Capital Punishment Discussion

Always a topic for heated debate, my good friend Kappy is doing some research on the use of capital punishment and is asking for opinions on the matter. If you’re interested in this topic, check out some of the replies to her queries, including a quasi-incoherent (and long) response from yours truly. If you don’t answer there (or don’t have a MySpace profile so you can’t answer there) feel free to post your opinions on the matter here.

3 thoughts on “Capital Punishment Discussion

  1. Interestingly enough, I wrote a paper on the topic. (covering both sides of the debate) http://www.computer-forensic-technician.com/wordpress/capital-punishment-as-a-means-of-reducing-violent-crime/

    As to my personal opinion…

    Capital punishment is touted as an effective deterrant against crime (namely murder). Yet studies have shown over and over that capital punishment is not a deterrant, that murder will still occur at the same rate regardless.

    A life is a life. What really annoys me is so-called “pro-lifers” who scream about stem cells and fetuses, but, then are in favor of capital punishment. Bottom line… no human being has the right to take the life of another human being, no matter what the circumstance is. (except in the circumstance of bona fide self defense, or where other human lifes are at risk).

    Nate

  2. “Capital punishment is touted as an effective deterrant against crime (namely murder). Yet studies have shown over and over that capital punishment is not a deterrant, that murder will still occur at the same rate regardless.”

    Studies done where, the US, where executions are performed in private, hidden away so no one can see? One thing to remember is how cultural history also represents itself. America has, since its inception, been a violent nation. Unless there’s something in front of people where they can easily make the association of “If I do X, Y will happen to me”, then nothing will change, rates won’t go up or down.

    You’re right, a life is a life. However, you can’t equivocate executing a murdered and killing a child. That’s like saying “Well, this person is a thief, so we’ll put him in jail. And this person? Well, we’ll put him in jail too, even though he didn’t do anything.” This argument does not make, and has never made, any sense. One person has chosen to take the life of another. Another has not even gotten a chance to decide.

    I’ll check out your essay and comment there as fitting.

  3. Another way to think about the difference between a convicted murderer and an unborn child is that the status of life has been debated (Roe v. Wade, et. al) in the case of the unborn child but, not in the case of the convicted murderer. (Yes, I know I’ll be flogged for posting this, but… since I like playing devil’s advocate.)

    This is from the 1967 U.S. Presidental Commission Report reviewing capital punishment which addresses capital punishment as a deterrent:

    “It is impossible to say with certainty whether capital punishment significantly reduces the incidence of heinous crimes. The most complete study on the subject, based on a comparison of homicide rates in capital and non-capital jurisdictions,concluded that there is no discernible correlation between the availability of the death penalty and the homicide rate. This study also revealed that there was no significant difference between the two kinds of States in the safety of policemen. Another study of 27 states indicated that the availability of the death sentence had no effect on the rate of assaults and murders of prison guards. (p. 7)”

    This was quoted in my essay submitted for academic credit towards the completion of a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice:
    http://www.computer-forensic-technician.com/wordpress/capital-punishment-as-a-means-of-reducing-violent-crime/

    Nate

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