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Death Penalty Views


KKnox
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Right now in my town (Knoxville TN, USA) a jury is deciding on the penalty for a convicted murderer. These crimes (rape, torture, murder of a young couple) were truly horrible.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murders_of_Channon_Christian_and_Christopher_Newsom

 

Lemaricus Davidson is the second to be convicted of these murders (there are 2 more trials still to come). The first to be convicted was sentenced to life in prison, and there was general outrage in the community that he was not sentenced to die. Now I hear people saying that they are praying that the jury "get's it right this time" and imposes a death sentence on Davidson.

 

One example of the comments posted to the local TV station's story on the trial:

mdclblr wrote: I am praying that there is no one on the jury who doesn't have the guts to give this evil slime the DP.

A vast majority of my coworkers are Christians, but they almost all want this person to die for his crimes. Back when I was a Christian, I would have chided them for their non-Christian wish for this man's death. However, now that I am an atheist, I don't feel I can do that without deriding their entire faith. I guess I'm posting here partly to vent in lieu of criticizing coworkers. I do think their faith should be derided, but I won't do that to people I work with.

 

I have always been opposed to the death penalty. I find it bizarre and barbaric. I'm curious to know how other ex-Christians feel about the death penalty and if your views changed when you rejected your faith.

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I am against the DP. However outrageous the crime two wrongs do not make a right.

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When I was a christian I believed 'Thou shalt not kill' trumped all other laws. Granted, I was not a big bible reader, and was probably cherry picking. But I feared death so I saw the taking of a life as the greatest sin, and Jesus said to turn the other cheek and to forgive which backed up my feelings that such a penalty was not what Jesus would want.

 

When I converted I kept that morality, but allowed myself to flesh out why I believe the death penalty is a barbaric exercise beyond quoting the commandment.

 

Now that I think about it, it always bothered me that many christians ignored these basic concepts and was probably one of the things that led me to study religion and eventually leave the church.

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My religion, nor politics were a part of my view on the death penalty. I'm against it. I'm also against abortion. I'm not in favor of killing people at all. I say that, but I don't really preach and piss and moan against it. I'm just not that passionate about it. Freddy

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I have always been opposed to the death penalty. I find it bizarre and barbaric. I'm curious to know how other ex-Christians feel about the death penalty and if your views changed when you rejected your faith.

 

I share that view. Before and after de-conversion. I might add that I'm familar with "southern justice" and there's waaaay too much room for error to allow the state to kill anyone.

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Intellectually, I have always been against the death penalty. It is not a deterrent to others, it is unfairly administered, it has killed innocent people, and it seems rather barbaric to adopt as an official government position in a civilized world.

 

A death sentence is simply about revenge, and I confess that sometimes I'm in the mood for revenge in certain cases. Some people do deserve to die, but making it official policy creates more problems than it solves, in my opinion.

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I am against it. My views are unchanged.

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I have mixed feelings about the death penalty. I don't think that it is a good sentence because people make mistakes or are corrupt, juries can be swayed by clever lawyers, and the sentence is irreversible.

 

However, if there were a way to KNOW with 100% certainty that a person had committed multiple offenses of murder, rape and torture, I would have no problem with the decision to impose the death penalty.

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My views changed but it wasn't because of religion or lack thereof. I used to be a death penalty supporter. What changed my mind was seeing so many cases of false imprisonment crop up where DNA evidence cleared the prisoner. That was what changed it for me. Oh...and of course the fact that cops are corrupt bullies that are certainly no above framing someone.

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I have mixed feelings about the death penalty. I don't think that it is a good sentence because people make mistakes or are corrupt, juries can be swayed by clever lawyers, and the sentence is irreversible.

 

However, if there were a way to KNOW with 100% certainty that a person had committed multiple offenses of murder, rape and torture, I would have no problem with the decision to impose the death penalty.

I completely agree.

 

 

I realize that the death penalty isn't a general deterrent, but I am not convinced that this fact counts for much at all. Few laws succeed as general deterrents. A speeding violation is a good example of a general deterrent because people will slow down when they see police hand out tickets daily. On the other hand, if someone is contemplating a death penalty offense, I think they must either 1) be too stupid to really consider the consequences of their actions, or 2) hit some threshold of punishment in their reflections, like some sort of limit equation. I think its closer to option 1. The death penalty, like a life sentence, only deters that single person from re-offending.

 

I don't see a problem with a revenge justification as long as we're 100% certain about the person's guilt. But I see the word 'barbaric' being used, and I'm a little confused as to why. Does anyone mind expanding on this idea? Personally, the only thing I find barbaric about the death penalty is how much it costs! Unbelievable! Unless lawmakers can make state killings cheaper than a life sentence (I do think they can), I don't see how its responsible to keep paying so much. Their lives are literally not worth it.

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I use the word barbaric in this sense. If we decide killing is wrong, then killing is wrong. Eye for an eye is barbaric because it perpetuates the crime, and makes no moral stand. There is no lesson to be learned other than vengeance is acceptable to the community. 'If you do a crime you risk the same' is not what we want to teach. We want to teach simply 'the crime is wrong.'

 

If we murder a murderer, then we are also murderers, and then we are no better. We play down to the basest levels of human emotion--barbarism, instead of showing one can control oneself.

 

If a man murders my wife I may hunt him down and demand he be killed in my rage, I admit the desire for blood is human, but I am able to separate the ethics of a man with the ethics of a society. Individually we may all have times were we cannot control ourselves, and all the more reason we need to have a society that can control itself. That to me is what civilization is all about. It's justice must remain objective and emotionless for it's principles to be useful. Killing is wrong, and making excuses hollows the point. If we want to preach the benefits of a lawful society we should not be hypocrites about it.

 

Punishments used to be overly severe...hanging a petty thief for existence would be common in the dark ages. Perhaps then eye for an eye was an improvement on such brutality. But I believe that punishing a criminal equal to his crime simply validates that his crime can be acceptable. Justice should be about ethics, not revenge. The criminal does not matter in the grand scheme of things but our principles do.

 

That goes on top of all the other arguments, such as innocents are often put to death, and minorities tend to get higher penalties.

 

I understand that everyone may not understand my philosophy, but I believe the way we treat our fellow human beings reflects on ourselves, and if we can lock up a dangerous man up instead of ending his life out of anger, then I feel that that is a celebration of humanity.

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Some people simply deserve a good killing.

 

There is some shit that just cannot be condoned by a society if it wants to stay Occidental and somewhat civilized.

 

If "we" can't be stronger than the "bad actors", we become bait.

 

Fuck that shit.

 

Give the heinous bastard a good trial, best defense we the People can, and if found guilty, sentenced to death, kill him/her.

 

I once thought that the DP was something barbaric until I saw first hand the actions and things done by a group of modern day savages. Things done to an innocent whose only crime was to be wrong skin tone/incorrect place at wrong time.

 

Cleaning that shit stain of society off streets was a pleasure. Seeing them make bail, and continue to commit more crimes while still on bond for rape and attempted murder was "mind pressing".

 

When said actors were taken off streets no one cried. There 'taint no innocents in the culture of corruption and criminal activities..

 

Catch a clue folks, "Justice System" in uS is broken and has nothing for you but contempt.

Taking lives of those who are found beyond repair and control is simply taking out the trash we accumulate.

 

kevin, GarbageMan, fuckin' L

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Fer it in spirit, agin it in practice. Would hate to see an innocent person snuffed because of error or police/prosecuter corruption.

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I use the word barbaric in this sense. If we decide killing is wrong, then killing is wrong. Eye for an eye is barbaric because it perpetuates the crime, and makes no moral stand. There is no lesson to be learned other than vengeance is acceptable to the community. 'If you do a crime you risk the same' is not what we want to teach. We want to teach simply 'the crime is wrong.'

 

I understand that everyone may not understand my philosophy, but I believe the way we treat our fellow human beings reflects on ourselves, and if we can lock up a dangerous man up instead of ending his life out of anger, then I feel that that is a celebration of humanity.

I like your philosophy. Mine is perhaps a bit different, or a different approach, but we arrive at the same conclusion.

 

I am a pragmatist in most things. What is the goal of punishment? To reduce crime and prevent recidivism. If the death penalty is a deterrent superior to other deterrents, and this can be demonstrated, then I would be for it, but it's not.

 

Ultimately, for murder and capital crimes, keeping the person from committing the crime again is sufficient. Removing them from society achieves this goal.

 

We should all cringe at the thought that we have killed an innocent man or woman. I am unconvinced that the current justice system is perfect, and anything less than perfection entails the murder of innocents by us, the public.

 

There is no financial, legal, moral or practical benefit to the death penalty over life imprisonment. Moreoever, when our criminals escape to other countries, those countries will not return them to the US because we have the death penalty. Justice is hampered.

 

If it could be demonstrated that 1) escapes were common and repeat murders common, 2) the death penalty could not (and will not) ever again result in an Innocent's death and 3) the death penalty was less expensive, I might reconsider.

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Some people simply deserve a good killing.

 

There is some shit that just cannot be condoned by a society if it wants to stay Occidental and somewhat civilized. [emphasis mine]

 

 

Racist much?

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Against it before and after.

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My views changed but it wasn't because of religion or lack thereof. I used to be a death penalty supporter. What changed my mind was seeing so many cases of false imprisonment crop up where DNA evidence cleared the prisoner. That was what changed it for me. Oh...and of course the fact that cops are corrupt bullies that are certainly no above framing someone.

 

I feel much the same way Vix, for much the same reasons. I think in my case I am against the death penalty in general, but I also find myself against the current prison system too as it doesn't do anything but make better criminals and expose prisoners to a brutal environment where they really aren't doing anything to make themselves better. I think we need to find some way to rehabilitate people in our justice system. Now what that is? I don't know.

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I find that as I get older I just don't care that much about this issue anymore. Maybe I'm getting crankier, dunno. We are talking about relatively only a handful of individuals and I haven't seen any slippery slope scenarios unravel so in my mind there are bigger philosophical fish to fry.

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The DP system is over used. When one innocent person is wrongly convicted and executed, the DP should not be allowed. It is a means by which some people get away with murder for the sake of their prestige and reelection. I am against the death penalty for those reasons. One such case involves the governor of Texas covering up the execution of a man wrongfully convicted of murdering his children.

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I am for the death penalty in principle. You commit a crime like raping, torturing, and killing somebody, you should die. You break into someone's home and kill a family in the process, you should die. You are beyond rehabilitation at that point.

 

However, the implementation is deeply flawed. Where I live, the DNA labs have been proven to fuck things up, resulting in wrong conclusions. If you could guarantee me that the person was 100% guilty, I would have no problem with it. But due to the proven errors with testimony and evidence, I must practically be against it (this is BTW, the same thing I would tell a judge if I ever got called for jury duty.)

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Absolutely not. I wouldn't be particularly upset by his death, or think it was one of the greatest evils of humanity (like the hanging of Saddam Hussein), but to kill him is inherently wrong.

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I agree with nonredneck and several others: No problem with the death penalty in theory. But in practice, I think our justice system is too unreliable and corrupt.

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Not looking for an argument here, BO- just a question. Seeings how you and I have similar opinions on the police- wouldn't this also extend to the 'justice' system? You know as well as I do how corrupt and downright predatory our 'justice' system can be- why would you trust it to determine life and death?

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I went back and forth on the death penalty. As a christian for the most part I thought it was morally wrong. I figured humans have no right to decide who gets to live and who gets to die and that such judgments were reserved for god. At some point during my faith questioning phase I supported it, but now I do not. I cannot support state sponsored murder or killing. Throw in the fact that usually it's more expensive to execute someone between all the appeals and trial and the whole legal process than it is to just keep them in jail for a life sentence and it just doesn't add up economically either.

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