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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

    Gonk Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1998
    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

    Kimball_Kinnison Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2001
    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

    farraday Jedi Knight star 7

    Registered:
    Jan 27, 2000
    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

    Darth_Yuthura Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2007
    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

    Gonk Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1998
    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

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 1999
    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

    Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Congrats to Illinois on that.
     
  8. KnightWriter

    KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 6, 2001
    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

    Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2006
    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

    KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 6, 2001
    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

    Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2006
    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

    LtNOWIS Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    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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