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Thread: The death penalty should be reinstated for police killers?

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    Almost in control. autopilot's Avatar
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    The death penalty should be reinstated for police killers?

    The former head of the Metropolitan Police, Lord Stevens, said the double shooting had convinced him the death penalty should be reinstated for police killers.

    He told the News of the World: "For the first time in my life, despite 40 years at the sharp end of policing, I finally see no alternative.

    "Such an extreme act of pure evil can only be met by the most extreme of responses - and that can only be death."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bradford/4452710.stm
    I could not disagree more. I don't think there is any good reason to bring back the death penalty. Three reasons why we should never go back to the days of corporal punishment;

    1) Mistakes do happen, even in seemingly water tight cases. This has happened a lot in the USA and was the last person executed in the UK not pardoned? It's not worth risking an innocent life. You also have to account for police corruption, which clearly still exists to a degree. How many people have been acquitted of crimes over the years that would have been put to death if we had a death penalty?

    2) It does not work as a deterrent. This has been proven in many states in the USA. Due to the very nature of most murders (mentally unstable people or spur of the moment killings in anger), people are not thinking of the consequences at the time.

    3) Is it really a decent enough punishment? I mean, if an animal becomes very ill we put it down to put it out of its misery, it's the kindest thing to do and end its suffering if we cant help it. Surely making someone spend the rest of their life rotting in prison is a greater punishment?

    I really can't understand why intelligent people would think we should have a death penalty, except that they are upset and saying it in anger, as i suspect Lord Stevens was. But perhaps someone here could explain why it's a good idea?
    Last edited by autopilot; 20-11-2005 at 02:11 AM.

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    Senior Member RVF500's Avatar
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    Personally I don't agree with judicial killing. Calling it an execution is merely adding the sound of legality to it. Even if the perpetrator is guilty of murder. Do we or anyone else actually have the right to end their lives?

    On purely commercial grounds it's cheaper to string the miscreant up. Saves us feeding and housing him/her until nature finally disposes of them. Myra Hindley for example. Callous outlook maybe, but let's be objective here. With modern detection techniques the odds on a wrongful execution are significantly lower. On the subject of mentally unstable people. Why should they be given any for of preferential treatment? If they are dangerous and murder people then why should they not be subject to the same penalty. There is an argument (if you really want to twist things) that they shold be put down anyway. Even more of a risk than a criminal killer. Ok, I'm playing devils advocate here.

    But tell me. Why is the life of a police officer worth more than the lives of victims of terrorism or any other person robbed of their life? What about the lives of soldiers killed in terrorist actions in Northern Ireland for example? They too were only doing their jobs and were targets simply because of the uniform they wore. In July people were merely going to work when over 50 of them were murdered, are their lives worth less than that of a police officer?

    The deterrent factor in my view comes from the liklihood of getting caught. If the death penalty is imposed but only one or 2 actually get caught and convicted. The odds are good from the criminal's perspective. If the clown who commits the crime doesn't even know the penalties for his/her crimes then there is no deterrent. Someone who is going to blow themselves up? no deterrent at all. Unless of course you pass a law so you can string their family up by proxy. Of course no civilised society would do that. Maybe if we could string up the Imam who sends out the suicide bombers. They wouldn't be so keen to preach the path to paradise via a semtex waistcoat. If they were then they would strap on their own waistcoat. Of course, once again, we wouldn't allow such a course in our society. And rightly so.

    Here in Malaysia they have the death penalty for drug peddling. Also for other crimes. These crimes still take place. Though to be fair there is not much of a crime wave here. Mainly petty crime. The penalties deter the casual peddler but will not deter the stupid or desperate. For stupid read those 2 girls who tried to smuggle 30 kilos of heroin supposedly thinking it was chocolate. Desperate? well there is a hanging due to take place in the next week or so in Singapore of an Australian national. Supposedly trying to raise money to pay off loan sharks for his brother.

    The other argument is to make jail time hard, really hard. Depending on the nature of the crime of course. Educate people as to the likely result of certain crimes. For example, commit murder then expect a life sentance on some windy rock off the coast with no remission. Basic living conditions and no visits. After all they have denied the family of the murdered access to a family member. Seems fair to me.

    The bottom line of course is to find a real deterrent so people don't commit the crime in the first place. Better no one is murdered rather than we find a suitable revenge after the event.
    Last edited by RVF500; 20-11-2005 at 08:23 AM.
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    Laird Of The Glen jimborae's Avatar
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    As RVF500 said "why is a police officers life worth more than someone elses".

    It isn't, all life is of equal value.

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    Taz
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    People will murder regardless of whether we have the death penalty or not. Just look at America as someone pointed out.

    Also, it's a misconception that it's a cheap way of dealing with murderers. Firstly, they'll be on death row for up to 10-12 years. The public will indirectly have to fund the multitude of appeals, lining lawyers' pockets. Secondly, what if the person is innocent?

    That latter point also raises the same issue for the draconian measures of locking people up without trial and without evidence. Anyone locked up or killed by the state for being innocent will leave behind some very angry relatives and friends. It's a vicious spiral.

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Non-story TBH. Stevens was a crap Met Comissioner and now he's a publicity hungry media whore reactionary. Just ignore him and he'll eventually go away.

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    Its more madness. This is the kind of thing that combined with shoot to kill policies and holding people without charge makes for a de facto police state.

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    Anyone think capital punishment should be reinstated?
    I cant see any proper arguments for it that dont fall apart when scrutinised either TBH.
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    Hexus.Jet TeePee's Avatar
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    http://uk.messages.news.yahoo.com/Cr...of=1&m=tm&rt=2

    Something always worth remembering in discussions like this is Hexus demograpic profile. While we are almost unanimously against capital punishment, the general public are less single minded.. We largely represent educated middle class males, and while I could be accused of intellectual snobbery (and rightly so), we do know best.

    Of course, some would say that responders to questions on yahoo's pop-quizes have their own demographic, which would probably include a lower education standard.

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    Senior Member RVF500's Avatar
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    All those who call for the death penalty. How about you apply for the job of hangman? Then see how keen you are once you've snuffed the life out of someone. Problem is, no matter how bad they are you still end up killing another human being and that will sit on your conscience. Of course most people who call for the death penalty do so in the smug realisation that someone else will have the odious task of state killer.
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    Taz
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    The Americans have just carried out the 1,000th execution since the death penalty was re-introduced in 1976.

    Amnesty International's Kate Allen said that the landmark death "puts the US in the same company as countries like China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam".

    How appropriate.

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    Hexus.Jet TeePee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taz

    Amnesty International's Kate Allen said that the landmark death "puts the US in the same company as countries like China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam".

    Ah, the frequently touted list of countries which execute minors, which also includes Pakistan and somalia, I believe. However on the first of March this year the US supreme court ruled it unconstitutional. Only a 5-4 vote I believe, but a step in the right direction. Sadly they still have Republicans.

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    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Tbh, make it LIFE inprison, not 35 years, 20 if your good.

    I know they then have no reason to be good in prison, or not kill other people.

    But its worth noting people don't exactly think about the consiquences of shooting a police officer, then death won't be thought about either.

    People shouldn't be punished more for shooting an officer of the law, than they would for shooting Mrs, Jane Smith from number 123 alias road. Its hate crime law all over again.
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    Hexus.Jet TeePee's Avatar
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    For some crimes a judge can give a 'whole life' tariff. In recent years people such as Harold Shipman and Rosemary West have recieved whole life tariffs. Relevent to this thread, David Bieber, the killer of PC Ian Braodhurst also recieved a whole life tariff.

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    Senior Member RVF500's Avatar
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    I return to an earlier point though. Why should one profession make the life of an individual worth more than another?

    The mandatory sentance should be whole life tariff. Having said that, care would need to be taken with what crime people are actually charged with.

    But, if you rob a shop and shoot someone, anyone, then you should know that you face life in prison. No remission, no parole. No excuses.
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    Taz
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    I agree with tougher prison sentences. Our prisons are always full, se we keep getting told. How about removing the gyms, pool tables, snooker tables, games rooms, libraries, etc. from our prisons and cramming more people in?

    We don't 5-star prison cells. Prison needs to be a horrible, horrible place that people don't want to go back to. However, I would differentiate convicted criminals from those on remand (and also those detained without trial) as the latter haven't actually been convicted of a crime and should have better conditions.

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    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    is it ment to punish, or rehabilitate?
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