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View Full Version : Jessica gets her Justice today!



George Foster
03-07-2007, 08:21 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,257320,00.html


Hang him high!

Falls City Beer
03-07-2007, 08:28 PM
There but for the grace of God....

oneupper
03-07-2007, 08:30 PM
I vote for lethal injection.

hebroncougar
03-07-2007, 09:18 PM
I vote for lethal injection.

Too painless...........go for ole sparky.

WMR
03-08-2007, 08:37 AM
There but for the grace of God....

Do you mean that this could have happened to any family?

Ltlabner
03-08-2007, 08:38 AM
Her body was found in a shallow hole, encased in two black plastic trash bags. She had been buried alive and suffocated, and was found clutching a purple stuffed dolphin. Two fingers poked through the top of the bags.

I don't know what this line from the story makes me feal more. Pure rage or just break down and cry.

WMR
03-08-2007, 08:39 AM
The purple stuffed dolphin is what got me for some reason. Just so sad thinking what that little girl went through. :(

Falls City Beer
03-08-2007, 05:24 PM
Do you mean that this could have happened to any family?

Just can't get too thrilled about executing a mentally ill/mentally retarded man.

Sorry.

flyer85
03-08-2007, 05:31 PM
State of Florida got their justice. Jessica is dead and buried and that is an extremely sad fact that didn't change one bit based on the outcome of a trial.

The sole purpose of what was going on should have been to make sure the he doesn't get an opportunity to do it again to someone else.

NJReds
03-08-2007, 05:39 PM
State of Florida got their justice. Jessica is dead and buried and that is an extremely sad fact that didn't change one bit based on the outcome of a trial.

The sole purpose of what was going on should have been to make sure the he doesn't get an opportunity to do it again to someone else.

There is no justice for what he did. I don't care what phony-baloney 'illness' they try deflect blame to -- there is no justice for the torture, rape and death of this young girl.

The system let down this girl. This loser had been nailed before for this sort of behavior and let go on his merry way.

zombie-a-go-go
03-08-2007, 06:01 PM
There is no justice for what he did. I don't care what phony-baloney 'illness' they try deflect blame to -- there is no justice for the torture, rape and death of this young girl.

The system let down this girl. This loser had been nailed before for this sort of behavior and let go on his merry way.

I suspect you're confusing your definitions of 'justice' and 'vengeance.'

WMR
03-08-2007, 06:02 PM
Just can't get too thrilled about executing a mentally ill/mentally retarded man.

Sorry.

What would you propose be done to him?

"There but for the grace of god go I"- based on your response, I take your post to mean that but for the grace of God you could be in that killer's shoes?

If that were your daughter, murdered in such a cruel and torturous fashion, would you be saying what you're saying?

If that quote should be used in any sort of context in this situation it's that anyone with a sister or a daughter or a little boy, but for the grace of God, could be in the same, terrifying, hell-on-earth faced by that little girl and now being lived by her parents and family on a daily basis, for the rest of their lives.

registerthis
03-08-2007, 06:07 PM
Some people believe that justice is never served by the execution of another human being.

WMR
03-08-2007, 06:08 PM
That may be, but saying "but for the grace of God," in the context implied by FCB is quite disingenuous IMO.

BenHayes
03-08-2007, 06:11 PM
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a life for a life. It's just that simple. If it were my daughter he would have never made it to trial.

Ltlabner
03-08-2007, 06:13 PM
Some people believe that justice is never served by the execution of another human being.

And society paying for his 'rehabilitation' and room and board for the reminder of his days is?

flyer85
03-08-2007, 06:15 PM
In the end the State of Florida is empowered to decide and administer what it deems as the appropriate punishment. I won't argue with their decision no matter what they decide.

WMR
03-08-2007, 06:18 PM
In the end the State of Florida is empowered to decide and administer what it deems as the appropriate punishment. I won't argue with their decision no matter what they decide.

Weird to say, but they might almost be doing this guy a favor sentencing him to death by lethal injection compared to the death he'll likely face in prison.

A case as high profile as this, every prisoner in whatever prison he ends up being assigned will know his crime the day he arrives, and after that it's only a matter of time.

Razor Shines
03-08-2007, 06:19 PM
Her body was found in a shallow hole, encased in two black plastic trash bags. She had been buried alive and suffocated, and was found clutching a purple stuffed dolphin. Two fingers poked through the top of the bags.
I don't know what this line from the story makes me feal more. Pure rage or just break down and cry.

Before I read down the thread I was going to post the exact same thing. I definitely tear up everytime I think of that part of the story.

dabvu2498
03-08-2007, 06:19 PM
This thread is not long for the world, either.

Falls City Beer
03-08-2007, 06:33 PM
What would you propose be done to him?

"There but for the grace of god go I"- based on your response, I take your post to mean that but for the grace of God you could be in that killer's shoes?

If that were your daughter, murdered in such a cruel and torturous fashion, would you be saying what you're saying?

If that quote should be used in any sort of context in this situation it's that anyone with a sister or a daughter or a little boy, but for the grace of God, could be in the same, terrifying, hell-on-earth faced by that little girl and now being lived by her parents and family on a daily basis, for the rest of their lives.

I'm not so self-satisfied to believe that had my parents not been healthy and sane people I would have turned out just fine. Or had my parents been like what this killer was like I would have been able to pull myself up by my bootstraps and been "normal." The great myth of our society is self-determination. Just thank whatever deity you worship that you had a good family or had someone in your life to show you the right path.

But don't break your arm patting yourself on the back for being sane because all that is is great freakin' luck.

Ltlabner
03-08-2007, 06:40 PM
Just thank whatever deity you worship that you had a good family or had someone in your life to show you the right path.

So are you saying that this fellows actions should somehow be explained or mitigated because his parents might not have done a good job?

And at what stage in a child's development do you sit them down and have the 'don't rape little girls and bury them in a plastic bag and leave them in a hole to die' talk? Is that before or after the 'birds and the bees' talk?

Certinally children can be given a huge disadvantage if their parents don't raise them correctly but in no way does that excuse their behavior later on in life.

Falls City Beer
03-08-2007, 06:50 PM
So are you saying that this fellows actions should somehow be explained or mitigated because his parents might not have done a good job?

And at what stage in a child's development do you sit them down and have the 'don't rape little girls and bury them in a plastic bag and leave them in a hole to die' talk? Is that before or after the 'birds and the bees' talk?

Certinally children can be given a huge disadvantage if their parents don't raise them correctly, or if they start our poor, but in no way does that excuse their behavior later on in life.

I have no way of knowing how this guy got the way he did. But I know there was very little choice involved on this guy's part. He should have been locked up and hospitalized for good on the first offense. He had no business being in society. But that's a whole other can of worms.

I'd love to believe that everyone's life can be turned around; I would. Heck, I'm a teacher--my job is that very hope: to turn lives around. But I know that there are people who slip through society's cracks, vanish into obscurity, only to emerge when something like this occurs; these guys are hardwired. It doesn't excuse what he did, and he obviously needs to be removed from society. I'm just not sure that killing him after the law/society had failed to remove him once when it could was the best route to take. It's not justice. It doesn't elevate the social order. Hell, it doesn't even make it even, because making it "even" is bringing back that little girl.

Razor Shines
03-08-2007, 06:51 PM
nm

Falls City Beer
03-08-2007, 06:55 PM
nm

Doc. Scott
03-08-2007, 07:00 PM
My opposition to the death penalty has much more to do with the historical evidence of its lopsidedly common sentencing to poor, minority, and mentally ill defendants. Until society can show that it's going to apply the death penalty across the board to everyone regardless of socioeconomic status, I'm against it. And I'm not holding my breath about that.

I can't really say that I'm for or against its application to Couey, given the facts of the case, but I'm with FCB that the real problem is that he should never have had another opportunity to do what he did in the first place.

Ltlabner
03-08-2007, 07:04 PM
But I know that there are people who slip through society's cracks, vanish into obscurity, only to emerge when something like this occurs; these guys are hardwired. It doesn't excuse what he did, and he obviously needs to be removed from society. I'm just not sure that killing him after the law/society had failed to remove him once when it could was the best route to take. It's not justice. It doesn't elevate the social order. Hell, it doesn't even make it even, because making it "even" is bringing back that little girl.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'elevate the social order' but I'd say making sure he never does this again to anybody else improves society.

And you are right that the legal system screwed up by letting him out the first time. All the more reason to perminatley ensure he has no chance to slip through the cracks again.

I'm torn on the 'hardwired' part of your argument. I agree that some of these guys just ain't going to be rehabilitated. OTOH, while his temptations may be more difficult to resist, or outside societal 'norms', that doesn't excuse his decision to act on his temptations. Plenty of people have had untreated mental illnesses and gone their entire lives without burrying someone alive.

WMR
03-08-2007, 07:05 PM
I'm not so self-satisfied to believe that had my parents not been healthy and sane people I would have turned out just fine. Or had my parents been like what this killer was like I would have been able to pull myself up by my bootstraps and been "normal." The great myth of our society is self-determination. Just thank whatever deity you worship that you had a good family or had someone in your life to show you the right path.

But don't break your arm patting yourself on the back for being sane because all that is is great freakin' luck.

Nice strawman, but how about actually answering my question: Would you still be taking this even-handed approach if this crime had been perpetuated against your kid or your sister or one of your students?

Ltlabner
03-08-2007, 07:10 PM
Nice strawman, but how about actually answering my question: Would you still be taking this even-handed approach if this crime had been perpetuated against your kid or your sister or one of your students?

Better yet, would someone be willing to personally write the checks to pay for this guys room and board courtesy of the state for the rest of his natural days had he done this to their kid?

I'd say if someone feals this man had no choice in killing her, that the legal system is to blame and that somehow fate was just playing out it's cruel hand, then they should be willing to pay for the killer of their child's room and board out of their own pocket.

Falls City Beer
03-08-2007, 07:12 PM
Nice strawman, but how about actually answering my question: Would you still be taking this even-handed approach if this crime had been perpetuated against your kid or your sister or one of your students?

How can I answer that?

I'm sure, emotionally, vengeance would be foremost in my mind.

But it's a good thing that it's the state that prosecutes, that it's society that intervenes on my behalf to bring about justice. I don't have any desire to live in a world run by vigilantism. The law exists to take the power of vengeance from my hands.

WMR
03-08-2007, 07:20 PM
How can I answer that?

I'm sure, emotionally, vengeance would be foremost in my mind.

But it's a good thing that it's the state that prosecutes, that it's society that intervenes on my behalf to bring about justice. I don't have any desire to live in a world run by vigilantism. The law exists to take the power of vengeance from my hands.

How can society maintain order if every murderer who can find a psychiatrist willing to take the stand and testify to his mental instability has his sentence mitigated?

At the end of the day, must there not be at least some immutable level of personal responsibility regardless of upbringing, 'mental deficiency,' or perceived societal failure?

Falls City Beer
03-08-2007, 07:24 PM
How can society maintain order if every murderer who can find a psychiatrist willing to take the stand and testify to his mental instability has his sentence mitigated?

At the end of the day, must there not be at least some level of immutable sense of personal responsibility regardless of upbringing, 'mental deficiency,' or perceived societal failure?

Wow.

Speaking of straw men. I'd make the same argument if this was Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Daumer. Or the sleazy rich kid who killed because he could, and thought he could get away with it.

Executing restores nothing to the social order that life in prison without parole couldn't do just as well. If you search your heart, you'll know I'm right. Executing people simply satisfies mass bloodlust. It doesn't bring about justice.

WMR
03-08-2007, 07:26 PM
Wow.

Speaking of straw men. I'd make the same argument if this was Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Daumer. Or the sleazy rich kid who killed because he could, and thought he could get away with it.

Executing restores nothing to the social order that life in prison without parole couldn't do just as well. If you search your heart, you'll know I'm right. Executing people simply satisfies mass bloodlust. It doesn't bring about justice.

I'm not even necessarily speaking of execution. If someone is found mentally incompetent, they can be remanded to the state and often released once found "rehabilitated."

Is that fair? Is the system functioning correctly? That's what I'm trying to get at.

Ltlabner
03-08-2007, 07:34 PM
Executing restores nothing to the social order that life in prison without parole couldn't do just as well.

Sure it does. Society is still effected negativley by the criminal after his/her incarceration. It incurs the cost of housing them, feeding them, medical care, etc. Soceity must dedicate finite resources to build prisions, staff and maintain them. Land that could be use for more productive ventures is used by prisons. Society contines to pay and pay for the criminals behavior long after the crime was committed.

Execution puts a stop to all that nonsense.

Falls City Beer
03-08-2007, 07:34 PM
I'm not even necessarily speaking of execution. If someone is found mentally incompetent, they can be remanded to the state and often released once found "rehabilitated."

Is that fair? Is the system functioning correctly? That's what I'm trying to get at.

No, respectfully, that's not what you're getting at.

But to answer that question: obviously the state is either incapable of rehabilitating this man or unable or unwilling to continue to pay for the rehabilitation of this man. But that really has nothing to do with what we're talking about vis. the application of the death penalty.

registerthis
03-08-2007, 07:34 PM
And society paying for his 'rehabilitation' and room and board for the reminder of his days is?

It costs more to execute 'em. So even leaving behind the moral argument, from a purely financial perspective it makes sense not to kill people.

Ltlabner
03-08-2007, 07:37 PM
It costs more to execute 'em. So even leaving behind the moral argument, from a purely financial perspective it makes sense not to kill people.

How so?

I would assume the cost of executions is bloated by the lengthy appeals process and the delay in delivery of the sentence.

Falls City Beer
03-08-2007, 07:39 PM
How so?

I would assume the cost of executions is bloated by the lengthy appeals process and the delay in delivery of the sentence.

It usually is those kinds of costs. But under law we (and that means you too) are entitled to certain appeals.

Should we chuck those out too?

Where does it end?

registerthis
03-08-2007, 07:44 PM
Land that could be use for more productive ventures is used by prisons. Society contines to pay and pay for the criminals behavior long after the crime was committed.

Execution puts a stop to all that nonsense.

Your argument--unless I am misinterpreting what you're saying--is that society is burdened by the cost of feeding and housing prisoners, and having land taken up by prisons versus alternatives. And that "executions put a stop to all of that nonsense." I could not disagree with you more.

To begin, the number of people who have committed crimes that would fall within the realm of being worthy of capital punishment are miniscule compared to the prison population as a whole. So executing more people isn't going to solve the problems you listed--assuming, of course, that we don't start executing people for theft or drug use or what have you.

Secondly, society does not pay merely to feed and house prisoners, it pays also to rehabilitate them. If society does not believe that rehabilitation is possible, then every criminal--regardless of offense--should simply be locked up for life. Releasing them back into the public at large would be a failure of the government to protect its citizenry.

Finally, you complain about the cost you, as a taxpayer, must pay to keep people like Couey alive in prison. But this neglects two things: one, the immense costs associated with placing someone on death row and subsequently executing them, and two, the fact that there are a number of people who object to the idea of their tax money being used to execute people.

Ltlabner
03-08-2007, 07:44 PM
It costs more to execute 'em. So even leaving behind the moral argument, from a purely financial perspective it makes sense not to kill people.

Just did a quick search and found several websites detailing the costs. Will research further after dinner. Interesting stuff.


It usually is those kinds of costs. But under law we (and that means you too) are entitled to certain appeals.

Should we chuck those out too?

Of course there should be appeals. I have no problems with that. How many and the length of time between them is a different question.

registerthis
03-08-2007, 07:47 PM
Of course there should be appeals. I have no problems with that. How many and the length of time between them is a different question.

When the state is prepared to kill a man, they'd better make damn certain they're right.

Ltlabner
03-08-2007, 07:56 PM
To begin, the number of people who have committed crimes that would fall within the realm of being worthy of capital punishment are miniscule compared to the prison population as a whole. So executing more people isn't going to solve the problems you listed--assuming, of course, that we don't start executing people for theft or drug use or what have you..

I'm not looking at execution as an overall cost savings plan. Mearly minimizing the costs of the inmate who's been sentenced to death.


Secondly, society does not pay merely to feed and house prisoners, it pays also to rehabilitate them. If society does not believe that rehabilitation is possible, then every criminal--regardless of offense--should simply be locked up for life.

Who said anything about rehibilitation not being possible? Some criminals stand a good chance to be rehibilitated and reintroduced to society. By all means we should invest the resources to help these people out. Other other cases rehabilitation is likely not possible.


Finally, you complain about the cost you, as a taxpayer, must pay to keep people like Couey alive in prison. But this neglects two things: one, the immense costs associated with placing someone on death row and subsequently executing them, and two, the fact that there are a number of people who object to the idea of their tax money being used to execute people.

But have those costs been increased over time as due to external factors unrelated to the cost of the execution itself?

I object to many of the ways my tax money is used, but that doesn't mean the government should stop using it as they deam fit.

Ltlabner
03-08-2007, 08:00 PM
At the end of all this back and forth remains some sad facts.

Jessica died clutching a stuffed animal trying to claw her way out of a grave.

Coey is a sick man who need to pay some price for his actions. Argue over the amount of the price, but laws are about punishment and he should pay something for his actions.

Chip R
03-08-2007, 08:00 PM
I haven't really followed this case that much so am I correct in understanding that the killer should have not been on the street to begin with because of a mental defect or he has comitted crimes in the past? Or was this just a slipup that allowed him back on the street, i.e. no Miranda, bad search warrant, etc?

Falls City Beer
03-08-2007, 08:03 PM
I haven't really followed this case that much so am I correct in understanding that the killer should have not been on the street to begin with because of a mental defect or he has comitted crimes in the past? Or was this just a slipup that allowed him back on the street, i.e. no Miranda, bad search warrant, etc?

No, he was a convicted sex offender at the time of Jessica's murder.

Falls City Beer
03-08-2007, 08:04 PM
At the end of all this back and forth remains some sad facts.

Jessica died clutching a stuffed animal trying to claw her way out of a grave.

Coey is a sick man who need to pay some price for his actions. Argue over the amount of the price, but laws are about punishment and he should pay something for his actions.

We don't disagree on the last point. Justice often involves punishment. I'm a firm believer that justice should be both rehabilitation and punishment; I just don't think it should be vengeance.

Chip R
03-08-2007, 08:10 PM
No, he was a convicted sex offender at the time of Jessica's murder.


So he had served his sentence and was released?

Falls City Beer
03-08-2007, 08:16 PM
So he had served his sentence and was released?

He was convicted in 1978 of sexually assaulting a girl, sentenced to 10 years, but was paroled in 1980.

Chip R
03-08-2007, 08:30 PM
He was convicted in 1978 of sexually assaulting a girl, sentenced to 10 years, but was paroled in 1980.


Thanks.

The reason I asked - besides not knowing the details of the case - is that it seems a bit contradictory to me that the reason people want him executed is that it costs too much to keep him in prison rather than executing him. However if he had been in prison to begin with - for whatever reason - Jessica would still be alive today. Seems like a small price to pay for a child's life.

RFS62
03-08-2007, 09:05 PM
Considering the cost of an execution as a factor in deciding if we as a society are going to execute people seems obscene to me.

It's a moral question only.

And it's a bridge I can't cross. I don't believe in the death penalty.

registerthis
03-08-2007, 09:09 PM
I'm not looking at execution as an overall cost savings plan. Mearly minimizing the costs of the inmate who's been sentenced to death.
...
But have those costs been increased over time as due to external factors unrelated to the cost of the execution itself?

The costs aren't being minimized though. You can't look at the cost of an execution as simply the excecution itself in a vacuum. You can't disassociate the appeals, reviews and various other processes that go into it, because they are an inseperable and necessary part of the capital punishment system.

The execution of people is one area where I don't mind the government spending some extra money to make sure they get it right. i'd prefer they didn't do it at all, but so long as the punishment is in place, they might as well make themselves as certain as can be that they're killing the right person.


I object to many of the ways my tax money is used, but that doesn't mean the government should stop using it as they deam fit

Sure, there are lots of ways to complain about the use of your tax funds--but do you really want to compare the killing of a human being with, oh, welfare reform? Or tax law? Or environmental protectionism? Our government decides how to spend the money it receives via taxes, and you or I may disagree with that--but I'm not talking solely about the financial costs of execution, I have a problem with a government asserting the right to execute human beings when other methods of recourse are available.

If our government decided that hacking off the hands of thieves was an appropriate punishment, would you simply shrug your shoulders and toss it into the category of things your government does that you simply don't agree with?


Who said anything about rehibilitation not being possible? Some criminals stand a good chance to be rehibilitated and reintroduced to society. By all means we should invest the resources to help these people out. Other other cases rehabilitation is likely not possible. .

Was merely responding to your earlier post regarding the amount of money used to support the prison system--you listed housing, feeding, and health care, but neglected to mention a fundamental purpose of prisons, rehabilitation. Whether your ommission was intentional or a mistake, I was simply stating that a sizeable portion of money placed into prisons goes towards rehabilitation objectives.

registerthis
03-08-2007, 09:14 PM
Thanks.

The reason I asked - besides not knowing the details of the case - is that it seems a bit contradictory to me that the reason people want him executed is that it costs too much to keep him in prison rather than executing him. However if he had been in prison to begin with - for whatever reason - Jessica would still be alive today. Seems like a small price to pay for a child's life.

And killing him now will do nothing to bring Jessica back. I understand people *wanting* to watch him die for the heinous crime he committed, but that is called vengeance--not justice.

I'd like to whack the guy who broke into my car last year in the head with a baseball bat, and perhaps knee him in the groin a couple of times. But that is precisely the reason why the punishment of the individual who broke into my car--assuming that they had ever caught him--should not be left up to me.

Falls City Beer
03-08-2007, 09:16 PM
Considering the cost of an execution as a factor in deciding if we as a society are going to execute people seems obscene to me.

It's a moral question only.

And it's a bridge I can't cross. I don't believe in the death penalty.

I agree. It is at base a moral, not a financial, issue. It has to be; human life is irreducible.

GAC
03-08-2007, 09:20 PM
And killing him now will do nothing to bring Jessica back. I understand people *wanting* to watch him die for the heinous crime he committed, but that is called vengeance--not justice.

Could care less about those people who want to watch him die. That's their problem. IMHO, it's not about personal vengeance. Even though there is an obvious emotional element involved. How is anyone to feel if that happened to their child? But that should not be a factor when it comes to sentencing (i.e. appeasing one's personal vengeance). It is about justice being served. Look at the particulars, and the facts/truths, of this case. He deserves to die based simply on the heinousness of the crime commited, that he willfully murdered an innocent young girl (after sexually abusing her).

The punishment should fit the crime. He maliciously took a life. That has been proven as an absolute in a court of law. His life should be forfeited.

The appeal process in this country is a joke and needs to be streamlined. Everyone deserves an appeal, that is obvious. But there should be a limit on that appeal process, and then a timeframe inwhich that appeal is to be fulfilled and acted upon. Having people sitting on death row for 20 years is simply a huge miscarriage of justice IMO.

GAC
03-08-2007, 09:41 PM
human life is irreducible.

Incapable of being reduced or of being diminished?

Tell that to the victims who had their lives violently taken from them, and their surviving family members. And this mindset within our judicial system that there is still some hope that these criminals can be somehow rehabilitated may be noble, but rarely attainable when one looks at the prison system as a whole.

It's simply great to see, as a society, that we are so concerned about "restoring" these criminals to be being productive members of that society while trampling over the victims and their families. That certainly proves our humaneness. :rolleyes:

Falls City Beer
03-08-2007, 09:45 PM
Incapable of being reduced or of being diminished?



I meant irreducible in terms of reducible to a dollar figure. One way or another.

WMR
03-08-2007, 09:51 PM
Incapable of being reduced or of being diminished?

Tell that to the victims who had their lives violently taken from them, and their surviving family members. nd this mindset within our judicial system that there is still some hope that these criminals can be somehow rehabilitated.

It's simply great to see, as a society, that we are so concerned about "restoring" these criminals to be being productive members of that society while trampling over the victims and their families. That certainly proves our humaneness. :rolleyes:

GAC, it's not their fault, society has ******* all over them their entire lives, their mommy didn't hug them enough when they were little, they got picked last for kickball, no one would go to prom with them, they had to wear clothes from the secondhand store, they have ADD, OCD, SOME sort of mental illness that explains/excuses their behavior, hmm, what am I missing... THEY were abused, so their abuse of others can be more easily understood

And my point, FCB, was NOT about the death penalty on its face but rather that mitigating a crime on mental illness grounds often leads to the person being rehabilitated and released. Is that fair? Can sexual predators BE rehabilitated? My criminal law class/theory taught me that they cannot. What are we to do with them? Keep them in a rubber room the rest of their lives? Stick them in with the general population and let them do our dirty work for us?

Falls City Beer
03-08-2007, 10:08 PM
And my point, FCB, was NOT about the death penalty on its face but rather that mitigating a crime on mental illness grounds often leads to the person being rehabilitated and released. Is that fair? Can sexual predators BE rehabilitated? My criminal law class/theory taught me that they cannot. What are we to do with them? Keep them in a rubber room the rest of their lives? Stick them in with the general population and let them do our dirty work for us?

Well, I'm glad your law theory class cleared that up for us. Look, people are paroled after two years of a 15 year sentence, too. Is that fair? Probably not. But you're arguing a separate point, not the central point--this isn't a recidivism discussion; it's a sentencing discussion. I know that the reality of the legal system is that bad guys get out WAY too early way too frequently. I get it. But that's not really the point.

It's simple: depending on their crime: institutionalize them or imprison them.

And you're just being daft if you think most sexual predators are created by missing prom or not being picked to host the next Kiwanis meeting. They're generally created by the same behavior they now exhibit. Does it excuse the behavior? Of course not. But it does explain it. I don't know if rehabilitation works, but imprisonment and rehabilitation are the only real options outside of execution; and I'm certainly hoping you aren't suggesting that someone should get the death penalty for leering at a kid on the park bench, as disgusting as that may be.

But spare me your prosecutor's tripe about "cutting through the red tape" and gaining justice. Save it for your stump speech.

WMR
03-08-2007, 10:14 PM
Everyone's got a story and a potential excuse.

You don't believe in self-determination. I do.

Blimpie
03-08-2007, 10:15 PM
I had a Social Psychology professor in college (late 1980s) who informed us that it cost--at that time--around $ 65,000 per year at the Florida State Prison to house an inmate on death row without regard to the cost of his legal appeals. At that time, Ted Bundy was sitting there, so it was topical. On the other hand, it cost roughly $ 75,000 to sucessfully perform an execution at that facility (electric chair). So, from a cost basis, there is no comparison between the two.

Where the battle lines should be drawn is on the moral ground and whether or not capital punishment has been shown to be a deterrent to crime. It has not. Unless the point in time comes where they decide to reinstitute public executions, that will not change.

Falls City Beer
03-08-2007, 10:17 PM
Everyone's got a story and a potential excuse.

You don't believe in self-determination. I do.

As with anything, self-determination all depends on money and power; the more you have, the more you have.

If that weren't true, no one would compete for anything.

oneupper
03-08-2007, 10:52 PM
As with anything, self-determination all depends on money and power; the more you have, the more you have.

If that weren't true, no one would compete for anything.

Life ain't fair. It wasn't fair to Jessica and don't care if it's "fair" to her killer or not.

This society has made the decision that executing criminals like Couey is acceptable. You may not agree and other societies don't proceed the same way (and then again there are those who stone adulterers).

Perhaps that perception will change. For now, I'll take revenge thank you very much.

The syringe, please.

Falls City Beer
03-08-2007, 11:05 PM
Life ain't fair. It wasn't fair to Jessica and don't care if it's "fair" to her killer or not.

This society has made the decision that executing criminals like Couey is acceptable. You may not agree and other societies don't proceed the same way (and then again there are those who stone adulterers).

Perhaps that perception will change. For now, I'll take revenge thank you very much.

The syringe, please.

Can I slap you if you offend me? Break your window if your kid breaks mine? Blow your car up if you blow up mine?

I think you know the answer to each of those questions. Justice is not revenge.

It's ultimately not about excuses, it's about what we do as a society to solve our problems. And killing humans, criminally, or sanctioned by law, doesn't strike me as the answer to any question.

The death penalty doesn't deter crime. It doesn't bring back the dead. It doesn't palliate the crime for the bereaved.

But it gets politicians elected.

oneupper
03-08-2007, 11:08 PM
Can I slap you if you offend me? Break your window if your kid breaks mine? Blow your car up if you blow up mine?

I think you know the answer to each of those questions. Justice is not revenge.

It's ultimately not about excuses, it's about what we do as a society to solve our problems. And killing humans, criminally, or sanctioned by law, doesn't strike me as the answer to any question.

The death penalty doesn't deter crime. It doesn't bring back the dead. It doesn't palliate the crime for the bereaved.

But it gets politicians elected.


You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

George Foster
03-08-2007, 11:48 PM
My opposition to the death penalty has much more to do with the historical evidence of its lopsidedly common sentencing to poor, minority, and mentally ill defendants. Until society can show that it's going to apply the death penalty across the board to everyone regardless of socioeconomic status, I'm against it. And I'm not holding my breath about that.

I can't really say that I'm for or against its application to Couey, given the facts of the case, but I'm with FCB that the real problem is that he should never have had another opportunity to do what he did in the first place.

Scott Peterson says Hi!!

Ltlabner
03-09-2007, 12:00 AM
Considering the cost of an execution as a factor in deciding if we as a society are going to execute people seems obscene to me..

Funny, I think it's obscene to house, clothe, feed, provide medical care and in some cases educations to a bunch of murders and rapists for the remainder of their lives. They have done nothing but harm society and then turn around and live on the public dole. The victem in a grave, the criminal is doing push ups in the fancy weight room. How is that a 'punishment' comisurate with the crime?


The costs aren't being minimized though. You can't look at the cost of an execution as simply the excecution itself in a vacuum. You can't disassociate the appeals, reviews and various other processes that go into it, because they are an inseperable and necessary part of the capital punishment system.

If our government decided that hacking off the hands of thieves was an appropriate punishment, would you simply shrug your shoulders and toss it into the category of things your government does that you simply don't agree with?.

But the cost of the appeals, reviews and various other processes are what bost up the total cost of executing the criminal. Of course there should be appeals, reviews, etc in the process, but I can't believe anyone would argue that the legal process is a streamlined, effecient process.

I only pointed out that the government does stuff I don't like with my tax dollars because you said you object to your money being use to fund executions. I was trying to say in a nice way, why are your wishes for the use of tax monies special while mine aren't?


It's ultimately not about excuses, it's about what we do as a society to solve our problems. And killing humans, criminally, or sanctioned by law, doesn't strike me as the answer to any question. .

I think you raised a very valid point about the state being in charge of the process to prevent vigilantism from running amok.

I view laws as simple as punishment. You break the law you should pay a price; whether that be a fine, jail sentence or execution. Rehablitation and deterance are simply extras that may or may not come along for the ride. Obviously there has to be some correlation between the severity of the crime and the punishement.

That's where we diverge. I don't view hanging out in prision, lifting weights, going to school, doing a (albiet menial) job, running with gangs, and generally having zero responsibility for the rest of your life as any form of punishement, let alone being on the same level as raping a girl, burrying her alive in a trashbag and letting her sufficate.

I especially don't view life in prison as 'punishment' for the types of criminals that generally would rather check out of society and have zero responsibility for the rest of their lives anyway.

vaticanplum
03-09-2007, 12:03 AM
Ltlabner, I think you have a sort of misguided view of the life led by prisoners who have committed crimes of this caliber. They're not lifting weights in state-of-the-art facilities and taking college classes. Life-timers in maximum security facilities are not the same as criminals doing five or ten years for drug dealing.

Ltlabner
03-09-2007, 12:06 AM
Ltlabner, I think you have a sort of misguided view of the life led by prisoners who have committed crimes of this caliber. They're not lifting weights in state-of-the-art facilities and taking college classes. Life-timers in maximum security facilities are not the same as criminals doing five or ten years for drug dealing.

Ok, so then what? They sit in their cells all day?

Again, I don't see checking out of society, having no responsibility and being cared for along the way as a punishment.

George Foster
03-09-2007, 12:11 AM
human life is irreducible.http://sistertoldjah.com/archives/2007/02/19/21-week-old-baby-survives/

vaticanplum
03-09-2007, 12:11 AM
Again, I don't see checking out of society, having no responsibility and being cared for along the way as a punishment.

Wow. I'd like to see what you'd think after being "cared for" for a week in a maximum security prison.

Responsibility may be something that people want to avoid, but it is part of what makes us human, not least of all because it's inherently tied to freedom. Stripping a person of all responsibility takes away their freedom, their daily life, and in essense anything worth living for. I don't exactly see that as living the high life.

George Foster
03-09-2007, 12:15 AM
Wow. I'd like to see what you'd think after being "cared for" for a week in a maximum security prison.

Responsibility may be something that people want to avoid, but it is part of what makes us human, not least of all because it's inherently tied to freedom. Stripping a person of all responsibility takes away their freedom, their daily life, and in essense anything worth living for. I don't exactly see that as living the high life.

I'd take it over what Jessica went through:thumbup:

Ltlabner
03-09-2007, 12:34 AM
Responsibility may be something that people want to avoid, but it is part of what makes us human, not least of all because it's inherently tied to freedom. Stripping a person of all responsibility takes away their freedom, their daily life, and in essense anything worth living for. I don't exactly see that as living the high life.

And what exactly does a person who murders, rapes and reeks havoc on society have to live for? What sort of great things have they aspired to? What sort of great positive imprints have they made on society?

Are the folks who commit crimes worthy of the death penalty generally carving out some great lives for themselves? Are they on some upward path in life? Are they on the verge of "turning it all around"?

Do these kinds of people sit around and pontificate the meaning of freedom? Do they consider the essense of anything worth living for? Do they see innocence and seek to protect it?

No. They kill. They rape. They take away all of these things from innocent people. They destroy things that are good. They can't fathom the concepts we hold dear, because they seek to destroy them. They couldn't begin to relate to "freedom" and "life" and "responsibility" otherwise they'd have made far different choices and wouldn't be killing and raping.

If you truely understand freedom, you would never, ever consider taking it away from an innocent person. You may be tempted, especially under emotional distress, but you wouldn't act on it when push came to shove.

Sure, if you ask the average inmate if they'd rather be free they'll say yes. But I'd suggest that if you can't even understand, relate to, or identify with the concepts of freedom, locking you in a cell doesn't even begin to dent the surface of 'punishment'.

pedro
03-09-2007, 12:44 AM
And what exactly does a person who murders, rapes and reeks havoc on society have to live for? What sort of great things have they aspired to? What sort of great positive imprints have they made on society?

Are the folks who commit crimes worthy of the death penalty generally carving out some great lives for themselves? Are they on some upward path in life? Are they on the verge of "turning it all around"?

Do these kinds of people sit around and pontificate the meaning of freedom? Do they consider the essense of anything worth living for? Do they see innocence and seek to protect it?

No. They kill. They rape. They take away all of these things from innocent people. They destroy things that are good. They can't fathom the concepts we hold dear, because they seek to destroy them. They couldn't begin to relate to "freedom" and "life" and "responsibility" otherwise they'd have made far different choices and wouldn't be killing and raping.

Sure, if you ask the average inmate if they'd rather be free they'll say yes. But I'd suggest that if you can't even understand, relate to, or identify with the concepts of freedom, locking you in a cell doesn't even begin to dent the surface of 'punishment'.

I think you have a somewhat black & white view of violent crime and the people that commit them. While it may be true that some violent criminals are purely socio-pathic predators, plenty of violent crimes are committed by highly intelligent people who could easily "fathom" the concepts of freedom, life & responsibility. That doesn't mean that they are good people, or that they value the lives of others in the way that most people do, but to suggest that they can't conceive of prison as a punishment, just because they are criminals, is extremely naive.

vaticanplum
03-09-2007, 12:45 AM
And what exactly does a person who murders, rapes and reeks havoc on society have to live for? What sort of great things have they aspired to? What sort of great positive imprints have they made on society?

Are the folks who commit crimes worthy of the death penalty generally carving out some great lives for themselves? Are they on some upward path in life? Are they on the verge of "turning it all around"?

Do these kinds of people sit around and pontificate the meaning of freedom? Do they consider the essense of anything worth living for? Do they see innocence and seek to protect it?

No. They kill. They rape. They take away all of these things from innocent people. They destroy things that are good. They can't fathom the concepts we hold dear, because they seek to destroy them. They couldn't begin to relate to "freedom" and "life" and "responsibility" otherwise they'd have made far different choices and wouldn't be killing and raping.

If you truely understand freedom, you would never, ever consider taking it away from someone else. You may be tempted, especially under emotional distress, but you wouldn't act on it when push came to shove.

Sure, if you ask the average inmate if they'd rather be free they'll say yes. But I'd suggest that if you can't even understand, relate to, or identify with the concepts of freedom, locking you in a cell doesn't even begin to dent the surface of 'punishment'.

I don't understand how your post relates back to what I was saying. You seem to have an idea that people who have committed very serious crimes are living a life they are not. Many maximum-security prisons in this country involve solitary confinement in a tiny windowless room for up to 23 hours a day. There is no work. There is no exercise. There is no "entertainment". I hear this argument a lot, that taxpayers are paying for prisoners to do things that they're simply not. Not these prisoners.

To me, that IS punishment. That is saying: we're giving you nothing else to do, literally nothing else on earth, but to think about what you did until your body gives out. It doesn't have to do with rehabilitation or freedom. It's punishment. It's really quite simple. The death penalty, by contrast, is revenge. It has far more to do with appeasing those left on earth than it does punishing the perpetrator.

Ltlabner
03-09-2007, 12:49 AM
To me, that IS punishment. That is saying: we're giving you nothing else to do, literally nothing else on earth, but to think about what you did until your body gives out. It doesn't have to do with rehabilitation or freedom. It's punishment. It's really quite simple. The death penalty, by contrast, is revenge. It has far more to do with appeasing those left on earth than it does punishing the perpetrator.

And I'm saying to the types of criminals who would commit these crimes it's not punishment at all. They don't understand the concept of freedom, so how in the world could taking it away punish them? Society is standing over them saying "bad person, now go sit and do nothing" and the criminal is thinking, "uh....ok....what's for dinner".

How many seconds of the day do you think they actually spend thinking about their crime?

Basically the "they have to think about it till they die" argument is an extension of "go to your room and think about what you did" on a grander scale. Whoopie do.

George Foster
03-09-2007, 12:55 AM
The death penalty, by contrast, is revenge. It has far more to do with appeasing those left on earth than it does punishing the perpetrator.

The death penalty is not revenge, it is the ultimate punishment, for the ultimate crime. Persons on death row, must think prison is a lot better than death because very, very few stop the appeals process.

vaticanplum
03-09-2007, 12:59 AM
And I'm saying to the types of criminals who would commit these crimes it's not punishment at all. They don't understand the concept of freedom, so how in the world could taking it away punish them? Society is standing over them saying "bad person, now go sit and do nothing" and the criminal is thinking, "uh....ok....what's for dinner".

How many seconds of the day do you think they actually spend thinking about their crime?

That's precisely the point, Ltlabner. They are not given the opportunity to think about anything else. What's for dinner? Same thing. Every day. For the rest of your life. You're reduced to the most basic animalistic functions.


Basically the "they have to think about it till they die" argument is an extension of "go to your room and think about what you did" on a grander scale. Whoopie do.

No, it isn't. You always get to leave your room at some point. The fact that you think of sitting in a tiny room for the rest of your life, with nothing to do, as a light punishment quite frankly makes me question your own concept of freedom.

Ltlabner
03-09-2007, 01:06 AM
You're reduced to the most basic animalistic functions.

These types of criminals are already reduced to their most basic animalistic functions. By locking them up for life all you've done is change their scenery.


The fact that you think of sitting in a tiny room for the rest of your life, with nothing to do, as a light punishment quite frankly makes me question your own concept of freedom.

Actually, if you read my posts, I said it's not punishment for those who don't understand freedom (ie. criminals of this type). I'd imagine that the both of us would go completey bonkers in about 2 weeks with nothing to do all day but look at our shoes. Then again, we both understand freedom and neither of us is likely to go out a killing and a rapeing anytime soon are we?

Because it is a punishment for you doesn't mean that it will have any effect whatsoever on the type of person capabile of these henous crimes.

pedro
03-09-2007, 01:10 AM
These types of criminals are already reduced to their most basic animalistic functions. By locking them up for life all you've done is change their scenery.



Actually, if you read my posts, I said it's not punishment those who don't understand freedom (ie. criminals of this type). I'd imagine that the both of us would go completey bonkers in about 2 weeks with nothing to do all day but look at our shoes. Then again, we both understand freedom and neither of us is likely to go out a killing and a rapeing anytime soon are we?

You're reducing people to a stereotype based on their actions which is a gross oversimplification. Violent criminals spring from all types of minds, dim as well as brilliant.

Ltlabner
03-09-2007, 01:13 AM
You're reducing people to a stereotype based on their actions which is a gross oversimplification. Violent criminals spring from all types of minds, dim as well as brilliant.

I'm not saying these people are ignorant. They may in a technical sense be brilliant. But that doesn't mean they comprehend the true meaning of freedom, let alone value it.

They operate on an entirelly different set of rules. Those rules don't happen to include "don't kill and rape people".

vaticanplum
03-09-2007, 01:17 AM
Ok, Ltlabner. I think your argument is grossly simplistic and baseless, but taken at face value, I ask you this: how does the death penalty then serve as punishment? They don't value freedom; obviously, if they've killed, they don't value life. By your standard, taking away their own life is a concept beyond their comprehension. So how is it punishment for the perpetrator and not revenge for others?

pedro
03-09-2007, 01:19 AM
I'd argue that the mind that thinks these sorts of crimes are acceptable is not brilliant.

I'm not saying these people are ignorant.

I'm saying they operate on an entirelly different set of rules. One of those rules is not "don't kill and rape other people".

You're arguing that just because they committed violent crime that they can't understand the concept or experience of prison as punishment which is an unfounded and misguided view of both humanity and criminality.

RFS62
03-09-2007, 07:47 AM
It doesn't matter what they understand or don't understand.

We're not talking about the wrong they've done.

We're talking about not lowering ourselves as a society and doing the same wrong.

Taking a human life, unless in self defense, is wrong.

Ltlabner
03-09-2007, 08:12 AM
Ok, Ltlabner. I think your argument is grossly simplistic and baseless, but taken at face value, I ask you this: how does the death penalty then serve as punishment? They don't value freedom; obviously, if they've killed, they don't value life. By your standard, taking away their own life is a concept beyond their comprehension. So how is it punishment for the perpetrator and not revenge for others?

I think not understanding that these types of criminals operate by different rules and standards is simplistic and nieve. So I guess we're even then. :)

Execution has several comonents IMO. Punishment for the criminal as their life is terminated. You are right that they don't likely their own lives but death is something we all try to avoid (with not too much sucess, I might add). So on some level they connect with it as a "bad idea". Probably because it's as cold and brutal as they are.

Revenge is also certinally a component. So is getting a speeding ticket when you speed. Different crimes different levels of revenge, but revenge none the less. Frankly when someone has committed acts so horrific and gastly they offend the sensabilities of societ as a whole, I don't think a little revenge is such a bad thing.

BTW, since you've deamed my opionions as baseless, where are the supporting facts and reams of research for yours? And I don't mean linking to a few anti-death penalty websites. The idea that sitting around doing nothing is as sevear as the death penalty is an equally baseless opinion.

Roy Tucker
03-09-2007, 08:23 AM
Not meant to take the thread off track (if it was ever on one), but fyi...

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1582304,00.html

Ltlabner
03-09-2007, 08:33 AM
Not meant to take the thread off track (if it was ever on one), but fyi...

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1582304,00.html

Interesting article. Glad to see there was no adgenda behind it being written. :laugh:

So basically even solitary confinement is too mean and horible for people. Good lord. Maybe we should give them some self-esteeme classes and a hug from their mommy and see if that does the trick. :barf:

RedFanAlways1966
03-09-2007, 08:39 AM
So basically even solitary confinement is too mean and horible for people. Good lord. Maybe we should give them some self-esteeme classes and a hug from their mommy and see if that does the trick.

No crime, no time. That is as simple as it gets. No murder, no injection. Also a simple concept.

Ltlabner
03-09-2007, 08:54 AM
No crime, no time. That is as simple as it gets. No murder, no injection. Also a simple concept.

Is that the same as "we sell no wine before it's time" ?

MaineRed
03-09-2007, 09:00 AM
The same wrong? Who said anything about raping the guy and burying him alive?


Can I slap you if you offend me? Break your window if your kid breaks mine? Blow your car up if you blow up mine?

Comparing a broken window to a little girl who was raped and then put in the ground while still alive is just shameful.

Its amazing how much some of you value the life of the scum who did this to the little girl, while forgetting about the little girl.

Can you break my window? No, but you can probably get restitution through legal means.

Care to explain what restitution Jessica's dad is going to get? Oh, her killer is in prison, YIPPEE!

dabvu2498
03-09-2007, 09:18 AM
Considering the cost of an execution as a factor in deciding if we as a society are going to execute people seems obscene to me.

It's a moral question only.

And it's a bridge I can't cross. I don't believe in the death penalty.

Good call.

However, this is a country of laws. If the laws of this country say there is a death penalty, on a legal basis, I defer to the law.

On a personal basis, I think the death penalty is an atrocity.

Here's some more info: http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/FactSheet.pdf

Take particular notice of the pie charts and the Hart Research Poll's survey of police chiefs on the last page.

zombie-a-go-go
03-09-2007, 09:24 AM
12:19 Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 12:20 Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head. 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

:dunno:

GAC
03-09-2007, 09:33 AM
Its amazing how much some of you value the life of the scum who did this to the little girl, while forgetting about the little girl.

Absolutely. But some will then say "we can't correct what this criminal did and bring this little girl back; but what we can attempt to do is try and rehabilitate this criminal, and instead of two lives being removed from this earth, we have possibly "redeemed" the one still here.

Unfortunately, and in many people's eyes, justice was not served. And it's not my form of justice, or anyone else's concept of justice; but the justice of One whom we can't mention on this forum due to it's religious nature. ;)

We have allowed the "pendulum" to swing waaaay to far in the other direction, in this so-called noble attempt to be "above the murderer" or more humane, in our efforts to protect the rights of that murderer rather then those of the victim.

And how many times has our judicial system allowed these people right back out on the streets again (parole, early release, prison over crowding, etc), only to see them commit murder or some other heinous crime again?

I find it the highest form of disregard for human life, and it's value, to allow those who would, with premeditation, and without a second thought, maliciously take a human life.

It's not lowering ourselves to their level. It is one of the roles of government, in any civil society, to maintain order and uphold the laws, and as needed - to exact justice upon the guilty.

When I look at all those on death row - and I'm referring strictly to those who are nothing more then cold-blooded murderers - and who probably wouldn't "bat an eyelash" in doing it again. And the only remorse they show is that they got caught. And justice aside for a moment - why should society as a whole have to bear the burden, whether it's emotional and/or financial, of having to support and keep these individuals alive for the remainder of their days in solitary, where they are never going to contribute to that society?

In earlier discussions of times past, I heard some advocate a position that it was better to abort (kill) the unborn rather then the possibility of having them grow up in poverty, grow up into a life of crime, or never contributing to that society. And they are the true innocent! Many have no problem with that position at all.

Yet they'll fight "tooth and nail", in an effort to be more "humane" to protect the life of a cold blooded murderer. Go figure.

And after saying that - I think this discussion needs to be carried on over in the Peanut Gallery for those interested in doing so. ;)

GAC
03-09-2007, 09:36 AM
:dunno:

That's referring to personal (individual) vengeance Zombie. Yes, it is wrong for an individual to try and exact vengeance or try and take personal retribution out on one who has committed an atrocity or wrong towards them. Now read into the next chapter (13), and it tells you who's role it is to carry out justice and to meet punishment. It even asks the question "does the government yield the sword for naught?"

So if you read those two chapters, and keep them in their context, the deterrent to the criminal is two-fold: First, the government. And if that's not enough to "deter" them, then there's that issue of having to one day face God.

NJReds
03-09-2007, 10:14 AM
I suspect you're confusing your definitions of 'justice' and 'vengeance.'

Nope. There is nothing that can be done in this case that serves as "justice" for the crime committed, IMO. Burying a little girl alive... But my bias may come from the fact that I have a young daughter.

As for 'mental illness' as an excuse...there's a cheerful old man who was caught in my town trying to lure two young girls into his car (which contained duct tape, rope and a knife). They screamed and ran away. Someone took notice and wrote down his licence plate number. He was caught...remanded to a psychiatric hospital...and let go after someone posted bond ($100K ... probably his lawyer). Now he's on the street again.

So when he finally does rape and kill someone, I guess mental illness will be the excuse?

MaineRed
03-09-2007, 10:23 AM
You bet it will NJRed. And there will be some dope lawyer with less morals than John Couey standing up there:

"Your honor, my client, clearly ........"

GAC
03-09-2007, 10:28 AM
Nope. There is nothing that can be done in this case that serves as "justice" for the crime committed, IMO. Burying a little girl alive... But my bias may come from the fact that I have a young daughter.

As for 'mental illness' as an excuse...there's a cheerful old man who was caught in my town trying to lure two young girls into his car (which contained duct tape, rope and a knife). They screamed and ran away. Someone took notice and wrote down his licence plate number. He was caught...remanded to a psychiatric hospital...and let go after someone posted bond ($100K ... probably his lawyer). Now he's on the street again.

So when he finally does rape and kill someone, I guess mental illness will be the excuse?

And what you just illustrated is not an isolated case either. There have been many similar situations in this locale alone, and nation-wide, over the last several years. We had a guy living right around the corner from us that propositioned a 5 yr old girl for oral sex - he got a slap on the wrist. So he then raped a 9 yr old girl. He was then let out on bond until his trial. It was no comfort having this deviate living a few doors down for 6 months awaiting his trial while my kids were riding their bikes in the neighborhood.

Committing evil is not always due to "mental illlness". Not saying there aren't instances; but it sure has given a lot of these individuals, via their lawyers, who are nothing more then evil manifested, with no conscience or soul, a nice little legal "out".

So what if you were abused as a child or had some childlike trauma or experience. Manson did too! That is still no excuse or justification for committing a murder or other heinous act.

I wish I could remember the name of the child predator/molester who gave a TV interview about 2-3 years ago. This guy had a 25 year record of molesting children and being in and out of prison. He had been through numerous programs to try and rehabilitate the guy. They'd let him out, and he'd do it again and be right back in. He was finally interviewed from prison and the guy said "If you value your children and their safety, then you will never let me out of prison ever."

Not only our judicial system, but also our psychological community need to take to heart the testimony of guys like this. But they won't, and they'll keep trying to rehab them and cutting them loose again.

Chip R
03-09-2007, 10:50 AM
And I'm saying to the types of criminals who would commit these crimes it's not punishment at all. They don't understand the concept of freedom, so how in the world could taking it away punish them? Society is standing over them saying "bad person, now go sit and do nothing" and the criminal is thinking, "uh....ok....what's for dinner".

How many seconds of the day do you think they actually spend thinking about their crime?

Basically the "they have to think about it till they die" argument is an extension of "go to your room and think about what you did" on a grander scale. Whoopie do.


I can see your point. However, and I know it's hard to quantify this, it may be that confinement for the rest of one's life is worse for a person than ending their lives. There are some people out there who would be just fine if they were executed. It would put them out of their misery. Perhaps someone is clausterphobic. Being confined 23 hours a day in a small cell might be a greater punishment than ending their lives.

registerthis
03-09-2007, 10:56 AM
But the cost of the appeals, reviews and various other processes are what bost up the total cost of executing the criminal. Of course there should be appeals, reviews, etc in the process, but I can't believe anyone would argue that the legal process is a streamlined, effecient process.

Who's arguing that it's streamlined and efficient? I'm arguing for the opposite, actually. If our government has decided to use our tax money to assert a moral authority to kill people in the name of justice, i want them to make every effort possible to ensure that they're executing the "right" people. The death penalty is a scourge on this country that, as a U.S. citizen, I must hold my nose and tolerate until such time as it finally gets repealed. Until then, I support taking as much time and as many appeals as the justice system feels are necessary in order to do it "right".


I only pointed out that the government does stuff I don't like with my tax dollars because you said you object to your money being use to fund executions. I was trying to say in a nice way, why are your wishes for the use of tax monies special while mine aren't?

I raised the point because you took issue with your tax money being used to house, clothe and feed prisoners. So, right back atcha--why should your wishes trump mine?

The answer, of course, has nothing to do with the personal feelings of U.S. citizens as to how their money is spent, and like RFS said basing your argument in support of/against the death penalty on financial grounds is absurd. Unless your idea of justice comes with an asterisk that mandates it only if financially feasible. The death penalty IS a moral question, not a financial one. Which is precisely where my opposition to it stems from.

registerthis
03-09-2007, 11:05 AM
Revenge is also certinally a component. So is getting a speeding ticket when you speed. Different crimes different levels of revenge, but revenge none the less.

Completely disagree. A speeding ticket is a penalty for exceeding the speed limit, and is meant to deter people from doing that.

Perhaps a visit to Webster's is in order, to identify what "revenge" means, exactly:


re·venge
Pronunciation [ri-venj]
noun – verb (used with object)
1. to exact punishment or expiation for a wrong on behalf of, esp. in a resentful or vindictive spirit: He revenged his murdered brother.
2. to take vengeance for; inflict punishment for; avenge: He revenged his brother's murder.
–verb (used without object) 3. to take revenge.
–noun 4. the act of revenging; retaliation for injuries or wrongs; vengeance.
5. something done in vengeance.
6. the desire to revenge; vindictiveness.
7. an opportunity to retaliate or gain satisfaction.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Origin: 1350–1400; ME revengen (v.) < MF, OF revenger, equiv. to re- re- + venger to avenge < L vindicāre; see vindicate]

Now, perhaps my grasp of the English language just isn't that great, but would you mind showing me which of these definitions applies to someone receiving a speeding ticket for exceeding the posted speed limit?

registerthis
03-09-2007, 11:10 AM
BTW, the map below represents the countries that have abolished the death penalty (in blue), abolished it but for "special circumstances" (green), retain it but haven't used it for at least 10 years (orange) and retain it and use it (red).

I gotta tell you, we're in some pretty good company here.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cb/Death_Penalty_World_Map.png/400px-Death_Penalty_World_Map.png

GAC
03-09-2007, 11:14 AM
Who's arguing that it's streamlined and efficient? I'm arguing for the opposite, actually. If our government has decided to use our tax money to assert a moral authority to kill people in the name of justice, i want them to make every effort possible to ensure that they're executing the "right" people. The death penalty is a scourge on this country that, as a U.S. citizen, I must hold my nose and tolerate until such time as it finally gets repealed. Until then, I support taking as much time and as many appeals as the justice system feels are necessary in order to do it "right".

The system does need improved utilizing the newest and latest scientific and forensic techniques now available. And they have been doing so. So I agree with you on that aspect. But I don't believe it should, nor ever will be, repealed. It was tried/instituted before, with the Supreme Court behind it (and in some situations rightfully so). And states have amended their procedures to show those "revisions" and meet the constitutionality requirements.



The death penalty IS a moral question, not a financial one. Which is precisely where my opposition to it stems from.

And I respect that. But WHO's morals? Who sets that standard that guides you? And why are so many concerned about the moral rights of a murderer then they are of the victim and/or family?

And many today argue that it is even immoral to incarcerate an individual for the rest of their lives in a tiny cell, and that it is a form of inhumane torture? How do you address those individual's position?

M2
03-09-2007, 11:17 AM
So reg, you think it would be better to be in line with most of the civilized world rather than Mongolia and Iran?

GAC
03-09-2007, 11:20 AM
BTW, the map below represents the countries that have abolished the death penalty (in blue), abolished it but for "special circumstances" (green), retain it but haven't used it for at least 10 years (orange) and retain it and use it (red).

I gotta tell you, we're in some pretty good company here.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cb/Death_Penalty_World_Map.png/400px-Death_Penalty_World_Map.png

Mexico has no need to execute them. They just slip them over the border to us. Lou Dobbs recently reported that 33 percent of our prison population is now comprised of non-citizens. :mooner:

WMR
03-09-2007, 11:28 AM
It's really about time to close this thread b/c my next response to some of this crap is definitely going to be political.

registerthis
03-09-2007, 11:41 AM
And I respect that. But WHO's morals? Who sets that standard that guides you? And why are so many concerned about the moral rights of a murderer then they are of the victim and/or family?

I'm sorry GAC, this isn't personally against you, but that's a completely bogus comparison that you're making, and I see it made all the time. It goes something like this: People who don't support the death penalty are placing the rights of the perpetrator over the victim or their family. And it's utter crap.

What Couey did to the girl is sickening, and if it were up to me I'd likely pull the trigger on the guy myself. To think that anyone could be that cruel and inhumane is mind-boggling. My heart goes out to the girl and her family, and I want to see justice served as much as anyone else. But it's the idea of "justice" on which we disagree.

I don't believe an eye for an eye, or in this case, a life for a life, is justice. It doesn't bring Jessica back or prevent the crime from occuring, and the threat of being executed doesn't deter people from committing crimes. Many of us WANT to see Couey killed--as I said, I wouldn't mind myself. But it's exactly why we are not empowered to make such decisions.

Executing people is nothing more than vengeance for a crime. And I've seen it argued in this thread that, apparently, that's OK. I disagree--our government shouldn't be in the business of exacting revenge and seeking vengeance for crimes that we as a society deem particularly heinous. So enough with this "placing the rights of the perpetrator above the victim" nonsense.


And many today argue that it is even immoral to incarcerate an individual for the rest of their lives in a tiny cell, and that it is a form of inhumane torture? How do you address those individual's position?

...and some people feel that jailing drug offenders is wrong, or sending mentally retarded individuals to prison is wrong. My response is the same to all of them: if the practice is indeed inhumane, it is a debate that we should have in the public sphere to determine its rightfulness. Perhaps lifelong imprionsment IS inhumane; I can't say for sure. But what I can say with absolutely clear conviction and clean moral conscience is that the state's practice of executing people for crimes isn't a practice the state should be partaking in--it is the one type of punishment that I don't believe should be open for public debate, for the reasons I stated above.

registerthis
03-09-2007, 11:42 AM
So reg, you think it would be better to be in line with most of the civilized world rather than Mongolia and Iran?

I prefer to be in line with Yemen and Zaire, but to each their own.

oneupper
03-09-2007, 11:54 AM
...it is the one type of punishment that I don't believe should be open for public debate, for the reasons I stated above.

You are entitled to your own interpretation of the EIGHTH ammendment, although some of us may disagree.

However, please don't mess with the FIRST ammendment and ALLOW us to disagree.

flyer85
03-09-2007, 12:00 PM
Each person, based on their own morals, can have their own personal opinion about the application of the death penalty. As far as the State of Florida is concerned it is a legislative question. The state has a constitution and laws have been passed that make it legal for the state to execute convicted criminals.

If people don't like the death penalty they need to campaign to get the laws changed, legislatively, like William Wilberforce did. "Amazing Grace" is a great example of persistence and the moral force of an argument to enact legislative change. Wilberforce fought for almost 50 years to see the end of the slave trend and then the abolition of slavery within the empire.

oneupper
03-09-2007, 12:05 PM
Oh...and a little tidbit about that world map and the death penalty.

I come from a "blue" country -Venezuela- where the maximum sentence for any crime is 30 years (and no consecutive sentences).

However, I assure you that many of us would prefer death to 30 years in a Venezuelan prison. Just so you have an idea, in 2006 alone, there were 378 violent (riots, murders, etc) deaths of inmates in Venezuelan prisons.
Compare that to maybe 60 or 80 executions in the US (a country 10 times larger in population).

Look hard...the world ain't as "enlightened" as many may think.

M2
03-09-2007, 12:21 PM
I prefer to be in line with Yemen and Zaire, but to each their own.

Per Amnesty International, in 2005 94% of all known executions took place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. (China's the runaway leader, we're more in line with the two who still hold public stonings).

Two interesting stats I ran across is that, by far and going away, the most dangerous profession in the U.S. in terms of getting murdered is taxi driver, so remember to tip your cabbie well. And internationally it seems that murder rates and suicide rates have an inverse relationship. Where the murder rates are high, the suicide rates are. Where the murder rates are low, the suicide rates are high.

http://www.benbest.com/lifeext/whodeath.jpg

Make of that what you will.

M2
03-09-2007, 12:30 PM
Random idea about putting democracy in action:

What if you could select whether you are for or against the death penalty when you reach age of majority? Those for it would be subject to it and face juries selected from those who are for it. Those against it wouldn't be subject to it.

Heck we could even break it down monetarily so that the pro death penalty group could pay for the incarceration, trial and execution accused of a capital crime in a death penalty case and those opposed would pay for the trial and incarceration of anyone accused of a capital crime in a non death penalty case.

Sure it's kind of Sneethcy, but it's a concept I find interesting at the moment.

registerthis
03-09-2007, 12:39 PM
However, please don't mess with the FIRST ammendment and ALLOW us to disagree.

Wow, I didn't know I had the power to keep people from disagreeing with me. I need to use that more often!

registerthis
03-09-2007, 12:41 PM
Look hard...the world ain't as "enlightened" as many may think.

I'd just rather emulate the U.K. than Oman.

But, again, that's just me.

oneupper
03-09-2007, 12:46 PM
Wow, I didn't know I had the power to keep people from disagreeing with me. I need to use that more often!

Respectfully, you're the one saying the issue shouldn't be open for debate.

registerthis
03-09-2007, 12:47 PM
Random idea about putting democracy in action:

What if you could select whether you are for or against the death penalty when you reach age of majority? Those for it would be subject to it and face juries selected from those who are for it. Those against it wouldn't be subject to it.

Heck we could even break it down monetarily so that the pro death penalty group could pay for the incarceration, trial and execution accused of a capital crime in a death penalty case and those opposed would pay for the trial and incarceration of anyone accused of a capital crime in a non death penalty case.

Sure it's kind of Sneethcy, but it's a concept I find interesting at the moment.

Why stop at the death penalty?

We could choose mandatory castration for rapists, the chopping off of hands and feet for thieves, the disembowelment of kidnappers, etc.

Jonathon the Vampire, who was running for governor of Minnesota, ran on the ticket of impaling criminals on the statehouse lawn. I'm somewhat surprised he didn't get more support for that idea; I guess we just like our executions quick and bloodless. Injection with potassium chloride = good, impalement with metal pole = bad.

registerthis
03-09-2007, 12:48 PM
Respectfully, you're the one saying the issue shouldn't be open for debate.

Oh, you can debate it. But there's no law that says anyone--including the government--must listen to you.

You can believe that red light runners should be sentenced to death by firing squad, for all I care...but I don't htink the government should pay any attention to you.

oneupper
03-09-2007, 12:54 PM
Oh, you can debate it. But there's no law that says anyone--including the government--must listen to you.


True...that's why we elect people.

You can find solace in that your point of view is gaining ground.


New Gallup Poll Reveals Growing Number of Americans Favors Life Without Parole
A May 2006 Gallup Poll examining American opinion about the death penalty found that when given a choice between the sentencing options of life without parole and the death penalty, only 47% of respondents chose capital punishment, the lowest percentage in two decades. Forty-eight percent favored life without parole for those convicted of murder. The poll also revealed that overall support for the death penalty remains low at 65%, down significantly from 1994 when 80% supported capital punishment. When asked whether the death penalty deters murder, 64% of those polled stated that it does not; only 34% believe it does deter. This is a dramatic shift from the 1980s and early 1990s, when the majority of Americans still believed that the death penalty prevented murder. 63% of those polled believe that an innocent person has been executed in the past 5 years, an increase over previous results. (Gallup News Service, June 1, 2006).

Dom Heffner
03-09-2007, 01:00 PM
Compare that to maybe 60 or 80 executions in the US (a country 10 times larger in population).


Well, you have to add in U.S. prison deaths as well, don't you? Probably another 100 a year or so.

You make an interesting point, but I'm not really concerned about other countries, to be honest.

The issue here is this: We need to ask ourselves if we as citizens of this country can make the moral decision to end someone's life for a heinous crime such as murder.

Do we have that moral authority? For now, this country feels as we do.

It doesn't make it right, of course, but that's where we are right now.

I'm of about 50 minds on the subject to be truthful. I see both sides of the issue, I really do.

flyer85
03-09-2007, 01:03 PM
Do we have that moral authority? For now, this country feels as we do.

It doesn't make it right, of course, but that's where we are right now.it's a legislative decision, as it should be. Many states don't currently have the death penalty because they have passed the apporpriate legislation. The point is that it should be settled by the political process and not removed from it.

GAC
03-09-2007, 01:04 PM
I'm sorry GAC, this isn't personally against you, but that's a completely bogus comparison that you're making, and I see it made all the time. It goes something like this: People who don't support the death penalty are placing the rights of the perpetrator over the victim or their family. And it's utter crap.

I don't think it's being done intentionally, but unintentionally or sub-consciously. I've never said that those who oppose the death penalty are not, in concept, trying to do something they feel is noble and humane.

I wish we lived in an "ideal" world where people didn't commit such heinous crimes against their fellow man. But we don't live in such a place, and the reason it is in the "state" it's in has everything to do with man and his own behavior.

We seem to be wanting to try and create this "perfect" world, this type of utopia, that IMHO is again a noble venture, but very unattainable due to man's own state.

And what I am saying reg is that in that "process" of trying to attain that, and trying to be humane and just towards ALL (including the criminal), we're treading on, or placing less emphasis on the victims (and their family/loved ones).


I don't believe an eye for an eye, or in this case, a life for a life, is justice. It doesn't bring Jessica back or prevent the crime from occuring

I respect that reg; but the enactment of justice, in the form of the death penalty, is not based on "we can't bring Jessica back" mentality. That has nothing to do with it, and shouldn't even be a part of the equation.


and the threat of being executed doesn't deter people from committing crimes.

Dismissing capital punishment on that basis requires us to eliminate all prisons as well because they do not seem to be any more effective in the deterrence of crime.

Every state in the union is different. These differences include the populations, number of cities, and yes, the crime rates. Strongly urbanized states are more likely to have higher crime rates than states that are more rural, such as those that lack capital punishment. The states that have capital punishment are compelled to have it due to their higher crime rates, not the other way around.

Capital punishment, like all other applications, must be used consistently in order to be effective. However, the death penalty hasn't been used consistently in the USA for decades. Evidence shows that whenever capital punishment is applied consistently or against a small murder rate it has always been followed by a decrease in murder.

During the temporary suspension on capital punishment from 1972-1976, researchers gathered murder statistics across the country. In 1960, there were 56 executions in the USA and 9,140 murders. By 1964, when there were only 15 executions, the number of murders had risen to 9,250. In 1969, there were no executions and 14,590 murders, and 1975, after six more years without executions, 20,510 murders occurred rising to 23,040 in 1980 after only two executions since 1976. In summary, between 1965 and 1980, the number of annual murders in the United States skyrocketed from 9,960 to 23,040, a 131 percent increase. The murder rate -- homicides per 100,000 persons -- doubled from 5.1 to 10.2. So the number of murders grew as the number of executions shrank.

The graph below drawn by the Bureau of Criminal Justice gives a general overview of the murder rate compared to the number of executions that had taken place in the US up to the year 2000:

http://www.wesleylowe.com/deathpenaltygraph2.jpg

Texas executes more murderers than any other state. The Texas murder rate in 1991 was 15.3 per 100,000. By 1999, it had fallen to 6.1 -- a drop of 60 percent. Within Texas, the most aggressive death penalty prosecutions are in Harris County (the Houston area). Since the resumption of executions in 1982, the annual number of Harris County murders has plummeted from 701 to 241 -- a 72 percent decrease.

Deterrent is not the sole issue. It is simply about justice. If one believes that man is made in the "image of God", then taking the life of another human, depriving them of that being, demands an ultimate punishment. maintained in a perfect balance. Second, we must recognize that God has given the government the authority to determine when capital punishment is due. Christians should never rejoice when the death penalty is employed either.



Many of us WANT to see Couey killed--as I said, I wouldn't mind myself. But it's exactly why we are not empowered to make such decisions.

But who says we are not empowered to make such decisions. Murder and committing crimes against your fellow man is exercising and showing man possesses that "empowerment".


Executing people is nothing more than vengeance for a crime. And I've seen it argued in this thread that, apparently, that's OK.

There is an element of vengeance involved; but to say that it's nothing more then that is then not understanding the concept of justice.

If captured - should Bin Laden be tried, and if found guilty, sentenced to death?

M2
03-09-2007, 01:07 PM
Why stop at the death penalty?

We could choose mandatory castration for rapists, the chopping off of hands and feet for thieves, the disembowelment of kidnappers, etc.

Exactly, so many pay lip service to Hammurabi, well here's your chance to participate in Babylonian justice.

GAC
03-09-2007, 01:08 PM
Why stop at the death penalty?

We could choose mandatory castration for rapists, the chopping off of hands and feet for thieves, the disembowelment of kidnappers, etc.

I was waiting for someone to inject this ridiculous analogy as an argument against the death penalty.

We're talking about MURDER... the malicious taking of another person's life. Not stealing a Snickers Bar from the local 7/11. No one is advocating cutting of anyone's anything. ;)

flyer85
03-09-2007, 01:22 PM
No one is advocating cutting of anyone's anything. ;)... yet :devil:

MaineRed
03-09-2007, 01:26 PM
Well registerthis, you pretty much described John Couey, you just left out the burying the victim alive part.

Death for someone who has gone to the lows that this guy went to is a heckuva lot more humane than what you have suggested. He's getting off easy, REAL easy. He doesn't have to die a slow death. He goes to sleep, bye bye. End of story. It was a choice he made when he took that kids life.

If the guy deserves to be treated like any other criminal, throw him into prision and lets see what happens to him. But nope, we'll have to pay to protect him the rest of his life.

The fact that he couldn't survive in that situation speaks volumes. Even those in prison don't want to be on the same Earth with scum like that. Why in the heck would anyone outside the prison walls want to be?

paintmered
03-09-2007, 01:35 PM
It's time to take this to the peanut gallery as I think it has crossed the threshold into political-territory.

But in all seriousness, thank you for keeping this thread civil.