Can we abolish the Death Penalty yet? - Illinois Legislature Bans Death Penalty

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by farraday, Aug 27, 2009.

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  1. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    I don't really care one way or another whether the death penalty is ever abolished. I do have some simple questions, though, for the pro-death penalty lot.

    1) What purpose does the death penalty serve?

    I've heard heaps of people claim it's a deterrent, but if that's the case then why are there any murderers left?

    2) Are there any viable alternatives to the death penalty that would be acceptable?

    Would rehabilitation work? Maybe life imprisonment? I dunno, what do you think? Rotting in a cell forever or death? I'd choose death if it were me, but alas it's not and never will be.


    So yeah, does the death penalty serve justice or revenge? Me, I think it's about revenge, but that doesn't make me entirely opposed to the idea. I'm just apathetic toward it. If you can't assure that innocents won't be killed then it's a pretty lousy system, isn't it? And J-Rod--while it may be easy to reduce these things to numbers it also leaves little empathy for those who do die wrongfully because of our lousy justice system. What I'm saying is that you can't reduce human life to a number just because looking at names and faces is too difficult and would actually require you to have a conscience.
  2. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    If the criminal justice system condemns even one innocent person to death then that system should be changed to ensure that it cannot happen again. If innocent people are imprisoned rather than executed at least there is the prospect of exoneration if further evidence is uncovered down the track.


  3. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    Ooooops, how could that happen? Too many hours at work, I guess. Sorry about the math. But I'll agree that 10% is absolutely too high a number. Even 2.7 is uncomfortable.
  4. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Watch the personal attacks

    The abortion example is only relevant as, if ANY federal funds are going to it, then the government is in the murder business. If we want to misuse the word 'murder' sufficiently, anyway, imo.

    I am intrigued by all the "well, does anyone have an argument that doesn't bring up abortion or claim its a deterant" and I'm pretty sure I did precisely that and its been skipped over. As I stated, I view it as an acceptable punishment, in that I don't think its fair for someone to deprive someone else of life intentionally and deliberately and be able to, themselves, enjoy life. Its a matter of that they have what they've taken from someone else. I'd also say, I'd agree 100% with LostOnHoth suggesting a restriction to only be cases that have direct evidence. I think every step that can be done to make sure the verdict is accurate should be taken.
  5. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7

    I don't have a problem with its acceptability, I have a problem with it's accuracy. "we should make death penalty verdicts as accurate as possible" kind of misses the point since we should be making all verdicts as accurate as possible. Beyond a reasonable doubt is our standard conviction, whats your standard beyond beyond a reasonable doubt? Beyond any doubt? You set up a situation where you have the death penalty but it's impossible to use as a practical matter. We have at the very least a 2.7% innocence rate on death row so, I assume you want to completely review every single one of the 3300 current cases from top to bottom to meet your new standard?

    In total the "direct evidence" requirement will make it even rarer, and the entire process more time consuming, which makes me question your stated goal, that those who take lives should have theirs taken. You've made an already rare verdict downright endangered in its scarcity, so how is your purpose being served? You can't even really argue it's for the worst cases, since the controlling condition is not the severity of the case, but the quality of the evidence. A mafia hitman taking out an informer could be sentenced to death while someone who slaughters a school bus full of pregnant nuns with puppies is sentenced to life because there's no physical evidence.

    What purpose is truly being served when you attach to it the conditions you think are needed to minimize(not eliminate) the chance of an innocent being executed?
  6. Black-Tiger Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2008
    star 3
    Like I said, as in the case of Fred West, if the murderer is 100% proven then he should be executed. I mean, most of the women?s remains were found inside his house or in his garden! All the evidence also led straight back to him. He also admitted to doing another undiscovered girl and possibly many others!

    "Janet Leech, who was West's social worker until he hanged himself on New Year's Day, 1995, described how he told her there were many more killings."

    "He said there were 20 other bodies not in one place but spread around and he would give police one a year," she said. West is said to have claimed that Mary Bastholm, who disappeared aged 15 in 1968, was buried in a village called Bishop's Cleve. Her body has never been found."

    Can?t get much more guilty than that, aye? But, if there?s any doubt at all, like that of the Lockerbie bomber, then he should have life imprisonment. And when I say life I mean LIFE. Now I suspect you?ll find an argument for this.:rolleyes:
  7. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7

    So the death penalty if they confess? I think you might find it harder to convince them to confess. I'm also amused by your "if there are any doubts then life" statement. since we're already supposed to have our standard be "beyond a reasonable doubt" I guess you believe those doubts are unreasonable? I'm sure we could find unreasonable doubts for pretty much every case to make it impossible to execute if that's what you're requiring.
  8. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I'm gonna disagree with the suggestions that killing nuns, pregnant women, OR puppies should increase the chances that they get the death penalty.

    Also, I'm very confused by how someone not having sufficient evidence defeats that purpose. I mean, there are people who quite likely committed the murders they were accused of and found innocent. Does that mean that its foolish to have the judicial system require beyond a reasonable doubt because some people don't get any sentence for commiting worse crimes that those that do serve time? I don't think so.

    We ALREADY are willing to say that there's varying levels of doubt. For example, a jury found that O.J. Simpson wasn't guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but in the civil case, the ruling was that there was a preponderence of evidence that he had committed the crimes. The committal/grand jury procedure means that many serious crimes have to go through an initial trial to determine if it would be POSSIBLE for a jury to find the defendant guilty based on the evidence available as a low level check to see if it is then worth pursuing the case further and in greater detail. So I don't see an issue with saying that the death penalty is restricted to certain kinds of evidence.

    Moreso, and this is only cursory, I think it can be suggested that cases lacking direct evidence tend to be the once that are overturned.
    www.deathpenaltyinfo.org has a listing of people that have been released from Death Row after being found innocent. I started in the page that is 2004 to present, and just going down the list at the evidence they were convicted on....
    Alan Gell - no physical evidence mentioned, only testimony of two witnesses to tie him to it
    Gordon "Randy" Steidl - no physical evidence mentioned, only testimony of eyewitnesses
    Laurence Adams - no physical evidence, only testimony of witnesses of crime or statements about crime
    Dan L. Bright - ONLY evidence was testimony of one witness
    Ryan Matthews - only witness testimony, physical evidence DNA tests later excluded him from crime, no physical evidence tying him to crime
    Ernest Ray Willis - no physical evidence to crime, based on behavior noted by cops
    Derrick Jamison - seems to only be witness testimony, no physical evidence
    Harold Wilson - only physical evidence mentioned was a jacket that didn't fit him, released after questions over jury selection and DNA indicated blood at scene was neither his nor victims'
    Curtis Edward McCarty - convicted based on hair matches from samples that were lost when requested for retesting, original lab data says results were not a match. Analyst being investigated for fraud in several cases
    Michael L. McCormick - DNA testing conducted since first trial found physical evidence was not a match
    Jonathon Hoffman - charges dropped when retrial approached because case was based on witness testimony

    That covers all the death row cases that were reversed or otherwise released from 2004-2007. Of the 11, 9 of them were based on witness testimony, not physical evidence. Of the two that were based on physical evidence, one involved fraud, something that retesting samples either in the initial trial or in an appeal would reveal (as it did here). The second, DNA was not
  9. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Okay first, your comparison between standards of guilty in civil and criminal cases is completely unrelated. They're not the same thing at all and you're suggesting differing standards of guilt in criminal cases. Beyond that, since beyond a reasonable doubt is the standard for criminal cases any standard beyond that is probably unsatisfiable by a judicial system.

    The other option is to claim you're not setting up anew standard of guilt, in which case what are you doing? You've set up competing classes of evidence, one of which you've labeled inherently untrustworthy but still capable on its own of meeting the standard of guilt. Congratulations you've just built in a grounds for appeal for every single current and past single in which circumstantial evidence achieved guilt regardless of the punishment. By making that distinction you are creating reasonable doubt in every other case.

    A "solution" to the death penalty issue does not exist in a vacuum and must be workable with the entirety of the justice system.

    I'll take your physical evidence standard and I'll ask you about the Swafford case.

    Since November 1985, Swafford has been on death row in Florida. One of these days, perhaps even by the time you read this article, the Florida Supreme Court will rule on Swafford's request for a new trial. If his request is denied, a round of federal appeals will begin. No end is in sight. This is a pity, since Swafford may be innocent.

    During Swafford's trial, there was a curious discrepancy. The Rucker murder weapon was found in the Shingle Shack's men's room. But a waitress had testified that she accompanied Swafford while he dumped his gun in the ladies' room. At the time, no one knew what to make of this discrepancy. In the 1990s, however, Swafford's attorneys began to piece together a story.

    Shortly after the Rucker murder in 1982, police in Arkansas arrested a man named James Michael Walsh on charges of attempted murder. In his back pocket, Walsh was carrying a copy of the composite sketch of Rucker's killer, which the Arkansas police thought he resembled. They called detectives in Florida, who interviewed Walsh and his traveling companions. Two of Walsh's buddies placed him within a block of Rucker's Fina station a few minutes before the abduction. One of them, a man named Michael Lestz, said that Walsh reappeared four hours later, looking sweaty and nervous; then Walsh had Lestz drive him around to various local bars, including the Shingle Shack, to get rid of two .38-caliber pistols. None of this was known to the original defense attorney or to the jury that convicted Swafford. Walsh was never charged in the Rucker case.

    Here you have two narratives of one murder, each circumstantial, each slightly odd. The state would have you believe that Swafford abducted Rucker, drove her six miles, raped, burned, and killed her, and then drove back to his chums, all within about an hour. The defense would have you believe that there were two .38-caliber guns in Shingle Shack trash cans, one (the murder weapon) dumped in the men's room by Walsh and the other in the women's room by Swafford.


    Citation
    Whats your level of doubt?

    What it comes down to is not every murder case is inherently a death penalty case, nor should it be. Beyond that you are narrowing the field of possible cases to a point where perhaps a handful of people would be sentenced to such each year. What's the point of killing 5 people a year? You're going to start to have serious 8th Amendment issues if you limit it like that.
  10. CucumberBoy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2007
    star 3
    I can't believe some people argue that some innocent persons' deaths is a worthy sacrifice. That is the most blood-thirsty and barbaric stone age-view ever. "Yeah, there's be some innocent deaths, but that's fine with me as long as I get to see some bad guys' heads roll!"

    Why is retribution so damn important to some people? The world is unfair and it's the government's job to make it just a little bit more fair - but the cost of death penalty, in the form of innocents being executed, is too damn big.

    There are plenty of people I'd like to never have been alive in the first place, but I recognize that the system makes it impossible to implement a death penalty without innocent casualties.
  11. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    First of all, I've got no idea what you're asking me about with the Swafford case, other than based on that summary of it, it seems that there is no physical evidence tying him to the crime, and as such, I don't think he should be on Death Row.

    Regarding "beyond a reasonable doubt"... I would be very interested to see if any of the posters with a legal background can fill in on if there's any current situations where punishments are dependent on the level of evidence directly. However, I would point out that "beyond a reasonable doubt" does not mean 100% certainty, and as such, I think that means there is room to have greater certainty in some cases than in others, and so long as "beyond a reasonable doubt" is maintained for overall cases, I think the seriousness of the death penalty warrants additional measures to increase certainty.

    The death penalty SHOULD be used sparingly and with great caution, by the very nature of the punishment. However, I disagree that it becomes an 8th amendment issue simply if isn't used enough.
  12. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Not that I am aware for the simple reason that reaching a verdict in a criminal trial and sentencing are two completely separate considerations. In reaching a verdict, the jury is essentially the 'tribunal of fact' and the judge directs the jury as to the standard of proof required. The judge makes a direction to the jury as to the meaning of "beyond reasonable doubt". The jury decides whether the prosecution has met that burden.

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Beyond+a+Reasonable+Doubt

    In sentencing a criminal, there is no consideration whatsoever as to how the burden was made out by the prosecution. It is irrelevent for the sentencing judge whether the guilty verdict was based upon circumstantial evidence or direct physical evidence or direct witness evidence, or both. At the end of the day, if the verdict is guilty then the judge must turn to sentencing without a thought as to how that verdict was reached. If the verdict is completely and utterly in conflict with the evidence or the evidence is patently unreliable, then a judge may rule a jury verdict 'unsafe' or 'perverse' (the language differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction) and the judge may then enter his/her own judgment notwithstanding the verdict. This is quite rare though.

    Sentencing has its own rules, traditions and common law however. The sentencing judge will weigh up 'aggravating' factors and 'mitigating' factors when weighing up a sentence. Aggravating factors include the attitude of the criminal, ie, whether the criminal displays remorse, the brutality of the act, the nature of the attack, the motivation behind the attack, the extent of the premeditation etc. Mitigating factors include whether the criminal co-operated, displays of remorse, likelihood of re-offending etc.

    So, in short, I think the answer is a resounding "no". The judge does not base sentencing on the quality of the evidence which returned a guilty verdict.
  13. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Have you noticed, globally, that mostly barbaric states have the death penalty? That's no coincidence.

    Illustrious.

    I know that Singapore and Malaysia reserve captial punishment only on drug smuggling convictions, and that's a right they reserve rather than a policy decision. Japan's the only other Western country there.

    I would just like to +1 farrie's POV, and congratulate the pro-death penalty crew on the company they keep.

    ES
  14. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    For or against, the issue should be looked at on its own merits.

    I don't think there's a valid argument in saying "look who else has that stance", as that leads to cheap rhetoric like pointing out that, say, Hitler was a vegetarian that banned guns. The Hitler association doesn't, and shouldn't, say anything for or against the merits of either of those two positions in its own right.
  15. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    I'm not sure that's precisely the same thing. Most nations have done away with capital punishment, Lowie, on similar or identical grounds. You can see this by way of the UNGA declaration of 1976 or 77, where they stated a desire to abolish that form of punishment. Yes, it's not a legally binding resolution but as a statement of consensus, it's pretty compelling.

    My point, besides having farrie in the same corner as the UN which from memory is his favourite place, was to illustrate that the US is really an odd-one-out on the whole issue of capital punishment and that, in and of itself, might be telling.

    Your Godwin example would only work if a trait amongst vegetarians was either megalomania, warmongering, genocide or ridiculous facial hair.

    ES
  16. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    I'd like to bring this back to the categories that one of the first posters brought up back on the first page:

    There are 4 possible functions of punishment:
    -protective function: to protect society from dangerous people
    -corrective function: to help reform a person so he's no longer a danger
    -deterrent function: to dissuade others from doing similar wrongs
    -retributive function: the idea that the wrongdoer deserves to suffer for his wrongdoing

    I don't know if anyone agrees on those 4, but I generally do. and I'd really want to view this in a utilitarian persective, going from bottom to top:

    retributive function: This is useless. Retribution should not be the business of the state. I understand that people have that need, but the state needs to be impartial, so this should get thrown out the window without any questions from anyone.

    deterrent function: I understand this is used more, but I find it almost as silly as the retrbutive function. You're trying the old 'send a message' scenario and you're sending it to an audience that is essentially not listening, or only seeing what they want to see. Sure, you take away the death penalty and someone bent on murder might say "well I should do it because I won't get killed for it if I'm caught". That's unlikely, but possible. But if you intitute it that same person's just going to say "well I should still do it becuase I'll be sure not to get caught". If your punishment is life imprisonment versus the death penalty, you're really not getting any bang for your buck by taking off those metaphorical white gloves. Espicallly since it's not like any execution is paraded around like the Romans did with thier crucifixions or thier heads are not being staked onto the gates of the Tower of London. If someone just sees on a new report that they put a murderer to death, I highly doubt they're going to see relevancy to thier situation.

    corrective function: Depending on how you look at it, this may be one of the few uses of the Death Penalty. True, it has no reformational function. However, if you look at it from the standpoint of rendering an individual no longer a danger, then Death essentially does that.

    protective function: I thnk the question here is how can society be any more protected from a dead inmate than one imprisoned for life? Is not the result the same? If all death sentences were changed to life without possibility of parole, the effect on society in terms of the person's danger is the same.

    So essentially, all I can acknowledge is that there is a truth to the corrective factor, much in the same way you can retort that violence does solve something: as said in Starship Troopers, the fate of Carthage is proof enough of that. But are we really gettig any essential need from this ultimate corrective factor? Lowie himself acknowledges how rarely this step must be taken if you're going to do it. If it turns out a person is executed wrongly, what does it say about the process? Such was the case of the last man convicted to death in Canada circa 1930-1940: he was innocent. Thus a large part of the reason this country no longer has the death penalty.

    At what point do we say "we're comfortable with that standard of evidence"? At what point is the crime heinous enough? I don't know, I'm not opposed morally to Lowie's assertion that if you reserved such a fate solely for the serial killers -- people who murdered on more than one occasion with clear malice aforethought -- many of these individuals are like dogs that society may benefit from being destroyed. But I do oppose it from the standpoint that we have to use it as the barometer for all cases: and using the Death Penalty in whatever aspect is like playing with fire. Too much can potentially go wrong.
  17. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The corrective theory of punishment I thought had more to do with rehabilitating people so that they could play a useful part in society. That's the idea behind work release programs and providing tools for prisoners to get their GED or even college degrees while behind bars.

    It takes I think a pretty severe contortion to justify the death penalty under that theory - essentially saying that the person is of most use to him/herself if dead, that society gets the most utility from the person's death. Perhaps in the sense that killing someone quickly saves the state money - reduces the cost of food and shelter and healthcare, etc.

    The way you define it I'm not sure I can tell the difference between the corrective and protective functions. That said, there is some legitimacy to the protective function. People escape from prison. They kill other prisoners or maybe even guards while behind bars.

    But pretty clearly the death penalty persists for political reasons, and the political reason that allows it to persist is the public's thirst for retribution. Homicide news is a big part of television infotainment. The heinousness of high profile televised homicide cases tends to increase the public desire for revenge that can be applied to all other homicide cases.
  18. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/09/07/090907fa_fact_grann

    Article form the New Yorker about the Willingham case. It's 17 pages so you're in for a read. It follows the case formt he start, sets up the Prosecutions argument and then the rebuttals. by the end there are no questions left. Every single portion of the case is dissected, examined, and demolished and there can be no doubt that in 2004 we executed an innocent man based on superstition, incompetence and apathy.

    My personal favorite parts? The jailhouse informant wondering if the statue of limitations on perjury has run out and the fact "that roughly a quarter of the inmates condemned to death in Texas were represented by court-appointed attorneys who had, at some point in their careers, been ?reprimanded, placed on probation, suspended or banned from practicing law by the State Bar.?"

    Regardless of if you think it' possible to make a system that can work well enough to mete out a death penalty, it's clear that system is not our own. At the very least we should once again moratorium the death penalty until some minimum level of competence is met(this may take a few centuries).
  19. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Have you noticed, globally, that mostly barbaric states have the death penalty? That's no coincidence.

    But is this really the idea you wanted to convey? One of your more stronger points in the past was that those in the US sometimes have to look beyond their own mindset when judging other cultures... It's a valid point, but isn't this exactly the opposite of what you're doing here?

    Culturally and historically, why does Japan have capital punishment? What strong religious forces guide Iran's use of the death penalty? China's use of capital punishment is also linked to how it views its economic progress in the world. If China, the US, and Japan represent a combined 3/4 of the world's GDP power among the three, is capital punishment really outside of the norm? They're all linked together, and don't deserve to be simply dismissed as barbaric, unless of course, you've changed from your other point above.

    Not to mention if we look at how punishment is still viewed in other countries. In the past, we used the Martin Bryant case from Australia. Bryant, the perpetrator of the "Port Arthur Massacre" where 56 people were either killed or wounded was sentenced by the Australian courts to- what was the figure-about 1,000 years in prison. Not only that, it is supermax time, where prison authorities keep him confined in his cell for 23 hours a day, and provide him with I believe 2 meals.

    Now, I don't know how much more "morally superior" keeping someone confined to a cell for 23 housr a day for effectively the rest of his life is, than simply executing him outright. At best, it's a marginal bump on the scale.

    But it's obvious that there is a political side to his sentencing as well. Is there any practical reason to make the numerical side of the sentence 1,000 years long? I mean, Bryant is only going to live at most 50-60 more years.. His sentence is basic retribution as well.

    I suppose the upside potentially exists that if Bryant was suddenly found to be innocent after spending 20 years in a 6x6 cell, and after he was completely institutionalized, he could be set free, and a great moral victory would be upheld. But how much "better" would that be on some sort of scale?
  20. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Well that's better than if the sentence were death. It's not good to have imprisoned an innocent man, but it's better to be able to act on a mistake 20 years later than never. Many who were later found innocent would appreciate this.
  21. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Of course he would appreciate it.

    My point was more that this was more of a "top down" question, more than a "bottom up" one. I mean, any government would have to be pretty sure of someone's guilt to sentence them to 1,000 years in prison, probably the same standard that exists for any hypothetical capital punishment. This retribution-based, "what standard exists," type of scale is what has been examined in the thread.

    To have a man freed after 20 years in maximum security isn't a bad thing, but to have something like that happen would mean that some other factor came into play. What evidence wasn't around when a 1,000 year sentence was imposed that suddenly appeared 20 years later? I think that's the same thing that is being discussed regarding the thread topic.

    Like I said, the finality is certainly different, but I'm not sure how less "barbaric" it is on its own to hand out 1,000 year sentences, than it is to issue capital punishment for the same category of crime. That's all.
  22. Vezner Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 5
    I haven't read this entire thread yet so I apologize if this has already been posted but what are your thoughts about cases like this:
    http://www.azfamily.com/news/homepagetopstory/stories/phoenix-news-081909-burned-body-arrest.f6bea024.html

    People like this are the primary reason for why I support the death penalty.
  23. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Martin Bryant received a life sentence for every person he killed. So he received 35 life sentences. On top of that he recieved sentences for the 20 odd people he shot and tried to kill but luckily failed. This is just the way sentencing works. If you kill three people, you serve three life sentences, if you kill 30 people, you get 30 life sentences. It's all just a number at the end of the day because the reality is, as we all know, that he recieved a life sentence. He will die in jail.

    It's an interesting question as to whether it is better to serve life in prison or be executed. Perhaps prisoners can be given the choice?

    The last I read about Martin Bryant, he had been transferred to the psychiatric ward of the prison in which he will spend the rest of his life, had put on lots of weight because of a craving for ice cream and was swapping sexual favours for cans of coca-cola.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/a-man-rejecting-his-mother-and-the-world-20090425-aio4.html

  24. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    I would support the death penalty under the conditions that the criminal was a serial killer and posed a threat to society. If the guy was properly confined and never released/escaped, then the matter would be how much they cost to keep alive.

    I think that someone placed in a max-security prison should be put to work to earn his keep. He shouldn't cost taxpayers all the money for the bars, food, and security; so make them pay for themselves. If they don't, then they shouldn't be provided for... if they don't want to starve to death, they must work.

    My issue with life in prison is that it will cost more in the long run. Death penalty is just ridiculous if it costs so much to do. If they can do an execution for reasonable cost, then it would make more sense not to give him life in prison.
  25. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    So you want to bring back debtors prisons and turn the 1 in a 100 Americans in prison into a captive workforce or else starve?

    I realize debtors prisons and slavery went out of style last century but I'm not sure everything old should be new again.

    Again, I'm hearing a lot of "cases like this piss me off and I want them to die" and not a lot of how we do so in a legal fashion without the execution of innocents. Maybe we should just skip the whole prison portion of justice entirely and start up the old lynch mob regime so we can get our petty vengeance going.
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