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Looking for opinions.......Death Penalty?? How do you feel?
November 8, 2007
10:35 am
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Anonymous
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Hey Mitch...I posted a thread to you on the other side, when u have time, would you go look at it please??? Thanks!

November 8, 2007
10:39 am
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ScaredinMichigan
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I did SOA...I responded...

I like what you just said...

"cause they stole the soul of a person, which is like death, "

Oh how true that is....

November 8, 2007
10:42 am
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I have always looked at it this way - and it doesn't really provide a solid answer, but it is thought provoking.

I always ask myself if I could take the place of the executioner. Most of the time, my answer is a resounding NO. I have trouble killing bugs. But then again, I have never been in the situation where I or my loved ones have been the victim of a crime so horrific that the death penalty seems the only option. Could I pull the switch then? I don't know.

This, I think, is one of the most controversial and complicated issues our society deals with, so no wonder there are so many differing opinions.

katz

November 8, 2007
10:43 am
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And we never get back what was stolen, we never do, we can go to therapy, we can do a million different things to soothe ourselves but we are left with a trail of destruction, and it pisses me off that I have to live with this my entire life, struggle to be a good mom and wife, while they run free, in some ways, they are worse than those who take a life, at least they are dead and do not have to DEAl with the shit left behind. sorry this got me angry!

November 8, 2007
10:45 am
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risingfromtheashes
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mich - I agree TOTALLY with you.

which is why I DO think the death penalty is the right thing to do.

I hated to bring it up - but the whole eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth - I think is valid on many levels...for many people.

Crimes against children - don't even get me started.

I think that child molestors should NEVER see the light of day - you can NEVER take away a person's sexual preference. Some may be able to control it - but if they have proven themselves to be repeat offenders - why risk our nation's youth and innocence???????????

People who inflict so much pain and suffering - should have the same done to them - why should they get three hots and a cot for the rest of their life - while the people volunteering for our military are on welfare and barely getting by???????...and the vets get deplorable medical treatment and end up homeless alot.

These types of crimes should NEVER go unpunished - but because we have this thing about "no cruel or unusual punishment" in our constitution - it limits what we are allowed to do.

Personally, I think the violent crimes deserve harsher punishment and if the death penalty is the ONLY thing we are allowed to do - then that's what should be done.

And no, we shouldn't give them years and years to appeal - if they can't prove their case in a certain amount of time - then so be it.

someone else mentioned that one innocent person put to death wrongfully is too many.

well, how about the MULTITUDES of innocent people who die EVERY DAMN DAY at the hands of these killers because our justice and punishment system isn't effective or a big enough deterrent.

if we put one wrongfully accused person to death, but save 100 innocents on the street - my vote is that the ends justify the means.

But, like everything, I DO understand the other side of it.

There isn't an easy answer - but in general - I think if we work harder to PREVENT crime - and start at home - then we will be better off - and since alot of people don't have the means to do it themselves - we need more social programs to HELP people avoid crime.

Take it back to your situation mich - if someone had stepped in - shown your mom what she was doing wrong - helped her get some parenting classes, some therapy to overcome her need for bad relationships - to love herself and her child more - your situation could have had a better outcome - but becuase nobody cared - another child's innocence was destroyed - and the perp gone unpunished - YOU stopped the cycle - some how, some way - you stood up and said "enough", I am not going to live like this - or repeat this....I demand better for me and my kids.

But not all people find that strength - or know how to make it better.

we need to arm society with the tools and resources to have better.

Instead of supporting these people with three hots and a cot and all the amenities of home - why not make them work for what they get - and take the extra money and put back into society?

plus, another WHOLE nut to crack is the voilence WITHIN the prison system and how it just keeps the violence going - how it corrupts people MORE - and teaches them how to get away with it, to not get caught....how much goes on that nobody knows or does anything about? how about the guy who does a stupid crime, goes to prison, MAY have gotten out and been reformed - BUT - became victim to a prison gang that turns him hard and makes him more violent?

the system doesn't work - we see that - question is - what do you do about it?

November 8, 2007
10:47 am
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ScaredinMichigan
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I understand your anger SOA. And here, I can relate why I feel the way that I do. I can't do that in my classroom. I wish that I could. I have an opinion, but my opinions are based on things that I cannot discuss openly in a room full of a bunch of other people waiting to destroy me because I think that it is ok.

I can't handle fighting here right now, I surely can't handle fighting in a classroom full of people who can see me.

Funny how our past creates our beliefs on so many things.

November 8, 2007
10:49 am
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I know Mich, I know...its very personal and it just cuts to your heart of hearts...((SIM!)))))

November 8, 2007
10:52 am
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Instead of supporting these people with three hots and a cot and all the amenities of home - why not make them work for what they get - and take the extra money and put back into society?

They do that in my small town, they are often in orange jumpsuits cleaning up the highways and etc..doing the jobs that no one else wants to do, but I think that is just in the south, I never seen this up North, while I had orginated from.

November 8, 2007
11:01 am
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sleepless in uk
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((Mich))

All of us are products of our past. I understand your point completely, and of course our experiences shape our views.

((((big hug)))))

November 8, 2007
3:12 pm
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bevdee
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Michigan!

You calling me out???? I knew I shouldn't have logged on! Darnit.

When I think of it, it slow burns me that my tax dollars are taken to support murderers for the rest of their natural lives. If a person receives a death sentence, (and in my opinion rapists should, also) then the appeals process should be carried out in a set time frame and be done with. Prison overcrowding might be reduced.

At times, I think that murder, however named, and for whatever reason is wrong, and that includes the state and the state executioner. And sometimes I think that murder as retribution isn't wrong. And sometimes I totally understand the necessity for vigilante justice - when the system our tax dollars pays to protect us fails us.

I can't make up my mind.

Still, the arguments about how lethal injection is painful to the murderer being put to death just appall me. That is the last of the whining, the last of the last-ditch efforts. It is currently the fastest, least painful form of execution available to carry out the death sentence to these murderers. It's euthanasia, not a hanging, electrocution, or a firing squad. I reckon the murderer inflicted more pain on his victims than the state is inflicting on the murderer. I believe these murderers sentenced to die are given far more compassionate treatment than his/her victim was given.

But, if not death row and the lethal injections- what is there other than supporting them for the rest of their lives? And like Rising said, some of these people are "institutionalised" and fear life outside of prison. There isn't enough land left in the world for penal colonies. No more Devil's Islands left. Too bad we couldn't just dump them all somewhere way up north - someplace with a huge un-climbable wall around it and let them just live without our endorsement. If it gets overcrowded, it's their problem to solve, not the bureaucracy's, or at the taxpayer's expense. They could hunt, garden, barter- live on their own resources. To survive, they would learn - the Native Americans did it. Folks do it - too bad there's not another Grand Canyon to live at the bottom of. Or in some state that is mostly barren and unpopulated. Big wall- no way out. Air- dropped in. I'll agree to pay for a one-time parachute with my tax dollars, and if the murderer survives the drop, he can use the parachute to make a shelter or poncho or something. Eventually they would die off because there are more men that murder than women.

Don't we, as a society, passively condone the taking of lives with our acceptance of the military? Or actively condone it with our endorsement? I don't believe that any country that engages in military "aggressions" and wars holds life sacred. Not those of the young kids they are sending over to kill or be killed, and not those lives of those living in the countries we are aggressive to.

Those are my thoughts, that's my back and forth thinking.

Should women be treated equally?
I think women should be treated equally. If they are treated equally in our society- e.g. equal pay, respect in the workplace, and in all other areas, then they should be treated equally in terms of justice.

Would you agree to the death penalty for sexual crimes committed against children? Yes.

Or for sex crimes committed against adults - because there is another matter of what we as a society should hold sacred, and, IMO, our laws don't hold that sacred. That's obvious to me by the fact that so many rapes go unreported, and there are so many victims that won't talk about it.

The damage inflicted on raped and molested children (and adults) has longer lasting consequences than that of a murder. That child suffers more and longer than a person whose life is cut short, and certainly more than the baby raper kicking back in prison for a sentence of oh- 1-15 years with possibility of parole on my tax dollars. Let's face it, those offenders don't even get life without parole. They will receive educational opportunities and medical/dental benefits until they are released to do it again. They are eventually freed from their sentence. The children aren't. Ever.

Should they be private or public? Why? Semi-private, semi-public. There should be witnesses other than the authorities. Because there have been cover-ups surrounding deaths, someone else, such as a family member or friend should be there, IMO. I don't think it needs to be televised, but if it is carried out with some dignity, I think that's really more dignity than the murderer gave his victim.

November 8, 2007
3:12 pm
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you know, I was really tested in my feelings against the death penalty when John Lennon was murdered.

I joined a huge crowd outdoors in the falling snow for a candlelight vigil in Toronto two nights after it happened, and I still have a little flier that someone printed up and handed out that night where you could put your name and say you were there. Never a December 8 goes by that I don't think of those events.

When his murderer was put in jail I asked myself if it would make me feel better if he were executed. And I ultimately came to the conclusion that no, another murder carried out by the state would not do anything to bring John back or to make the world a better place.

Here in Canada every December 6 we also remember the 14 women engineering students who were murdered by a deeply disturbed man who "hated feminists". Would the execution of that man done anything to deter hate crimes by anyone else? I think the statistics comparing places with the death penalty and places without it, show that it is not a deterrent.

The argument about expense of longterm incarceration... raises ethical questions. But I don't think state executions are the solution to those questions.

What about hideous sex criminals? More ethical questions. Still not solvable by state executions, I don't think. We still have mixed values about justice versus vengeance. We have to grapple with it as a society and we have a ways to go.

I go back to my original post. More people are killed and maimed and their lives destroyed by the "normal operations" of corporations, than by individual murderers, and even serial killers. We haven't come to grips with that either.

November 8, 2007
3:46 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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would it be mroe of a deterrent if they did it and meant it?

meaning instead of talking about it, and putting someone on death row for a zillion years - if they REALLY put people to death.

if they put ALL death row inmates to death - the ones that are there now - would it show that we mean business and THEN would it be a deterrent?

I mean really - how often does a state execute anyone?

of course it isn't a deterrent - it's more of a joke....it's no more real than life without parole - yeah, some get executed - but realistically - how many do?

it would only be a deterrent if it seemed real enough - as far as I can see - it isn't.

November 8, 2007
9:53 pm
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I had thought that keeping a person in prison for life was much,much more expensive than executing, but I've googled all over the place, and it's not, by a long shot. Life in prison is a sentence that costs anywhere from 1/6th to half the price of execution.

Well now I'm REALLY not sure where I would stand. I wouldn't want to be the person making the decision.

How about: trial by jury results in a death sentence. After that, whether or not it is carried out is left to the nearest next of kin. How fitting and potentially healing it might be to place the life of a perpetrator in the hands of a suffering victim.

?

the comment up there about wealthy people having better representation in court isn't arguable. It's obvious. If I'm ever accused of murdering somebody I'm not gonna have O.J. Simpson's legal team, for example. I'm gonna have overworked and underpaid Joe Public Defender.

I'm gonna fry whether I did it or not.

Mich, I say speak during these discussions. As you do so, speak for those who have suffered- not need to speak from the first person- I've never had a child murdered or tortured or raped, but my heart and support is with those parents.

Amongst other victims.

free

November 9, 2007
11:28 am
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risingfromtheashes
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why is it so expensive to execute? is it becaue of all the appeals process? or is it something else I am missing?

you would think it was cheaper.

November 9, 2007
9:18 pm
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I see nothing wrong with the death penalty for crimes such as murder and rape. I wish that murderers could be executed the same way they killed their victims. Give them a taste of their own medicine.

I think the appeals process is bs..that once someone is senteced to die by either injection or the electric chair, should be carried out within a few weeks time so that they can live on death row in solitary confinement thinking about and being scared shitless about their upcoming death. If you wait too long they become immuned to the idea and no longer really fear it til the very end. I want them to shake in their shoes every day of their life. Also, if we wait too long we are wasting too much time and tax payers money keeping them alive and paying for the lawyers to play their "lets see how long I can drag this out and make more money" game. Thats bs.

I think if a criminal wants to be executed we should do the opposite..life in prison, and when they beg to be spared we should fry their ass. They lost their ability to be heard when they commited their crime.

November 10, 2007
2:54 am
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To those who support the death penalty,can you state in a few words what it is that you percieve as being achieved?

What is the purpose?

free

November 10, 2007
4:16 am
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Mich you wrote:

"And here, I can relate why I feel the way that I do. I can't do that in my classroom. I wish that I could. I have an opinion, but my opinions are based on things that I cannot discuss openly in a room full of a bunch of other people waiting to destroy me because I think that it is ok."

First of all mich, they aren't gonna be out to destroy you. They will be out to change your mind, out to get you to agree with their perspective. If you are stating things and you feel that uh-oh feeling, you can always say "let me think about what you said for a bit before I respond." Or "I'll think about what you said, but for now, I choose to stand my ground." Things like that.

Mich. You can't be destroyed by people. They don't have that power. Because you and only you hold the key to a part of you that nobody else can ever access. You won't let people have access. It's how we as survivors of crimes, survived- we created a sanctuary within ourselves. I bet there is a part of you that NOBODY will ever know or be a part of. That's your inner sanctuary.

You can't be destroyed.

You might be set back. But you'll never be destroyed, and you'll come back stronger than before.

Debating and arguing and even fighting with people who hold differing opinions can result in feeling stronger about something, being more grounded and confident. Or, in a change of opinion. Seeing things differently.

Growing.

this is what healing journeys are all about.

You're stronger than you think you are.

You're more alike than you are different from other people.

It doesn't matter WHAT your opinions are based on, they are valid.

So...

Be afraid to speak up but do it anyways.. Maybe just a little bit at first. But be a part of these discussions at school. What you have to say has value.

Who knows, you just might change somebody's mind.

Or not.

free

November 10, 2007
9:10 am
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risingfromtheashes
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free -

what do I think is gained by the death penalty?

I don't know - I once thought it was cheaper than supporting them for life - which I now see is incorrect - my beef was with paying to support them while the victim doesn't get the chance to live. Plus, alot of these people are let out after some time - good behaviour or whatever - while victim and family suffer until their own death....just doesn't seem fair?

I guess maybe vengence? justice?

I guess in my mind - going to jail, and getting all your basic needs met - isn't a deterrent for murdering someone - it happens - our jails are overloaded/overcrowded - our system doesn't work apparently.

Maybe if the death penalty was used more often - people would think twice?

I dunno.

As I said, I am mixed about this.

For me - I would rather see more put into prevention than reaction...but how that happens - and how much it costs....a whole nother nut to crack.

November 12, 2007
5:02 pm
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I don't have an issue with the death penalty. All the appeals are somewhat necessary to help prevent executing an innocent person. I guess it is still conceivable that an innocent person could die. I think they could even put in an express lane for those that are guilty beyond any reasonable doubt...Tim Mcveigh, John Wayne Gacy, and Richard Ramirez are but a few. I could just as easily go for putting them in a cage for the rest of their life. In many ways I think that might be much worse and inhumane.

November 12, 2007
9:32 pm
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red blonde
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I would have to say "nay" to the death penalty...because if it does take the life of even ONE innocent person, that should weigh heavily on people's consciences! Death penalties should be 'without a shadow of a doubt' and I think that the legal/justice system has had a lot of gray clouding it lately!

November 12, 2007
10:18 pm
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Well the reason asked what y'all think is gained by the death penalty is to see if there's other thoughts than mine.

I'm torn on whether or not as a society we should practice it.

BUT. I want vengeance. And if somebody ever, I mean EVER victimizes my children my new life's goal will be to make theirs hell. Might even go as far as hiring a hitman if one was tortured and murdered.

And I don't see myself letting up until I'm satisfied at the amount of grief if not loss of life that the perpetrator experiences.

I see the problem being our system's trial by jury of peers. They're not our peers. I wouldn't have a panel of educators on a jury- it would be a mixed population, some of whom I would never even associate with. then, there's 12 of them, so a tie can happen. Then, it's an attorney's game- sway the jury, pick jurors who are sympathetic to THAT side, manipulate the jurors, anything to get away from the law- ain't about the law once it goes to jury trial, ain't about what's right or wrong, it's about which attorney is a better chess player. The more able one is to pay, the more likely he/she will have a good or excellent chess player on his/her side.

But Japan- it's trial by 9 (or is it 11?) judges- an odd amount so there's no tie. Judges- all experts in the field of law, and voted into office. there's no "jury" games nor is there the pretense of trial by peers.

I do believe their system is quite superior to America's, and under it, the death penalty could work.

But that that doesn't answer the question as to whether or not as a society it is a morally correct thing to do.

free

November 13, 2007
7:50 am
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Robert123
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The question was,"How do feel?"

"...the question as to whether or not as a society it is a morally correct thing to do".

As to whether it is morally correct, that is a different question.

I wonder how and when it started and what laws it is based on.

I believe a death penalty of some form has been in effect since recorded time.

A death penalty during the roman empire could have been as simple as the emperors thumb turned up or down.

November 14, 2007
12:27 am
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I'm torn on this one.

On the one hand, I really, really hate how frequently innocent persons get convicted of crimes they never committed.

An easy example comes to mind: Like all the witches that were burned, for example. Innocent, each and every one.

But now DNA testing is turning up so many cases...

It is just repulsive to the spirit of Humanism to punish people who have done nothing wrong--much less the ultimate punishment.

OK, but what if we know for sure they "did it?"

Sheesh, It makes me feel creepy to "play God" that way. And if a person believes in God, what part of "Thou Shalt Not Kill" do they have trouble understanding?

On the other hand, some people...damn, it sure burns my goat that that atrocious BTK killer guy lived in a non capital punishment state.

But it is just my anger that makes me want to slay him And when I'm angry I am not completely in my right mind.

Then there is the whole "Cruel and unusual punishment" angle.

For example, it is coming out that even lethal injection, a supposedly painless means of execution, sometimes involves considerable suffering.

And, it is against professional ethics for a doctor or a nurse to administer a lethal injection to a condemned prisoner--but you have to have a doctor or a nurse to do it....WTF.

On the other hand, after I read about that I invented a device that provides a completely novel, guaranteed painless, , noninvasive, bloodless method of execution.

It's like flipping a light switch. "Click" and less than half a second later the condemned person is a good looking corpse with zero brain activity. And you don't need any medically trained people to use it.

I feel morally conflicted here. On the one hand, I am basically opposed to the death penalty. On the other hand, from a bioengineering standpoint, the gadget really does the job. Wow, I would be famous. Maybe even make some money.

On the other hand, I'm not sure how many units I can sell--fewer and fewer states support the death penalty. I suppose I could sell them overseas. But the countries that use the death penalty probably wouldn't respect my patents, so I wouldn't make any money anyway.

And I would sort of live in infamy.

Maybe I should focus on my life-saving inventions.

November 14, 2007
4:47 am
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If we just did away with the death penalty and put people in a cage for life...there is still the possibility an innocent person can suffer.
I don't think we are going to let everyone out until we are absolutely sure every single person in prison is innocent.
Then there are cases where someone pleads guilty and chooses the death penalty rather than spend the rest of their life in prison.
I don't know what the answer is but, here in Oklahoma, we do execute by lethal injection after a lengthy appeals process.
There is a guarantee that comes with death...the guarantee that they will never harm another.

November 14, 2007
10:56 am
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is it morally correct to do so???

good question - was it morally correct for that person to murder, maim, molest, rape or whatever their crime was? HELL NO.

their victims suffered - so why on earth should they be spared?

(going against christian based beliefs of forgiveness here).

I think there are many cases where it's open and shut - no question about it - the guy did it - THOSE people should undeniably NOT be given a lengthy appeals process.

If there is doubt - it's not open and shut - yeah, maybe some time to find new evidence and such.

I also agree that jury by peers is a poor system - while the rule is they have to base their decision on fact, the reality is - so much can sway a person's perceptions of those facts...we are all human. I think HOW the facts are presented is another whole issue - as someone pointed out - it's a chess game....it's a crap shoot - except in the most open and shut circumstances.

I don't think our system is foolproof - nor is the prison system a good deterrent....so reform IS needed.

I think in the end - in my mind - justice means equal punishment for the crime committed - so if that means the death penalty for someone who murdered, so be it....I don't think that supporting someone until their natural death, giving them better medical care than most of our nation's poor and children, giving them food while many are starving and giving them housing while the rest are on the streets - just doesn't seem fair.

Men who abuse their wives - get a few months in jail - while their wives live in fear forever and are scarred for life...hardly seems fair.

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