Free State Project Forum

FSP -- General Discussion => Prospective Participants => Topic started by: dgm6780 on February 13, 2003, 01:11:13 pm

Title: Death Penalty
Post by: dgm6780 on February 13, 2003, 01:11:13 pm
Where does the FSP stand on the death penalty?  Maine, my state of choice, currently doesnt have the death penalty.
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: maestro on February 13, 2003, 01:22:25 pm
It's been argued back and forth but I don't think there is an "official" FSP stand on the death penalty.
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: JasonPSorens on February 13, 2003, 01:42:56 pm
Strictly speaking, the FSP doesn't take official positions on any public policies; however, my guess is that the median viewpoint of the membership is that the death penalty should be available only for the most psychotic and incorrigible of murderers.
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: Greggers69 on February 13, 2003, 06:32:27 pm
my personal opinion is if you take life you should give yours.  Greg
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: ShrineGuard on February 20, 2003, 04:00:38 pm
Yes, but when the dealth penalty is discussed, you are not 'giving' you life away, the government is taking it.  From a personal point of view, there are many, many criminals I'd like to see dead, but I don't like at all the idea of a government killing people legally.
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: alecmuller on February 22, 2003, 11:50:00 am
My viewpoint is close to ShrineGuard's:  I think there are crimes worthy of the death penalty, but there's no one on Earth I'd trust enough to administer it.
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: maestro on February 22, 2003, 02:13:50 pm
How about the case where a criminal stages a firefight with the police in view of hundreds.  How can there possibly be _any_ doubt that he is guilty if he is captured during the firefight.

There are cases where the guilt of the criminal is beyond _any_ doubt, and in those cases, it is most efficient to remove them from the earth.
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: underwater on February 22, 2003, 08:09:04 pm
Quote
There are cases where the guilt of the criminal is beyond _any_ doubt, and in those cases, it is most efficient to remove them from the earth.

Ya, but we should not confuse justice with efficiency. If the "criminal" was shooting at the police because they were about to unlawfully take his property then I am all for the guy with the gun. They put Jesus and Count von Stauffenberg to death for "obvious" crimes. If killing is a crime in the first place then the government should not operate above the law - otherwise it sets a poor example!
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: maestro on February 22, 2003, 11:07:25 pm
If the law is unjust, we have a separate problem, but that bears no relation to the method of punishment.  

In both the case of Jesus and Stauffenberg, they admitted to committing the "crimes" and were executed for it.  It would have been as unjust if they had been sentenced to community service.

Killing has never been a crime.  _Murder_ is a crime.  
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: underwater on February 23, 2003, 01:03:50 am
Quote
If the law is unjust, we have a separate problem, but that bears no relation to the method of punishment.


Au contraire! The death penalty is an irreversible punishment while community service is reversible via reparations. I think the model in which a convicted murderer must work at the behest of his victim's family members is the best form of punishment. It removes the temptation to use the death penalty for political gain.
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: maestro on February 23, 2003, 03:04:37 am
If a nation is going to make crimes out of political expression, do you think they're going to listen to your opinion about what kind of punishment they should use?  Let's keep the issues separate here.
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: underwater on February 23, 2003, 04:20:28 am
Quote
If a nation is going to make crimes out of political expression, do you think they're going to listen to your opinion about what kind of punishment they should use?  Let's keep the issues separate here.

Well, I would like to see the Free State develop a tradition that views the death penalty as verboten. I think that such a tradition would protect our descendants from tyranny. If putting the worst among us to death is inconceivable then the best of humanity will always be free. I realize that there are issues of deterrence that I am not addressing or glossing over. However, suicidal maniacs have so far carried out some of the worst crimes of the 21st century. Clearly the death penalty is becoming less effective. So, why should we, an enlightened society, continue to use it?
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: ShrineGuard on February 23, 2003, 04:56:56 pm
I think that if we look at the fact that dictators such as Stalin and Hitler all used 'Death penalties' so to speak, we can easily find justification for not having a death penalty.

With crimes that one may call 'obvious,' who is the one describing 'obvious?'  The government.  As time passes, 'obvious' goes from 100 witnesses to 50, then to 25, and so on.  Better to just keep such a power away from the government.
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: maestro on February 24, 2003, 02:38:01 am
If injustice is institutionalized, they will probably use the death penalty anyway.  If injustice is _not_ institutionalized, then the death penalty is not inherently unjust.  

The death penalty is just one more form of justice, where we can rid ourselves of a criminal without housing them for 40+ years.  If the justice system is not corrupt, then it is useful.  If the justice system is corrupt, then it will happen regardless of anyone's wishes.

As such, the argument that the death penalty is used for injustice, and therefore is unjust itself is logically flawed.
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: underwater on February 24, 2003, 04:02:10 am
Axiom #1: All justice systems are corrupt.

Can we agree on this? If not, how about...

Axiom #2: All justice systems tend toward corruption.

Or perhaps…

Axiom #3: All justice systems are fallible.

If any of these is true then the death penalty is inherently unjust because it is irreversible. Anyway, the cost of executing a death penalty case (no pun intended) is extremely expensive. I wonder if it costs less to simply house someone for 40+ years. That being said, I do not expect Free State jails to be resorts. More like solitary confinement with bread and water...
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: underwater on February 26, 2003, 12:39:45 am
For the record:

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/24/national/24DNA.html?pagewanted=print&position=bottom

A prosecutor was trying to block a death row inmate from having his conviction reopened on the basis of new evidence, and Judge Stith, of the Missouri Supreme Court, was getting exasperated. "Are you suggesting," she asked the prosecutor, that "even if we find Mr. Amrine is actually innocent, he should be executed?"

Frank A. Jung, an assistant state attorney general, replied, "That's correct, your honor."

Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: maestro on February 26, 2003, 04:01:29 am
Axiom #1: All justice systems are corrupt.

Can we agree on this? If not, how about...

Axiom #2: All justice systems tend toward corruption.

Or perhaps…

Axiom #3: All justice systems are fallible.

If any of these is true then the death penalty is inherently unjust because it is irreversible. Anyway, the cost of executing a death penalty case (no pun intended) is extremely expensive. I wonder if it costs less to simply house someone for 40+ years. That being said, I do not expect Free State jails to be resorts. More like solitary confinement with bread and water...


#1 and #2 fail based on the principle I described above, but #3 is the one thing that still concerns me about the Death Penalty.
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: Simplicityx3 on April 04, 2003, 11:09:07 pm
Here are the problems I have with the death penalty:

1) As a Christian, I try to make it one of the main goals in my life to convince others to also believe that Jesus Christ died for their sins. That's all they need to do and they are saved (and going to heaven after they die). Unfortunately, they do all the believing in their heart, so you can never really know if someone is saved or not; maybe be extremely sure, but never completely sure. It's scary, but people could lie about it for a lifetime. So, if it's up to me, I want someone to live for as long as possible, so that they have the maximum chance to make the right choice and believe in Him.

2) I don't think that coercive punishment after the fact convinces as well as guilt and morality do. People will be most moral when they don't live under some law that is distant and impersonal, but when they become a law to themselves. When people are truly persuaded--on their own terms--to stop doing something, they really will stop doing it. The law/justice more or less just punishes people, points out what they did wrong, and angers them.

The least we should do is let people live. The better thing to do might be to shelter them from society and try and help them, but at least let them live.
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: Justin on April 06, 2003, 09:54:02 am
Delving deep into my geekish roots, I have this quote for you from LoTR:

Quote
Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. . .


Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: ApocalypseKurtz on April 29, 2003, 06:52:41 pm
hi everyone

I would like to suggest that the FSP should take a stand against the death penalty.  Considering the fact that we will keep taxes at a bare minimum or not at all, we must be as frugal as possible with government expenses.  The death penalty, given it's guaranteed appeals, is MUCH more expensive than life in prison.  Also, it has not been proven to have any deterrent effect whatsoever.  In fact, the U.S. region with the highest murder rate is the south, also the region that employs the death penalty the most.  Texas, which executes the most people, also has an above-average murder rate.  In addition to this is the fact that mistakes inevitably will occur.  Had we given these people life in prison, the mistakes could be corrected at least to some degree and these innocent people released.
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: Penfist on April 29, 2003, 07:17:05 pm
I would be willing to reconsider my pro-death penalty stance if the punishment system for those convicted of what are currently death penalty crimes involved a lifetime of penance type activities.

Said activities would not involve watching TV, lifting weights, raping fellow prisoners, or researching ways to sue the state.

Murderers and other criminals take something away from society. I would consider any plans to reform the penal system so that once convicted, criminals would have the opportunity to actually pay their debt to society and in some cases, it would take a lifetime to do that.

I would like to see criminals working, always working, doing something that benefits their victims, or the loved ones of those survived by their victims.

Imagine working your entire life for your ex-mother in law because you decided to murder your wife. Imagine stealing someone's TV and being forced to work five years until you had earned enough to replace it with a 52" flat screen.
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: Reaper on April 30, 2003, 09:09:27 am
When we have a perfect and infallible justice system I'll be in favor of the death penalty.  Until then I will not give my sanction to government bureaucracy to decide who lives and who dies.

Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: Reaper on April 30, 2003, 09:11:36 am
"Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!"
"Live Free or Die"

Would you rather be caged for Life in Prison?
or
Would you rather have death?

An innocent man in jail at least has hope that the truth will come out, and were it me I think I'd therefore want to live to continue to attempt to prove it.

A guilty man in jail knows he is guilty and will be there till he dies and may prefer death.

Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: DBPMAN on May 03, 2003, 04:04:36 pm
my personal stance on this.. found guilty...and its found that the death penalty applies for your crime....  you have one appeal... you can take as long as you want to get it to trial.... however found guilty after the appeal... you should be put to death the next day...

of course Im only talking about violent offenders.. no pot smokers in jail or anything like that

but the question comes if you dont use the death penalty... then what are you gonna do with all the life servers... thats a lot of money to house someone for 70 years.. 3 square meals a day

but then another question arises should they have tv or computers in their cells?
prisioners today... have more goodies inside... then they do if they were free... what punishment is that?... I thought the whole point of putting someone in jail was to make them feel bad about what they did... and perhaps regret doing it
its no wonder most criminals who get out... perform another crime to get back in... where else can you have free 3 square meals a day.... and all the luxuries that society has to offer

so if you are a life server with no means of getting out... should tax payers money go to you to get your Masters degree?... what good will that do you if you cant get out to use it.. just give them books...and newspapers... enough for them to gain knowledge... and keep up with current events

you take away their goodies... have them stare at a 8x8 cell all day and we'll see how many criminals want to stay in prison

I truly see no benefit in NOT having a death penalty... cost more to hold these people for life than it would be for someone on death row

I hate to sound cruel about it... but no good comes from coddling those who do harm to others

if our religous fore fathers didnt have a problem with it.. why should we
Title: Re:Death Penalty
Post by: MarkBruns on May 03, 2003, 10:37:19 pm
I don't think we're entitled to take life ... unless it's a matter of self-preservation ...  if it the criminals would prefer it.

As it is currently administered with lengthy delays (i.e. necessary safegaurds built into the system because of likelihood for mistakes, the human rush to judge/condemn, etc.) the death penalty has absolutely no deterrent effect.  It costs more to kill a criminal than it does to LOCK THE PERSON UP IN AN ABSOLUTELY SECURE CELL and take away all human contact.   The ONLY reason that it is an issue for discussion is because of the public demand for the death penalty.

The public has always clamored for the death penalty ... in the time of Socrates or of Christ, back in the middle ages ... during the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution ... and again today.  There have always been political COWARDS who call for the death penalty in an attempt to appease the hateful, screaming, ignorant masses.  All throughout history, these scum have been more than willing to leave the dirty details to others ... in these times, those details also involve the thankless task of lawyers who must attend to the tedious legal matters in courtroom (i.e., appeals, hearings, stays). >:(