goes.
The covenant in Genesis 9 is about God not flooding the earth to completely destroy all life on the earth. The rainbow is the symbol of this guarentee. The convenant does not cover the pervious section of Genesis 9 that is relevant to this discussion.
Not so at all. The covenant is a package deal, starting from God's blessing in v. 1, which also includes a permission to eat meat. One reason for the Flood was the widespread violence (Hebrew hamas, which is thus a most appropriate name for the terrorist organization); so the command about the death penalty made sure that there was a check on the most murderous.


The part revelant says nothing about governments so I don't know how you can say it provides authority for a govermental death penalty. It says that any animal or man who kills a man will be killed by man. This is far more general than just the goverment.
Jewish and Christian scholars have derived a government from this as an authority to carry out this death sentence on man-killers.

Jim_Flood
28-12-2008, 08:21 PM
It is possible to prove that a person has been murdered.

Just be 100% certain in the eyes of man and your God that, before the death penalty is imposed and executed, that you have the actual perpetrator else you will be the murderer - and subject to the same penalty.

Rincewind
28-12-2008, 08:31 PM
It is possible to prove that a person has been murdered.

Forensic evidence can be pretty damning but unfortunately the legal system (both enforcement and prosecution) do not always collect and present evidence in a clear and dispassionate way.

I think the fact that capital punishment if it should be allowed at all, should only be used for very small number of offenders. That being said the cost of indefinite incarceration of such a small number is a small price to society compared to the risk of possibly executing a innocent citizen (especially given the limitations of the legal system mentioned above). Therefore, I don't think capital punishment should be used at all.

Capablanca-Fan
28-12-2008, 09:02 PM
I think the fact that capital punishment if it should be allowed at all, should only be used for very small number of offenders. That being said the cost of indefinite incarceration of such a small number
As if anyone is incarcerated indefinitely. "Life" sentences are a sick joke.


is a small price to society compared to the risk of possibly executing a innocent citizen (especially given the limitations of the legal system mentioned above).
As Sowell has pointed out, there is a risk of innocents dying if capital punishment is abolished too, since murderers can kill in prison or after release.

Kevin Bonham
28-12-2008, 09:14 PM
As if anyone is incarcerated indefinitely.

A few are (though nowhere near enough). Martin Bryant sure won't be going anywhere.

Aaron Guthrie
28-12-2008, 10:09 PM
That being said the cost of indefinite incarceration of such a small number is a small price to society compared to the risk of possibly executing a innocent citizen (especially given the limitations of the legal system mentioned above).Did you have financial costs in mind here?

Rincewind
28-12-2008, 10:53 PM
Did you have financial costs in mind here?

Yes financial cost of lifetime imprisonment of the small number of people who could arguably should suffer the death penalty versus the risk of executing an innocent citizen. I'm not sure how to quantify the cost of the risk but I would think the value of the life of an innocent citizen to be of a considerable magnitude such that we could prison the small number of death sentence candidates for less than the cost of the risk.

Aaron Guthrie
28-12-2008, 11:54 PM
Yes financial cost of lifetime imprisonment of the small number of people who could arguably should suffer the death penalty versus the risk of executing an innocent citizen. I'm not sure how to quantify the cost of the risk but I would think the value of the life of an innocent citizen to be of a considerable magnitude such that we could prison the small number of death sentence candidates for less than the cost of the risk.OK, because it isn't clear what the relative cost of executing vs incarceration is. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/node/1080

In its review of death penalty expenses, the State of Kansas concluded that capital cases are 70% more expensive than comparable non-death penalty cases. The study counted death penalty case costs through to execution and found that the median death penalty case costs $1.26 million.There are issues with the study itself, e.g. relatively few cases, a lot of guessing involved. Aside from this, the cases of incarceration here are not incarceration for the course of a person's natural life. Also legal costs make up a large part of the extra costs for death penalty cases. Legal costs for a potential life (till death) case might also be quite a bit higher than life, where life is 15-25 (or whatever it is).

Capablanca-Fan
28-12-2008, 11:58 PM
Also legal costs make up a large part of the extra costs for death penalty cases.
That's the main thing: an absurdly long appeals procedure which adds very little to the question of guilt or innocence.


Legal costs for a potential life (till death) case might also be quite a bit higher than life, where life is 15-25 (or whatever it is).
Prisons are more expensive than 5-star hotels.

Desmond
10-03-2009, 02:47 PM
Does the amount of time that has passed since the crime make a difference to the punishment?

In the last few years many crimes from decades ago have been solved due to advances in DNA technology etc.

In my view, a significant part of the reason for punishing someone is to prevent them from re-offending. If a man committed a murder 30 years ago and has been a model citizen since, should he receive as harsh a penalty as if he were convicted at the time?

Garrett
10-03-2009, 03:32 PM
If a man committed a murder 30 years ago and has been a model citizen since, should he receive as harsh a penalty as if he were convicted at the time?

If it took 30 years to uncover him as the murderer how confident can you be that he has not re-offended in the interim ?

Desmond
10-03-2009, 03:41 PM
If it took 30 years to uncover him as the murderer how confident can you be that he has not re-offended in the interim ?
Assume you could be...

antichrist
11-03-2009, 04:39 PM
provided that state murderers are also included? war criminals, criminals against humanity. Did they get Pinochet before he died? Has he died? Sorharto is in the same boat. Franko could be thrown in as well. Stalin, and many popes.

TheJoker
12-03-2009, 04:33 PM
Jono I am interested to know what you believe is achieved in administering the death penalty?

For example, is your support based on the concept of justice, an effective deterrent, financial motivations?

What about the countless people who are reformed murders or those who were provoked through years of systematic abuse?

How does the death penalty fit in with Christianity, surely a christian would be better to leave judgement and punishment up to an omnipotent god, why is it necessary for us to interfere at all surely such a god is capable of dealing with such issues as he regularly did according to certains sections of the old testament.

Capablanca-Fan
12-03-2009, 04:45 PM
Jono I am interested to know what you believe is achieved in administering the death penalty?

For example, is your support based on the concept of justice, an effective deterrent, financial motivations?
Mainly the first, something of the second, and only a little of the third. I.e.: intentionally take an innocent life, and your own life is forfeit.


What about the countless people who are reformed murders
What about them? Who do you have in mind?


or those who were provoked through years of systematic abuse?
I'm talking about real cold-blooded murderers not doubtful cases like provocation.


How does the death penalty fit in with Christianity, surely a christian would be better to leave judgement and punishment up to an omnipotent god, why is it necessary for us to interfere at all surely such a god is capable of dealing with such issues as he regularly did according to certains sections of the old testament.
Answered in this post (http://www.chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=222976&postcount=17). God has delegated certain punishments to earthly governments, including capital punishment for capital crimes.

TheJoker
12-03-2009, 04:48 PM
God has delegated certain punishments to earthly governments, including capital punishment for capital crimes.

Really can you post a copy of the delegation. What else has God delegated to governments?:lol:

Capablanca-Fan
12-03-2009, 04:56 PM
Really can you post a copy of the delegation. What else has God delegated to governments?:lol:

Romans 13
1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.
5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
6 For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.
7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Mokum
12-03-2009, 06:46 PM
Romans 13
1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

Except, no doubt, those governing authorities led by Rudd, Obama, and other lefties?

Capablanca-Fan
12-03-2009, 06:48 PM
Except, no doubt, those governing authorities led by Rudd, Obama, and other lefties?
Even those, except where they promote policies that violate God's Law, as also stated in the NT. E.g. Christians had an obligation to disobey the leftie Hitler when he decreed that sheltering Jews was a crime.

Goughfather
12-03-2009, 08:55 PM
Romans 13
3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

Given that the sword was not the typical instrument of execution, I find the suggestion that this reference refers to capital punishment to be extremely tendentious. It's much more likely that the term "sword", like Austin's "gunman" in jurisprudence, is simply a metaphor for what Foucault called the State's "monopoly on violence".

Capablanca-Fan
12-03-2009, 09:30 PM
Given that the sword was not the typical instrument of execution, I find the suggestion that this reference refers to capital punishment to be extremely tendentious. It's much more likely that the term "sword", like Austin's "gunman" in jurisprudence, is simply a metaphor for what Foucault called the State's "monopoly on violence".
The sword was the general symbol for the right to use lethal force against certain types of wrongdoers. John Wesley is explicit (http://www.ewordtoday.com/comments/romans/wesley/romans13.htm):


The sword - The instrument of capital punishment, which God authorizes him to inflict.

John Gill says (http://www.ewordtoday.com/comments/romans/gill/romans13.htm):


for he beareth not the sword in vain. The "sword" is an emblem of the power of life and death, the civil magistrate is invested with, and includes all sorts of punishment he has a right to inflict; and this power is not lodged in him in vain; he may and ought to make use of it at proper times, and upon proper persons.

Calvin (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom38.xvii.ii.html):


For they bear not the sword in vain, etc. It is another part of the office of magistrates, that they ought forcibly to repress the waywardness of evil men, who do not willingly suffer themselves to be governed by laws, and to inflict such punishment on their offenses as God’s judgment requires; for he expressly declares, that they are armed with the sword, not for an empty show, but that they may smite evil-doers.

And then he says, An avenger, to execute wrath, etc. This is the same as if it had been said, that he is an executioner of God’s wrath; and this he shows himself to be by having the sword, which the Lord has delivered into his hand. This is a remarkable passage for the purpose of proving the right of the sword; for if the Lord, by arming the magistrate, has also committed to him the use of the sword, whenever he visits the guilty with death, by executing God’s vengeance, he obeys his commands. Contend then do they with God who think it unlawful to shed the blood of wicked men.

eclectic
12-03-2009, 09:38 PM
but didn't jesus have something to say about the use of (state sanctioned) violence upon healing the soldier's cut off ear at gethsemane, admonishing the disciple who inflicted the injury, and stating that "those who live by the sword die by the sword"?

Goughfather
12-03-2009, 10:12 PM
The sword was the general symbol for the right to use lethal force against certain types of wrongdoers.

The theologians you reference occupy a relatively small segment of Christendom. Quoting two theologians from the Reformed tradition to establish your point is likely to have a counter-productive effect on me. And while I have slightly more respect for Wesley, I'd be much more convinced by the reading if anything more than the assertion that the sword equates to capital punishment was provided.

Capablanca-Fan
13-03-2009, 08:39 AM
The theologians you reference occupy a relatively small segment of Christendom. Quoting two theologians from the Reformed tradition to establish your point is likely to have a counter-productive effect on me. And while I have slightly more respect for Wesley, I'd be much more convinced by the reading if anything more than the assertion that the sword equates to capital punishment was provided.
If you want to discuss exegesis, then it's legtimate to provide commentaries. It's also notable that wider branches of Christendom supported capital punishment. Conversely, you provide no support for any contrary position. And why whinge about the Reformed tradition when your sig quotes the most famous Reformer of all? [Yes I know that "Reformed" usually means "Calvinist"; I couldn't find anything on the web by Luther about the issue]

pax
13-03-2009, 06:01 PM
Except, no doubt, those governing authorities led by Rudd, Obama, and other lefties?
Not to mention the Ayatollah in Iran, China in Tibet, Mugabe in Zimbabwe. I'm sure they're all heartened to know that they have been appointed by God.

Capablanca-Fan
13-03-2009, 06:18 PM
Not to mention the Ayatollah in Iran, China in Tibet, Mugabe in Zimbabwe. I'm sure they're all heartened to know that they have been appointed by God.
The Bible has limits on the power of rulers, so it's no accident that all these despots reject it.

Goughfather
13-03-2009, 10:04 PM
And why whinge about the Reformed tradition when your sig quotes the most famous Reformer of all? [Yes I know that "Reformed" usually means "Calvinist"; I couldn't find anything on the web by Luther about the issue]

Perhaps because not all Reformers are identified with Reformed theology and because Lutheranism is a completely separate body of theology?

Between Zwingli in Zurich and Calvin in Geneva there was a fair bit of blood spilt addressing those mischief makers who didn't agree with them. They're hardly likely to provide a pacifist reading of Romans 13, are they?

TheJoker
13-03-2009, 10:34 PM
Romans 13
1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.
5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
6 For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.
7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

So you're saying Rudd and Obama are agents of God is that right?

Looks like you better pay whatever taxes the government wants stop whinning if you want to get into heaven Jono:lol:

Capablanca-Fan
13-03-2009, 11:42 PM
So you're saying Rudd and Obama are agents of God is that right?
Of course. Their policies (provided they pass Parliament or Congress) should be obeyed wherever they don't contradict God's law. Paul wrote the letter to the Romans under the Caesars.


Looks like you better pay whatever taxes the government wants stop whinning if you want to get into heaven Jono:lol:
Yes, we should pay taxes. But there is also a New Testament precedent to "appeal to Caesar", and the law of the land allows people to protest.

Capablanca-Fan
13-03-2009, 11:44 PM
Between Zwingli in Zurich and Calvin in Geneva there was a fair bit of blood spilt addressing those mischief makers who didn't agree with them. They're hardly likely to provide a pacifist reading of Romans 13, are they?
Of course not. Pacifism is barmy and requires eisegetical contortions, as I've pointed out before (http://chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=176860&postcount=66).

Mephistopheles
17-03-2009, 01:43 PM
That's the main thing: an absurdly long appeals procedure which adds very little to the question of guilt or innocence.
Given the 100+ innocents who have been released from death rows in the USA since 1973, I'd say that the above is a load of old cobblers. In many cases, their appeals had expired and it was only the efforts of groups such as the Innocence Project that prevented a gross miscarriage of justice.

And there you have the fatal flaw in a justly implemented death penalty system - it simply costs too much if you wish to avoid executing an innocent. A number of states in the USA are at least considering dropping capital punishment for that very reason.

As to whether the penalty is appropriate for proven murderers, I don't think so. For some, it is quite obviously overkill (haha). In fact, for all but the worst of the worst of murderers, I honestly feel that the death penalty is far from appropriate.

Capablanca-Fan
17-03-2009, 02:04 PM
Given the 100+ innocents who have been released from death rows in the USA since 1973, I'd say that the above is a load of old cobblers. In many cases, their appeals had expired and it was only the efforts of groups such as the Innocence Project that prevented a gross miscarriage of justice.
100+? Most doubtful. What is known is innocent people killed by convicted murderers. They can kill again in prison, while escaping, and after release.

Even life imprisonment is a farce. We see the leftist Israeli government releasing terrorists sentenced to multiple life terms in exchange for hostages (http://townhall.com/Columnists/CarolineBGlick/2009/03/16/israels_balance_of_delusion).


And there you have the fatal flaw in a justly implemented death penalty system - it simply costs too much if you wish to avoid executing an innocent. A number of states in the USA are at least considering dropping capital punishment for that very reason.
Yet the appeals system mostly prolongues the life of the obviously guilty, and encourages frivolous appeals.


As to whether the penalty is appropriate for proven murderers, I don't think so. For some, it is quite obviously overkill (haha).
Anything less than life us obviously underkill, as it undermines the sanctity of the life of the victim.


In fact, for all but the worst of the worst of murderers, I honestly feel that the death penalty is far from appropriate.
But would you agree even for the worst of the worst?

Mephistopheles
17-03-2009, 03:08 PM
100+? Most doubtful.
Not at all (http://www.amnestyusa.org/death-penalty/death-penalty-facts/death-penalty-and-innocence/page.do?id=1101086). There are a number of scholarly works out there (whose names elude me as I have not referred to them for nigh on a decade) from which the Amnesty figures are sourced.


What is known is innocent people killed by convicted murderers. They can kill again in prison, while escaping, and after release.
Then put the worst of the worst in supermax facilities and do not release them. It really isn't brain surgery, Jono.


Even life imprisonment is a farce.
That is not to say that it has to be a farce. This thread (as conceived) is largely about theoretical approaches to punishment so there is nothing to say that we shouldn't also consider actual life imprisonment as an option.


Yet the appeals system mostly prolongues the life of the obviously guilty, and encourages frivolous appeals.
The appeals system has ensured that no person executed in the USA since Furman vs Georgia has been subsequently proven innocent.

That's why it is there - to be extremely thorough in ensuring that no innocent is executed.


Anything less than life us obviously underkill, as it undermines the sanctity of the life of the victim.
Your opinion only. The woman who finally snaps and, in a fit of rage, stabs her violent, abusive husband to death might gain rather more sympathy from those who stop to think about such situations for even an instant.


But would you agree even for the worst of the worst?
I would say that it is appropriate for only the worst of the worst and even then, I mean appropriate as opposed to desirable or even necessary.

Mind you, the notion is purely theoretical. Practical considerations have me opposed to capital punishment under almost all conceivable circumstances, at least in a first world, liberal democracy.

Capablanca-Fan
17-03-2009, 03:56 PM
Not at all (http://www.amnestyusa.org/death-penalty/death-penalty-facts/death-penalty-and-innocence/page.do?id=1101086). There are a number of scholarly works out there (whose names elude me as I have not referred to them for nigh on a decade) from which the Amnesty figures are sourced.
Yeah, the article quotes the RINO governor Ryan who's now in prison himself.

No one doubts that one should minimize the number of convictions of innocent people. There should probably be an even higher evidential threshold for execution than for conviction.


Then put the worst of the worst in supermax facilities and do not release them. It really isn't brain surgery, Jono.
But those Israeli prisoners were supposed to be imprisoned for life too. And how can one guarantee that a leftist soft-on-crime criminals-are-society's-fault governor won't release them?


That's why it is there — to be extremely thorough in ensuring that no innocent is executed.
But according to you, it hasn't worked! That's the trouble with a lot of judicial innovations, including the absurd Miranda warnings: they allow the guilty to escape while doing very little for the innocent.


Your opinion only. The woman who finally snaps and, in a fit of rage, stabs her violent, abusive husband to death might gain rather more sympathy from those who stop to think about such situations for even an instant.
Probably would be rarely sentenced to death anyway.

Mephistopheles
17-03-2009, 05:01 PM
Yeah, the article quotes the RINO governor Ryan who's now in prison himself.
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/poisoning-the-well.html
This is the Informal Logic Police, Jono, and you're nicked, sunshine.

I'm right on this one, trust me. I get the distinct impression that my more than 10 years of consideration and study of the death penalty probably makes me very likely to be right about most of the facts and statistics surrounding capital punishment. You may well disagree with my views but I have certainly done the reading about the uncontroversial facts. The source that I quoted was simply regurgitating a fact that rests somewhere in a dusty tome or three that reside in my personal capital punishment library. I remembered the fact (having read it elsewhere) and Mr Google provided me with a handy, on-line citation.


But those Israeli prisoners were supposed to be imprisoned for life too. And how can one guarantee that a leftist soft-on-crime criminals-are-society's-fault governor won't release them?
As indicated elsewhere (by you, I think!), this thread was intended as a theoretical debate and, therefore, proper life imprisonment is worthy of consideration.


But according to you, it hasn't worked! That's the trouble with a lot of judicial innovations, including the absurd Miranda warnings: they allow the guilty to escape while doing very little for the innocent.
It has most certainly worked, given that no innocent has been proven to have been executed in the USA since Furman vs Georgia. Since Gregg vs Georgia, the appeals process in most (if not all) states has become considerably more thorough, giving rise to the impressive statistic mentioned in the first sentence of this paragraph.


Probably would be rarely sentenced to death anyway.
From your fulminations in this thread, it seems that you feel that she should be. Am I mistaken?

Capablanca-Fan
17-03-2009, 05:09 PM
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/poisoning-the-well.html
This is the Informal Logic Police, Jono, and you're nicked, sunshine.
I don't need lessons in logic (http://creation.com/loving-god-with-all-your-mind-logic-and-creation-journal-of-creation-tj) from you, including the genetic fallacy (http://creation.com/loving-god-with-all-your-mind-logic-and-creation-journal-of-creation-tj#genetic).

Fact remains that AA has become a leftist front group, and they were relying on a since-jailed governor (maybe by commuting sentences of those he might have to share prison with, he thought that his own sentence would be easier to live with).


I'm right on this one, trust me. I get the distinct impression that my more than 10 years of consideration and study of the death penalty probably makes me very likely to be right about most of the facts and statistics surrounding capital punishment.
You don't know what I've studied.


From your fulminations in this thread, it seems that you feel that she should be. Am I mistaken?
I was really talking about premeditated murder with no excuse.

Mephistopheles
17-03-2009, 05:25 PM
I don't need lessons in logic (http://creation.com/loving-god-with-all-your-mind-logic-and-creation-journal-of-creation-tj) from you, including the genetic fallacy (http://creation.com/loving-god-with-all-your-mind-logic-and-creation-journal-of-creation-tj#genetic).
It appears that you do, considering that you put forward a basic logical fallacy.


Fact remains that AA has become a leftist front group, and they were relying on a since-jailed governor (maybe by commuting sentences of those he might have to share prison with, he thought that his own sentence would be easier to live with).
Governor Ryan's quotation on the page does not change the fact that is presented on that same page one bit. The fact that you point to AI (I note your abusive ad hominem, BTW) as a "leftist front group" is another Poisoning the Well fallacy. You really aren't terribly good at this logic stuff, are you? Two logical fallacies in a single paragraph? For shame, Jono!


You don't know what I've studied.
True enough, but I know that my own knowledge of the area is sufficient that I am unlikely to make many errors of fact.


I was really talking about premeditated murder with no excuse.
You may well have been but your tone about this issue has not previously been so unequivocal.

Capablanca-Fan
17-03-2009, 05:44 PM
Governor Ryan's quotation on the page does not change the fact that is presented on that same page one bit. The fact that you point to AI (I note your abusive ad hominem, BTW) as a "leftist front group" is another Poisoning the Well fallacy. You really aren't terribly good at this logic stuff, are you? Two logical fallacies in a single paragraph? For shame, Jono!
Logical fallacies are flaws that invalidate an argument. I was just making statements which happen to be true. Logic is not a strong point with lefties.


True enough, but I know that my own knowledge of the area is sufficient that I am unlikely to make many errors of fact.
We have only your word for this.

Kevin Bonham
17-03-2009, 06:44 PM
Even life imprisonment is a farce. We see the leftist Israeli government releasing terrorists sentenced to multiple life terms in exchange for hostages (http://townhall.com/Columnists/CarolineBGlick/2009/03/16/israels_balance_of_delusion).

This seems rather off the main point, since the vast majority of murderers sentenced to life imprisonment are of no value to potential hostage-takers capable of taking enough hostages to persuade a government to release prisoners in exchange.


We have only your word for this.

And mine. I can vouch that Mephistopheles has indeed had a long and serious online involvement in this issue.

Mephistopheles
17-03-2009, 10:12 PM
Logical fallacies are flaws that invalidate an argument.
And they invalidate yours. I made the (verifiable) claim that more than 100 innocents had been exonerated since 1973 and provided a citation. Instead of acknowledging that, you mounted a Poisoning the Well fallacy because that page quoted Governor Ryan, even though that quotation had nothing to do with my claim or the citation.


I was just making statements which happen to be true. Logic is not a strong point with lefties.
It also appears not to be a strong point with you, given your proclivity for meeting rational argument and citations with logical fallacies.


We have only your word for this.
Kevin knows me as well as anyone and is also familiar with both my experiences in this area and my particular viewpoint and biases.

To be blunt, Jono, I made a claim and provided a citation for that claim. In reponse, you put forward no fewer than three logical fallacies, indicating that your grasp of logic is so shaky that it could be diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Logic was never a strong point of "the right" (whatever that is), after all.

AzureBlue
17-03-2009, 10:16 PM
"If we kill the killer, we too deserve to be killed. Capital punishment. Once again, after another horrific crime, this topic is back under discussion. So, should we reintroduce it or not? I think not.
To execute someone for a crime is to follow the ancient custom of ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ In other words, it is pure revenge. Think for a moment what sort of example this sets for the community at large. What does it say to them about conflict or hardship? A good message would you say?
Even if there is no doubt that someone has murdered, should the state stoop to that level and murder as well? If a convicted murderer is sentenced to life imprisonment, that person is no longer a danger to society. There is absolutely no need to execute criminals to punish them. Imprisonment is punishment enough. And imprisonment offers the hope of rehabilitation - surely something we should be aiming for.
Capital punishment is certainly not a deterrent. People who commit serious crimes don’t think about the consequences before doing so. In the US, where capital punishment exists in some states, the murder rate is still climbing. Britain has abolished the death penalty, as has Australia, and our murder statistics per head of population are lower than in those US states. Considerably lower.
The death penalty is a cop out for dealing with our social problems. A quick fix. The roots of crime lie in poverty, abuse, racism, injustice. Society needs to look at these causes and deal with them. People who commit vicious crimes have often suffered from neglect, cruelty, emotional trauma, violence, abandonment, lack of love and a host of destructive social conditions. Is it fair to hold these people fully accountable for their wrongdoing? Is not society at least partly to blame?
It is not capital punishment that will make society safe from violent crime but attention of its needs. Killing will not stop crime. Caring will. Let us show mercy even to those who have shown none, to return good for evil. For to err is human, to forgive is divine.
Capital punishment is inhuman, barbaric and, in my eyes at least, legalised murder."

Capablanca-Fan
17-03-2009, 11:06 PM
"If we kill the killer, we too deserve to be killed. Capital punishment.
No. Not all killing is murderer. We should execute murderers, not all killers.


Once again, after another horrific crime, this topic is back under discussion. So, should we reintroduce it or not? I think not.
To execute someone for a crime is to follow the ancient custom of ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ In other words, it is pure revenge.
It is justice. BTW, the Lex Talionis was originally a limitation on vendettas: i.e. he punches out your tooth, you don't kill him and his family.


Think for a moment what sort of example this sets for the community at large. What does it say to them about conflict or hardship? A good message would you say?
Yes: that innocent life is so sacrosanct that the only penalty for taking it intentionally is forfeiture of life.


Even if there is no doubt that someone has murdered, should the state stoop to that level and murder as well?
Once again you presuppose that all killing is murder.


If a convicted murderer is sentenced to life imprisonment, that person is no longer a danger to society.
Yes he is, as already stated: he can kill in prison, or escape, or be released and killed again.


There is absolutely no need to execute criminals to punish them. Imprisonment is punishment enough. And imprisonment offers the hope of rehabilitation - surely something we should be aiming for.
Sure, but as Thomas Sowell points out in his classic Vision of the Anointed (http://www.rightwingnews.com/quotes/anointed.php):


"One of the most important questions about any proposed course of actions is whether we know how to do it. Policy A may be better than policy B, but that does not matter if we simply do not know how to do Policy A. Perhaps it would be better to rehabilitate criminals, rather than punish them, if we knew how to do it. Rewarding merit might be better than rewarding results if we knew how to do it. But one of the crucial differences between those with the tragic vision and those with the vision of the anointed is in what they respectively assume that we know how to do. Those with the vision of the anointed are seldom deterred by any question as to whether anyone has the knowledge required to do what they are attempting."


Capital punishment is certainly not a deterrent.
It is for many people. President Reagan gave an example of a robbery victim who saved his own life just after capital punishment was introduced, warning his would-be murderer that he would fry.


People who commit serious crimes don’t think about the consequences before doing so.
Yet many don't commit them in the first place because of the consequences. That's what deterrence means!


The death penalty is a cop out for dealing with our social problems. A quick fix. The roots of crime lie in poverty, abuse, racism, injustice.
More of this "root causes" bullcrap. Many people suffer these without becoming criminals, while many criminals come from very well off families.


Society needs to look at these causes and deal with them.
That is the sort of crap tried in the 1960s, and of course crime rate skyrocketed when, in short, we stopped punishing criminals. As Sowell points out:


"Widespread personification of 'society' is another verbal tactic that evades issues of personal responsibility. Such use of the term 'society' is a more sophisticated version of the notion that 'the devil made me do it.' Like much of the rest of the special vocabulary of the anointed, it is used as a magic word to make choice, behavior, and performance vanish into thin air."

"The vision of the anointed is one in which ills as poverty, irresponsible sex, and crime derive primarily from 'society,' rather than from individual choices and behavior. To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by 'society'."


People who commit vicious crimes have often suffered from neglect, cruelty, emotional trauma, violence, abandonment, lack of love and a host of destructive social conditions. Is it fair to hold these people fully accountable for their wrongdoing? Is not society at least partly to blame?
No. Most Aboriginal crime is against other Aborigines. In America, most black crime is against other blacks. Also, there was less black crime when there was more racism and poverty back in the days of slavery then the Jim Crow laws.


It is not capital punishment that will make society safe from violent crime but attention of its needs. Killing will not stop crime.
It will stop those executed criminals committing more crime.


Caring will. Let us show mercy even to those who have shown none, to return good for evil. For to err is human, to forgive is divine.
More crap. To err is faulty; to forgive the repentant is merciful. These are not metaphysical but ethical. Gentleness to scumbags means harshness to their victims.

Kevin Bonham
17-03-2009, 11:09 PM
AzureBlue, was your post a quote of something someone else had written? If so it helps to say who it is.

ER
18-03-2009, 12:17 AM
Case study
I was reading this story last night Warning explicit description of criminal activity
http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/b/newidea/22659/australias-most-evil-womanbegs-for-release/
At least one of them did what the court didn't!

Sentencing
http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Asia/Story/STIStory_351208.html

AzureBlue
18-03-2009, 04:02 PM
AzureBlue, was your post a quote of something someone else had written? If so it helps to say who it is.
Yeah, I got it from somewhere ages ago I think but I dnt really remember sry

that Caesar guy
18-03-2009, 05:55 PM
The thing about the death penalty is that it is right, and yet it is also wrong.
Capital punishment has been debated for a long time, and after every murder, the question is always raised: does he/she deserve to die?
It always depends on what the crime is, how it occurs, and the extent of the crime.
For example, a serial killer should deserve a worse punishment to a one timer.
Someone who cuts up and cannibalises their victims is usually delusional, so they should be put away for a long time, but maybe not killed.
Every case has its own different aspects, and should all be treated differently, and not generalised into 1 statement, like "All murderers should be killed."
Capital punishment should be introduced, but not all murderers should receive the death penalty.
And also, bear in mind that a life sentance with no bail can be even worse than death, as violence and rape is ripe in jails.

JM

eclectic
19-03-2009, 12:06 PM
New Mexico Abandons Death Penalty (http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE52I0I820090319)

TheJoker
19-03-2009, 11:33 PM
Sure, but as Thomas Sowell points out in his classic Vision of the Anointed (http://www.rightwingnews.com/quotes/anointed.php):


"One of the most important questions about any proposed course of actions is whether we know how to do it. Policy A may be better than policy B, but that does not matter if we simply do not know how to do Policy A. Perhaps it would be better to rehabilitate criminals, rather than punish them, if we knew how to do it."



Sowell has a point, but surely a progressive society focuses on gaining the knowledge required to achieve the outcomes it desires rather than resigning itself to the status quo.

In terms of the death penalty being a proactive measure in preventing murders, I suspect that there are far better proactive approaches. I wouldn't be surprised if higher education and income levels in region had a stronger correlation with low murder rate than the imposition of capital punishment.

arosar
22-10-2009, 11:32 AM
I knew we had a thread on this.

Anyway, this long, long article (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/09/07/090907fa_fact_grann/) is worth a read.

AR

Basil
22-10-2009, 01:22 PM
Anyway, this long, long article (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/09/07/090907fa_fact_grann/) is worth a read.

AR
I didn't have time for the soap opera component, so I jumped to the end. Page 16 for those short on time.

Igor_Goldenberg
22-10-2009, 01:45 PM
I did not vote in the poll. My main reservation is the underlying assumption.
The question relates to a "proven murder", but how can we be sure that particular case is "proven"?.
Jury (or any other court) verdict is not a 100% proof.
As we don't have a criteria of what is a "proven murder", the question itself is moot.

There is always a possibility that "guilty" verdict is a mistake, which is my main reservation in terms of death sentence.

Capablanca-Fan
22-10-2009, 02:21 PM
I did not vote in the poll. My main reservation is the underlying assumption.
But it is quite common to grant a premise just for the purpose of the argument, and see what follows.


The question relates to a "proven murder", but how can we be sure that particular case is "proven"?.
Jury (or any other court) verdict is not a 100% proof.
And nothing is 100% safe. Letting a convicted murderer live is not; many have killed upon release (life imprisonment hardly ever means that), killed within prison, ordered a hit from prison ...


As we don't have a criteria of what is a "proven murder", the question itself is moot.
Not at all, since showing what validly follows from a premise is not the same as asserting that this premise is true.

There is always a possibility that "guilty" verdict is a mistake, which is my main reservation in terms of death sentence.[/QUOTE]
I was trying to avoid such considerations and move to a hypothetical case of absolutely proven murders. Many would not approve of the death penalty even in such cases, because they believe that killing by the state is wrong per se, not wrong just because of the possibility that an innocent may be executed. This is what this poll is meant to measure.

Igor_Goldenberg
22-10-2009, 04:06 PM
Not at all, since showing what validly follows from a premise is not the same as asserting that this premise is true.
If premise is false then anything can follow from it.
Asserting that premise is true only makes sense if there is a possibility that it might sometimes be true.

Capablanca-Fan
22-10-2009, 04:35 PM
If premise is false then anything can follow from it.
Asserting that premise is true only makes sense if there is a possibility that it might sometimes be true.
Well, one could use "all reptiles have scales", then consider the question, "if Mickey Mouse were a reptile, would he have scales?" The answer is yes, even though the premise is false.

Tony Dowden
22-10-2009, 06:07 PM
I voted no.

I generally agree with Igor G because in the real world a 'proven' case means as per the accepted understanding of scientific/forensic evidence at the time. And in the real world new evidence and new understandings or interpretations of existing evidence can and do (albeit not very often) overturn rulings in 'proven' cases.

:hmm: The real world is such a messy place!

Capablanca-Fan
22-10-2009, 06:42 PM
Well, I also would have voted "no" if the poll question was, "Do you support the death penalty where there is a niggling doubt as to the defendant's guilt?"

Goughfather
23-10-2009, 04:09 AM
Well, I also would have voted "no" if the poll question was, "Do you support the death penalty where there is a niggling doubt as to the defendant's guilt?"

Well, that is at least mildly encouraging ...

I guess I have a number of questions for you. Firstly, what do you mean by "niggling doubt"? I understand that I am not that experienced yet, but I haven't come across the term used as a standard of proof in Queensland, New South Wales, or indeed any other jurisdiction. Given that "beyond reasonable doubt" is a particularly high threshhold already, how does "niggling doubt" compare?

Secondly, what criteria are we using to determine "niggling doubt"?

-Are we talking about niggling doubt about the actus reus/physical element?
-Are we talking about niggling doubt about the mens rea/mental element?
- Are we talking about niggling doubt with respect the admissibility of evidence material to a finding of guilt "beyond niggling doubt"?
- Are we talking about niggling doubt concerning disclosure of relevant material to the defence?
- Are we talking about niggling doubt as to the legitimacy of a Judge failing to provide a Domican direction or a Murray direction?
-Are we talking about niggling doubt as to the issue of jurisdiction?
- Are we talking about niggling doubt as to the issue of causation?
- Are we talking about niggling doubt with respect to the competency of Counsel?
- Are we talking about niggling doubt with respect to the integrity of the police investigation?

Thirdly, can you provide an example of a case in which guilt has been established beyond niggling doubt?

Fourthly, would you disagree with the application of the death penalty as it stands in America, given that the comparatively weak standard of "beyond reasonable doubt" is sufficient to send a man off to the gallows?

Fifthly, would you acknowledge that your positiion stops well short of the Noahic covenant? The Noahic covenant says nothing about malice aforethought, remorse or other factors in mitigation of sentence. Nor does it set the standard of proof to be obtained before a death sentence is imposed. Why is it that you have adopted a position that is manifestly weaker than the Noahic Covenant and makes provision for safeguards not required under the Noahic Covenant. Aren't you just watering down the Bible?

Basil
23-10-2009, 08:04 AM
Just passing through ...


Thirdly, can you provide an example of a case in which guilt has been established beyond niggling doubt?

Being caught red-handed and clearly witnessed by a number of people. Man enters house. Kills neighbour. Restrained by 10 house guests who all witness the event. The house guests are deemed of good character and of sound mind. Reliable video. Gunpowder residue on hands. Ballistic match. Planned note in own hand-writing found in house.

Interestingly (for me), if there is a standard of known guilt, does it have a name? It should - to avoid discussions like this one.

WhiteElephant
23-10-2009, 08:12 AM
It is even more appropriate for proven rapists and pedophiles.

Igor_Goldenberg
23-10-2009, 08:59 AM
Well, one could use "all reptiles have scales", then consider the question, "if Mickey Mouse were a reptile, would he have scales?" The answer is yes, even though the premise is false.
However, it's useless. The answer to the question "if Mickey Mouse were a reptile, would he not have scales?" is also true, simply because the premise is false. As a result, it does not help to establish whether the statement "all reptiles have scales" is true or not.

My main point - if a premise is false, then debating the consequences does not make much sense.

Another example:
Darwinism (in terms of origin, not evolution) is contingent on finding "the missing link" or any intermediate species. I don't think debating whether "this theory is true if empirical evidence are found" has any merit given that none were found in a one and half century.

Same with murder. In the hypothetical case Gunner described we can say it's proven (I don't want to play devil's advocate by trying to construct the situation when even this it's not clear cut despite overwhelming evidences). But how many cases of death sentence by jury would have the same level of prove as Gunner's example? I think a small minority.
Would it be safe to say that for 99% cases there is still "a niggling doubt"?
I think so.

Capablanca-Fan
23-10-2009, 12:41 PM
I guess I have a number of questions for you. Firstly, what do you mean by "niggling doubt"?
It wasn't meant to be a legal term, but you know perfectly well what I mean.


Thirdly, can you provide an example of a case in which guilt has been established beyond niggling doubt?
As per Gunner's example. If that doesn't do it, then just admit that no amount of evidence would suit you.


Fourthly, would you disagree with the application of the death penalty as it stands in America, given that the comparatively weak standard of "beyond reasonable doubt" is sufficient to send a man off to the gallows?
Application was not at issue in this poll, but whether the death penalty was right for proven guilty people. And for some reason, America doesn't send people to the gallows any more anyway (since you want to be a smartarse).


Fifthly, would you acknowledge that your positiion stops well short of the Noahic covenant? The Noahic covenant says nothing about malice aforethought, remorse or other factors in mitigation of sentence.
It is implied there by the words used, and the previous main example of Cain's blatantly premeditated murder of Abel. The Bible consistently distinguishes between killing in general and murder in particular.


Nor does it set the standard of proof to be obtained before a death sentence is imposed. Why is it that you have adopted a position that is manifestly weaker than the Noahic Covenant and makes provision for safeguards not required under the Noahic Covenant.
Yet implied when taken in context, and with further progressive revelation. Later on, the biblical safeguards were more stringent than today, requiring two or more eye-witnesses for capital punishment.


Aren't you just watering down the Bible?
Nope, but What do you care anyway? Start your own poll.

Goughfather
23-10-2009, 01:44 PM
It wasn't meant to be a legal term, but you know perfectly well what I mean.

Well, no I don't. If you're going to impose the death penalty on an individual, then you have to ensure that this individual receives due process. And to ensure that a person receives due process, you have to make it perfectly clear what the standard of proof is, as opposed to some kind of vague pseudo-legal term.


As per Gunner's example. If that doesn't do it, then just admit that no amount of evidence would suit you.

Well of course I'm not satisfied, seeing that Gunner only addresses the issue of actus reus. He doesn't deal with mens rea, pre-trial disclosure or the adequacy of trial directions from the Judge, among other considerations.


Application was not at issue in this poll, but whether the death penalty was right for proven guilty people. And for some reason, America doesn't send people to the gallows any more anyway (since you want to be a smartarse).

I understand that your question is simply hypothetical and has no practical application whatsoever, but I was trying to gauge your attitude to the death penalty as it currently stands.


It is implied there by the words used, and the previous main example of Cain's blatantly premeditated murder of Abel. The Bible consistently distinguishes between killing in general and murder in particular.

Well, we're talking about the Noahic covenant specifically, which doesn't imply anything of the sort that you are wishing to import into the text. Genesis 9:6 simply talks about the shedding of blood, not the manner in which it was shed, nor the requisite level of intent, nor the particular motivation. It is, if anything, a strong proof text against the death penalty.

The example of Cain slaying Abel is again a worthy case in point. Cain was not struck dead by God, was he, but isolated from the community for life, wasn't he? If God had desired the death penalty would he not have imposed it in this case?



Yet implied when taken in context, and with further progressive revelation. Later on, the biblical safeguards were more stringent than today, requiring two or more eye-witnesses for capital punishment.

Gunner's example certainly involves more than two eyewitnesses. And if this is the only safeguard you require before you hang someone, then it is certainly not more stringent than today. No trial by one's peers, no Domican direction required. Not even a pre-sentence report.

Perhaps you are beginning to understand the extent of my concern when this political football is kicked around by those with a virtually non-existent grasp of criminal practice or even a broad understanding of jurisprudence.


Nope, but What do you care anyway? Start your own poll.

Why wouldn't I care when someone vandalises the Scriptures?

Capablanca-Fan
23-10-2009, 02:22 PM
Well, no I don't. If you're going to impose the death penalty on an individual, then you have to ensure that this individual receives due process. And to ensure that a person receives due process, you have to make it perfectly clear what the standard of proof is, as opposed to some kind of vague pseudo-legal term.
Come off it. There is a standard of "beyond reasonable doubt" now, and "niggling doubt" was meant to be an even stronger proof.


I understand that your question is simply hypothetical and has no practical application whatsoever,
It does, as explained. If people answer "no" on this poll after understanding the question properly, then what is really hypothetical is the rationalization "innocent people might be executed." That is clearly not their real reason; they really object to the state taking life under any circumstances. It should be obvious that bad applications of something don't prove that this something is bad in itself, but many arguments against capital punishment point to poor standards of proof, discrimination etc. which are really not arguments against the punishment itself.


but I was trying to gauge your attitude to the death penalty as it currently stands.
Then start another poll instead of invading this one.


Well, we're talking about the Noahic covenant specifically, which doesn't imply anything of the sort that you are wishing to import into the text.
In itself, it is a very condensed statement, which points out the need to prevent Cain's murderous violence spreading, i.e. the condition of worldwide violence (Hebrew hamas; how appropriate) that brought about God's judgement in the Flood, by declaring that a murderer's life is forfeit. I.e. it is declaring that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for murder. It is left to later revelation to safeguard its application.


Genesis 9:6 simply talks about the shedding of blood, not the manner in which it was shed, nor the requisite level of intent, nor the particular motivation.
The words involve intentional killing of innocents. It clearly doesn't prohibit all killing, otherwise it would be self-contradictory.


It is, if anything, a strong proof text against the death penalty.
Are you serious? This also contradicts your previous statement that its standards of administration are too lax.


The example of Cain slaying Abel is again a worthy case in point. Cain was not struck dead by God, was he, but isolated from the community for life, wasn't he? If God had desired the death penalty would he not have imposed it in this case?
God does not impose retro-active legislation, unlike many governments today. After the Flood, God did impose it for the very sort of crime Cain committed.


Perhaps you are beginning to understand the extent of my concern when this political football is kicked around by those with a virtually non-existent grasp of criminal practice or even a broad understanding of jurisprudence.
While you are a long way from understanding my concern with people who can't stick to the topic of the poll, and instead throw out legalese that is not pertinent to this question. Start your own poll about what should be considered adequate legal proof, and prattle on all you want.


Why wouldn't I care when someone vandalises the Scriptures?
Why would you, since you give no credence to its teaching in the Noahic Covenant anyway?

Igor_Goldenberg
23-10-2009, 02:31 PM
I guess another interesting question would be:

Is there a level of proof that justifies capital punishment?
One of the possible answers could be "No level of proof or even 100% proof justifies it" (I am not saying it would be my answer).

Generally I don't trust any government fully to establish that murder what proven beyond reasonable doubt. Human imperfection is another issue, i.e incompetence, negligence or, sometimes, deliberate intent of either investigator, prosecutor, defender, jury or judge might lead to an innocent man be executed.

I understand that capital punishment in some countries could be an unavoidable evil and the threat of death penalty can be a deterrent factor (but not always).
Fortunately Australia is doing quite well without it.

Igor_Goldenberg
23-10-2009, 02:32 PM
It is even more appropriate for proven rapists and pedophiles.
Do you mean cases that turned out to be not so "proven"?

Capablanca-Fan
23-10-2009, 02:37 PM
I guess another interesting question would be:

Is there a level of proof that justifies capital punishment?
Yes, a fair poll question.


Generally I don't trust any government fully to establish that murder what proven beyond reasonable doubt.
Distrust of government is perfectly reasonable. Actually, those that trust governments (aka lefties—in both main parties) need their heads examined.


Human imperfection is another issue, i.e incompetence, negligence or, sometimes, deliberate intent of either investigator, prosecutor, defender, jury or judge might lead to an innocent man be executed.
Of course, but this is really another issue. There is also far from 100% safety in allowing convicted murderers to live; they can kill again in or out of prison. Another good example occurred recently where Israel freed allegedly life-imprisoned terrorists in a hostage exchange.


I understand that capital punishment in some countries could be an unavoidable evil and the threat of death penalty can be a deterrent factor (but not always).
In particular, zero recidivism.

Goughfather
23-10-2009, 03:11 PM
Come off it. There is a standard of "beyond reasonable doubt" now, and "niggling doubt" was meant to be an even stronger proof.

Well, I gathered that, but precisely how much further along the continuum and how one is supposed to get to that standard is unclear.


It does, as explained. If people answer "no" on this poll after understanding the question properly, then what is really hypothetical is the rationalization "innocent people might be executed." That is clearly not their real reason; they really object to the state taking life under any circumstances. It should be obvious that bad applications of something don't prove that this something is bad in itself, but many arguments against capital punishment point to poor standards of proof, discrimination etc. which are really not arguments against the punishment itself.

This conversation takes place within the context in which the death penalty is implemented and arguably innocent people are executed. Even if your principal objection is that the death penalty is never justified, it is still legimate to make the additional observation that innocent people are executed, unless the person supporting the death penalty is arguing that it could theoretically be justified, but that it should never be implemented within a practical context.


In itself, it is a very condensed statement, which points out the need to prevent Cain's murderous violence spreading, i.e. the condition of worldwide violence (Hebrew hamas; how appropriate) that brought about God's judgement in the Flood, by declaring that a murderer's life is forfeit. I.e. it is declaring that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for murder. It is left to later revelation to safeguard its application.


It is simply a pity that these so-called safeguards didn't exist between Mount Ararat and Mount Sinai.

As I have pointed out ad nauseum, even if you allow for all of the so-called safeguards of the Mosaic law, then these safeguards are considerably less stringent than today.


The words involve intentional killing of innocents. It clearly doesn't prohibit all killing, otherwise it would be self-contradictory.

Well, that is only if you understand Genesis 9:6 as endorsing state-sanctioned killing, which I do not. There is a difference between a passage being proscriptive and it merely being descriptive.


Are you serious? This also contradicts your previous statement that its standards of administration are too lax.

I'm serious. My point is, if you maintain that Genesis 9:6 mandates state-sanctioned killing, then it will apply to a much broader category of cases than you propose (also furthered by the Mosaic covenant) and that the standard of proof falls well below the "beyond niggling doubt" test you believe is acceptable. If you believe that state-sanctioned killing is endorsed by the text, it simply surprises me that you wish to water down the categories in which this punishment will apply and provide safeguards which are not regarded as necessary in the Mosaic Law.


God does not impose retro-active legislation, unlike many governments today. After the Flood, God did impose it for the very sort of crime Cain committed.

I'm not talking about state-sanctioned killing, I'm talking about God's standard of justice, which is not meant to change. If God thought that murder was worthy of death, then why did he not just take matters into his own hands and kill Cain himself?



While you are a long way from understanding my concern with people who can't stick to the topic of the poll, and instead throw out legalese that is not pertinent to this question. Start your own poll about what should be considered adequate legal proof, and prattle on all you want.

Well, you've used the terms "proven" and "[beyond] niggling doubt" within the context of the conversation, so it is only too necessary to qualify those terms. Furthermore, as you fail to understand, whether a matter is "proven" or not requires us to import a number of legal considerations in the equation, since "proof" does not exist independently of those considerations.


Why would you, since you give no credence to its teaching in the Noahic Covenant anyway?

Well, I give no credence to your interpretation of the Noahic Covenant, anyway.

Capablanca-Fan
23-10-2009, 05:24 PM
Well, I gathered that, but precisely how much further along the continuum and how one is supposed to get to that standard is unclear.
Something to be debated, but on a different thread, not one primarily about the rightness of capital punishment itself in principle.


This conversation takes place within the context in which the death penalty is implemented and arguably innocent people are executed.
But if one's argument is against capital punishment itself, there is little point discussing this until this basic question is settled. But as I've said before, to abolish is completely on the grounds that some innocents will be executed is not sound. In real life, as Sowell points out (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell061501.asp), there are no solutions but only trade-offs. Executing one innocent person is indeed very wrong, but is it right to ban all executions if this ban results in the killing of ten times as many innocent people by murderers released on a technicality, after serving 12 years of a 'life" sentence, released on furlough by a leftist governor like Dukakis, exchanged for hostages (as has happened in Israel), or in prison itself.

And there are many cases of innocent people being saved because of the deterrent of the death penalty. Reagan gave an example in a radio broadcast before he was President, of a man about to be killed by a scumbag telling him, "you'll go to the chair if you kill me" or some such, and he was spared—this was not long after capital punishment was reinstated.

Sowell's book The Vision of the Anointed says (p. 225):

"In short, while saving some innocent individuals from a false conviction is important, the question is whether it is more important than sparing other equally innocent individuals from violence and death at the hands of criminals. Is saving one innocent defendant per decade worth sacrificing ten innocent murder victims? A thousand? Once we recognize that there are no solutions, but only trade-offs, we can no longer pursue cosmic justice, but must make our choices among alternatives actually available—and these alternatives do not include guaranteeing that no harm can possibly befall any innocent individual. The only way to make sure than no innocent individual is ever falsely convicted is to do away with the criminal justice system and accept the horrors of anarchy."

Another example I've mentioned is Israel, ruled as it was by secular lefties for a long time, so doesn't have the death penalty (except for Eichmann). So even Samir Kuntar, who would fit most people's conception of the foulest kind of murderer as he clubbed a child to death in front of her parents, and shot the father as well (http://www.allbusiness.com/crime-law/criminal-offenses-crimes-against/11566938-1.html). Yet he was recently released in an exchange, and even more sickening, it was in return for the remains of murdered Israeli soldiers. So much for “life means life”. Now Syria honours this thug, and he threatens more murders (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2138180/posts).


It is simply a pity that these so-called safeguards didn't exist between Mount Ararat and Mount Sinai.
So how many people were executed unfairly between them?


As I have pointed out ad nauseum, even if you allow for all of the so-called safeguards of the Mosaic law, then these safeguards are considerably less stringent than today.
Yet the Mosaic Law would not allow execution based on circumstantial evidence. So Lindy Chamberlain would not have been wrongly executed under Mosaic criteria, to bring up probably Australia's best known example of wrongful conviction.


Well, that is only if you understand Genesis 9:6 as endorsing state-sanctioned killing, which I do not. There is a difference between a passage being proscriptive and it merely being descriptive.
As part of a covenant, it is prescriptive. Jewish rabbis have certainly understood the Noahide Laws as mandating capital punishment for murder as prescriptive, and implying the formation of human governments to carry out this punishment.


I'm serious. My point is, if you maintain that Genesis 9:6 mandates state-sanctioned killing, then it will apply to a much broader category of cases than you propose
Not at all. It would apply to the wilful Cainite murder, not accidental killing or self-defence, or war, etc.


(also furthered by the Mosaic covenant) and that the standard of proof falls well below the "beyond niggling doubt" test you believe is acceptable.
There was no DNA testing in those days, but the safeguard of not executing on circumstantial evidence without eye witnesses. Given that the Bible is very strong against executing innocents, it's compatible with such principles to use whatever safeguards we now possess. Indeed, as another means of protecting innocents, the Bible was far stricter against deliberately false accusations than our modern system is against, say, false allegations of rape.


I'm not talking about state-sanctioned killing, I'm talking about God's standard of justice, which is not meant to change. If God thought that murder was worthy of death, then why did he not just take matters into his own hands and kill Cain himself?
God's standards of justice indeed do not change, but applications do. With Cain, God showed mercy. The resulting murderous violence in Cain's descendant Lamech, then the violence spreading over the whole earth, was a lesson in the danger of unchecked murder. Hence the command after the Flood to execute murderers.

As another example of changing applications, under the Israelite theocracy from Sinai to the Resurrection, far more crimes were capital. This was a lesson to the higher standards expected of the people from whom the Messiah would come.

It's not even defensible that the Law of Christ opposes capital punishment. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul, Jesus' chosen emissary to the Gentiles, teaches, “The government does not bear the sword in vain”, which is a metaphor for the right to use lethal force for defence and punishment of wrongdoers (Romans 13). Paul also implied the rightness of capital punishment for those who deserve it in Acts 25:11, “If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death.” And one of the malefactors crucified with Christ said that they were deserving of death for their crimes while Christ had done nothing wrong, and Christ commended him.


Well, I give no credence to your interpretation of the Noahic Covenant, anyway.
Yet provide no credible alternative; it's rather hard to believe that this was meant only to be an unendorsed description that murderers would henceforth be likely to be killed by their fellow man. It sounds like you're reading a priori opposition to capital punishment into the Bible (eisegesis) than deriving a position on capital punishment from the Biblical text (exegesis).

Igor_Goldenberg
23-10-2009, 05:26 PM
Of course, but this is really another issue. There is also far from 100% safety in allowing convicted murderers to live; they can kill again in or out of prison. Another good example occurred recently where Israel freed allegedly life-imprisoned terrorists in a hostage exchange.
Letting convicted criminals out of the prison is a completely different problem.
Backward bending of Israeli politicians and their unwillingness to protect their population (and at the same time willingness to sacrifice own citizens for the sake of some "world opinion") is another issue.
Those problems should be addressed. Rushing with attacks the issue from a wrong side.


In particular, zero recidivism.
Again, it's better addressed by making life sentence non-parole.

I don't like correcting wrong policy by another wrong policy.
For example on another thread you mentioned how sugar tariff in US forced candy maker to move abroad. Then US government was asked to support the population of the town (affected by factory moving to Canada). Both policies (sugar tariff or propping up ineffective enterprise by the government) are wrong, but it can be argued that one remedies the problem created by the other.

Basil
23-10-2009, 05:34 PM
Speaking of trade-offs ... I wonder if an offer (to the people) of abolishing/ not introducing capital punishment is a reasonable trade for adhering to 'life means life' imprisionment , viz We don't get to nuke 'em but we do get to keep 'em in the can forever until they go out in a box.

Carry on!

Tony Dowden
23-10-2009, 06:27 PM
Fifthly, would you acknowledge that your positiion stops well short of the Noahic covenant? ... Aren't you just watering down the Bible?

:hmm: If we want to apply biblical teaching then surely the whole Bible should be consulted. Its all very well to invoke the Old Testament - with the Noahic covenant and Mosaic law and so forth - but what about considering the New Testament as well?

Specifically, how should we interpret Jesus' example when it came to stoning the prostitute where he said words to the effect of "He who is without sin cast the first stone" and then, after everyone else walked off, declined to stone her himself?

Igor_Goldenberg
23-10-2009, 06:31 PM
Speaking of trade-offs ... I wonder if an offer (to the people) of abolishing/ not introducing capital punishment is a reasonable trade for adhering to 'life means life' imprisionment


It's definitely a good start!

Capablanca-Fan
23-10-2009, 06:49 PM
:hmm: If we want to apply biblical teaching then surely the whole Bible should be consulted.
Definitely. Jesus was not a "red letter Christian", but affirmed even the parts of the Old Testament (http://creation.com/jesus-christ-on-the-infallibility-of-scripture) at which atheopaths and churchian appeasers (http://creation.com/whats-wrong-with-bishop-spong) love to scoff.


Its all very well to invoke the Old Testament — with the Noahic covenant and Mosaic law and so forth — but what about considering the New Testament as well?
Indeed; see post 125 above.


Specifically, how should we interpret Jesus' example when it came to stoning the prostitute where he said words to the effect of "He who is without sin cast the first stone" and then, after everyone else walked off, declined to stone her himself?
First, one must note the textual problems of the pericope adulterae; it was most likely an authentic episode but probably should be in Luke rather than John (http://www.tektonics.org/af/adulterypericope.html).

Second, Jesus had no right under the Mosaic Law to carry out this penalty, even though He was without sin. Also, the Law required that both woman and man were executed, but where was the man, although this woman was caught in the act? Finally, as Hebrew Christian scholar Dr Arnold Fruchtenbaum points out, the Rabbinic context was not sinlessness, but not being guilty of the same sin as the accused:


Now verse 7 has usually been misunderstood to mean that what Jesus is saying is; “Unless you are sinlessly perfect, you shouldn’t judge people.” So if you are sinlessly perfect, then you can go ahead and cast the first stone. If that’s what Jesus was saying here, he was violating the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law did not require sinless perfection for punishment to be carried out. If that was the basis under the Law then no-one under the Law could be executed by anybody, and the Mosaic Law clearly mandated execution for specific sins. So for him to say that only if you are sinlessly perfect can you cast the first stone, he would be violating what the Mosaic Law taught.

But that’s not his point at all. His point is this in conjunction with the writing with the finger. Yes, the Mosaic Law did say; “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Yes, the Mosaic Law did say that if you violated the commandment you had to be stoned at the mouth of the two or three witnesses. You had to have those two or three witnesses, but this they have because they claimed she was caught in the very act.

But that’s not all that the Mosaic Law demanded. The Mosaic Law also said, it is the witnesses at whose testimony someone is being executed, they must be the ones to cast the first stone. But that’s not all. In Exodus 4 and Exodus 17, it’s also pointed that the witnesses at whose word someone is being executed, they must not be guilty of that same sin. The point that Jesus is making is this. If you are a witness, and you are innocent of this same sin, then proceed to cast the first stone. And guess what happens. One by one, they squirrel away, implying that they were not innocent of this same sin. And perhaps standing among them is the one with whom she was caught in the very act. This was the one time effort they made to get Jesus to violate the Mosaic Law. It failed miserably. They don’t try this trick again. From here on in they go back to the old course where they accuse him of violating the Mishnaic law, but not the Mosaic Law.

Capablanca-Fan
24-10-2009, 12:45 AM
It's definitely a good start!
Yes, if we could trust future politicians to honour it rather than commute sentences or give in to terrorists.

ER
24-10-2009, 12:31 PM
How come you guys don't refer to http://******************/violent-smiley-1378.gif (http://******************) or http://******************/violent-smiley-1408.gif (http://******************) or http://******************/violent-smiley-1432.gif (http://******************) or other methods of execution?

Capablanca-Fan
24-10-2009, 03:03 PM
How come you guys don't refer to http://******************/violent-smiley-1378.gif (http://******************) or http://******************/violent-smiley-1408.gif (http://******************) or http://******************/violent-smiley-1432.gif (http://******************) or other methods of execution?
Maybe because that's another poll again: If the death penalty were to be enforced, what method is best? British-style long-drop hanging, which is meant to cause instantaneous loss of consciousness by neck dislocation, was used to execute the Nazi and Japanese war criminals, and is still used in Singapore.

Goughfather
24-10-2009, 10:11 PM
If I might summarise it crudely, it seems that Jono's love for the death penalty is because upon some kind of idea that imposing this penalty constitutes justice. He believes that this penalty constitutes justice because God says so, based upon a few proofs texts that he throws out to support his position. Only problem is, I don't believe that these proof texts support anything of the sort. I'm not sure that there is really any constructive way around this impasse, except to simply acknowledge that Jono has absolute contempt for my Anabaptist influences and I have absolute contempt for his Reformed influences. Such is life.

The difficulty in Jono's analysis is that even if the State is an agent of God (rather more left-wing than I would have expected from Jono), then its criminal justice system must not simply reflect God's wrath and judgment, but also His mercy. It is well recognised that retribution is only one of the rationales for punishment and any consideration of the merits of the death penalty has to take these other factors into account. That is, even if one concluded that a murderer's life was forfeit and that they deserved the death penalty, this is not in itself the end of the enquiry.

The other thing to consider is the issue of culpability. One cannot be a murderer without possessing pathological tendencies, occurring either genetically or through environmental factors. If seems that given these personality defects will exist pretty much 100 percent of the time, perhaps it is unjust to judge them upon the standards of conduct expected from a well socialised, relatively functional adult. Yet we do, which explains all too depressingly why those sentenced to death are disproportionately overrepresented by those of low intelligence and those with chronic psychiatric problems.

ER
24-10-2009, 10:22 PM
... Anabaptist influences ... Reformed influences...

1529 to 1534 AD (and approx. 10 years before and after) we are talking about an era of great significance for the history of mankind. Look at the personalities involved, Wolsey, Latimer, (the other) Cromwell, Henry the VIII just to name a few!
Apart from the confrontational nature of the discussion here I would beg for some more in depth analysis regarding this particular era where the death penalty played such an important role!
However, and if possible let's avoid the ecclesiatical schism and its consequences and let's concentrate on the historical, social, political and of course legal aspects! Having said that the devastating onslaught against monasteries and other Church institutions can not be left out of the equation!

Capablanca-Fan
24-10-2009, 11:11 PM
If I might summarise it crudely, it seems that Jono's love for the death penalty is because upon some kind of idea that imposing this penalty constitutes justice.
Of course: life for life. Injustice is cheapening life by lenience to those who take it.


He believes that this penalty constitutes justice because God says so, based upon a few proofs texts that he throws out to support his position.
Based on sound analysis, held by Jewish and Christian exegetes for over a millennium, well before the Reformation (so I don't know why he thinks mine is a specifically Reformed view). GF can't find any texts to oppose my position.


Only problem is, I don't believe that these proof texts support anything of the sort. I'm not sure that there is really any constructive way around this impasse,
How about sound exegesis rather than eisegesis?


except to simply acknowledge that Jono has absolute contempt for my Anabaptist influences and I have absolute contempt for his Reformed influences.
How silly. I didn't know GF had any Anabaptist influences to be contemptuous of; he quotes only Luther who opposed the Anabaptists. In any case, "anabaptist" would be a strange self-description, since it implies a re-baptism, while those who disbelieve in infant baptism would not recognise a believer's baptism as a second one but a first. I'd never call myself an anabaptist but a credobaptist, for example.


The difficulty in Jono's analysis is that even if the State is an agent of God (rather more left-wing than I would have expected from Jono),
Not at all; it comes from Romans 13. What is really leftist is supporting governments going beyond this duty of restraining force and fraud and getting into running the economy and "spreading the wealth around".


then its criminal justice system must not simply reflect God's wrath and judgment, but also His mercy.
God's mercy is shown in Christ's substitutionary atonement. Human government is part of God's mercy to society when it sticks to its role of protecting it from crime. But as Adam Smith (note, he was a moral philosopher before he wrote his famous work on economics) said (http://www.adamsmith.org/smith/tms/tms-p2-s2-c3.htm):


They reflect that mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent, and oppose to the emotions of compassion which they feel for a particular person, a more enlarged compassion which they feel for mankind.


It is well recognised that retribution is only one of the rationales for punishment and any consideration of the merits of the death penalty has to take these other factors into account. That is, even if one concluded that a murderer's life was forfeit and that they deserved the death penalty, this is not in itself the end of the enquiry.
It's a good start.


The other thing to consider is the issue of culpability. One cannot be a murderer without possessing pathological tendencies, occurring either genetically or through environmental factors.
Who says? How about plain old sin?


If seems that given these personality defects will exist pretty much 100 percent of the time, perhaps it is unjust to judge them upon the standards of conduct expected from a well socialised, relatively functional adult.
So criminals aren't to blame for their crimes? This sort of thinking might seem oh-so-merciful, but it is downright cruel to the victims of crime.


Yet we do, which explains all too depressingly why those sentenced to death are disproportionately overrepresented by those of low intelligence and those with chronic psychiatric problems.
Once again, this is a question of application, not the rightness of the penalty.

Goughfather
24-10-2009, 11:54 PM
Of course: life for life. Injustice is cheapening life by lenience to those who take it.

You've said this a number of a number of times, but it doesn't get any more convincing. Justice is receiving due recompense for one's loss. By very definition, a family who has lost a loved one cannot receive justice, properly speaking.

Taking life through whatever means, cheapens life made in the image of God. Whether you believe that one is entitled to their life or not does not change that in the slightest.


Based on sound analysis, held by Jewish and Christian exegetes for over a millennium, well before the Reformation (so I don't know why he thinks mine is a specifically Reformed view). GF can't find any texts to oppose my position.

I decided to give up the pursuit of playing proof-text table tennis years ago, when I realised just how fruitless the endeavour was. I'd point out that "sound analysis" is only your value judgment and a particular value judgment that doesn't seem to be endorsed by the early Church.


How about sound exegesis rather than eisegesis?

Well, it'd be nice, but I'm not holding my breath.


God's mercy is shown in Christ's substitutionary atonement. Human government is part of God's mercy to society when it sticks to its role of protecting it from crime. But as Adam Smith (note, he was a moral philosopher before he wrote his famous work on economics) said (http://www.adamsmith.org/smith/tms/tms-p2-s2-c3.htm):


They reflect that mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent, and oppose to the emotions of compassion which they feel for a particular person, a more enlarged compassion which they feel for mankind.

Mercy to the guilty is not cruelty to the innocent, unless you consider it unmerciful not to give in to society's desire for revenge and retaliation.


It's a good start.

Well, I'm glad you see that it's sadly deficient in and of itself.


Who says? How about plain old sin?


So criminals aren't to blame for their crimes? This sort of thinking might seem oh-so-merciful, but it is downright cruel to the victims of crime.

How about total depravity? It seems like the one thing that you Reformed types miss - the world and everything in it is sick and is oppressed by the structures of domination antithetical to grace. You don't respond to sickness and pathology through punishment, much in the same way that you don't punish someone for having a broken arm. To respond to violence with violence does nothing to fight against these domination structures, but merely serves to reinforce the status quo.

Capablanca-Fan
25-10-2009, 12:30 AM
You've said this a number of a number of times, but it doesn't get any more convincing.
It hasn't been refuted.


Justice is receiving due recompense for one's loss. By very definition, a family who has lost a loved one cannot receive justice, properly speaking.
No, they can't, but society can mete out justice to the murderer to show that taking innocent life is extremely serious.


Taking life through whatever means, cheapens life made in the image of God.
Yet God ordained the death penalty in many places in Scripture. So who cares what you think?


I decided to give up the pursuit of playing proof-text table tennis years ago, when I realised just how fruitless the endeavour was.
So you just have your own airy-fairy feelings based on no scriptural analysis whatever. Indeed, exegesis needs some study of the historical and grammatical context. Yet you were the one who first brought up the subject in this thread, so stop bleating (post # 114).


I'd point out that "sound analysis" is only your value judgment
No, it's an objective judgement based on a grammatical-historical understanding of the texts.


and a particular value judgment that doesn't seem to be endorsed by the early Church.
Capital punishment was long supported in the Church.


Well, it'd be nice, but I'm not holding my breath.
Given that you seem incapable of it, hardly surprising.


Mercy to the guilty is not cruelty to the innocent,
Of course it is; one reason for the increase in crime is the increased assurance to criminals of less retribution for their crimes. This is cruel to their victims.


unless you consider it unmerciful not to give in to society's desire for revenge and retaliation.
How about society's desire to punish wrongdoers, rather than mollycoddle them and provide no disincentive for them to hurt their victims.


How about total depravity?
What about it? Do you even know what the term means?


It seems like the one thing that you Reformed types miss — the world and everything in it is sick and is oppressed by the structures of domination antithetical to grace.
Evidently you anti-Reformed types make a false dichotomy between justice and grace.


You don't respond to sickness and pathology through punishment, much in the same way that you don't punish someone for having a broken arm. To respond to violence with violence does nothing to fight against these domination structures, but merely serves to reinforce the status quo.
This presupposes that wrongdoing = sickness.


To respond to violence with violence does nothing to fight against these domination structures, but merely serves to reinforce the status quo.
More leftist claptrap. In reality, violence has at times been a very good answer to violence and domination, e.g. the Allies in WW2. And forcibly incarcerating criminals keeps their would-be victims safe from them.

Goughfather
25-10-2009, 04:14 PM
It hasn't been refuted.

Well that's simply your assessment. Who made you the adjudicator?


No, they can't, but society can mete out justice to the murderer to show that taking innocent life is extremely serious.

Well, at least your concession that the death penalty does not deliver justice is a good start.


Yet God ordained the death penalty in many places in Scripture. So who cares what you think?

Again you assume the role of adjudicator.


So you just have your own airy-fairy feelings based on no scriptural analysis whatever. Indeed, exegesis needs some study of the historical and grammatical context. Yet you were the one who first brought up the subject in this thread, so stop bleating (post # 114).

I didn't say that. I'm simply pointing out that I came to conclusion that casting pearls before swine was useless some time ago.


No, it's an objective judgement based on a grammatical-historical understanding of the texts.

Again you assume the role of adjudicator. Just because you claim your exegesis is based is a "grammatical-historical understanding of the text" does not necessarily make it either.


Capital punishment was long supported in the Church.

You fail to address my point. The fact that the Early Church was steadfastly opposed to the death penalty is significant. Support for the death penalty only really gained traction after Constantine.


Given that you seem incapable of it, hardly surprising.


Again you assume the role of adjudicator.


Of course it is; one reason for the increase in crime is the increased assurance to criminals of less retribution for their crimes. This is cruel to their victims.

This presumes that criminals are more concerned about the death penalty than a life sentence. In many contexts i.e. religious martyrs, the death penalty actually provides an incentive to commit barbaric crimes.


It hasn't been refuted.
How about society's desire to punish wrongdoers, rather than mollycoddle them and provide no disincentive for them to hurt their victims.

That suggests that the death penalty actually acts as a deterrent, which is a precarious claim in the extreme.


What about it? Do you even know what the term means?


Well, I was Reformed for some period of time, say I'd say I do. Total depravity is the doctrine that Original Sin has a pervasive influence on all human being such that every aspect of their being is impacted ("infected", if you will) by the effects of sin. It suggests our bondage and captivity to this sin.

Quite clearly, this doctrine implies some pathological element that can be equated to sickness and entrophy.


Evidently you anti-Reformed types make a false dichotomy between justice and grace.

How so?


This presupposes that wrongdoing = sickness.

Indeed it does.


More leftist claptrap. In reality, violence has at times been a very good answer to violence and domination, e.g. the Allies in WW2. And forcibly incarcerating criminals keeps their would-be victims safe from them.

In what sense is it leftist?

Your response is nothing more than a band-aid solution.

Capablanca-Fan
25-10-2009, 05:30 PM
Well that's simply your assessment. Who made you the adjudicator?
Where is any alleged refutation then?


Well, at least your concession that the death penalty does not deliver justice is a good start.
Only in the sense that nothing can bring the victim back to his loved ones, not that it's inappropriate as the best means that society has to mete out justice to murderers.


Again you assume the role of adjudicator.
Not as much as you were doing earlier.


I didn't say that. I'm simply pointing out that I came to conclusion that casting pearls before swine was useless some time ago.
Begging the question whether airy-fairiness counts as "pearls", and that "swine" encompasses those who understand the passages differently from you — apparently including those who use the grammatical-historical hermeneutic.


Again you assume the role of adjudicator. Just because you claim your exegesis is based is a "grammatical-historical understanding of the text" does not necessarily make it either.
My claim doesn't make it so, just the fact that it really was grammatical-historical makes it so.


You fail to address my point. The fact that the Early Church was steadfastly opposed to the death penalty is significant. Support for the death penalty only really gained traction after Constantine.
Hardly surprising, since the government executed Christians for "crimes" that were hardly capital. It's not a matter of blaming Constantine; rather, when Christianity was no longer persecuted by the State, theologians could be more objective about the texts. Augustine (http://creation.com/augustine-young-earth-creationist)argued that Romans 13 authorized the state to inflict capital punishment, and Thomas Aquinas argued “if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community on account of sonic sin, it is praiseworthy and advantageous that he be killed in order to safeguard the common good” (Summa Theologica II-II, 64, 2).


This presumes that criminals are more concerned about the death penalty than a life sentence. In many contexts i.e. religious martyrs, the death penalty actually provides an incentive to commit barbaric crimes.
Yet many are committed against Israel that lacks this penalty.


That suggests that the death penalty actually acts as a deterrent, which is a precarious claim in the extreme.
The Bible says it does, and there are other examples, according to a 2007 study (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/277437/studies_indicate_that_the_death_penalty.html).


Well, I was Reformed for some period of time, say I'd say I do.
And now you see Reformed Under the Bed everywhere.


Total depravity is the doctrine that Original Sin has a pervasive influence on all human being such that every aspect of their being is impacted ("infected", if you will) by the effects of sin. It suggests our bondage and captivity to this sin.
But it doesn't mean that we are as bad as can be.


Quite clearly, this doctrine implies some pathological element that can be equated to sickness and entrophy.
It implies no such thing; nothing in this doctrine implies a lack of culpability.


Indeed it does.
Wrongdoing = sickness owes more to Freud than the Bible.


In what sense is it leftist?
For one thing, your whole approach has the Left's cute ability to project a haughty air of presupposed moral and intellectual superiority which is beneath the dignity of the leftards to demonstrate rather than assume. Hence the shock when Shrubby defeated the Left's alleged intellectual giants alGore and John "I married a rich heiress" Kerry — but not as big a shock as the fact that GWB's uni grades were higher as well! And of course, leftards hate Fox News far more than the Communist 11-9 "truther" Van Jones whose resignation they bascially forced, or ACORN which they helped discredit and de-fund, or Obamov's White House aide Anita Dunn who loves mass-murdering Mao (http://vodpod.com/watch/2349133-becks-attack-on-obama-adviser-ignores-right-wing-interest-in-mao), who killed more than Stalin and Hitler (http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM).

But in particular, the Left typically deny that humanity is flawed, so they think that diplomacy alone will deter aggressive nations, and that criminals can be turned around by being nice to them. The conservative vision argues that people are flawed, and respond to incentives: i.e. you get more of what you reward and less of what you punish.

Yet you accused me of leftism for saying that the government has a role in punishing wrongdoers, although that is a common view among conservatives and libertarians.


Your response is nothing more than a band-aid solution.
As Thomas Sowell documents in Vision of the Anointed, the murder rate in America had been decreasing for decades, and in 1960 was just under half of what it had been in 1934. This indicates that such "band-aid solutions" really worked. Then the new 1960s, policies toward curing the "root causes" of crime and creating new "rights" for criminals began. Rates of violent crime, including murder, shot up, since criminals no longer had to fear certain sharp retribution. And in Britain, it has become PC to regard burglary as a minor offence, while violence to defend one's home is savagely punished. No wonder burglary is rife there (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4770).

And as Sowell points out in his book:


“One of the most important questions about any proposed course of actions is whether we know how to do it. Policy A may be better than policy B, but that does not matter if we simply do not know how to do Policy A. Perhaps it would be better to rehabilitate criminals, rather than punish them, if we knew how to do it. Rewarding merit might be better than rewarding results if we knew how to do it. But one of the crucial differences between those with the tragic vision and those with the vision of the anointed is in what they respectively assume that we know how to do. Those with the vision of the anointed are seldom deterred by any question as to whether anyone has the knowledge required to do what they are attempting.”

Goughfather
25-10-2009, 11:52 PM
Hardly surprising, since the government executed Christians for "crimes" that were hardly capital. It's not a matter of blaming Constantine; rather, when Christianity was no longer persecuted by the State, theologians could be more objective about the texts. Augustine (http://creation.com/augustine-young-earth-creationist)argued that Romans 13 authorized the state to inflict capital punishment, and Thomas Aquinas argued “if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community on account of sonic sin, it is praiseworthy and advantageous that he be killed in order to safeguard the common good” (Summa Theologica II-II, 64, 2).

Or maybe theologians became less objective about the text when they became part of the establishment because they had to answer to their new sugar daddy. That and the fact that they unlike the earliest generations of the church, they were centuries away from the original Christian community.


The Bible says it does, and there are other examples, according to a 2007 study (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/277437/studies_indicate_that_the_death_penalty.html).

You found one study?

What about the consideration that murder rates in non-death penalty states are consistently lower than in death penalty states and have reduced at a far faster rate over the last 20 years?


For one thing, your whole approach has the Left's cute ability to project a haughty air of presupposed moral and intellectual superiority which is beneath the dignity of the leftards to demonstrate rather than assume. Hence the shock when Shrubby defeated the Left's alleged intellectual giants alGore and John "I married a rich heiress" Kerry — but not as big a shock as the fact that GWB's uni grades were higher as well! And of course, leftards hate Fox News far more than the Communist 11-9 "truther" Van Jones whose resignation they bascially forced, or ACORN which they helped discredit and de-fund, or Obamov's White House aide Anita Dunn who loves mass-murdering Mao (http://vodpod.com/watch/2349133-becks-attack-on-obama-adviser-ignores-right-wing-interest-in-mao), who killed more than Stalin and Hitler (http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM).

But in particular, the Left typically deny that humanity is flawed, so they think that diplomacy alone will deter aggressive nations, and that criminals can be turned around by being nice to them. The conservative vision argues that people are flawed, and respond to incentives: i.e. you get more of what you reward and less of what you punish.

That's quite a rant, Jono. Only problem is that I never denied than humanity was flawed.

Desmond
26-10-2009, 01:06 PM
And as Sowell points out in his book:


“One of the most important questions about any proposed course of actions is whether we know how to do it. Policy A may be better than policy B, but that does not matter if we simply do not know how to do Policy A. Perhaps it would be better to rehabilitate criminals, rather than punish them, if we knew how to do it. Rewarding merit might be better than rewarding results if we knew how to do it. But one of the crucial differences between those with the tragic vision and those with the vision of the anointed is in what they respectively assume that we know how to do. Those with the vision of the anointed are seldom deterred by any question as to whether anyone has the knowledge required to do what they are attempting.”I wonder if we should apply the same reasoning to this thread. Is there any point discussing what to do with a case that is absolutely proven when there is hardly any likelyhood that that will occur?

Not that I don't enjoy the debates though. :)

Capablanca-Fan
26-10-2009, 02:01 PM
Or maybe theologians became less objective about the text when they became part of the establishment because they had to answer to their new sugar daddy. That and the fact that they unlike the earliest generations of the church, they were centuries away from the original Christian community.
That is a possibility, but unlikely in this case. Augustine saw the fall of the Roman Empire, for example. But since the government was no longer a corrupt instrument of persecution, theologians like him could revisit Paul's teachings about the righteous role of the government to punish wrongdoers.

This is a different matter from the capitulation of much of the church to Lyell and Darwin, inventing new interpretations never seen in the Early Church, medieval theologians or the Reformation.


You found one study?
No, one on another thread too.


What about the consideration that murder rates in non-death penalty states are consistently lower than in death penalty states and have reduced at a far faster rate over the last 20 years?
But is the death penalty actually enforced? That was one important factor considered by the studies, some by opponents of the penalty.


That's quite a rant, Jono.
Not at all, GF: it's just how the Left "thinks", including characteristics that you have exhibited.


Only problem is that I never denied than humanity was flawed.
That's something. Yet another characteristic of the Left is that if the right people are in charge, all will be well, even if it means ignoring the systemic knowledge of decisions made by lots of people in the market or traditions, as well as imputing certain motives to their opponents. Hence the remarks you made, much like some of the American soft-on-crime judiciary in the 1960s, about resisting society's vengeful impulses. Never mind that society had worked out from experience that punishments to fit the crime coincided with a decrease in crime rate. Sowell discusses this in depth in Knowledge and Decisions.

Goughfather
27-10-2009, 08:47 PM
That is a possibility, but unlikely in this case. Augustine saw the fall of the Roman Empire, for example.

Your point being?


But since the government was no longer a corrupt instrument of persecution, theologians like him could revisit Paul's teachings about the righteous role of the government to punish wrongdoers.


Yes, you're merely restating your argument again. Didn't find it any more convincing this time.


But is the death penalty actually enforced? That was one important factor considered by the studies, some by opponents of the penalty.

Well, that might account for little difference between the states, but why is it that murders in non-death penalty states have fallen at a much faster rate than in death penalty states? I suppose the mere prospect of the death penalty gives would be murderers more incentive to murder because they get a free game of Russian Roulette out of the experience?


Not at all, GF: it's just how the Left "thinks", including characteristics that you have exhibited.

I thought the other day you suggested I was a "political gadfly rather than a conviction leftard"? If you're going to abuse me, at least go about it in a consistent manner.


That's something. Yet another characteristic of the Left is that if the right people are in charge, all will be well, even if it means ignoring the systemic knowledge of decisions made by lots of people in the market or traditions,

Never said that at all.


as well as imputing certain motives to their opponents. Hence the remarks you made, much like some of the American soft-on-crime judiciary in the 1960s, about resisting society's vengeful impulses.

You seem to be pretty good at imputing motives to those you disagree with too, I might say.


Never mind that society had worked out from experience that punishments to fit the crime coincided with a decrease in crime rate. Sowell discusses this in depth in Knowledge and Decisions.

We've already addressed that and unfortunately for yourself, none of the data seems to point to the death penalty being responsible for that.

Capablanca-Fan
27-10-2009, 09:25 PM
Your point being?
Should be obvious: he wasn't beholden to any state sugar daddy as you put it.


Yes, you're merely restating your argument again. Didn't find it any more convincing this time.
A nice account of your personal philosophy, but hardly germane to the discussion.


Well, that might account for little difference between the states, but why is it that murders in non-death penalty states have fallen at a much faster rate than in death penalty states? I suppose the mere prospect of the death penalty gives would be murderers more incentive to murder because they get a free game of Russian Roulette out of the experience?
Not necessarily so, at least according to Hashem Dezhbakhsh & Joanna M. Shepherd, 2006. The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: Evidence from a "Judicial Experiment" (http://ideas.repec.org/p/emo/wp2003/0314.html), Economic Inquiry, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 512-535, July. The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: Evidence from a "Judicial Experiment"


Does capital punishment deter capital crimes? We use panel data covering the fifty states duringthe period 1960-2000 period to examine the issue. Our study is novel in four ways. First, we estimate the moratorium's full effect by using both pre- and postmoratorium evidence. Second, we exploit the moratorium as a judicial experiment to measure criminals' responsiveness to the severity of punishment; we compare murder rates immediately before and after changes in states' death penalty laws. The inference draws on the variations in the timing and duration of the moratorium across states provide a cross section of murder rate changes occurring in various time periods. Third, we supplement the before-and-after comparisons with regression analysis that disentangles the impact of the moratorium itself on murder from the effect on murder of actual executions. By using two different approaches, we avoid many of the modeling criticisms of earlier studies. Fourth, in addition to estimating 84 distinct regression models—with variations in regressors, estimation method, and functional form—our robustness checks examine the moratorium's impact on crimes that are not punishable by death. Our results indicate that capital punishment has a deterrent effect, and the moratorium and executions deter murders in distinct ways. This evidence is corroborated by both the before-and-after comparisons and regression analysis. We also confirm that the moratorium and executions do not cause similar changes in non-capital crimes. The results are highly robust.


I thought the other day you suggested I was a "political gadfly rather than a conviction leftard"? If you're going to abuse me, at least go about it in a consistent manner.
New information came up in your recent posts :P


We've already addressed that and unfortunately for yourself, none of the data seems to point to the death penalty being responsible for that.
Where? Here is a list of abstracts for papers in peer-reviewed journals that argue that the death penalty deters (http://www.cjlf.org/deathpenalty/DPDeterrence.htm).

Goughfather
28-10-2009, 02:06 PM
Should be obvious: he wasn't beholden to any state sugar daddy as you put it.

The horse had already bolted by that stage: Christianity was part of the establishment.


A nice account of your personal philosophy, but hardly germane to the discussion.

Whereas your personal philosophy seems to be to wear others down by attrition by repeating the same argument over and over again until such time as the other party couldn't be bothered addressing the same inane argument again.


Not necessarily so, at least according to Hashem Dezhbakhsh & Joanna M. Shepherd, 2006. The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: Evidence from a "Judicial Experiment" (http://ideas.repec.org/p/emo/wp2003/0314.html), Economic Inquiry, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 512-535, July. The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: Evidence from a "Judicial Experiment"


It seems a little bit intellectually dishonest to say at the same time that the empirical evidence shows that the death penalty is a deterrent and that the death penalty is not utilised often enough for any conclusions drawn to be valid.

Capablanca-Fan
28-10-2009, 03:52 PM
The horse had already bolted by that stage: Christianity was part of the establishment.
Is there any proof that Augustine and Aquinas were part of the government establishment? Note that anti-establishment bias could cause just as much eisegesis as pro-establishment bias.


Whereas your personal philosophy seems to be to wear others down by attrition by repeating the same argument over and over again until such time as the other party couldn't be bothered addressing the same inane argument again.
More likely, the argument is not refuted. It's typical of the lefty Anointed to dismiss opponents loftily, even imputing moral flaws just for the fact of disagreement.


It seems a little bit intellectually dishonest to say at the same time that the empirical evidence shows that the death penalty is a deterrent and that the death penalty is not utilised often enough for any conclusions drawn to be valid.
What are you on about now? You've just decreed from on high that the death penalty is wrong, aka you don't like it.

Goughfather
28-10-2009, 11:39 PM
Is there any proof that Augustine and Aquinas were part of the government establishment? Note that anti-establishment bias could cause just as much eisegesis as pro-establishment bias.

It's good to see that you can acknowledge that the advent of Christianity as the State religion may have impacted some bias onto the way in which scriptural references to the State are understood.


More likely, the argument is not refuted. It's typical of the lefty Anointed to dismiss opponents loftily, even imputing moral flaws just for the fact of disagreement.

That's for the peanut gallery to judge, not yourself.


What are you on about now? You've just decreed from on high that the death penalty is wrong, aka you don't like it.

When I pointed you to statistics that demonstrates that the murder rate in non-death penalty jurisdictions has fallen far faster than corresponding death penalty jurisdictions, you suggest that there is not enough data, since the death penalty is rarely applied. Yet when another study concludes to your satisfaction, all reservations about the lack of data suddenly disappear.

Further, if you're going to respond to my comments, I prefer it if you could refrain from strawperson representations.

antichrist
29-10-2009, 02:41 AM
Goughfather, you should know by now that the whole Creationist argument - of which Jono is an expert - is based on deceit in many forms, so what kind of argumentaton do you expect.

Capablanca-Fan
29-10-2009, 07:15 PM
“What is most frightening about the political left is that they seem to have no sense of the tragedy of the human condition. All problems seem to them to be due to other people not being as wise or as noble as they are.”—economist Dr Thomas Sowell

Goughfather
29-10-2009, 09:50 PM
Now that that non-sequitur is out of the way Jono, would you care to address my concerns?

Capablanca-Fan
30-10-2009, 10:54 AM
Now that that non-sequitur is out of the way Jono, would you care to address my concerns?
That Sowell quote was to summarize Leftist thinking in general, which we see here in Bill of Rights thinking: rights will be protected only if wise and noble unelected judges are given lots of power.

Your concerns? You don't like any sort of killing of human beings. I think killing is occasionally justified for capital punishment of properly convicted murderers and in a just war (e.g. the war against Hitler).


“Another argument heard at least since Beccaria is that, by killing a murderer, we encourage, endorse, or legitimize unlawful killing. Yet, although all punishments are meant to be unpleasant, it is seldom argued that they legitimize the unlawful imposition of identical unpleasantness. Imprisonment is not thought to legitimize kidnapping; neither are fines thought to legitimize robbery. The difference between murder and execution, or between kidnapping and imprisonment, is that the first is unlawful and undeserved, the second a lawful and deserved punishment for an unlawful act. The physical similarities of the punishment to the crime are irrelevant. The relevant difference is not physical, but social.”—Ernest van den Haag, The Ultimate Punishment: a defense (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/angel/procon/haagarticle.html), Harvard Law Review Association, 1986


“Some men, probably, abstain from murder because they fear that if they committed murder they would be hanged. Hundreds of thousands abstain from it because they regard it with horror. One great reason why they regard it with horror is that murderers are hanged.”—Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, cited by van den Haag, above.

Basil
30-10-2009, 01:22 PM
Ian Brady of The Moors Murders (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moors_murders) was a sexual deviant who murdered at least five children. Chuck in some callous indifference, torture (slow death), audio tapes of the strangulation and pleading for life - and a life time of pain from the grieving parents ...

Yup.

The death penalty was 'taken off the table' at law shortly after his arrest, thereby ensuring him a life in prison - which he would have really, really, really hated - compared to 'the drop', right?

Desmond
30-10-2009, 01:45 PM
Ian Brady of The Moors Murders (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moors_murders) was a sexual deviant who murdered at least five children. Chuck in some callous indifference, torture (slow death), audio tapes of the strangulation and pleading for life - and a life time of pain from the grieving parents ...

Yup.

The death penalty was 'taken off the table' at law shortly after his arrest, thereby ensuring him a life in prison - which he would have really, really, really hated - compared to 'the drop', right?According to your link she died in prison at 60 (so did serve life life). He was declared criminally insane and asks for death (and is denied).

Basil
30-10-2009, 01:55 PM
According to your link she died in prison at 60 (so did serve life life).
She did. God bless her.


He was declared criminally insane and asks for death (and is denied).
Not when he first went before the courts. Quite the opposite! If I'd been left with those ghosts in my head and no chance of parole, I might have gone insane as well.

Goughfather
30-10-2009, 03:27 PM
When I pointed you to statistics that demonstrates that the murder rate in non-death penalty jurisdictions has fallen far faster than corresponding death penalty jurisdictions, you suggest that there is not enough data, since the death penalty is rarely applied. Yet when another study concludes to your satisfaction, all reservations about the lack of data suddenly disappear.


If you get a chance Jono, it would be helpful if you could address this little concern here. Cheers.

Ian Murray
31-10-2009, 11:25 AM
Proven crimes ain't necessarily so - see the list of convictions later disproved at http://www.innocenceproject.org

As for proven murder, how about Cameron Willingham (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/09/07/090907fa_fact_grann?currentPage=all), executed in 2004 after a conviction based on junk forensic science (Note for Gunner: He refused to plead guilty in exchange for life imprisonment, maintaining his innocence).

Capablanca-Fan
31-10-2009, 11:34 AM
Proven crimes ain't necessarily so - see the list of convictions later disproved at http://www.innocenceproject.org
Then they are not proven by definition, just convicted.


As for proven murder, how about Cameron Willingham (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/09/07/090907fa_fact_grann?currentPage=all), executed in 2004 after a conviction based on junk forensic science (Note for Gunner: He refused to plead guilty in exchange for life imprisonment, maintaining his innocence).
Which would not have happened under the Mosaic Law, for example, since this requires two or more eye witnesses before capital punishment can be administered.

There are no perfect solutions, despite what the Lefty Anointed demands. There are only trade-offs, as Thomas Sowell often points out, e.g. in the context of executing Tim McVeigh (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell061501.asp):


It is dogma on the political left that capital punishment does not deter. But it is indisputable that execution deters the murderer who is executed. Nor is this any less significant because it is obvious. There are people who would be alive today if the convicted murderers who killed them had been executed for their previous murders.

Glib phrases about instead having "life in prison without the possibility of parole" are just talk. Murderers kill again in prison. They escape from prison and kill. They are furloughed and kill while on furlough. And there is no such thing as life in prison without the possibility of a liberal governor coming along to pardon them or commute their sentence. That too has happened.

The great fear of people on both sides of the capital punishment debate is making an irretrievable mistake by executing an innocent person. Even the best legal system cannot eliminate human error 100 percent. If there were an option that would prevent any innocent person from dying as a result of our legal system, that option should be taken. But there is no such option.

Letting murderers live has cost, and will continue to cost, the lives of innocent people. The only real question is whether more innocent lives will be lost this way than by executing the murderers, even with the rare mistake — which we should make as rare as possible — of executing an innocent person.

Ian Murray
31-10-2009, 01:00 PM
Then they are not proven by definition, just convicted.
That's right, conviction is not necessarily proof of guilt. So how do you define 'proven'?


Which would not have happened under the Mosaic Law, for example, since this requires two or more eye witnesses before capital punishment can be administered.
Are you advocating Mosaic Law in place of our criminal justice system?


The great fear of people on both sides of the capital punishment debate is making an irretrievable mistake by executing an innocent person. Even the best legal system cannot eliminate human error 100 percent. If there were an option that would prevent any innocent person from dying as a result of our legal system, that option should be taken. But there is no such option.

Letting murderers live has cost, and will continue to cost, the lives of innocent people. The only real question is whether more innocent lives will be lost this way than by executing the murderers, even with the rare mistake — which we should make as rare as possible — of executing an innocent person.
The only question? I question the morality of imposing an irreversible penalty on the innocent.

Capablanca-Fan
31-10-2009, 02:03 PM
That's right, conviction is not necessarily proof of guilt. So how do you define 'proven'?
Take this to its logical conclusion, then how can anyone be convicted?


Are you advocating Mosaic Law in place of our criminal justice system?
No, merely pointing out that it had stricter standards of evidence.


The only question? I question the morality of imposing an irreversible penalty on the innocent.
So what about the irreversible harm to innocents of sparing murderers thus allowing them to kill again?

Basil
31-10-2009, 02:46 PM
Proven crimes ain't necessarily so - see the list of convictions later disproved at http://www.innocenceproject.org
I know this.


As for proven murder, how about Cameron Willingham (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/09/07/090907fa_fact_grann?currentPage=all), executed in 2004 after a conviction based on junk forensic science
And we're back to level of proof. I wouldn't object to executing Fred West (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_West) for example.


Note for Gunner: He refused to plead guilty in exchange for life imprisonment, maintaining his innocence.
I don't understand my reference.

Ian Murray
31-10-2009, 02:56 PM
I don't understand my reference.
Earlier on you mentioned death rowers were more than happy to switch to life

Basil
31-10-2009, 03:03 PM
Earlier on you mentioned death rowers were more than happy to switch to life
You may have misunderstood my earlier context. I was responding specifically to those who suggest that killing offenders is 'too good for them'. I suggested that the vast majority of convicts would rather have life in prison than 'Old Smokey' or whatever is the state's choice of termination du jour. En bref, I was suggesting that prisioners largely wanted to live and not die.

However, your observation regarding innocent people refusing to plead guilty to avoid the DP is different to the topic I was discussing.

Ian Murray
31-10-2009, 11:46 PM
You may have misunderstood my earlier context. I was responding specifically to those who suggest that killing offenders is 'too good for them'. I suggested that the vast majority of convicts would rather have life in prison than 'Old Smokey' or whatever is the state's choice of termination du jour. En bref, I was suggesting that prisioners largely wanted to live and not die.

However, your observation regarding innocent people refusing to plead guilty to avoid the DP is different to the topic I was discussing.
Sorry - vive la différence :P

Goughfather
02-11-2009, 01:56 AM
Take this to its logical conclusion, then how can anyone be convicted?

How do you come to this conclusion? The idea of "conviction" within that context is a legal construct. It means that the trier of fact is convinced to the requisite criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt that the person has satisfied the physical and mental elements of the offence based upon the sum total of the evidence that is presented before the court. It doesn't ensure that the reasoning process behind this decision was sound or that all of the relevant evidence was put before the court, although pre-trial and trial procedure assist in mitigating the risks of a miscarriage of justice.


No, merely pointing out that it had stricter standards of evidence.

As I pointed out, it's probably a little foolhardy making claims like this about the legal system if you have a limited legal background. Simply because a case is circumstantial does not mean that it is a priori weak. In fact, a strong circumstantial case may be stronger than a case with eyewitness evidence in the right circumstances, depending on the eyewitnesses involved. Perhaps one of the better known cases in recent years that demonstrates this is Randall Adams. And speaking of Mosaic law, you've got that case about a Galilean who was sentenced to death on the basis of fabricated evidence from supposed eyewitnesses and corrupt officials. You may have even heard about it.

You've also failed to demonstrate to me how the lack of a criminal standard, pre-trial and trial directions, any kind of basis upon which the rule upon the admissibility of evidence, any kind of disclosure obligations, any discernable requirement in relation to mens rea or any recognisable right of appeal could possibly be regarded as requiring a more stringent standard of evidence than our current legal system.


So what about the irreversible harm to innocents of sparing murderers thus allowing them to kill again?

Notwithstanding the fact that you intrude upon your own edict that we should avoid the more pragmatic elements of this discussion (i.e. wrongful convictions) in favour of considering the intrinsic merits of the death penalty, I'd be really interested in pointing me to some concrete figures on the number of released murderers who have murdered again.

Capablanca-Fan
02-11-2009, 10:50 AM
How do you come to this conclusion? The idea of "conviction" within that context is a legal construct. It means that the trier of fact is convinced to the requisite criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt that the person has satisfied the physical and mental elements of the offence based upon the sum total of the evidence that is presented before the court. It doesn't ensure that the reasoning process behind this decision was sound or that all of the relevant evidence was put before the court, although pre-trial and trial procedure assist in mitigating the risks of a miscarriage of justice.
As I said, there are no perfect solutions, only trade-offs. Allowing murderers to live has also resulted in the deaths of innocent people.


As I pointed out, it's probably a little foolhardy making claims like this about the legal system if you have a limited legal background.
Ah yes, as per your Anointed Vision (http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=484), we should leave all decisions to wise and noble lawyers.


And speaking of Mosaic law, you've got that case about a Galilean who was sentenced to death on the basis of fabricated evidence from supposed eyewitnesses and corrupt officials. You may have even heard about it.
Yes, and also know that this trial was held contrary to the Law of Moses and even contrary to the rules of the Sanhedrin. Evidently you have not heard of that. E.g. it started with a bribe, occurred after sunset, the Sanhedrin could not initiate proceedings or participate in the arrest, and the trial should be open to the public not secret. The Mosaic Law, nominally followed by the Sanhedrin, had a presumption of innocence, and a "right to remain silent". Also, as I've said, there needed to be two or three eye-witnesses who agreed, yet their only witnesses disagreed. [See Laurna Berg, The Illegalities of Jesus' Religious and Civil Trials (http://www.scribd.com/doc/3084217/The-Illegalities-of-Jesus-Religious-and-Civil-Trials-Laurna-Berg), Bibliotheca Sacra July 2004).

But related to this trial, the innocent victim commended one of his fellow executees for admitting that he was deserving of death unlike the innocent one.


You've also failed to demonstrate to me how the lack of a criminal standard, pre-trial and trial directions,
What's the point? All this is an excuse—you just don't like the death penalty, and that's all that matters to you.


Notwithstanding the fact that you intrude upon your own edict that we should avoid the more pragmatic elements of this discussion (i.e. wrongful convictions) in favour of considering the intrinsic merits of the death penalty,
Only because the likes of you changed the subject.


I'd be really interested in pointing me to some concrete figures on the number of released murderers who have murdered again.
No you wouldn't be.

black
02-11-2009, 02:06 PM
Jono, you argue strangely.

Goughfather
02-11-2009, 04:57 PM
As I said, there are no perfect solutions, only trade-offs. Allowing murderers to live has also resulted in the deaths of innocent people.


I'm not entirely sure what your response has to do with what I was saying. I was simply pointing out conviction only equated to proof in a constructed context rather than in an absolute sense, which explains why it is that some matters that are "proved" in the courts may not actually reflect the reality of the situation.


Ah yes, as per your Anointed Vision (http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=484), we should leave all decisions to wise and noble lawyers.

Well, yes, when it comes to the specialised field of jurisprudence, or more particularly, criminology and even then it depends on what particular area the legal professional practices and/or teaches in.

I don't really think that what I'm saying is too unreasonable. I mean, would you entrust me to perform open-heart surgery on you on the basis that leaving that task to the surgeons would be elitist?


Yes, and also know that this trial was held contrary to the Law of Moses and even contrary to the rules of the Sanhedrin. Evidently you have not heard of that. E.g. it started with a bribe, occurred after sunset, the Sanhedrin could not initiate proceedings or participate in the arrest, and the trial should be open to the public not secret. The Mosaic Law, nominally followed by the Sanhedrin, had a presumption of innocence, and a "right to remain silent". Also, as I've said, there needed to be two or three eye-witnesses who agreed, yet their only witnesses disagreed. [See Laurna Berg, The Illegalities of Jesus' Religious and Civil Trials (http://www.scribd.com/doc/3084217/The-Illegalities-of-Jesus-Religious-and-Civil-Trials-Laurna-Berg), Bibliotheca Sacra July 2004).

Well, these are all good considerations, which you do well to remind me of, but they only confirm the fragility of the Mosaic legal system. More than that, they provide further evidence that the State is a fallible institution and that placing the lives of accused in the hands of fallen people is simply unwise.


But related to this trial, the innocent victim commended one of his fellow executees for admitting that he was deserving of death unlike the innocent one.

Opinion evidence. Does not qualify as an expert witness. Therefore inadmissible.


What's the point? All this is an excuse—you just don't like the death penalty, and that's all that matters to you.

Again with the strawperson, Jono. Must you?

No, these considerations are very relevant. These are the kind of safeguards that mitigate the prospect that an individual would suffer a miscarriage of justice and which are sorely lacking in the Mosaic code. They are factors that need to be considered before one can pronounce an individual guilty and the kind of factors you would be well acquainted with if you were more familiar with criminal practice and procedure.



No you wouldn't be.

Actually, after I wrote my last post I did some of my own research. Results varied from between 1 in 15 and 1 in 300, although it was unclear whether in the former case they were talking about released murderers who murder again, or simply homicide more broadly. Regardless, at the higher end of the range especially, the rate of recividism seemed to be sufficiently high to favour imprisonment for the term of one's natural life, rather than a fixed-term sentence in the case of premeditated murder. I suspect, however, that the rate of recividism has fallen as the justice system has become more sophisticated and systematised in the assessment of the risk level of offenders.

Capablanca-Fan
02-11-2009, 05:20 PM
I'm not entirely sure what your response has to do with what I was saying. I was simply pointing out conviction only equated to proof in a constructed context rather than in an absolute sense, which explains why it is that some matters that are "proved" in the courts may not actually reflect the reality of the situation.
Hence the rightness of appeals, although not the delaying multiple appeals in modern America, a gravy train for certain lawyer types.


Well, yes, when it comes to the specialised field of jurisprudence, or more particularly, criminology and even then it depends on what particular area the legal professional practices and/or teaches in.

I don't really think that what I'm saying is too unreasonable.
Sure, those expert in legal evidentiary standards can work out the details of what constitutes good enough proof. But they have no special expertise in deciding whether a given crime deserves capital punishment.


I mean, would you entrust me to perform open-heart surgery on you on the basis that leaving that task to the surgeons would be elitist?
No, but I don't trust judges to make decisions that should be made by elected parliamentarians.


Well, these are all good considerations, which you do well to remind me of, but they only confirm the fragility of the Mosaic legal system.
How so? This shows the problems when it was overtly flouted.


More than that, they provide further evidence that the State is a fallible institution and that placing the lives of accused in the hands of fallen people is simply unwise.
Yet this is a trade-off to protect society from murderers.


Opinion evidence. Does not qualify as an expert witness. Therefore inadmissible.
Big whoop; this was the opinion of an executee, and commended by the one perfect Man.


Again with the strawperson, Jono. Must you?
Again with the sexist term that includes the male offspring, SON, GF. Must you?


No, these considerations are very relevant. These are the kind of safeguards that mitigate the prospect that an individual would suffer a miscarriage of justice and which are sorely lacking in the Mosaic code.
So you don't like the Mosaic code? Why should anyone care? Jesus confirmed it.


They are factors that need to be considered before one can pronounce an individual guilty and the kind of factors you would be well acquainted with if you were more familiar with criminal practice and procedure.
And all the above is legalistic snobbery once more deflecting from the poll question.


Actually, after I wrote my last post I did some of my own research. Results varied from between 1 in 15 and 1 in 300, although it was unclear whether in the former case they were talking about released murderers who murder again, or simply homicide more broadly. Regardless, at the higher end of the range especially, the rate of recividism seemed to be sufficiently high to favour imprisonment for the term of one's natural life, rather than a fixed-term sentence in the case of premeditated murder.
Even the Willie Horton case which didn't result in homicide was bad enough, given that he twice raped a local woman after pistol-whipping, knifing, binding, and gagging her fiancé. It showed America that they shouldn't trust a leftist governor to keep society safe. That is one problem with "life imprisonment"; who can trust future leaders to honour that?

Goughfather
02-11-2009, 09:10 PM
Sure, those expert in legal evidentiary standards can work out the details of what constitutes good enough proof. But they have no special expertise in deciding whether a given crime deserves capital punishment.

Given that we were dealing within the context of the relevant standards of proof in the Mosaic Law compared to contemporary criminal justice systems, I'm glad to see that you acknowledge that you are completely ill-equipped to make such judgments. I hope now we can put this issue to bed.


No, but I don't trust judges to make decisions that should be made by elected parliamentarians.

Given the context of the abovementioned conversation, see above.


Yet this is a trade-off to protect society from murderers.

People are not, or at least should not be means towards your ideological ends.


Big whoop; this was the opinion of an executee, and commended by the one perfect Man.

Jesus responded to this man's request to remember him in Paradise. It is extremely tenuous to suggest that Jesus was, in the context of the situation in which he found himself, attempting to make commentary about the death penalty.


So you don't like the Mosaic code? Why should anyone care? Jesus confirmed it.

Another strawperson.


And all the above is legalistic snobbery once more deflecting from the poll question.

In what sense do my considerations deflect from the poll question? Simply because you are ill-equipped to deal with the legal issues involved does not make my considerations irrelevant.

Kevin Bonham
02-11-2009, 11:44 PM
That is one problem with "life imprisonment"; who can trust future leaders to honour that?

How about removing the right to pardon from politicians (seems to be a big American problem) and putting it where it should be - in the hands of the judiciary upon satisfaction that a person either is innocent or has been excessively punished?

Capablanca-Fan
03-11-2009, 12:39 AM
How about removing the right to pardon from politicians (seems to be a big American problem) and putting it where it should be — in the hands of the judiciary upon satisfaction that a person either is innocent or has been excessively punished?
Maybe. The Americans probably have this as another separation of powers.

Capablanca-Fan
03-11-2009, 12:46 AM
Given that we were dealing within the context of the relevant standards of proof in the Mosaic Law compared to contemporary criminal justice systems, I'm glad to see that you acknowledge that you are completely ill-equipped to make such judgments. I hope now we can put this issue to bed.
Talk about jumping to unwarranted conclusions. But such jury tricks won't work on me.


People are not, or at least should not be means towards your ideological ends.
Innocent people should not be sacrificed to murderers because of your ideological end against capital punishment.


Jesus responded to this man's request to remember him in Paradise. It is extremely tenuous to suggest that Jesus was, in the context of the situation in which he found himself, attempting to make commentary about the death penalty.
It was still a commendation of this executee, in the context of admission that said executee was deserving of death. What we never see in His mouth is a condemnation of capital punishment. Au contraire, He endorsed that a specific Mosaic penalty was still operative at the time. Nor do we see any apostles condemn the death penalty; Paul likewise said that there was such a thing as being worthy of being executed.


Another strawperson [sic].
Why? It's a statement of fact. You have a PC ideology against capital punishment, and hence a law code that proscribed it.


In what sense do my considerations deflect from the poll question? Simply because you are ill-equipped to deal with the legal issues involved does not make my considerations irrelevant.
Poll question: "Is the death penalty an appropriate penalty for proven murders?" not: "are current evidentiary standards sufficient to reintroduce capital punishment?" or some such.

Kevin Bonham
03-11-2009, 01:16 AM
Maybe. The Americans probably have this as another separation of powers.

Actually I see that this is the case in most other countries too and I suppose there is the risk of a corrupt or biased judiciary self-reinforcing an excessive or unjust sentence and becoming too powerful. In America the problem of unwarranted pardons is compounded by term limits (meaning that sometimes the pardoning individual is not accountable to the electorate) but many other countries have either royal or presidential pardon. I'd prefer the pardons to be overseen by the legislature (or their representative such as a prime minister) than by a single individual, elected or otherwise.

Ian Murray
03-11-2009, 03:13 PM
Actually I see that this is the case in most other countries too and I suppose there is the risk of a corrupt or biased judiciary self-reinforcing an excessive or unjust sentence and becoming too powerful. In America the problem of unwarranted pardons is compounded by term limits (meaning that sometimes the pardoning individual is not accountable to the electorate) but many other countries have either royal or presidential pardon. I'd prefer the pardons to be overseen by the legislature (or their representative such as a prime minister) than by a single individual, elected or otherwise.
At the other end of the scale, some states (Texas for one) will not allow evidence used in past convictions to now be DNA-tested, even at the appellant's expense. Similarly, in the Willingham case, the governor's office is strongly resisting re-examination of the evidence, as a verdict reversal would embarrass the hard-on-crime gov. Elected officials are not necessarily incorruptible or unbiased.

En passant, I wonder if the 'At the Governor's Pleasure' sentence is still in Australian statutes.

Capablanca-Fan
03-11-2009, 05:07 PM
At the other end of the scale, some states (Texas for one) will not allow evidence used in past convictions to now be DNA-tested, even at the appellant's expense. Similarly, in the Willingham case, the governor's office is strongly resisting re-examination of the evidence, as a verdict reversal would embarrass the hard-on-crime gov.
It shouldn't. Hard on crime means punishing criminals not the innocent.


Elected officials are not necessarily incorruptible or unbiased.
No dispute there.

black
03-11-2009, 06:34 PM
What is an appropriate way to live?

Capablanca-Fan
03-11-2009, 06:49 PM
What is an appropriate way to live?
Why don't you ask an easy question, like how can one play chess without ever losing?

black
03-11-2009, 07:21 PM
Why don't you ask an easy question, like how can one play chess without ever losing?

That would have nothing to do with the thread.

Jono, why do you do that?

Goughfather
03-11-2009, 09:21 PM
Talk about jumping to unwarranted conclusions. But such jury tricks won't work on me.

You mean logic? Yes, quite unconscionable pulling that joker out of the pack, wasn't it?


Innocent people should not be sacrificed to murderers because of your ideological end against capital punishment.

You're the one adopting a consequentialist framework, not myself.


It was still a commendation of this executee, in the context of admission that said executee was deserving of death. What we never see in His mouth is a condemnation of capital punishment. Au contraire, He endorsed that a specific Mosaic penalty was still operative at the time. Nor do we see any apostles condemn the death penalty

Argument from silence - brilliant.


Why? It's a statement of fact. You have a PC ideology against capital punishment, and hence a law code that proscribed it.

Once upon a time, the term "politically correct" used to be a term of real substance, rather than merely a byword for anything disliked by the reactionary right wing.

I have no beef with the Mosaic Law. I just take issue with fundamentalists who seem to believe that it was meant to be a timeless and immutable take on jurisprudence and criminology.


Poll question: "Is the death penalty an appropriate penalty for proven murders?" not: "are current evidentiary standards sufficient to reintroduce capital punishment?" or some such.

You may wish to read post #114 again, which is a direct reply to your consideration.

Capablanca-Fan
05-11-2009, 12:29 PM
You mean logic?
No, I mean jury tricks. Logic is for judge-only trials.


Yes, quite unconscionable pulling that joker out of the pack, wasn't it?
Would that you tried it, e.g. by sticking to the poll question. Clearly your bleating about standards of evidence is a red herring, given that your Anabaptist pacifism would oppose the death penalty for a mass murder you witnessed in person, both the planning and committing.


And speaking of jury tricks, this shows that you're mistaken that only lawyer types are qualified to judge evidence. Our whole adversarial system presupposes that 12 ordinary people are the arbiters of whether there is reasonable doubt.

[QUOTE=Goughfather]You're the one adopting a consequentialist framework, not myself.
No, I am adopting a moral framework that is also shown to work.


Argument from silence — brilliant.
Actually, one of the three points was an argument from an actual specific commendation of the death penalty. The other arguments are of conspicuous absences of any condemnation of something clearly taught in the Mosaic Law. If the rightness of the death penalty were no longer applicable, why is there nothing in the New Testamant to say so?


Once upon a time, the term "politically correct" used to be a term of real substance,
When was that?


rather than merely a byword for anything disliked by the reactionary right wing.
No, something loved by the reactionary feminazis, black racists and the gaystapo, and used to silence debate in an Orwellian manner. "Inclusive language" is an amusingly daft example of PC, but becomes oppressive if university grades and employment depend on its use.


I have no beef with the Mosaic Law. I just take issue with fundamentalists who seem to believe that it was meant to be a timeless and immutable take on jurisprudence and criminology.
I take issue with liberals who scoff at it since it was endorsed by Christ as a righteous law coming from God Himself. This doesn't mean that it is operative today, since it was specifically for the Nation of Israel from Sinai till the Resurrection.

ER
18-11-2009, 08:33 PM
An interesting article very much relevant to the discussion here:

Death penalty stays too close for us to ignore

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/death-penalty-stays-too-close-for-us-to-ignore-20091117-ikdz.html

... and please do not neglect the comments in the end! Oh dear God those comments in the end!

Basil
18-11-2009, 09:01 PM
This from one of the quotes at the end ... made me laugh ...


Oh, thats right that would be populist. Cant have a majority of people making decisions in a Democracy, God knows where that would end.

If democracy foists that intolerable twerp, Rudd and His Clowns on me, can't I have just one popular execution of a serial, torturing sadist? :D

Goughfather
18-11-2009, 09:45 PM
This from one of the quotes at the end ... made me laugh ...

I'm laughing too, but for a slightly different reason. Conservatives like Jono don't seem to understand that liberal democracy is a different thing to mob rule. As such, while they believe that it is elitist to allow the judiciary to use their specialised training and experience to make decisions concerning life and death matters, they believe that it is only commonsense that only surgeons are permitted to to use their specialised training and experience make decisions concerning life and death matters.

Rincewind
18-11-2009, 10:06 PM
I'm laughing too, but for a slightly different reason. Conservatives like Jono don't seem to understand that liberal democracy is a different thing to mob rule. As such, while they believe that it is elitist to allow the judiciary to use their specialised training and experience to make decisions concerning life and death matters, they believe that it is only commonsense that only surgeons are permitted to to use their specialised training and experience make decisions concerning life and death matters.

I thought the last guy (Rory Nicholson from memory) sounded a lot like Jono. Claiming that someone who does not accept an unsubstantiateable supernatural belief system were unable to make any comments on moral matters since they obviously without supernatural "authority" ethics is a toothless tiger.

Capablanca-Fan
19-11-2009, 06:08 PM
I'm laughing too, but for a slightly different reason. Conservatives like Jono don't seem to understand that liberal democracy is a different thing to mob rule.
What crap. On ChessChat I've explained that the American founders opposed democracy and instituted checks and balances even on majority rule. So it was ridiculous for a Republican president to extol the virtues of "democracy" abroad.

Yet checks and balances were also applied to the judicial branch, with the intention that it was the weakest branch. Now in America and the EU, it has become the despotic branch.

Thomas Sowell points out: “The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.”


As such, while they believe that it is elitist to allow the judiciary to use their specialised training and experience to make decisions concerning life and death matters, they believe that it is only commonsense that only surgeons are permitted to to use their specialised training and experience make decisions concerning life and death matters.
Yet we don't have an Inquisitorial system.

Also, they have training in the rules of evidence, but they are no better than anyone else in deciding whether the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for a crime. Nor do they have any moral superiority to decide which "rights" supersede other "rights" if a Bill of Rights were enacted. GF is just spouting self-serving nonsense.

Desmond
19-11-2009, 07:40 PM
What crap. On ChessChat I've explained that the American founders opposed democracy and instituted checks and balances even on majority rule.But have you explained why the founding fathers should be believed as gospel? But for a twist in time the politicians of today could have been the founding fathers.

antichrist
19-11-2009, 07:55 PM
Jono, do you feel like a person possessed? Do you have a set purpose to fulfil? what would happen if you were whisked off and could no longer carry on with your obscession?

Goughfather
19-11-2009, 09:35 PM
Also, they have training in the rules of evidence, but they are no better than anyone else in deciding whether the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for a crime.

When you make comments like this, you demonstrate your lack of knowledge about legal theory and practice and thus serve to demonstrate my point. You brought up the issue of a jury being able to determine the guilt or innocence of a person. I've agreed, subject to the qualification that jurors are babied through the process - kept from evidence that might cause their minds to wander from the main issues at hand and spoon-fed in the way that they should consider their verdict. But after returning their verdict of guilty, they are thanked for their time and are allowed to leave so that the judge can do the important work of applying his or her knowledge and experience to the objective and subjective features of the offence to determine an appropriate sentence. This is not the province of the jury because they do not have the knowledge or experience to determine what is an appropriate sentence. This is no less a form of specialised knowledge than is the surgeon with the scalpel.

arosar
20-11-2009, 09:31 AM
What do youse reckon of this (http://www.smh.com.au/national/the-battered-husband-who-snapped-20091119-iozh.html?autostart=1)? 14 years is too long. Maybe 3-5 years at most.

AR

Desmond
20-11-2009, 10:12 AM
What do youse reckon of this (http://www.smh.com.au/national/the-battered-husband-who-snapped-20091119-iozh.html?autostart=1)? 14 years is too long. Maybe 3-5 years at most.

ARSad story, but yeah it doesn't excuse the killing. 10 years is probably fair enough IMO.

ER
20-11-2009, 10:39 AM
He deserves life (If he ever had one!) Not for killing her, just for being such a pathetic, subservient excuse of a man! I mean giving up cricket!!!! C'm on!

Kevin Bonham
20-11-2009, 02:18 PM
What do youse reckon of this (http://www.smh.com.au/national/the-battered-husband-who-snapped-20091119-iozh.html?autostart=1)? 14 years is too long. Maybe 3-5 years at most.

All a sad and squalid case. A few years sounds about right to me. There should be a substantial jail term for the purposes of deterrence - to send the message that others, of either gender, in the same sort of situation must leave and/or seek help rather than allow the abuse to escalate to a level where they cannot handle it anymore.

10-14 years is too long given the level of (albeit non-violent) abuse IMO but it seems the judge had his hands tied by the technical nature of the new laws. Unfortunately this is a hazard of any form of regulation - when you try to tighten the rules to stop them from being exploited then you can end up over-punishing strange cases with genuine mitigating circumstances.

Igor_Goldenberg
20-11-2009, 02:23 PM
What do youse reckon of this (http://www.smh.com.au/national/the-battered-husband-who-snapped-20091119-iozh.html?autostart=1)? 14 years is too long. Maybe 3-5 years at most.
AR
4 years for murder plus another 10 years for not having a spine, or as Jak more eloquently said:

...just for being such a pathetic, subservient excuse of a man!...

Capablanca-Fan
20-11-2009, 02:33 PM
When you make comments like this, you demonstrate your lack of knowledge about legal theory and practice and thus serve to demonstrate my point.
Come off it. Whether the death penalty is appropriate should not depend on the thoughts of elitist lawyers, since there is no evidence that their moral, as opposed to legal sense is any better developed.


You brought up the issue of a jury being able to determine the guilt or innocence of a person. I've agreed, subject to the qualification that jurors are babied through the process - kept from evidence that might cause their minds to wander from the main issues at hand
Or, at least in America, kept from evidence that might convict because of the "fruit of the poisonous tree" crap, which does more to protect the guilty than the innocent.


and spoon-fed in the way that they should consider their verdict.
Yet it's still up to the jury.


But after returning their verdict of guilty, they are thanked for their time and are allowed to leave so that the judge can do the important work of applying his or her knowledge and experience to the objective and subjective features of the offence to determine an appropriate sentence. This is not the province of the jury because they do not have the knowledge or experience to determine what is an appropriate sentence. This is no less a form of specialised knowledge than is the surgeon with the scalpel.
Yet we have a number of cases where the judges have been excessively harsh or lenient. E.g. where gang rapists of a 10yo didn't even get a custodial sentence. So quite a lot of cases show that judges are not necessarily so great, nothing like surgeons. So even worse would be allowing judges to weigh one human right against another, and overrule elected representatives.

Capablanca-Fan
20-11-2009, 02:43 PM
But have you explained why the founding fathers should be believed as gospel?
Irrelevent to my point: that I have pointed out the problems with straight majority rule, which the American Founding Fathers tried to anticipate with their checks and balances. No one said they were perfect, but they realized that power tends to corrupt, and the way to ameliorate the corrupting effects of power is to divide it.

TheJoker
20-11-2009, 03:17 PM
Come off it. Whether the death penalty is appropriate should not depend on the thoughts of elitist lawyers, since there is no evidence that their moral, as opposed to legal sense is any better developed.

You imply the application of the death sentence is exclusively a moral decision rather than a legal decision. I would have thought that first and foremost consideration would be to establish the legal effectiveness of the decision before debating the moral implications as ultimately the morality is likely to be far more subjective.


So even worse would be allowing judges to weigh one human right against another, and overrule elected representatives.

Interesting, because the US system of separation of powers you argue for so strongly, allows the judiciary to do precisely that, overrule the parliament when they feel a law impinges on a citizens rights (as set out in the Bill of Rights). To protect a against situations where the majority may attempt to marginalise a minoirty by removing their rights through parliamentary legislation.

You can't have it both ways Jono. Either the judiciary should have the power to overrule the legislature on issues of individuals rights or you accept that the majoirty has the power to define the rights of an individual any way they see fit.

Capablanca-Fan
20-11-2009, 05:03 PM
You imply the application of the death sentence is exclusively a moral decision rather than a legal decision. I would have thought that first and foremost consideration would be to establish the legal effectiveness of the decision before debating the moral implications as ultimately the morality is likely to be far more subjective.
It should be up to the elected representatives to decide suitable penalties, and the judges to preside over guilt or innocence, and sentence within the prescibed range.


Interesting, because the US system of separation of powers you argue for so strongly, allows the judiciary to do precisely that, overrule the parliament when they feel a law impinges on a citizens rights (as set out in the Bill of Rights).
Actually, the US constitution (Article I, Section 8; and Article III, Section 1) gives Congress the power to establish the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts and to create exceptions to that jurisdiction. But Congress is reluctant to do that (lots of them want judges to do their dirty work for them), which BTW is another problem with a Bill of Rights, even one where judges give only "findings" or "recommendations" in theory--Parliament will be reluctant to override in practice.

It's just that this separation of powers has devolved into judicial supremacy. It was not the intention of the Founders that the judicial branch would be the despotic branch, and the Constitution a "nose of wax" that judges could twist to suit their whims. You're right about how the modern judiciary "feels" something rather than demonstrate a conflict with the original meaning of the Constitution.


You can't have it both ways Jono. Either the judiciary should have the power to overrule the legislature on issues of individuals rights or you accept that the majoirty has the power to define the rights of an individual any way they see fit.
Not at all: you are confusing the current judicial supremacy with the original checks and balances. Checks and balances do NOT mean replacing the tyranny of the majority with the tyranny of unelected judges who see themselves as philosopher-kings who know best.

America has other ways to thwart majority rule, such as the senate and presidential veto.

Kevin Bonham
20-11-2009, 08:05 PM
You imply the application of the death sentence is exclusively a moral decision rather than a legal decision. I would have thought that first and foremost consideration would be to establish the legal effectiveness of the decision before debating the moral implications as ultimately the morality is likely to be far more subjective.

Indeed, and this raises the problem that juries, lacking the knowledge of sentencing precedent that judges have, may decide inconsistently between differing cases. After all in the absence of that knowledge of precedent many cases will be such that some proportion of jurors would go one way and some another; the convicted offender living or dying is then determined by luck in the matter of the composition of the jury. At least with a judicial system, provided the judge is reasonable and familiar with the precedents, a defendent should have a fair idea of the level of risk that they will or will not be sentenced to death.

I also think the idea of one person making the decision alone and having to live with that decision if it's wrong is a better insurance than a mistake potentially being shared by a group in which all kinds of social pressures may operate and no person's share of the burden is absolute.

TheJoker
21-11-2009, 08:16 PM
It should be up to the elected representatives to decide suitable penalties, and the judges to preside over guilt or innocence, and sentence within the prescibed range.

And in doing so they are supposed to interpret the law.



It's just that this separation of powers has devolved into judicial supremacy. It was not the intention of the Founders that the judicial branch would be the despotic branch, and the Constitution a "nose of wax" that judges could twist to suit their whims.

So you are saying that judges are qualified to interpret the consititution, if they aren't then who is?


Not at all: you are confusing the current judicial supremacy with the original checks and balances.

I'd say it you who is confused perceiving the check ands balances as judical supremacy when it is no such thing.

Can you demonstrate a case for claiming judical supremacy, e.g. a clear example of the US Supreme Court making an intrepretation of the Constitution that blatantly misrepresents its intent?

Kevin Bonham
24-11-2009, 05:15 PM
Jono's reply and subsequent Roe v Wade discussion moved here (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=11071)

Capablanca-Fan
26-11-2009, 06:48 PM
Back to life without parole, this (http://patriotpost.us/opinion/cal-thomas/2009/11/26/life-for-children/)should cause some concern:


There can be no question that some minors who murder are unfit to be released from prison for fear they might kill again. But what about crimes that don't involve homicide? Should a 13-year-old be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole? Such a case is now before the Court.

Perhaps if we focused more on redemption, rather than detention, the results would be different.

A study by Florida State University's Public Interest Law Center estimates that nationwide there are 111 inmates in seven states serving life-without-parole sentences for non-homicide crimes they committed as juveniles. The overwhelming majority, 77, housed in Florida prisons. Not many, unless you're one of the 111.

Igor_Goldenberg
26-11-2009, 08:45 PM
What sort of non-homicide crime would cause life without parole sentence?

Capablanca-Fan
26-11-2009, 09:28 PM
What sort of non-homicide crime would cause life without parole sentence?
Here (http://townhall.com/columnists/KenKlukowski/2009/11/10/court_should_uphold_life_without_parole_for_minors ?page=full&comments=true)are the cases (by a guy who supports the LWP). There is of course Madoff's 150 years which may as well be LWP, for merely copying the US Social Security Ponzi scheme (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=5409).

inAJVKO1Kkg

Igor_Goldenberg
27-11-2009, 09:02 AM
IMO, severity of the punishment must correspond to severity of the crime, not being too harsh or too lenient.

In the cases mentioned it might be too harsh.

TheJoker
27-11-2009, 09:48 AM
There is of course Madoff's 150 years which may as well be LWP, for merely copying the US Social Security Ponzi scheme

I think in the case of such a Ponzi scheme where the potential gains are so high in order for the sentence to act as an effective deterrent it needs to be extremely harsh.

Basil
27-11-2009, 09:57 AM
I have no issue with what you suggest. I will note that that position may well be at odds with the idea of murder once and you are a murderer. Murder a hundred times and the crime is no greater.

TheJoker
27-11-2009, 12:49 PM
I have no issue with what you suggest. I will note that that position may well be at odds with the idea of murder once and you are a murderer. Murder a hundred times and the crime is no greater.

IMO mass murder is a worse crime than a single murder

Capablanca-Fan
17-12-2009, 04:21 PM
Summary of the Crime and Punishment section from Knowledge and Decisions by Thomas Sowell (http://homepage.eircom.net/%257Eodyssey/Politics/Sowell/Decisions.html) (refuting "root cause" crap among other things)

CRIME

Crime rates per 100,000 persons more than doubled during the decade of the 1960s — whether measured by total crime, violent crime, or property crime. How much of this represents an actual rise in crime, and how much an increased reporting of crime, remains a matter of controversy. However, there is general agreement among people who agree on little else, that murder has generally been accurately reported, since it is hard to ignore a corpse or someone's sudden disappearance. Murder rates in large cities doubled in less than a decade between 1963 and 1971. The probability that someone living his whole life in a large city today will be murdered is greater than the probability of an American soldier on World War II being killed in combat.

Crime rates in general are only moderately higher in the United States than in Europe, but it is violent crimes that the difference between the US and other countries is greatest.

Crime has been blamed on 'poverty, racism and discrimination' and on 'the inhumanity of our prisons'. As already noted, poverty and racial discrimination (whether measured in incomes, education or segregation laws) were greater in the past.

One of the basic questions about criminal law procedure is simply how much of it there is, in purely quantitative terms. In England, the longest criminal trial on record lasted 48 days. In the US, there have been criminal trials in which the selection of a jury alone has taken months.

Delays in American courts did not just happen. A procedural revolution in criminal law was created by the Supreme Court in the 1960s— the decade when crime rates more than doubled.

The usually presumed social 'causes' of crime — poverty, unemployment and broken homes — are wholly uncorrelated with the rise of crime in Britain. There has been no increase in poverty or broken homes there, and there has been a reduction of income inequality and a 'virtually nonexistent' unemployment rate in Britain during the period of rapidly increasing crime rates. The criminal justice system has simply become slower and more uncertain.

By contrast, the only major nation in which crime rates have been going down over the past generation is Japan, where more than 90% of all violent crimes lead to arrest and 98% of all defendants are found guilty. The sentences are no greater in Japan, but the chance of getting away scotfree are less. Various supposed causes of crime — television violence, urbanization, crowding — are at least as prevalent in Japan as in the US.

In recent years criminal law procedures have often been viewed, not as social institutions for transmitting knowledge about guilt or innocence, but as arenas for contests between combatants (prosecution and defendants) whose prospects must to some degree be equalized.

Minimizing the costs to criminals is not minimizing social costs but only externalizing more costs to victims.

Over the past generation, punishments for convicted criminals have become less common, less severe, and less honestly reported to the public. In the American legal system, punishment is less common than in the British legal system from which it evolved. California alone has six times as many robbers as England, but more people were in prison for robbery in England than in California.

Less severe penalties — that are actually enforced — have produced a long term reduction of serious crime in Japan, over the same decades during which American crime rates have been soaring.

The immorality of execution is based on a parallel between the first-degree murderer's premeditated killing of his victim and the law's subsequent premeditated killing murderer. In this view, we must 'put behind the notion that the second wrong makes a right'. The two events are certainly parallel as physical actions, but if that principle determines morality, it would be equally immoral to take back by force from a robber what he had taken by force in the first place. It would be equally immoral to imprison someone who had imprisoned someone else.

The irrevocable error of executing the wrong person is a horror to anyone. The killing of innocent people by released or escaped murderers is no less a horror, and certainly no less common. The recidivism rate among murderers has never been zero, nor can the human error in capital cases ever be reduced to zero. Innocent people will die either way.

More black people are murdered than whites — that is, there are more black victims in absolute numbers than white murder victims, even though blacks are only about 12% of the population. Moreover, murder is usually not across racial lines, involving as it often does family members and friends. Against that background, the statistic that blacks are overrepresented among those executed assumes a different dimension, since blacks are also grossly overrepresented among the victims.

We do not play God when we act — as we must — within our limitations. We play God when we pretend to an omniscience and a range of options we do not in fact possess.

There is no degree of precision in words or numbers — that cannot be considered inadequate by simply demanding a higher degree of precision.
On a spectrum where one color gradually blends into another, you cannot draw a line at all — but that in no way prevents us from telling red from blue (in the center of their respective regions).

A border dispute between Greece and Yugoslavia does not prevent us from knowing that Athens is in one country and Belgrade in another.

arosar
22-12-2009, 09:38 PM
There is one action that I believe deserves the death penalty. Mothers who leave their kids in vehicles under hot sun, while they go fkn shopping or do whatever it is they do, ought to be punished with death. They are a disgrace!!

There was yet another example of this incident today. Some people had to rescue the poor kid.

AR

Capablanca-Fan
28-07-2012, 01:27 AM
It's most unlikely that death penalty opponents will be too vocal when it comes to James Holmes, the Aurora mass murderer (no relation to the Tea Partier of the same name who is twice as old, despite Leftmedia smears). They can't resort to the usual obfuscations, such as "what if an innocent person is executed?" and "it disproportionately affects blacks". But let's see them defend why James Holmes deserves to live.

Mrs Jono
28-07-2012, 01:49 AM
Mothers who leave their kids in vehicles under hot sun, while they go fkn shopping or do whatever it is they do, ought to be punished with death. They are a disgrace!!

Sickening, isn't it? I don't think I agree with them getting the death penalty if the children lived, but they need to be punished harshly.


Mom left 2 kids in truck outside strip club (http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/27/4665654/cops-mom-left-2-kids-in-truck.html)

A 28-year-old woman faces child neglect charges after police say she left her 3-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son in her pickup truck while she visited a Tampa strip club.
...
Officers say they found Roman was near inside the club. Her speech was slurred and she showed signs of intoxication.

Not only the outrage over where she was with children in tow, and that she "showed signs of intoxication", but it was in Tampa, meaning Florida, where temperatures can be brutal. TBO (http://www2.tbo.com/news/news/2012/jul/25/9/police-woman-left-kids-in-truck-to-visit-mons-venu-ar-441374/), the website for Tampa's main newspaper, reports it was 6:40PM when she was arrested, not enough into the evening for the heat to cool down.


Roman told the officers she went inside the club to drink more alcohol and left her children watching a movie inside the vehicle, police said.

:evil: :evil:

Goughfather
28-07-2012, 01:52 AM
It's most unlikely that death penalty opponents will be too vocal when it comes to James Holmes, the Aurora mass murderer (no relation to the Tea Partier of the same name who is twice as old, despite Leftmedia smears). They can't resort to the usual obfuscations, such as "what if an innocent person is executed?" and "it disproportionately affects blacks". But let's see them defend why James Holmes deserves to live.

Establishing that a particular person "deserves to live" isn't necessary to adequately defend my position. How would one determine that a person deserved to live anyway?

Concerning whether an innocent person is executed, how would you propose proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Holmes was or is not suffering from mental infirmity? No doubt there will be differing opinions on the subject.

Kevin Bonham
28-07-2012, 02:07 AM
Holmes from what has come out so far - assuming he is indeed guilty - is basically Martin Bryant with at least double the IQ. Martin Bryant is locked up in my home state where his actions caused many deaths and injuries and enormous economic damage and grief and his incarceration (including stopping his many suicide attempts) is a financial burden on the state but I still do not support killing him. Even though had his little outburst happened two weekends earlier I could have conceivably been among those killed.

My answer re Holmes is along similar lines to my answer re the Fort Hood shooter (http://chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=261529&postcount=48).

Kevin Bonham
28-07-2012, 02:17 AM
Oh, and if "what if an innocent person is executed?" is an "obfuscation", then does that mean the risk of it happening is so negligible that Jono would be willing to support a law requiring that if it does happen, those who caused it to happen can all be charged with some kind of negligent homicide?

Capablanca-Fan
28-07-2012, 02:24 AM
Oh, and if "what if an innocent person is executed?" is an "obfuscation", then does that mean the risk of it happening is so negligible that Jono would be willing to support a law requiring that if it does happen, those who caused it to happen can all be charged with some kind of negligent homicide?
It is indeed an obfuscation. Those who raise it usually (although not always) really believe that the death penalty is wrong per se. In practice, the risk is negligible, certainly compared to the possibility that a murderer spared the death penalty can kill again in prison, in an escape attempt, or upon release "for good behaviour" or because a liberal governor commuted the sentence or he was exchanged for terrorist hostages (as recently in Israel) showing that "permanent incarceration" is not guaranteed.

I support that anyone deliberately making a false claim should get the penalty that would have been applied to the crime in question. So women who deliberately falsely claim rape should get the sentence a rapist would have received. People who knowingly bear false witness against someone as a murderer should receive the penalty they were trying to get for the innocent person. So in answer to your question, yes.

Kevin Bonham
28-07-2012, 01:29 PM
It is indeed an obfuscation. Those who raise it usually (although not always) really believe that the death penalty is wrong per se.

There's nothing untenable about believing both - ie that the death penalty is inappropriate irrespective of guilt, and that any risk of executing an innocent person makes it especially objectionable.


In practice, the risk is negligible, certainly compared to the possibility that a murderer spared the death penalty can kill again in prison, in an escape attempt, or upon release "for good behaviour" or because a liberal governor commuted the sentence or he was exchanged for terrorist hostages (as recently in Israel) showing that "permanent incarceration" is not guaranteed.

I've mentioned my responses to many of these before. They are generally not consequences of opposition to the death penalty as such, but consequences of often unnecessary leniencies - not to mention the ridiculous American practice of allowing politicians to interfere with the judicial process by pardoning criminals.


I support that anyone deliberately making a false claim should get the penalty that would have been applied to the crime in question. So women who deliberately falsely claim rape should get the sentence a rapist would have received. People who knowingly bear false witness against someone as a murderer should receive the penalty they were trying to get for the innocent person. So in answer to your question, yes.

That's something, but it's not what I was after. What I had in mind was where someone is executed having been wrongly considered guilty beyond reasonable doubt, only for it to turn out they were innocent - not because anyone lied, but just because of careless decisions along the way. Generally if you drive carelessly and you cause a death you are punished; if you build a house carelessly and you cause a death you are punished. So if you act carelessly as a juror or a judge and you cause the death of someone who is innocent, it would make sense that you be punished too.

Mrs Jono
28-07-2012, 01:43 PM
What I had in mind was where someone is executed having been wrongly considered guilty beyond reasonable doubt, only for it to turn out they were innocent - not because anyone lied, but just because of careless decisions along the way.

This is different than someone who is a proven murderer, as the poll specified.

Your point here is one I'd agree, that some people have been put in prison for crimes they didn't commit. This is especially true where testing was not advanced enough to exonerate the accused, or circumstantial evidence was given more weight than it should have been given.

This is far different than the murderer who is caught in the act and/or the murderer who is 'proud' of his actions, for example.

Kevin Bonham
28-07-2012, 02:41 PM
This is different than someone who is a proven murderer, as the poll specified.

The thread is over two and a half years old. Jono bumped it with a comment that attacked "what if an innocent person is executed?" as an "obfuscation" even in cases differing from the Holmes case in which he presumes guilt to be certain. My response was on that basis. If that part of the discussion lasts any length of time I can always dig up the old generic DP thread and move it there.


This is far different than the murderer who is caught in the act and/or the murderer who is 'proud' of his actions, for example.

Even these are not always conclusive proof. A person who boasts of killing someone else didn't necessarily do it.

Ian Murray
22-04-2015, 02:24 PM
Hair analysis used by FBI 'experts', and by FBI-trained state forensic scientists, has now been dismissed as worthless after an unknown number of convictions and prison sentences have been based on the analysis (including some death sentences and subsequent executions).

The FBI and the Innocence Project have begun the mammoth task of reviewing evidence and seeking retrials where justified. State prosecutors are much less willing to look at their past cases.

Thirty years in jail for a single hair: the FBI's 'mass disaster' of false conviction (http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/21/fbi-jail-hair-mass-disaster-false-conviction?CMP=ema_632)

Rincewind
22-04-2015, 03:13 PM
There is a faculty paper from Paul Giannelli and Emmie West which surveys a number of cases where the expert witness significantly overstates the distinctiveness of hair analysis of this type. And also mentions cases where it is DNA evidence which is overturning the findings of hair analysis. One wonders how long hair analysis would have continued had DNA analysis not become available to show that it is seriously flawed.

Capablanca-Fan
23-04-2015, 08:38 AM
Hair analysis used by FBI 'experts', and by FBI-trained state forensic scientists, has now been dismissed as worthless after an unknown number of convictions and prison sentences have been based on the analysis (including some death sentences and subsequent executions).

The FBI and the Innocence Project have begun the mammoth task of reviewing evidence and seeking retrials where justified. State prosecutors are much less willing to look at their past cases.

Thirty years in jail for a single hair: the FBI's 'mass disaster' of false conviction (http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/21/fbi-jail-hair-mass-disaster-false-conviction?CMP=ema_632)

In the above scandal, 26 out of 28 FBI analysts gave false testimony that favoured prosecutors. The USA has a real problem in that prosecutorial misconduct is punished with a slap on the wrist. E.g. Nifong, who withheld exculpatory evidence in the Duke Lacrosse Case, which could have resulted in long prison sentences, received only a day in jail (wow, he could have received a whopping 30 days (http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=2999217)!). Another example, from the über-left NY Times editorial board:


A Prosecutor Is Punished (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/09/opinion/a-prosecutor-is-punished.html), 8 Nov 2013

For what may be the first time on record, a former prosecutor in Texas is going to jail for failing to turn over exculpatory evidence in a murder trial. The 10-day jail sentence for the prosecutor, Ken Anderson, is insultingly short — the victim of his misconduct, Michael Morton, spent nearly 25 years in prison. But because prosecutors are so rarely held accountable for their misconduct, the sentence is remarkable nonetheless.

This case may sound extreme, but prosecutorial misconduct is far too common, and the remedies for it, if any, usually come long after the harm has been done. Criminal defense lawyers have called for judges to issue a standard written order reminding prosecutors of their ethical duty and to warn them of contempt charges if they do not comply. Prosecutors should welcome this practice to reinforce professional standards and identify the wrongdoers among them.

Ian Murray
23-04-2015, 08:51 PM
...The USA has a real problem in that prosecutorial misconduct is punished with a slap on the wrist....prosecutorial misconduct is far too common, and the remedies for it, if any, usually come long after the harm has been done....
Which surely is an argument for abolition of the death penalty. A retrial to remedy misconduct or ineptitude is of little solace to a person wrongly convicted and executed.

Kevin Bonham
23-04-2015, 08:58 PM
Even with heavy prison sentences for withholding it is always possible that some prosecutor for some reason will still withhold such evidence.

Capablanca-Fan
24-04-2015, 12:23 AM
Even with heavy prison sentences for withholding it is always possible that some prosecutor for some reason will still withhold such evidence.
Of course it's possible. Heavy prison sentences don't prevent all serious crime in general. The problem now is that there is only a slap on the wrist for the most blatant prosecutorial misconduct.


Which surely is an argument for abolition of the death penalty. A retrial to remedy misconduct or ineptitude is of little solace to a person wrongly convicted and executed.
It's an argument for punishing prosecutorial misconduct far more than it is. It is hardly an argument against the death penalty per se. Innocent people have been murdered by murderers sentences to "life" in prison as well. Everything involves trade-offs; if your choices are only perfection vs. nothing, then you'll get nothing.

Capablanca-Fan
24-04-2015, 12:30 AM
What I had in mind was where someone is executed having been wrongly considered guilty beyond reasonable doubt, only for it to turn out they were innocent - not because anyone lied, but just because of careless decisions along the way. Generally if you drive carelessly and you cause a death you are punished; if you build a house carelessly and you cause a death you are punished. So if you act carelessly as a juror or a judge and you cause the death of someone who is innocent, it would make sense that you be punished too.
The main problem with jurors facing possible punishment is that it would deter anyone from serving on a jury. Overt judicial misconduct should be punished though.


Even these are not always conclusive proof. A person who boasts of killing someone else didn't necessarily do it.
By such criteria, there is never any conclusive proof.