Bring back the death penalty

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A place for serious discussion on any non-religious topic

Bring back the death penalty

Postby Pondero » June 5th, 2012, 6:45 pm

We have had a murder this weekend by an accused person who gave himself up. This man is accused of shooting a fellow gang member at the food court in the Eaton Centre. That would be equivalent in England to a shooting at crowded football match. The crowds emptied the Eaton Centre last Saturday very quickly.Two others are wounded, one an innocent bystander aged 13. Who required brain surgery. Another man is in critical condition in hospital. Six were wounded, and an accused is being held by police.
Councilor Mammoliti has asked for re- installment of the death penalty for murder. I have changed my mind about the death penalty and I agree with him.What do others think?
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa, The bookmark of Teresa of Ávila, [28]
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Re: Bring back the death penalty

Postby Sprocket » June 5th, 2012, 7:01 pm

The death penalty was the first political issue I took a stand on. It was abolished in the Uk, at first experimentally for a year, in 1965, the year I became 14, and I took part in a classroom debate on the issue, arguing for its abolition. I've never changed my mind. It is barbaric. There is always the possibility of a mistake being made - Christopher Evans and James Hanratty were both hanged, and were both almost certainly innocent - and it isn't a deterrent. The murder rate was climbing in \Britain before 1965, and it continued to climb afterwards, but only at the same rate. Many States of the USA retain the death penalty, and The USA is one of the more violent societies in the world.
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Re: Bring back the death penalty

Postby Pondero » June 5th, 2012, 7:07 pm

Well, I think there should be a distinction made between one murder and another. For example if the person is a serial killer then the possibility of error in at least one murder of him being wrongly accused is about zero. We now have DNA which eliminates a lot of the wrongful convictions of the past. In the case of a particular heinous crime,such as occured last Saturday at the Eaton Centre, where the murderer had a complete disregard for people around him in the busy shopping centre, the punishment should fit the crime and the punishment should be death by hanging.
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa, The bookmark of Teresa of Ávila, [28]
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Re: Bring back the death penalty

Postby Sprocket » June 5th, 2012, 7:11 pm

Since he didn't kill his victim by hanging them, that would hardly fit the crime, would it?
I repeat my other point - it is not a deterrent.
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Re: Bring back the death penalty

Postby GregB » June 5th, 2012, 7:18 pm

It shouldn't be defended as a deterrent, which it clearly isn't anyway. It's straight retribution - you took someone's life so your own is forfeit - and that seems fair enough to me. Clearly the proof of guilt should be much more rigorously established but, as far as I'm concerned, in those cases where there is no doubt at all, the penalty should be applied.
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Re: Bring back the death penalty

Postby Pondero » June 5th, 2012, 11:22 pm

Sprocket wrote:Since he didn't kill his victim by hanging them, that would hardly fit the crime, would it?
I repeat my other point - it is not a deterrent.

Well then, perhaps a firing squad would do.The murderers should be given that choice.It is punishment, retributive justice and that is what is essential in these cases. Whether it is a deterrent or not is not relevant.
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa, The bookmark of Teresa of Ávila, [28]
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Re: Bring back the death penalty

Postby Sweet Peace » June 6th, 2012, 4:34 am

All have sinned and fallen short of the mark.
I was reading this by Tolstoy yesterday -
if we allow ourselves to
regard any men as intrinsically wicked men, then in the first
place we annul, by so doing, the whole idea of the Christian
teaching, according to which we are all equals and brothers, as
sons of one father in heaven.

We kill the criminal that society may be rid of him, and
we never know whether the criminal of to-day would not have been a
changed man tomorrow, and whether our punishment of him is not
useless cruelty. We shut up the dangerous--as we think--member of
society, but the next day this man might cease to be dangerous and
his imprisonment might be for nothing.

We have no right to punish another, in my view.
Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.
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Re: Bring back the death penalty

Postby GregB » June 6th, 2012, 7:20 am

Tolstoy wrote some great novels in his prime but in his dotage he turned into an eccentric old fool spouting wholly impractical, irresponsible, airy fairy ideas while selfishly neglecting, then abandoning, his wife and the property under his care (how egotistical and self-centred these 'enlightened' idealists can turn out to be in reality!) As for particulars, the last sentence in your second extract is self-deluding nonsense, as if a person who has been demonstrably dangerous can suddenly change from one day to the next and as if we should give them the benefit of the doubt just in case (and, of course, if we do and we're proved wrong, then - oops, there goes another rape, another murder, another violent robbery...)

If we didn't punish anyone, SP - at very least in a preventive sense - then we would be overrun with dangerous criminals and sheer anarchy (the real, vicious, murderous kind, not the theoretical, unrealisable twaddle kind) would be unloosed. As for a biblical perspective, read what the apostle Paul has to say in Romans 13, specifically verse 4 where he is talking about the civil magistrate "who does not bear the sword for nothing; for he is a minister of God*, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practises evil." The apostle Peter agreed - in 1 Peter 2:13&14, he says "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to the king as one in authority or to governors sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right".

[* Paul was under no illusion about the dark side of Roman power and its abuses but he did believe that the authorities were in some way carrying out God's purposes in establishing order and restraining evil in society, albeit while not always acknowledging the source of their 'commission'.]
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Re: Bring back the death penalty

Postby Sprocket » June 6th, 2012, 9:02 am

We have to punish wrong-doers, but I don't think retribution should have any part in a civilised justice system. It should be for the protection of the public, the rehabilitation, if possible, of the wrongdoer, and the deterrence of others. We seem to be agreed that capital punishment is not an effective deterrent; someone who's been executed obviously can't be rehabilitated; and the public can be protected just as well by imprisoning them until it is judged that they can safely be released (which in some cases may be never).

Talking of civilised justice systems, a good one-liner from an old episode of 'Yes, Prime Minister' which I saw online recently:

"In some Middle-Eastern countries, women are stoned because they commit adultery; in this country, they commit adultery because they're stoned."
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Re: Bring back the death penalty

Postby Pondero » June 6th, 2012, 10:24 am

SweetPeace's comment : " We have no right to punish another, in my view." is the daftest thing I have heard for a long time. Let us then do away with judges, and courts, and try anarchy for a change.Let the criminals run the world - anything goes :scratch:
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices.

— St. Teresa, The bookmark of Teresa of Ávila, [28]
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Joined: October 25th, 2007, 11:03 am
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