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Do you believe the death penalty is unethical?


Lyudmilascience
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The context if this conversation is capital punishment in the United States.

 

 

Almost by default, though, since most other democratic countries don't have one. There's nothing in the OP that singles the US out, though. One could easily interpret the conversation to be why many countries have already stricken the death penalty from their punishment options, or have refrained from using it even if it's still a legal option.

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No, I'm not. Quit putting words in my mouth. This is twice now that I've told you I am not making that argument. Please pay attention.

 

Give me a break Ten oz. You said "In all areas of society other than the death penalty specifically killing people for any reason other than defense, even ones own self, is wrong." THAT IS INCORRECT. I gave you an example. swansont gave you an example. StringJunky talked about it happening in the UK. Instead of admitting your mistake, you are trying to tap dance your way around it by harping on the part of your statement that I stated was correct, and making vague references to past statements. Is it really so hard for you to admit that you are not always correct?

 

 

I CONCEDED YOUR FIRST SENTENCE WAS TRUE!

 

Why do you do this? Since you are having trouble reading what I've written, I'll put it here again for you:

 

"Your first sentence was technically right. Your second sentence was inaccurate."

Your example was people subverting the law and Swansont's was other countries (my comments were about law in the U.S.). Perhaps your argument should be that "wrong" should have read illegal, not allowed, or something to that effect. In context it is the same. This thread is about what it is ethical for the U.S. Govt to do. Law is the determining factor in what our Govt does and doesn't do, allows and doesn't allow. If the word you feel the word "wrong" has too many other possible implications that you can't ignore please replace it will "not allowed" and then we can move on.

 

 

Almost by default, though, since most other democratic countries don't have one. There's nothing in the OP that singles the US out, though. One could easily interpret the conversation to be why many countries have already stricken the death penalty from their punishment options, or have refrained from using it even if it's still a legal option.

Of course, by conversation I meant "this debate about my comment". A specific comment I made about U.S. law was the topic of the post I was responding to.

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Your example was people subverting the law and Swansont's was other countries (my comments were about law in the U.S.).

Um, no.

 

"Legal in a few states (West coast and Vermont), and you have to be of sound mind to do it in Oregon and Washington."

 

This article argues that this pat framework is simplistic and deceptive. Current medical ethics and the jurisprudence of death and dying authorize practices that intentionally hasten death. Lawful forms of hastening death include: a physician who, at a competent patient’s behest, pulls the plug on a life-sustaining medical intervention while sharing the patient’s wish to end a torturous dying process; a physician who cooperates with a gravely afflicted person’s fatal decision to voluntary stop eating and drinking (VSED); a physician who administers deep sedation to a preservable but suffering patient while knowing that the patient has already declined artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) and hence will soon die; and a physician who administers pain relief in a known lethal dosage (even with the primary intention to relieve intractable suffering). These ways of hastening death (with concomitant physician participation) are probably legal and probably in widespread use.

 

 

 

http://law.bepress.com/rutgersnewarklwps/art27/

Edited by zapatos
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Um, no.

 

"Legal in a few states (West coast and Vermont), and you have to be of sound mind to do it in Oregon and Washington."

 

 

http://law.bepress.com/rutgersnewarklwps/art27/

 

 

Zapatos - I agree with you but that paragraph is very weasely when read critically:

 

"Current medical ethics and the jurisprudence of death and dying authorize practices that intentionally hasten death."

"Lawful forms of hastening death include:"

 

Completely sorted then - these are authorized and lawful.

 

"These ways of hastening death (with concomitant physician participation) are probably legal and probably in widespread use."

 

These practices are tolerated and a blind eye is turned on the whole (very few states/nations have legislated - and where they have informed consent and competence are crucial) but in the majority of jurisdictions this is an administrative act rather than a legislative; ie those who have the decision to investigate and prosecute decline to do so rather than those who write laws making the act legal in the first place.

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Zapatos - I agree with you but that paragraph is very weasely when read critically:

 

"Current medical ethics and the jurisprudence of death and dying authorize practices that intentionally hasten death."

"Lawful forms of hastening death include:"

 

Completely sorted then - these are authorized and lawful.

 

"These ways of hastening death (with concomitant physician participation) are probably legal and probably in widespread use."

 

These practices are tolerated and a blind eye is turned on the whole (very few states/nations have legislated - and where they have informed consent and competence are crucial) but in the majority of jurisdictions this is an administrative act rather than a legislative; ie those who have the decision to investigate and prosecute decline to do so rather than those who write laws making the act legal in the first place.

In the larger article, the author makes the point that there is a lack of legal precedent which seems to lead to his qualification of whether or not this is legal. The article though seems to make a well reasoned case for why it is legal, even if the courts have not yet confirmed.

http://www.luc.edu/media/lucedu/law/students/publications/llj/pdfs/cantor.pdf

 

I read that paragraph the same way I read a lot of things in science;

"The universe works like this. (Well, probably. That's what the evidence is telling us but it is always possible we have a mistake in there)".

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  • 2 weeks later...

It depends on the social condition of public and country where the crime has committed .If the suspect has committed himself by murdering a child then the court will have sue death penalty due to trial. But for some countries (China ) rules are made by steel and they have no tolerance for suspects who broke the rule of community in an attempt of run drug deal or some sort of crimes that normally could not lead death penalty in most . But ıt always lead in most cases. My personal view : l do no think that in any way of punishing people will not help to solve the problems, on the contrary, it brings more negative influence in social life. We need a social communication in order to understand each others problem right before it is too late for our world.

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We are no better to kill the killers life in prison is arguably worse than death anyways it comes down to opinion but I would say it is never okay to kill a human if there are other options

I agree, it is a matter of opinion and matters of opinion should never justification enough to kill a person.

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People opposed to the death penalty are a mix of people who want criminals to suffer as little as possible AND people who want criminals suffer as much as possible, depending on their personal fears about death/life. That's amusing to say the least.

 

 

Personally I can't imagine how someone would not agree that death is hardly the worst thing you can inflict on someone. Among the many things that are worse would be being locked up for life in an American prison/concrete box, being raped, beaten, devoid of all humanity or freedom for so long that your personality gets overwritten by one of fear and degradation that will cripple you for the remainder of your lifetime.

 

Comparatively, death sounds quite nice.

 

I figure many people are too afraid of their own mortality to accept the existence of capital punishment and consider literally everything better than death. Ironically plenty of inmates try to kill themselves, apparently agreeing with my viewpoint. Yet they are often 'saved' from death for either of the 2 above mentioned reasons (and several legal ones).

 

But there is no universal standard that determines when death is preferable over death. Take euthanasia for example. For everyone who reads this will be situations that make death the better option. Can't think of any? Unfortunately reality isn't limited to your imagination.

 

I would offer the following solution: we give criminals the choice. IF their sentencing is of sufficient length AND after sitting out at least a minimum amount of time, they can at any time request their death. If after psychological therapy their deathwish is genuine, they receive death. If the cost of execution is brought down as well, this solution might find wide acceptance.

 

If this seems too nice to criminals then perhaps the victims and/or their surviving relatives should have a say in it as well. They might veto to allow the criminal to suffer or might relish the notion that the perpetrator is dead far more so.

 

In short: nobody will receive death if they did not wish it but death is not withheld either (except for satisfaction of the victims). To me this seems like a balanced solution. Or at least less hypocritical than keeping people alive in horrible circumstances out of 'ethical concerns'.

Edited by Gilga-flesh
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People on death row appeal the sentence hoping for life in prison instead.

They presumably know more about it than you do.

 

 

It's so easy to kill when you don't have to watch.

 

Sorry I meant to quote the previous post.

Edited by dimreepr
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People on death row appeal the sentence hoping for life in prison instead.

They presumably know more about it than you do.

 

 

SOME, perhaps many, people on death row appeal the sentence. But SOME people on life wish for death. Death isn't worse or better than life by some cosmic standard; it's subjective. That was my point.

 

Which is why FORCING either life OR death on a person out of compassion is ridiculous.

 

I personally am on neither side of the capital punishment debate. But if you think the government has no right to the power of life and death over criminals then you should give criminals the possibility to voluntarily chose death as well.

Edited by Gilga-flesh
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You seem to have conflated assisted / permitted suicide with the death penalty. They are not the same debate.

 

No they are not. But they clearly overlap since both concern the right of the individual to have power over their own life/death. And if you want to settle a discussion you should first find out the underlying motives for people on either side of the argument to stick to their positions.

 

I can see why it would make sense to suspend a right, even such a fundamental one as the right to live, as ultimate punishment. But if people object against this and think this crosses a line, then I would expect them to be consistent and allow prisoners the right to die as well. Since they are essentially one and the same right. However I've noticed that many people who oppose death penalty would rather put a prisoner in a straightjacket and keep them doped up for the remainder of their lifespan than allow them a dignified end even if said prisoner begged for death.

 

I didn't understand this.

 

So I suspect that many opponents of death penalty have other reasons than mere concern about rights to oppose the death penalty. Namely their own views on death. It certainly fits the trend in society. Whereas in the past people were taught to accept their mortality and death as a natural phenomenon, keeping memento mori in their homes and on their person, society nowadays has moved completely away from this. The quest for eternal life was always there ofcourse but with a generation of narcissists and pseudo-scientific daydreams which suggests immortality is just a few years away, it reigns stronger than ever.

 

Everyone dies. Everyone. And usually it's a very unpleasant death after many years of physical and mental degradation. The only alternative is a life-sentence. It won't however prevent anyone from dying. All it does is make sure you have many years of prison before your death occurs. People have survival instinct so their gut reaction is to prefer life. That doesn't mean they will truly live in those years. Not live in any sense that matters. Just... survive.

 

I think the inevitability of death puts the death penalty in perspective doesn't it?

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Our legal system should function to keep society safe. It should not function to avenge our losses. We have the largest prison population in the world despite always beating our chest about being the freest country in the world because we misuse or legal system. If keeping society safe were the goal we would not incarcerate someone unless they posed a tangible danger to society by being free to walk our streets. Instead we lock people up for punitive reason and then ensure any future contributions to society will be great reduced by giving them criminal records. We use our legal system to pinish rather than prevent, to seek retribution rather than protect. It doesn't work.

 

The Gov't saying that they will not kill people who are totally detained and under their control should be easy. It should be easy for society to accept that its Gov't doesn't kill people that it doesn't have to. That revenge isn't official policy. It speak to the violent mindset of our (USA) country that honest people have honest debates about whether our not killing people who are already completely pacified is a pro or con. Killing to save a life is one thing but the death penalty doesn't do that. The death penalty kills to satisfy feelings and imo that is a little scary. It is scary that so many in society have feelings that are best satisfied by killing a person(s).

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A poignant moment in the film "Django unchained" is at the end; when vengeance seemed to be satisfied, Django himself showed dominance over his horse; a more poignant offering from Mr Tarantino, would be the horse throwing him and buggering off without a backward glance.

Edited by dimreepr
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Our legal system should function to keep society safe. It should not function to avenge our losses. We have the largest prison population in the world despite always beating our chest about being the freest country in the world because we misuse or legal system. If keeping society safe were the goal we would not incarcerate someone unless they posed a tangible danger to society by being free to walk our streets. Instead we lock people up for punitive reason and then ensure any future contributions to society will be great reduced by giving them criminal records. We use our legal system to pinish rather than prevent, to seek retribution rather than protect. It doesn't work.

 

The Gov't saying that they will not kill people who are totally detained and under their control should be easy. It should be easy for society to accept that its Gov't doesn't kill people that it doesn't have to. That revenge isn't official policy. It speak to the violent mindset of our (USA) country that honest people have honest debates about whether our not killing people who are already completely pacified is a pro or con. Killing to save a life is one thing but the death penalty doesn't do that. The death penalty kills to satisfy feelings and imo that is a little scary. It is scary that so many in society have feelings that are best satisfied by killing a person(s).

When I read stuff like this I wonder if people like you have ever associated closely with truly bad people who couldn't give a fuck about anything or anyone, exploit every person they meet and would maim or kill without battering an eyelid. They are better off dead. ... and then you chuck out that old chestnut: " Oh, but what if they are innocent?". And so it goes, around and around ad nauseum... If one has never experienced the depths that humans can do to one another there is a tendency to have blind faith that there is some redeemable good in a person and they can't be that bad. They can be.

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When I read stuff like this I wonder if people like you have ever associated closely with truly bad people who couldn't give a fuck about anything or anyone, exploit every person they meet and would maim or kill without battering an eyelid. They are better off dead. ... and then you chuck out that old chestnut: " Oh, but what if they are innocent?". And so it goes, around and around ad nauseum... If one has never experienced the depths that humans can do to one another there is a tendency to have blind faith that there is some redeemable good in a person and they can't be that bad. They can be.

And to kill pointlessly brings us down to that same depraved level.

 

No they are not. But they clearly overlap since both concern the right of the individual to have power over their own life/death. And if you want to settle a discussion you should first find out the underlying motives for people on either side of the argument to stick to their positions.

 

I can see why it would make sense to suspend a right, even such a fundamental one as the right to live, as ultimate punishment. But if people object against this and think this crosses a line, then I would expect them to be consistent and allow prisoners the right to die as well. Since they are essentially one and the same right. However I've noticed that many people who oppose death penalty would rather put a prisoner in a straightjacket and keep them doped up for the remainder of their lifespan than allow them a dignified end even if said prisoner begged for death.

 

I didn't understand this.

 

So I suspect that many opponents of death penalty have other reasons than mere concern about rights to oppose the death penalty. Namely their own views on death. It certainly fits the trend in society. Whereas in the past people were taught to accept their mortality and death as a natural phenomenon, keeping memento mori in their homes and on their person, society nowadays has moved completely away from this. The quest for eternal life was always there ofcourse but with a generation of narcissists and pseudo-scientific daydreams which suggests immortality is just a few years away, it reigns stronger than ever.

 

Everyone dies. Everyone. And usually it's a very unpleasant death after many years of physical and mental degradation. The only alternative is a life-sentence. It won't however prevent anyone from dying. All it does is make sure you have many years of prison before your death occurs. People have survival instinct so their gut reaction is to prefer life. That doesn't mean they will truly live in those years. Not live in any sense that matters. Just... survive.

 

I think the inevitability of death puts the death penalty in perspective doesn't it?

We deprive people of "rights" as punishment.

But the criminal makes the choice to be punished; if you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

But there is a difference between "the right to live" and "the right to decide to live"- ask someone who is terminally ill.

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We deprive people of "rights" as punishment.

But the criminal makes the choice to be punished; if you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

But there is a difference between "the right to live" and "the right to decide to live"- ask someone who is terminally ill.

 

What?

 

 

 

Our legal system should function to keep society safe. It should not function to avenge our losses. We have the largest prison population in the world despite always beating our chest about being the freest country in the world because we misuse or legal system. If keeping society safe were the goal we would not incarcerate someone unless they posed a tangible danger to society by being free to walk our streets. Instead we lock people up for punitive reason and then ensure any future contributions to society will be great reduced by giving them criminal records. We use our legal system to pinish rather than prevent, to seek retribution rather than protect. It doesn't work.

 

The Gov't saying that they will not kill people who are totally detained and under their control should be easy. It should be easy for society to accept that its Gov't doesn't kill people that it doesn't have to. That revenge isn't official policy. It speak to the violent mindset of our (USA) country that honest people have honest debates about whether our not killing people who are already completely pacified is a pro or con. Killing to save a life is one thing but the death penalty doesn't do that. The death penalty kills to satisfy feelings and imo that is a little scary. It is scary that so many in society have feelings that are best satisfied by killing a person(s).

 

This is actually very nicely written. Although I don't feel the abhorrence at death penalty like you do, I think I understand your viewpoint better now. If a criminal is kept for life in a prison he/she would indeed be unable to inflict harm on those outside, and you wish to eliminate the punishment aspect of prisons.

 

Nonetheless, with up to 20% of inmates being raped and many violent assaults (and a few murders/suicides) occurring inside prisons each year, it seems prisons are still places in which punishment is central even without death penalty.

 

Granted, criminal lives won't be saved by ending them either. But to me it seems that, even if death penalty was something undesirable, that it should have lower priority than changing the horrid conditions under which criminals are kept to begin with. To me that seems like the real punishment; perpetual struggle to survive in a hellhole. And this is why the death penalty seems benign to me in comparison.

 

Yet I see considerably less people making a fuss about prison rape than about the occasional death penalty, even though death penalty only affects a few and rape affects A LOT of prisoners.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_rape_in_the_United_States

"In a survey of 1,788 male inmates in Midwestern prisons by Prison Journal, about 21% claimed they had been coerced or pressured into sexual activity during their incarceration, and 7% claimed that they had been raped in their current facility.[5]"

" In 1974 Carl Weiss and David James Friar wrote that 46 million Americans would one day be incarcerated; of that number, they claimed, 10 million would be raped. A 1992 estimate from the Federal Bureau of Prisons conjectured that between 9 and 20 percent of inmates had been sexually assaulted. Studies in 1982 and 1996 both concluded that the rate was somewhere between 12 and 14 percent; the 1996 study, by Cindy Struckman-Johnson, concluded that 18 percent of assaults were carried out by prison staff. A 1986 study by Daniel Lockwood put the number at around 23 percent for maximum security prisons in New York. Christine Saum's 1994 survey of 101 inmates showed 5 had been sexually assaulted.[9]"

 

 

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I can see why it would make sense to suspend a right, even such a fundamental one as the right to live, as ultimate punishment. But if people object against this and think this crosses a line, then I would expect them to be consistent and allow prisoners the right to die as well. Since they are essentially one and the same right. However I've noticed that many people who oppose death penalty would rather put a prisoner in a straightjacket and keep them doped up for the remainder of their lifespan than allow them a dignified end even if said prisoner begged for death.

 

I didn't understand this.

 

So I suspect that many opponents of death penalty have other reasons than mere concern about rights to oppose the death penalty. Namely their own views on death. It certainly fits the trend in society. Whereas in the past people were taught to accept their mortality and death as a natural phenomenon, keeping memento mori in their homes and on their person, society nowadays has moved completely away from this. The quest for eternal life was always there ofcourse but with a generation of narcissists and pseudo-scientific daydreams which suggests immortality is just a few years away, it reigns stronger than ever.

 

Everyone dies. Everyone. And usually it's a very unpleasant death after many years of physical and mental degradation. The only alternative is a life-sentence. It won't however prevent anyone from dying. All it does is make sure you have many years of prison before your death occurs. People have survival instinct so their gut reaction is to prefer life. That doesn't mean they will truly live in those years. Not live in any sense that matters. Just... survive.

 

 

i think the reason people dont allow prisinors to commit scuiside is because you dont want a person to make a decition that they will not be able to correct or undo. there is a scuiside hotline for people in life trying to commit scuiside. if they kill themselves their relatives will not be able to visit them pay bail if they were planning to do that. everyone does die but if you take good care of yourself you can extend your life for a very long time as opposed to thoes who hevily smoke and drink. do you think there is a difference between living and surviving? they both mean remain alive to exist.

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i think the reason people dont allow prisinors to commit scuiside is because you dont want a person to make a decition that they will not be able to correct or undo. there is a scuiside hotline for people in life trying to commit scuiside. if they kill themselves their relatives will not be able to visit them pay bail if they were planning to do that. everyone does die but if you take good care of yourself you can extend your life for a very long time as opposed to thoes who hevily smoke and drink. do you think there is a difference between living and surviving? they both mean remain alive to exist.

S/He means 'surviving' in the sense of being alive but with no meaningful or purposeful quality of life.

Edited by StringJunky
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When I read stuff like this I wonder if people like you have ever associated closely with truly bad people who couldn't give a fuck about anything or anyone, exploit every person they meet and would maim or kill without battering an eyelid. They are better off dead. ... and then you chuck out that old chestnut: " Oh, but what if they are innocent?". And so it goes, around and around ad nauseum... If one has never experienced the depths that humans can do to one another there is a tendency to have blind faith that there is some redeemable good in a person and they can't be that bad. They can be.

I find this response odd. You are in the UK. So you do not know what it is like to have a Gov't that currently puts people to death yet are couseling me on evil people whom need to be vanquished from the earth by their Gov't. Does the UK have these truly bad people you reference? What about Canada, Germany, France, and etc? If your home manages to exist without the death penalty, if "people like you" are getting on just fine without the death penalty, why can't my home get on without it?

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I find this response odd. You are in the UK. So you do not know what it is like to have a Gov't that currently puts people to death yet are couseling me on evil people whom need to be vanquished from the earth by their Gov't. Does the UK have these truly bad people you reference? What about Canada, Germany, France, and etc? If your home manages to exist without the death penalty, if "people like you" are getting on just fine without the death penalty, why can't my home get on without it?

I have known people that are evil.

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