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Capital Punishment

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38 replies to this topic

#1
jamesobxfan2296

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Sorry if this exists in one form or another, I searched and didn't seem to find a thread like this. Sorry if this is duplicating another.

Anyway, I thought we could all discuss capital punishment. It is an issue here in U.S. (and perhaps other parts of the world). I personally think the death penalty should be used only if we know for sure that the man we have is the man we want. One thing that scares me about Capital Punishment is what if we execute a prisoner and a few years later find new evidence that says he was innocent? You can't reverse an execution once it's been carried out. I have mixed feelings about this issue, so I really don't adhere to the pro death penalty side or the side opposing it.

I should tell you what inspired me to make this thread. I heard that a while back, a death row inmate in KY was originally serving multiple death sentences for 3 counts of murder, rape and 4 counts of kidnapping back in the 80s. In three seperate cases he kidnapped three women, raped and murdered them. A fourth would-be victim escaped and identified the killer. That 4th victim is still living and her life changed forever because of the killer. Anway, his death sentences were overturned and switched to life sentences without parole as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. The 4th victim was angry over the plea dea saying 'It's not good enough for me" and that "I wanna be there when he dies". I'm not sure what to make of it so in your reply tell me what you think of this thing.

Anyway, thanks for coming here. Real curious to see what your opinions are.
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#2
Dylan.

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There are plenty of threads for this. But since we need more interesting debates on here, I'm gonna give this one top priority.

I have school to do right now, but I will back on later to write an in-depth post.

#3
gmcloughlin

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I don't agree with it. Alot of people are sentenced to that fate because they've committed murder. As far as I'm concerned, executing them is no better than what they've done. Maybe its just cos I'm on the religious side, but I could never condone it.

#4
Hedwig

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I'm against death penalty. I think everyone should be given a second chance.

First of all, there is always a way for the one who committed the crime to realize what they did was wrong, and if they do so I see no reason to not give them a second chance in life. If you kill them they won't even have the chance to change their minds and be sorry. I am aware that being sorry doesn't make up for what you did, but at least you won't do it again.

Second, I don't see the punishment itself as a good opportunity, it won't make the world a better place in any way. You take their life, their life ends. The person will just disappear and not really get punished, as nothing matter when you dead. Not what happened, you won't even know you got punished. It's just the very small amount of time from the trial to the actual death that you live in fear and that can actually really be seen as a punishment. It's really just the family and friends of the criminal who gets to suffer.

Also, let's say the crime the person committed was murder. If the criminal is killed by the government, does that make the government any better than the criminal? The criminal will suffer as much as the victim, and so will both families. What makes it right to kill a criminal, but not a "regular" person? Are criminals not human with rights? And what gives some authorities the right to kill people in the first place?

I think the ideal way to treat criminals would be to give them medical help and recovery time (i.e. prison). As that is unaffordable prison will have to serve alone.

#5
Trotsky

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I am against the death penalty and also against life without parole and generally against decades' long sentences as well unless the person can be reasonably predicted to do harm to others if they were free.

Humans might have a natural revenge motive, but the point of laws and justice in society is to collectively act rationally when one person can't. Punishment is only valid as a means to an end; a behavior modification tool. It should never be a goal in itself.

#6
fukingcounterstrike

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Meh, no problem with it, besides it's inefficiency

#7
Lindsay

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I'm definitely against the death plenty, but only because I see it as an easy way out. If someone commits a horrendous crime, such as a murder, they should be locked up for a long time so they can suffer, just like what the victim and/or the victims family is going through. I'm a little tired right now, I can't really get the words out that I want to say in the way I want to say it, so I'll come back to this later...

#8
HeißblütigerPinguin

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I always wanted to make a threat like this, but I was afraid it would end like the abortion thread.

"You can kill the murderer, but not the murder itself"

Capital punishment is a human rights violation. That should tell you enough. It needs to stop. You are a human being, a person, and that comes with certain rights, such as the right to life and the right to health. The right to life is the right not to be killed by ANYone, including governments. ANY violation whether be it by state or an individual is unjustifiable.

Anyway, for those who argue that you can "forfeit" your rights. These rights cannot be taken away from you no matter what you did. They were granted to you at birth. Well not exactly granted, because you dont have them because someone was merciful enough to give them to you. You were born a human being, you have rights. And just because a government decides to play god and puts itself above rational thinking and morality doesnt mean that they can take away your life.

For those of you who believe, that you can forfeit the your rights: There's reallly always chance that you have the wrong one, that it is a judicial error. Would you want to kill an innocent human being?

And there is of course the issue of someone having to be the murderer of a murderer. It doesn't matter who he kills, he's a murderer nonetheless. State authorization doesn't change that. There's always a big hypocritical site to being pro-death penalty.

And why exactly? What do you think is the reason? Eye for an eye? The crime is commited, the murder done. There's (sadly) nothing to change it. Live and living together has the biggest value. By killing the murderer, the state places itself on the same level as the one who violated those values. A human's urge for revenge has nothing to do in the court room.
Or is it because you want to protect society? Not only contra-death penalty but also jurists agree that a criminal is going to violate the legal system. Punishing someone for crimes he might commit in the future cannot be the aim of a constitutional democrazy.
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#9
Penguin Puffball

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I'm personally for it in certain circumstances. If someone shoplifted $100 worth of stuff, no death penalty, obviously. If someone has abducted and molested a bunch of children or tortures them, fuck, take them out in a field and shoot them. It depends on the severity of the crime for me.
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#10
Vesper

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I don't agree with the death penalty. I think it is, as someone already said "an easy way out" for someone who committed such a heinous crime. But I do agree that if you commit a murder, you do forfeit your rights. Nobody has the right to anything once they've taken away someone's life.

#11
Archer In a Cape

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Just wanted to point out to people that have said and are going to say it with the whole people should get life in prison rather than the death penalty, from what I understand (which is very little :S) it seems to take about 20 years for the penalty to be caried out I can't think what its like to have that "sword" dangling over your head for so long thats got to be soul crushing.

#12
norcalgreendayfan

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I used to favour the death penalty especially for the most heinous offenders but now I figure whats the point especially here in California where most people on death row have been there for upwards of 20 years before actually being executed. Most end up dying of natural causes or suicide. It is just not worth it.
There also are cases where the wrong person has been sent to death row as has been seen in Texas and elsewhere with some cases resulting in the wrong person being put to death. I mean you can't undo that if you find out you convicted the wrong man and what do you tell his family.

I think it should revert to life without parole for those who commit the most heinous acts.

#13
jamesobxfan2296

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I used to favour the death penalty especially for the most heinous offenders but now I figure whats the point especially here in California where most people on death row have been there for upwards of 20 years before actually
being executed. Most end up dying of natural causes or suicide. It is just not worth it.
There also are cases where the wrong person
has been sent to death row as has been seen in
Texas and elsewhere with some cases resulting
in the wrong person being put to death. I mean
you can't undo that if you find out you convicted
the wrong man and what do you tell his family. I think it should revert to life without parole for those who commit the most heinous acts.


Yeah. Same here my state in KY. There are death row inmates that have been there at the Kentucky State Penitentiary for at 20-30 years. Many of them will probably just end up dying of old age. One thing I heard is that the death penalty is more expensive because of the complicated legal process that goes along with it. Some say life without parole is cheaper than the death penalty.

#14
Rancid punk:LTD

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I think anyone who hurts a child (mostly sexually or kills them) should be exicuted. Same for rapists. We don't need people like that, but that is really the only time it should be used.

#15
Emilie.

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I don't agree with it, for a few reasons.
First is the fact that you can't undo an execution. If someone sentenced to life in prison and it turns out they didn't commit the crime, you can easily just let them out of prison. You can't bring someone back to life after killing them.

Second is the human rights violation. Everyone has the right to life, and no one should be able to take that right away from a person. Even if the crime they committed was murder. Two wrongs don't make a right. An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind. I never understood the fact that people were being killed as punishment for killing someone else.
"Sure, murder's a terrible crime that should never, ever be committed. And to prove that no one should ever murder a human being, we're going to kill one ourselves."

Third is what John said. The point of the punishment should be rehabilitation, so that person can function in society without committing that crime again. And killing the criminal is obviously not the way to do that.

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#16
fukingcounterstrike

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Just curious a bit here. As far as the human rights things go if we have the right to life don't we also have the right to live that life without being locked up from 30 years to life?

As far as it goes for what John said I think circumstances differ in each case. Violent crimes are one I do not agree with (of course depending on the case) and white collar crimes I see no rehabilitation for but I suppose instead of prison all assets could be seized.

#17
Penguin Puffball

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Heinous crimes such as meditated, greusome murder, rape, and child molestation should be the ones that are stuck in there for life.

#18
Comrade

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All for it. Upon committing a crime like rape or murder, you forfeit your human rights - that isn't the state playing god, they do that with everything else anyway - that is the criminal having made the decision to destroy or end another person's life and take away their right to life. No rehabilitation, there is no point in it after something like that. The criminal is worth less than dirt. I think it is genuinely foul that people can find it in themselves to say these people still have a right to exist. Full stop.

There is no valid argument for keeping such people alive, especially with the certainty with which verdicts can be made with modern technology and DNA profiling.

#19
chickin'pickin'

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There is no valid argument for keeping such people alive, especially with the certainty with which verdicts can be made with modern technology and DNA profiling.


But it's not 100% is it? There will always be the risk of an incorrect verdict and consequentially an innocent individual has been put to the sword. This is why I'm against capital punishment.

Also, an eye for an eye is a very irrational and outdated course of action.
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#20
HeißblütigerPinguin

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Just curious a bit here. As far as the human rights things go if we have the right to life don't we also have the right to live that life without being locked up from 30 years to life?

As far as it goes for what John said I think circumstances differ in each case. Violent crimes are one I do not agree with (of course depending on the case) and white collar crimes I see no rehabilitation for but I suppose instead of prison all assets could be seized.

If you read the UN declaration of human rights, that right does not count for when you're sent to prison, if I remember right. You can google it though

#21
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I completely disagree with death penalty. Why should one man have the right to decide if another should die? - now, I'm not sticking up for the criminals. But the thought that an innocent man could be killed is reason enough to scrap it completely.

#22
Tre's Busted Drumkit

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I'm all for it. Yeah, it costs (on average) three times more to carry out a death sentence than it does life imprisonment without parole. That said, there are some people out there who prove, through their actions, that they truly deserve to die. In fact, I kind of wish that the list of crimes eligible for a death sentence (currently just capital murder and treason) would be expanded to include serial rapists (not statutory rape, but forcible sexual assault), pedophiles (again, not the sexy young high school gym teacher who gets it on with a 17-year-old student, but the dude with a pornstache who bangs five-year-olds in his spare time) and Occupy protesters.

Ok, just kidding about the last one. Or am I?

Seriously though, I'm pretty strongly pro-death penalty, if only because I know that if someone were to kill someone I loved, I would want them to die for what they'd done. Frankly, I think American means of execution are too damn easy for the prisoner being killed, but that pesky Eighth Amendment would keep us from ever employing the methods of death that I think would truly be a deterrent. More on that word, "deterrent", later. I really do think sometimes that the death penalty would be more effective if painful methods of death were allowed. There are a lot of potential murderers out there who wouldn't be scared by the prospect of a needle sliding into their arm shortly before they go to sleep. Somehow I think there would be a few more afraid of having their forearms cut, then hung upside-down and left to bleed out and/or suffocate. Now that's what you call an effective deterrent.

And really, that's why the death penalty exists. John's partially right; the penal system does exist for rehabilitation, but it also exists as a means of deterring people from committing crimes in the first place. The death penalty is the ultimate deterrent. What could be more of a disincentive to commit murder or treason than knowing that you're going to be a wanted fugitive with a death sentence hanging over your head? That's why I'd like to see more brutal means of death employed (if only the Bill of Rights weren't there), and why I'd like to see more particularly heinous crimes added to the capital punishment list.

#23
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All for it. Upon committing a crime like rape or murder, you forfeit your human rights - that isn't the state playing god, they do that with everything else anyway - that is the criminal having made the decision to destroy or end another person's life and take away their right to life. No rehabilitation, there is no point in it after something like that. The criminal is worth less than dirt. I think it is genuinely foul that people can find it in themselves to say these people still have a right to exist. Full stop.

There is no valid argument for keeping such people alive, especially with the certainty with which verdicts can be made with modern technology and DNA profiling.

Agreed. There are murderers, child rapists, and other criminals of the sort who get lucky with a few years in jail only to turn around and do the exact same thing to more innocent people once given "the second chance". How many chances are we to give them before realizing they don't give a shit about "changing their ways"?

#24
Daughter.of.Rage.and.Love

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Against. I don't think anyone has the right to kill another human being, including the government. If you kill a murderer, it makes you a murderer yourself, no matter how rightful you think you are. And death penalty is irreversible, if someone is convicted wrongly and they find out years later, you can't turn bring them back to life.
I think punishment should be based on rehabilitation and protecting society (a serial killer or serial rapist who shows no signs of improvement should be locked up and kept out of society. *). Not vengeance. Especially the government and/or the judiciary) should stand above vengeful emotions. Possibly deterrence as well, but I think the prospect of being locked up for decades is enough of a deterrence on its own. Like John said, punishment should be the means, not the end.

And Ben, what you are basically saying is that you endorse torture then death as a punishment? I think that's inhumane and I lost some respect.


* However, someone who has realized what they've done wrong etc should have the option of parole. The problem there is that you can never be sure whether someone's intentions are pure.

#25
Hermione

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I'm all for it. Yeah, it costs (on average) three times more to carry out a death sentence than it does life imprisonment without parole. That said, there are some people out there who prove, through their actions, that they truly deserve to die. In fact, I kind of wish that the list of crimes eligible for a death sentence (currently just capital murder and treason) would be expanded to include serial rapists (not statutory rape, but forcible sexual assault), pedophiles (again, not the sexy young high school gym teacher who gets it on with a 17-year-old student, but the dude with a pornstache who bangs five-year-olds in his spare time) and Occupy protesters.

Ok, just kidding about the last one. Or am I?

Seriously though, I'm pretty strongly pro-death penalty, if only because I know that if someone were to kill someone I loved, I would want them to die for what they'd done. Frankly, I think American means of execution are too damn easy for the prisoner being killed, but that pesky Eighth Amendment would keep us from ever employing the methods of death that I think would truly be a deterrent. More on that word, "deterrent", later. I really do think sometimes that the death penalty would be more effective if painful methods of death were allowed. There are a lot of potential murderers out there who wouldn't be scared by the prospect of a needle sliding into their arm shortly before they go to sleep. Somehow I think there would be a few more afraid of having their forearms cut, then hung upside-down and left to bleed out and/or suffocate. Now that's what you call an effective deterrent.

And really, that's why the death penalty exists. John's partially right; the penal system does exist for rehabilitation, but it also exists as a means of deterring people from committing crimes in the first place. The death penalty is the ultimate deterrent. What could be more of a disincentive to commit murder or treason than knowing that you're going to be a wanted fugitive with a death sentence hanging over your head? That's why I'd like to see more brutal means of death employed (if only the Bill of Rights weren't there), and why I'd like to see more particularly heinous crimes added to the capital punishment list.

What evidence is there that it acts as a deterrent though? The crime rate and murder rate is higher in the US than it is in many countries that don't have the death penalty. Lowering ourselves to the same level as the worst criminal isn't going to improve society (can't think of any societies that currently use torture and brutal executions that I'd rather be a part of than this one). As a society we have to set a standard and a good example by behaving in a civilized manner and treating people with a minimum standard of human decency.

#26
Tre's Busted Drumkit

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And Ben, what you are basically saying is that you endorse torture then death as a punishment? I think that's inhumane and I lost some respect.

And I think some people deserve it. Only the most extreme cases, yeah, but how does someone who's willing to kill children, commit mass murder, or bring down a building with thousands of people inside of it not deserve to suffer a little for all the suffering they caused? Eye for an eye and all that shit. I don't support the idea in every case by any means, and I think lethal injection is fine for the vast majority of death penalty sentences. That said, the most extreme offenders deserve the most extreme punishment, and if there were some kind of Constitutional loophole to allow for it, you bet I'd endorse hanging the Osama Bin Ladens, Timothy McVeighs, Ed Geins and John Wayne Gacys of the world upside down and letting them bleed out. When someone causes that level of suffering, they deserve to suffer in return.

And Hermione, I wish we lived in a world where basic human decency was shown by all to all. Thing is, it's not, and if someone were to rape and torture one of my loved ones before killing them, you bet I'd want them dead. There is an element of revenge to it, and I think rightly so. If you plan in advance to (and successfully do) take someone else's life, what right do you have to your own? The effectiveness of death as a deterrent is definitely up for debate, but the effectiveness of death as a means of providing some kind of comfort to the victim's family (either in a vengeful sense or in a sense of relief that this person will never hurt anyone else) is not. That said, I've always identified with Ahab in his relentless pursuit of revenge against the white whale, so take whatever I say with a grain of salt.

#27
captain peroxide

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"Justice is balance. Revenge is about making yourself feel better."

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who subscribes I to the "eye for an eye" bull is out for revenge, not justice.
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#28
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And I think some people deserve it. Only the most extreme cases, yeah, but how does someone who's willing to kill children, commit mass murder, or bring down a building with thousands of people inside of it not deserve to suffer a little for all the suffering they caused? Eye for an eye and all that shit. I don't support the idea in every case by any means, and I think lethal injection is fine for the vast majority of death penalty sentences. That said, the most extreme offenders deserve the most extreme punishment, and if there were some kind of Constitutional loophole to allow for it, you bet I'd endorse hanging the Osama Bin Ladens, Timothy McVeighs, Ed Geins and John Wayne Gacys of the world upside down and letting them bleed out. When someone causes that level of suffering, they deserve to suffer in return.

And Hermione, I wish we lived in a world where basic human decency was shown by all to all. Thing is, it's not, and if someone were to rape and torture one of my loved ones before killing them, you bet I'd want them dead. There is an element of revenge to it, and I think rightly so. If you plan in advance to (and successfully do) take someone else's life, what right do you have to your own? The effectiveness of death as a deterrent is definitely up for debate, but the effectiveness of death as a means of providing some kind of comfort to the victim's family (either in a vengeful sense or in a sense of relief that this person will never hurt anyone else) is not. That said, I've always identified with Ahab in his relentless pursuit of revenge against the white whale, so take whatever I say with a grain of salt.


Let me ask you a simple question, Ben. If someone killed your wife or loved one, would you kill that person if the government didn't? Would you take a person's life with your bare hands? And let's forget the whole "deterrent" thing. Let's say that you knew you weren't going to be caught. Would you take someone's life? I ask this simply because I find that the qualifications of "deserving to die" are subjective to whom you ask. For instance, one could argue that Private Manning committed treason against his government for his actions against the United States. Some you ask however, including me, say that he did what he felt was right in exposing state secrets of the government that he felt were corrupt. So, with such a cognitive dissonance within our own society of his guilt on the charge of treason, does he deserve to receive the death penalty?

So, in terms of someone that killed your loved one, of course YOU want them dead. But chances are that the person who kills your wife or loved one isn't a serial murder. They are possibly a person who was trying to rob him or her and made a stupid mistake. They are possibly a person that was confused and got quite angry. Regardless of the circumstances, we live in a democracy. And unfortunately for our justice system, every case has difference circumstances applied to it. They are not all serial murders.

Regardless of my feelings on that, I consider myself a moderate on the death penalty. I believe that there are simply some people in this world that society would be better without. However, the charges on which people are sentenced to death should be greatly narrowed. Serial murders, serial rape, serial child molestation, and that's about it. So, I am pro-death penalty, but mildly so.

#29
Tre's Busted Drumkit

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Let me ask you a simple question, Ben. If someone killed your wife or loved one, would you kill that person if the government didn't? Would you take a person's life with your bare hands? And let's forget the whole "deterrent" thing. Let's say that you knew you weren't going to be caught. Would you take someone's life? I ask this simply because I find that the qualifications of "deserving to die" are subjective to whom you ask. For instance, one could argue that Private Manning committed treason against his government for his actions against the United States. Some you ask however, including me, say that he did what he felt was right in exposing state secrets of the government that he felt were corrupt. So, with such a cognitive dissonance within our own society of his guilt on the charge of treason, does he deserve to receive the death penalty?

I'll answer the question about my wife first. Yes, if Mrs. Busted Drumkit were to meet an untimely end at the hands of someone else, who intentionally committed the actions resulting in her death, I would absolutely kill that person if given the chance.

As far as Bradley Manning, no, I don't think he deserves the death penalty. I do think he needs to spend time in prison, but I don't think that what he did merits a needle in the arm. The type of treason I would consider worthy of a death penalty would be something that directly results in a loss of life, i.e., giving troop movement details away to an enemy, or selling nuclear secrets to a country that later uses them against us. Sending a bunch of memos and documents to a whistleblower site in Australia is not worthy of capital punishment, no matter how much egg it puts on the faces of the politicians involved.

So, in terms of someone that killed your loved one, of course YOU want them dead. But chances are that the person who kills your wife or loved one isn't a serial murder. They are possibly a person who was trying to rob him or her and made a stupid mistake. They are possibly a person that was confused and got quite angry. Regardless of the circumstances, we live in a democracy. And unfortunately for our justice system, every case has difference circumstances applied to it. They are not all serial murders.

And why should murders that happen during commission of another crime be excused? Did the murdered plan to kill the victim? No, but they did plan to commit some other crime, and then they escalated it into murder. If you're trying to rob me and I pull a gun on you, the fact that you were "defending yourself" when you shot me does not make it justifiable homicide. It's called "felony murder," and it's also punishable by death in many states. I'm not saying that all murders deserve the death penalty; in fact, your "confused and angry" justification would almost certainly consitute second degree murder, which is not punishable by death in any state. Anyone who plans to kill someone else and carries out that plan deserves to die.

In the case of felony murder, if you were carrying a gun, knife, bat, crowbar, whatever to the scene of the crime, it's because you intended to use them against anyone who got in your way. The only time I'd support a lesser penalty than death for felony murder is if the victim continued to pursue the murderer long after the castle doctrine had expired, and any threat to life and limb had ended.

Regardless of my feelings on that, I consider myself a moderate on the death penalty. I believe that there are simply some people in this world that society would be better without. However, the charges on which people are sentenced to death should be greatly narrowed. Serial murders, serial rape, serial child molestation, and that's about it. So, I am pro-death penalty, but mildly so.

See, as of right now, serial rape and serial child molestation are not punishable by death. That, to me, is wrong.

#30
Johnny.

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Nothing gives anyone the right to take the life of another. That's something I'll never budge from.



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