Eye For An Eye.

I don't think the concept of eye for an eye is an effective grounds for punishment, especially iif we want to call ourselves a 'civilized' society.

If a thief steals $1,000 do we just deduct that amount from his bank account?

Surely that punishment isn't sufficient.

Do we simply burn down an arsonists house?

Surely that punishment is excessive.

So why is it justifiable to murder a murderer?

"But what if someone raped and murdered your family? I'm sure you would want them put to death."
I probably would. But there is a significant difference between revenge and justice, a difference that is very easily overlooked with strong emotions present.
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30 Responses Feb 11, 2008

Think about it, when your wife, sister, mother, daughter, son was being raped, tortured, shot or what ever, did the offender care, have any concern or THINK about what they were doing to that person, or how it would affect that person's family?<br />
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I think NOT. They did not give one dam, s h i t !!!! They were satisfying their own selves for what ever they wanted at that point in time.<br />
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I have no compassion on people who do these things! I make no apology for my personal feelings about this. <br />
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I am not agreeing that the death penalty alone will solve anything though. There must be some other way, other than jailing the person for the rest of their lives, and then they get paroled. <br />
Our loved, departed ones, unfortunately will NEVER get a 'parole' chance, EVER!

I say TORTURE them the way they tortured their victims and their families!

I had all kinds different thoughts about reform and society. Presently I think there is no true successful reform within a society that somewhere along the road rejected the criminal long before the crime was committed. I also have no clue as to what the death penalty solves. At this point it solves nothing as much as it appears to "end" something. Right and wrong is blurred for me so I can't say I agree or disagree because I have admitted that when passions fly and I see an extremely heinous act committed repeatedly over and over again by the same person who supposedly said was reformed. Yeah, I have those thoughts. But somewhere I still think having those thoughts are wrong. Yet...admittedly I can't say they are completely 100% wrong. Maybe 99%?<br />
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Here's the thing, how many of these criminals are truly sociopath/psychopaths? How many of these criminals were just people with difficult situations pushed long enough to commit a crime? How many just committed a crime at a flip of a coin? So many different situations that exist. Where the death penalty fails is that there is no going back from a wrong sentence, an innocent person who slipped through the system and therefore...exterminated when otherwise the person should have been set free. Where it supposedly succeeds relies on such a horrid and extreme rationality. One that makes an exception to "do not kill". That has always been unnerving. But in extreme situations human beings rationalize irrational situations or irrational people. <br />
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At best, the willingness of someone already pushed to the edge of reform is a small fraction. It is worth that fraction if any person gets a chance at a good life. But at large, is it worth the revolving door of who was rejected by society, locked away, and let loose to somehow fit, somehow feel normal again? And how is that secured with the way social norms treat anything "different". <br />
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There is something fundamentally wrong with society long before the crime is committed. I cannot say the outcome of our prison system reflects the way our society works but there are a few keys to what fundamentally went wrong long before any prisoner is admitted. There is just a contagious amount of the "bystander effect" and general apathy in those who have not even committed crimes. As well as "narcissistic selflessness" - this need to appear to be compassionate and giving only to raise one's image up higher.<br />
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Most importantly, I don't want to discredit all these really great opinions and facts. I'm glad that a topic like this is brought up for discussion so all these ideas can converge. I just wanted to share my point of view because this whole subject had been a huge mystery to me for a long while. Different societies work in different ways and there's such a huge misunderstanding of how our society works. When compared to others, it's really a difficult measurement of comparison. It is vastly different in culture and moral backbones. Some practices just will not work in different societies even though they've show great success in others.

I don't agree with death penalty and I think the OP and others expressed my opinion aptly.<br />
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On educating inmates: First I think a better effort should be made in separating inmates with life sentences/ violent offenders and other inmates. <br />
I am 100% for educating and providing inmates with counseling if they have chance of being readmitted into society. Moral and humane reason asides, there are pure selfish reasons behind supporting this stance. These are people who are going to be let back on the streets to co mingle with you or your family. If they are allowed back into society I rather they not be desperate and suffering from mental issues (that they may have already had or obtained in prison). It makes more sense to rehabilitate inmates because there will be less repeat offenders. That alone will drastically reduce money spent on prisoners. It would be cheaper to make an effort to rehabilitate prisoners than to keep cycling them through the system. <br />
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Norway has interesting stance with surprising results. <br />
"The biggest mistake that our societies have made is to believe that you must punish hard to change criminals," explained Oeyvind Alnaes, Bastoey's then-prison governor. "This is wrong. The big closed prisons are criminal schools. If you treat people badly, they will behave badly. Anyone can be a citizen if we treat them well, respect them, and give them challenges and demands." http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/europe/091017/norway-open-prison<br />
I'm not saying the US should move to that extreme but it's an interesting read.

Justice/vengence/retribution/restitution: are all different and require different mechanisms to effectuate.Until we decide what re-action is the one(s) we desire,we cannot have a rational system for dealing with behaviors we wish to sanction. So much "hot-air" merely clouds the "spectacles through which we try to "look". Begin at the beginning:what do wwe desire from ourselves and for ourselves were we to be in the position of "offending" against the dictates of society? Answer that and you have a beginning point.Until then..."hot air" and opinions that aren't based on true desire but fear/knee-jerk response.

The Lex Talonis is a bit much if not applied as intended. Does anyone know of its intended application? Is that thwe way death penalty jurisdictions apply it?

I have read ALL the comments posted to the 15th. I am amazed! From the death penalty to the education of incarcerated persons.<br />
An old friend of mine when confronted with situations such as this had a saying I'll acquaint you with in a moment.<br />
For now: I have been to prison (almost 10 years), it isn't,even at the "FEDS" a country club. As far as punishment and revenge/retribution go...it isn't that either. Mostly it is a waste. A waste of time,money ($25,000.00 per inmate,per year minimum) and resources. All of these could be and should be put to better use.<br />
In regard to "the costs of executions" it is expensive! Not "just" the appeals process,which rarely results in anything but delay and ober dictum case law rulings. It costs a lot. The greatest cost is to all of us ...we become complicite in cold-blooded murder.Comitted with malice aforethought. But, we won't be "charged "as we dress-up our murder in ceremonies and pomp.Special settings and ceremonies do not chage the fact that it is and remains murder.<br />
Should anyone veiwing this post wish to KNOW about what prison and prisoners actually are try Prison Legal News web site ,PLN.org. There you can learn what is the nature of what our tax dollars and our honour are "spent on".<br />
Now as to that saying of my friend: "I am reminded of virgins writing a sex-manual, they may get all the positions right but have no idea of what the activity envolves."<br />
Yes, these posts put me very much in mind of my friend.

i actually think therapy would be a good thing....<br />
especially if the convict clearly has psycological issues..<br />
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i think that is a better approach then just handing them a degree

yes, i know how prison education works....my friend became a certified accountant....he's since gone back to prison and that is where he will reside for the next 10 yrs or so.....but other people [not in prison] have to pay to go to those vocational schools....<br />
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also, i think its stupid that you can take hydroponics courses while in prison.....come on, thats just dumb...if you want to keep it illegal, quit teaching convicts how to grow it

well the ged is the only thing i agree with....that opens the door plenty....numerous jobs opportunities with highschool diploma or ged equivalent....if you want to make something of yourself when you get out of prison....work for it, like everybody else...i just dont see how a criminal should be given more opportunities over someone who better deserves it....<br />
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i agree that more people who are less fortunate turn to crime.....but i dont attribute that to education, i attribute that to their upbringing.....we need to focus more on a family's environment to prevent a person from becoming a criminal [atleast thats my opinion]......<br />
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i dont believe that education or lack of education has anything to do with being a criminal......my husband dropped out of highschool in 9th grade.....worked his way up in the job market, and now makes salary pay....i think the opportunities are there...and most criminals just pass them by.....

substituting education for a beating is dumb [i'm sure you were being sarcastic], but giving them a college degree when other law abiding citizens can not afford one is absurd......if my tax dollars are going to go to anyones education, it should be my own.....besides, educating a criminal isnt going to 'fix' them...an uneducated person is not more likely to be a criminal....therefore educating criminals does not mean we will have a safer society; we'll just have smarter criminals.....

thats what the healthcare is for

they're just as bad in the u.s. very overcrowded.....i dont know about sanitation...but i'm sure its not as nice as say, your moms bathroom....the u.s. prisons arent a reward to be in, but prisoners still shouldnt be given televisions, weights, or the means to make weapons like prison shanks....and i certainly do not agree with educating criminals....thats not why they are criminals..i didnt go to college, i'm not out there raping or killing...they should be given the right to obtain a g.e.d. if they dont already have one....but thats it...and of course, they should be given healthcare....it would be wrong to not allow them that. but it should not be a comfortable place to reside....no a/c, no heat....it should so uncomfortable that they do not want to return. but as far as murderers go, they should remain in prison for life unless they can prove their innocence

Why would anybody want that job? An executioner? What qualifications do you need? Medical?

alan.....no more reality tv.....no, no, no

Execution doesn't cost a lot...<br />
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Dude, I've take a law course, my mother was a law graduate, I have a best friend who is a law student, and I know most of the law professors on campus. Everyone agrees that execution is an expensive process. The poison cocktail is highly expensive. I know it may not seem plausible, but you can't get most of the **** they pump into them in your local grocery store. The poisons have to be stored and kept and the executioner makes an expensive commission. Lethal injection is the most common form of execution. Hanging isn't really used, neither is firing line, and they're the least expensive to employ. The gas chamber is used sparingly, because after the Holocaust, it just gives alot of people the willies.<br />
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That's notwithstanding the fact that the death sentance appeals are also more expensive.<br />
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Now, would you have the blood of someone who was innocent on your hands? Because through your taxes, it indirectly would be.

That's all we need is another reality show. LOL

drcynic -- Pay per view is a good idea. Why not make it another reality TV show? Dead Man Walking. The entertainment value would be akin to anything else on TV these days.

i think the whole damn system needs a 're do'

I didn't think about the appeal process. I can see that.

'Potheads should be teaching school or being doctors, not rotting in prison.'<br />
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haha...i draw the line at doctors...i dont care if pot makes you smarter, you're not cutting me open if you do drugs.....of any kind

How is it less expensive? Does the execution cost a lot?<br />
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It is more expensive to execute than it is to give a prisoner life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The appeals are also more expensive in death sentances than they are in life sentances.<br />
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Fianancially and personally, it makes sense to me not to have it... Unless you wanna make it entertaining and sell it on PPV. Put six of them in an area. Give them weapons and let them fight it out. Sole survivor gets their sentance commuted to life imprisonment.<br />
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How is that any less sadistic than what the death penalty is? It's just less ceremonial.<br />
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I get the feeling Darwin is looking down on us right now and saying "Well, it was only a theory..." Does killing justify killing? Not to me.

I think there must be ways to decrease the costs of executions. By doing a lot of them, I'm sure the costs would decrease, just like anything where you do more of it, you become more efficient at it.<br />
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Potheads should be teaching school or being doctors, not rotting in prison. It's a complete waste to put someone in prison for smoking a plant.

'How is it less expensive? Does the execution cost a lot?'<br />
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i dont know, but what i meant was, as of right now, we cant afford to keep murderers in prison...the prisons are overcrowded as it is....but if we get rid of all the petty bullsh-t, we could afford to actually house the real criminals.....instead of wasting the tax dollars on pot heads, prostitutes, people with traffic violations.....community service would be better suited punishments than prison for those sorts of crimes...

Maybe we should use the Death Penalty as a form of population control. Death to all people who amass more than $200 in parking fines. No trial or anything, just instant death. We don't want to waste more resources with an expensive trial.<br />
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We could kill (pun intended) two birds with one stone. Reduce the amount of bad parking. And slightly reduce our population.<br />
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We could extend the death penalty to any crime where we feel our society would be better off without. Tax fraud -- Death! Jay walking -- Death!<br />
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Playing your car stereo too loud -- Death!

How is it less expensive? Does the execution cost a lot?

Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is less expensive as well. Frankly, there is way too many negatives to captial punishment to support it.

I guess I'm not "Against" the death penelty. But I do agree life in prison without parole is a much worse penelty.

prototype i really like your story...and i agree with it whole-heartedly....<br />
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blue, the 7 yr life sentence is a problem...convicted murderers should be given life without parole....if they are innocent, they now have a lifetime to prove it; and if they are guilty, they now have a lifetime to think about what they have done.....for me, its more justified for the murderer to never forget the victim.......<br />
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i dont think there should be tv in prisons, nor should prisoners have the means to make the weapons they use today while inside....and i stand firmly by my idea that we need to re evaluate what we consider to be a criminal offense....the police waste too much time busting pot heads and prostitutes, that the real criminals manage to go unnoticed...also by getting rid of all the petty crimes, we would have more room for real criminals and we could financially afford to keep them alive......<br />
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i may not think you deserve to live....but i sure as hell wouldnt be the one to pull the lever/pull the trigger/or give you the injection....how better would that make me

The problem in that a life sentence is 7 years now.<br />
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Did you know this? 7 years and you parole.

i hate that example of "But what if someone raped and murdered your family? I'm sure you would want them put to death."....<br />
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They used that to totally ambush Michael Dukakis in the 1988 Presidential debate. Dukakis, a liberal who opposed the death penalty was asked "If your wife Kitty were raped and brutally murdered, would you favor capital punishment?"... Dukakis' answer was graceful and thoughtful, but they chose to ambush his view by saying he had no passion.<br />
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My feeling is this... Look, I've got nobody. It's just me, here. No matter what, I am opposed to the death penalty because it is a barbaric and expensive form of the desire for revenge. I'd rather rise above than to allow myself to be wallowing in the muck below in company with nations like Saudi Arabia and Turkey. I'd rather keep company with nations like Canada and Great Britain.