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Do you support the death penalty

  • yes for terrorist and serial killer

    Votes: 5 15.6%
  • yes for terrorist, serial killer and criminals

    Votes: 12 37.5%
  • yes for terrorist, serial killer,criminals and mental illness

    Votes: 5 15.6%
  • No not at alll

    Votes: 10 31.3%

Do you support the death penalty

6850 Views 189 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  fire_mat99
Do you support the death penalty yes or no :eek:

I would say terrorist and serial killer are not humans and yes I support death penalty or harsh for them :)

Now no I do not support torture or the death penalty on criminals the jails and hospital will take car of that

And no I do not support harsh for them :eek:
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A lot of people say that it should not be used unless it is an open and shut case. But, legally speaking, you are either guilty or not guilty. To have the death penalty in clear cases but imprisonment in others would mean three classifications, not guilty, guilty, and really-guilty. From a legal and from a practical point of view, that is unsustainable. For example, if a judge were to decide that somebody found guilty was not guilty enough to face the death penalty would that not be an admittance of reasonable doubt?

Also, heres a quick run down of the UKs most famous killers

Harold Shipman, probably killed over 200 people, killed himself while serving life

Fred West, unknown amount of victims, but at least 10, killed himself awaiting trial

Michael Robert Ryan, shot 17 people in Hungerford, shot himself before being arrested

Ian Huntley, the Soham killer, attempted suicide while in prison

Ian Brady, the Moors Murderer, currently serving life in a mental institution, has gone on record to say that he wants to die.

Why give these people what they want?
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ChrisJones said:
Hi Dugg,

I notice your from Cardiff too! It's a small world eh? Whereabouts do you live? I'm down in the Bay.
Just round the corner in Grange (the nice bit ;))

ChrisJones said:
I can see your point there, you're right about a person either guilty or not, however there are cases where there is some element of doubt, or the preception of doubt, e.g. in a case where there is a lot circumstancial evidence, the evidence may point strongly to a guilty verdict but as we have seen the judicial system is flawed, and in this ficticious case the defendant is actually innocent. This sort of crime where there is doubt but still an appearance of guilt should be one of the cases where a death sentance is not imposed.

However a case (I know this is never likely to happen but just as an example indulge me...)where there are two people who dislike each other in a room, alone, with a shotgun, one ends up dead the other with gunpowder indicating he fired the gun, no signs of a struggle, and a gunshot that indicates the dead person was a distance away so the defendant cannot argue self defense. I think it's a fairly open and shut as to who fired the gun and who is guilty.
The trouble is in cases where there is guilt, but not the level of evidence of the latter case. In a case such as this, should the judge not enforce the death penalty because there is a doubt over the conviction? But the jury have already convicted beyond reasonable doubt. The judges decision on sentencing has to be made on the assumption that the jury got it right, to not enforce the death penalty would mean that the judge was questioning the juries decision. So either the judge would enforce the death penalty in all cases, or the judges decision would be a contradiction of the juries decision. The former is unacceptable from a moral standpoint (due to the chances of a wrongful conviction), the latter is untenable from a legal postion.

Anyway, got to get ready for work, see ya :)
ChrisJones said:
Alex has got it right there, I was thinking that sort of situation but couldn't get it into words (I had a late night and am now suffering from brain death)...

I would suggest the death penalty should be enforced if there is overwhelming evidence that the accused is guilty, as in Alex's example perhaps if there is video evidence that simply cannot be argued with, clearly showing the defendant commiting the crime.
But the question is not when it should be applied, but when it shouldn't. How do we reconcile a jury saying that it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt, and a judge saying there is enough doubt not to invoke the death penalty. I honestly cannot see how these can be reconciled. Sentencing is done on the basis of the seriousness of the crime, not on the weight of evidence.

Additionally, as for the idea of the possibilty of additional evidence, the trouble is additional evidence cannot always be foreseen, for example, there have been a spate of miscarriages of justice discovered due to DNA evidence. When the convictions were orignally made, DNA profiling was not yet known. Given the exponential increase in scientific knowledge, the amount of forensic methods available after the trial which were not available during the trial, is bound to increase. If we take a less concrete and more abstract definition of additional evidence, then, given the lack of knowledge we have over mental illness, it is hard to see how anyone could be convicted of the death penalty. This also opens up the question of whether enforcing the death penalty would make additional evidence less likely to be discovered.

But I also come back to my other point. Ian Brady wants to die, so why kill him?
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ChrisJones said:
Hi Dugg,

You raise some good points there...

Firstly on the death penalty issue, I think a jury would understand that if they were to find someone guilty on the evidence presented but there was an element of doubt, the judge would not impose the death penalty. Conversely I think they would also understand that if there was overwhelming evidence of the accused persons guilt (e.g. a video showing the accused committing the crime) that they would be willing to accept the death penalty.
But the jury need to find the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt if after doing so the judge were not to enforce the death penalty he would either be directly contradicting the jury, or acting unreasonably. Or consider an appeal which upheld the guilty but no death penalty, the same judges would be saying that there was a reasonable doubt and that there wasn't. Don't get me wrong, i know what your saying, but from the practical standpoint I really can't see how it could work.

ChrisJones said:
However I accept your point that in the event of there being a miscarriage it would be rather hard to acquit someone of a death penalty, hence why I think it should only be used in the most severe crimes.

As you say sentencing is done on the seriousness of the crime, I've come up with a few examples and which sort of sentence should be applied. I stress these are only MY opinions.

#1 A man is killed in a park there are no witnesses, the accused is found through a series of evidence trails and circumstantial evidence, on the balance of evidence the jury finds the defendant guilty, however I feel that in this sort of situation the death penalty should not be applied because there is an element of doubt preventing the use of the Death Penalty.

#2 The accused is caught on camera picking a fight with an old man walking down the street, there is no provocation, yet the accused beats the man to death for no apparent reason. The accused is not under the influence of any substance. The entire crime is caught on CCTV, the accused shows no remorse for his crime. IMO on this occasion the death penalty should be used, the accused has shown no remorse for the crime, he attacked a frail old man for no reason whatsoever.

OK so those may be a little over-simplified but they show that there different situations deserve different levels of punishment.
I think we need to seperate two issues. Sentencing on the seriousness of the crime is a workable policy but would lead to the innocent being convicted, so to my mind is unacceptable. Sentencing on the strength of evidence, makes sense intuitively, but could not work in practice IMO.

ChrisJones said:
As for Ian Brady I think he should be allowed to kill himself, he should be put into a padded room with a blunt knife and left to it. After all he is costing the UK taxpayer thousands of pounds to maintain in prison, if he was left to get on with it we'd all be better off.
I see where your coming from but personally I think that would be to easy for him

ChrisJones said:
Personally I think the criminal justice system in our country is a joke. There are no deterrents for crime.

A friend and I were walking home after a night out in Bournemouth, we were attacked by a gang of nine youths of varying in age between 17 and 19 years of age, for no other reason than they had decided the car park we were walking through was theirs (that's what they told the police!) and no one else could walk through it. Luckily all this was caught on camera, and my friend managed to grab the coat, which contained his wallet and driving license, off one of them when they did a runner when the cops arrived. I was quite badly hurt as I'd been set upon by five of them, and not even Rocky Balboa can dodge five punches thrown at the same time.

From the CCTV the police were able to identify ALL of the attackers who were all known to the police previously and all of whom were known to have violent tendencies. Upon the police rounding them up they were all duly charged with varying degrees of assault, possessing weapons, assaulting a police officer and various other offenses. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to press charges against the youths below 18, irritating but OK. However the other got taken to court duly found guilty and with the exception of the one who attacked a female police officer were all let off with between 40 and 90 hours of community service. where's the justice there? I spent five weeks in hospital with broken ribs, a fractured skull, broken jaw and cuts and bruises all over the place. I got a measly 482 pounds from the criminal compensation board, despite my injuries being worth well over three grand. I lost over four grand in lost earnings (at the time i was a freelance contractor).

Sorry I've just realised how much I've been ranting on. I'll stop now. However perhaps you can better understand my feelings now?
First, sorry about the encounter in the car park, you have my sympathy. I completely understand your feelings, and I would be the first to say we should have higher sentencing for violent crime. I have a lot of time for the zero-tolerance idea and I think it is disgusting that you would get a higher sentence for bank robbery than for murder. Having said that, in the murderers eyes I don't think that the death penalty is a tougher sentence than life (and i mean life) in prison.
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valley said:
I think the death penalty is a good deterrant and that it should be used a lot more often than it is.
Do you have any evidence that the death penalty is a good deterrant?

Since the death penalty has led to the killing of innocent people, if it was used more often, wouldn't more innocent people die?
Chris had the idea of a blunt knife, I think I may be able to go along with that, guns are for kitties.
valley said:
Its common sense. Make the death penalty mandatory for rapists or pedophiles do you think will seek out help to control their urges rather than act on them?

Does that make sense to you at all, Dugg?
Well no it doesn't actually.
Do serial killers seek help to control their urges in countries or states which have the death penalty for muder? Do such countries or states have lower cases of murders? Some quick facts


The two states with the most executions in 2003, Texas and Oklahoma saw increases in their murder rates from 2002 to 2003. Both states had murder rates above the national average in 2003: Texas - 6.4, and Oklahoma - 5.9. The top 13 states in terms of murder rates were all death penalty states.

The gap between the cumulative murder rates of death penalty and non-death penalty states actually widened in 2003, from 36% in 2002 to 44% in 2003. The murder rate of the death penalty states increased from 2002, while the rate in non-death penalty states decreased.

valley said:
If that happened, which it probably would, I believe in the greater good if the justice system. Overall, I think it would hugely reduce crime and save more innocents from being murdered or raped than the amount of innocents falsely put to death.

Thats just the way I feel about it.
First, I find it a little bit unsettling how you are can trade lives so easily. The killing of innocent people is murder, whether it is by the state or the individual. Since there is no evidence that it would decrease crime you are proposing that we should murder innocent people (bad enough) without any benefit (worse)
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You propose a law which you know will result in the deaths of innocent people without providing any evidence that it would of benefit
valley said:
And I am not opposed to the death penalty based on "moral grounds" because God ordained government to carry out justice so it is a fitting punishment because it is God-ordained.
By that logic any government decreed punishment would by God ordained.

Would Jesus support the death penalty?
Yeah good point, its not like Jesus taught forgiveness, love and compassion now is it.

I think you and I have a very different view of Jesus
To step into your theology for a moment, Christ is perfect, whatever judgements he makes are based on truth and are flawless, can you say the same for human judegement?
Surely killing innocent people violates Gods law.
What about the innocent victims of the death penalty, who would be far more in your "one appeal then fry them system". Don't they count.
You said

valley said:
But God ordains government and commands us to submit to those who lead us, unless they violate God's holy law. Then we have a duty to engage in civil disobedience.
So I asked you if killing innocent people violated Gods law, so you said

valley said:
of course it does.
So don't you have a duty to engage in civil disobedience against the death penalty?
valley said:
No, because I am operating from the assumption that they have been found guilty in a court of law. You are operating from the assumption that the 6th commandment applies to the death penalty when it doesnt. God commanded the death penalty for many things in the OT so the death penalty and outright murder are totally different things.
Your missing the point. I am talking about the innocent people who are condemned to death, I have said nothing about the guilty. When God commands the death penalty he cannot get it wrong, he cannot condemn an innocent man. You have already accepted that the courts are not perfect and kill the innocent. You also believe that killing the innocent is contrary to Gods law, and if government acts contrary to Gods law then it should be opposed. So why don't you oppose the death penalty?
valley said:
ok Dugg, I get your point now. Sorry it took me so long to see your reasoning.

I'm not sure what to think about a government that acts contrary to God's law in this specific kind of situation. I know that governments ruled by an evil dictator are contrary to God's law because they do evil things. Murdering your own people is an evil thing. As far as the death penalty being given to an innocent would have to prove that the justice system knowingly put an innocent man to death to convince me that I should oppose it. And NO, I am not saying that I dont care if innocent people are wrongly put to death so dont put those words in my mouth please. I am allowing for the fact that it happens but know that these are not intentional murders that are done with malice. The system believes that the person is guilty but it has somehow failed. Is the failing of the justice system in this case an indication that the death penalty is not a good idea? I dont believe so, Dugg! I believe the death penalty is the best form of justice. I also believe that it will be a deterrant to crime for many whether people agree with that or not. Its logical to me....If I decided to break into some guy's rob him...I might not be so quick to kill him if he gets in the way if I knew I would die if caught. If I were a criminal, i'd rather go to jail for robbery than die for murder, ya know?
But your not going to Rob or kill someone are you Val? So whether it appears logical to you is not strictly relevent. You need to consider whether it appears logical to the would be murderer, and for that you need objective evidence. The evidence is pretty clear that it doesn't act as a deterrent.

We know that the death penalty will kill the innocent.

We do not know that it will deter criminals, all you can offer is supposition, the evidence we have points to the opposite.
Sorry, your kind of confusing me, when you talk about a deterrent are you talking about stopping them from committing further crime, since Val was talking about something else.

Life inprisonment is just as good as stopping further crime
LANMaster said:
I beg to differ;
Life in prison IS NOT as good as stopping further crime.
Many people are killed in prison by those who are serving life sentences.
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