Punishment by Death

On this blog over the past several days, there has been a lengthy discussion on the death penalty. It was initiated by a post written by Mick on his blog. Overall, the debate has leaned towards the feeling that the death penalty is wrong and rehabilitation is preferred.

In my opinion, the whole issue isn’t so cut and dried. I feel there are simply too many extenuating circumstances to be considered before a declaration can be made one way or the other.

An example of this is a comment by an individual who goes by the name of Violet. She offered these thoughts:

When I was religious I believed god would deal out all final justice, so humans did not have to bother with such things. Of course now I believe there is no final justice (as there is no god)…so if the only justice is that which we can extract ourselves, this leaves revenge more acceptable position. There are certainly moral problems with revenge, but there are also a number of moral problems without revenge. When I was a christian I was opposed to capital punishment for severe crimes…now I’m not so sure.

[…]

(P)eople need to abide by the social contract if they want to be a part of society. We do not live in a utopia by any means and the innocent need to be protected from predators.

To me, Violet brings up some valid points, which proves this is a very sticky issue. There are no easy answers.

So I’m asking my blog readers to weigh in. What do you think? Is the death penalty justified? If so, should it only be warranted under certain conditions? What are those conditions?

Or … do you believe the idea of executing someone is a “crime against humanity” and thus, should never be considered?

For my part, I tend to believe the death penalty should not be taken off the table. I believe there are certain circumstances in which it is justified. For example, when it has been proven the guilty party has maliciously and deliberately ended another person’s life (let’s use Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman as an example), to simply confine the guilty party away from society seems inadequate.

For other crimes, as when someone knowingly and intentionally violates the norms of society, inflicts harm against another individual (or even ends a life but without malice and forethought), then I feel the punishment should fit the crime. And this is where our judicial system comes into play.

Some people brought up the point that our prisons are often referred to as “Correctional Facilities.” And surely this is the ideal — to rehabilitate and return criminals to society as changed individuals. But it cannot be denied that many who are behind bars are hardened offenders and no amount of “rehabilitation” will change them into a “good citizen.”  (Some statistics on recidivism can be found here.)

I think we all know there are no simple answers. The circumstances surrounding any crime are many and varied (which is why we elect judges). But for the sake of discussion, I hope you’ll offer your viewpoint on this blog topic.

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123 thoughts on “Punishment by Death

  1. Hello Nan. I just posted this to Violet ………

    “Cases without the death penalty cost $740,000, while cases where the death penalty is sought cost $1.26 million. Maintaining each death row prisoner costs taxpayers $90,000 more per year than a prisoner in general population. There are 714 inmates on California’s death row.
    Costs of the Death Penalty | Death Penalty Information Center
    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty

    I agree it is a difficult subject and one with both a lot of emotion and a lot of conflicting data. I think it was a good talk on the other blog and I look forward to it here also. Be well. Hugs

    Liked by 4 people

    • As suggested by the article, the death penalty is certainly not justified dollar-wise. But this is because of all the wrangling and hassling between the attorneys (for and against the convicted individual) that draws the case out for months and months (and oftentimes years).

      I understand there can be conflicting arguments related to “evidence,” but if an experienced and qualified judge has heard the case and made a decision, it seems to me that should settle the issue … UNLESS, new evidence is discovered that might actually change the verdict.

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      • I agree trail costs would be higher as you say with all the more things that have to be certain of. But I have not figured out why the death row inmates take so much more money to house. Is it because they separate them? Do they need more staff to guard them? I wonder what the extra costs are for. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

        • From the article (Oregon): Among the reasons cited for the higher cost in death penalty cases were the requirement for appointment of death-qualified defense lawyers, more pre- and post-trial filings by both prosecutors and the defense, lengthier and more complicated jury selection practices, the two-phase death penalty trial, and more extensive appeals once a death sentence had been imposed.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I did not read the article, I should have. So the extra cost of housing is because of appeals after conviction. I bet it also costs more to transport death row people than normal prisoners as they have to be kept separate. Thanks Nan. to your question, I do not think a progressive people should have a death penalty. We shouldn’t sink to the depths of the killers. We need to beef up help for the mentally ill. I follow a blog where the nice father has a son in jail right now. The boy has a mental illness. HE keeps ending up in jail. The dad tries to help him but there is little he can do. It tears his heart out. I think we need to change the things in our society that promotes crime such as the whole gang thing, the fact kids have few after school programs , arrest diversion programs. But in truth it is hard to get these things going when each prisoner is a cash cow to a for profit prison company? We need to find a way to rein in greed. I don’t have the answers, but I am willing to listen to people who have researched it. However I have heard people say they don’t need any ideas from other countries. I have heard people say America is the greatest and we have the answers. So I worry we won’t change as we need to. Hgus

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        • Also, I’d say, it should never be easy for the state to carry out executions. So, yes, having people on death row is expensive. It kinda has to be. If you were on death row, and innocent, would you not want every legal defense in the book to prove your innocence before you were wrongly killed? I would. In the long run, it would be far less expensive to put a vast amount more time and money into a caring, helpful mental health system and an education system than to keep up death row expenditures. The best way, imo, to reduce death row costs is to eliminate death row.

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  2. Indeed, a tough topic. If someone killed those I cared for, I’m not above wanting to kill them out of revenge. If I had to physically do it myself, could I do it? I seriously doubt it. So the state must then do it. Is it OK for the state to do it? I do not believe so. Also, many times, especially here in Illinois, folks on death row have been later cleared of their crime via DNA analysis and other means. Thus, Illinois has placed a moratorium on the death penalty. If one is truly gun-ho for the death penalty, I must assume they’re OK with the unnecessary, accidental collateral damage that goes along with it when the wrong person is put to death. I suppose, as long as it isn’t you who’s incorrectly executed, being OK with this collateral damage is pretty easy to do. I’m against the death penalty, but, as you’ve said, the question is difficult. I do not think we here in the States are doing a good job of rehabilitating criminals. The older I get, the more of a determinist I become. We must better the environment for all of our citizens equally, or at least do a damned better job than we are, or criminal activity will continue to run rampant in many areas of our society. Correcting, and soothing large societal problems is very complicated and hard. It takes time, empathy, patience, and an ability to understand black and white answers to complex problems almost always never work.

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    • Sometimes I think decisions on this issue are made by those of us who have never been directly involved in violent crime. For example, using the case of Nicole and Ron, what would be your feelings if you were the father, the mother, the sister, the brother, the wife, the husband … etc.? Is it just “revenge” that makes us want to end the life of the perpetrator? Or is there something more … something deeper?

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      • I’ve been the victim of violent crime, not murder, obviously, as here I be, but brutal, and prolonged, nonetheless. I think the feeling for revenge is very deep and very primordial in us. In the OJ case, btw, when, oh when will they catch the real killer?, I’d be furious and want the bastard killed. That doesn’t make it the right thing. Too many mistakes have happened and can. I understand the need for revenge and the rage that seethes deep inside us that cries for it. Like I said, it’s a very deep emotion and I feel it fuels the drive toward the death penalty. A detached, emotionless government carrying out executions is far more vile to me than the need for someone wronged to seek revenge-not that it’s right, mind you, I just can empathize more with it. If a government can be cold and emotionally detached from those it kills, it can also be detached and analytical of the issues involved with creating “criminals” and calmly seek ways to heal and improve those issues. I do not believe our government does anything of the sort. It’s very hard to do. It takes making fundamental change, and who, or what government, wants to do that? Kill. Build walls. Deport. Blow up. These things are easy to comprehend, and, imo, far easier to implement than making changes to build a more emphatic, healing society. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to beat the shit out of my neighbor for playing his damned music too loud.

        Liked by 5 people

        • I’m sorry for your experiences, Jeff. ❤

          You make some good points. Emotions are often the driving force for many of our decisions in life. And yes, the government being the behemoth it is certainly doesn't offer any palatable solutions.

          Actually I've been both for and against the death penalty in my lifetime. I served on a trial in which we recommended the death penalty, but some years later, I had second thoughts and felt life in prison was the greater punishment. Today? I think I'm somewhat in the middle.

          It's a tough subject. As a (somewhat) "moral" people, we often are hard-pressed to make "right" decisions.

          Liked by 4 people

        • Very true. I was, in my youth, a “kill the bastard” kinda fella when it came to the death penalty. Actually, I was angrily in favor of it and thought those who weren’t were pansies and wimps. As I matured, and my empathy, and, unfortunately, my waistline increased I changed my ideology.

          Liked by 3 people

  3. I would not wish to consider myself a member of any society, or citizen of any nation, that executed its citizens, Nan. Endorsing and advocating capital punishment is not an enlightened position to hold, in my view, leaving aside the inherent and proven failings of judicial systems, which are themselves irresolvable.

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  4. “I would not wish to consider myself a member of any society, or citizen of any nation, that executed its citizens, Nan.”

    The above sentence is quite blaming. Not all of us get to choose what society or nation we belong to. I’d like to live in a utopia, but I don’t. I’m stuck here in america. 😉

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    • Yes well said Violet.

      I must admit that I don’t know what to think on the matter, I would argue that some people would see life in prison as a greater punishment than execution.

      Liked by 3 people

      • If I had a voice, I’d say this: Murderers in prison need to be slowly flawed alive over many weeks until their skin is totally removed, boiled, and then fed to them. Then, they need to be hung slowly until they’re just about dead. Then, they need to be revived and feed their own baked skin until they vomit. If the American Government does this religiously, all crime will end, and all evil will end. Eating the baked skin of those who’ve killed your loved ones is, without a doubt, a peaceful, intelligent, calm, emphatic way to make America great again. Since when has horrid torture and death, prescribed by the ruling government, NOT been a way to make America great again? Really, when? Oh, wait, you may be a faggot who believes OTHER countries other than America are great. But to you I say, “Fuck off!” The ONLY country that’s ever been great is America. It was founded in 1953 by Christian Republicans named Jones and Smith, and it was great then, and it’ll be great now, once liberals are burned at the stake and the disabled and elderly are killed in gas chambers. Praise be America! Praise be Republicans! We are real and all others are faggot losers! $Amen$

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        • I agree with you. Punish them till they are an inch of dying then bring them to life again for more pain. You will have a great country. There will be no crime ever. Those who developed the stake will look at you in amazement and ask why didn’t they think of that!

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      • If it were me, I’d rather die than spend life in prison. Then again, I’d finally get treatment for my disease if I were incarcerated, so perhaps that would make life more palatable. I have many conflicting thoughts about the issue.

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        • I agree, Violet. The pros and cons are all worthy of consideration. But looking at the situation from your perspective, it does seem things are more than a little lop-sided.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I am in agreement with you Nan that there is no cut-n-dry virtually right or wrong perfect answer to this debate.

    There are perhaps 30-40 various points of contention whether the death penalty is justifiable or not, but there’s one area that often bothers me that I feel isn’t debated/discussed long enough or deep enough: the moral justification.

    The confusion, at least in my mind, is WHOSE life is anymore hallowed or more sacred, the victim(s) or the murderer(s)? And if the victim(s) was young, say from 8-years old up to 20-years old — and in fact I don’t even like putting THOSE parameters on ANY victim(s) — then I’m even LESS forgiving for the murderer(s)! Why are the victims or the victim so easily forgotten!? And what about the victim'(s’) family and spouse!? Seriously, WHY is their lost life less hallowed/sacred than the suspected or convicted murderer(s)?

    Additionally, with more and more genetic and forensic sciences advancing every year or five, the chances of incorrect convictions are proportionally decreasing as well. And I do believe the fear of the death penalty is to a degree a heinous murderer’s deterrent — which IMO indirectly shows evidence of whose live then seems more sacred; a murderer(s) reconsider because they feel their own life is worth more than the potential victim(s). How ironic to get inside the mind of a cold killer or killers.

    Agreed Nan, the death penalty does not need to be completely banned. Just keep refining it for close-to-near-perfect 98.999% accuracy or better.

    If anyone is interested, I like to reference ProCon.org’s exceptional objective unbiased format on this issue as well as many others. Here is their link: http://deathpenalty.procon.org/ …as well as many other debates. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • ‘Why are the victims or the victim so easily forgotten!? And what about the victim'(s’) family and spouse!? Seriously, WHY is their lost life less hallowed/sacred than the suspected or convicted murderer(s)?’

      Yes I know what you mean professor.

      I suppose one problem is the case of wrongful conviction. I was listening to a technical expert yesterday who was involved in crime detection, they observed that witness statements have been proven quite unreliable (people tend to recreate memories in their mind and very influenced by suggestion and bias). This expert noted that in some cases DNA evidence has been able to show just how reliable a witness can be.

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        • Peter, I agree about human eyewitnesses ability to be quite unreliable. Some time ago I did a 6-part blog series about that human condition. Within that I covered just how UNreliable our senses and perceptions truly are. Here is Dr. Elizabeth Loftus’ — of UCLA and Stanford University — TED speech about this very real issue. Well worth the 17-mins… 🙂

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    • Professor, to me, this is the question that sums it up …

      The confusion, at least in my mind, is WHOSE life is anymore hallowed or more sacred, the victim(s) or the murderer(s)?

      Based on the comments here and on the other blog, it would appear most feel it is the latter.

      I’m not totally convinced.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hello Nan. I don’t think it is a matter of whose life has more value than any others. I see it as not following one horrible deed with another horrible deed. No one can do anything, not even the killer, about the fact a life is gone. It can’t be given back, it can’t be affected. If it was a matter of keeping someone from getting killed it would be drastically different. Once a life has been taken then will executing the criminal fix that loss? Will killing someone bring the person back? No but it does lower you to the same level as the killer in my opinion. I think you have to be mentally ill to take a life, to kill someone on purpose. So for me to want that for anyone makes me mentally ill also. I hope I explained it OK. IF not I will try again. Thanks. Be well. Hugs

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        • You explained it fine, Scottie. It’s just that in this particular matter, I’m not totally in agreement. But that’s what makes these discussions interesting. If we all saw everything the same, we’d be robots. 🙂

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        • I agree. I want a world where we are better being tomorrow than we are today. I want to get as enlightened as we can. I want to work towards a world where the the idea of taking a life is always a fiction and never an action. But to get to the Star Trek world we have to work for it now. We have to try to be as good to each other ( and the planet ) as we possibly can. Maybe with practice we can really work our way there. Hugs

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        • 🙂 sometimes it is hard to keep trying when it seems the work is so hard and the goal so far away. I am lucky, others share my dreams and they help me keep my spirits up. When I see how grand others are, when I read or see the wonderful things they have done for others, then I know we really do have a chance. I am glad I am making the journey to a better future with all the great people I have met online. Hugs

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        • I totally get your point, Scottie, and think you’ve explained it very well. I even agree with much of what you’re saying. There is a bit of a problem though; murderers (and other violent criminals as well) are getting reduced sentences in the US because of prison overcrowding and the expense of housing them. This can lead to killers/violent predators/pedophiles being out on the streets again and able to victimize more people. So it’s a conundrum: do you kill the worst criminals to protect society, or do you let them out into society again and just hope no more innocents get hurt? Many violent criminals are serving nowhere near a “lifetime sentence” of 21 years in the US, which means victims have to worry about them coming back around.

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        • Hi Violet. I think you have to keep those that have been determined to be dangerous to others contained no matter the costs. That includes people committed to mental facilities. However we have lots and lots of people who shouldn’t have been in prison or have way to long a sentence. The USA has some of the longest sentences in the world and it doesn’t seem to be stopping crime. We already talked about nonviolent drug charges. I have heard of a few others but can’t name them with looking them up. IF we let those people out of prison, we could keep the more violent and dangerous ones in jail , couldn’t we? I think long sentences are part vengeance or revenge. I think we need to make sure people in prison are rehabilitated and have support and monitoring when they get out. I think it has to be a combination of carrot and stick, as one or the other alone won’t help. I totally agree with you, no one who poses a danger to others should be let free. Sadly there is no fool proof test, but there are smart people who have it more figured out who is changed and who is not, much better than I do. thanks. Hugs

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        • Agree that nonviolent prisoners should not have long sentences or even be in prison at all, except for extreme cases (the Enron guy comes to mind).

          Now touching on the mental health thing…I was a psychiatric RN for 13 years and worked in a locked psych unit. We dealt with people who were violent all the time, some who came from prisons and some who came in from open society. Our average hospital stay was 3 days-2weeks. What I can tell you is that there are no psych facilities to hold the violent mentally ill for any length of time anymore, as in the US we decided to get away from “mental institutions.” Now all the mentally ill go to jail. Our society deemed mental institutions to be “inhumane,” which has now created a new inhumanity of them be slammed in prisons. I have never talked to anyone (outside the field of mental health) who thinks re-opening mental institutions is a good idea.

          My opinion on this: our idealism as Americans is cutting off viable solutions that we need to be looking at. People don’t want mental institutions, the government may give long prison sentences but can’t afford to actually enforce them, and now the death penalty is considered inhumane. What then, is a practical, reasonable solution for our criminal population?

          Sometimes I think people are waiting for the perfect humane solution…which means no solution ever gets implemented. We have to start with where we’re at…IMHO, this means some inhumanity is bound to occur in prisons, just as it does in real life for everyone, free or incarcerated.

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        • Violet I am glad to talk to you as you have expertize in an area I have only heard “street” talk about. I had heard the reason we got rid of psych facilities was money. States wanted to reduce their costs and those places understandably have to cost a lot. You have to have really skilled ( and brave ) staff like yourself and buildings made for the task and not heck holes all run down. Plus doctors and supplies. Yes it costs. But is it not worth it? I have never worked in one or even toured one, but I know a blogger who is 60 years old in california, and his son has some mental illness that makes it so he can’t really function in society. He is always being arrest his dad said. It breaks his heart when his son calls. He wants his dad to help him, send money get him a better lawyer , whatever. The man has really done all anyone ever cound. He understands it is something his son can’t really control. But I guess the boy doesn’t see reality the way the rest of us do, he often is picked up on drug charges, doesn’t remember to take his meds.. a bunch of stuff I can’t recall right now. Every time Juan blogs about it , it breaks my heart. You are so correct that throwing people like that in jail is inhumane. I worked in the ICU’s at Health park Hospital and Ron still does, and all the staff thinks we need to have places like that open again. They just opened a few years ago a 400 bed treatment psychological facility across from the hospital. They do drug treatment and other mental treatments on an outpatient basis. I welcome any thing you can share with me on that, Thanks. As for a perfect solution. I don’t think it is that people are waiting so much as things keep being political footballs, and it keeps changing depending on which side has the ball at the time. I know we keep voting to force the local and state government to do things we know they should but that they don’t want to spent money on. Here in Florida our people is we went from a deep democrat government to a deep republicain one. Different team and different goals. SO the social programs we had and the extra police and fire got slashed and tax breaks and refunds were pushed. Once they pushed a refund and it was promised it wouldn’t affect fire or police. But that is what happened first thing that year, we lost the fire station here ( the consolidated them all ) and the sheriff cut patrols and staff. Now I think people are willing to pay their fair share and to accept the facilities we need to have and fund them. It is the constant depletion of the state funds. They need to take the tax rates up again a bit, not all the way at once, to what they were when we had the government ability to do stuff, to run programs, and they must not give every surplus away or go into the red to give cuts. It is the idea created that government is always bad or can’t work that is a problem also , because I know it worked great when it was funded at a proper level. Anyway, I hope you can share with me some ideas about how to handle the mentally ill. and what programs we should have and fund. Like I said here in South Florida we keep having to have the public vote on stuff they should just do but don’t want to raise money for. Thanks. Hugs

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        • Outpatient mental health facilities, like the one you describe, do NOTHING to help the severely and persistently mentally ill…especially those who are prone to violence. IMHO we need to go back to long term institutions (which could keep violent patients for as long as needed, a lifetime if necessary). Yes, they are about as expensive as jails, but this is far more humane than jail.

          I don’t know about Florida so much, but here in Minnesota our last mental institution was closed in the 90s because the public was outraged at the “inhumanity” of it…and so *politicians* closed it. This was championed as giving the mentally ill “civil rights/equal rights.” That the politicians saved the state money was only a bonus.

          Minnesota, unlike Florida, is one of the most highly taxed states in the Union. Ever year we have billions of dollars of surplus in our state budget (see recent article here: http://www.twincities.com/2017/02/28/minnesotas-projected-budget-surplus-raised-to-1-65-billion/).

          Know what? We still don’t have healthcare for all our citizens, our prisons are in crisis like every other state, our infrastructure is a disaster (remember the deadly bridge collapse? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-35W_Mississippi_River_bridge), our education is a f’ing mess, and it seems nothing ever gets done. I haven’t seen a personal tax refund from all this budget surplus since Jesse Ventura was elected as our gov’ner in 1999. I have no idea where the HELL all those billions go, but I can say the ills of our society is not just an issue of paying higher taxes, that’s for sure.

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        • Wow Violet our states are so different in how they handle the budget and how it is prioritized. Not that it is important but we went from huge surpluses like you have to being so strapped for money they are privatizing everything and slashing services and programs.

          I really am interested in the mental institutions you are talking about. I totally agree with you they are a better alternative for those who need long term care, or need to be separated from society. I don’t know much about the subject as I said, and you can clearly see, and I want to learn as I think it is important. I think the ones complaining about psych facilities are the same SJW I am recently hearing about who are protesting any college speech they don’t agree with and who rank a group’s oppression ratio. I was talking to someone about this and was started to find out that gay people are considered oppressors and bad despite the fact the LGBTQ are often targets for discrimination. I do understand wanting to improve society but not at the price of making everyone unthinking slaves to rigid thought police. I will defend those who need defending, I will stick up for ideas that need to be heard and championed. I want to help improve society. But I don’t want to live in a fake bubble. Does that make sense? I think those that complained about the long term care for the violently mentally ill are like that, they couldn’t see the forest for the trees. They were demanding that the appearance of equality take precedence over the real need to help people and care for them and all of us who would be harmed otherwise. Thanks Violet for helping me understand the whole mental institution thing from a different view point. Is there anything else about the subject I should know? You have many years in the field so you are a great resource on this. Hugs

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        • You mention SJW, and in my mind they’ve single-handedly killed and disabled our mental health system…they meant to do good, but as you said they couldn’t see the forest for trees.

          One of the ways the SJW killed mental health is by pushing the idea that the mentally ill aren’t violent…and this helped close the long-term psych institutions (becuase society wasn’t in any danger). The real stats are that the mentally ill aren’t “anymore violent that the rest of the population” (see resource here: https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/myths-facts/). This does NOT MEAN ALL MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE AREN’T VIOLENT. One only needs to look around at the mass killings in the last years to see how mental illness can devastate the cognitive functions of a person.

          The SJW’s couldn’t have foreseen that by closing the insane asylums, they were condemning the mentally ill to prison in huge, devestating numbers. Almost every day I see prison shows on TV about how they’re now warehouses for the mentally ill …but have you EVER seen anyone suggest the solution is to go back to long term asylums? No. Because “insane asylums aren’t humane.” In my mind, this is one way idealism is killing us.

          I do want to say we should always hold up the ideals and strive for them, even if we can never achieve them. But more often than not, they’re not achievable.

          Now as to MN and FL, you are correct that there couldn’t be two states more different than ours. We have two totally different systems in place, but both are failing. It’s rather disturbing, isn’t it?

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        • Yes it is disturbing. I wish I could say what to do to fix everything. I think it will take a bunch of little steps that will add up to big change. I also think it is worth listening to people who have education and experiences in this stuff. Hugs

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        • I guess we just have to never give up looking for answers/solutions. To keep trying and searching and considering all options, even if they aren’t ideal (but always looking towards the ideal).

          Life is far too complicated for my tastes.

          It’s been an enlightening conversation to hear your points of view, Scottie.

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        • It is offensive to me, as a victim of violent crime, commited by a subhuman piece of shit, that I’m not allowed to to pull out the throats of criminals with my bare hands and feel their warm blood spray across my righteous face. Those who are against this are gay, sissified, and subhuman. This is absolutely true. If you disagree, then I say to you, “Fuck off, you faggot pussies! I hope your mothers die will being raped by dogs! $Amen$”

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        • Nan I don’t think it is our idealism holding us back. We have to have that to have a goal to shoot for. Everyone knows you can’t go from A all the way to Z instantly. You have to do it in steps. But you have to be willing to do the steps. To fund the programs, to tax the upper incomes, to return the government tax programs to what they were before the government became the enemy. Hugs

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      • Agreed Nan. Ask this question: Do you believe in the Golden Rule? Why or why not? Does or should The Golden Rule apply to murderers? Why are there exceptions to the full implications of this rule? If one does NOT fully believe in the full implications of the Golden Rule, what sort of precedent is then set?

        A civil society, jurors, and judges must have a clear(er) understanding of behavioural motives versus psychiatric-neurological impulses when dealing with capital murder. And in most all cases, none are all the same. Some murders are premeditated and indicative of a murderer’s LACK OF VALUE for life and hence IMO deserve the death penalty — by taking life they exhibit the fact they do not value their own. Problem solved. Hitler and his SS (and those types) are excellent examples of a needed death penalty. And what about undeniable heinous terrorists? IMO they too deserve the death penalty.

        But in the case of a murderer’s clinical, uncontrollable psychiatric-neurological impulsiveness, the death penalty is probably unwarranted IF the person is 25-yrs old or more and has a (long?) history of psychiatric-neurological disorders. If there is no long history relative to age, has the disorder likely just manifested? See, as Violet has alluded to above, how well does or should society sufficiently understand mental-illness; jurors and judges too for that matter. And then what about a society who does not embrace the many extensive fields of science, particularly the medical psych fields? What precedents do superstitious societies set?

        To conclude this comment, I reserve the right to later modify or reverse my position on specific topics! LOL 😉

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        • Hi prof
          You write Hitler and his SS (and those types) are excellent examples of a needed death penalty
          does a history of Jewish bigotry prevalent in Germany and most other European countries over the centuries have a part to play in this? Or do you think Hitler and co were bad people and case closed?

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        • You bring up a great point Makagutu. I would initially answer your question this way:

          By the very violent nature of the Abrahamic deity — which all 3 Abrahamic religions have compiled canonically in their scriptures, thus subscribe to, and have taught their followers for millenia — the correct answer to the former has to be YES; Jewish bigotry has been prevalent for not only in pre-World War I Prussia/Germany and Europe, but going back through many many centuries throughout the Fertile Crescent, especially the Levant!

          Specifically regarding the time-period in question (pre-WW2 through present day Israel-Palestine), the bigotry and mass-killings continue to this day with the direct and/or indirect support of the U.S. since 1947! Americans are still paying for this horrific f*ck-up in 2016-2017 and will continue to do so as long as we and the U.N. allow the inhumane occupation of Palestine. Fyi… I did an extensive 3-part series on the bloody rise of Jewish Zionism (with the USA’s help) if anyone is interested.

          Regarding Hitler, his SS, and a plethora of many other historical megalomaniacs throughout the world and their ‘reaction’ to such blatant (and blind) religious bigotry… blanket indiscriminatory genocide does NOT ultimately solve the problem, obviously. If anything Hitler and the SS only martyred the Zionists, as did the Romans throughout Antiquity, then the Christian Crusaders throughout the 11th-century CE thru the 13th-century CE against Zionists and Muslims. All religions have a LONG history of indiscriminate murder and genocide.

          Did I answer your question adequately?

          Like

        • I think so.
          I will add that we must condemn the actions of Hitler and the SS and in our condemnation we must include the cultural environment that made their acts possible.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Yes! I concur completely Makagutu.

          Returning to the topic of the death penalty, how best do we stop persons like Hitler, Pope Julius II and his League of Cambrai, Pope Urban II, the Jewish Zionist terrorist groups Haganah, Irgun, Lehi, Herut, and today’s Likud. Then America’s KKK, Timothy McVeigh, Jim Jones (Guyana), David Koresh (Waco), Wade Michael Page, Scott Roeder & Shelly Shannon, Jim David Adkisson, Paul Jennings Hill, Eric Rudolph, and John C. Salvi to name only a few recent killings. Need I list any militant Muslim murderers/terrorists? Conservative American media more than sufficiently covers all of those horrendous events so I’ll skip them.

          My main point in listing these Abrahamic religious killers is that many of them, if not all, were not considered clinically insane; i.e. they planned out, premeditated their attacks over weeks, months, or years and exhibited no acute psychological behaviors leading up to their killings. I feel truly psychotic insane killers — who have no real idea or cognitive awareness of a clear motive for their murders — do not deserve the death penalty. Outside of random murders from clinical pyschosis with clear premeditated motives, I do indeed favor the death penalty. Those killers like I listed above were/are (most?) likely to kill again.

          Again, I reserve the right to change and/or modify, refine some of this later. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        • Professor I was thinking one thing. You gave a few examples of those you felt deserved to die. You base this on their lack of value for others lives. However if the state executes people with the people’s consent then the people are basically lowering their own moral judgement to the level of the ones who disregarded the value of others lives, the murders. We need to start the forward moving step of valuing life and saying we will not be the lowest common denominator. We won’t sink to the level of the killers. We won’t give up the ideals we have for society just because a few can’t understand or act accordingly. We will have crimes, we will sadly have people killed. Please see my comment here on Nan’s blog in response to a comment by Ark.

          https://sayitnow.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/punishment-by-death/#comment-8051 Thanks. Hugs

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scottie,

          You frame your position quite well. And if you and I KEEP IT strictly inside your framework I could not adequately argue against it. I would then refer back to my earlier suggestion to Nan, albeit half-joking, that within your strict framework, let’s put any and all capital heinous murders (manslaughterers too?) into cryogenic chambers until they die… naturally(?). Or once we find the 100% foolproof supermax Alcatraz-type prison somewhere (ala ADX Florence, CO), then put them there… along with the very long-term basic human needs paid for by everyone. Problem sort of solved, right?

          However, I still would ask you or anyone with the same valid position Why the long-term neglect of or to the victim(s) and their family? For example, would all the money spent housing and sustaining the murderer(s) be better spent on the victim’s family? Children? Education of mental-illnesses? Education of anger-management? Higher education of the value of all human life? Etc. Or do we do all of that; no expense or time-energy investment is too large on BOTH SIDES of the crime? Why so much focus on the murderer rather than the ones TRULY and HORRIBLY suffering for the rest of their lives?

          We won’t sink to the level of the killers.

          Valid point Scottie. How can we do that AND PROTECT the good and innocent ones at least equally as well as we sometimes (often?) do for the murderers? When does the needless murdering (not tried, convicted, executed) of more innocents stop… if ever? What precedent have we clearly given potential premeditating murderers these last several decades? And Violet brings up an excellent point in her comments, many murderers never serve their full (life?) sentence!

          As I said to Nan initially, this debate is never always 100% cut-n-dry all the time in every case. But I will always ask this… How can we as a civil society BETTER PROTECT in the future young children who are needlessly murdered, or young women in their teens or twenties just out jogging and a full life ahead of them!? To name only 2 examples. I feel the victims and potential victims, and their family deserve a LOT MORE consideration, investment, and value long-term than they currently get or have gotten over centuries. At least doing that for innocents is a demonstration of a society who actually does value LIFE! I hope we can figure it out as best (better) as possible, soon!

          And of course Scottie, hugs for you as well Sir. ❤

          Liked by 2 people

        • Hello Professor. You raise great points. As always you have a very sharp mind and a good heart. I don’t see why we cant do all three of the things you mention. Other countries do it and they don’t have our wealth. Where does their money come from? Two places. They do not spend so much on their military and they tax the upper incomes. Yes it should not be one sided. The victims and others you mentioned are important. Every member of society should be respected and get the full services offered by the country and the government. One thing I noticed was everyone seems to be expecting instant results and progress. That has not happened under the current system so why expect t it from a new program or new approach. We have tried what we are currently doing for a long time and we still have crime and we still have victims. I do think the way forward I am suggesting will be better and have better results over time. You are very correct ( as I find you normally are ❤️👍) that crime will not completely go away. As some have said here crimes of passion happen and will happen because of passions. Some people will always think it is better for them to commit crime then not to. They are wrong for society but it is what it is. Also there will sometimes be people with mental switches turned wrong that cause them to not be able to have empathy or what ever it is that lets us feel others pain so we don’t want to hurt others. As always I love your comments and I admit I don’t propose the only possible answers. But reason tells me the way we have been going doesn’t work so trying a different way is not to far a stretch to go. Thanks. Morning hugs.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Another valid intelligent comment Scottie. I nod in agreement with all of it, especially the examples set by other nations you mentioned and their “systems.”

          If we allow all heinous murderers survive their horrific crime(s), perhaps there is a way for them (and their immediate family members?) to greatly contribute full restitution to the victim(s) family, children, etc, in a plethora of ways on many levels… for the murderer’s lifetime? Idk, I’d need to ponder this idea more. I do know this, we Americans do not pay anywhere NEAR enough time, energy, or investment long-term for victims and their families! The murderers and their families CERTAINLY do not! IMO that’s an egregious f*ck-up on our part!

          An important helpful discussion Scottie. Thank you. My compliments to your maturity and intelligence. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Lots of talk again about getting social safety nets for people in the US. I want this too, but folks, it is NOT likely to happen anytime soon. We can’t even get universal healthcare passed here without half the county screaming for it’s repeal! The idea that this country, after all this time, is going to get it’s shit together and take care of it’s citizens is, IMHO, totally unrealistic (at least at this time). We were built as a nation based on individualism and we remain a nation of individualists…I hope it’ll change, but thus far it hasn’t. So we must come up with different solutions for our problems then just repeating “build social safety nets” over and over.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m in agreement with you Violet — for the last 50-75 years the “setup” of our nation is indeed based upon individual freedoms, which comes with a double-edged sword. Just two examples of this would be 1) snowballing capitalism, and 2) the poor lack of quality mental-health and addiction rehab, research, and wider education of both.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I had individual freedom until I was, like, 14. Then I lost it while swimming in Lake Michigan one summer and haven’t found it since. So, if you happen to stumble across a wandering, unidentified individual freedom, catch it in a butterfly net and return it to me. I’ll be very glad you did. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      • I also wonder whether a big part of the historic safety net was provided through tight knit small communities and family units. With the emergence of large cities and smaller more spread out families more people are left to fend for themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Butterfly nets are far better in IMO. I once tried to catch a butterfly with a social safety net and the damn thing acted like it wasn’t even there. It wasn’t until one of the little bastards bit me that I purchased an appropriate butterfly net, caught it, killed it with toxic fumes, and nailed it to a plastic board with a giant pin to create a lovely wall ornament. Butterfly nets. I loves ’em.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Oh, one more thing. I, as a Republican, am very proud of the lovely social safety net America has created for the rich. Tax loop holes, vouchers for rich kids to go to private schools, massive tax shelters, and breaks, for the wealthiest of Americans, and a growing military that is financed by trillions of tax payer dollars paid to private weapons manufacturers. Yeah, we have one of the YUGEST socialist countries in the history of the world. A socialist system run by, and for, the wealthiest Americans and paid for with the taxes, blood, sweat and tears of its poorest. Big government is great, if you’re rich enough to benefit from it. $Amen$

    Liked by 4 people

    • How did the wealthy manage to convince the poor to go along with this? To vote for it? I heard a guy in my mobile home park talking about the need to get rid of the death tax. ( The federal estate tax exemption—that’s the amount an individual can leave to heirs without having to pay federal estate tax—will be $5.43 million in 2015, up from $5.34 million for 2014. ) I live in a rather run down mobile home RV resort in a one horse town. Our homes are mostly 1980s &1990s time frame. No reason I can see for any of us to fear paying the estate tax. But they have convinced the poor republicans that it hurts them also. Hugs

      Liked by 3 people

  8. When I was still a Christian I used to be confused about ‘eternal justice’. The Bible was very vague on the matter, some thought all non Christians suffered the same torment, good or bad, but others thought that there was a sort of grade to the severity of torture and ‘bad’ non Christians were tortured more in Hell than ‘good’ non Christians.

    I must admit whilst a Christian I spent a lot of time thinking about Hell, and never did I consider it to be a form of justice, to me it was always a form of extreme and unwarranted punishment. I could never understand other Christians who saw eternal torture as justice.

    Liked by 4 people

      • Of course Violet people of faith claim ‘God’ has it correct. If we don’t see that it is our imperfections that are the cause not those of ‘God’.

        Likewise it is argued ‘God’ is not a sadist as eternal torture for finite ‘crimes’ might imply. Rather the apologists suggest ‘God’ does not want to torture anyone but has no choice as to do so otherwise would be ‘unjust’.

        The more I think about it, the more it becomes clear what a nonsense it all is. But I tried and tried to make sense of it when a person of faith. No doubt this contributed to my cognitive dissonance. Some Christians argued that children who died before the ‘age of accountability’ [whatever that is] get a free pass to heaven, but using that logic would encourage infanticide.

        Liked by 3 people

  9. I am against the death penalty for the following reasons in no particular order:

    A) No correlation of it acting as a deterrent to violent crime
    B) It is an imperfect justice system. We still rely too heavily on eye-witness testimony over DNA evidence and other better forms of evidence. And of course there is just the inherent bias in some cases that also make it imperfect. Until we can bring back somebody to life and say “Sorry it seems some new evidence popped up and we decided you shouldn’t be killed”, we probably shouldn’t be killing anyone.
    C) We know the source of violent crime is not that there is some manifestation of evil. This is somebody who has experience trauma, has a different genetics and brain chemistry, it is for want of a better word, a sickness. Now of course it doesn’t mean that we know the cure, and for some of course we need to keep them separated from others to prevent them from coming to harm, but for me they are still humans who have something wrong about them. And since we don’t kill sick people against their will, neither should we put to death. What if in a week we make a breakthrough in mapping the brain and actually know how to affect those neurons which are leading to violent behavior? It’s not inconceivable that some day we might have this ability. I am not talking front lobotomy, but legitimate ways to make someone mentally well. As long as that possibility exists, whether it happens in a week or 100 years, I still feel it is morally in correct for the government to kill people for their crimes.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Swarn, I appreciate you laying out your reasons in such depth. Now I’d like you to go a bit further.

      Re: your point (A) — are there actual studies that indicate whether or not it’s a deterrent? I honestly don’t know because I’ve never read up on it. But just from a personal standpoint, I wouldn’t think it would be. I don’t think criminals (especially the hardened ones) are a bit concerned about their actions “in the moment.”

      I agree with your point (B) but must ask … what are the statistics? Certainly it is a travesty to put even one innocent person on death row, but how many times does this happen when looking at the big picture?

      And on your point (C), while I agree totally that many/most criminals are what they are because of “who” they are mentally and emotionally, my question would be this: do you think we should ignore their crimes simply because these capacities are compromised? As you said, the ability to diagnose these deficiencies could come at any time, but what do we do in the meantime?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Nan, thanks for your questions. A) A while back when I researched this, I couldn’t find any nice tidy sites that collected info on this, but this one here seems to be a good job of citing numerous studies. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder-rates-nationally-and-state

        B) There are studies looking at this. This Newsweek article looks at some of the difficulties of quantifying the number. This study cited here calculated a rate of 4%. I’m not sure of the accuracy of that, but I’d say even if it’s 1% that’s too high. Given that we can safely lock a dangerous person away for life, Even to save killing a much more conservative 1% of the wrongfully accused. seems worth it. We clearly have many wrongful convictions, the idea that at least some of those might not happen, even for closely scrutinized cases, doesn’t seem far-fetched to me. http://www.newsweek.com/one-25-executed-us-innocent-study-claims-248889

        This wikipedia site also has some useful information. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrongful_execution

        C) No I don’t think we should ignore their crimes. I absolutely believe that we should make sure that violent people cannot harm more people. While I do feel their are more progressive things we can try to reform violent criminals, ultimately if the public risk is too great than we should make sure they are separated from society at large. This is why I said, that even if someone is sick, in this way, if we really don’t have a good cure, then we should still jail them, but I am still not an advocate for ending their life. In general I am even for treating the worst of us with humanity. I think such things matter to the moral fabric of society.

        “But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?” -Mark Twain

        Liked by 2 people

      • Nan my understanding is that studies (which I can’t cite) show that the likelihood of apprehension is a greater deterrent than the severity of punishment. Of course for crimes of passion where emotion causes suspension of reason neither is likely to be much of a deterrent.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Must the conclusion be that we are unable to find a black-and-white answer? Perhaps because there is no such answer to a valid, but by its very nature unanswerable, question? Do we have to learn and live with it, case by case, and just hope that the possible real criminal will not be found? I am afraid so.

    I was thinking of the question where the universe, came from and where is headed for. This is an altogether different topic but I find a similarity in that both questions cannot be answered excluding any other possibility.
    .-

    Liked by 4 people

  11. A month ago, my publisher’s Pretoria home was invaded by three fully-armed men wearing bullet proof vests.
    They were intent on robbery and knew full-well the house was occupied as the invasion was during the day.
    A previous night time attempt was thwarted.

    Whatever it was they were after was never established, and this still remains a mystery, as they left empty-handed. However, not before shooting to death Lyz’s unarmed husband, Iain at point blank range.

    Prior to this one of them had held a gun at the head of their teenage daughter…. for fun.

    What do readers think should be done to people like these blokes …. who are still at large by the way.

    ,

    Liked by 1 person

    • This incident is exactly why I lean towards the death penalty … in certain cases. Sometimes I think people who are totally against it are looking through rose-colored glasses at the “goodness” in every human. When an individual is directly affected by a crime such as the one you describe, I can’t help but think their opinion might change. But that’s just my take on it …

      Liked by 3 people

      • One can swan on ’til the cows come home about societal ills etc, and I am not in total disagreement on certain points, and the death penalty it might not solve the overall problems, but it WILL stop this Fothermucker from killing someone else.

        Also, the issue of gun ownership rears its ugly head once more.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I, for one, am not looking at the goodness in every human. On the contrary I hold to the belief that we are products of our environments and our birth, two things we have no control over.

        Revenge is sweet and I would be the first to want to kill those fellows, but as one sage said, he who seeks revenge to be sure to dig two graves.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Hello Ark. I am sorry a person was murdered. I also am sorry for the torture of the people involved. However as we have seen here in the comments state executions do not deter the next killer. It also won’t change one thing about the situation you describe. What it will do is keep and promote the status quo. Nothing changes and the crimes keep happening.

      Once convicted in a court of law that is the time an appropriate sentence should be met out. I know we can keep bad people in prisons as we have done it for a long time and the entire world seems to have gotten good at it. Now to be released from incarceration the prisoner must show he has been rehabilitated, detail a plan on how not to revert to the same situation that caused the crime, be monitored to insure compliance, and a support system to aid and assist the prisoner to keep on the “right path” to being a productive member of society. That last one is a critical need that often is ignored as too costly or as giving something to a person who doesn’t deserve it. The point is not worthiness to receiving the service, it is about keep the person from slipping back into the same patterns and returning to the same acts. I wish I was smart enough to have figured all this out, but I am not. I read some studies done by people who have an education in this matter and these are things they recommend.

      I am not ignoring the suffering and feelings of the family of the man murdered. About 16 years ago we were friends with a young gay couple in their early twenties. They were making something of their lives and were deeply in love. Then one night a tragedy. The smaller of the two was walking home from taking night classes after working all day when three redneck thugs beat him to death. Yes they brutally beat him because they had seen him around and thought he was a fag. I watched the other friend go from a happy large energetic man to a thin worn sunken person. The court case dragged on for several years. The thugs tried to claim they had to beat Steve to death because he supposedly made a pass at them. Everyone knew it was not true, the thugs statements of the night did not even match. It was not something Steve would have done. I simply think the death penalty is not the right way to handle killers. Be well. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ark,

      I think you’ve given a very good example distinguishing truly premeditated cognitive awareness (as combat soldiers do) of killing and its ripple-effects… versus truly clinical psychosis where the killer isn’t capable of forming premeditated motives/causes (the murder(s) is/are random and neurologically impulsive & cognitively uncontrollable) and with the aid of modern science CAN be rehabilitated over time. Thus, those individuals deserve that chance.

      On the former? The “sane” killers? I lean toward the death penalty because as Swarn pointed out wonderfully, the death penalty probably isn’t a deterrent for those who don’t value anyone’s life (especially their own) anyway so the death penalty does everyone best… for they are likely to kill again if released or still at large. In other words, those killers ARE cognitively clever enough to continue killing, justify it, and take more lives to “prove” their cause/motive.

      Thanks for your example Ark.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. 1) As an afterthought, I wondered if those commenters on here who were previously religious are still subconsciously thinking ‘an eye for an eye’?

    2) With respect to Violet and Scottie’s discussion, we still have high security psychiatric hospitals in the UK (Broadmoor, Rampton, Ashworth). This where serial killers who claim mental illness eg ‘God told me to go round clubbing women over the head and stabbing them to death’ go. This century notorious killer (20 women? Can’t remember) Peter Sutcliffe was deemed no longer ill (if he ever was) and released – into a high security prison. He’s serving a whole life tariff. Well, if none of the other inmates kill him first as he’s been severely attacked a few times. One does wonder how that happens … as I assume he’s in solitary.

    3) What do the relatives of the victims feel? BBC Radio 4 ran an excellent series many years ago. It took a couple of similar incidents eg death through dangerous/drunk driving, rape, robbery, assault, etc and looked at how the survivors dealt with it. I was much younger back then and was amazed that the ones who were bitter and vengeful couldn’t move on. The ones who had accepted the crime, to the point of going to see the convicted in jail, had got on with a new life and weren’t living in the past.

    I agree with many comments on here. But could I do anything to someone who has affected my loved ones or me? No. And so, with age, I appreciate the concept of acceptance and living as best I can. Doesn’t mean I don’t wish karma bites them in the arse.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I’ve been following along on the various comments (especially the conversation between the Professor and Scottie), and it’s readily apparent this is a subject that has many aspects. For me, I simply cannot make the blanket statement … “No death penalty. Period.” There is just too much at stake for the ones left behind in brutal and senseless murders. Other crimes, while horrific and which may leave behind brutal and lasting scars (physical and/or mentally), I would be more inclined to support life in prison.

    IMO, the Professor hits the nail on the head when he discusses the victims left behind. Perhaps a possible solution would be to allow them to offer input on the fate of the perpetrator? Not immediately, of course, but generally speaking, it can take months, even years, for the offender to go to trial. By then the individual/family would have had time to work through their grief and be able to think more clearly. As roughseas mentioned, some have, over time, even forgiven the criminal so … you never know.

    Probably what we need is someone who has worked in a prison to offer their input. I imagine they would know first-hand the type of individuals who should face the death penalty …

    Liked by 2 people

    • …the victims left behind.” Yes Nan, if we as a civil society ban the death penalty everywhere across the nation, no exceptions, then I would hope a MUCH GREATER focus and investment goes toward restitution for the victim’s family members AND the community as a whole. One such example, similar to what Mohandas Gandhi told a Hindu murderer/killer:

      Find a child, a child whose mother and father have been killed and raise him as your own. Only be sure that he is a Muslim and that you raise him as one.

      If not the death penalty, then the perpetrator(s) spend the rest of their life giving several forms of restitution, mainly to the victim’s family and secondarily to the community. I’ve worked in Texas and Mississippi for several years in Psych/A&D hospitals and in Special Ed for kids that were Wards-of-the-state (homeless, parentless), and many people have little clue what is fully required for these people’s rehabilitation and future opportunities. Killers/Murderers are a whole different lot with MORE requirements! And seemingly every year, every state and federal election years… funding was constantly cut or drastically reduced for our facilities, societal role, programs, curriculums, and staff payrolls. And this was for non-murderers!!! Hah!

      The best full rehabilitation requires an investment from-by society that far outreaches simple tax funding for the murderer’s return… with no definite guarantees! This begs the question, is there a huge difference between totally removing them from societal life with little-to-no rehab in high-security seclusion/prison (torture?)… compared to a much less torturous short-term death penalty? In the U.S. out of sight out of mind (and pocket-book) tends to be the monetary and emotional “cheaper” course, but which course are we (society & victim’s family) extensively discussing and willing to go the FULL distance for the best rehab offering the highest chance of repetitive behavior/killing?

      Rehab of major neurological psychosis and/or warped (yet sane?) cognitive hate and embedded appetites for death & violence are BOTH enormous investments of time, money, and energy by society. I find proponents on both sides of that debate unwilling to go the full distance. Another lens is this, how much of MY OWN life and pursuit of happiness, etc, will be disrupted or eliminated by sacrifices toward “full rehab”? And remember, for the time being, there are no guaranteed results all the time either way.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. This is like a gun law discussion.

    Scottie, Hariod and I do not agree with killing people. Everyone else equivocates but basically says yes.

    Jeez.

    What are we saying here? Cheaper to kill them and get them out of the way? How totally barbaric is that?

    I’m glad I don’t live in America.

    ‘We have convicted you of blah blah roughseas, and you are subject to capital punishment (ie usually death by lethal injection).’

    ‘But I honestly did not do it.’

    ‘Tough shit. Die.’

    So, yes loads of people did do it. But why this fixation on killing people? Seriosly. I do not get it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Though I wouldn’t word it as extreme as you’ve worded this comment, it is a case-by-case debate and question(s), but you make an excellent point…

      But why this fixation on killing people? Seriosly. I do not get it.

      That is EXACTLY what needs to be boldly taken directly to those killers/terrorists and persuade them to stop and change their ways and thinking! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        • Murderers, war-criminals, killers, terrorists, etc, etc, whatever the title… those who with intent and without permission by the victim and victim’s family take life — especially infants, toddlers, children, teenagers, or “women” (in your context) — that definitely includes terrorists… are still essentially one in the same. Terror is inflicted upon the victim and/or family no matter what. No, of course it isn’t one person’s decision to make. It is society’s as a whole to make. Fictional gods or goddesses shouldn’t have any relevancy in this matter, IMO. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • Can you please be more specific with parameters, context of who your “someone” actually is and what they did. Are there influencing background factors to the killer(s)? Have they already murdered more than one baby, toddler, child, person…or multiple babies, toddlers, children, people (genocide?) and exhibit no reason to stop killing? Your question is quite vague and/or falls short of a very complicated matter.

          Like

        • Without a lot more information, facts, family history, criminal history, psychological history, the age of the victim(s) and those circumstances, whether mental-cognitive rehabilitation has been extensively tried on the killer(s), etc, it is impossible for me to attempt to answer your question Roughseas. Sorry.

          However, if this helps you, I absolutely would’ve supported the death-penalty of Timothy McVeigh’s indiscriminate murder of small children and innocent adults in Oklahoma City, in April 1995 had I been an Oklahoma citizen. He also never showed any remorse whatsoever toward any family members of victims. He was also a new enrollee to the radical Patriot Movement (founded in 1950’s) which promotes and incites illegal acts of violence and murder still to this day. Their numbers have increased following President Obama being first elected. It is with these types — that will in all likelihood kill more again & again if allowed — that I have less concern about the death penalty being applied, especially when the McVeighs of the world proudly take credit (confess) to commiting the atrocity(ies).

          Liked by 1 person

      • Professor T, I think there is a difference between killers and terrorists. However I still think we can rehabilitate or incarcerated for long term either one or both. I think we can do these things humanely. I am looking at it like this. We tell people to act the way they want their children to act, to speak as they want their children to speak. SO if we want people to be better, we have to be better first. As always I look forward to your thoughts on this, you keep me far more than on my toes, you keep me off my feet. 🙂 Hugs

        Liked by 2 people

        • Scottie, I do appreciate your courtesy and compliments. Thank you. You too deserve as much credit for your maturity and heart, which I find endearing! 🙂

          How would you define “killers” and “terrorists”? This might be important for us to better understand our postures.

          And how you look at this subject, “We tell people to act the way they want their children to act, to speak as they want their children to speak. SO if we want people to be better, we have to be better first“… I see nothing at all wrong with that viewpoint in specific cases up to certain points. Outside of that general rule, I would ask is that “rule” always foolproof in every murder(s) all the time… even when it included the premature death of your own family, spouse, loved ones? And what if the killer(s) exhibited absolutely NO INDICATION they would stop killing until all of your type were wiped out from the Earth?

          What would you do in that case? Would you agree that at some point, in order for good non-violent passives to survive, there needs to be those willing to serve (to the death?) to protect your/our way of life from those who would take your and my life, yes? Because bottom-line, we Homo sapiens are STILL very much a part of the primate animal kingdom and there are still violent, life-taking “bullies” that exist and likely will for centuries whose DNA makes them behave within very restricted (predictable?) violent patterns.

          Again, IMHO I just don’t think this debate/topic is always cut-n-dry and simple for ALL cases. And I also reserve the right to change and/or modify/refine my comments here! LOL 😉

          Hugs for you too Sir. ❤

          Liked by 2 people

        • Hi Professor T. You sir are so persuasive. I printed your comment off so I really could think on what you wrote. Why was I defending the position I took, was it I really felt it was the best way to deal with the issue, or just refusing to hear what others were trying to say. I am happy to be given the chance to think it out some, and I think I am hearing what others think. I think they have great points to consider. But I think in the current place we are in, the abilities we have, we can successfully do what I am proposing. Let me explain.

          When I think of the word killer I tend not to think of the fact that everyone who takes a life in anyway is a killer. I tend to think of killers as those who kill a few people at a time, either planned or not. Their objective is personal. They seek to hide what they have done and do not want to be found out.
          Terrorists I think of someone who tries to kill on a mass scale to cause as much fear in the population targeted as possible. They do so for a cause. They want publicity.

          I thought of the examples you gave asking if the rule was the same for every case. Yes I would say I believe it is. My reasons for this are strong enough and benefit society enough that if it was applied everywhere society would be so improved as to merit doing it this way. That was a long sentence. I tried five times to rewrite it but couldn’t find a way to do so and still say what I wanted it to. I can not really think of my life without Ron, I cringe at what I know would happen to him should I be murdered. However we must push for, we must be the example we want others to emulate and follow, if we are to have the society I want so badly, that I dream of for all of us. One last thing on those who believe in killing groups or classes of people. Those would be the easiest to rehabilitate I think, because if not doing it for mental illness reasons, they could be shown the error of their thinking. That might make them the biggest supporters of that group. It has happened with racist and gang members before. As to those who won’t stop killing, those who can not be rehabilitated, those who are mentally ill, we lock them up and away. We have shown we know how to hold people forever, look at Rudolf Hess all alone and old, we kept him till death. Sadly you are very correct, there will be people that will have to be incarcerated for their entire life. Our job is to learn and practice doing that in the most humane way possible, based on type of situation, and to keep the prisoner safe. I think it would also be expensive to do all the things we need to do in that case, but remember if what I am saying works then we would have far less people incarcerated and far more being productive members of society. Yes I am aware it sounds like a daydream, a feel good story. It is, until we make it happen, we make it real. Will everyone agree, no probably some will not only misunderstand but will fight it. But most will see the benefit and as more generations try to improve it will start an upward motion toward the goal. I once read “people tend to adopt the standards of those around them. If a person is put in a group that has higher standards , the person will come up to that standard. If a person is put in a group with lower standards they will sink to the standards of the group”. I want the whole group to bring everyone along to a higher standard. I guess my view on this is colored by the Star Trek world. I was never allowed to watch the first show as a child, it was a beatable offence. When I was an adult I devoured anything I could read or watch. The ones I loved and craved for were the worlds, the universes with enlightened societies. I always thought humanity would have that as its goal and would work to get there. We have a long way to go. 🙂

          You ask about if there is ever a reason to kill. Yes. I have been involved in two of them. I was in two branches of the U.S. military, the Navy and the Army. I was trained and ready to kill if given the lawful order to do so. IN the proper circumstances I was prepared to kill. I was an out gay man with a lover of several years in west berlin in the 1980’s. I would have killed to defend my lover and the interest of my country, as I would expect of any service member. The second reason I would kill is what I was trained as an auxiliary sheriff deputy. We were trained to use force, including deadly force, to prevent the death or severe bodily injury to myself or others. I would still do so in that case. But we are not talking that. We are talking the death penalty which is a sentence given out after a suspect is apprehended and tried.

          You are correct that this is not cut and dry in the details. I think the how is different than the what. The goal is a better, safer, more free, happier society with no hungers and other harms. So yes I would stick to my no vote on the death penalty in every case. On how to get to the goal I am learning and not stuck on any one plan or program. I depend on others trained and educated to help guide me.
          Thanks for the wonderful things you said about me. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

        • Everything you have stated Scottie, I don’t argue and would be more than willing to try and implement. I see the “spirit” of it is all right, all good. And with that said, we are not each others truest advesaries, really. The REAL threat, the REAL energy-consuming, time-consuming, money-consuming people — who would take away MUCH of our own resources for ultimate happiness, etc. — are those violent and near-impossible cases that we together must confront. :/

          In the end, I am YOUR ally with merely differences of HOW to get from point-A to point-B. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • Oh Professor T, I hope I did not give you the idea that I was upset or that I felt you were the enemy. I never thought that. I am really happy to be having this discussion, and hope to have others. Let me explain why. I never had an education. You know my childhood history. In my young adulthood I went into jobs where following orders without much question or fuss was expected. I never had a job that gave me a chance to think much beyond the current situation I was in. At home I am complimented on my skills and reasoning but I find it hard to accept the compliments, as it is not the way I taught see myself. Plus at home no one wants to have discussions. So when I found you guys I first just read the comments and kept my thoughts to myself. Then I ventured a few comments of my own. I was surprised to not be ignored. I was thrilled and ventured deeper into the waters of conversation. I am loving this, it is exciting to talk to others and to join them in conversations of ideas. No one threatens, insults, abuses, or drives others away. I love this, I crave this environment. If I gave you the idea I was upset I apologize. I am very happy to be learning from you. I gain perspective to form my own ideas, to change and improve my views from reading your comments. The same with others here. Be well. Warm hugs.

          Liked by 3 people

        • Oh no, no Scottie! I never felt you were upset with me. I just try to use kid-gloves(?) on matters like these. This controversial subject is or can be naturally very sensitive for some people to discuss in a civil manner. I was actually commending you for your maturity on such a volatile subject! 😀

          Therefore, I must NOW commend you again for your concern here with me! LOL 😉

          You are a great guy Scottie! I very much enjoy interacting with you. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

    • Nan I read it and have a question. If justice which is just to inflict punishment does not have a extrinsic social purpose is it socially just? Is it any good for society? What I am thinking is any action taken by government should be for the benefit of the society. Incarceration and justice are jobs for government. We call people who do incarceration and justice on their own kidnappers and vigilantes. So does just punishment make a better more productive member of society? Be well. Hugs

      Liked by 2 people

      • Scottie, your questions related to the article are valid but quite frankly, I feel I’ve already expressed how I feel and would prefer not to get into it any further. Hopefully, others (like the Professor) may respond to your questions/comments and continue the discussion.

        As a sidenote — I really thank you for taking an active part in this discussion! It’s always interesting — and intriguing — to learn other people’s viewpoints. Plus … that’s what keeps this blog alive! 😀

        Liked by 2 people

        • I thank you Nan. You have given me several gifts here that mean lot to me. The question asked gave me something to reason on, the different views gave me even more to think on. You gave me a forum to voice my own thoughts on. You also said something I read to Ron that made me feel ten feet tall. That you , a person so respected and smart would complement my own part in the discussion is amazing to me. I am very happy to be part of this community. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

        • And I am very happy that you continue to be part of this community!! You offer some great input … as shown by the people who respond to your comments. Keep it up … and hugs back to you. ❤

          Liked by 2 people

  15. I remember in the lord of the rings movie the wise wizard is talking to Frodo. Frodo says he would kill someone. The wise wizard says he “should not be so quick to take away something he can not give back”. I agree deeply with that. I can not give back a life, I can not create one, so I won’t take it if I do not have to. Yes I have in the past had jobs where I was expected to do that. I have been trained to use force, including deadly force , to protect the lives of myself and others. However I grew up and grew disabled. I now am a spectator who uses my mind and reason, not just my body. I can’t give back a life, so if I am not forced to I won’t take one. So I can not support the death penalty. Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

    • Scottie, though I may not need to state this, I do wish to make known that just because Nan and I and others who are opposed to completely banning the death-penalty across the board, it doesn’t mean we want the death-penalty to be liberally dolled out to all violent offenders. We want to protect the sanctity of life… proactively. 🙂

      How that is done is the complicated GREY-area question. Yes our justice system isn’t 100% perfect. Yes our political and legal officers are not ALL uncorruptable and all of them always unbiased or not prejudice in certain circumstances. Humans are an imperfect species, period. There will always be exceptions to the rule, but that is also not always the case either. Sometimes(?)… a lot of the times(?) our legal system (that the majority of the populace votes/supports into legislation) does get it right, especially in cases like the Timothy McVeighs I’ve mentioned above.

      And then I do feel it is a relevant discussion on whether lifetime sentences in a high-security prison/seclusion facility is really long-term torture (with other heinous murderers) and WORSE than a death-penalty with little-to-no rehab. Is that humane? Many many people when facing a painful terminal disease with exhorbitant impossible costs for a less-than quality survival and huge burden on descendents, hospitals, and society in general (i.e. torture?)… would much rather UNburden everyone. In other words, I am of the mentality of What is best for the greater good for the greatest number… not always what is best for ONE individual.

      Again, I reserve the right to later change, modify, refine my comments on this VERY COMPLICATED subject! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hello Professor Taboo. I was not thinking the people in the conversation were wanting to execute everyone in prison and I respect the people here, their opinions, and their reasonings. You are all grand caring people. As I said in my last response I agree that the details are a huge grey area. I have a goal and I hope others share it, but I don’t have a way to get others to do what I say I would. Right now it is people who think like me to talk to others individually and hope to give them something to reason on. My hope is more and more people will say no to the death penalty. Then when society becomes even more enlightened the entirety of society will be improved for all. It will take time though, maybe a lot of time.

        I agree with you on the current prison thing being a torture. With the environment in prison it is a hell I think. I know a person who went to prison and they nearly lost their mind. I have said before if I am ever found guilty of a crime and sentenced to years in prison, just kill me. Please. I would ask the court for the death penalty. I would try to get someone to kill me instead of a long drawn out suffering. Having said all that, I have heard young people say they don’t care if they go to prison. They don’t have the same understanding of freedom and loss of it that we do. Some people seem able to live in that. I couldn’t.
        I want to improve prisons and the prison system. I think it is imperative we do that. We have to look at all aspects of the system, from who we arrest and why. Then we have to fix problems with the trial system that lets some people get off and others not for the same crimes, wealth effecting court case outcomes or sentences. The prisons and what they are to achieve or be for is also something I think has to be address right away. These are all details. I will have to follow those who have knowledge of these things and how to improve them. I have a goal for society but I do not have a plan for how to get there. I am learning and like you I reserve the right to change my mind as I learn new things. The details are so complicated. Be well. Hugs

        Liked by 3 people

        • All stated very well and considered Scottie. I very much respect the fact that you are so willing to consider ALL aspects of this extremely complicated social-legal issue. And again, thank you very much for keeping it all very civil, very positive in attempting to sort out the complexities. You are to be commended for your maturity — some/many(?) would begin hurling insults pretty quickly. YOU are a wonderful exception Sir. Thank you. ❤

          If push came to shove, I would have to consider myself (on this controversial issue) primarily neutral, with the very few exceptions of those horrific, heinous murderers/killers who proudly take credit for their bloody crimes as if doing society a favor, and seeking all means possible for the BEST rehabilitation back into society or at least into a standard prison with slightly increased liberties than the ADX Florences across the nation. I’d also push hard for much better mental-health/addiction facilities, programs, raised payrolls for staff, and higher state-federal funding and subsidies! Sadly, as I alluded to earlier, most Americans do NOT want to go that distance. They’d rather just take the “cheaper” route of long-term torture with little-to-no rehab in hardcore prisons. Bottom-line… Americans (wealthy ones especially) don’t want to pay more taxes or support increased funding for much BETTER criminal rehab regiments, only very basic understaffed, poorly qualified mental-health staff/guards in shitty (torturous?) prisons. That’s where I see the inhumanity as well. 😦

          Thanks again Scottie for some healthy discussion and examination. I hope we can totally eliminate ALL immoral illegal killings, at least for the sake of the victim’s family. I feel a great place to start is at early childhood with excellent well-funded education, pre-K up to 2-yrs of college minimum, then for those who “slip through the cracks“, excellent LONG-TERM mental-health mental-illness and addiction facilities, programs with the best staff and doctors around! Just these two areas would drastically cut-down our incarceration-rate and prison/prisoner problems. It would certainly be steps in the right direction!

          Liked by 2 people

        • *Applause* Very well put, Professor.

          And with that, I’m closing comments on this topic as there is little more that can be said. Thanks to all for participating.

          Liked by 2 people

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