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  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie
    And that is more encroaching onto the issue of equality in the court system than the argument about whether or not the death penalty is right.
    Yes, that's what we're getting into. And although I'm open to anyone disagreeing, I do hope that we can all agree on this-- the court systems are far from perfect. (Not to say that they don't have some positive attributes as well and aren't better than anarchy, or anything like that.)

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    So let's keep killing people in the meantime.
    That's a valid point (well, what you mean, not your words here). I'll give you that, and I'll agree-- the death penalty is being used badly. Until such time as it is worked out better, it probably should be stopped (or at least limited to the very worst cases).

    I think they're not equal. One could say I'm cynical about the ability of the justice system to mete out the death penalty fairly. Or that I'm realistic about it. Either way the facts remain the same. Poor people are put to death, rich people are not. More blacks than whites are put to death. Are these groups somehow more deserving of the death penalty?
    Again, entirely valid and it speaks to the implementation, not the idea. But--
    ...But that's only part of my reasoning on why the death penalty is a bad idea.
    That doesn't follow logically for me. The idea of communism seems like a good one to me, and the implementation is almost always (maybe always) awful. But that doesn't mean it's a bad idea. Or does it? Are you suggesting it does, that it's too hard to implement or something?


    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie
    two quick things here:
    1) nothing puts the fear of god in a man like threat of death.
    That's not a strong argument for what you're concluding. There are (at least) two reasons:
    1) Yes, it's powerful. But that doesn't mean that this method is effective in conveying it. They may think "that doesn't apply to me" or the threat may be too distant. They may also find the threat of life in jail to be just as bad, so it doesn't change anything for them to have that added threat.
    2) The people that kill in the worst ways may really not be afraid of death, for various reasons-- insanity, something more troubling to them than death, a desire for thrill-seeking and trying to evade consequences (just like extreme sports enthusiasts, just in a more problematic way).
    2) another point is that 22 years is not necessaries long enough for someone to die, therefore life sentence != death and as such is not on the same level when it comes to punishment.
    I agree. But that is a problem with the implementation of "life in jail" not with the idea of "life in jail". I believe that (at least in some cases!) the meaning of "life in jail" should be quite literal. 22 years isn't that; I don't care what they call it-- that's not life. That's not what it means. Norway may have very loose laws on that and have moved from not even having the death penalty to not even having life in jail-- I don't know. But none of that means that life in jail can't work-- it means it isn't being implemented properly in that case.
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  2. #122
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    And I'm saying that this is a hypothetical in which the person is rightfully accused, IE Anders Brevic
    Both.
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  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    I agree. But that is a problem with the implementation of "life in jail" not with the idea of "life in jail". I believe that (at least in some cases!) the meaning of "life in jail" should be quite literal. 22 years isn't that; I don't care what they call it-- that's not life. That's not what it means. Norway may have very loose laws on that and have moved from not even having the death penalty to not even having life in jail-- I don't know. But none of that means that life in jail can't work-- it means it isn't being implemented properly in that case.
    life sentence != life in jail in many countries in the world, I'm saying that via this limitation, the death sentence comes over as a much greater punishment.
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  4. #124
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    I accept your point, but it can't be applied in real life. You can't be 100% sure that someone did what they're charged of.

    Which is a worse punishment? Death, or Life in Jail?
    People can't kill other people when they're in jail (with exceptions).

    With your point about life doesn't mean a lifetime in jail, which is worse, death or 22 years in jail?

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by keyboard
    As I said before, a majority of all murders aren't pre-meditated, so this doesn't help.
    What about my response? This doesn't make the death penalty wrong; it means that it should only be applied rarely! I don't disagree with you at all.

    If an innocent person is put into prison, they can be compensated and released.
    If an innocent person is killed, what do you do then?
    You avoid this situation. If that's impossible, then perhaps that's the answer-- we can't implement it well, so we shouldn't have it. Ok, fine. But it doesn't follow that it's just inherently wrong then. That just means we don't use it because it's better than using it badly.


    ---
    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie
    life sentence != life in jail in many countries in the world, I'm saying that via this limitation, the death sentence comes over as a much greater punishment.
    That's the implementation! Not the foundational issue. A country that has no true "life in prison" sentence is crazy in my mind. How often or to whom they should apply it is another issue, but having at least that seems necessary for any rational system of government in which the prison system is intended to maintain order. I'm not sure what those things are, but they do exist in principle.
    So you need to reconsider your argument here-- would true "life in prison" have been effective? If so, then the point is irrelevant; if not, then that's what's being discussed, not how Norway dealt with this.
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  6. #126
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    I accept your point, but it can't be applied in real life. You can't be 100% sure that someone did what they're charged of.

    Which is a worse punishment? Death, or Life in Jail?
    People can't kill other people when they're in jail (with exceptions).

    With your point about life doesn't mean a lifetime in jail, which is worse, death or 22 years in jail?
    Once again, it can be applied in real life: Anders Breivic
    I addressed this in an earlier post.
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  7. #127
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    One quick thing, are we discussing whether the death penalty is wrong, or the death penalty shouldn't be used?
    For the latter, I definetely think no for all the reasons stated.
    For the former, I still think no, but only for the reason that I think it is wrong to take someone's life.
    I'm not saying that if there was a terrorist and the only way to stop them was to kill them that they shouldn't do it, I'm saying that when there is an alternative, I think it should be taken.


    We're not talking about Anders Breivic, we're talking about murderers (or people accused of murder) in general.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    That's the implementation! Not the foundational issue. A country that has no true "life in prison" sentence is crazy in my mind. How often or to whom they should apply it is another issue, but having at least that seems necessary for any rational system of government in which the prison system is intended to maintain order. I'm not sure what those things are, but they do exist in principle.
    So you need to reconsider your argument here-- would true "life in prison" have been effective? If so, then the point is irrelevant; if not, then that's what's being discussed, not how Norway dealt with this.
    if anything, life in prison would be more effective than the death sentence OR 22 years in jail.
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  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by keyboard
    I accept your point, but it can't be applied in real life. You can't be 100% sure that someone did what they're charged of.
    You can in some cases. Those are the ones where I'd support the death penalty (or at least not have any intention to stop it). In a case where it's not entirely clear (even if it's "beyond a reasonable doubt") I see a strong argument. But there simply are cases where people are caught in the middle of a crime and are very clearly guilty and also not remorseful or insane. Those cases, then ones where the offenders even continue trying to kill in prison, are the ones where I think the death penalty pretty clearly fits (although again I don't mind life in prison instead). If there is any chance of uncertainty, any chance of a misleading trial or evidence, then sure, use that as reason enough to let them live in a cell for the rest of their lives-- doesn't bother me.


    Which is a worse punishment? Death, or Life in Jail?
    Can't be answered for everyone; it varies by person. Some might use the time constructively and others might hate it; the fact that some prisoners commit suicide shows clearly that there's no obvious answer. So if that's the case, and you seem to be supporting it, then in fact you're arguing for the death penalty.
    Or, perhaps, there's a choice-- the prisoner is allowed to choose between literal 'life in jail' or death penalty. Is that better then?

    People can't kill other people when they're in jail (with exceptions).
    Right. Exceptions. If someone kills another inmate every year, at what point should they be put to death? Or should the prison system be redesigned around people like that so that it effectively controls them? Same with escape attempts.

    With your point about life doesn't mean a lifetime in jail, which is worse, death or 22 years in jail?
    Again, unclear. But there are other factors at play there (such as releasing someone back into society or not).



    ----
    Something that no one has mentioned that may be relevant is the potential for a government to collapse. What if for-life prisoners got out of jail after a country changed governments? Or is they were traded for political reasons. Or any other number of similar things. There's something final about the death penalty that simply can't be final about anything else. That is, I think, why a lot of people hold the position of defending it, along with other more problematic things like revenge.


    ----
    Quote Originally Posted by keyboard
    We're not talking about Anders Breivic, we're talking about murderers (or people accused of murder) in general.
    But we are talking about him, to the extent that he's the absolute worst example we can think of. If you can imagine a worse case, go for it. I'm ignoring the specifics because I don't know much about that case and that example isn't important to me. But we are talking about the worst cases and whether the death penalty should be implemented at all. Not how much. Another topic would be how much it should be implemented and it sounds like what we've all said would support it being implemented less, but there's disagreement on whether just "less" is enough or if it needs to be "never". (And some people out there in the world clearly believe that it should be implemented this much or perhaps more. But as far as I can tell, they're not debating at the moment here.)
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  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by keyboard1333 View Post
    We're not talking about Anders Breivic, we're talking about murderers (or people accused of murder) in general.
    Anders Breivic is the ideal case study for this.
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