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The Death Penalty...

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 4:37 pm
by Louis P. Burns aka Lugh
What are Sensitize member's views on the Death Penalty?

Is it right that a person be killed for their crimes if those crimes are so heinous that they terrify entire communities? What if new evidence comes to light after that person has been put to death? Should the judge and jury be punished? Should the executioner be killed?

We live in a world where mass murderers come and go, many never seeing the light of day ever again and safely locked away from society for both that society's good and their own. In other countries they walk free, having served partial sentences or let out on early release.

In the USA certain states fully endorse the Dealth Penalty and keep people on 'Death Row' for years due to retrials. Is this humane? Are we just as barbaric as cultures and people we've gone to war with or percieved as being savage in their judicial systems?

Here are a few cases to consider:-
    Abimael Guzmán Reynoso - Founding member of Shining Path. It has been recently announced he should serve the rest of his natural life behind bars. However, the Peruvian general public want to see him executed for his part in a Maoist guerrilla war that led to the butchering and murder of tens of thouands of people believed to be collaborating with the authorities.

    Aileen Carol Wuornos - Put to death on 9th October, 2002. This was despite there being clear evidence that she suffered with life long mental illness. Her story became the subject of an excellent movie called; Monster - written and directed by Patti Jenkins. George W. Bush allowed Wuornos' death to go ahead, despite calls that she was sick and therefore not deserving of the death penalty.

    Allen Lee Davies (Tiny) Executed by electrocution however his death became a source of controversy because it was proved he did not die immediately and that in effect, he was tortured to death on July 8, 1999 and upon approval from the Governor for Florida; Jeb Bush.

    Ruth Ellis - Last woman to be hanged in the UK - 13th July, 1955. Her death for the murder of; David Drummond Moffat Blakely became the subject of the 1985 movie; Dance With A Stranger - written by Shelagh Delaney, directed by Mike Newell and starring Miranda Richardson.

    Timothy McVeigh: The Oklahoma Bomber - put to death by lethal injection on June 11, 2001. McVeigh returned from the first Gulf War in Iraq and with a few others, was behind the murder of 168 people (mostly civilian) at the FBI Headquarters in Oklahoma. It has been said he was angry at the U.S. Government for their failings both at home and abroad. He was also rumoured to be alligned with white supremacists
    .
All views on this topic are welcome and hopefully some good debate and discussion should spring forth from them.

Cheers...

Hyperlinks in this post are to;
http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/executedoffenders.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abimael_Guzm%C3%A1n
http://www.photius.com/countries/peru/s ... 10254.html
http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/dea ... nos805.htm
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0340855/
http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/dea ... vis558.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeb_Bush
http://www.richard.clark32.btinternet.co.uk/ruth.html
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088987/
http://www.queens-theatre.co.uk/biograp ... elaney.htm
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001565/
http://www.rotten.com/library/bio/crime ... y-mcveigh/

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 7:04 pm
by the_leander
No state should have the power of life and death over it's citizens.

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 8:14 pm
by Louis P. Burns aka Lugh
the_leander wrote:No state should have the power of life and death over it's citizens.

What if that person is a repeat offender though Alan? If they are predisposed to violent, senseless acts of murder? Whether we care to admit this or not, the gut reaction to violence is always to strike back, be that in defence or pre-meditated revenge.

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?

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?

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.

Please note, I am playing 'devil's advocate' here and deliberately not giving my opinion on the death penalty for now.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:07 am
by Catherine Edmunds
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.

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'.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:11 am
by the_leander
Lugh wrote:
the_leander wrote:No state should have the power of life and death over it's citizens.

What if that person is a repeat offender though Alan? If they are predisposed to violent, senseless acts of murder? Whether we care to admit this or not, the gut reaction to violence is always to strike back, be that in defence or pre-meditated revenge.


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

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?


That is why we have an impartial judiciary.

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?


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.

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.


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.