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My views

Posted by: David on January 28, 19100 at 15:58:36:

In Reply to: The death penalty posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on January 27, 19100 at 19:47:50:

: I don't think it should be in effect for all murders. But I think that mass murderers; murderers of policemen; murderers of people selected for their race, nationality or sexual orientation; murderers of children; and those killers who demonstrate either a partciular sadism/viciousness or a particularly cold and callous indifference to human life should be given the death penalty. These crimes are so heinous that i don't believe it's fair to treat people who commit them the same as lots of other petty criminals who are in jail for life. You need a particularly severe punishment to punish such crimes. People who do bad thinsg deserve bad outcomes; it's not fair that a mass murderer should merely lose hifs freedom, for teh poor in our soicety are largely without freedom as well; how honorable is it to a poor homeless man if we make him life his life in the same misery as a callous child murderer. To differentiate different degrees of evil is why I think we shoudl have the death penalty.

This is where I disagree, murder is murder is murder. I feel that it should be punished equally.

: By all means, let's get rid of the gas chamber though. By many accounts it's the most painful and torturuos method of death yet invented (short of crucifixion, still practiced in the Middle East), sometimes taking eleven minutes to bring death.

I would prefer allowing the victim to choose their own means of death. Within reason of course (remember Monty Python's Meaning of Life?)

: On a related note, just an interesting observation about race and crime. Conservatives always liek to point out how African Americans commit more rimes and murders proportioante to their population than whites do. That may be, but what they overlook is that the most horrible crimes, at least recently, seem to be committed almost entirely by whites. consider just a few:

Again, I do not think that such crimes should be differentiated from. Regardless of whether the person did it out of racial hate or just because he wanted the persons money should be immaterial.

: 1) those two white guys in Texas who dragged a black man to death along a highway
: 2) two pederasts who raped and suffocated a young boy
: 3)Timothy McVeigh and Theodore Kaczynxki (both right wing terrorists)
: 4) those guys in Wyoming who tortured and killed a homosexual youth
: 5) a restaurant ownet here in Boston about ten years ago who killed his pregnant wife for the life insurance, blamed it on a black man, spurred an infamous police search through the Mission Hill area, and then jumped off a bridge when his criem became public.

: If the death penalty was really applied only to thsoe who woudl deserve it, it's my guess that African Americans would certainly not be represented more than their population warranted.

That in itself is a racist comment. You are essentially implying that only white men are capable of heinous crimes motivated by psychological impairments. That is tantamount to me saying that only black men rob liquor stores. I am sure that you did not intend it to be such, but that is what it turns out being.
I personally don't like making assumptions about other people based on superficial qualities, however people do it unconciously. It is an unfortunate trend in our society, but I believe it will change.

Now, for my views on the death penalty. Well, first of all the purpose of prison is to reform criminals and make them suitable for society once again. I personally do not think that it is doing that job...in fact, if it is supposed to form, then why are people given three life sentences in a row sometimes? Another issue is whether in the case of two different crimes it takes one man only 5 years to reform while the other man twenty? It is essentially a way to punish under the auspices of compassion. Now, I support the concept of exile. (where to? I am not sure...maybe antarctica or something or Tierra Del Fuego...or Canada :). I believe that if people break the social contract, they should be exiled. If after living in an area of no law and anarchy (not like Lark) they decide they want back into society, they can apply for citizenship and if they are found to be fit for society than that is great, otherwise no luck.
In lieu of my system, I believe that the death penalty is acceptable for only the most heinous crimes. There is a problem of executing an innocent man, perhaps a more rigorous judicial system is what is needed.

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