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. Gonk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    CNN front page news today (although it's one of that stories that will probably be bumped from the front page soon):

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/10/20/death.penalty/index.html
  2. Kimball_Kinnison Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    The study referenced in that article came from the Death Penalty Information Center, which is widely recognized as an anti-capital punishment group. Their research should be taken with a grain of salt, as they have a history of ignoring evidence that would support the death penalty.

    They also have a history of misrepresenting evidence. For example, they maintain a list of [link=http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/some-examples-post-furman-botched-executions]botched executions[/link] that includes several cases of merely having trouble finding a vein to insert the IV for lethal injection. 18 of the 42 examples (43%) that they give consist of trouble finding a suitable vein.

    To my knowledge, their facts have not been challenged as being wrong, but they do tend not to report all of the facts, and they also tend to editorialize on the ones that they do report.

    Kimball Kinnison
  3. farraday Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Evidence in support of the death penalty like....?

    If you bring up that deterrence study I'm going to laugh. The reality is that, as an example, last year only one state executed more than 4 people. Any attempt to do real statistical analysis is going to be absolutely hampered by the fact the execution of prisoners is so rare as to make meaningful analysis near impossible. beyond that, the sheer magnitude of related issues which can effect the murder rate or the execution rate make the idea of establishing any sort of one to one relationship fairly laughable.
  4. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    I think you do make a point about just how few people are executed a year. Why is there so much debate over a subject that influences so few?

    If capital punishment weren't so expensive, it would not influence much more than maybe a few dozen people; but the expensive court hearings, appeals, legal obstacles, prison time, ext... it makes the whole system of capital punishment a much more difficult thing to work with.

    Not that life in prison is that much better, but it is easier to work with... and the guys on death row would spend years in prison anyway. Capital punishment is just needlessly more difficult and expensive than alternatives.
  5. Gonk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    To my knowledge, their facts have not been challenged as being wrong, but they do tend not to report all of the facts, and they also tend to editorialize on the ones that they do report.

    Noted. Do we have evidence that this particular report is tainted in such a way? Or that this is a consistent occurrance such that it should be the expectation?
  6. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Completing a process begun by one of Illinois' countless incarcerated ex governors, the new governor we hope will soon sign the abolition of the death penalty in Illinois into law.

    [link=http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/12/us/12death.html]Illinois Takes a Surprising Step Toward a More Civilized Society[/link]
  7. Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Congrats to Illinois on that.
  8. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 9
    I just saw a news heading for an execution in Oklahoma on Yahoo's main page. I've long been an opponent of the death penalty, but for whatever reason, I'm not sure I fully realized until just now how barbaric and incomprehensibly wrong it is. It is an incredibly arrogant thing for any society to do, and if we manage to survive as a race for another hundred years, I expect it will end completely. The practical reasons against it are compelling (length of the appeals process, danger of error, irreversibility of that error once the sentence is carried out) and the ethical reasons are equally compelling.

    I look forward to the day when the death penalty is considered as archaic as slavery (which is still practiced in various parts of the world today, I should note).
  9. Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I'd seperate out the two as, ethically, I CAN see a justification for the death penalty in extreme cases and when you have 100% certainty, the problem is that in the real world, 100% is never obtainable, and the practical reasons you mention, the latter two I agree with fully and the first one, the length of time, I would agree with mostly (part of it is, because of the other two practical reasons, I think it shouldn't be too short, on a certain level).
  10. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 9
    Also, the practical issues run into each other. It's said by many that the appeals process is too lengthy and should be cut down. If it was, that would cut down on the cost of the death penalty. That runs headlong into the danger of error and its eventual irreversibility. The more you do to take care of that, the longer and more exhaustive the appeals process.

    The obvious and far more practical solution is life in prison without possibility of parole.
  11. Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Agreed, it's hard to say it should be made cheaper because I think it's important that it's done thoroughly. People forget often, convicting an innocent person doesn't just mean an innocent person is in jail, it means a guilty person is still out there, often. If that substitution of life without parole was held to more thorough use, I think my objection to just using life in prison would've diminished faster.
  12. LtNOWIS Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    The Oklahoma execution was the 41st and final execution under Democratic governor Brad Henry, less than a week before he left office. The killer's whole family was there to watch him die; his last words were expressions of sorrow and love.

    However, there was apparently another execution Tuesday night in Oklahoma, the day after the new governor was inaugurated. The new state attorney general got to witness an execution on his second day on the job.
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