View Poll Results: Death Penalty - For or Against?

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    70 45.75%
  • Against

    83 54.25%
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Thread: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

  1. #33
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    Re: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

    For, over crowding in prisons, most people are guilty and will just reoffend, life in prison now means 20 odd years small life, give a deterrent to others.

    My personal favorite would be to strip all prisons of anything they dont need games consoles sat tv, internet go back to the basics and stop sending them to butlins on our money god damn it.

  2. #34
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    Re: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

    I think many of us who are against the death penalty would support tougher prison time (I know I would) but that's a different discussion.

    The deterrent effect of the death penalty is disputed but the statistics would seem to suggest it actually makes the murder rate higher (see here for example.)

  3. #35
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    Re: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

    For. People don't have respect for life if they kill someone, so if the threat was if they get caught and convicted of murder they should be put to death as well.

    I understand the concerns about wrongful conviction. I still think it should be enforced.

  4. #36
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    Re: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

    Against (for civil crimes). War crimes/crimes against humanity (Hitler, Milosovic etc.) should be judged on a different scale.

    Imprisonment = punishment, death = revenge - justice is not about revenge.

    Possibility of wrongful conviction - no case can ever truely be cut and dry.

    Doesn't work as a deterant - proven in US.

    Doesn't lower overall costs - it costs far more to have prisoners on death row than normal prisoners, especially when you add on the additional legal costs that those sort of cases attract.
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    Re: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucio View Post
    Personally I'm against the death penalty, because quite frankly, it's about getting revenge on the people who commit terrible crimes. It's also an "easy" way out for criminals, instead of spending 40+ years locked in a prison they get killed and it doesn't matter.

    Finally, it's also bloody expensive to run, with all the appeals and the like the cost for the legal aid can run to hundreds of thousands of pounds. A Quick google shows that an execution can cost up to $3m per prisoner.
    It's not necessarily about revenge. If you've got someone that has killed numerous times, and can never be released because they're likely to immediately do it again (and some convicted killers have asked never to be released precisely for that reason, as indeed, some have asked for the DP for that reason), then it isn't about revenge.

    Conversely, you'll regularly get people saying they don't want the DP because it's too much of an easy out for convicted killers, and that instead, they want them to 'really suffer' by being locked up for decades, or the rest of their life. So you could just as easily argue that the DP is the 'humane' option, and that lifetime imprisonment is the way to go if you want revenge. And they can't both be true, can they?

    And the cost argument doesn't work either, if you're basing it on US figures, because what you're citing the cost of is the US legal system, not the death penalty. Saddam Hussein had a death penalty too, and in involved getting dragged outside and shot. Net cost, about $0.05.

    And no, I'm not advocating Saddam's method. But to use US costs does not mean it would cost that here, and nor does reducing costs imply a lack of justice, or the denying of due process, or appeals, etc. What it implies is designing a system that is designed to protect even the accused, while doing away with frivolous appeals lodged on all sorts of technical points that even the lawyers lodging them KNOW will not work. That is the situation is the US. Many of the appeals, which accounts for a large part of the delay and a large part of the cost, even by the lawyers filing them, are acknowledged to be merely delaying tactics to put off the inevitable. They aren't about winning appeals, because in many instances, they know they won't. It's about using the delay implied by the court's schedules and caseload to delay things by weeks or months at a time, while awaiting those appeals. So we design a system that prevents such frivolous time-wasting appeals while still allowing for serious appeals as part of the process.

    While it's perfectly fair game for any lawyer fighting DP cases to use any legal manoeuvre he/she can to keep their client alive, it doesn't mean that we need to have a system that facilitates such legal manoeuvring.

    The cost of a fair, reasonable and thorough due process will depend on exactly the design of that system. However, it is pretty possible to put a close figure on the cost of keeping someone locked up for decades, and it increases in latter years, due to increasing age and health issues. And, for some categories of killers (but not all), I'd far rather see that money spent on schools, hospitals or, if necessary, even on prisons for conventional offenders. As far as I'm concerned, there are categories of offence that are so heinous that by committing them, you so totally break the contract with society that society owes you nothing at all, including the continued right to exist.

  6. #38
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    Re: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

    Quote Originally Posted by Splash View Post
    Against, because if we're to be human then we should rise above the level of animals and the mob mentality.
    +1 for me.
    Compassion and understanding, even in the face of horrendous crimes, is what separates us from the animals (and certain other cultures around the world).

    As for saving money by killing people, that is just stupid.

    The best way to save money is to deport ANYONE that isn't a born UK citizen back to their country of origin. Someone else can then foot the bill.
    If they are a UK citizen, and a home owner or in holding of other assets, then strip them. Take everything they own to pay for their prison stay.

    As for those that think its a deterent to have enforce the death penalty......what are you on about? Has the USA got a crime free society for example.

    Its time to get tougher on the scum in our community but if you think the death penalty is the way forward then its time to take to the trees rather than live in civilisation.
    Last edited by Blitzen; 21-10-2008 at 05:02 PM.

  7. #39
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    Re: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen View Post
    ....

    As for saving money by killing people, that is just stupid.

    The best way to save money is to deport ANYONE that isn't a born UK citizen back to their country of origin. Someone else can then foot the bill.
    If they are a UK citizen, and a home owner or in holding of other assets, then strip them. Take everything they own to pay for their prison stay. ....
    While we're talking about things being stupid, let's look at that one.

    If the killer is totally isolated, then fine. I have no problem with seizing assets. But many are not. What do you do when the killer has a wife, and maybe kids? A home is then going to be a joint property. Why should the innocent wife (or husband, or partner) be slung out of their home because of the crimes of the killer? How is that justice? How does taking the home away from kids serve justice? After all, it wasn't the partner, or kids, that committed the offences that might carry the DP, was it?

    So, back to the isolated killer. Seize the assets, if that's what the system requires. I don't have a problem with that. But it doesn't affect the fact that the killer is going to cost a fortune to keep securely locked up for decades. There's nothing to stop assets being seized, and perhaps used as compensation to his victims. For instance, where his acts deprived a family not only of their loved ones, but if that loved one was a bread-winner, of the income they'd have brought in. Or it could go to a Criminal Injuries Compensation fund.

    However you look at, three things are immutable :-

    - it costs a lot to keep people locked up.
    - taxpayer funds are limited, and there's always plenty of other things to spend the money on
    - if you spend millions caring for some of the worst psychopaths in our society, you aren't spending it where it'll do some real good.

    Explain to me, if you will, just why it's "stupid" want to spend that money on health facilities, maybe on a children's unit, cancer research, care for the elderly, care for homeless, training for the long-term unemployed, etc, and instead, to spend it on those that are responsible for heinous crimes?

    Personally, I can't think of many more useless ways to spend it than that.

  8. #40
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    Re: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen View Post
    +1 for me.
    Compassion and understanding, even in the face of horrendous crimes, is what separates us from the animals (and certain other cultures around the world).

    As for saving money by killing people, that is just stupid.

    The best way to save money is to deport ANYONE that isn't a born UK citizen back to their country of origin. Someone else can then foot the bill.
    If they are a UK citizen, and a home owner or in holding of other assets, then strip them. Take everything they own to pay for their prison stay.

    As for those that think its a deterent to have enforce the death penalty......what are you on about? Has the USA got a crime free society for example.

    Its time to get tougher on the scum in our community but if you think the death penalty is the way forward then its time to take to the trees rather than live in civilisation.
    Interesting take. I seem to recall you were in the forces, right? Explains a lot.

    How far back are you going to take this mass deportation plan of yours? You've never benefited from the fact that we have a "melting pot" culture? You've never enjoyed a good curry? Never listened to any music of black origin? I personally think it's wonderful that we have the mix of cultures that we have, however this obviously extends to the fact that people like the BNP are as entitled to their opinion asanyone else.

    I'll say nothing more on the matter, this being requested as an "in brief" thread rather than a debate.

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    Re: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

    “For” if it is confined to proven paedophiles, child killers and serial murderers. I would lose no sleep over someone like Ian Huntley for example.

    CAN’T DO THAT?

    “Against” because like other posters I would be concerned about condemning an innocent person. You also only have to look at countries which still have the death penalty to see it is not a deterrent.

    I guess the alternative is a harsh prison regime and a life sentence meaning “for the rest of your life”.

    I believe that the death penalty was only carried out on those judged to be sane. A future debate might be whether those who carry out horrendous crimes of murder are insane by the very fact that their acts are beyond those a sane person would commit. How do you differentiate between an act of evil and an act of insanity?

    But I digress and we were asked to keep our replies brief. Sorry.

  10. #42
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    Re: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

    Against, because the government mucks up any new legislation it brings in. Could you imagine the sort of muck up they'd make of something like the death penalty

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    Re: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

    Quote Originally Posted by Amalie View Post
    .....

    But I digress and we were asked to keep our replies brief. Sorry.
    It is, however, a forum specifically created for discussion, as the forum description specifies.

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    Re: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

    Quote Originally Posted by Amalie View Post
    ....

    I believe that the death penalty was only carried out on those judged to be sane. A future debate might be whether those who carry out horrendous crimes of murder are insane by the very fact that their acts are beyond those a sane person would commit. How do you differentiate between an act of evil and an act of insanity? .....
    In the UK, it's a matter for the judge at a trial to determine sanity, and it's a legal definition, not a medical one. if the person is judged insane, they don't have the mental ability to have committed the type of acts that would carry the DP.

    Essentially, most criminal acts, and as far as I can remember, just about all serious and/or violent acts, require two elements, mens rea and actus reas. Simplistically put, the actus reas is whether the accused did the act. In other words, proving it was him wot did it. The means rea is the "guilty mind", in other words, that he knew he was doing it, had control over his actions and knew it was wrong.

    If the accused is suffering from a sufficiently serious mental affliction that they are determined insane, they won't be tried, because they would be unfit to plead. In that event, they'll be dealt with under other procedures, which in the case of serious violent offences would probably result in hospitalisation order in a secure hospital.

    But even if judged fit to plead, and to stand trial, you can still use the diminished responsibility defence. There are a number of ways in which that can be established, but it is based on medical evidence. And this time, it's a matter for the jury to decide, not the judge. If the accused is able to prove (and the defence has to prove it on the balance of probability) that at the time they committed the act, they were not responsible, then they can't be convicted of murder. Diminished responsibility reduces the offence to manslaughter.

    So, when you consider is the mere fact that a horrible offence was carried out is in and of itself evidence that the person is insane, the answer will be no. But if you can establish they they were insane, or even not responsible, they aren't going to be convicted of an offence for which the DP is ever likely to apply, even in the very unlikely event it were to be brought back (in the UK and/or EU).



    EDIT - oh, and there's limitations to using the "diminished responsibility" defence too. For instance, in and of itself, being so drunk that you didn't know what you were doing won't work. If you have serious physiological damage caused by drink, such as brain damage, that so badly impaired your mental faculties, well, that might. Alcohol or drugs don't absolve you, but long-term addiction to alcohol or drugs might. Despite being popular in written and TV fiction, diminished responsibility is actually pretty hard to prove, and doesn't often work. Also, as it's a matter for the jury, only in rare situations (such as Tony Martin) will the appeal court consider diminished responsibility if it wasn't brought up at trial, and if it was brought up at trial, it's a jury matter which appeal courts won't overrule.

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    Re: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

    Thank you Saracen. I usually just skim through long posts but not this one. Very interesting. Thank you for posting it.

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    Re: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

    You're very welcome, Amalie. It was an interesting slant that you'd raised on the usual DP issues .

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    Re: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

    Damn well against, we should not be removing the problem by killing someone, we should investigate the root problem of what went and caused them to commit a crime in the first place. People are not born murderers, rapists etc.

    I'm quite suprised at the amount of people for the death penalty on here! Kind of scares me a bit eeeek! :s.
    "I Don't mind Lobster. It's like you could, you know... Punch... A lobster. I wouldn't eat anything I couldn't punch"


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    Re: Death Penalty Poll - In Brief

    Well it should be an option, for some specific cases.

    I'm thinking of heinous crimes - child murder, mass murder, terrorist acts, where guilt is not in doubt, and the only alternative is to keep the criminal or criminals in custody for the rest of their natural life, at vast expense.

    I'm thinking of the Moors Murderers (murderer now), Yorkshire Ripper, etc. These people can never be released, their guilt is not in doubt, and they will simply linger in a cell until they die. I would have no problem, no problem at all, if these people were killed, by the state, via lethal injection.

    I'd not loose any sleep over it, and I'd wake up still considering myself civilized.

    If you are a Guardian reader type, who would shed a tear for the passing of a child murderer, you can always form some sort of club where you can bleat to each other about how uncivilized it was of society to humanely put these animals to death.

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