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Thread: Stupidest pro-capital punishment argument ever!

  1. #1

    Default Stupidest pro-capital punishment argument ever!

    I made the mistake of getting into a conversation about the death penalty with my mother, who is completely for it.

    I explained to her that I oppose it for many reasons.

    A - It serves no purpose other than to satisfy the bloodlust of the masses.
    B - It is not a deterrent. People will still commit the crimes.
    C - Many innocent people have been put on death row in the US in recent years.
    D - Lethal injection is ridiculously inhumane, and it was invented by Nazis who knew they were putting people through an excrucionatingly painful death. The US adapting Nazi technology = disgusting.
    E - It provides no real closure. Once one person is killed in the name of vengeance, that will only lead to a thirst for more blood in the name of vengeance, and a nasty downward spiral starts.

    Her response to this was to tell me my thinking was "too black and white", that I was not "seeing the whole picture", etc.

    So, how does she respond when I ask her why she supports the death penalty?

    "These people should die, and that's that."

    To her, the only problem with the death penalty are that it can be appealed, that people are not executed quickly enough after the sentence is handed out, and that it is not used widely enough. Apparantly, she is willing to execute innocent people, just so long as more of the people she wants to see dead end up dead.

    I am now convinced my mother has the morals of a fascist.
    Last edited by KaworuVsDrWily; 12-Sep-2010 at 16:27.

  2. #2

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    I support the death penalty on certain occasions, such as the Ted Bundy case. He killed to many people to just say in jail with the slight risk of escape. I believe it only should be used if it 100 % with no doubt that the person is guilty of murder of 3 or more people. And lethal injection is slightly inhuman, they need to find a better way, i mean if they can teach a marine a 1000 ways to kill there has got to be at least one means of quick, instant death.

  3. #3

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    Death penalty is only a way of applying the old saying "an eye for an eye". In the specific case "You killed someone, so you should be killed too".

    This was probably something acceptable 4000 years ago, when a certain Hammurabi, king of Babylon, published the famous Code of Hammurabi.

    But what about nowadays? Haven't four millenniums of history taught us anything? Probably not, after all, since so many countries still faithfully apply a principle that, in my opinion, is euphemistic to define "outdated".

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by RebornKaworu View Post
    The US adapting Nazi technology = disgusting.
    Tell that to your doctor. Half his modern medical knowledge comes from experiments done to Jews when they were used as human lab rats. As bad as the holocaust was, it advanced medical knowledge by leaps and bounds. So "the Nazis used it" is not a reason against something.

  5. #5
    Butterfly Mage

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    I have a view similar to BenjaminWolf's. I think that the death penalty should only be used for exceptional and unique circumstances. For instance,Tim McVey and Ted Bundy had it coming. But the problems with the death penalty, in general,are manifold:

    -- Rich people never, EVER get the death penalty (cf. OJ Simpson and Henry Blake). People without million-dollar lawyers get the death penalty all the time.
    -- White people are statistically less likely to get the death penalty than black people.
    -- Even in states that are very pro-death (like Texas), murder has not stopped, thus it is not a deterrent. Unless you are a paid contract assassin, murder tends to be an irrational, emotional act and thus the murderer is rarely thinking "Gee, I might get the gas chamber for this".
    -- Innocent people have (and continue to be) put to death, thanks to defense bungling, investigatory misconduct, and unreliable eye-witnesses.
    -- People of diminished capacity have been put to death (Our "Compassionate Conservative Christian", George W.Bush, signed a death warrant for a killer who had an IQ of 40. Are we really supposed to believe that a man with an intellect of a 4-year-old understood what a murder is?).
    -- The appeals process can take decades. The process is much more costly than incarcerating someone for life.
    -- Once the person has been executed, he/she is no longer paying for the crime. It's better revenge for the person to remain alive and caged like an animal.

    Thus, to summarize, while there is a very narrow window in which the death penalty seems appropriate, it is a punishment that should generally never be used.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly Mage View Post
    I have a view similar to BenjaminWolf's. I think that the death penalty should only be used for exceptional and unique circumstances. For instance,Tim McVey and Ted Bundy had it coming. But the problems with the death penalty, in general,are manifold:

    -- Rich people never, EVER get the death penalty (cf. OJ Simpson and Henry Blake). People without million-dollar lawyers get the death penalty all the time.
    -- White people are statistically less likely to get the death penalty than black people.
    -- Even in states that are very pro-death (like Texas), murder has not stopped, thus it is not a deterrent. Unless you are a paid contract assassin, murder tends to be an irrational, emotional act and thus the murderer is rarely thinking "Gee, I might get the gas chamber for this".
    -- Innocent people have (and continue to be) put to death, thanks to defense bungling, investigatory misconduct, and unreliable eye-witnesses.
    -- People of diminished capacity have been put to death (Our "Compassionate Conservative Christian", George W.Bush, signed a death warrant for a killer who had an IQ of 40. Are we really supposed to believe that a man with an intellect of a 4-year-old understood what a murder is?).
    -- The appeals process can take decades. The process is much more costly than incarcerating someone for life.
    -- Once the person has been executed, he/she is no longer paying for the crime. It's better revenge for the person to remain alive and caged like an animal.

    Thus, to summarize, while there is a very narrow window in which the death penalty seems appropriate, it is a punishment that should generally never be used.
    two counter points, 1) white people and black people actually get the penalty evenly, with some degrees going one way or another in some states. 2) While murder has not stopped, it has gone much farther down than in the states that don't have the penalty.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephiel View Post
    Tell that to your doctor. Half his modern medical knowledge comes from experiments done to Jews when they were used as human lab rats. As bad as the holocaust was, it advanced medical knowledge by leaps and bounds. So "the Nazis used it" is not a reason against something.
    Not really. See, there's a rather popular question in philosophy classes about the ethics of using data from the Nazi experiments in modern medicine. A lot has been written about this. I bet you could fill an entire section in a library with those writings. Problem is, the Nazis didn't actually conduct a lot of scientific experiments. Sure, they were EXPERIMENTS, but very, very few of them had proper scientific controls to produce good, usable data. There often wasn't any real purpose to the experiments, either - mostly "let's do this to a bunch of prisoners and see what happens". Yes, there was some really useful stuff like their hypothermia experiments, but those are the exception as opposed to the rule (they also had a specific purpose in mind - to create flight suits that could prolong someone's life in frigid waters). Primarily, the Nazis conducted torture with clipboards and lab coats as opposed to anything that could be called scientifically useful data.

    None of that makes the "it's wrong because the Nazis invented it" argument valid, however.

    That said, even *if* you agree that the death penalty is a good idea (I don't), lethal injection has been found to not even meet the standard we set for humanely putting down animals because of the high risk of intense agony.

  8. #8

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    ok then, let me go get the electric chair and we could use that until we find a better way.

  9. #9
    Butterfly Mage

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    Alpha: Actually, the electric chair was developed by Edison in attempt to discredit the use of alternating current as the standard for delivery of electricity. Edison had favored the use of direct current. His idea was that showing how excruciatingly awful it was to die by AC electricity would push public opinion in favor of DC power. He was quite surprised by the populist blood lust his invention created.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alphacore View Post
    two counter points, 1) white people and black people actually get the penalty evenly, with some degrees going one way or another in some states. 2) While murder has not stopped, it has gone much farther down than in the states that don't have the penalty.
    Actually, no. The average national murder rate is 6.23 murders per 100,000, but the state of Texas (with by far the highest rate of death penalties handed out by the courts) has a rate of 6.7 per 100,000. If you were correct, then you'd see the exact opposite numbers.

    As for the death penalty acting as a deterrent, that's completely false as well. There's 3 reasons to commit murder:

    1) Passion
    2) Profit
    3) Compulsion

    If it's a crime of passion, you're not thinking straight, you're not weighing risk/reward factors - you're just acting out of blind rage. For profit (whether it be killing-for-hire or "killing my wife is cheaper than a divorce"), you think you can get away with it - the death penalty wouldn't scare you because you'd be pretty certain that you'd never see the inside of a police car. As for compulsion, you can't stop yourself anyway, so no matter what the risks are, you're not stopping.

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