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Do you believe the death penalty is unethical?


Lyudmilascience
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Did your Gov't execute those people for you?

No, unfortunately.

 

From the UK gov't website. It's abolition here had a political mandate, not a public one, in the 1960s:

 

The Commons vote which ended capital punishment was a milestone for British justice, yet YouGov research finds it to be one of those issues where the views of the British public go against the political consensus.

By 45-39% people tend to support the reintroduction of the death penalty for murder.
Support has been dropping steadily - in 2010, 51% were in favour and 37% opposed, and people born after 1964, in the 18-39 age bracket, tend to oppose its reintroduction. This may suggest that we are approaching a moment when people will tend to oppose it, but we are not there yet.
Edited by StringJunky
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Nobody is born evil, much like bullies, they're made that way through suffering and abuse; to cast that stone without knowing their torment, borders on arrogance.

 

I don't need to know how an apple got rotten, I just need to know it's rotten.

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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]"

 

 

Rape and other forms of assualt in prison are a huge problem. I am not sure how executing prisoners would change it? Prisoners sentenced to die are not housed in the general popluation. So they are not involved in the numbers you referenced. Those who are, unfortunately, end up back out on our streets. So statistics that reflect rape, murder, and other acts of violnce do not provide much insight for the purpose of this discussion:

 

Corrections Compendium
(‘Death Row,’ 1999) summarized data from a recent survey of
37 state and federal corrections departments. This report detailed death row policies
regarding accommodations, time outside cell per day, inmate mingling, visitation,
programming and other issues. Specifically, in 35 jurisdictions death row inmates are
housed in individual cells. In 18 jurisdictions these death row inmates average less
than an hour daily of activity outside of their cells, and in five other jurisdictions out-
of-cell time is less than three hours daily. Social visitation is non-contact in 21 of 37

jurisdictions.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/CunninghamDeathRowReview.pdf

Edited by Ten oz
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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.

 

As pointed out: surviving in essence requires no more than a heartbeat. That is not living in the metaphorical sense. There are people in coma that survive but they aren't even aware. There are children kept as sex slaves that survive.. till they get too old and get shot. They survived for a while too. But that's not what we would call a living. And considering how many Afghan sex slaved children set themselves on fire in the hopes of getting freedom one way or the other, I don't think they value such a life very high either.

 

Suicide attempts can be impulsive yes. But there are plenty of prisoners for which it's not impulsive. They thought about it deeply and kept their conviction for extended periods of time. If someone keeps a death wish for a year or even years on end, it should simply be respected. There are plenty of people like that outside prisons too of course and these people will also face the same opposition. Yet, it should be their decision. Even if it will turn out to be a mistake, it's still the right of an individual to make that mistake. It's their life to do with as they chose.

 

Unless you intentionally wish for prisoners to suffer, in that case it makes sense to keep suicidal prisoners alive at all costs. But then it should also make sense to put prisoners who wish to live on death-row. See the inconsistency?

 

This debate and people themselves are clearly driven by the assumption that to live is always better than death. A belief so strong that it will be enforced on others at any cost (or reversely applied in the case of death penalty).

Rape and other forms of assualt in prison are a huge problem. I am not sure how executing prisoners would change it? Prisoners sentenced to die are not housed in the general popluation. So they are not involved in the numbers you referenced. Those who are, unfortunately, end up back out on our streets. So statistics that reflect rape, murder, and other acts of violnce do not provide much insight for the purpose of this discussion:

 

Corrections Compendium
(‘Death Row,’ 1999) summarized data from a recent survey of
37 state and federal corrections departments. This report detailed death row policies
regarding accommodations, time outside cell per day, inmate mingling, visitation,
programming and other issues. Specifically, in 35 jurisdictions death row inmates are
housed in individual cells. In 18 jurisdictions these death row inmates average less
than an hour daily of activity outside of their cells, and in five other jurisdictions out-
of-cell time is less than three hours daily. Social visitation is non-contact in 21 of 37

jurisdictions.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/CunninghamDeathRowReview.pdf

 

The reason I brought up the horrible living inside prisons was to point out the inconsistency. Many people oppose the death penalty because they think it is too cruel. Yet far fewer object with the same fervor against the appalling conditions under which they have to live. Some weak prisoner ending up being violently/sexually abused for decades on end is apparently the lesser evil in their eyes.

 

Which makes no sense. It can only be explained because they think that living under any condition at all is per definition better than death, which is an opinion not shared by many people.

So again, so summarize, if you oppose the death penalty you apparently think that people, even the worst of criminals, have a right to live which can't be infringed upon. I neither oppose not support the philosophy itself but merely ask for consistency; if they retain the right to live, they should retain the right to die as well if they chose to do so.

 

Also, it people act out of concern for prisoners wellbeing, upgrading the conditions under which they have to live will likely achieve a lot more good for a lot more prisoners than merely get rid of the death penalty which only affects a few. Unless ofcourse you, as I suggested, consider mere physical survival sufficient and psychological wellbeing of less importance.

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

Why is it pointless? They are out of the way.

 

 

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

 

It's also easy to put someone away for life when you don't have to do it and it's also easy to forgive when it's not your family. that's been killed/violated.

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The reason I brought up the horrible living inside prisons was to point out the inconsistency. Many people oppose the death penalty because they think it is too cruel. Yet far fewer object with the same fervor against the appalling conditions under which they have to live. Some weak prisoner ending up being violently/sexually abused for decades on end is apparently the lesser evil in their eyes.

 

Which makes no sense. It can only be explained because they think that living under any condition at all is per definition better than death, which is an opinion not shared by many people.

So again, so summarize, if you oppose the death penalty you apparently think that people, even the worst of criminals, have a right to live which can't be infringed upon. I neither oppose not support the philosophy itself but merely ask for consistency; if they retain the right to live, they should retain the right to die as well if they chose to do so.

 

Also, it people act out of concern for prisoners wellbeing, upgrading the conditions under which they have to live will likely achieve a lot more good for a lot more prisoners than merely get rid of the death penalty which only affects a few. Unless ofcourse you, as I suggested, consider mere physical survival sufficient and psychological wellbeing of less importance.

I don't think killers have a "right to life" but rather that they are already alive and the Gov't should not be in the business of revenge.

 

I have nothing against infastructure improvements to prevent prisoners from assualting each other. I think it such imporvements are needed.

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As pointed out: surviving in essence requires no more than a heartbeat. That is not living in the metaphorical sense. There are people in coma that survive but they aren't even aware. There are children kept as sex slaves that survive.. till they get too old and get shot. They survived for a while too. But that's not what we would call a living. And considering how many Afghan sex slaved children set themselves on fire in the hopes of getting freedom one way or the other, I don't think they value such a life very high either.

 

Suicide attempts can be impulsive yes. But there are plenty of prisoners for which it's not impulsive. They thought about it deeply and kept their conviction for extended periods of time. If someone keeps a death wish for a year or even years on end, it should simply be respected. There are plenty of people like that outside prisons too of course and these people will also face the same opposition. Yet, it should be their decision. Even if it will turn out to be a mistake, it's still the right of an individual to make that mistake. It's their life to do with as they chose.

 

Unless you intentionally wish for prisoners to suffer, in that case it makes sense to keep suicidal prisoners alive at all costs. But then it should also make sense to put prisoners who wish to live on death-row. See the inconsistency?

 

This debate and people themselves are clearly driven by the assumption that to live is always better than death. A belief so strong that it will be enforced on others at any cost (or reversely applied in the case of death penalty).

then is living based on how happy you are in life or how aware you are in life? becasue then someone in depression is not living, and a young child is not living either because they are not as aware as adults. then who exactly is living?

im not saying scuiside attempts are impulsive. what i said is that it could be a mistake they make. if you make a mistake that puts you to jail its something that can be fixed sometimes, but I am saying that we should not allow people to kill themselves.I have personal experience with scuiside I have a couple friends that comitted scuiside and they were in their early twenties. it really effected my life negitivly. sometimes people who commit scuiside dont relize how much other people care about them and how much of a loss it is for everyone. and I do think that scuiside should be prevented as much as possible because the prisoners are not in their right mind if they are planning to do that. people in general are not mentaly healthy if they want to commit scuiside. im not sure how I would want the prisoners to be helped but I would want to buy therapy for anyone who is depressed and wants to commit scuiside, I hope you wouldnt want somone in life to commit scuiside and just say oh it was their choice and same goes for people in prison. no one knows if life is better then death but once you die you hit the point of no return and at least we know life can be good if you make it good. I dont think anyone should have the right to take a life away with the acception of doctor assisted scuiside and abortion if you consider the first month as life.

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I don't need to know how an apple got rotten, I just need to know it's rotten.

 

 

If you don't understand the rotting process, then you'll be forever picking out rotten fruit; understanding why it rots, may save the barrel.

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Why is it pointless? They are out of the way.

Why is it pointless?- because it offers no point. Jail without parole puts them "out of the way".

Aside from a small cash saving, killing these people doesn't actually achieve anything.

Killing for a small amount of cash is clearly sinking to their level, but even that isn't the point.

 

We ought not kill because we need not kill.

We are bigger and better than that.

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If you don't understand the rotting process, then you'll be forever picking out rotten fruit; understanding why it rots, may save the barrel.

 

I agree. It's good to understand the cause of the problem. However it's not a requirement to recognize the problem.

Whether they are born like that, made like that, chose like that is an interesting issue and the answer(s) might help prevent similar cases in the future. But it won't change the fact that the bad person is a bad person. I don't think understanding Hitler or some pedophile/child murderer will make me consider them brothers and invite them over for Holidays. No matter what the cause, they became/are bad on the inside.

Edited by Gilga-flesh
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Why is it pointless?- because it offers no point. Jail without parole puts them "out of the way".

Aside from a small cash saving, killing these people doesn't actually achieve anything.

Killing for a small amount of cash is clearly sinking to their level, but even that isn't the point.

 

We ought not kill because we need not kill.

We are bigger and better than that.

It is strange that this doesn't go without saying. Killing people should be reserved for situations where no other choice can equally ensure safety.

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then is living based on how happy you are in life or how aware you are in life? becasue then someone in depression is not living, and a young child is not living either because they are not as aware as adults. then who exactly is living?

im not saying scuiside attempts are impulsive. what i said is that it could be a mistake they make. if you make a mistake that puts you to jail its something that can be fixed sometimes, but I am saying that we should not allow people to kill themselves.I have personal experience with scuiside I have a couple friends that comitted scuiside and they were in their early twenties. it really effected my life negitivly. sometimes people who commit scuiside dont relize how much other people care about them and how much of a loss it is for everyone. and I do think that scuiside should be prevented as much as possible because the prisoners are not in their right mind if they are planning to do that. people in general are not mentaly healthy if they want to commit scuiside. im not sure how I would want the prisoners to be helped but I would want to buy therapy for anyone who is depressed and wants to commit scuiside, I hope you wouldnt want somone in life to commit scuiside and just say oh it was their choice and same goes for people in prison. no one knows if life is better then death but once you die you hit the point of no return and at least we know life can be good if you make it good. I dont think anyone should have the right to take a life away with the acception of doctor assisted scuiside and abortion if you consider the first month as life.

 

Suicide could be a mistake. It can also be a good decision. Either way adults have the right to make their own decisions. It's not up to YOU to decide for them. You can advice, a psychologist might test to see if the desire for death is sincere. But only 1 person carries the actual right to decide: the person in question.

 

And no of course people who are depressed (true depression aka as in medical disorder) aren't feeling alive. That's pretty much what depression means. Children aren't as aware? I used to be a medical researcher with a fondness for psychology and I never heard that. At the contrary, children's minds are very active. My personal memories of childhood are extremely strong. I think I felt everything considerably stronger then. Like many adults I'm now more reserved, thicker skin. Less sensitive. Anyway a moot point.

 

Comparing the death wish of someone who is suffering to a child's undeveloped capacity to reason is silly.

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I agree. It's good to understand the cause of the problem.

 

 

 

But not to learn from that understanding? if you don't learn you don't understand.

 

 

However it's not a requirement to recognize the problem.

Whether they are born like that, made like that, chose like that is an interesting issue and the answer(s) might help prevent similar cases in the future.

But it won't change the fact that the bad person is a bad person.

 

 

 

Not much point in rehabilitation then.

 

 

I don't think understanding Hitler or some pedophile/child murderer will make me consider them brothers and invite them over for Holidays. No matter what the cause, they became/are bad on the inside.

 

 

 

Well aren't you the lucky one, that no-one caused you to be a pillock.

Edited by dimreepr
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Suicide could be a mistake. It can also be a good decision. Either way adults have the right to make their own decisions. It's not up to YOU to decide for them. You can advice, a psychologist might test to see if the desire for death is sincere. But only 1 person carries the actual right to decide: the person in question.

 

And no of course people who are depressed (true depression aka as in medical disorder) aren't feeling alive. That's pretty much what depression means. Children aren't as aware? I used to be a medical researcher with a fondness for psychology and I never heard that. At the contrary, children's minds are very active. My personal memories of childhood are extremely strong. I think I felt everything considerably stronger then. Like many adults I'm now more reserved, thicker skin. Less sensitive. Anyway a moot point.

 

Comparing the death wish of someone who is suffering to a child's undeveloped capacity to reason is silly.

 

My post is downvoted. The only one in this thread I think. Interesting.

 

Is it because I dared to state that people have the right to commit suicide? There are people with unimaginable problems. I doubt, no I know, that none of you have endured true disease and disorders. There are people who are experiencing close to the maximum amount of pain and suffering that a person can possibly go through. There are people who have gone completely insane and do nothing but scream in agony while imagining hells you can't describe. They will never be better. None of the worst cases of schizophrenia have ever become healthy again. You can drug them to become a barely conscious vegetable but that's not cured. *I* think they have the right to chose a dignified end. A right to decide about their own life or death. It seems that some of you would rather put such a person in a straight-jacket and force them to endure several more decades of hell. OR make them into a vegetable. Something without a proper human mind. Against their will.

 

And yet you think me immoral. Unbelievable.

 

But I think my conclusion was correct: at least some, perhaps many, of the opponents of death penalty aren't motivated by the belief that people deserve to live. It's because they think people have the obligation to remain alive. I suspected due to a fear of their own mortality but perhaps some religious background is involved as well. Even if you are not actively religious, the culture in which you are reared will still affect you. Look at nature. Look at the world. Look at medical conditions. What exactly makes you think life is sacred?

 

But I really don't want to derail this conversation any further. I brought up the subject of suicide because I didn't understand the hypocrisy involved. I think I figured it out pretty well in the end.

 

 

 

But not to learn from that understanding? if you don't learn you don't understand.

 

 

 

 

 

Not much point in rehabilitation then.

 

 

 

 

Well aren't you the lucky one, that no-one caused you to be a pillock.

 

Rehabilitation...? In reference to death penalty? If death penalty is abolished the alternative is life in prison. Because these are the worst of the worst. Rehabilitation isn't really an issue if you plan to keep someone locked up in a cage forever. Are you suggesting life in prison should also be abolished?

 

So to keep with my example I gather you would try to rehabilitate said serial child raping/murdered. You know one of those guys that keep a little girl locked up and rapes her for months, then kills her and bursts into laughing in court when asked if he doesn't feel guilty.

 

Be honest here. Look in your heart. If he gets released because psychologists declared him better. Could he become your friend? I mean that's what rehabilitate means. To become a fully fledged and accepted member of society. Will he be your friend? Will you ever let him into your house, love him like a brother, babysit your daughter?

Edited by Gilga-flesh
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Eye for an eye works both ways. Every individuals desire to kill for punitive purposes validates killing as an appropriate punitive response. Based on ones beliefs honor killing women is an appropriate punitive response. Sure, we have higher standards (realitive to our own values) but punitive killing is punitive killing.

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If you don't understand the rotting process, then you'll be forever picking out rotten fruit; understanding why it rots, may save the barrel.

And then there's some who didn't go rotten, but simply are rotten. By all deems of society I should be one of the cruelest sickest people after the stuff I went through. I have seen people who would kidnap and torture a random little girl for years, and then kill her. And if they didn't kill her they would traffic her. People who's network was so large prison couldnt stop them. They would bribe the guards, have arms assailants break them out. They wouldnt give a hoot about the thousands of peoples who's lives they just ruined by setting up human trafficers, drug trade, slave collectors, and much worse. I've seen how bad people can be. I've been in one of the violentest places in this world. My sister was raped and abused to the point of no return. My brother was tortured for years. I was subject to abuse, and the horror of watching my siblings get beaten, raped, abused, and neglected.

 

When you can imagine half of what I went through, you will believe there is people who should die. I don't care what made them that way. Try and solve that. But right now, we know the apple is rotten. We know its at a point of no return. Do you want to save it to see how many more apples it'll spoil?

Edited by Raider5678
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And then there's some who didn't go rotten, but simply are rotten. By all deems of society I should be one of the cruelest sickest people after the stuff I went through. I have seen people who would kidnap and torture a random little girl for years, and then kill her. And if they didn't kill her they would traffic her. People who's network was so large prison couldnt stop them. They would bribe the guards, have arms assailants break them out. They wouldnt give a hoot about the thousands of peoples who's lives they just ruined by setting up human trafficers, drug trade, slave collectors, and much worse. I've seen how bad people can be. I've been in one of the violentest places in this world. My sister was raped and abused to the point of no return. My brother was tortured for years. I was subject to abuse, and the horror of watching my siblings get beaten, raped, abused, and neglected.

 

When you can imagine half of what I went through, you will believe there is people who should die. I don't care what made them that way. Try and solve that. But right now, we know the apple is rotten. We know its at a point of no return. Do you want to save it to see how many more apples it'll spoil?

 

Exactly.

 

If I contracted some contagious airborne disease I would be kept in hospital even if I turned out to be only a carrier. I wouldn't be released if there was any doubt that I was cured to prevent harm to others. They'd need 100% certainty of that, not 70 or 80 or even 90.Yet rapists and murderers are just let loose like it's nothing. Take this figure: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/135292/170-convicted-rapists-reoffend-after-released-from-prison. So for the small chance that a former rapist will become a rehabilitated wholesome member of society, many other lives of people who were wholesome members of society to begin with, are sacrificed.

 

That's not good ethics.

 

In the case of crimes with high chance of repeat and a lot of damage to other people, there shouldn't be a second chance. Because that chance comes at the price of other people's first chance at life. As one victim said: "‘We are all still paying a price. Victims of rape and their families get a life sentence, so why don’t the rapists?" It would be something if rapists were being castrated before release. But to let them keep sex drive and release them, knowing they can't control themselves, is madness. It's like letting a hit and run driver keep their drivinglicense, or a random shooter his gunpermit and just trust them using the honor system.

 

And to keep it relevant to the discussion at hand: one argument speaking for the death penalty is that the perpetrator isn't going to repeat the crime. Even if they are kept locked up in prison for life, they might rape another prisoner who was imprisoned for something much less severe. Say theft instead of rape/murder. Is that fair?

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Rehabilitation...? In reference to death penalty? If death penalty is abolished the alternative is life in prison. Because these are the worst of the worst. Rehabilitation isn't really an issue if you plan to keep someone locked up in a cage forever. Are you suggesting life in prison should also be abolished?

 

So to keep with my example I gather you would try to rehabilitate said serial child raping/murdered. You know one of those guys that keep a little girl locked up and rapes her for months, then kills her and bursts into laughing in court when asked if he doesn't feel guilty.

 

Be honest here. Look in your heart. If he gets released because psychologists declared him better. Could he become your friend? I mean that's what rehabilitate means. To become a fully fledged and accepted member of society. Will he be your friend? Will you ever let him into your house, love him like a brother, babysit your daughter?

 

 

Rehabilitation in civilised countries is the, supposed, aim of the prison system. And BTW this thread isn't about justifying the death penalty.

 

As for your extreme example, of course their will always be some people considered to dangerous to be released, but, that said, 99% of the prison population in any given country is rehabilitatable.

And then there's some who didn't go rotten, but simply are rotten. By all deems of society I should be one of the cruelest sickest people after the stuff I went through. I have seen people who would kidnap and torture a random little girl for years, and then kill her. And if they didn't kill her they would traffic her. People who's network was so large prison couldnt stop them. They would bribe the guards, have arms assailants break them out. They wouldnt give a hoot about the thousands of peoples who's lives they just ruined by setting up human trafficers, drug trade, slave collectors, and much worse. I've seen how bad people can be. I've been in one of the violentest places in this world. My sister was raped and abused to the point of no return. My brother was tortured for years. I was subject to abuse, and the horror of watching my siblings get beaten, raped, abused, and neglected.

 

When you can imagine half of what I went through, you will believe there is people who should die. I don't care what made them that way. Try and solve that. But right now, we know the apple is rotten. We know its at a point of no return. Do you want to save it to see how many more apples it'll spoil?

 

 

I have all the sympathy/empathy my own troubled past can provide; but I didn't say the rot is inevitable

as evinced by your own story, for which I heartily applaud you.

 

 

With a loving caring upbringing/environment even a sociopath is capable of contributing fully in society; my point is just because you didn't choose a “bad path” doesn't mean a “good path” is an easy path to follow without guidance.

 

Those who you say are simply rotten fall into two groups, either you can't see why they became rotten or they suffer a mental condition that made them that way; so both deserve understanding.

 

 

After all would you blame someone suffering an illness for throwing up on you?

Edited by dimreepr
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As for your extreme example, of course their will always be some people considered to dangerous to be released, but, that said, 99% of the prison population in any given country is rehabilitatable.

 

 

That sounds amazing to me. Do you have a citation?

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That sounds amazing to me. Do you have a citation?

 

 

No and I'm not going to look because it was meant as a counterpoint to the extreme example suggested by Gilga-flesh, as in 99% of any prison population won't meet of his example.

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No and I'm not going to look because it was meant as a counterpoint to the extreme example suggested by Gilga-flesh, as in 99% of any prison population won't meet of his example.

That's an interesting approach to debate. I'll be sure to look at your posts with a different perspective from now on.

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That's an interesting approach to debate. I'll be sure to look at your posts with a different perspective from now on.

 

 

Well that's your prerogative, but when considering a bell curve of this nature, supposition is all we really have; can you provide a citation? Maybe you could provide a citation that only 55% of the prison population doesn't go on to re-offend but can you provide a citation that the current system is perfect?

I could, with the statistics (not) available of the prison population, show how close my supposition is to reality, against his extreme example.

Edited by dimreepr
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