The Death Penalty...

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Are you opposed to the Death Penalty?

Yes
6
86%
No
1
14%
 
Total votes: 7

spacecadet
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Postby spacecadet » Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:50 pm

If someone killed one of mine then I believe that person should be sentenced to five minutes in prison. In a cell with me. With a lump hammer.

Leave it up to the relatives, particularly the parents, of the victim. If they have the will for such vengeance then let it be so.

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Postby Louis P. Burns aka Lugh » Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:11 pm

delph_ambi wrote:The death penalty is the ultimate barbarity, which can never be justified. I am utterly opposed.

Murder is wrong. Therefore, the state murdering the murderer is compounding the wrong. It really is that simple, in my view.


Rightly so Delph. I am opposed to the death penalty too. However, looking at what constitutes justice in Britain, Ireland or the rest of the 'civilised' world, it is understandable that some people decide to take matters into their own hands. The law frequently compacts the injustice of murder in many cases, leaving family and friends of the victim further injured. I am not condoning murder, just trying to put across the perspective of those caught up in its aftermath.

delph_ambi wrote:I may not be a Christian, but when Jesus advocated turning the other cheek, he was making a profound statement that we should all hear. The old 'eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth' method of settling anything doesn't work; it only escalates the crime. You have to be able to turn round and say 'no -- however much this person has wronged me, I refuse to do the same to them, or to let my government do this wrong in my name'.


Like you, I am no Christian and grew up on some of the extended quotes from the bible such as; 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth' being wrong. For years I actively applied this thinking to my daily life. I still do, with much less orthodoxy but, it is not a universal way of living and many cultures endorse the principle as convenient, effective and quick.

America, Britain and many European countries have gone to war with cultures that do not adhere to the same guiding principles. Mixed in with their greed and need to own the whole planet at times of war, there are doctrines that deem their 'current enemies' to be backward thinking, barbaric or sinful. Especially if the church has a say in propaganda writing. God and biblical quotes get bandied about as justifications for going to war. George W. Bush frequently uses 'God' and the notion of universal love/understanding to rally troops for 'Amurka'. Armies kill to enforce the notions laid down initially as passive views, supposedly written to encourage a moral / 'Christ-like' approach to life. What ever happened to "Thou Shalt Not Kill"?

I could say that as a child I was indoctrinated into believing war was natural and healthy or an occupation we all take part in eventually, hence the preparations made with Action Man, plastic soldiers and toy guns. These days the same thoughts could be added about video games that glorify war or award points for violence. Yet, if a legal team defending a young or easily led person accused of violent crime apply this as a reason for defending their client's actions or outbursts, it can get dismissed as irrelevant.

Here in Northern Ireland, guns and people with them were used to control communities. Be they weapons used by 'peace-keeping' forces or paramilitaries. In Manchester (UK) it is reported that there are thousands of illegally held guns in circulation and used in the drug's trade as a means of exacting rough justice. Recently a 15 year old boy called Jesse James was gunned down on the streets of Manchester in what was believed to be a gang related killing. 15 years old... It can only escalate.

How do we reverse engineer all of this and bring about a de-programming of violence and violent intent? How do we stop putting people in positions where all rational thinking escapes them and they end up on death row or at the hands of an executioner? Is there a remedy for murder and the motivation behind it?
Last edited by Louis P. Burns aka Lugh on Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Louis P. Burns aka Lugh
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Postby Louis P. Burns aka Lugh » Sun Oct 15, 2006 2:19 pm

the_leander wrote:Life inprisonment will achieve the same goal of stopping them from being a threat to society.

In nineteen-ninety-three, just before the ceasefires from both warring factions here in Northern Ireland came into effect, there were two horrific attacks carried out. One from one source of conflict was on Frizzel's Chip Shop on the Shankhill Road in Belfast where nine people were blown to pieces for a freer Ireland and another where seven people were shot repeatedly with automatic weapons, as they enjoyed a Halloween get together in The Rising Sun bar - Greysteel, here in the outskirts of Derry. This was apparently done to maintain the notion of Britain or a United Kingdom.

Shortly after this second attack arrests were made. One of the killers jeered as he was being led away from the courthouse to prison and with a raised fist, chillingly joked about other murders he may have been involved in. He did about six years for his crimes. He, like so many more were released back into the communities they murdered under what was believed to be a means of ending violence, namely; The Early Release Programme. I've heard it reported he lives in a nice house and has a decent quality of life these days. Possibly better than before he went to jail and certainly better than most people who haven't engaged in violent crime.

One of the understandings of the Early Release Programme is that if anyone re-offends, then they are returned to prison. One of his companions on the night of the Greysteel Massacre did re-offend. He stabbed a Catholic football fan in the neck and was promptly put back inside.

Life sentences for taking life are a joke Alan. It's not just here in Northern Ireland. Take a look at the sentence handed down to the murderers of Damalola Taylor or the case of Jamie Bulger in Liverpool. There are many more instances where people have become the victims of violence and when justice is seen to be done, it often offends everyone.

If we look at what Dave has added to this thread, we would be closer to how the vast majority think when a loved one has been murdered:-

spacecadet wrote:If someone killed one of mine then I believe that person should be sentenced to five minutes in prison. In a cell with me. With a lump hammer.

Leave it up to the relatives, particularly the parents, of the victim. If they have the will for such vengeance then let it be so.

A gut reaction perhaps?

I'm almost certain that a lot of people feel the same way. It takes time to forgive. Many years in most cases and even though forgiveness or acceptance does come around, for the sake of a peaceful life, in many cases there is an empty husk left where once there was love and understanding. People commit suicide rather than facing life without a loved one. Others turn to drink or drugs to block out their rage. No-one really heals or gets justice.

In the immediate aftermath of a violent crime, it could easily be said that revenge was exacted because no form of proper justice would ever be served through the courts. Diminished responsibility is usually forwarded as a defence for these kinds of reprisal attacks.

Lugh wrote:Is this reaction an instinctive one? As part of a rationalising species who, for the most part, have decided murder is wrong, aren't we all quite primative when one of our own is hurt or murdered?


the_leander wrote:That is why we have an impartial judiciary.


As more and more violent crime takes hold, and in today's climate of hate, it's more likely, then finding impartial justice will become less possible. More and more people are becoming affected by violent crime daily. Short of importing people from other countries to sit on our juries, impartiality is becoming redundant.

Lugh wrote:What about war? People are trained to be killers for the duration of that war. If they survive, many are returned to society so pepped up on adrenalin that they will never feel 'normality' again. Some turn to violence through frustration at this. If they commit a violent act and someone dies, who is really at fault here? Is it the military that trained them, or are they responsible for their own action, always?


the_leander wrote:A person is always responsible (outside of severe mental illness) for their own actions and should be punished accordingly. The flip side is that the forces should provide adequate councilling post war so as to reduce PTSD and similar afflictions.

I agree. Soldiers returning from conflict zones and war should be afforded proper psychological assessment, perhaps as part of their tours of duty. A conclusion. Less time on the battlefield prior to release might be an option. Lets face it. All it would take is one politician to say the wrong thing and many ex-soldiers may decide to take the law into their own hands and all hell could break out. This may already be looming.

Recently there was a powerful piece of drama from Jimmy McGovern in a return episode of Cracker with Robbie Coltrane. It told the story of an ex-soldier who had been in Northern Ireland and who had been caught up in a bomb and gun attack. He witnessed two of his colleagues being killed.

This character killed an American comedian who joked on stage about the whole Northern Irish / Iraqi situation. The character was serving in the Greater Manchester Police and given the task of enforcing justice although he had not been properly assessed prior to discharge from the army. Could this character become a reality as more and more veterans return from the Middle East to homelands where justice is contemptable?

Hospitalisation of people who commit crimes due to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will become overcrowded. The burden on tax payers will become immense and nothing will ever be healed. It will escalate further. Cynicism will set in. It probably has already and this has led to further and more violent crime. It could be argued that there are more and more young offenders on the streets because justice is so lenient that it's laughable.

Lugh wrote:Is anyone ever satisfied with the justice handed down through the courts? Take a look at any case in the news recently. It would appear that a life isn't worth much in the eyes of the law.


the_leander wrote:Each individual case should be looked at as an individual case and its merits carefully considered on that basis. But where it is clear that there are no mitigating circumstances, and that there is a risk of further offences, then life should litterally mean life.

I agree mate...
Last edited by Louis P. Burns aka Lugh on Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Louis P. Burns aka Lugh
Administrator, editor & owner of the Sensitize © online community of forums and domain for artists, e-poets, filmmakers, media/music producers and writers working through here. To buy the Kindle book of Illustrated Poetry, Sensitize © - Volume One / Poems that could be Films if they were Funded by myself with illustrations by Welsh filmmaker and graphic artist; Norris Nuvo click here for N. Ireland and UK sales. If purchasing in the U.S.A. or internationally then please click here.

ASIN B00L1RS0UI

My writing is not covered by Creative Commons policy and may not be republished without permission. All rights reserved. All Sensitize © Arts sponsorship donations and postal inquiries to:

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spacecadet
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Postby spacecadet » Sun Oct 15, 2006 2:34 pm

Some people for various reasons are truly evil and will never be capable of taking any part in society. Sorry guys, but I'm all for taking them out the back and finishing them off. One bullet. No ceremony.

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Postby Louis P. Burns aka Lugh » Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:30 pm

spacecadet wrote:Some people for various reasons are truly evil and will never be capable of taking any part in society. Sorry guys, but I'm all for taking them out the back and finishing them off. One bullet. No ceremony.

Can we get a vote from you on that in the poll at the top of this thread mate?

Oh, and having grown up in a culture of knee-cappings and punishment shootings, I can vouch that it only serves to escalate tensions. Just my penny's worth...
Louis P. Burns aka Lugh
Administrator, editor & owner of the Sensitize © online community of forums and domain for artists, e-poets, filmmakers, media/music producers and writers working through here. To buy the Kindle book of Illustrated Poetry, Sensitize © - Volume One / Poems that could be Films if they were Funded by myself with illustrations by Welsh filmmaker and graphic artist; Norris Nuvo click here for N. Ireland and UK sales. If purchasing in the U.S.A. or internationally then please click here.

ASIN B00L1RS0UI

My writing is not covered by Creative Commons policy and may not be republished without permission. All rights reserved. All Sensitize © Arts sponsorship donations and postal inquiries to:

Louis P. Burns
42 Farland Way
DERRY
N. Ireland.
BT48 0RS
Telephone (UK): 028 71219225


Click here to Join Sensitize © Arts via Facebook or to contact the site owner: Louis P. Burns aka Lugh with any forum hosting or site related inquiries.


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