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The Death Penalty (Read 11822 times)
AGB
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The Death Penalty
Nov 18th, 2003 at 11:51pm
 

What do people think of David Davis' bold statement on the death penalty?

If it is not a deterrent, then how about using it as a sensible means of removing twisted killers from society?

(bear in mind I may just be playing devil's advocate)


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RFM
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Re: The Death Penalty
Reply #1 - Mar 18th, 2004 at 8:04am
 
Dear AGB;
When I was in law school we all assumed that the myopic and unenlightened political thinking of the middle ages were the underlying rationale for the death penalty. To paraphrase Joseph Conrad there will always be a time of fear and anxiety that some cheap politician can come along and fan the flames thereof to advance his career and fortunes. Witness George W. Bush.
The first problem with eliminating "twisted killers" turns around the question of  by whom and how is the determination "killer" whether twisted or otherwise to be made? For instance here in Illinois the Governor felt he had no alternative but to declare a moratorium on further executions after it was conclusively shown that 32 prisoners awaiting execution on death row could not possibly have commited the murders for which they had been sentenced to die. Note well that in almost all of these cases the verdicts were  not only supported by eyewitness testimony but in each case their own confessions as well. God only knows how many went to the executioner before DNA evidence became available.
Secondly, who gets to die for killing is also something of a lottery question. Witness the Baltimore snipers Malvo and Boyd.  It was in fact the young man Malvo who not only did most of the killing, but he was also the one who boasted about doing so. He got life in prison. The older man who allegedly taught the young man to shoot, but did few of the killings, gets the death penalty. The results in that case were not out of the ordinary at all when you look around the nation. Of course we could simply make the death penalty mandatory in all cases of killing, but as I recall it was exactly such an instance of felony murder, or assessory to murder, which led to the abolition of the death penalty in England.
In fact if I remember correctly it was the extermination argument ( it removes criminals) that led to the death penalty in England in the 17th and 18th centuries in England for crimes like theft in excess of a few shillings. Until transportation to the colonies was hit upon as a better solution, hanging people at every public cross-road in England did nothing to abate crime or murder.
In the final analysis, the demand for the death penalty is a confession by the police and the government that it is unable to guarantee the safety of its citizens, that it can only respond to crime at best and in a manner that is too often inadequate and woefully inept. Rather than confront its citizens demands for accountability  and better protection, the political leaders respond by demanding more severe and outrageous penalties for the criminal, suggesting that somehow human sacrifice on the altar of legality will make up for their incompetence and inadequacy.

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judywaits4u
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Re: The Death Penalty
Reply #2 - Jul 12th, 2006 at 11:13pm
 
Only a fool advocates for capital punishment. The majority of the people in the USA support CP, even though they accept that innocent people have been executed.

Fortunately in the UK CP will not come back, at least not in my lifetime.

No UK Parliament would reintroduce CP, even if they could for two reasons, Ruth Ellis and Derek Bentley.

I spent thirteen years working on defeating the UK over legal rights for transsexuals, resulting in the "Gender Recognition Act 2004" and the "Civil Registration of Same Sex Partnerships 2005".

I would not be adverse to spending my last thirty years ensuring that CP never comes back to our shores.

My friend Virginia Larzelere spent thirteen years on death row for a murder she had no part in.

Best wishes,
Judy
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