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Utah killer executed by firing squad

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Old 06-23-2010, 08:51 AM   #106
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Re: Utah killer executed by firing squad

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Originally Posted by GMScud View Post
Well, wouldn't it be wrong not to execute the person who rapes/kills SS33's niece, yet instead provide them with a roof over their head, clothing, toilet, and 3 meals a day while they live out the rest of their lives on the dime of the American taxpayer?

The most brutal and horrific crimes should be met with steepest of punishment. I'm not saying everyone convicted of murder should die, but the most hardcore, grisly, horrific killers/rapists have no place draining resources in our prison system. One way or another they're dying behind bars. Why not just get that shit over with? Considering what they've taken from their victims and their families, why should they be afforded the gift of time to read, relax, and "rehabilitate?"
You make it sound like life in prison is a Club Med vacation or something. Actually life in prison is a pretty horrible price to pay on its own. Locking someone up for life is a very serious penalty.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:37 AM   #107
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Re: Utah killer executed by firing squad

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Originally Posted by GMScud View Post
Well, wouldn't it be wrong not to execute the person who rapes/kills SS33's niece, yet instead provide them with a roof over their head, clothing, toilet, and 3 meals a day while they live out the rest of their lives on the dime of the American taxpayer?

The most brutal and horrific crimes should be met with steepest of punishment. I'm not saying everyone convicted of murder should die, but the most hardcore, grisly, horrific killers/rapists have no place draining resources in our prison system. One way or another they're dying behind bars. Why not just get that shit over with? Considering what they've taken from their victims and their families, why should they be afforded the gift of time to read, relax, and "rehabilitate?"
Are you trying to justify execution by somehow asserting that *not* executing them would be morally wrong?
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:46 AM   #108
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Re: Utah killer executed by firing squad

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Originally Posted by GMScud View Post
Well, wouldn't it be wrong not to execute the person who rapes/kills SS33's niece, yet instead provide them with a roof over their head, clothing, toilet, and 3 meals a day while they live out the rest of their lives on the dime of the American taxpayer?

The most brutal and horrific crimes should be met with steepest of punishment. I'm not saying everyone convicted of murder should die, but the most hardcore, grisly, horrific killers/rapists have no place draining resources in our prison system. One way or another they're dying behind bars. Why not just get that shit over with? Considering what they've taken from their victims and their families, why should they be afforded the gift of time to read, relax, and "rehabilitate?"
See, this is part of the problem in applying the death penalty: Who gets to decide if its a "death worthy" crime? If not every killer should die, what defines "hardcore grisly" etc.? Who makes the call - the jury? the judge?

On one hand their is the laudatory goal of adding discretion to the system since (believe it or not) every case is different. On the other, once discretion is added, arbitrariness and injustice creep in. Once imposition of the death penalty becomes arbitrary, IMHO, it becomes unjust. Unfortunately, removing discretion (and therefore the possibility of arbitrariness), will inevitably lead to the death penalty being imposed upon someone whom “everybody” (read: a large majority of people) believes should not be killed.

For example:
Someone rapes and kills his 23 year old ex-girlfriend. Is that death worthy? Let's say it’s a nice "clean" rape and kill. The killer is basically a good guy who just snapped b/c of the break up. He breaks in, rapes her once, and then smothers her with a pillow. The police find him the next morning sobbing and saying he's sorry, and confessing to everything. Other than the rape, the woman was not tortured or excessively beaten.

Same story, but now its a burglar with no relation to the victim, and he is only found when he is picked up for some unrelated crime. Turns out the rape and kill were just crimes of "opportunity" as he did not expect to find anyone home.

Same story, but now it’s a person of no particular standing who stalked the woman with the intent to rape her. The rape and kill are again quick and relatively “clean”. The murderer is found and confesses after a police investigation. Although he confesses, he does not provide, and no one can determine, why he did the crimes (no known relation to victim, no history of violent crime, etc.).

Finally, it’s a person of no particular standing who stalked the woman with the intent to rape her. The rape is clearly brutal and the death painful. But, the woman has no relatives, she is a prostitute (though the rape took place while she was not “working”), has no family. While brutal (he physically beats her during the rape), she isn’t mutilated or “tortured”, the death, while painful, is quick.

In each case, we are 100% sure of the murderer.

In my opinion, either all get it or none get it. If we add bright lines to delineate, fine i.e. murder plus: any type of sexual assault, victim under the age of 17, any type of mutilation, any type of "torture". Each of these categories, of course, has their own grey areas (Murderer exposes himself and kills someone - is that a sexual assault? Murderer informs victim he has killed his entire family and raped his kids even though this is not true, Is that "torture”?).

Part of this (and this board shows it in microcosm) is that we each have a different idea of what "justice" is. Also, we each place a different emphasis on what rights the group has when in conflict with individual liberties. Similar to that, but slightly different, we each have a different idea as to what authority the civil society has and how much power it has/should have.

For me the priority is upon fairness and the society’s valuation of innocent life. Any innocent life. It is not for individuals within the society to decide who shall live and who shall die – No one person has that right over me or my family and I have that right over no one else. It is for the society, the group, the whole, to come to a consensus and then enforce that decision equitably. I am bound to live by that consensus or move out.

Just look at the various points of view in this thread and you can see why we will always struggle with the subtleties of this topic. Quite frankly, IMHO, this is one of those where there is no “right” answer. We just muddle through it the best we can knowing that a large part of the society will always be dissatisfied with the result.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:53 AM   #109
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Re: Utah killer executed by firing squad

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Originally Posted by GhettoDogAllStars View Post
Are you trying to justify execution by somehow asserting that *not* executing them would be morally wrong?
Not executing the murderer shows that society has no power (or will) to provide restitution and justice to a victim's family. This is an issue of displaying to the people governed that their justice system will provide appropriate restitution and there is no need to resort to vigilantism, which if a society devolves to that, is much worse than a death penalty execution.

And from a strictly non-spiritual view, being alive and locked up is a lot better than being dead. If being locked up was so terrible, near the same as death, why are there not more suicides in jail?
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:08 AM   #110
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Re: Utah killer executed by firing squad

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Originally Posted by GhettoDogAllStars View Post
Are you trying to justify execution by somehow asserting that *not* executing them would be morally wrong?
Yes. He is. The murderer took an innocent life from the societal whole and society owes a duty to its remaining citizens.

As a society, we place a paramount value on the protection of innocent life. We believe, it is fundamental and necessary to our existence as a society and to those fundamental truths articulated in our founding documents: "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

When someone demonstrates that they are willing to disregard/attack the core beliefs of our society, it is our duty, as a society, to make them pay the paramount penalty in order to demonstrate the value we as a society place on innocent life. Permitting a guilty murderer to live devalues the innocent life wrongly taken and, some would say, condones the taking of innocent life.

Again, is compassion and forgiveness an element of "justice", if so, who decides when compassion is appropriate? Which is more important - condoning societal compassion to a murderer or making a clear and consistent statement that, in our society, innocent life is our most treasured possesion?
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:20 AM   #111
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Re: Utah killer executed by firing squad

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Yea its so bad some people get out of jail then commit a crime just to go back to jail. While I would never want to spend time in jail the system in the US is not that bad. Hell if they think something is not fair they can sue the jail/city in court. In my eyes when that cell door shuts behind you your rights are gone. I'd make those bastards work for their room and board.
I agree that we should get prisoners to work.

But somehow you missed the "life in prison" phrase in the original post. We're not talking here of turning murderers loose.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:27 AM   #112
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Re: Utah killer executed by firing squad

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Originally Posted by Slingin Sammy 33 View Post
Not executing the murderer shows that society has no power (or will) to provide restitution and justice to a victim's family. This is an issue of displaying to the people governed that their justice system will provide appropriate restitution and there is no need to resort to vigilantism, which if a society devolves to that, is much worse than a death penalty execution.

And from a strictly non-spiritual view, being alive and locked up is a lot better than being dead. If being locked up was so terrible, near the same as death, why are there not more suicides in jail?
I suggest that you read Death at Midnight, a book by Dr. Donald Cabana. He was the Warden at Parchman state pen and oversaw the execution process. His experiences turned him against the death penalty.

One of Cabana's arguments is that, generally, victim's families do not feel a sense of restitution from executions. As Cabana describes it, when you are already grieving a loss which cannot be replaced, having someone else die is experienced as an empty, unsatisfying reality by most victim's families.

As to your other point, there are many suicides in prison. And prisoners in for life are closely monitored precisely so that they cannot commit suicide. Thus security, not a lack of despair, limits the numbers of suicides.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:29 AM   #113
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Re: Utah killer executed by firing squad

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Originally Posted by Slingin Sammy 33 View Post
Not executing the murderer shows that society has no power (or will) to provide restitution and justice to a victim's family. This is an issue of displaying to the people governed that their justice system will provide appropriate restitution and there is no need to resort to vigilantism, which if a society devolves to that, is much worse than a death penalty execution.

And from a strictly non-spiritual view, being alive and locked up is a lot better than being dead. If being locked up was so terrible, near the same as death, why are there not more suicides in jail?
As if executing the murderer is the only form of justice? To paraphrase Joe: everyone has a different idea of justice.

Prison is not a nice place. There are murders, rapes and suicides among all sorts of other terrible things. Ask anyone who has been to prison how great it is.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:32 AM   #114
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Re: Utah killer executed by firing squad

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Yes. He is. The murderer took an innocent life from the societal whole and society owes a duty to its remaining citizens.

As a society, we place a paramount value on the protection of innocent life. We believe, it is fundamental and necessary to our existence as a society and to those fundamental truths articulated in our founding documents: "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

When someone demonstrates that they are willing to disregard/attack the core beliefs of our society, it is our duty, as a society, to make them pay the paramount penalty in order to demonstrate the value we as a society place on innocent life. Permitting a guilty murderer to live devalues the innocent life wrongly taken and, some would say, condones the taking of innocent life.

Again, is compassion and forgiveness an element of "justice", if so, who decides when compassion is appropriate? Which is more important - condoning societal compassion to a murderer or making a clear and consistent statement that, in our society, innocent life is our most treasured possesion?
Innocent life is clearly not valued and protected as much as you make it out to be when society enacts laws and punishments which inevitably lead to the death of innocents.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:35 AM   #115
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Re: Utah killer executed by firing squad

Lots of thoughtful posts going back and forth, but in the end I'm not sure this one is about thinking as much as it is feeling.

Seeing a murderer/rapist executed feels good to me. Makes things feel right.

Setting laws/punishment in a society is not a science. It comes down to the majority's wishes. Right now, a majority of people in a number of states feel good about executing these criminals. That's all that matters.

Where to draw the line as to who gets executed? Where the majority feels right about it. I think it's in a good place.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:44 AM   #116
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Re: Utah killer executed by firing squad

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Lots of thoughtful posts going back and forth, but in the end I'm not sure this one is about thinking as much as it is feeling.

Seeing a murderer/rapist executed feels good to me. Makes things feel right.

Setting laws/punishment in a society is not a science. It comes down to the majority's wishes. Right now, a majority of people in a number of states feel good about executing these criminals. That's all that matters.

Where to draw the line as to who gets executed? Where the majority feels right about it. I think it's in a good place.
Good post, and 100% agree. Well thought out arguments on both sides, but in the end, I feel the same as you do. It's probably in a good place.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:46 AM   #117
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Re: Utah killer executed by firing squad

Off topic, and that was a very interesting dialogue on the Death Penalty in society, but here is some interesting details on Hitler's prison time:

New documents surface on Hitler's jail time - Yahoo! News
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:25 PM   #118
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Re: Utah killer executed by firing squad

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They get turn loose everyday even when they get a life sentence. The only 100% way to know that they will not kill again is by the death sentence. Also an inmate serving a life sentence is the most dangerous person in the prison system because they know they are in there for life and what do they have to loose.
No. We are talking about life in prison WITHOUT PAROLE. And in maximum security. This set-up protects society from deviants every bit as much as executions.
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:28 PM   #119
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Re: Utah killer executed by firing squad

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See look how many lives would have been saved if he had been executed.
Yes, lives would have been saved if Hitler had been killed in 1923. But Hitler was not in prison for first-degree murder or some other death penalty offense. It is not the same thing.
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:31 PM   #120
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Re: Utah killer executed by firing squad

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Originally Posted by Schneed10 View Post
Lots of thoughtful posts going back and forth, but in the end I'm not sure this one is about thinking as much as it is feeling.

Seeing a murderer/rapist executed feels good to me. Makes things feel right.

Setting laws/punishment in a society is not a science. It comes down to the majority's wishes. Right now, a majority of people in a number of states feel good about executing these criminals. That's all that matters.

Where to draw the line as to who gets executed? Where the majority feels right about it. I think it's in a good place.
I respect your opinions and am not saying that you are wrong. But notice that the arguments made by those against the death penalty are rational arguments, not emotive ones. Herein lies a difference between the sides. I'm not saying better or worse, just different.
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