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Against the Death Penalty?




Case 1

Letter 1

 

 In these case presentations I begin with posting the initial arguments, then in the subsequent letters I have my commentary in Blue and the opponent's commentary in Red.

Initial letter:

I just saw your site. I'd like to offer some rebuttals to a few of your points. I promise to not be like many hot-headed conservatives who state their opinions in a mean fashion.

First, the issue of being fair to the kill a killer. The argument should be (if any) that it is fair to kill someone who has killed someone else who did nothing at all to deserve being killed. I'll admit that the system is not infallible, and I think that all inmates on Death Row should be allowed DNA testing to prove beyond any doubt the guilt (or to reveal their innocence) before any thought of going through with the execution is complete. As far as a killer "redeeming themselves", it rarely happens, if at all. I cannot count the number of times I have heard of someone who, after being convicted of murder, was released on parole and they did it again.

As far as the minorities being disproportionately represented on Death Row, let me say this. 60% of all Death Row inmates are white. However, nearly 70 - 80% of all prison inmates (death row and other) who have committed murder are of a minority. If it is racist, it's against whites.

As for it being historical, I have no idea what person started that argument, but it was a waste of time. Doing something simply because we've always done it is stupid, in my opinion. On this aspect I agree with you completely.

CP a deterrent to crime? Well, it can't be proven that it is or isn't. But there are some words I remember when facing this argument. We have record of the number of ships that are wrecked that a lighthouse could not save, but we have no record of how many ships the lighthouse saves. Yet we do not tear down the lighthouse. Also, please explain to me how areas with the death penalty have lower violent crime rates than do areas without (I know, Texas is the exception. Of course, remember that this argument was for a tendency, not a fact that has no exceptions). But then again, CP is not supposed to be a deterrent to crime, but a punishment for committing the crime. This comes from America's Judeo-Christian heritage.

You offered the Declaration of Independence, quoting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as inalienable rights. Do you honestly believe they were referring to murderers, or to law abiding citizens?

As far as halting repeat offenders goes, I think there were four words left out that makes your argument make a lot more sense to me than I thought it would at first. I'll put those words in all caps so you can see it clearly. CP is effective in halting repeating criminals IT IS ADMINISTERED TO. Now all of a sudden, the argument is true. Those who are freed later are obviously not halted, because in their case there was no death penalty.

The monetary issue is complex. The average amount of money used to house inmates may only be $25 000 a year, but that takes in ALL types of inmates. If you looked at convicted murderers in the higher security prisons, then the average becomes much, much higher. I don't know the figure, so I'll not say that it is more expensive than CP, but there is that possibility in my mind until proven otherwise when presented with the data as I just described.

As far as lessening crowding, I hate that argument for capital punishment. So I won't bother with a rebuttal.

Moral equivalent of military duty? I agree with you on this too. It's not exactly the same. However, it is what God has mandated in Old and New Testaments. In case you are wondering about the New Testament, I offer Romans 13: 1-4.

The difference between the two testaments is that in the Old Testament, the punishment was to be carried out by the people of the community, whereas in the New, it is to be carried out by the authorities. Members of the community are instructed (by Jesus) to love and forgive, but to let the authorities carry out their punishments. The community is to neither try to get a punishment for someone, nor to dissuade punishment from the guilty.

I hope this was well worded and that it made sense. I hope I did not come off as overbearing or hateful in any way. I merely wanted to present you with more in depth arguments for CP than what was listed on your page.

Tony

Case 1

Letter 1

Reply

This is my response to the first letter

 

To: T.L.,

I want to thank you for presenting the statements that you did. What I have begun doing is to collect arguments and rebut them. The page that you saw was inspired by an on-line argument that I had with a college student a year or two ago. I intend to post the arguments that are offered me and my responses to them so as to assist those who are not in favor of CP argue the merits of that position with those who are not in favor of it.

Let us use your words to take apart your arguments. In this way you will see that I mainly use logic.

Your first paragraph:

First, the issue of being fair to the kill a killer. The argument should be (if any) that it is fair to kill someone who has killed someone else who did nothing at all to deserve being killed. I'll admit that the system is not infallible, and I think that all inmates on Death Row should be allowed DNA testing to prove beyond any doubt the guilt (or to reveal their innocence) before any thought of going through with the execution is complete. As far as a killer "redeeming themselves", it rarely happens, if at all. I cannot count the number of times I have heard of someone who, after being convicted of murder, was released on parole and they did it again. As far as the minorities being disproportionately represented on Death Row, let me say this. 60% of all Death Row inmates are white. However, nearly 70 - 80% of all prison inmates (death row and other) who have committed murder are of a minority. If it is racist, it's against whites.

If 60% of all death row inmates are white that means the remaining 40% are not white. Last time I looked the United States was more than 60% white meaning that minorities, totaled together do not equal 40%, which means that the minority populations are disproportionately represented on Death Rows.

If 70 to 80% of all prison inmates are members of various minorities, when they do not account for nearly that proportion in the general population, that also means they are over represented in the prison population.

Last, if there was a disproportionate number of whites being executed then the system is still biased, in this hypothetical case it would be against whites. Still not a good point in defending the death penalty.

Next paragraph, we have agreement

As for it being historical, I have no idea what person started that argument, but it was waste of time. Doing something simply because we've always done it is stupid, in my opinion. On this aspect I agree with you completely.

I have to say I have heard this argument often, despite what both you and I think of it, amazing.

Next paragraph:

CP a deterrent to crime? Well, it can't be proven that it is or isn't. But there are some words I remember when facing this argument. We have record of the number of ships that are wrecked that a lighthouse could not save, but we have no record of how many ships the lighthouse saves. Yet we do not tear down the lighthouse. Also, please explain to me how areas with the death penalty have lower violent crime rates than do areas without (I know, Texas is the exception. Of course, remember that this argument was for a tendency, not a fact that has no exceptions). But then again, CP is not supposed to be a deterrent to crime, but a punishment for committing the crime. This comes from America's Judeo-Christian heritage.

Well, this paragraph was interesting, I thought you had just declared that doing something, or defending something's validity just because of historical momentum was 'stupid in my opinion', yet here you are rationalizing Capital Punishment with that very kind of argument. One of the main arguments for the death penalty is that it is supposed to act as a deterrent. You in fact allude to that in the statement:

"how areas with the death penalty have lower violent crime rates than do areas without"

You also state in the paragraph its effectiveness cannot be proven or disproven, well, that is incorrect. If the death penalty worked, that is to say it reduced the murder rate in places where it was in effect, we would see a reduction of killings or the other crimes for which it is a punishment. If it were a deterrent we would have seen, during the decades of the last century a steady decline in the murder rate, that simply is not the case, overall. During the decades that the US. has experimented with the death penalty we have never been able to prove that it has the desired effect, that of reducing offenses. That said, there has been an overall reduction in crime recently, some say for demographic reasons the primary one being that our population is aging, others say it was Clinton's funding for another 100,000 police officers, still others argue it was the unprecedented prosperity that reached into many of the most economically destitute areas of our country. Point is crime rates fluctuate for various reasons, some of which are arguable and possibly unknown. One cannot find clear, general proof that CP does what some of its backers claim.

The analogy of the lighthouse if flawed. You are comparing a light house to CP. A lighthouse has several important differences that make the analogy unworkable: first, it can only save lives, it cannot take them, second it is "blind" in that any ship that sees it can use it. It does not matter if the ship happens to be crewed and captained by Africans, Chinese, or Hispanics.

 From what you have said the "tearing down of the lighthouse", meaning changing what is, must stand therefore, for CP. In using that analogy you compare the existence of a lighthouse to continuation of CP, stating by analogy, that we know how many CP could not save, presumably the number of people killed by murderers, but we do not know how many lives are saved by it, presumably the number of persons these killers would kill if they were let loose, therefore it is good to keep it. Let us look carefully at the thinking there.

 First, most convicted killers are not themselves put to death. The odds against that happening are great. And we do know how many lives it would have saved, by counting the bodies of persons that were killed by killers who were put behind bars only to be let out to kill again. Seemingly an argument in favor of your position, or counting the number of killings an individual does after the first one. That would be another way of gauging the effectiveness of a true application of CP to each and every case of intentional murder. CP does not really save lives, by its actions as does the lighthouse, it takes them, hundreds a year. The lighthouse by action, assists ships and helps prevent accidents and so saves lives. CP takes the lives of persons who might or might not take lives again. Unless you can flawlessly predict human nature you would be forced to argue that each and every executed criminal would have killed again, and that there is no other way of dealing with them.

Arguments that would be hard to support since human nature is inherently unpredictable and since there are other alternatives.

As to "the tendency" for states with CP to have lower violent crime Texas is not the exception. Crime rates vary for many reasons and CP, if it is a factor, is a very, very small one, insignificant is the statistical term.

And now to this gem:

You offered the Declaration of Independence, quoting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as inalienable rights. Do you honestly believe they were referring to murderers, or to law abiding citizens?

The Declaration of Independence does not say "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness only for those not convicted of a serious crime" Does it? I believe they were talking about citizens, but many of the drafters of that document were well aware of how often CP was used in the nations that they escaped from. Also, that document, along with the constitution, are living documents, in the sense that those living are allowed to interpret them. As times and circumstances have changed, so has their interpretation. Thus it could easily be that CP would loose its basis by virtue of the phrasing of a 200 plus year old document.

Next:

As far as halting repeat offenders goes, I think there were four words left out that makes your argument make a lot more sense to me than I thought it would at first. I'll put those words in all caps so you can see it clearly. CP is effective in halting repeating criminals IT IS ADMINISTERED TO. Now all of a sudden, the argument is true. Those who are freed later are obviously not halted, because in their case there was no death penalty

Well, are we arguing the death penalty as it is or as you would like it to be. Imagining what the world would be like is one thing but we are talking about what is really happening, in essence. Unfortunately many, many killers go free only to kill again. As I said on my page, to kill all the killers, quickly, and effectively would be horrific. This would require many thousands of executions a year and if our current system of scientifically processing trial evidence was not any better than it is now we'd have hundreds of executions of persons not guilty of the crime they are being punished for.

I ask you that. What kind of compensation should be given to the family, dependents and so forth of the persons who have been executed only to be exonerated later on?

This is a main flaw in CP, that it cannot be reversed, and is certainly imperfect in it application.

The monetary issue is complex. The average amount of money used to house inmates may only be $25 000 a year, but that takes in ALL types of inmates. If you looked at convicted murderers in the higher security prisons, then the average becomes much, much higher. I don't know the figure, so I'll not say that it is more expensive than CP, but there is that possibility in my mind until proven otherwise when presented with the data as I just described.

I have had CP supporters claim that the average CP case costs between one and two million dollars to process and complete. At 25K per year you are talking 40 to 80 of imprisonment being needed to equal the cost of a single execution. Sounds like CP is not at all cheaper with those few facts on hand.

Those are the main places where we disagree. I liked your inclusion of the lighthouse analogy, it was clever and interesting. It required some thinking through and that was enjoyable.

The references to the New and Old Testament seem to be correct as others supporters of CP have said as much.

Thanks for writing. Dan

Case 1

Letter 2

This is their reply:

 

I hate to argue a point to death (no pun intended) but I feel I should make clearer some arguments I made before. I only managed to work on the e-mail about 5 minutes at a time, and I'm afraid the final product was not as coherent as I would have liked. I will have what you wrote in your rebuttal to me and then a rebuttal to that (if I have one).

If 60% of all death row inmates are white that means the remaining 40% are not white. Last time I looked the United States was more than 60% white meaning that minorities, totaled together do not equal 40%, which means that the minority populations are disproportionately represented on Death Rows

The minority population also commits a disproportionate number of the violent crimes in this country. Depending upon the study, they commit from 40 - 60 percent of violent crime.

If 70 to 80% of all prison inmates are members of various minorities, when they do not account for nearly that proportion in the general population, that also means they are over represented in the prison population.

True, they are a bit over-represented here, but not on the Death Row.

Last, if there was a disproportionate number of whites being executed then the system is still biased, in this hypothetical case it would be against whites. Still not a good point in defending the death penalty.

I never meant for this point to defend, just to shed some light. And it is not hypothetical. I've seen the actual numbers myself. It's real.

You also state in the paragraph its effectiveness cannot be proven or disproven, well, that is incorrect. If the death penalty worked, that is to say it reduced the murder rate in places where it was in effect, we would see a reduction of killings or the other crimes for which it is a punishment. If it were a deterrent we would have seen, during the decades of the last century a steady decline in the murder rate, that simply is not the case, overall. During the decades that the US. has experimented with the death penalty we have never been able to prove that it has the desired effect, that of reducing offenses. That said, there has been an overall reduction in crime recently, some say for demographic reasons the primary one being that our population is aging, others say it was Clinton's funding for another 100,000 police officers, still others argue it was the unprecedented prosperity that reached into many of the most economically destitute areas of our country. Point is crime rates fluctuate for various reasons, some of which are arguable and possibly unknown. One cannot find clear, general proof that CP does what some of its backers claim.

You said it yourself. We experimented with it. That means we were not consistent. In areas where it is practiced consistently, the crime rate does begin to drop. Of course, we are not consistent, so of course it will not act as a deterrent here as our system currently is. So, one cannot find clear, general proof for it. At least not in this country.

First, most convicted killers are not themselves put to death. The odds against that happening are great. And we do know how many lives it would have saved, by counting the bodies of persons that were killed by killers who were put behind bars only to be let out to kill again. Seemingly an argument in favor of your position, or counting the number of killings an individual does after the first one. That would be another way of gauging the effectiveness of a true application of CP to each and every case of intentional murder. CP does not really save lives, by its actions as does the lighthouse, it takes them, hundreds a year. The lighthouse by action, assists ships and helps prevent accidents and so saves lives. CP takes the lives of persons who might or might not take lives again.

Well, the fact is that an overwhelming majority do, or at least attempt to, do it again. Why should the State feel obligated to even allow the possibility of the death of completely innocent people when it can do something to help prevent it in the future from that same person?

As to "the tendency" for states with CP to have lower violent crime Texas is not the exception. Crime rates vary for many reasons and CP, if it is a factor, is a very, very small one, insignificant is the statistical term.

I take back the "exception". Violent crime began to decrease in Texas after Bush was sworn in as governor, and executions became more consistent. Now, I'm not saying that is "the" reason, but I cannot ignore it either. In dealing with life and death, there are no "insignificant" factors. Some just are more significant than others, but all are significant.

The Declaration of Independence does not say "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness only for those not convicted of a serious crime" Does it? I believe they were talking about citizens, but many of the drafters of that document were well aware of how often CP was used in the nations that they escaped from. Also, that document, along with the constitution, are living documents, in the sense that those living are allowed to interpret them. As times and circumstances have changed, so has their interpretation. Thus it could easily be that CP would loose its basis by virtue of the phrasing of a 200 plus year old document.

The drafters were aware of the rate of executions that took place without trials (or in many cases, with mock trials). So they wanted to make sure that each person had a fair trial (which eventually led to the birth of the 6th Amendment to the Constitution). We could argue all day about interpretations. But I have a better idea. Let's just not. See, I fit right in with the Taurus sign (of which I was born) in that I'm extremely stubborn, mostly on "hot button" issues such as this.

I have had CP supporters claim that the average CP case costs between one and two million dollars to process and complete. At 25K per year you are talking 40 to 80 of imprisonment being needed to equal the cost of a single execution. Sounds like CP is not at all cheaper with those few facts on hand.

Once again, you're right. But once again, you fail to mention how much it takes per inmate in the high security prisons where convicted murderers are put. But to me, money is not the issue, so I'll say no more.

Those are the main places where we disagree. I liked your inclusion of the lighthouse analogy, it was clever and interesting. It required some thinking through and that was enjoyable.

The lighthouse analogy was not mine. I saw it on a pro-cp site and remembered it. I can't remember the site now, it's been so long, but I would credit that site and author specifically if I could remember.

The references to the New and Old Testament seem to be correct as others supporters of CP have said as much.

That they are. And my view, as an adamant, stubborn Christian who tries to live out my life mentally and physically according to the Word of God (as best I can), no amount of "logic" or even "non-logic" or what-have-you will change my mind. As a Christian, I have to ask this of myself and other followers. Do you believe God or don't you?

PS -- I am interested in any responses. I'd love to post this debate on my web site. So far it's all Christian/Conservative, and I'd like to offer another side (I am referring to the Cons., not Christian, because I have no idea what religion you are if any).

Tony L.

Case 1

Letter 2

Reply

 

This is my response:

 

Point 1

If 60% of all death row inmates are white that means the remaining 40% are not white. Last time I looked the United States was more than 60% white meaning that minorities, totaled together do not equal 40%, which means that the minority populations are disproportionately represented on Death Rows

The minority population also commits a disproportionate number of the violent crimes in this country. Depending upon the study, they commit from 40 - 60 percent of violent crime.

****************

Re: disproportionate populations in death row circumstances:

The current population on death row is 46% white, 42% African American, 8% Latino, and less that one percent of Asian origin. These facts can be interpreted many ways, but certain groups have a greater or lesser relationship to their proportionate numbers in the greater society. Depending on what you want to consider "white" there may easily be 70% of our population in that category while their death row representation is nearly half that. However, with only 20% of the population the people of Negro/African descent (NAD) nearly double that for its share of the death row population, clearly whites are under represented while the NAD population is over represented by 100%.

You state that certain populations are responsible for more crime. My retort to that is, "Well, I wonder why that may be? Could it be poverty, ignorance, a chaotic life in the inner city? Could it be a lack of support services available through an effective local church, charity organization, or other community groups?" Could any of those be the reason? Many would say yes, a poor education and poor diet could also be causes here.

And well that may be I'd add, but the crux of all those effects is that they

had a single cause, and that was that a racist system ran for decades in this nation and it has left a legacy that we still suffer under and have yet to truly redress.. Granted there is a healthier trend with tolerance over all but the social and economic repercussions of slavery and the separate but equal allowances of the last century have yet to fade away. A biased system, impoverished a segment of its population, placed those members under duress and the process of life finishes the job. An underclass was created, maintained and, only recently, in generational terms, over turned.

All that aside, one takes the deceptively simple fact the best hope one may have of escaping the death penalty is to have lots of money in order to mount a great defense. Access to wealth is a factor here, and thus a racist one, for reasons clearly implied in the foregoing paragraph. Racism is a factor in the over proportioned representation in death row populations of persons in the US. with African ancestors.

Thus your next two comments have been refuted:

True, they are a bit over-represented here, but not on the Death Row.

I never meant for this point to defend, just to shed some light. And it is not hypothetical. I've seen the actual numbers myself. It's real.

Point 2

The Declaration of Independence does not say "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness only for those not convicted of a serious crime" Does it? I believe they were talking about citizens, but many of the drafters of that document were well aware of how often CP was used in the nations that they escaped from. Also, that document, along with the constitution, are living documents, in the sense that those living are allowed to interpret them. As times and circumstances have changed, so has their interpretation. Thus it could easily be that CP would loose its basis by virtue of the phrasing of a 200 plus year old document.

The drafters were aware of the rate of executions that took place without trials (or in many cases, with mock trials). So they wanted to make sure that each person had a fair trial (which eventually led to the birth of the 6th Amendment to the Constitution). We could argue all day about interpretations. But I have a better idea. Let's just not. See, I fit right in with the Taurus sign (of which I was born) in that I'm extremely stubborn, mostly on "hot button" issues such as this.

****************

One cannot dismiss such a central facet as this one is. If anyone can quote anything about the declaration of independence or the constitution one of the most recognizable would be the "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" quote. If you do wish to not to hear on this point further, however...

A side note: how do you reconcile your astrological interest/identification with your personalities Christian component, just curious.

Point 3

I have had CP supporters claim that the average CP case costs between one and two million dollars to process and complete. At 25K per year you are talking 40 to 80 of imprisonment being needed to equal the cost of a single execution. Sounds like CP is not at all cheaper with those few facts on hand.

Once again, you're right. But once again, you fail to mention how much it takes per inmate in the high security prisons where convicted murderers are put. But to me, money is not the issue, so I'll say no more.

****************

In the more modern, high tech prisons that have been built over the last 10 years time the cost has been dropping somewhat adjusted for inflation. The cost for a death row inmate as opposed to the average of others in such institutions are not so different. Many of these prisons are run on a profit basis and can only profit if they can manage to create a substantial differentiation between the cost of keeping a prisoner and the money they receive from the state for doing that job. Because of this the difference in expense will not be significant when considered in comparison to the cost of a successful prosecution of a capital case. In fact, such prisoners would be a premium for a prison which would want additional moneys for such prisoners while keeping the inmates cost to operations as low as any of the other kinds of prisoners.

Point 4

The references to the New and Old Testament seem to be correct as others supporters of CP have said as much.

That they are. And my view, as an adamant, stubborn Christian who tries to live out my life mentally and physically according to the Word of God (as best I can), no amount of "logic" or even "non-logic" or what-have-you will change my mind. As a Christian, I have to ask this of myself and other followers. Do you believe God or don't you?

****************

You say, "no amount of logic, or non-logic...will change my mind." Well I will have to ask how do you ever change your mind then, by guessing? By gosh or by golly? Just curious. I myself am not a logical person. I operate on an intuitive level, in most situations and circumstances. although the faculty of logic is not a stranger to me, as you may have noticed.

You have found a rock upon which you have chosen to build a base. However, you must know that you do not know that rock very well, despite the ability to rally quotes and or feel comfort in the company of others who likewise cling to that same rock. The truth, like a massive rock on an ocean shore is slippery and covered with life. The hard reality underneath cares not for you individually. To it you are as impermanent as a mayfly, which departs it with little effect.

A philosophical view held by the Christian church at one time was the idea that the universe was indeed created by God and then, inexplicably left to run, as if it were a "clockwork". There were other ideas as well, but the point is that many of them evolved out of scholarly debates using rational and logical argumentation to establish its position.

Point 5

PS -- I am interested in any responses. I'd love to post this debate on my web site. So far it's all Christian/Conservative, and I'd like to offer another side (I am referring to the Cons., not Christian, because I have no idea what religion you are if any).

****************

I collect argumentation of this kind with the intention of posting it on my web site so that others, who wish to oppose the death penalty, can have access to them and so use them in their debates, discussions, and arguments with those who favor the policy, You may well be seeing this or a slightly edited version of it (grammar, syntax, and clarification) on my page soon.

Thanks again for writing. Dan

Case 2

Letter and Reply

Dan-

Ultimately, you are a victim of one of society's favorite ills. I was abused by my ex husband. I am not bitter, nor angry, nor have a paid a psychotherapist to listen to me repeat things I could just as easily say to a mirror for free. It is the blame game and I am quite bored with it.

I am actually quite well read in many different areas. Just because some of us do not buy into the psychobabble, does not mean that we are ill informed or uneducated.

Most killers kill because they have no care for human life and they are smart enough to realize that there are plenty of people out there, like you, who ultimately believe in their manipulations. Do you think that these killers do not have access to the same books that you and I do? Most serial killers are from middle class upbringings, not poverty. Petty criminals are generally from poorer social aspects of our society, not the cold-blooded killers. That is well studied and well documented.

Many of them are more intelligent than any of the rest of us and can manipulate the so-called experts that you claim they need to see. Read about them, not the erroneous so-called studies. Listen to what the killers themselves have said about the crimes they committed.

We would all like to believe that people are all good, but bad things happen to them that make them act differently, but that is not the case in a lot of crimes.

There are evil people out there who have no want to be different and they will never conform. That is life and the sooner people realize it, the safer the streets will be.

*************************************************************

I have to take exception to several things you say. You imply I believe that you or those in favor of the death penalty are uneducated. I do not, nor have I ever believed such. However some statements that come my way are amazingly illogical and so I do assail them on those grounds.

You state also that most killers kill because they have no care for human life, this is not so. Most murderers, when they commit their act, are not in their right mind, drugs, alcohol, psychological problems, rage and so forth impair their ability to discern, judge, even know right from wrong. However, do not think that I believe that such conditions excuse their actions, they do not. I believe that they are responsible for what they have done, however

The fact that some murderers, serial killers, and child molester/murderers are educated, or from good back grounds says nothing about their morality, the way they were raised, whether or not they were abused, or suffer from chemical imbalances, or psychological disability. Again, let me say, these still do not deliver them from being responsible for their acts.

You also say I have said they need to see "so called experts" though this can be helpful, it alone does not hold great promise nor, now that I think of it, do I much with such actions overall. Though under the proper conditions, see the part of this letter titled, "what I believe", such activities could be helpful.

Also, do not dismiss studies on capital punishment, there are many many such and both sides of the argument attempt to use them to their own advantage, its just that there does not seem to be real solid proof that capital punishment effects the crime rate. It simply does not, no matter how much common sense applies to the contrary.

Also, evil or not, does not matter. They are still responsible for what they have done, the choices they had the power to make and the paths they put their lives onto.

Further I resent your assertion, again, based on nothing I said, that my opinion and I can be swayed by some murderous villain's oratory, psychobabble, or wheedling.

What I believe:

I believe that a murderer has to make complete and total recompense to his or her victims. If that means that they are put in labor camps for 50 or 60 years while maintained in good health, so as to continue working, then so be it. The work of such inmates, perhaps all inmates would be organized to cover the cost of society to house, clothe, feed and care for them. I believe that this could be done very cheaply, efficiently, with the right technology. Just think of this, a murderer when caught not only is removed from the society, but is removed into forced productivity for the remainder of his or her days. No parole, no excuses, save the vague possibility of the victims forgiving the crime, possibly.

Look at that solution, and what do you have, each and every murderer is removed until their debt is paid or until they die of natural causes after a life of forced labor. The force can be as simple a coercion, and other completely moral means

What I do not believe in is letting people off the moral hook by simply putting them to death. They do not have to worry about the hereafter, many do not believe in such, and some that do believe god is all forgiving. In the latter case execution does not make any sense whatsoever at all. I believe that a murderer should pay for his or her crime down to the last penny. Then after that they can petition the victims for forgiveness.

What do I mean by pay? I mean that they should meet all the accountable costs for the victim, counseling costs, income loss, suffering, medications, and the whole nine yards.

How could this be done? The state pays, and keeps a tab for the imprisoned worker. That prisoner works day in and day out, relentlessly until that debt is paid.

I think if this were the law, just recompense, we'd see a real drop in crime, not only because the criminals would be off the streets for good, but because the punishment would be real, near certain, terribly awful, and have a certain measure of logic built in that the current system does not.


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