America's Prison Problem

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America's Prison ProblemThe US locks up more people than any other country in the world, spending over $80 billion each year to keep some two million prisoners behind bars.

Over the past three decades, tough sentencing laws have contributed to a doubling of the country's prison population, with laws like the 'Three Strikes and You're Out' mandating life sentences for a wide range of crimes.

Why does the US put so many people behind bars and what lies behind California's new push for leniency? But a clear sign that Americans are rethinking crime and punishment is a voter's initiative on California's November ballot called Proposition 36 that seeks to reform the state's three-strikes law.

Some 27 states have three-strikes laws patterned after California's version, which was one of the first to be enacted in the country.

Activists who are campaigning to change the three-strikes law in California are also trying to raise awareness about conditions inside prisons. They are targeting the use of special security units at maximum security prisons.

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582 Comments / User Reviews

  1. manfruss

    But it's the land of freedom! :)

  2. Xmen442002

    If we did as Islam did and cut off their hands and feet, how long do you think it would take for violent crimes to come to a screeching halt?

    Crime is big business in America, same as medicine and health care. If you fix the system, the corporations will not profit at our expense.

  3. el5z

    The biblical solution for violent offenders was the death sentence. Instead of wasting tax dollars on these losers who don't respect their fellow man, they need to be eliminated. Pedophiles also should be done away with. This includes catholic priests or ministers who prey on little children and also government officials who
    drain the life and resources of those they were elected to serve. No one should have special privileges because of position, the momentary discomfort of putting someone to death is small payment for the lives they ruin.

  4. Mercenarry ForHire

    Broken, just broken.. or is it?

  5. Xmen442002

    Functioning perfect for corporate gain and the Patriot Act against US people.

  6. DigiWongaDude

    What you are advocating is a dish of intolerance served up with lashings of indifference...a dish that will make you sick to your stomach no matter how tasty it might appear on the menu.

    "Instead of wasting tax dollars on these losers who don't respect their fellow man, they need to be eliminated." - sigh, where to begin with such audacious hypocracy?

  7. Epicurus

    thank goodness we are more moral than the people who wrote the bible eh?

    the people who wrote the bible thought that anyone who disrespected their parents or was gay should be killed also.

    putting people to death is a disgusting inhumane way to deal with problems.

  8. wald0

    "putting people to death is a disgusting inhumane way to deal with problems."

    You are absolutely right- even if our system didn't regularly find innocent people guilty (which it does) this would be no way to solve our problems imho. Well look around, it obviousely hasn't worked- we've had the death penalty in many states for many years and it has done nothing to reduce the homicide rates when compared against states without it. What has been shown to reduce the homicide and violent crime rate is education, employment opportunities, a sense of equality, etc. this is what we need to work on- not klling more people nor locking them up longer.



  10. Peggyspade

    To much freedom is not good either.

  11. Unity

    I completely agree... modern society has found a way to "treat" the symptoms of problems, not the core of the problems themselves.
    As you said wald0, the core problem of violent crime is the environment the person grew up in, not the individual him/her-self.

    The top 10 sold medicines treat symptoms, not a single one of them cures a disease.
    Taking anti-depressants is also treating the symptom of sadness, not the root of the problem.
    Now they are looking at taxing CO2 emissions, a symptom of fosil-fuel over-use... ...take a WILD GUESS... will it work?

  12. el5z

    I am intolerant of violent crime but am not indifferent to the pain of those who receive it.

  13. el5z

    Putting a violent offender to death relieves the taxpaying public of the expense needed to keep their worthless lives going, gives justice to the person injured or aggrieved and relieves the incarerated of years of empty living. Bonus for both sides of the problem!

  14. Harry Nutzack

    funny how those incarcerated for life "3 strikers" supported the law until it applied to them. a prime illustration of why one must be incredibly careful what you ask ol' uncle sam for, because very often you get it. funny, folks who burgle a few thousand dollars worth of junk over a few decades rot in prison for life, while the "white collar criminal" that runs a multi-million dollar ponzi gets a nickel in minimum security. a fairly egregiously corrupt state pol here in florida just began her 6 month fed sentence. which actually did more harm to society? a friend of a friend got 25 years, no parole for scrip kiting of opiates(first offense), while rush limbaugh got a couple years of probation for the same offense a county away. meanwhile, our current governor ran the distributor that marketed incredibly unreasonable quantities of the same drugs in this state. folks get 20 years for cultivation of canabis, while others get 10 (or less)for child molestation. there is neither rhyme, nor reason applied to who goes to jail for what, and how long, in this country. most of the inequity results from knee jerk legislation designed to quell public out roar to perceived threats. that perception is often clouded by media driven frenzy. even the application of "violent felony" violators is unrealistic, as the guy who ends up in the middle of a bar room brawl is the same as the collector for the loan shark. while both indeed engaged in felonious assault, there is a marked difference in actual potential risk to the community. the simple solution? none exists. our legal system needs a complete overhaul, our criminal codes need to be insulated from political gamesmanship. justice needs her scales re-calibrated, and her blindfold re-applied. i have no doubt people exist who are beyond redemption, fiends whose nature is so foul they can never really function in society. i also know that a prison sentence can make someone with genuine potential to rejoin society into one of those fiends, while others gain an insight from the experience that motivates them to become model citizens after release. much depends on the individual. much depends on the prison environment.

  15. Harry Nutzack

    if the only benchmark used is expense, then even the non-violent offender is a candidate for the needle. there are many serving sentences ranging from 15 years to multiple life sentences who never had a conviction for any type of violent crime. many of those sentences are federal "no parole" variety that stem from "drug trafficking". that first ex-con they showed sweeping streets had no violent offenses, yet his last bid was 13 years. the man testifying before the legislators had served 18 on a bad conviction. i have little problem with executing genuine fiends who are beyond redemption, but those are actually pretty rare, and in many cases are manufactured by conditions they faced in prison on previous convictions. you offer up a simple solution to an incredibly complex problem, and it appears to be wholly motivated by your wallet.

  16. el5z

    You need to read me carefully; I said, those who commit violent crimes that ruin the lives of others. My wallet is not the issue here; a solution to the problem is and I guarantee if the death penalty were an option and used more frequently, the rate of offenders would go down. I have no empathy for the psychopaths that live undetected till they wreak havoc in the lives of others.

  17. Epicurus

    what is justice? how does killing someone give justice?

    saying it will save money to kill people isnt a good argument for me. but of course by poisoning the well and calling them "worthless" you dont have to worry about making a good argument.

    and you can ask people on death row if they would rather be killed or be placed in prison for life. im sure the vast majority will choose to live.

  18. Epicurus

    and nothing takes pain away like taking the life of someone!

    ......and what about the pain of the people attached to that humans life that we have now taken?

  19. Epicurus

    lol spelling isnt your strongest skill is it?

  20. el5z

    You have persuasive words and a valid point of view; on the other hand if death is not a deterrent then in effect those who perpetuate violence are asking to die. And to stretch the thought a bit, if the government can send drones in to kill innocent people in foreign countries, why is it wrong to kill deviants that can't function in society without bars.

  21. DigiWongaDude

    Look...I'm sure you can not believe the state (or any nation) has a perfect justice system. But with the death penalty you can not make mistakes. Why? Because you end up with 'State Murder of Innocent Citizens, Conditionally Sanctioned'.

    Now, let's suppose that due to the monetary savings gained, and the 'bonus for both sides' you refer to, you'd still 'pass it through'. Don't you see that it then becomes a debate around which crimes qualify, and who's to say what crime pays with your life? Did you watch Minority Report?! Suffice to say it's a can of worms.

    ...this video shows the system can not get it right even without the complexities involved of advocating the death penalty.

  22. el5z

    Justice isn't meant to make people feel good when they don't deserve to; justice is redress for a wrong committed and people on death row have few if any rights. Their family can deal with the pain just as a victim's family deals with their pain.

  23. Epicurus

    government should do neither of those things. but just because it does one doesnt mean it ought to do both.

  24. Emanouel

    Who cares whether the death penalty deters crime?
    For certain crimes, there should be zero tolerance.
    It's about punishment for the offender and justice for the victims.
    Send the message loud and clear; that if you are prepared to wilfully take a life then be prepared to give your own.

  25. DigiWongaDude

    Haven't you seen how its done...something like this:

    "Look if you plead not guilty, they'll put you in the electric chair. Plead guilty and I can get you life".

    God forbid but hey man, you trust the system?

  26. el5z

    So much confusion in all of your comments describing what society has become today. I too feel the pain of what has happened and do not understand how far we have disintegrated. I did get some insight recently by watching a movie called "Thrive". If you haven't seen it you should take time to watch as there is more than what meets the eye causing many of the problems that exist today.

  27. Emanouel

    I agree, you can't trust the system.
    No perpetrator will confess to a crime when the death penalty is the only outcome.
    But many crimes are fairly obvious.
    Look at the Norway killer Anders Breivik; killed 77 people, including many children. He got 21 years jail. Is this justice for the families of those slain children?

  28. Harry Nutzack

    i'm not "confused", i just don't offer up feel good kneejerk solutions. it's very easy to say "just kill those inhuman (insert your pet crime here), and be done with it". but all it means is the ones without means get the needle, and the ones that are in some way connected get a pass. sometimes, in order for the connected ones to get that pass, it ends up that one without means takes the fall. sometimes, just to shut up the mob of outraged citizenry, one without means is set up to take the fall. sometimes, just because it makes the stats look better, to close the case, one without means is set up to take the fall. sometimes, because the cop will directly benefit by it, the one without means is set up to take the fall. in your scenario, every one of those "sometimes" means an innocent loses his life at the hands of the state. it also means the true perp can never be tried for it, as the state has already exacted its "pound of flesh". illinois just recently enacted a law allowing hearsay evidence so they could convict an ex cop of murdering his wife, even though they have no evidence of murder. if that passes muster with the supremes, it will set a precedent that will allow any scummer with an axe to grind to accuse another by saying "jimmy told me that johnny told him he did it". such a precedent will put more innocents either in lifer cells, or under the shadow of the needle. the law was enacted due to pressure from the "honest citizens", and the deep seated need by pols not to be seen as "soft on crime". until you can assure me that all those "sometimes" never exist, that no innocent will take the needle for somebody else, or that all who stand accused rightfully will get the same fate, then capital punishment can't be supported. if that means obviously guilty monsters have to be warehoused for decades, then so be it.

  29. dewflirt

    It seems that we in Britain view prison as punishment but the US sees prison as a place to punish people further. Very old fashioned. I'm not, by the way, saying that Britain is any better, just different :)

  30. Romangabriel123

    The criminal justice system in America is an industry. They lock up the drug dealers for long periods of time and let the people who physically victimize people out much sooner. $20.00 of crack cocaine could get you 10 years in prison. Sexually assault someone and get 2 years. No logic with the system.

  31. Romangabriel123

    In Oregon they have what they call Measure 11. I work in the juvenile justice filed and have witnessed kids being charged with M-11 for touching a females breast. The DA's don't care about the kids M-11 helps further their careers. They tell people they have successfully prosecuted so many M-11 cases. It's a sick system.

  32. wald0

    The purpose of the judicial system is not to provide revenge for people who have been affected by violent crime, its there to remove the threat from the general population and try to reform these people when possible. That is justice, we have only let people redefine it as revenge- which is unfortunate. If at the end of a 21 year sentence this man has not been rehabilitated he should remain incarcerated. However, we have no idea why this man did what he did and niether does he- do you understand why you want to do the things you want to do? Do you really have free will to control those wants? The only difference is that this man's mind formed a dysfunctional, disgusting want and he acted on it. We can and should blame him for that ACTION- but not for the want to act. If we ever hope to prevent this type fo behavior we have to understand what causes it- why did the desire to indiscriminatley kill innocent people form in this mans mind, why did he act on that desire once it formed, did the thought of getting caught cross his mind, if so why didn't it deter him, did the thought of those families he would be destroying cross his mind, if so why couldn't he relate to their future pain, is he incapable of empathy, sympathy, why? Asking these questions and acting on the conclusions to prevent future tragedies- that's justice for all.
    We need to stop indulging the public in this idea that revenge is justice, stop indulging ourselves in the idea that collectively we have the right to punish our brothers and sisters. We need o create a society in which when an unfortunate person is plagued with thoughts of violence or dysfunctional desires he or she will feel completely safe to seek help, that help will be easily accessed, and persons will not be judged for taking advantage of such help. We need to create a society in which we eliminate those environmental factors which create these people, possess the technology to identify and remove the physical causes of violent behavior such as certain brain injuries or tumors, a society in which....
    Well, you get the point I guess. In my opinion this is the way we need to focus on this problem, we need to let go of our old ideas of free will, our antiquated notions of revenge and listen to the science. If you ask me we all carry some small amount of guilt for what happened to those children on that horrible day, we created the world that created the person that committed the act. The question is will we go on creating more killers. more dysfunctional abusive husbands and fathers, more addicts and of course dealers to supply them- or will we stop pointing our finger for long enough to just listen?

  33. el5z

    By the way, "Thrive" is on Youtube.

  34. Emanouel

    "we need to let go of our old ideas ......and listen to the science."

    Justice is a concept of morality. Science has no role here.
    We all know his act was evil and 'unforgivable.'
    What is a fair punishment here?
    Of course this is a subjective issue.
    Perhaps the parents of the lost children should be given the duty in determining the appropriate punishment.
    Execution can be performed humanely.

  35. ShadowMan

    ......About the capital punishment in the USA, (and else where too.) How about the ones that got hanged and were later found to be innocent through DNA testing and there are many that have been found innocent too over the years!! Capital punishment is not the answer, finding out why people do these things is. We should be spending big money on finding new technology in understanding the mind and why some people do this, the mind is the key to ALL problems!

  36. robertallen1

    Do the testing and then execute them.

  37. Epicurus

    but why make another family suffer?

    and people on death row have rights.

    and what is justice? how is killing someone redress for anything?

  38. Epicurus

    Justice isnt a real thing.

  39. Eugene Pummill

    I think your system actually is "better." Much better. In the US we lock up many, many nonviolent offenders for political, not criminal justice reasons. "Elect 'me' because I am tough, tough, tough on crime!" We also lock up scores of the mentally ill. I also think the US is the early stage of decline because of the infiltration (or contamination) of its political discourse by radical religious elements.

  40. ShadowMan

    ...You're missing the point, finding out why they do this and getting the answer, then applying a solution PREVENTS future happenings, therefore, no more need for executions anymore! Does the present system stop murder or rape etc? No, for hundreds of years capital punishment has been applied, still the crimes carry on. Knowing all about the mind is the key!! We should have done in what I proposed long ago.

  41. robertallen1

    As far as I'm concerned, it goves the matter closure.

  42. robertallen1

    I don't see how learning more about the causes of these behaviors is going to stop them. While not a deterrent, at least capital punishment is a way of getting even. I see no point in supporting the animals who commit such atrocities at public expense for the rest of their miserable lives.

    I'd like to see you try to convince a victim's family of the appropriateness of your arguments.

  43. Caroline Tipler

    I totally agree that the purpose of the judicial system is not to provide revenge for people who have been affected by violent crime, its there to remove the threat from the general population and try to reform these people when possible.

    However, when you say we have no idea why this man did what he did and ask `do you understand why you want to do the things you want to do? Do you really have free will to control those wants?` Then I have to say to both of them. I do know why and I do have free will.

    You ask:

    why did the desire to indiscriminately kill innocent people form in this mans mind
    why did he act on that desire once it formed
    did the thought of getting caught cross his mind, if so why didn't it deter him
    did the thought of those families he would be destroying cross his mind
    is he incapable of empathy, sympathy, why?

    The answers depend on whether the person is suffering from a physiological/neurological deficiency or whether it is environmental/personal

    If it is physiological/neurological then theoretically it could be alleviated by drugs and or surgery

    If it is environmental/personal then we are talking about helping them restructure their paradigm/map of the world and map of how they interpret experiences (which would directly impact on actions)

    Asking these questions and acting on the conclusions to prevent future tragedies- that's justice for all.

    In either of the above reasons , we cannot know that the tendency will result in such an action, and even if we see that it is likely, we surely cannot insist on `treatment` before any act has been committed.

    I utterly agree with this:
    We need to stop indulging the public in this idea that revenge is justice, stop indulging ourselves in the idea that collectively we have the right to punish our brothers and sisters. We need o create a society in which when an unfortunate person is plagued with thoughts of violence or dysfunctional desires he or she will feel completely safe to seek help, that help will be easily accessed, and persons will not be judged for taking advantage of such help. We need to create a society in which we eliminate those environmental factors which create these people, possess the technology to identify and remove the physical causes of violent behavior such as certain brain injuries or tumors, a society in which....

  44. ShadowMan

    ....Execution is here, because we think we can't think up anything else to solve the problem!

  45. robertallen1

    Why don't you try convincing the victims' families that revenge isn't justice. As far as I'm concerned, they have the right to watch these perpetrators die. Your statements have only reinforced my views as to the fitness of executing the scum who commits these crimes.

    Now, why don't you try rehabilitating Rodney Alcala, Charles Manson, Juan Corona--just tell them that what they did was wrong. I'm sure they'll see the light and become better people..

  46. robertallen1

    It sure beats keeping this garbage alive.

  47. Caroline Tipler

    Well I am the victim of a serious assault which i only survived because my calls for help just before i was beaten and knocked unconscious were heard. I was in A&E for 4 days and suffered brain damage, and couldnt walk without falling for 6 minths.. I would not want to see the person icacerated for it - what i would like is to have him tried and when found guilty for me to meet him in a secure situation and have him answer to me. He should then be placed on a curfew and we can take it from there. I loathe the pathetic arrogant belittling culture in peiosons ... it actually coudlnt be designed any better if the intention was to allienate people! All prisoners should be addressed politely and by their surname. That is to say led by example!

  48. Emanouel

    "Justice isnt a real thing"

    If suffering is real, as you acknowledged in your earlier post, then it should follow that justice is real.
    Just ask any member of the legal profession or victim of crime.
    The issue is, what penalty should be imposed?
    In case there is no afterlife, let justice be served in the here and now.

  49. robertallen1

    No, the person who did this to you deserves the death penalty. Your survival should be of no consequence, as what you've described is attempted murder.

  50. robertallen1

    An afterlife has nothing to do with it.

  51. ShadowMan

    ...Do you understand the word 'PREVENT?' I know it sounds like fantasy, too futuristic, but by working on a solution will help stop a person, and save his or hers' life and the potential victim too. We need to work on the mind, we need to know the mind is the cause of all problems and executing only is about revenge, it's a spontaneous solution solving, a solution thought to cure serious crime without thought as far as I’m concerned. It’s like cutting off a person’s limb one by one, because they got cancer, (in the time we never knew about each kind of cancer) in the body, finding the cause in the body is the solution. Execution solves nothing!

  52. Emanouel

    Agree. Why should they have a roof over their heads and 3 meals a day(at taxpayers' expense) when ordinary law-abiding citizens are homeless and starving due to economic conditions or other factors out of their control.

  53. robertallen1

    You don't get it. There is no way and nothing to prevent someone like Rodney Alcala, James Holmes or Jared Loughner from doing what they did--and it's not like treating cancer--for nothing will be missed by eliminating these killing machines who are being kept alive and sustained on tax dollars for who knows what reasons. The whole thing's a joke and people like you make it an even more ghastly one.
    I wonder if you'd feel the same if any of your loved ones died at the hands of one of these monsters.

    Execution might solve nothing in your sense of the word, but it certainly provides sorely-needed closure.

  54. robertallen1

    The only roof they should have over their heads is the sheet which covers their bodies after the drugs have done their work.

  55. I AM POP SLAG.

    The private companies are building more and more prisons and the government guarantee a 98% occupancy rate...
    now, i wonder why there are so many people in jail in america...

  56. ShadowMan

    ....How do you know if there is "nothing to prevent...etc" by doing in what I have suggested in finding some way of controlling the mind in prevention? What if we find out the cause, and it wasn't the murders fault, it was in the water so to speak! I still say, we have to deal with the mind, because the mind is the only way that can solve ALL problems!

    Yes, if some one had killed my wife or child I would want to kill them, its rage, and it’s directly my concern. So by solving the killers mind, there wouldn't be my rage in to kill, people who murder etc. The mind has to be studied big time, as mentioned before, big money spent on finding out the real cause, the real sickness. We’re wasting time with execution, yes, it clears the world of that person, but doesn’t solve the future would be killers and their victims too!

  57. robertallen1

    First degree murder with or without special circumstances is always the murderer's fault.

    "Solving the killer's mind." Just what does that mean and how do you propose doing it? So we now know what made A kill B. Now how are we going to stop what made A kill B from making C kill D?

    And speaking of what something means, what do you mean by,"Yes, if some one [sic] had killed my wife or child I would want to kill them, its rage, and it’s directly my concern." To put it mildly, I'd be surprised if you didn't consider it your concern. So what?

    What we're wasting time and money on is not execution, but finding ways to delay it.

  58. I AM POP SLAG.

    Land of the free?
    pull the other one its got bells on...

  59. Cindy Duncan

    lols you gonna kill someone who winds up in prison for not paying child suport

  60. I AM POP SLAG.

    13 years for nicking a car jack...
    25 to life for "instigating a fight"
    jeeeeeeeeeez, it would be interesting to know when the private prison contracts were signed...
    What an evil country...

  61. robertallen1

    That's not what we're talking about and you know it.

  62. Epicurus

    tell that to the family of the person that is put on death row. how does it close anything? closure is also subjective. you give yourself closure how you choose to.

  63. robertallen1

    As far as I'm concerned, justice when used in a legal sense is revenge or more nicely put, quid pro quo.

  64. robertallen1

    In cases involving the types of crimes we're talking about, the culprit's family is of secondary importance to the victim's.

  65. Epicurus

    i think the victims family doesnt matter as much as the suspects. they are both second parties in this and neither should have a stake.

  66. Epicurus

    thats as far as you are concerned. if that were the case why do we lock people up when they steal something? if someone stole from me shouldnt i be able to go into their house and take what i want?

  67. robertallen1

    I'm only discussing conviction; therefore, the term suspect is inapplicable. The law owes a duty to the victim's family who has every right to demand retribution for the act and in the case of a monster such as Rodney Alcala, death.

  68. robertallen1

    Who's talking about vigilante justice? However, your rationale can certainly lead to it, if only out of frustration.

  69. DigiWongaDude

    Your ethical debates on the use of the death penalty, though interesting, miss the deceptive point here: with inequality being higher than anytime since the 1930's, why is violent crime decreasing? The statistics don't fit the models of social behaviour. I should quote a source here...Uhm...Zeitgeist: Moving Forward, should do.

    It could be that what we are seeing is a calm-before-the-storm delay affecting the stats. If true, this situation will only get worse for us and better for the prison corps profits. Is there a frenzy of prison construction going on right now? That would be a telling sign.

    Or, on the other hand, could it be that locking up so many is actually working to bring the violent crime levels down despite the increase in equality? I would argue that if they shut everyone up by locking them up, any further increase in inequality will be less likely to be opposed. Prison profits will rise. And those who have nothing to fear from the system will feel secure sleeping in the beds at night.

    ...i.e. nothing to fear but the system itself.

  70. mjnkhr


  71. slpsa

    Prisons for profit is one of those things, most people agree, is open to corruption at the highest level possible. A bad idea from the word go. The already documented and prosecuted crimes are I am sure, but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to abusing this new system. be sure.

  72. Harry Nutzack

    wald0, brevik is a VERY poor example to illustrate an excellent point. he is the psychological equivalent of richard rudolph (abortion clinic and atlanta olympic games bomber), or john brown (though brown's cause was much more morally palatable), or timmy mcveigh, or either side's bully boys in the irish "troubles", or the jihadist, or the crusader, ie: a zealot. such a personality works on the viewpoint that horrific acts are trumped by some "injustice" they hope to stimulate a response to. he planned to be caught, he deliberately placed himself in a situation he had no avenue of escape from. the "reasoning" behind that was only by being caught could he get the ear of the european continent in general, and the people of norway in particular. he honestly believes that his terrorist act will motivate the masses to remove the "threat" he perceives, if punctuated by his explanation of his reasoning. he bought their ear with those 71 deaths. i think john brown is the closest parallel, as his actions were equally unashamed, he wanted the populace to know "who and why", he wanted no mystery or doubt as to reasoning. brevik pictured himself as raymond massey in "bloody kansas" (an incredibly powerful performance in an otherwise mediocre film) defiantly delivering his final sermon as the noose was placed around his neck. such motivations are completely aberrant, they in no way reflect the causation of the typical homicide. the majority of homicides are closer related to two middle aged brothers ending up in a homicidal rage over who speared the last pork chop on the serving platter at sunday dinner with mom, with one sinking the serving fork in the neck of the other. of course, the root is more related to who stole who's skate key 4 decades earlier, and the quality of christmas presents. the same scenario plays out with the last hit of crack, or the fatal saloon brawl, even the spouse creating widow(er) status. those are actually the vast majority of homicides. the draconian "message" murder by a drug dealer owed money, or the psycho-sexual murder driven by some death fetish, or the "stickup gone wrong", or the "drive by" killing get more headlines, much more notoriety, but the vast majority are "skate key" murders. vengeance for perceived personal injustice, that is the REAL root cause of the majority of homicides. this is also why there is no real deterrent value in capital punishment, the majority are "crimes of passion", heat of the moment scenarios where there is no reasoning involved at all, just blind rage that has festered over time boiling over due to "the straw that broke the camel's back".

  73. robertallen1

    What about Jared Lochner and James Holmes. What about Rodney Alcala?

    You're right. The death penalty is no deterrent, but when carried out, it brings much needed closure.

  74. ShadowMan

    ....You're still not getting it are you! IF A SOLUTION IS FOUND then A, B, C, D would have been solved! This is why I'm saying we should concentrate extremely hard on the human mind; put all our effort in this area, the answer will be found here! There can be NO other way! All these past murders would not have taken place if we concentrated hard on the mind and found out truly why they did this.

    Yes, there is a study on the mind going on, but not on a large scale, we need to follow traits, study the situation of the murder, find if there is the same path in each murder, studying the mind is not an easy task at all, especially an intelligent mind as the human race has, it's a long road ahead, locking these people up for life should be the answer until we have a break through in what i said, it may really not be their fault in some cases, we may find its the environment, some people are more prone to environment decay for example. It could water, certain foods that trigger these causes, there are thousands of causes, we should have delved into these areas long ago.

  75. robertallen1

    All these past murders would not have taken place if we concentrated hard on the mind and found out truly why they did this." Complete nonsense. Even if we know why, it's not going to stop them--and it's you who doesn't get it: so once again, murder in the first degree, with or without special circumstances, is always the murderers fault, with or without an explanation.

    "If" simply does not cut it! These people should be executed and executed now. Victim's families deserve closure and what you propose does not bring it.

  76. DigiWongaDude

    Seriously, I'm interested, Brad Pitt's character at the end of the film Seven, should have been put to death after he shot Kevin Spacey 's character? You would sanction that or not?

    Nelson Mandela did commit murder.

    Is there a role for mercy at all? The Saudi's give the victim's family the choice when it comes to the beheading, perhaps you agree with their form of justice? It's not as black and white and you make it out to be.

    Are you open to the possibility that your opinion may be INFECTED by the system you find yourself in? I just watched the speech of Mayor Bloomberg talking about 'his own personally army' referring to the NYPD. The overwhelming top comment for that video calls him a terrorist and that someone should take him down.

  77. ShadowMan

    .....Again, if we truly found out the reason for kinds of murders, then we work on a solution in preventing people killing etc, maybe some drug, or some technology that can erase some fault in the brain, (physical problem in the brain) the thinking pattern will take more effort in solving, i think personally, it's lifestyle in some cases, or additives in foods, chlorine in water even! The list goes on, locking them up until we find out why is humanely, executing is really murder too, and God said murder is a sin, so ending a murders life is murder too! A life for a life, an eye for an eye, what’s the difference!

  78. Emanouel

    That would depend on the jury.
    Look, every case is different.
    No one is saying EVERY murderer deserves capital punishment; but there is a place for it for certain cases such as the ones highlighted by robertallen1.

  79. DigiWongaDude

    "murder in the first degree, with or without special circumstances, is always the murderers fault, with or without an explanation."

    "These people should be executed and executed now."
    - robertallen1

    Emanouel, I interpret that as pretty much all encompassing, and can not agree, fundamentally.

  80. Emanouel


    There is a big difference between Breivik's crime and spontaneous type murders driven by a brain snap such as "who speared the last pork sunday dinner with mom."
    Are you of the opinion vile monsters such as Breivik are not deserving of capital punishment?
    I think most of the world would consider capital punishment to be appropriate in this case.
    But I agree that every murder case is unique and needs to be assessed carefully.

  81. DigiWongaDude

    I'm afraid the looking for reasons to everything in everything will only create more questions and mysteries than it will answer. You may as well try nailing jelly to a wall.

    However, it does seems historically correct that everytime we feel sure we are absolutely right about some fact or another, it is only a matter of time until it is completely overturned. Surely the earth IS round?, turns out to be slightly egg shaped! People should hesitate more in the use of, or even consideration of, such an absolute form of justice.

    Personally, I would like to imagine that in the far future (if we are still here), the idea of killing people at all will be seen as barbaric. Acts of which can be justified by those who didn't know any better - one day I hope we will know better.

  82. robertallen1

    So you're going to tell the families of say young girls who were raped and murdered, "We know this person committed this heinous crime, but we're going to keep him alive at taxpayers' expense to see IF we can find see if there is some fault in his brain which we can eliminate." For the third time, first degree murder is always the murderers' fault--and the victims' families probably don't particularly care if there is some fault in his brain--and neither does most anybody else. Your idea is as screwy as your delusion that you know what god said.

  83. robertallen1

    So you think someone like Rodney Alcala should be kept alive. This is the man who before the deliberations of the jury regarding penalty stated that even if he were given the death penalty, it would be another twenty years before it was executed, if ever! We need to show him and those like him how wrong they are.

  84. robertallen1

    Oh, so Brevik, Jared Lochner, Rodney Alcala and James Holmes did not know any better. Get this straight. A man is responsible for his own actions.

  85. DigiWongaDude you afraid that these guys are laughing in the faces of those they have victimised? I get that. I'm sure that same guy would be quite capable of laughing at us in his death chair about us being no different from him - that would infuriate just the same I'm sure.

    Well ok, why not keep him alive and nail electrodes to his balls (new nails every week). What? That would be barbaric? Or too expensive? Shucks. I just don't get it after all do I?

    Well actually I do get it. Yes I would keep him alive. Yes we should pay for it. He is a product of our society. He should be a reminder to us all that we aren't as collectively civilised as we believe ourselves to be. We can lock him up and throw away the key, keep him out of our sight, deprive him of all lifes abundant beauty and yes, even make him hate us more for it. There are punishments worse than death my friend, without the need for more blood on our hands.

  86. Epicurus

    death is not retribution. at least that is my argument.

    nothing about killing the person gives the victim or the victims loved ones anything. its just revenge. its emotion. and like socrates said "doing injustice harms yourself internally. In turn, to harm any person is the act of the unjust, and the just man will not harm another, because by doing so the just man will prove himself the opposite of what he claims to be."

  87. Epicurus

    you said

    "As far as I'm concerned, justice when used in a legal sense is revenge or more nicely put, quid pro quo."

    so if justice is revenge or quid pro quo; someone steals from me, then i get to take something of theirs. if someone kills my son, i kill their son.

  88. DigiWongaDude

    Not sure where you're coming from here? I didn't say anything about them not knowing any better :-/

  89. robertallen1

    I am not responsible for the existence of this vermin and neither is anyone else. So don't give me that crap about society. I'd love to watch you tell the family of a young girl who was raped and murdered that it's really their fault and that the perpetrator needs to be kept alive as a reminder to all of us that we are not as collectively civilzed as we believe ourselves to be.

    Once these animals are convicted, they should be given one appeal and if that appeal is unsuccessful they should be iced point blank. We don't owe these monsters anything except a fair trial and due process and taxpayers' money can be put to better use in executing this garbage rather than in keeping it alive.

    P.S. I am not your friend and I hate everything you stand for.

  90. robertallen1

    What's the matter with revenge and what's the matter with closure? And I really don't give a damn what Socrates said--talk about an argument from authority.

  91. robertallen1

    Once again, where did I mention vigilante justice? It's just that the law better do its job or we might very well experience it.

  92. DigiWongaDude

    LOL, well you believe in something passionately and that's fair enough. Good luck to you sir (with a very small s), but not your beliefs. I do apologise if I made you look at some of your assertions in an uncomfortable way (since you did not answer any of my questions about them)

  93. Harry Nutzack

    what about them? lochner is a brain damaged schizoid, who showed every symptom required to have been forbidden ownership of firearms for a period of years. he had been ignored by the local police at least 3 times. he was a nutjob who shot up a pol's public meet and greet because she had snubbed his incomprehensible question at a previous one. holmes is another of similar ilk. they illustrate the huge hole in our system of "background checks" for firearms purchases. we force doctors to report syphilis patients for "public health" reasons, but psychiatrists have no such compulsion when it comes to the incredibly insane. if but a single judge had "baker acted" lochner, he never would have had that pistol. if the shrink whose findings got holmes his "suggestion to drop out" from his schooling had seen fit to share such info with law enforcement (they disturbed her enough to be brought to the attention of school admins, but so long as the bloodbath occurs off campus, no harm, no foul), he also would never have had access to those firearms. loughner's crime was a product of a judge who was more concerned about his county footing the bill for a psych evaluation than potential threat to his community. holmes' was a product of a "mental health professional" being more worried that a potentially harmful nutjob might be stigmatized, than the potential threat to the community. they both fall under "do you blame the shot up nun on the chimp, or the person who put a loaded .38 in his hand?" alcala is the headline grabbing psycho-sexual death fetishist i previously mentioned... he is also on death row, but i know nothing else of his case, as he isn't a local "poster boy of fear" on this side of our continent. had they declared him legally insane, he could well have suffered the same fate as jeff dahmer (killed by a fellow maniac jealous of his greater body count). as you and i have discussed previously, i have no real problem with the state killing genuine fiends. my problem is how the penalty is used. i have never heard of a rich convict exonerated after decades on death row. nor a politically connected one. it's always some dirt poor "margins of society" type. society would be much better protected by the judges who witnessed laughner's insanity and just let him walk being held accountable for the havoc their penny pinching caused, than by his getting a needle. the same goes for holmes' psych evaluator. both of those loons, if properly medicated, could probably be trained to "earn their keep" in the institution they should spend the rest of their days in. the same goes for many "skate key" killers.

  94. robertallen1

    One way or the other, they are responsible for what they did and deserve the death penalty, as does Brevik.

    Would you describe Jared Lochner, James Holmes and Rodney Alcala (and, by the way, there's a documentary on him on TDF) as being dirt poor "margins of society" types?

  95. ShadowMan

    ....It's the only way to stop FUTURE happenings, save the future would be victims, you seem to "live for today" rather than live for the future! Find out what drives people to do these things, use the 'lifers' as guinea pigs if you like in any kind of experiment. This will surly please you yes?!

  96. Emanouel

    From Wikipedia,

    An ABC News survey in 2006 found 65% of Americans were in favour of capital punishment, consistent with other polling since 2000.

  97. Emanouel


    No need to study them.

    What is the point when the death penalty does not act as an effective deterrent?

    But studies in Texas have shown a modest drop in homicides shortly after an execution has taken place....surprise surprise.

  98. robertallen1

    How can finding out makes these misfits "tick" prevent future occurrences? So no, it won't please me, for they are being kept alive at taxpayers' expense and the victims' families are not receiving the closure to which they are entitled. There's plenty of time between conviction, appeal and execution to conduct research. However, like everyone else, these people are responsible for their own actions and must be executed. In California, there are over 700 inmates on death room and since 1978, only 13 have been executed. This is appalling and pathetic.

  99. robertallen1

    So what if capital punishment is not an effective deterrent, neither is imprisonment. If a person wants to commit a crime, he's going to, law or no law, punishment or no punishment.

  100. dewflirt

    Less fuss when the old bill decide to shoot it out and ask questions later, maybe instant punishment is easier to accept, feels more like justice? I can imagine situations that might drive me to revenge in the heat of the moment, if it involved my kids I'm sure that feeling would last. I do not like executions though, I don't want that decision taken on my behalf. Any why such odd methods? All sorts of machinery between those that push the buttons and those that die, is that an effort to distance distance themselves from the fact that they are killing someone? A strange thing to do when they allow people to watch anyway, rubber-necking at its worst. I almost think it would be fairer all round to take them straight from court and put a bullet in their head, I wonder what reaction that would get. Maybe give the gun to the victims family and let them do as they please? Would it change people's minds if they had to do it themselves? But then you have to be 100% sure you've got the right guy, too often it turns out they haven't. Bad enough that people spend half their lives locked up only to be found innocent, can't give people those years back, even harder to bring them back to life.

  101. KsDevil

    You can make more money dealing with the effects of the problem than preventing the problem.
    All you have to do is create a moralist scare and sell it to the uninformed.

  102. robertallen1

    First of all, a belated Happy Samhain.

    The best thing would be one appeal after conviction and if that fails, that's it. Quite franky, I'm tired of hearing about bad childhoods (how many people have had bad childhoods and never committed a crime, much less a heinous one, in their lives?), inadequate representation (which boils down to the attorney being unable to get his client off or obtain a reduced sentence) and cruel and unusual punishment (now aimed at lethal injection and whether 1, 2 or 3 chemicals are used). The only concern should be guilt or innocence--and DNA testing cuts down the odds of wrongful conviction.

    I wonder. Does Ireland have the death penalty?

  103. robertallen1

    I find it interesting that although the primary focus of the documentary was on the fairness of the three strikes law (which I agree needs some revamping due to the inequitable results obtained) almost all of the posts are on the death penalty which was hardly treated.

  104. WiseGapist


  105. dewflirt

    No death penalty Ireland but it was still on the books in England for High Treason until about 15/20 years ago. Have you ever watched Let Him Have It, or a doc here called Fourteen Days in May about Edward Earl Johnson? Maybe I'm a bit soft but the idea of killing an innocent person really upsets me. DNA is all well and good but what about human error, or mistaken identity or a biased jury, a judge swayed by public opinion? Do the victims family truly feel better, achieve closure or just get brief feelings that rough justice has been done, I don't see how that can possibly help them to deal with the murder of a loved one. Revenge isn't a cure for grief.
    Happy Samhain, and All hallows eve, and tomorrow we have another excuse to light fires, Guy Fawkes Night :)

  106. Epicurus

    where am i saying vigilante justice? no one has mentioned that but you.

  107. Epicurus

    the matter with revenge is it fixes nothing, creates a cycle of revenge, and makes the person just as bad as the one they are trying to get back.

    and i didnt use socrates as an argument from authority. i used his words as a way to express my position. not to say that because socrates says so it must be.

    and how does revenge create closure? like i said closure is subjective. you will achieve closure by many different ways.

  108. robertallen1

    DNA trumps human error, mistaken identity, a biased jury and a judge swayed by public opinion. As to whether the families of victims truly feel better, it seems to be on a case-by-case basis. At least rough justice is better than none.

  109. Epicurus

    none of them deserve the death penalty and you have yet to give a persuasive reason why other than emotional arguments and appeals. no reason or rationale.

  110. robertallen1

    "So if justice is revenge or quid pro quo, someone steals from me, then I get to take something of theirs, if someone kills my son, I kill their son." It certainly reads like a description of vigilante justice. to me.

  111. robertallen1

    They do these horrible things; they take the consequences, namely execution. That's all there is to it. There is no reason to keep them alive.

  112. robertallen1

    What's the matter with a cycle of revenge? If someone wantonly killed someone I were close to, the only thing that would bring me anything approaching closure or comfort is to watch this person die--and I don't think I stand alone and I also wouldn't consider myself on the same level as the perpetrator.

    If you weren't using Socrates as an argument from authority, why did you bring him up in the first place? What was he an expert in?

    Perhaps closure can be achieved in different ways, but execution is the most effective one.

  113. skibee

    lol manners isn't ur strongest skill, is it ?

  114. Harry Nutzack

    robert, i can speak from a position of "authority". my son and his mother were murdered in a most horrific manner closing on 2 decades ago. the man convicted of the crime (somebody i knew in a casual manner) sits in a lifer cell, and will never know freedom again. the state the crime occurred in only provides for capital punishment for the killing of law enforcement types, and serial killers, or he would probably have been charged with a capital crime. his getting a needle, or "riding the lightning", or being hung, or facing a firing squad, or being fed to a pack of hungry pitbulls would give me no "closure" (i hate that dr phil word). it would offer up no solace, it would give no comfort. actually, i think his existence in a state of perpetually being denied even the most minor of everyday comforts is worse punishment. now, i only share this for the purpose of demonstrating the attitude of "victim's rights" pushed by a decade of bad television movies with ed asner and morgan fairchild is complete horsecrap, i neither desire nor deserve sympathy. i am not a victim of his crime. my loss can never be "made whole" (which is the basic precept of "justice"). revenge will never bring back those 2 dead people, which is the only way i could be. it wont wipe away 2 decades of nightmares, sorrow, self reproach, nor the decade of incredibly self destructive behavior the crime inspired. nothing wipes the slate clean. by the same token, had he been given a capital sentence, i really wouldn't have objected. it would, in a sense, be merciful in comparison to multiple decades of incarceration. but it wouldn't have prevented a second of sorrow, not a single nightmare, or the descending spiral i rode. i can't speak for all, but i can offer this "been there, done that" viewpoint. that said, in my eyes capital punishment eventually boils down to a matter of bean counting. i have a hard time justifying the taking of a life to save money. put them to work, make them earn their keep seems an equally cost cutting solution, but one that would also provide lesser offenders with skills that might prevent recidivism.

  115. Achems_Razor

    Words escape me to envision the torment you must have felt/feel, all I can say is I envision you as a "warrior" in life for the good, keep fighting!

  116. robertallen1

    That's you. I would have considered myself a victim of his crime by virtue of his having robbed me of someone dear through a homicidal act. While I realize that execution is small compensation, at least it's retribution which I would feel entitled to and considering that vigilante justice is a crime, I would expect the state to carry out its responsibility. As for money, I would rather it were spent on the execution of this piece of garbage rather than on supporting him, for although the sentence might read life imprisonment"without the possibility of parole," this is no guarantee. I would want something quite final.

  117. lakhotason

    The only reason I am opposed to the death penalty is because innocent people do get executed. That in itself is reason enough. Can you imagine the absolute injustice of an innocent man being killed legally? The horror the horror.

  118. lakhotason

    "closure" (I hate that Dr. Phil word)" I will follow you into hell just because you said that. No one person can hate that word more than I.

  119. robertallen1

    As I mentioned earlier, DNA has certainly lessened the possibility of mistake and by the way, do you think there is any possibility that Jared Lochner, James Holmes, Rodney Alcala, Anders Brevik were innocent? What about Ted Bundy, Pee Wee Gaskins, John Allen Mohammed and Timothy McVey, any chance of their having been innocent--and I don't mean by reason of something as asinine or insanity (which by the way isn't even a psychiatric term) or bad childhood which is equally asinine? Is there any possibility that these individuals didn't know that what they were doing was wrong?

  120. lakhotason

    No. Seriously there are innocent people executed. I understand exactly how you feel and I agree. It is the law and yet it is even deeper than the law. It is a social and cultural contract. You do not kill because if you do this is what you forfeit - life. Agreed.

    But is this law and contract worth the lives of innocent men? Are we not by our very actions killing innocent men? The very reason we have the death penalty?

  121. robertallen1

    As I stated, DNA has considerably lessened the possibility of mistake. In other words, once again, science has been of immeasurable assistance.

    Now once again, do you think there is any possibility that Jared Lochner, James Holmes, Rodney Alcala or Anders Brevik are innocent? And if not, why shouldn't they pay the forfeit? Is there any possibility that Ted Bundy, Pee Wee Gaskins, John Allen Mohammed and Timothy McVey were innocent and if not, why shouldn't they have forfeited their lives? So no, it's not agreed I don't recall ever having made a social and cultural contract and I don't think anyone else has either, including these perps.

  122. lakhotason

    As I plainly stated I agree with you. Those people broke the law and broke the contract. Deal's a deal. Adios Motherfu8ker. So let's not let that be part of the debate. Stipulated. I agree.

    Now as far as DNA evidence, I am glad you've narrowed that down to "considerably lessened". That's an especially good trick if you can't tell me what you've "considerably lessened" it from. Weak.

  123. robertallen1

    From human error, mistaken identity, a biased jury, a judge swayed by public opinion, as expressed by Dewflirt.

  124. lakhotason

    But from how much human error, biased jury, swayed judge? Can you show me some figures on that? "Considerably lessened" certainly implies that measurements are taken. Those I wish to see.

    Of course I'm being rhetorical and a smart-ass to boot. But the undeniable fact is we kill innocents legally. That's what I wish to discuss- not the rate at which we kill them.

  125. robertallen1

    What's the probability of two people having the same DNA? The answer on madsci dot org plus the corroborating evidence required at trial are good enough for me. Now, where are your statistics for the number of innocents killed legally?

  126. sknb

    If I may sense the temperature of the below debate:

    Is it worth it to punish one man who is innocent so that other guilty men are punished?

    Are you willing to be that one man?

  127. robertallen1

    Is it worth it to keep this scum alive lest some innocent man be punished?

  128. Harry Nutzack

    robert, until i walked in my current shoes, i said many of the same things. grim reality has a way of invalidating the abstractions we embrace. of course there are others who faced similar horror with different outlook. as i said, i only speak for myself. i very rarely consider my opinion as "vox populii". but, i do speak from experience. that man's death would offer no benefit to me, on any level. i doubt it would make any difference to me if he were released tomorrow. that which has been done can never be undone. there is no black ink that can balance that red entry. with that realization comes a modicum of peace.

  129. Harry Nutzack

    it's but a single "demon" i face among a laundry list of others, though it is about the worst so far. i do appreciate the kind words, but, as i said, i really don't want sympathy. i just used it to counterpoint what i see as the most common misconception in the debate. such a ledger entry is NEVER balanced. there can be no retribution. i often think it would be very interesting to interview those who successfully clamored for the death of such a killer in their personal cases after a decade or so, and see if that vengeance actually bought them any peace. i have my doubts it would.

  130. lakhotason

    We are not talking probabilities (at least I'm not). I honestly know' with no degree of probability that innocents have been killed. A fact. Your vaunted DNA has proved it.

    Now if your very fool-proof DNA tells you that you have been killing innocent men then do you continue the killings with the knowledge that sooner or later you will kill an innocent? You tell me. This ain't rhetorical.

  131. DigiWongaDude

    Dear Harry,

    Sharing what you shared, I [almost] feel compelled to share my story, but I can not - I do not have your strength despite the few years that have passed. I commend you and your painfully attained wisdom. Not one word was wasted on me. I find it revealing that even such a qualified point of view can, oh so often, carry little sway in attempting to change some belief systems.

    To this I feel I can add what I've found to be too often the case: 1) People believe what they want to believe, and 2) challenging someone's belief system should never be entered into lightly. It makes sense, since what we each believe is the only TRUTH we have.

    Indeed, to discover that what we hold to be true is actually not true after all, can be devasting to our pshyche and call into question the validity of subsequent assumptions based upon that belief. To not be opened minded and questioning with regards to our belief systems, we are potentially building a house of cards in our attempts to make sense of our lives and the world we live. Thus people invariably and vehemently hold on to their beliefs even if that means believing what they want to. The path you have travelled, your journey (and mine) affords us none of those delusions. My house is in tatters, but the rebuilding has begun.

    Keep growing - your personal suffering and personal scars are your weapons and tattoos in the war of survival you will surely win.

    Thanks for sharing, with Best Regards


  132. robertallen1

    I am talking probabilities. In answer to your question. You just continue to try to improve the technique. Remember, as I stated earlier, it takes more than just DNA to obtain a conviction, although DNA now plays a major part. As far as the cases to which you alluded, although not directly, was DNA testing performed at the beginning of the matter or several years down the road? Had it been performed at the beginning, the chances are rather remote that an innocent person would have been punished. Secondly, what do you recommend in cases in which guilt is not in controversy? Do we keep this garbage alive lest someone in a related matter be wrongfully convicted?

  133. Harry Nutzack

    thank you Paul. rest assured the wounds do heal, and eventually you will be able to share your tale of grim reality without becoming a quivering pile of raw nerve endings. i'm glad for you that you have begun reconstruction, i hope you do so with a minimum of setbacks. i agree with the points you make. folks embrace their particular vision of ethical reality until cold hard self realization forces a change. i don't view their viewpoint as invalid if it varies from my own. we all wander differing experiential paths, and the sights, sounds, and nosebleeds we get on that wandering make up our philosophical attitude. given my druthers, i would prefer folks whose view is opposed to mine on this issue NEVER have to confront it as i did. or you did. better that they carry their opinion to their graves (many decades down the line), than ever have to read that red ink, even if it would change their opinion.

    best of luck on rebuilding your "house". set your bricks and mortar carefully, keep your courses on the line, and you will succeed, probably in a manner even more impressive than you expect. don't fear having to knock down some you find improper. it's a slow process, but it does have a payoff in the end. glad you made it back

  134. lakhotason

    Yes. I certainly find no fault in your reply. I agree and concur completely. Unfortunately it does not address my concerns. We kill innocents. What is the only method to be absolutely sure we kill no innocent people? Equivocating by saying, well yeah, we're working on that, doesn't keep innocents from being killed - legally. I mean, oh jeez, it's really gonna matter that I'm cleared after you've killed me.

    Come on RobertAllen. I'm asking you straight-up. Is it worth killing innocent people? Answer straight-up.

  135. robertallen1

    Please cite for me all cases involving DNA testing in which innocent people have been executed--and by this, I mean definitely innocent people. In how many of these cases was DNA testing conducted at the beginning of the investigation and if so, was it conducted properly? My point is that with DNA testing performed when it should be, we don't have to worry about killing innocent people. This is as certain as we can come to sparing the innocent--and it's close enough for me.

  136. lakhotason

    Please google "texas innocent execution" . Read article dtd May 2012.

    And please RobertAllen I asked you man to man to be straight-up. You know as well as I that innocents are being killed. Play word games while innocents are being killed in your name?

  137. robertallen1

    I don't see anything about DNA testing--and no, I don't know that innocents are being executed.

  138. lakhotason

    What a lie RobertAllen. End of discussion.

  139. Epicurus

    the irony.

    see this is the problem with using the same punishment as the crime. it gets lost in ironic hypocrisy.

  140. Epicurus

    i would consider you on the same level as any murderer if you would take joy in seeing someone else killed. at least in this respect.

    Like i explained, i brought him up because he said my view better than i could.

    you can not just claim that execution is the best form of closure. what do you base that on?

  141. Epicurus

    there is no reason to keep handicap people alive or the elderly.

    just because we dont have reason to keep them alive doesnt give us reason to kill.

    your first sentence IMPLIES that the consequence is capital punishment so its not an argument but a reiteration of your claim.

  142. Epicurus

    I meant it would be court sanctioned.

    someone steals or robs you. you charge them and the courts say you get to take something or theirs. same with the killing. they kill my child, the court deems the punishment that i kill their child.

    that follows your revenge or quid pro quo view of justice.

  143. Epicurus

    i think if we talk about this you can achieve closure over this hatred you have......?

  144. Epicurus

    absolutely x 100

  145. robertallen1

    So in other words, if someone killed a loved one of mine and I enjoyed watching the needle go in and the drugs doing their work, I would be on this person's level? Nonsense. You forget I'm not the perpetrator.

    As for closure, this person wouldn't be harming anyone ever again.

  146. robertallen1

    And just why should we keep this garbage alive (and by the way, this has nothing to do with the handicapped or the elderly who are innocent), to conform to ideals set by you and Socrates?

    Once again, if they committed the crime, they should pay the penalty, even if it's death.

  147. robertallen1

    And if the court said it was all right, I would do it, but what court is going to say it's all right?

  148. robertallen1

    And I say absolutely not. You seem more concerned with the perpetrators than you are with the victims and their families. By your argument, Ted Bundy should be alive today just to satisfy your ideals and those of Socrates.

  149. robertallen1

    I look at it this way. They didn't allow their victim(s) to live, why should they be allowed to? Thus, there is no reason do keep them alive, except perhaps to conform to some quixotic notion.

  150. robertallen1

    You claim to be a man of science. What is the probability of two individuals having the same DNA? I've looked it up and it's more than just remote.

    Where is the deterrent for killing witnesses if the worst punishment can be life imprisonment without the possibility of parole? People have attempted and sometimes succeded in killing witnesses for less serious crimes and people have gotten into shootouts with law enforcement, also over less serious offenses such as drugs.

    Why not commit other crimes if you know that you still get to live even though the victim(s) may die?

    You're right. Death penalty cases are expensive (as they should be considering what's at stake)--and believe it or not, most of the money is taken up in appeals. This I know because I have worked with attorneys handling capital cases (although not often). That's why I'm proposing one appeal and one appeal only and if this fails, the needle.

    It's surprising that there are those who want to give vicious animals such as Rodney Alcala a free ride by keeping him alive based on the high unlikelihood (especially in this day and age) that on some unrelated case an innocent person might be wrongfully convicted.

  151. over the edge

    i agree that other than very rare cases the odds of duplicate DNA is basically 0. but there are many reasons for DNA to be present other than being the perpetrator.

    i believe my list was relevant. i agree that some do these things anyway. but neither of us know that the lack of further punishment or not would have the same effect on everybody. so i will err on the side of minimizing collateral damage.

    so you wish to expand the death penalty to cover more people but contract the chances to defend yourself. i am not nor have ever proposed a free ride. but yes i would remove the death penalty "based on the high unlikelihood (especially in this day and age) that on some unrelated case an innocent person might be wrongfully convicted. " any day of the week. unless the chance of a mistake was reduced to 0 i will not change my mind

  152. robertallen1

    Certainly there can be other reasons, and good ones, for a person's DNA to be present at a crime sciene, but when you have a case where the perpetrator did not know the victim and had no place being in the victim's residence and yet his DNA was found all over, what other conclusion can be drawn? You might want to read about the Stephanie Lazarus matter in which a former LAPD detective is now serving a life sentence for a vicious murder committed years ago. In that case, saliva was surreptitiously taken from a drinking cup recently used by Ms. Lazarus for DNA analysis and traces of it were found in wounds on the victim. What other conclusion is there? In other words, it's not just the DNA, it's the cirumstances as well as the corroborating evidence.

    By removing the death penalty, you are giving scum like Rodney Alcala a free ride. I'm sure you've seen the documentary on him. Notice what he told the jury before deliberations as to sentence: that even if they gave him the death penalty, it was going to be at least twenty years before it was carried out, if ever. I would love to see him and those like him proven wrong. They didn't allow their victims to live. Why should they?

    As far as I'm concerned, barring prosecutorial or other forms of misconduct, the chance of a mistake is virtually zero and that's good enough for me. As I stated earlier, we need more executions, especially in California, not fewer.

  153. over the edge

    very rarely do i disagree with someone on a decision while i agree with them in may cases on the facts. but it has happened twice in one day. so i will do the same as i did then and propose to agree to disagree on this matter. i will close with the statement that we can both site specific cases to support our view. but when applied on the system as a whole i cannot see the elimination of mistakes and until then i refuse to support it

  154. robertallen1

    And I look at each case individually and my only concern is what is the probability (not possibility) of innocence. If the preponderance of the evidence (of no matter what type) raises any reasonable doubt, then the pendulum swings towards innocence, but if doesn't . . .

  155. over the edge

    i believe you do look at each case. but you are not on every jury. and we both know that many lack the critical thinking skills to make informed decisions. as well as bringing racial,religious,political, economic and other basis into a courtroom. my faith in the average person (and some judges) is not sufficient to hand them someones life.

  156. robertallen1

    And that's why we have courts of appeal.

  157. DigiWongaDude

    Any reasonable doubt is not the same as the legal 'beyond reasonable doubt'. With any reasonable doubt, no-one (and I mean no-one) would ever be convicted. One word, vast consequences.

  158. Emanouel

    To Harry

    Experiencing the loss of a loved one is always shattering whether by illness or homicide and yes, nothing will bring them back.
    But there are victims of crime who, unlike you, do demand justice in the form of capital punishment.

    Our whole life revolves around a concept of 'fairness.'
    We work everyday for a fair wage; we buy goods for a fair price; we strive to treat our friends well and thus it is only fair to expect them to treat us the same and so on.

    So, unlike you, if other victims feel it is just for the perpetrator to pay a fair price, that is, forfeiture of his/her own life, then I believe that nobody can claim that this is wrong.

    Even though the death of the perp may be small consolation, the price paid for taking another life should be the ultimate price, because a monetary compensation or a lifetime stint behind bars will always seem grossly inadequate to the victims.

  159. Harry Nutzack

    Emanouel, as i posted a few times now, i can only speak for myself. mine is the only skull whose darkened bogs i wade in. i would never presume to even think "because i have this opinion, everyone else should have it". folks in even very similar situations have vastly differing opinions, even without a dose of trauma and pain thrown in. i don't seek to invalidate their viewpoint. i only state my own.

  160. Emanouel


    I hear you loud and clear.
    Wish I could say something comforting.
    Just do the best you can to find peace in between those dark periods.

  161. Ty nocomment

    Unless it's a poor person or something, then it's just like killing a stray dog and should only be a fine.

  162. Ty nocomment

    thank goodness!, i was so worried that someone on the internet wasn't painstakingly going over large numbers of criminal investigations and starting letter writing campaigns to spill more blood all the while cloaked in false erudition. I'll sleep so much easier knowing your kind is always around, always self-righteous.

  163. robertallen1

    You've just said nothing.

  164. robertallen1

    What are you talking about?

  165. Epicurus

    right. and if someone takes my stuff i get to take theirs.

    we do not punish someone equally. we do not act in the way of the people we wish to punish. that doesnt make sense.

  166. Epicurus

    i am more concerned with the perpetrators than the families. the victim is already dead so there is nothing you can do.

    i am also more concerned with not being as bad as the person we are punishing.

  167. Epicurus

    why would a court say its okay to kill someone but not take their stuff if they take yours? i would say the latter is still more moral.

  168. Epicurus

    death is barely a penalty. its a loophole to get out of any punishment.

    you should keep that HUMAN BEING alive (calling them garbage is your attempt to poison the well and make your position look better) because they are a human being and you are a human being and you dont want to punish them by being as immoral as them.

    if they commit the crime we should look at why that happens and ways to better prevent it as well as see if we can fix the person.

  169. Epicurus

    i think you would be on the same level.

    if you take joy watching anyone die there is something fundamentally flawed with your morality.

  170. robertallen1

    No, we don't, but the law does. That's what restitution is all about.

  171. robertallen1

    In other words, you're more concerned about garbage than about decent people who have been victimized by it. And seeking revenge legally does not make you as bar as the person being punished.

  172. robertallen1

    Certainly it is, but courts don't do that--unfortunately.

  173. robertallen1

    When someone perpetrates a heinous crime (and we know the type of crimes we are talking about), he is no longer a human being--and there is nothing immoral about demanding punishment and retribution.

    There is plenty of time between conviction and appeal to do all the research you want (not that it's likely to lead to where you think it might lead), but in the end the person must be executed.

  174. robertallen1

    What about the morality of the prepetrator? Get this straight, I am not the one who has done anything wrong--that's the perpetrator. So I repeat, under the scenario I provided, I would love to be in the witness room watching the needle go in and the drugs doing their work--and I don't consider it morally reprehensible in the least, simply my just due--and neither do a large number of victims' families.

    Frankly, I find your morality flawed when you place concern for the perp over concern for the victim's family, when you advocate keeping this garbage (yes, that's what they are) alive at taxpayers' expense just so research (though adding to knowledge, but unlikely to prevent recurrence) can be performed and lest there be a wrongful conviction in an unrelated or future case.

  175. Epicurus

    you have not done anything wrong until you take pleasure in watching another human being die. than to me there is something wrong with how your brain is wired.

    im sure many people think they deserve to watch someone who harmed them receive harm. but i still think that makes them immoral.

    there are other methods that would alleviate the amount of tax money paid to keep prisoners. this idea is a false dichotomy.

    i dont think its fair to include the victims families emotions without including the perps families emotions.

    dont kill or we will kill you. killing is the most terrible thing you can do but its okay when it is state sanctioned.....just doesnt make sense to me.

    the same way you dont want to pay for prisoners to live, i dont want my tax money going to murdering human beings just because its the easiest way to deal with it. it is completely archaic. especially when we understand that criminals you have listed have a psychological problem. they are not even fully responsible for their actions. we need to take some responsibility for creating these people if we are going to accept the fact that we live in a civilized SOCIETY.

  176. Epicurus

    no because two wrongs do not make a right. an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. and any other cliche truism you can think of.

  177. Epicurus

    i am more concerned about the larger picture than just the families and individuals. im almost not concerned at all with emotional arguments.

  178. Epicurus

    no the law does not. or it would rape rapists.

  179. robertallen1

    What's immoral is keeping a rapist/killer alive just to satisfy your misbegotten ideals, not in taking pleasure watching this person submit to a well-deserved death.

    You keep forgetting that it's the perp who started the whole thing--and it's not don't kill or we will kill you--there a several degrees of murder, at least in the United States, and the only one that carries the dealth penalty is first degree.

    Retribution makes sense, not only to me but to a lot of other people, especially those affected--and this is not a matter requiring any expertise. I would love to watch you tell the family of a little girl who was raped and murdered that it's immoral to put the perp to death because we live in a civilzed society and equally immoral to take pleasure in watching the final moments of the perp and then try to back your assertions up with a quote from Socrates.

    A person is responsible for what he does, psychological problems or no psychological programs, bad upbringing or not-so-bad upbringing--and I resent being told that I and the society around me are somehow responsible for monsters such as Anders Brevik, Jared Lochner, James Holmes and Rodney Alcala. I'd rather have my tax dollars go to exterminating this vermin rather than keeping it alive.

    All that matters is that if these pieces of garbage committed the crimes with which they are charged, they pay the forfeits.

  180. robertallen1

    And it's what he does, the lands him on the guerney, human or not.

    I've noted that your link is from the ACLU. I wonder how objective the report is and I even wonder how relevant.

  181. robertallen1

    And I'm more concerned with judging each case individually only to determine guilt and meting out a just punishment, even if it means execution.

  182. robertallen1

    There is nothing wrong with retribution or revenge, it's only when an individual engages in an unlawful act to achieve these. For example, if an individual watches as his wife is raped and killed and later testifies against the perp who is given a death sentence and then delights in watching, the victim's husband has done no wrong and neither have the agency which prosecuted the perp, the judge or jury which pronounced sentence and those who carried it out.

  183. robertallen1


    I would also love to hear you tell a victim's family that they are not important, that the perp's family takes precedence over them and that what you are saying takes in the larger picture.

  184. Sherry Roberts

    The 3 strikes law was publicized to the point that I find it nearly impossible to believe these men weren't aware of it at the time of their incarceration (1 of the 3 times it takes to get life). I think it is irresponsible to act as if you weren't informed and now you are hopelessly stuck in prison for life for something so little. You knew the rules.

    Their inability to accept that they are in prison because of their own actions shows that they are where they belong.

  185. robertallen1

    While I agree with you that the men interviewed were lying about their ignorance of the three strikes law, especially since they were all probably represented during their trials, however, I think the statute needs a bit of tweaking because it is producing some inequitable results, such as life terms for non-violent or relatively petty offenses.

  186. Epicurus

    "What's immoral is keeping a rapist/killer alive just to satisfy your misbegotten ideals, not in taking pleasure watching this person submit to a well-deserved death."

    "just to satisfy your misbegotten ideals" notice how you use rhetoric to attempt to sway the argument? doesnt work on me.

    "You keep forgetting that it's the perp who started the whole thing"

    i know who started it. im arguing that we dont have to kill them because that is immoral.

    "Retribution makes sense, not only to me but to a lot of other people"

    argument from popularity. retribution might make sense because it feels good but that doesnt make it the best position.

    "I would love to watch you tell the family of a little girl who was raped and murdered that it's immoral to put the perp to death because we live in a civilzed society and equally immoral to take pleasure in watching the final moments of the perp and then try to back your assertions up with a quote from Socrates."

    appeal to emotion. I could easily tell them that killing the person wont bring anything back and will only make them murderers.

    "A person is responsible for what he does, psychological problems or no psychological programs, bad upbringing or not-so-bad upbringing--and I resent being told that I and the society around me are somehow responsible for monsters such as Anders Brevik, Jared Lochner, James Holmes and Rodney Alcala. I'd rather have my tax dollars go to exterminating this vermin rather than keeping it alive."

    i'd rather my tax dollars go to not killing people. a person may be responsible for what he does to a certain extent thus we allow some punishment but killing them is going to far.

    "All that matters is that if these pieces of garbage committed the crimes with which they are charged, they pay the forfeits."

    wonder why countries that dont have this attitude are much more pleasant?

  187. Epicurus

    ad hominem. are you claiming that the ACLU is not an academic source?

    My wife who is a criminology major has used the ACLU many many times as a source.

  188. Allan Young

    So you have never made the same mistake 3 times?

  189. Epicurus

    you keep saying just as if you know what it means. you think it means some feeling of retribution. well that doesnt exist when someone is murdered. it completely reduces something complicated to something dealt with in a primitive archaic fashion.

  190. Epicurus

    there is lots wrong with retribution and revenge. I have listed the reasons OVER AND OVER here so I dont see a point in doing so again.

  191. Epicurus

    appeal to emotion....f*ck the victims family. f*ck the perps family.

    the crime is done. if you want to feel better about it find closure another way rather than gaining sadistic pleasure in the pain of another sentient being.

  192. Epicurus

    but the death penalty ends up costing even more with all this.

    i figured you knew that and were for some expedited form of execution. so you really dont care about tax dollars or you just dont mind when the tax dollars result in someones death?

  193. robertallen1

    The feeling of comfort, however brief, and the knowledge that there is no chance that this person will ever do what he did (without possibility of parole is to iffy) are what make the death penalty the best position.

    So in addition to your previous statements, you're going to tell a victim's family that killing the perp makes them murderers even though they take no part in the act other than watching it. That's really logical and comforting.

    A person is responsible for what he does, AND NOT JUST TO A CERTAIN EXTENT. That committing heinous crimes somehow entitles one to room, board and health care for the rest of our lives on taxpayer dollars. Talk about misbegotten ideals.

    Where are your statistics on countries "that don't have this attitude?" And what do you mean by "much more pleasant?" You're not usually so vague.

  194. robertallen1

    I'm saying that it's not an objective one.

  195. robertallen1

    How do you know that the feeling of retribution doesn't exist when someone is murdered?

    There's something to be said for "primitive archaic fashion" and I would like to see more of it.

  196. robertallen1

    I see nothing and the more you try to explan what you believe to be wrong about it, the more it bolsters my view.

  197. robertallen1

    Oh, so we're down to emotion--and vulgarity now. How unlike you.

    Why don't you consider what that "sentient being" did?

  198. robertallen1

    As I've mentioned several times before, I'm for an expedited form, although it might not result in execution: one appeal and one appeal only.

  199. Michael Douglas

    All of these guys knew they had two strikes yet they made the decision to continue breaking the law. If there was a 10 strikes law there would still be individuals who kept pushing and exceeding that limit. In my opinion the repeat criminals have nothing to blame but their own decisions and actions.

  200. Allan Young

    I agree, I think that the more compassionately (for lack of a better word) a Government treats it's population the more compassionate the population will become.

    And I know we all like a good case of revenge, especially our more primitive brains. But I would prefer our corrections systems to CORRECT bad behavior, not encourage further bad behavior as it does now.

    I think rape is wrong. I think if someone rapes another person that is wrong. And I think if that original rapist got sent to jail and was raped by an inmate, THAT is also wrong. Simply because rape is wrong, it's wrong when ANYONE does it.

  201. robertallen1

    Does a killer rapist treat his victim with compassion? Does a killer rapist (or ever just a first degree killer) deserve compassion? Just how do you "correct" this type of behavior except with the needle? There's a lot to be said for the golden rule.

  202. Allan Young

    I would hypothesize that if we had a more compassionate corrections system and culture that we would have less killer-rapists being produced by our society. And less killer-rapists should be the goal of any civilized society. So I'm for whatever it takes to get that. If I have to set aside the revenge model of justice to achieve that than so be it.

  203. robertallen1

    Hypothesizing is not good enough. By a more compassionate corrections system, do you mean one that would repeat with this vermin that killing and rape are simply not done and then let them loose to see if they got the message? I for one have no compassion for those who have done some of things which I have read about and probably never will. Once again, there's a lot to be said for the golden rule.

  204. Joe

    One thing that really bugs me is prison rape jokes. If a late night comedian made a joke about raping a female, that would be the end of his career. But male rape is one long yuckfest. What type of society takes if for granted that incarceration for even petty crimes will include years of sexual brutalization as a matter of course?

  205. Allan Young

    robert, to answer your question, No. And I'm not sure what you mean by the golden rule. First of all I don't believe in the golden rule because it is said in with the assumption that there is a natural morality of existence, which I don't agree with.

    Second of all, the golden rule is "Do unto others how you would have them do unto you" which means, treat people how you would like to be treated. I think you might have it backwards and think that it means, to treat people how they have treated you.

  206. robertallen1

    It is "do unto others . . . " no matter what you think--and it's fine the way it is without your made-up, far-fetched interpretations about a natural morality to existence and how it really means something else.

  207. Emanouel

    Allen Young

    "I don't believe in the golden rule"

    But earlier you said,

    "the more compassionately a Government treats its population the more compassionate the population will become."

    Sounds pretty consistent with the golden rule to me.
    We all live by the golden rule. You are no different.

  208. robertallen1

    Are you saying that rapists/murderers follow the golden rule?

    The problem is that all too few of us live by the golden rule.

  209. Allan Young

    Emanoul, I am aware of how that sounds like I live by the golden rule, but the reason I don't believe in it is this:

    Do unto others how you would have them do unto you, that means that since I want a girl to drag me in the bathroom and bang me that I should do the same to her. In this context the golden rule is not golden at all. Which is why I don't believe in it.

  210. Emanouel

    I should have said that most law-abiding citizens do/should follow the golden rule.
    I did not mean to say that rapists/murderers follow the golden rule.

    I was quering Allen Young's statement when he stated,
    "I don't believe in the golden rule."
    Implicitly, most of us do believe this rule to be valid; it's simple common sense.

  211. Emanouel


    It means to treat others like the way you would like them to treat you.

    Essentially, show respect to others if you want respect in turn.

    You are completely twisting its meaning out of proportion with the "girl in the bathroom" scenario.

    Sayings like the "golden rule" are not issued with disclaimers.

    The essence of it is assumed to be understood.

    Are you taking the piss out of me?

  212. Allan Young


    I agree that "The essence of it is assumed to be understood" and that's the exact problem I have with it. It's the ASSUMPTION that everyone subscribes to the same morality as everyone else.

    I don't believe everyone subscribes to the same morality. Me and you may have common ideas on what is right, and what is respect, and what is acceptable in society, but I am aware that there are many individuals in the world who may take a radically different approach to what is right, and what is respect, and what is acceptable in the world. There are individuals who's views on morality might conflict completely with yours our mine. So I think that fact makes the golden rule subjective. And since it's subjective, I dont consider it a rule at all.

    No, I am not trying to take the piss out of you. I am trying to respond honestly and in a manner I believe to be respectful of your opinions. I know my ideas may seem quite different from yours, but hopefully we can be civil and intelligent in our comments towards one another.


  213. Emanouel

    There is no absolute law/rule requiring two individuals to 'get along' with each other.
    Sure, there are many instances today of individuals(even cultures) that probably do not follow the golden rule strictly; for example,
    "do as I say, not as I do."
    However, if 2 or more individuals wish to live in harmony, then the golden rule needs to be observed does it not? Hence, unlike you, I believe the message of the golden rule to be unambiguous.


  214. robertallen1

    Your example has nothing to do with the golden rule, as it involves volition rather than act. There's a fine article on the golden rule in Wikipedia. I suggest you read it before posting any more of your nonsense.

  215. robertallen1

    Again, there is a fine article on the golden rule in Wikipedia which I suggest you read before posting your nonsense--and the rule has nothing to do with one's views on morality, merely on one's actions.

  216. robertallen1

    And I second you, especially with respect to the absence of disclaimers.

  217. Vlatko


    How do you determine that he is talking nonsense? If you read the whole article about the Golden Rule (wiki) you'll soon realize it supports his view.

    The Golden Rule is just a philosophical concept that stems out of the religious dogma. It is not carrying some universal message about the morality. On the contrary it is very ambiguous.

    I think George Bernard Shaw, Karl Popper, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Bertrand Russell, all made justified objections and criticized the Golden Rule. The response to their criticism is very mild. Not that I want to appeal to authority, but do you think all these smart people were wrong?

  218. robertallen1

    What is known as the golden rule (although the doctrine of reciprocity would be a far better term) is found in some form in the Code of Hammarubi, a non-religious work, as well as in secular texts from Babylon and ancient China, Egypt and Greece. So it's the other way around; it's a philosophical concept which found its way into religious dogma.

    Shaw: "The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." This seems more an objection to its popular name than anything else. and not to its substance. One way or the other Shaw was primarily a playwright who dabbled in other areas such as music criticism and sociology.

    Karl Popper: "The golden rule is a good standard which is further improved by doing unto others, wherever reasonable, as they want to be done by" (The Open Society and Its Enemies, Vol. 2). I cannot regard this as fundemental disagreement.

    The golden rule has nothing to do with guessing how others want to be treated, except in Popper's additament, and everything to do with how "you" want to be treated., certainly a knowable subject So much for Nietzsche and all.

    Therefore, I don't see how you can say that Mr. Lane is correct and I am wrong.

  219. robertallen1

    P.S. You are appealing to authority and in the classic manner. It's like saying St. Augustine, the Venerable Bede, Sir Isaac Newton and the Pope believe in a god, do you think all these smart people were wrong?

  220. Emanouel

    From Wikipedia,

    "According to Marc H. Bornstein and William E. Paden, the Golden Rule is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights, in which each individual has a right to just treatment and a reciprocal responsibility to ensure justice for others."

    In the context of human rights, which is what our whole discussion has been centred on, the Golden Rule has every relevance.

  221. Vlatko


    The very point that it is philosophical concept, can be argued ad nauseum. Either side can find arguments for and against. There is no definitive answer on who's right and who's wrong.

    Mr. Lane could be wrong but so can you. Death penalty is also very arguable from every angle.

    For example, there are cases where countries without death penalty and without guns in the hands of the citizens produce less crime.

    On the other hand, it seems families who's dearest were slaughtered can't find justice without death penalty. It seems that the death penalty is completely justified from their point of view.

    Bottom line, death penalty in the past was the norm in every society in the world. As the time went by, many countries abolished the practice. It is a kind of evolution of morality and the law if you will, and the "non death penalty" is the direction where it goes. Do you want your country to be listed in the same group as North Korea, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia concerning this matter?

  222. Epicurus

    you can get life without the possibility for parole. Also parole is a good thing as long as there is chance for rehabilitation.

    "So in addition to your previous statements, you're going to tell a victim's family that killing the perp makes them murderers even though they take no part in the act other than watching it. That's really logical and comforting."

    i will tell them they are disgusting people just like the murderer. whats NOT logical is your CONSTANT attempt to use emotional appeals to persuade me. its even more amusing because I thought you would know better than that when it comes to me. my FEELINGS dont play any part in this.

    "That committing heinous crimes somehow entitles one to room, board and health care for the rest of our lives on taxpayer dollars. Talk about misbegotten ideals."

    and i would say that doing to someone what we are punishing them for is misbegotten.

    "Where are your statistics on countries "that don't have this attitude?" And what do you mean by "much more pleasant?" You're not usually so vague."

    Sweden, Canada, France, Norway, they typical countries that report more happiness in its population, and less crime.

  223. Epicurus

    why isnt it? its slant is toward equal rights and civil does that play into their subjective interpretations?

  224. Epicurus

    bring one here.

  225. Epicurus

    ditto. This view of yours plays right along with your view on immigration and even music. it is old, archaic, and not beneficial. a dying belief that when gone will leave the world a better place.

  226. Epicurus

    you have been playing the emotion card.

    I was being vulgar to express for the umpteenth time that i dont care about their feelings or emotions. those dont matter. literally F*CK THEM.

    i dont know how much more clear i could make it. im only concerned with the victim and the perp and the morality of actions taken.

    i consider what the sentient being did and thats why i am all for punishment. killing him just makes us immoral.

  227. Epicurus

    once again, way too much room for error when it comes to taking peoples lives.

  228. Vlatko


    Okay, but if you live in an African tribe, you'll be expected to literally sell your daughters and buy your wife, if you apply the Golden Rule.

    Even in modern society if you happen to be a member of a religious sect, or a swinger group, you'll be expected to do some weird stuff for your fellows.

    As @Allan said me and you may have common ideas on what is right, and what is respect, and what is acceptable in society.

    It is also true that if we want to live together in a group we must have taste of each other's sense of what is good and bad. You can definitely do that in small group, but in a huge complex societies I think it is virtually impossible and the Golden Rule becomes ambiguous indeed.

  229. Epicurus


  230. Epicurus

    Im sure you would. and thats a scary thought.

    thank goodness these views are going out with the old generations.

  231. robertallen1

    As all the various forms of the golden rule clearly demonstrate, Mr. Lane is clearly wrong in what it states--it is not a matter of opinion.

    I notice how you juxtapose without the death penalty and without gunds in the hands of citizens. Why don't you treat them separately? Not only must you demonstrate less violent crime takes place in countries without the death countries, but also a causal connection.

    When it comes to the death penalty FOR HEINOUS CRIMES (and we know what they are) I wouldn't mind this country being listed in the same grouop as North Korea, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

  232. Vlatko


    Well okay, but I was just pointing out the modern world trends, which say - we don't need the death penalty.

  233. robertallen1

    So emotional appeals play no part with you. Who wrote, " f*ck the victims family. f*ck the perps family?" And now I would also like to watch you tell a victim's family that because they want the retribution to which they are entitled, they are disgusting people.

    So you're saying that parole is a good thing as long as there's a chance for rehabilitation. Try applying that one to Charles Manson or Rodney Alcala.

    As for Sweden, Canada, France and Norway, how is happiness determined? Did the people taking the survey just walk up to some individuals selected at random and ask them if they were happy. By the way, which survey(s) are you referring to. It's odd that you didn't post a link. Also you have to establish not only correlation but causation--you should know that.

  234. robertallen1

    So you would tell them the things previously mentioned. In my book, that makes you a horrible person.

  235. robertallen1

    That's not responsive to my post and is ad hominem in the extreme (not that I mind). But it's really amazing how when it comes to science and religion you not only enunciate unquestionable principles but sedulously practice them and are the first to point out when others fail to do so--shame you fail to do so in other areas, but I guess that's part of your culture.

  236. robertallen1

    Why do you use a word as vague as immoral--and talk about playing the emotion card. When it comes to science and religion, that is far from your practice and as a matter of fact, many times you have taken posters to task for using vague terms--is this some double standard of yours?

    You say "f*ck the victims family. f*ck the perps family." Well, I say "f*ck the perp."

  237. robertallen1

    Not in my book.

  238. robertallen1

    At it pertains to the individual, I don't see what the golden rule has to do with African tribes, religious sects or swinger groups or how it involves having a taste of each other's sense of what is good and bad and thus becomes ambiguous in complex societies


  239. robertallen1

    "Thank goodness these views are going out with the old generations." I thought you were above emotional statements--and just how do you know that these views are going out or is it an example of the type of wishful thinking which you normally disdain when it comes to science and religion?

  240. robertallen1

    I wouldn't know a "modern world trend" if I were to see one and I wouldn't even know how to find out what the "modern world trends" are (assuming they exist)--nor do I much care, for antiquity or lack thereof is not my guide. Like everyone else, I cherry pick. People like Rodney Alcala (thanks for the documentary), James Holmes and Anders Brevick deserve execution, modern world trends or no modern world trends.

  241. Vlatko


    I don't see how you can't see. It is a philosophical concept which is interpreted and used differently in different times and in different groups. Bringing it up on this matter is irrelevant. If you take the positive form of it, it is even worse.

    And the taste of each other's sense is crucial if you want to apply it. How should I know that what is good for me is also good for you? I should have a glimpse of your values in order to apply the Golden Rule properly. If not it might end badly.

    (Positive form of Golden Rule): One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself. (wiki)

    For example I might like someone to whip me while I'm praying. Should I try to whip you while you pray without knowing whether you like that or not. I need to know your preferences/taste before proceeding, won't you agree.

    If I go out and apply the Golden Rule to random strangers it is almost certain that I will cause disaster.

  242. Emanouel


    What you are saying would probably carry more weight 100 years ago.

    Globalization has taken place, societies around the world continue to become more modernized as you have acknowledged; the concept of the Golden Rule is known, appreciated and understood all over the world, especially in the context of human rights.

    Any reasonable person understands the essence of the Golden Rule.
    As for African tribes, religious cults, or swinger groups.....

  243. oQ

    If a person (who normally would end on death row in certain countries but not in his/her country of crime) wished to die and expressed it unequivocally, the law would still keep him/her alive.
    I agree with you, if and when we kill the Alcala, Manson and McVeigh where and with who do we stop?
    What about the ones that are found to NOT be guilty years later?
    I have heard of many stories where the parents of a killed child or loved one have found much solace in facing the perpretator and telling their forgiveness.
    It is within all of us to one day snap in a way never ever imagined before, it is in all of our children. There are people who can be healed of such behavior.
    (edited for better expression of thoughts)


  244. Vlatko


    Religious cults, swingers, mass murderers, rapist are indeed present in modern world.

    If reciprocity is applied swingers should be forbidden to have sex, murderers should be murdered, rapist should be regularly raped, robbers should be robbed, molesters should be molested, etc.

  245. Emanouel


    The Golden Rule is the basis for the modern concept of human rights, in which each individual has a right to just treatment and a reciprocal responsibility to ensure JUSTICE for others.

    This doesn't necessarily mean rapists should be raped, molesters should be're taking an old view interpretation of the Golden Rule.

  246. Emanouel

    The 4 highest populated nations; United States, China, India and Indonesia still retain capital punishment.

  247. Vlatko


    I completely agree, but now you're contradicting yourself. According to what you've just proposed, murderers should not be murdered. I thought you were holding position in which murderers on some occasions should be murdered.

    And, I also learned that there is OLD and NEW interpretation of the golden rule. That was new.

    The truth is the rule holds the same interpretation all the time, which is ambiguous. You can't change the definition of it. What changed is the selective application of it.

    Why we choose to selectively apply it? Simple. Because of the "evolution" of our societies (morality, law, complexity).

  248. robertallen1

    The golden rule is not about others trying to perceive how I would like to be treated or my having to ascertain how others would like to be treated. It's about knowing how I would like to be treated and if I wanted to be whipped while praying and whipped someone first to communicate my desire (however strange this conduct might seem), I would still be violating the golden rule by engaging in an unprovoked attack. On the other hand, if this other person wanted to be whipped himself, there would be no violation of the golden rule and if he didn't but yet acceded to my request, he would have violated the golden rule.

    I don't cheat others and I expect others not to cheat me. I don't lie and expect not to be lied to. I ignore random strangers and expect to be ignored in turn. What's so disastrous about that?

    So, yes, I take the positive, retributive form of the golden rule.

  249. robertallen1

    First of all, as this pertains to what are generally described as heinous crimes (need I enumerate them), the boundaries are clear.

    With DNA testing, the odds of someone being found not guilty years later, is considerably reduced.

    And I have found other instances where the mother of a girl who was raped and killed found some solace in watching with her nose to the glass a perpetrator breathing his last. You might want to read about the recent execution (10/30/12) of Donald Moeller. I also suggest looking about Robert Alton Harris.

    One way or the other, if we "snap," we still must take the consequences of our actions, even if it's death.

  250. robertallen1

    By what line of reasoning should swingers be forbidden to have sex. It's not forbidden to consenting adults and the golden rule does not apply. First degree murderers should be executed. While it would be nice to have rapists raped regularly and painfully, but the courts won't allow this, so other forms punishment have to make do and just how do you rob a robber as punishment?

  251. robertallen1

    For first degree murder, there is a reciprocal punishment. The difficulty lies in the lack of reciprocal punishments for other crimes such as robbery (although there are civil remedies such as rape, child molestation, attempted murder, arson, mayhem, embezzlement and financial fraud (e.g., Ponzi schemes a la Madoff), so other punishments have been devised to respond to the crimes.


  252. Vlatko


    I didn't invent that paradox.

    Mr. Bernard Shaw said it nice: Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may be different.

  253. Emanouel

    Even without capital punishment, the essence of the Golden Rule is retained.

    Murderers are put to death because it is deemed to be just by many people, notwithstanding the fact that you and others disagree.

    I still hold the position that certain murderers should be dispatched.
    Why shouldn't the Norway killer who killed 77 be killed if victims demand it? Who are you to call them immoral? Why does killing him lessen us as a society? If you truly value life, then punish those who take life with the ultimate price. This, too, sends the message that life is sacred. I wonder how you would feel if this guy got 'rehabilitated', released and then did it again.

  254. Vlatko


    By the line of reasoning of reciprocity, which you hold onto. Swinging might not be forbidden in your country, but there are many countries where it is forbidden. I wonder why don't you want such a law in your country.

    So rapists should be raped. Good example for reciprocity.

    Robbers might be robbed from all of their possessions for example. If you rob a bank, authorities will rob your house and your bank account.

  255. Vlatko


    Okay, but you're selectively applying the Golden rule in most of the cases, except in the death penalty case.

    And the following is not correct: Murderers are put to death because it is deemed to be just by many people. In fact the opposite is true. In the last two decades alone, regarding the death penalty, it seems many people think very different than you.

  256. Vlatko


    Excellent, so why don't we devise suitable humane punishment for murderers, as we did for many other crimes.

    You'll have to accept the fact that the death penalty is relic from our barbaric past. In fact many, many countries already threw away that relic. It lingers in countries infected with religious dogma, absence of democracy, segregation, poverty, etc.

    Edit (Interesting fact): Did you know that during the cultural revolution in China the executions were often performed in public, and Chinese citizens were often forced to watch as "a form of solidarity with the people against the people's enemies."

  257. robertallen1

    Let's get things straight. It's not Vlatko who's claiming immorality or the lessening of us as a society, but rather Epicurus, the resident TDF arbiter of morals. Otherwise, I can find no fault with your post.

  258. Emanouel

    So put them in a small jail cell and torment them for the rest of their miserable lives?
    Will you sleep better because you have not murdered him?

    Leaving him to rot in a small cage is not immoral Vlatko??
    Some may argue death is a better fate. Indeed many of them take their own lives.

    By the way, an ABC news survey conducted in U.S. in 2006, found 65% of the people approved of capital punishment. So who is in the minority?

  259. robertallen1

    Because I can't find anything wrong with swinging. (Remember, you asked me why I don't want such a law in my country.)

    As for reciprocity, please see my later post.

  260. robertallen1

    Many people think different from me and you on a lot of matters and many agree. So there is nothing inaccurate about Emanouel's statement.

  261. robertallen1

    We have devised suitable humane punishment for first degree murderers; it's called lethal injection, although it seems that the firing square is just as quick and humane.

    Why this juxtaposition of the death penalty with the absence of democracy, segregation and poverty? It's like linking atheism with lack of morality.

    I see nothing wrong with public executions, but I see a lot wrong with forcing people to attend them.

  262. Vlatko


    We'll we are putting all criminals in a jail cell for every single crime, and many times for life, don't we? Isn't that inhumane? Or that counts only for murderers. This is the most fallacious argument used for justification of death penalty.

    Giving pool results from U.S. doesn't mean anything. Take a look at the pools in China and India. I bet the results are higher than 65%.

    You should probably take a look at the world. And if you do, you'll see that countries are abolishing death penalty at accelerating rate.

  263. Vlatko


    The next question is why you can't? Many countries think it is terribly wrong, and have laws against it.

    So, when you feel that the argument is inline with your reasoning, you want your country to be listed next to Iran and Saudi Arabia (death penalty), but when not you don't see a problem.

  264. Epicurus

    that wasnt an emotional statement. it was my view and actually something i say pretty often in the real world. especially around election time.

    i know they are going out because being of the younger generation im in touch with the views of said generation.

    as Bob Dylan said, the times they are a changin'

  265. robertallen1

    If you're talking about the three strikes law, as I've stated before, I agree that it needs some tweaking to certain resultant inequitabilities, but temporarily setting aside first degree murder, don't you think that rapists, drug dealers, child molesters, embezzlers, fraudsters, thieves, etc. deserve time in a prison cell--or is this just being inhumane?

    Those countries whic are abolishing or have abolished the death penalty MIGHT later regret it.

  266. robertallen1

    Because it's government interference in private conduct between consenting adults, that's why.

    If people want to juxtapose the death penalty in the United States with the cultural values of Iran and Saudi Arabia

    If people want to judge our country solely by the existence of the death penalty, that's their problem and if they want to juxtapose our culture to the cultures of Iran and Saudi Arabia, however ridiculous that is, that again is their problem.

  267. Emanouel


    Some people, like Epicurus, claim we shouldn't murder these guys because it's immoral.
    Isn't it also immoral to keep these humans in a cage for 50 years? What if they say sorry and express genuine remorse after 1 year? Shouldn't we release them because of our 'humanity?'

    So killing a mass murderer is immoral, but punishing him for the rest of his life is ok?

    You tell me....

  268. Epicurus

    there was nothing that was ad hominem about that. i have listed my argument and addressed your points numerous times.

    all i said was ditto to what you said, and then commented that this view is inline with your other views that I dont agree with. how you could see that as an ad hominem is a wonder.

  269. robertallen1

    Emanouel did not provide figures, but rather employed indefinite word many.

  270. Epicurus

    thats fine. i have no concern with your constant appeals to emotion in this argument.

    i get it. someone does something bad to you, you will gain joy from watching them suffer....and im the horrible person lol.

  271. Vlatko


    Rapists, drug dealers, child molesters, embezzlers, fraudsters, thieves, deserve time in prison in length according to the weight and circumstances of their crimes. The question is why murderers should be exempt of time in prison, and instead killed.

    Emanuel stated that it is more inhumane to put murderers in prison for life, than to kill them. I was just merely pointing out that if prison is inhumane for them it is inhumane for all the other criminals.

    Your last paragraph has one big MIGHT.

  272. Emanouel

    "countries are abolishing death penalty at accelerating rate"

    The pendulum swings.

  273. Vlatko


    "Many" in comparison to what. Shouldn't we be exact as possible?

  274. robertallen1

    In light of the horrible things you admit you would tell victims' families, I would like to know what makes you consider yourself the arbiter of morality or the spokesman for the "younger generation?" You really must think quite highly of yourself!

    It's really amazing that if someone used a quotation from Bob Dylan to back up a scientific or religious argument, you would come right down on this person, citing among other things, argument from authority, but with anything else, suddenly the rules change and speaking of change, can you think of a time, even during the Middle Ages, when the world was static? So Mr. Dylan's statement is merely another in a long line of platitudes which you seem to worship.

  275. robertallen1

    You forget. I'm not the tortfeasor. And as for constant appeals to emotion . . . need I quote more from your posts?

  276. Vlatko


    It was simple comparison, nothing more. Death penalty persist in countries with strong religious influence, poverty, lack of democracy and education, etc.

  277. robertallen1

    Because they have wantonly taken a life.

    That's why I wrote "might" and not "will." I don't have a crystal ball.

  278. Vlatko


    Then according to you prison would be immoral for any criminal, not just murderers. They can all express genuine remorse after 1 year.

  279. Vlatko


    But, rapers wantonly raped a girl or a boy. We should employ someone to rape them in the same manner, by that logic. You know, eye for an eye.

    Precisely, since you have no crystal ball, we should discuss about the stats we have now, which makes @Emanuel's statement inaccurate.

  280. Vlatko


    You don't know if pendulum will swing. You have to include one big MIGHT there.

  281. robertallen1

    You really do have a double standard. If someone were to use an argument from Answers in Genesis to back up some "scientific" point, you would immediately impugn the source, not only its lack of science, but its bias; however, the ACLU is apparenty sacrosanct. You also state, and rightly so, that the person asserting has the burden of proving, yet you're the one who provided the quote and when I asked how we measure happiness, you indicate that it's up to me to find out. Well, I went to your link and I don't see any correlation in the article between what the study defines as happiness and the elimination of the death penalty. However, if someone were to use this same tactic on a scientific or religious matter, you would be all over this person. Once again, you have a double standard.

    And I know what an appeal to emotion is by reading your posts, starting with the two little F comments.

  282. robertallen1

    Did you read my post where I stated that a lot of the time it is simply impractical or impossible to do this and thus another punishment must be substituted it. However, with first degree murderers this is not the case.

    All Emanuel indicated was "many" which is as indefinite as your use of the word.

  283. robertallen1

    But to give your statement any validity, you must establish causation.

  284. Emanouel

    See wikipedia (eye for an eye)

    "The term 'lex talionis' does not always and only refer to literal
    eye-for-an-eye codes of justice but applies to the broader class of legal systems that specify formulaic penalties for specific crimes, which are thought to be fitting in their severity."

    I'm getting tired of rinsing and repeating

  285. Vlatko


    Yes I did, but that argument is not enough. Rapist can be raped, robber can be robbed, molester can be molested. It is not that it is impossible or impractical. It is seen as not morally fitted by today's standards. Imagine a judge stating a verdict for a rapist: You should be gang banged every day for the next 4 years. Case closed.

    Eye for an eye is not in practice anymore, long ago, except in few cases.

    I used the word "many" just to ironize the usage of that word in his statement: Murderers are put to death because it is deemed to be just by many people...

  286. Vlatko


    In other words, eye for an eye just for severe cases. Nothing that we didn't know, or said so far.

    If you're getting tired of rinsing and repeating fallacious arguments, you should probably abstinent from doing that.

  287. Emanouel

    Ok I'll be more precise

    From wikipedia(capital punishment)

    In 2006, ABC News survey in U.S. showed 65% of population were in favour of capital punishment, consistent with other polling since 2000.

  288. robertallen1

    You're right, it would be a little outre for a judge to sentence a rapist to being gang banged every day for the next four years, for to some it would not be punishment; however, I wonder how much it has to do with changing standards as opposed to practicality or perhaps practicality dictates changing standards. But tell me, how does a law enforcement agency rob a robber (remember a writ of attachment or similar document is not robbery?

    It's far more accurate to state that first degree murderers are put to death (although not often enough) because of the laws on the books-- and which should remain there.

  289. robertallen1

    I also don't believe anyone mentioned hitmen either.

  290. Vlatko


    I've already answered that. Let me quote myself:

    Giving pool results from U.S. doesn't mean anything. Take a look at the pools in China and India. I bet the results are higher than 65%.
    You should probably take a look at the world. And if you do, you'll see that countries are abolishing death penalty at accelerating rate.

  291. Epicurus

    "In light of the horrible things you admit you would tell victims' families, I would like to know what makes you consider yourself the arbiter of morality or the spokesman for the "younger generation?"

    nothing about our conversation should have included the FEELINGS of the families of those involved.

    "You really must think quite highly of yourself!"

    I do.

    "It's really amazing that if someone used a quotation from Bob Dylan to back up a scientific or religious argument, you would come right down on this person, citing among other things, argument from authority"

    ....i didnt use the quote as an argument. i used it to reiterate my point. you need to learn how to discern these differences.

    "can you think of a time, even during the Middle Ages, when the world was static"

    no we are constantly evolving our views and becoming slightly better. that was my point. thanks for making it again for me.

  292. robertallen1

    You still need to establish causation. What you seem to imply is remove the death penalty and lack of education, totalitarian governments, poverty, etc. wil leither go away or be on their way out.

    And yes, I have read the wikipedia article considerably prior to your link.

  293. Epicurus

    yes please, give me one.

    and no you are not wrong of anything legally. no one said you were.

  294. Emanouel


    I reproduced that survey statistic to support my use of the word "many" since you queried it.

    When you say "countries are abolishing death penalty at accelerating rate" , I have to query this because as I previously stated,
    the 4 highest populated nations in the world; namely China, U.S. India and Indonesia still retain the death penalty.
    Also consider that China, India and Indonesia are fast becoming economic powerhouses. European countries who became part of the European Union had to drop capital punishment.

    Who cares what the smaller nations are doing?
    Look at the leaders for a meaningful guide.

  295. Vlatko


    I didn't imply any of what you've said. For some reason you want to put the causation in reverse, despite the fact that I told you that there is no direct causation.

    If you've read the article, that is sufficient. In any case, just to remind you, I've quoted several statements from there.

    You can argue all day, but eventually you have to admit to yourself that the death penalty is going away in the western developed world (except U.S.), and persist in the countries affected by dictatorship, poverty, and lack of education.

  296. Epicurus

    that you would compare something like the ACLU to answersingenesis is amazing to me.

    the ACLU does have a bias towards civil liberties. not towards making a myth true. The ACLU site i linked to links to the studies it uses in its claims.

    here is what they say about retribution


    Justice, it is often insisted, requires the death penalty as the only suitable retribution for heinous crimes. This claim does not bear scrutiny, however. By its nature, all punishment is retributive. Therefore, whatever legitimacy is to be found in punishment as just retribution can, in principle, be satisfied without recourse to executions.

    Moreover, the death penalty could be defended on narrowly retributive grounds only for the crime of murder, and not for any of the many other crimes that have frequently been made subject to this mode of punishment (rape, kidnapping, espionage, treason, drug trafficking). Few defenders of the death penalty are willing to confine themselves consistently to the narrow scope afforded by retribution. In any case, execution is more than a punishment exacted in retribution for the taking of a life. As Nobel Laureate Albert Camus wrote, "For there to be equivalence, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him and who, from that moment onward, had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life." (Reflections on the Guillotine, in Resistance, Rebellion, and Death 1960)

    It is also often argued that death is what murderers deserve, and that those who oppose the death penalty violate the fundamental principle that criminals should be punished according to their just deserts – "making the punishment fit the crime." If this rule means punishments are unjust unless they are like the crime itself, then the principle is unacceptable: It would require us to rape rapists, torture torturers, and inflict other horrible and degrading punishments on offenders. It would require us to betray traitors and kill multiple murderers again and again – punishments that are, of course, impossible to inflict. Since we cannot reasonably aim to punish all crimes according to this principle, it is arbitrary to invoke it as a requirement of justice in the punishment of murder.

    If, however, the principle of just deserts means the severity of punishments must be proportional to the gravity of the crime – and since murder is the gravest crime, it deserves the severest punishment – then the principle is no doubt sound. Nevertheless, this premise does not compel support for the death penalty; what it does require is that other crimes be punished with terms of imprisonment or other deprivations less severe than those used in the punishment of murder.

    Criminals no doubt deserve to be punished, and the severity of the punishment should be appropriate to their culpability and the harm they have caused the innocent. But severity of punishment has its limits – imposed by both justice and our common human dignity. Governments that respect these limits do not use premeditated, violent homicide as an instrument of social policy.

    Some people who have lost a loved one to murder believe that they cannot rest until the murderer is executed. But this sentiment is by no means universal. Coretta Scott King has observed, "As one whose husband and mother-in-law have died the victims of murder and assassination, I stand firmly and unequivocally opposed to the death penalty for those convicted of capital offenses. An evil deed is not redeemed by an evil deed of retaliation. Justice is never advanced in the taking of a human life. Morality is never upheld by a legalized murder." (Speech to National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Washington, D.C., September 26, 1981)

    Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, daughter of the slain Senator Robert Kennedy, has written:

    "I was eight years old when my father was murdered. It is almost impossible to describe the pain of losing a parent to a senseless murder.…But even as a child one thing was clear to me: I didn't want the killer, in turn, to be killed. I remember lying in bed and praying, 'Please, God. Please don't take his life too.' I saw nothing that could be accomplished in the loss of one life being answered with the loss of another. And I knew, far too vividly, the anguish that would spread through another family – another set of parents, children, brothers, and sisters thrown into grief."(Foreword to Gray and Stanley, A Punishment in Search of A Crime 1989)

    Across the nation, many who have survived the murder of a loved one have joined Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation or Murder Victims Families for Human Rights, in the effort to replace anger and hate toward the criminal with a restorative approach to both the offender and the bereaved survivors.

    Groups of murder victims family members have supported campaigns for abolition of the death penalty in Illinois, Connecticut, Montana and Maryland most recently.

    Barbara Anderson Young, the sister of James Anderson, who was allegedly run over by a white teenager in Mississippi in 2011, who reportedly wanted to hurt him because he was Black, wrote a letter to the local prosecutor on behalf of their family indicating the family’s opposition to the death penalty, which is “deeply rooted in our religious faith, a faith that was central in James’ life as well.” The letter also eloquently asks that the defendant be spared execution because the death penalty “historically has been used in Mississippi and the South primarily against people of color for killing whites.” It continues, “[e]xecuting James' killers will not help balance the scales. But sparing them may help to spark a dialogue that one day will lead to the elimination of capital punishment."

    Lawrence Brewer, convicted of the notorious dragging death of James Byrd in Texas, was executed in 2011. Members of Mr. Byrd’s family opposed the death penalty, despite the racist and vicious nature of the killing. Of Brewer’s remorseless – he said he had no regrets the day he was executed – Byrd’s sister, Betty Boatner, said, “If I could say something to him, I would let him know that I forgive him and then if he still has no remorse, I just feel sorry for him.” Byrd’s daughter shared that she didn’t want Brewer to die because “it’s easy . . .(a)ll he’s going to do it go to sleep” rather than live every day with what he did and perhaps one day recognize the humanity of his victim. James Byrd’s son, Ross, points out "You can't fight murder with murder . . .(l)ife in prison would have been fine. I know he can't hurt my daddy anymore. I wish the state would take in mind that this isn't what we want."

  297. robertallen1

    According to you "f*ck the families of the victims." Well, I have more compassion for them than for the garbagey perps whom you're trying to keep alive. Just recently, on 10-30-12, Donald Moeller was executed in Iowa for the murder and rape of a nine-year-old girl. Guilt was not in question. Twenty years later the execution was finally carried out and the girl's mother traveled 1,400 miles to witness it, which she did with her face pressed up against the glass. She admitted that while the execution brought her no closure, it did bring her a sense of relief--a relief to which she was clearly entitled. I would love to see you tell her face to face what a horrible person she is, that she is no better than Mr. Moeller and all the other crap that's come from you as the arbiter of morality.

    By using a quote to reiterate your point, you are using a quote from authority.

    Our views are evolving, but are we becoming slightly better? I wonder, especially after reading your posts for he last day and a half.

  298. robertallen1

    Let's start off with your to F comments regarding the families of victims and perps, followed by your constant monniker of immorality.

  299. Epicurus

    As long as human justice remains fallible, the risk of executing the innocent can never be eliminated.

    The death penalty:
    -denies the possibility of rehabilitation and reconciliation.

    -promotes simplistic responses to complex human problems, rather than pursuing explanations that could inform positive strategies.

    -prolongs the suffering of the murder victim’s family, and extends that suffering to the loved ones of the condemned prisoner.

    -diverts resources and energy that could be better used to work against violent crime and assist those affected by it.

    -is a symptom of a culture of violence, not a solution to it. It is an affront to human dignity.

  300. robertallen1

    Then without direct causation, your statement is a meaningless correlation.

  301. Vlatko


    That happens when you don't skim the articles linked on this thread.

    40 out of the 194 independent states maintain the death penalty in both law and practice. These countries make up approximately 66% of the world's population.

    The main point is: Capital punishment has been used in almost every part of the world, but in the last few decades many countries have abolished it.

    Also, should we look at China and Iran for a meaningful guide?

  302. over the edge

    so more people support it than deny it. that is a good reason to adopt it as policy?
    -CBS news poll: more people believe in ghosts than not.
    - only 15% believe in evolution without god (gallup)
    - 50% "ESP or extrasensory perception" gallup
    -equal amounts believe or not (41% both sides) "That people on this earth are sometimes possessed by the devil" gallup
    -57% believe "Do Psychic Phenomena Occur?" cbs news

    all of these polls are post 2000. so should the U.S establish a bureau of the paranormal? excuse crimes if possessed? disassemble science? allow ESP as testimony? and so on. the American government was set up in such a way to protect the minority from the majority. just because something is popular does not make it right.

  303. Vlatko


    Of course it is not, but if you intentionally want to believe that (for biased reasons), that is fine.

    The correlation is stated in the article. Read it again. I've quoted the statements. Don't just deny for the sake of denying.

  304. robertallen1

    "If, however, the principle of just deserts means the severity of punishments must be proportional to the gravity of the crime – and since murder is the gravest crime, it deserves the severest punishment – then the principle is no doubt sound. Nevertheless, this premise does not compel support for the death penalty; what it does require is that other crimes be punished with terms of imprisonment or other deprivations less severe than those used in the punishment of murder." Talk about a non sequitur! Why should murder be exempt?

    As for the quotes, it doesn't seem beyond the realm of probability that there are just as many victims' families who feel the opposite, for one, the mother in the Donald Moeller case, for another, the father one one of the victims in the Robert Alton Harris matter, both of whom watched the perp die and had no regrets about it.

    All in all, what the ACLU thinks about capital punishment is of no consequence--and please don't take this statement to mean that I'm totally against the ACLU has, for it's done a lot of fine things. I just consider it as much of an authority as Camus.

  305. Epicurus

    saying f*ck is not an appeal to emotion. it was a direct sign of my lack of emotion for that emotional claim. this is why i dont think you understand what appeal to emotion means.

    my claim that it is immoral is my basic premise. I dont want to condone what i consider immoral and have argued over and over again why i think it is.

    so no, not an appeal to emotion.

  306. Emanouel

    Whilst I do respect your stance, when I find rats in the cellar, I reach for the ratsack and moral considerations go flying out the window. I wish rats didn't exist, so we wouldn't be having these arguments in the first place.

  307. Emanouel

    I only produced that statistic in response to Vlatko's remark that capital punishment was a dying idea...pardon the pun.

  308. Vlatko


    "Rats" will never cease to exist. Not in near future. You'll have to find a different way to deal with them.

  309. Epicurus

    perhaps you should put yourself behind the veil of ignorance. there is no reason the loved ones of the perp should have to suffer the same way the victims families suffered. making more people unhappy doesnt do anything. even if it gives a short period of satisfaction for the person who takes pleasure in revenge.

    "Just recently, on 10-30-12, Donald Moeller was executed in Iowa for the murder and rape of a nine-year-old girl. Guilt was not in question. Twenty years later the execution was finally carried out and the girl's mother traveled 1,400 miles to witness it, which she did with her face pressed up against the glass. She admitted that while the execution brought her no closure, it did bring her a sense of relief--a relief to which she was clearly entitled. "

    LOL the constant appeal to emotion. i would tell that woman she is a sick person for taking pleasure in that. She admitted it didnt give closure. she only appeased a primitive emotion. that was all she did. I dont condone that. She is as disgusting as any human who takes joy in watching someone die.

    and no using a quote to reiterate your point is not an argument from authority. that is the most asinine thing you have said thus far.

    "Our views are evolving, but are we becoming slightly better? I wonder, especially after reading your posts for he last day and a half."

    yes we are becoming better. majority of countries (and all civilized ones) have done away with the death penalty.

    if you havent noticed i have constantly ignored your childish attempts to make passive aggressive remarks about me.

    if you havent noticed i am a typical liberally educated canadian. if you dont like that its fine. nothing about your views on this have come as a shock and neither are your tactics at debate.

  310. Vlatko


    But it is dying idea. You've produced the stats in vain. OTE showed you another aspect of why those stats are not suited for your argument.

  311. robertallen1

    1. DNA has gone a long way in drastically reducing the possibility of false conviction, not to mention corroborating evidence of which DNA testing is one variety.

    2. How do you propose rehabilitating a first degree murderer, by continually repeating to him that what he did was wrong and that he shouldn't do it again, especially if he wants to remain in civilized society and then let him out to ascertain if your method has worked?

    3. No, it's a final and effective solution to one instance at a time of one particular problem.

    4. One appeal and one appeal only should alleviate the suffering of the murder victim's family. The family of the condemned is irrelevant, as they were not victimized.

    5. Just how do you propose working against violent crime?

    6. Did it ever occur to you that murder/rape is the real affront to human dignity and that those engage in this type of conduct have no claim to it?

  312. robertallen1

    You're comparing science to moral issues. The question really is who or what decides them or if they are ever really decided.

  313. Emanouel

    Rest assured, I know you mean well.
    Anger can be burdensome I know.
    Honesty should be respected, at the very least.

  314. robertallen1

    The correlation is there, but where is the causation?

  315. over the edge

    i think Vlatko did a good job of showing that worldwide "capital punishment was a dying idea". but before i even consider capital punishment as a reasonable answer it has to be proven to me 100% without fail that not a single innocent person will be executed. then and only then will i even look at or discuss any deterrent or moral points.

  316. robertallen1

    That's true. All you can do is kill them when you find them.

  317. over the edge

    i do agree to a point . please see my post to Emanouel. whether it is moral or science a decision should never be made that can not be corrected as we learn more.

  318. robertallen1

    . . . "i would tell that woman she is a sick person for taking pleasure in that. She admitted it didnt give closure. she only appeased a primitive emotion. that was all she did. I dont condone that. She is as disgusting as any human who takes joy in watching someone die." This alone makes you a bad person.

    Do the families of perps suffer in the same way as the families of victims? I wonder if it's possible to generalize.

    If as you claim you're not using a quote from authority, but merely using it to reiterate your thoughts, why do you need to use the quote in the first place?

    And just what are these passive aggressive remarks? I have no idea what the term even means.

  319. robertallen1

    In the case of James Holmes, for example, is there any question of guilt?

  320. over the edge

    again citing specific cases can be done by both of us. to answer your question (i am familiar but have not done any in depth investigation) he did it. but nobody has developed a system that does not make mistakes . so until such time as one is developed he can rot in jail forever as far as i am concerned.

  321. robertallen1

    He was standing in the theatre shooting away. What more do you want? There was nothing surreptitous about it.

    With DNA and corroborating evidence, I'm satisfied with the system we have now and the only way i would change it is if we came up with a more accurate identifier than DNA.

  322. Vlatko


    You want to me to repeat something which I repeated several times so far. There is no direct causation. In fact it is not needed. It is just plane simple statistics.

    The following statements are completely true:

    Western Developed Countries (except USA) = no death penalty
    Poor and authoritative countries (and USA) = death penalty

    We just discuss why it is that way. What do you think why is that? Just a coincidence?

  323. Vlatko


    I don't have a clue what are you trying to say.

  324. robertallen1

    Maybe. Without causation I really can't say.

  325. Epicurus

    "This alone makes you a bad person."

    when i consider the source, im not moved in any way.

    i used the quote because i like it. I often use quotes from people because I think they can say it better than I can.

    If your remarks are not passive aggressive i would have to ask you if you have been diagnosed with a mild form of asperger syndrome at any time in your life.

  326. robertallen1


    What's amazing is that if this were a matter of science or religion and someone had presented a statistical report showing just correlation, you would immediately ask for evidence proving causation. In this case which involves neither science nor religion, you simply state that correlation is not needed and follow that up with a question as to what I think engenders the correlation? Obviously there's a double standard here just as with Epicurus.

  327. robertallen1

    1. First of all the odds of two people having the same DNA are billions to one. Secondly, I've also mentioned corroborating evidence.

    2. Just because some people are working on rehabilitating a first degree murderer is no reason to keep this person alive. There is plenty of time between conviction and execution to perform whatever research is necessary.

    3. Fine, then let's make people who are justifiably angry feel a little better.

    4. I wrote they are NOT being victimized.

    5. You're the one who wants to work against violent crime. So I thougt maybe you had something in mind--and nobody's asking you to be the executioner.

    6. So first degree murder (which involves only a relative few) is merely a symptom, a symptom of what?

  328. robertallen1

    Whether you are moved or not, it still makes you a bad person.

    And no, you generally use quotes to illustrate factual points or explain some scientific matter.

    I asked you for examples of passive aggressiveness and what do you provide,asperger syndrome.

  329. slpsa

    Hi guys...( nom nom nom) just having my tea and watching you two have a go. For days on end. Heh. I like it. Please, do carry on lads. I do love a good pissin match. Seems to me you are both equally loaded with intellect. Who's gonna blink first? Any bets?

  330. Vlatko


    Oh Jesus. That isn't true. The other day we had similar conversation about the atheistic and religious countries. The same argument as here.

    Western developed countries are becoming more and more atheistic (except USA). Non developed countries (and USA) stick to religion. That is undeniable fact.

    No one asked about any causation (including me), because there is none. Honestly you can't exactly say that atheism is the cause of the progress, or that the progress produced atheism. It is not that simple.

    The only thing you can deduce is that because the western developed world became more and more liberal, educated, not segregated, and rich, gradually started to outgrown religion.

    It is the same with the death penalty. It is even more obvious and convincing in this case, because it involves murder. Western liberal societies have outgrown such penalties. To claim that it is coincidence or there is another reason, it is bordering with ignorant denial.

  331. robertallen1

    If you are saying that there is no causation, then you have proved nothing except what the statistics show. If it's ignorant denial, then show me your proof of causation, not just your hypothesis passing for proof. That is hardly scientific.

  332. Epicurus

    "You tell me...."

    ask the people on death row.

  333. robertallen1

    In other words, you're saying that we should ask those on death row if what we're doing to them is immoral.

  334. Epicurus

    1. if one person can mistakenly be killed then we shouldnt do it.

    2. If someone is capable of rehabilitation and realizes what they did was wrong and do their time in prison, i think that is good reason to keep them alive.

    3. killing someone to make someone feel better is disgusting imo

    4. yes you did, however they are being victimized.

    5. would you be the executioner? and Im in favor of working against violent crime.

    6. this would require an essay. i was hoping you were smart enough to understand what i meant.

  335. Epicurus

    No, if they would rather be in jail for 25+ years or be put to death. If they want to die then im all for that.

  336. Epicurus

    did you read the first part of his post? what do you think when we use the same stats and arguments to show that countries with more atheism are happier or better off?

  337. Epicurus

    The problem is we are both arguing a moral position that when we get right down to it has no objectively right response.

    we are basically going off the ideals and morals that we already hold. I have realized about 24 hours ago that no argument is going to be put forth that is quantifiable. we might as well argue about whether or not homosexuals should marry or abortion should be allowed. issues of our morals.

  338. robertallen1

    1. What about in the James Holmes matter where guilt is not in doubt?--and don't give me the psychological crap. Whether you admit it or not, a person is responsible for what he does.

    2. So all James Holmes has to do is say, "I'm so sorry. what I did was wrong" and he should be spared the needle. Are you saying that convicted first degree murderers should be released or let off the hook if they are somehow found to be capable of rehabilitation? First of all, how is this determination to be made? If the scumbag killer says "I'm sorry." Second, under your system, what's the difference in punishment between admitting wrong and not admitting it?

    3. You really have your gall to be dictating not only what's moral and what isn't, but what people should or should not be thinking or what they should or should not desire.

    4. You left out an important word and refuse to admit it.

    5. I would gladly be the executioner. Now ,how does one work against violent crime? I've asked you before and have received nothing approaching an answer.

    6. And I was hoping you would be smart enough at least to adumbrate.

  339. robertallen1

    Actually, there's something in that, but the minimum should be raised and they should be allowed an escape clause (i.e., death) any time they want it.

  340. robertallen1

    If I remember correctly, the issue arose when one of the religees tried to posit that religion was responsible for people in certain countries being better educated and better off than in atheistic ones and the refutation consisting in citing atheistic countries as counterexamples. So the burden was on the poster to prove causality just as it is on Vlatko to prove the same thing.

  341. robertallen1

    I find it quite quantifiable. Homosexuals should be allowed to marry and women should be allowed abortion simply because as a public entity, the government has no business interfering in private affairs.

  342. robertallen1

    A link to a really unbiased source.

    While science is incapable of distinguishing moral from immoral, it very much comes into play when statistical arguments are made. I don't deny that the death penalty is practiced in poor and authoritarian states, but as you seem to be linking poverty and authoritarianism to it (or perhaps vice versa), I want proof of causation.

    I don't deny the existence of the trends, whether I like them or not, for the facts speak for themselves, but I think they are wrong just as you think they are right.

  343. Epicurus

    so then humans should take execution into their own hands? why is that not a private affair?

  344. Epicurus

    1. so a person is a completely free agent with free will?

    2. should he be spared the needle, yes. Also yes, i think convicted first degree murderers should be released after doing at least 25 years and is rehabilitated. the detremination would be made by a qualified psychologist. I like the 25 years to life but i also want prison to be more humane.

    3. I, like every person think my morals ought to be adopted by everyone. i behave in a way i think everyone ought to. so its not unusual for me to dictate what i believe to be moral. I also have no problem telling people their desires are wrong. if someone had the desires to kill themselves or their child as some honor killing i would tell them that is wrong. YOU of all people better not preach moral relativism to me.

    4. i have no idea what you mean. I didnt intend to leave out an immportant word.

    5. and you call me a horrible person but you would gladly execute people. thats amazing.

    Im not going to write out the essay that would be required to explain how we curb violent crime. I also never claimed it would be completely gone ever. this is not the topic. The topic was that the death penalty is wrong. your only justification has been one of revenge. if you think that is morally satisfactory there is nothing i can say to change your mind. especially if morality is not objective. but i can (and have) give you my reasons for my position. I can also tell you that i find your position reprehensible and you can also say that about mine. but good luck for either of us providing OBJECTIVE evidence.

  345. Epicurus

    im not against that, as im for euthanasia. The minimums being extended could definitely be debated on a case by case basis.

  346. robertallen1

    No, first degree murder is a public affair which makes it a matter for the government.

  347. Vlatko


    The source is biased, but the facts inside are true. You can check them if you want.

    But, it is fair enough. This is perhaps your only honest comment so far on this topic.

    The stats, and the trends are there, you acknowledge them, but you think countries that comprise those stats and trends are making wrong decisions. That perfectly makes sense. You have the right to think they're wrong as I have the right to think they made the right decisions.

  348. Epicurus

    its not always necessarily a public affair.

    someone killing a man who raped their mother. that is premeditated. why is that a public affair?

    we could make all kinds of arguments for laws that COULD be public affairs.

  349. robertallen1

    1. I don't know about free will and nobody else does either, but a person is responsible for his actions and this applies to Mr. Holmes and Mr. Brevick who cold-bloodedly planned their massacres way in advance.

    2. Unlike orthopedics, psychology and psychiatry are simply art forms which is why it's so easy to get their practitioners to testify to anything. So I can't figure out how these "artists" can determine who is rehabilitated and who isn't, much less establish standards for making this determination. As a matter of fact, how often has a "qualified" psychologist or psychiatrist determined that an individual was rehabilitated, only to have this individual go out and commit another heinous crime shortly after his release? Now with the dealth penalty, we don't have to bring in psychologists or psychiatrists to fight over the issue of rehabilitation. And 25 years is way too lenient, but what can you expect of someone who's more on the side of the poor perp than anyone else, including the victim's family.

    3. I too behave in a way i think everyone ought to, only I don't try to shove my morality down other people's throats and you have no business doing so. I don't tell people their desires are wrong and if I knew someone was going to kill a child as a form of honor killing or for whatever other reason, I would not tell the person anything; instead, I'd run to the police--more effective that way.

    4. It's an important word, i.e., not.

    5. What's so horrible about legally executing someone and enjoying your work?

    If you find the issue of curbing violent crime irrelevant, why did you bring it up in the first place?

  350. robertallen1

    On second thought, I don't like the idea of these people (and you know which ones I'm talking about) receiving free room, board and medical care while the rest of us have to pay for these. You might want to read up on the prison life of the Manson family, several of whom have received college degrees, i.e., free education. It should be a bare bones existence and nothing else.

  351. robertallen1

    Wrong. My comments on what I think should happen to this garbage are perfectly honest. My comments regarding the victims' families are perfectly honest. The accounts of the cases I have referred to are honest to a fault, especially the one concerning Donald Moeller and the victim's mother who traveled 1,400 miles to witness the execution where I indicated exactly what the mother stated she felt although I wished that she had felt somewhat different. As a matter of fact, when have I ever been dishonest on this thread or any other?

  352. robertallen1

    It might start off as a private matter, but when it escalates to a killing such as you have described, it's a public affair no matter where it's committed and a matter for the authorities as is every homicide.

  353. oQ

    election brake boys?

  354. dewflirt

    You should check out deathpenaltyinfo. org under botched executions. Whether you care or not for the feelings of the accused, for those watching it must be a harrowing experience. That humane and painless lethal injection is anything but. There is also a doc, How to Kill a Human Being. Very disturbing, for me anyway. There are other ways to do it, ways less awful for all involved. There was a case of an execution being delayed because a man tried to take to take his own life before his execution. They saved him so they could kill him their own way. What were they so worried about? That his death wouldn't be awful enough? That they wouldn't have the satisfaction of watching him die? There are emotions involved in every aspect of this subject, to pretend there aren't is silly, if it was that way they would be put to death immediately their trial was over or left to rot in jail and forgotten about. If you enjoy seeing people killed, for any reason, you are no less wrong than a murderer. What a way to get your jollies :(

  355. robertallen1

    I am concerned for the accused in the sense that the person receive a fair trial, but that's it. I am quite familiar with deathpenaltyinfo dot org, especially the section on botched executions, and I have no pity for the perp, just as he had no pity for his victim(s)--and just why shouldn't a victim's family take some pleasure in seeing the person who wantonly murdered one of their loved ones get his just desserts?

  356. slpsa

    From my seat, I see that the death penalty where it exists, has not curbed violent crimes whatsoever. If crime stats in the US are any indicator, it seems to me it has gotten worse. The deterrent so many are fond of has accomplished zilch, unless my eyes deceive me. If even one person has been wrongfully executed, which we know has happened, numerous times, my morals suggest it needs another look at what the encompassing criteria for conviction and summary execution entails. The other side of that coin is that an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, does have its merits. There are cultures and countries that have extremely low crime rates because they subscribe to that mantra.

    I am on the fence with this one. I do not like killing any living creature, no matter the reason, but as someone said so famously. Some people just need to be killed. The whole idea of prisons for profit however, which is the topic here to be begin with, leaves a really foul taste in my mouth. Open to abuse and corruption at the highest levels. Wrong on many levels of my moral compass, I could never justify in my mind, having private companies make huge profit, from caging human beings for any variety of petty or serious crimes.

  357. slpsa

    I tend to feel the same. A human being executed to make anyone feel better is sick. Call me a wallflower, I could care less, that is a foreign idea to my logic. I would not sleep better at night if someone killed my wife and they forfeited their own life for that. I may be a minority in that feeling, but I take no solace now or ever, in people being put down over emotional responses to life around us. Murder for the most part is an emotional melt down. The exceptions to that are obvious, drugs, gangs, robberies, but on the whole, domestic things rule the majority of cases. I have seen many family members of those slain pleading for the convicted to be spared the death penalty. So have many of you. I cannot ever recall, the authority's listening. If that has happened, I missed it. It makes you wonder sometimes what the States motivation is, we are talking the US here by the way.

  358. robertallen1

    Actually, the main reason for execution is because the person has wantonly taken a life and must pay the forfeit--yes, it is retribution and I can find nothing wrong in that. Yesterday, Garry Allen got his. You might want to read up on what the victim's family who watched the execution had to say, not that I consider it typical or representative because I don't know what typical or representative is for victims' families. On 10/30/2012, just a few days ago, Donald Moeller got his and the mother of the victim (a 9-year-old who was raped and murdered) travelled 1,400 miles to watch his execution. You might want to read what she had to say. Then there's the Robert Alton Harris case a few years back involving a string of murders. You might want to read what the father of one of the victims who watched the execution had to say. Once again, I have no idea if these are typical or representative responses, but because these people received some comfort from seeing this vermin put away for good does not make them the monsters that certain posters are claiming that they are.

  359. oQ

    From deathpenaltyinfo. org:
    Since 1973, 141 people in 26 states have been released from death row with evidence of their innocence.

    Who can argue that the death penalty could kill innocent people?
    What happened to the one who should have been the 142nd?
    Was he shot with an improper dosage?

  360. robertallen1

    I would like to know how old these cases are.

  361. slpsa

    Well, I guess I should have added, anyone 100 per cent guilty and proven beyond a doubt to have killed, raped or molested a child, yeah, they get what they deserve. That part of my moral compass makes allowances for low life vermin such as that. As I said, some people need killin.....they fall into that category.

  362. robertallen1

    Such as James Holmes, Anders Brevik, Jared Lochner and Rodney Alcala. I really can't see the connection between keeping garbage like this alive merely because we may have made or make may a mistake in unrelated cases. Each case must be looked at individually--and I don't mean in terms of blaming society as a whole for the acts of a microscopic minority,

    I don't know if you have heard, but here in California, Proposition 34 which would not only have eliminated the death penalty, but made this elimination retroactive, thus releasing the 700+ on death row into the general prison population, was defeated.

  363. Abamovich

    I remember the uproar when Midnight Express came out and the American got 30 years for a small amount of drugs for personal use in Turkey, oh the horror. That would never happen in a civilised country like America. That was back in the 70s.

    Now Americans are locking their own citizens up, not for 30 years but for life for lesser crimes.

    The US is a land of contradictions indeed.

  364. slpsa

    I suppose I could explain it better this way. Crimes of passion are one thing in my mind. All the other stuff, is another matter entirely. I understand where you are coming from. I am just that person Robert. I do not take any sort of satisfaction from people being executed. It may not make total sense to people of other ideals. but for me, taking a life is wrong, no matter who is doing it. Violence begets more violence, hence the deterrent has failed. Wallflower<---- Non violent<----Only if threatened. I am sure you understand. My type of people are quite plentiful. lol.

  365. robertallen1

    I disagree entirely. Jared Lougner who unfortunately was given a life sentence today, Rodney Alcala and Andres Brevik are three cases which cry out for it. It's better that we get rid of this scum, even if others take their place. Do you really feel that Timothy McVey should not have been executed?

    P.S. I never indicated that the death penalty was a deterrent. People are going to commit first degree murder, no matter what.

  366. Epicurus

    1. just because they planned their murder for a long time doesnt mean they are completely insane. I admit according to the law the definition of insanity is iffy. but its well known that someone can be crazy for a long time. there is no reason a schizophrenic can not plan out some atrocious event because they are deluded. why should that person be put to death?

    2. as someone who initially got a science degree in psychology i take great offense to this. it is not an art form it is absolutely a science.

    3. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. and no its not an appeal to authority. just a great quote of my view here. honor killings are completely immoral and i will tell people that.

    4. i have no clue what you are talking about.

    5. executing a human and taking joy in that is a sign of a socially dysfunctional brain.

    i find talking about ways to achieve that to not be the focus here. the point was that capital punishment doesnt achieve that goal.

  367. Epicurus

    a bare bones existence assures keeping them malformed. it guarantees recidivism. but of course your solution to that is execution.

  368. Epicurus


  369. robertallen1

    1. These people are being put to death not because they are deluded but because they have committed horrible crimes.

    2. I have talked to a number of practicing psychiatrists and psychologists who have confessed to me that they find their profession more of an art form than a science. One way or the other, how predictive are these fields of study? And if they're so wonderfully predictive, why are there so many cases of people being released on the recommendations of these professionals and then committing the same types of disgusting crimes? Why is it that in criminal trials, all too often, you have two sets of psychiatrists/psychologists with equal qualifications coming to two radically different conclusions? In orthopedics you might have differences in extent of injury or treatment, but rarely as to the existence of the injury itself.

    3. Be as self-righteous as you want and as insensitive to victims' famlies as you want. I for one am happy when I hear that another of this vermin has received his just reward and whether you like it or not, it did my heart good when California Proposition 34 was defeated.

    5. I think you really have your nerve characterizing as socially dysfunctional family members who take pleasure or comfort in watching the executions of those who murdered their love ones. I don't know who you think you are, but you have no business dictating what people should think or how they should feel. In that respect, you're no better than a religee.

  370. robertallen1

    Indeed, it is. Why should our tax dollars have to be spent on giving this garbage a free ride? And don't talk to me about rehabilitation--how do you rehabilitate someone like Rodney Alcala?

  371. robertallen1

    Because that's the way it works in our society and in yours as well.

  372. slpsa

    I still maintain my original feelings. I do not like to see a life taken for any reason. You are entitled to feel the opposite. I can understand it, but could never feel that way. All three of those people deserve it perhaps, but it makes us no better as people if we cheer that on. Again, we can agree to disagree, which really, never has happened. This is a first. :)

  373. robertallen1

    Well if they deserve it, give it to them. As for making us better people, I think it makes us worse if we say that although they committed these heinous crimes, we're going to support them (i.e., give them a free ride) for the rest of their lives.

  374. Epicurus

    1. but they only committed the crimes because they are deluded.

    2. what do you mean there are so many cases of psychologists affirming peoples rehabilitation then those people recommitting? the problem with court experts (and this is NOT just in psychology) you will have liars.

    5. and i think you have some nerve taking pleasure in murdering human beings. you have done nothing but made an argument from an appeal to emotion. lol stop using that word "religee" its sophomoric.

  375. Epicurus

    extreme examples you give will always exist but they are so rare that to organize a capital punishment system around their existence that is irrational fear mongering

  376. Epicurus

    but why? what is the logic?

  377. Epicurus

    usually rides are pleasant.

  378. Emanouel

    Jared Lee Loughner, whose 2011 shooting rampage killed 6 people and wounded 13 others, has been ordered to serve 7 consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years in a federal jail.

    Are 7 life sentences more punishment than a single life sentence?
    What a farce!
    If 1 life sentence isn't sufficient punishment, just give him the jab like you would to a rabid dog.

    He avoids a federal death sentence although state prosecutors in Arizona could still decide to try him.

  379. robertallen1

    1. They're still responsible for their own actions and must suffer the consequences.

    2. The problem with court experts is that most of them are whores and because psychology and psychiatry are far more nebulous than other sciences, it's easier to get these people to testify one way or the other with impunity. As I asked before, where is the predictability so indispensable to science. Two orthopedists are not going to disagree as to whether a bone is broken. Two pulmonary specialists are not going to disagree as to whether a person has lung cancer, but it's not uncommon for two psychologists/psychiatrists to come up with complete different diagnoses--this I know because I have worked on enough cases for enough attorneys, both civil and criminal. Also here in California, within the last few years, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board has severely limited the nature and scope of psychiatric/psychological claims which can be filed, but has not done so with other branches of science. I wonder why.

    3. When you tell plain old ordinary people that by taking pleasure or comfort in witnessing the deaths of the those who killed their loved ones that they are socially dysfunctional (although they have and do basically fit into society), you are no better than religees who tell people that because they are atheists or because they don't believe as they do, that they are damned or immoral. You have no business either passing judgment on or marginalizing victims' families just as you are unqualified to term the 52.8% of the California electorate who voted no on Proposition 34 socially dynsfunctional.

    Once again, certain people deserve death. Once again, first degree murder should not be a gateway to lifetime taxpayer-supported room, board, education and medical attention.

  380. robertallen1

    We already have a capital punishment system, so let's just employ it where applicable as with scumbags such as Rodney Alcala.

  381. robertallen1

    You're the one who seems to think that it should be a private matter.

  382. robertallen1

    The latest is that the state prosecutors have decided not to try him. Apparently this was part of the plea bargain.

  383. Emanouel

    Funny how some think it is ok to kill a child(abortion) but it is not ok to kill a child-killer (like Breivik).

  384. robertallen1

    Abortions don't kill children; they kill fetuses. Abortions are private matters and any laws against them represent an unwarranted governmental intrusion into people's private lives, especially the right of a woman to decide for herself and not have a decision forced upon her. Killing children (or for that matter anyone else) is a public matter to which the perpetrator cannot claim a right of privacy. Worlds of difference.

  385. Emanouel

    If some believe that women have the right to terminate/kill a fetus, then they should be consistent by not opposing capital punishment....if abortion is morally equivalent to murder.

  386. Emanouel

    From what I've read, all the victims and their families unanimously agreed not to seek the death penalty. But I don't know if this would have influenced the prosecutors.

  387. Epicurus

    okay you dont have an answer. just say that.

  388. Epicurus

    because we already have an irrational system its okay to use it?

    Rodney Alcala was a product of his environment. the man was mentally unhealthy. he shouldnt be put to death because he suffered traumas in his life which made him crazy.

  389. robertallen1

    Inequitable yes, irrational no.

    How many other "mentally unhealthy" people who have suffered traumas have committed the heinous crimes that Mr. Alcala did? I don't buy it as an excuse for prolonging his miserable existence.

  390. Epicurus

    1. but how can you claim they are responsible when they are deluded. that would be like me walking off a cliff because my brain was certain there was a ground there. and then you just calling me stupid or saying i deserved it for walking off the cliff.

    2. two experts disagree all the time in court. not just psychologists.

    3. so wait, why do I have no business passing moral judgement on someone but you have the business to not only do so but to then execute them because of the judgment you passed down? that is the height of ironic hypocrisy. I have no problem callin 52.8% of californians dysfunctional. im sure you have no problem calling them dysfunctional for voting against gay marriage.

    i cant believe you are actually trying this terrible argument.

    not only is 52% of californians dysfunctional (if they would take pleasure in seeing anyone die) but the majority of americans are dysfunctional for being against health care and gay marriage and evolution.

    lol trying an argument from popularity mixed with an appeal to emotion....nice.

    I would love to see what a country run by your ideals would be like.

  391. Epicurus

    abortion is not a child. it is a fetus.

  392. Epicurus

    abortion is not morally equivalent to murder. murder takes a human life. abortion destroys a parasitic fetus which has no rights.

  393. robertallen1

    1. One could argue that every first degree murderer, every rapist, etc. is deluded in some way or another. I don't buy it.

    2. As I've mentioned before two experts might disagree, but it's what they disagree about. Although they might disagree as to extent of injury, treatment or causation, two orthopedists are not going to disagree about whether a bone is broken. With two psychologists/psychiatrists, it's something else.

    3. You can pass all the moral judgments you want, but when you start accusing those whose moral precepts disagree with yours of immorality and social dysfunctionality, you are no better than religees characterizing atheists or those who believe differently as damned or immoral. You have no business dictating what a person should or should not believe, should or should not think and by doing so, you have In essence appointed yourself as chief of the thought police. And no, I don't consider those against gay marriage as socially dysfunctional, I consider them meddlesome. I don't consider those against evolution as socially dysfunctional, I consider them ignorant. By the way, how does anyone know that you're not socially dysfunctional?

    And talk about appeal to emotion, your last sentence is a textbook example.

  394. Epicurus

    1. no they couldnt.

    2. two psychologists will not disagree whether someone is schizophrenic.

    3. so if i tell someone who participates in gential mutilation of their daughter that they are immoral, im in the wrong? if i tell someone that what they think is moral is reprehensible and disgusting then im as bad as a religious person....okay whatever makes you feel right.

    and no my last sentence wasnt an appeal to emotion. again, you clearly have no clue what an appeal to emotion is.

  395. Epicurus

    so because not everyone responds to trauma the same way, its not really trauma?

  396. robertallen1

    1. Fine, one way or the other, they should be executed.

    2. That's my been my experience and I have worked on a number of cases in which psychiatrists have disagreed about whether an individual is schizophrenic.

    3. No, you report genital mutilation, especially of a child, to the police, as it is illegal, at least in this country. Otherwise, as far as people, especially members of a victim's family, taking pleasure in watching the perps die, which is far from illegal, you are simply imposing your moral judgment on others and thus acting as a religee, especially by arbitrarily terming such individuals socially dysfunctional when they are far from it.

    What's really amazing is although Vlatko, Jack1952 and Slipsa disagree with me, they don't set themselves up as arbiters of morality the way you do and certainly refrain from employing amateur psychology or sociology.

  397. robertallen1

    That's not what I'm saying and you know it.

  398. Epicurus

    1. no they should not.

    2. that must have been a long time ago. the only time there would be disagreement is if they suspect someone of lying and the other doesnt.

    3. so what is illegal is automatically immoral? yes i am imposing my moral judgement on a person who takes joy in watching someone die. just like i would impose my moral judgement on someone who forces their daughter to undergo female circumcision. You are acting as a THEIST because you seem to have no problem with executing people.

    Whats especially amazing is you think that im doing something any different from almost all of your posts to people on this site. There is a reason that you are CONSTANTLY in an argument with someone. and its not because of everyone else.

  399. Epicurus

    you have just been swayed by an emotional argument.

  400. robertallen1

    1. The sooner we get rid of this garbage, the better.

    2. Fine, one doctor is paid to believe and the other is paid not to. With psychology/psychiatry, it's so easy to get away with this. With the physical sciences such as orthopedics, it is not.

    3. Forcing someone to undergo female circumcision is a physical act punishable by law. Taking joy or comfort in watching the perpetrator of a heinous crime breath his last is not a physical act and imposing your morality on it makes you not only a religee, but a cheap pharisee.

  401. robertallen1

    One way or the other, Slipsa is right. Now, let's see how you with all your psychology and highbrow morality would have rehabilitated the ten defendants in the first Nuremberg trial who were hanged. Now, let's see how you with all your psychology and highbrow morality would have rehabilitated Rudolf Hoess. Now, let's see how you with all your psychology and highbrow morality would have rehabilitated Charles Starkweather, Pee Wee Gaskins and Timothy McVey. Now, let's see how you with all your psychology and highbrow morality would have rehabilitated Richard Hickcock and Perry Smith.

  402. oQ

    I wonder if your wife would think of her fetus this way if she was to get pregnant. Men can say such stupid things when they have never felt pregnancy from the first day.
    As for the rest of your argument on death row, i am with you but i would have quit a long time ago.

  403. Epicurus

    1. thats your cold conclusion, which i vehemently disagree with.

    2. its not easy to get away with it. you are making it out to be worse than it is.

    3. you arent forcing someone to undergo it if its in a culture that finds it acceptable. but its still deplorable.
    taking joy or comfort in watching anyone die for any reason makes you just as bad if not worse than some people who have been put to death. at least those people had an excuse, they were sick in the head.

    you keep saying "impose your morality" as if im forcing people to do anything. you are "imposing" your morality just as much as i am.

  404. Epicurus

    She would and she has.

  405. Epicurus

    I dont know if we could have rehabilitated any of them. instead we acted like primitive men, so i will never know.

    it isnt entirely about rehabilitation. i would rather put them in prison than kill them.

  406. oQ

    Sorry but i can't take your word for it. I would have to hear her call her unborn child a parasitic fetus to believe it.

  407. robertallen1

    As for psychology/psychiatry, what I have described is easy to get away with. I've seen it done on all too many cases which I have worked on and as I mentioned before, in workers' compensation cases here in California, it got so bad that special legislation had to be drafted to put an end to the abuses in psychiatric/psychological claims. This did not occur with other more physical medical disciplines.

    I don't know who you think you are to term those who disagree with you on a moral (as opposed to a factual or scientific) issue socially dysfunctional or immoral. I could just as soon call you socially dysfunctional and immoral for holding the views you do, but I don't because if I did, I would be doing the same despicable thing you're doing.

    And being "sick in the head" (a puerile phrase hardly indicative of someone who claims to have studied psychology) does not somehow weaken the culpability or accountability of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

  408. Emanouel

    Epicurus regards capital punishment as immoral but abortion moral.
    Go figure!

  409. robertallen1

    No, we acted like civilized men excising this trash from society.

    And I would rather kill them, thus sparing the taxpayers the expense of their lifetime care.

  410. robertallen1

    Biologically he's right, whether you like it or not and no matter what his wife might have to say.

  411. robertallen1

    And I regard both as moral, so you can go figure that out as well.

  412. Emanouel

    Your morals are consistent though.

  413. Epicurus

    well then you will just have to believe im lying to you. is it that you think no woman could think that way? you are projecting.

  414. Epicurus

    "I don't know who you think you are to term those who disagree with you on a moral (as opposed to a factual or scientific) issue socially dysfunctional or immoral. I could just as soon call you socially dysfunctional and immoral for holding the views you do, but I don't because if I did, I would be doing the same despicable thing you're doing."

    you are doing it. you dont have to say it to be thinking it. the two views are diametrically opposed. you think im immoral for making people pay taxes to keep who you call garbage alive. i think you are immoral for taking pleasure in their death.

    arguments like yours (that it gives the victim some kind of pleasure) are nothing but disgusting. sorry.

    im more than free to use my own lingo here. so sick in the head works for this forum. and yes it does weaken the culpability.

    the fact that there is often disagreement between the sanity of an individual would be even more reason for me to disagree with capital punishment. its more uncertainty which im not willing to take a life over.

    you can keep arguing with me but as i said a long time ago, this is all a question of morality and without an objective way to measure it neither is going to concede. I dont want to kill anyone and you think there is justification for killing some people.

  415. Epicurus

    nothing about executing humans is a sign of being civilized. unless you are talking about euthanasia which you arent. The only country in the western civilized world that still executes people is America. I dont think you want to stand there and call everyone else uncivilized when it comes to their penal system. I have no problem saying america is one of the least civilized countries. they act like bronze age rome. so i suppose the "civility" is relative.

    yes you would rather take a life than pay a little money. i get it. i am fully aware of your position. i just dont understand how you think that is a humane way to deal with problems.

  416. Epicurus

    but yours arent. arent you in the same spot as me?

    and unrelated your view on stem cells is probably in line with the rest of your conservative views here.

    you have justifications for your positions and i have mine. both are based on subjective morals. i believe mine would make for a happier society. im sure you think yours would.

    honestly arguing with you guys about this is like kicking water up a hill.

  417. Emanouel

    You argued that life is sacred and that even the life of a vile,disgusting crim should not be taken. Then you seemed to suggest that you had no problem with the destruction of a fetus; an innocent human life in the making.

    Personally, I believe that abortion is murder in a moral sense and thus I oppose it. Yet I do not oppose the murder of a criminal in certain circumstances.

    EACH of our views could be seen to be a contradiction.
    As you said, "you have justifications for your positions and i have mine. both are based on subjective morals."

  418. robertallen1

    And no, I don't think you're immoral just because you disagree with me and I don't think you're socially dysfunctional because you disagree with me. As a matter of fact, I don't consider you immoral at all just as I don't consider those who take pleasure in witnessing the death of a perp immoral. I don't judge your disagreement in those terms and I haven't noticed any of the other posters who disagree with me employing those terms either. But you are wrong to characterize those who do not hold your views socially dysfunctional and immoral.

  419. robertallen1

    So what if the U.S. is the only country in the "civilized" western world that still executes people. You're arguing popularity which you've cricitized me for doing. Unlike you, I don't employ the death penalty as the shibboleth of civilization.

    As I've stated many times before, the commission of heinous crimes should not be the gateway to a lifetime of free room, board and medical care. And as far as being humane, were these monsters humane to their victims?

  420. Epicurus

    yes i am making an argument from popularity. you are making a fallacy fallacy. not every fallacious argument is inherently wrong.

    its not a gateway to a lifetime of free room board and medical. its a lifetime of a hard existence, constant work, and no peace.

    no those people were not being humane, but that doesnt mean we can also act that way.

  421. Epicurus

    I am not wrong for that. I have no problem telling someone that is feeling pleasure in watching a human life being taken that they are immoral. they are wrong. and imo they are disgusting.

    and why does the family of the victim matter more than the family of the perp? bith families are innocent people. there is no reason to create more suffering and pain in the world. it will not fix anything.

    i dont know how many times i can say my position. but if you want to keep hearing it just keep responding.

  422. Epicurus

    "an innocent human life in the making."

    not a human life yet. especially when it lacks certain abilities or functions a human has.

    why is a fetus more of a "human life in the making" than spermatozoa is?

  423. robertallen1

    "Not every fallacious argument is inherently wrong." Just what is that supposed to mean?

    Constant work? What constant work are Charles Manson and his followers doing? What constant work is Rodney Alcala doing? What constant work is Scott Peterson doing? Suppose the convicted first-degree murderer doesn't want to work, then what?

    The death penalty and the way it is carried out are humane enough for this vermin.

  424. robertallen1

    The family of the victim matters more than the family of the perp because the family of the victim has had a loved one wantonly snatched from them.

    Not only are you trying to impose your morality on others who disagree with you, but you are terming them immoral, socially dysfunctional and disgusting and by doing so, setting yourself up above them as an arbiter of morals which, as I've stated before, makes you no different from a religee.

  425. oQ

    This reminds me that it's ok to kill a spider but it's horrible to kill a puppy dog.
    I am not against abortion but i have supported more than one women in choosing life and have been thanked years later in the presence of that child.
    It is a personal choice taken in difficult times.

  426. oQ

    My guess is that MOST women, knows that she has a child inside herself. I see spermatozoa similar to a unplanted seed, and a sprout as a tree in the making.

  427. slpsa

    I'm an emotional creature. I do not apologize for being such. I care about people. As for yourself and Robert, I must admire your fortitude, both of you. You two have some serious conviction.

  428. Epicurus

    but a spermatozoa is not like an unplanted seed. Sperm lives and dies. you are just arbitrarily picking where you are going to discern life. i will choose when the organism can survive outside of the womb.

  429. Epicurus

    yes, why is it okay to kill a spider and not a puppy dog?

    I dont kill spiders. the idea of taking somethings life is just too final for me.

  430. Epicurus

    "The family of the victim matters more than the family of the perp because the family of the victim has had a loved one wantonly snatched from them."

    and so the family of the perp should now feel the same pain?

    "Not only are you trying to impose your morality on others who disagree with you, but you are terming them immoral, socially dysfunctional and disgusting and by doing so, setting yourself up above them as an arbiter of morals which, as I've stated before, makes you no different from a religee."

    its makes me different. i am not telling them they are going to hell and i am not appealing to some ancient story. I dont think it is right to kill people unless they are attempting to kill you and that is THE ONLY option. and i think people who do, are wrong, and i see them as having something wrong with their brain because they are taking joy in someone elses death, AND not thinking about all the innocent people that is affecting.

    killing people to deal with our problems just is not a mature or civilized way to handle things imo.

  431. Epicurus

    ""Not every fallacious argument is inherently wrong." Just what is that supposed to mean?"

    okay lets see. If i told you that you didnt have cancer and a doctor told you that you did have cancer who would you believe? would you appeal to authority?

    what if you saw something that happened (say a dragon fly by) but everyone who was also looking at the same place didnt see that. an argument by authority would be right in this instance.


    Tom: All cats are animals. Ginger is an animal. This means Ginger is a cat.
    Bill: Ah, you just committed the affirming the consequent logical fallacy. Sorry, you are wrong, which means that Ginger is not a cat.


    Tom: OK – I'll prove I'm English – I speak English so that proves it.
    Bill: But Americans and Canadians, among others, speak English too. You have committed the package-deal fallacy, assuming that speaking English and being English always go together. That means you are not English.

    Both Bill's rebuttals are arguments from fallacy, because Ginger may or may not be a cat, and Tom may or may not be English. Of course, the mere fact that one can invoke the argument from fallacy against a position does not automatically "prove" one's own position either, as this would itself be yet another argument from fallacy. An example of this false reasoning follows:
    Joe: Bill's assumption that Ginger is not a cat uses the argument from fallacy. Therefore, Ginger absolutely must be a cat.
    An argument using fallacious reasoning is capable of being consequentially correct.

    Fallacious arguments can arrive at true conclusions, so this is an informal fallacy of relevance.

  432. robertallen1

    Do you kill cockroaches? How about ants? How about microscopic creatures? Cleaning your kitchen does that.

  433. Epicurus

    charles manson didnt kill.

    they are doing work in the prison system. they are also not safe nor happy. the death penalty AND ESPECIALLY the way it is carried out is not humane.

  434. robertallen1

    Had you written your last sentence, I would not have asked what you meant.

  435. Epicurus

    I dont have cockroaches in my house. ants i try not to kill and microscopic creatures i can only do so much.

  436. robertallen1

    If the family of the perp has lost anything, it's due to a voluntary act on the part of one of its members--and that makes all the difference in the world. There's a reason why those on the receiving end of a heinous crime are called victims.

    The point is because that you are terming those who do not agree with your morality immoral, socially dysfunctional and now mentally unbalanced as if you're the arbiter of such matters. This places you on the same level as a religee. What makes you think that these same people wouldn't consider you with your particular views immoral, socially dysfunctional and mentally unbalanced as well? And what makes you think that they wouldn't be right?

    Some right-to-lifer could also term you immoral, socially dysfunctional and mentally unbalanced due to your position on abortion and who is to say that this person wouldn't be right?

    In short, you cannot prove that anyone is wrong in matters such as these ; you can state only that you believe so--and there's nothing bad about that--until you start the name-calling.

  437. Epicurus

    I feel i am the arbiter of such matters. I feel my morals ought to be practiced universally. i dont hold positions i feel to be immoral. so when someone holds a view opposite my moral view - like killing people - i find it immoral. and that someone will take joy in the death of another i find socially dysfunctional. i have no problem with that. just like someone who believes that im going to go to hell for not believing what they believe is socially dysfunctional.

    "What makes you think that these same people wouldn't consider you with your particular views immoral, socially dysfunctional and mentally unbalanced as well?"

    well because my view doesnt want to kill people. my view doesnt make me a hypocrite.

    "Some right-to-lifer could also term you immoral, socially dysfunctional and mentally unbalanced due to your position on abortion and who is to say that this person wouldn't be right?"

    yes they could and in their eyes i would be. just like the person who joins the military in my eyes is immoral.

    "In short, you cannot prove that anyone is wrong in matters such as these ; you can state only that you believe so--and there's nothing bad about that--until you start the name-calling."

    i have already pointed this out many posts ago. and its not name calling to say that you think someone who takes joy in another humans death is immoral. it would be name calling if i called them stu*id or an a$$hole.

  438. robertallen1

    So what, neither did Adolph Hitler.

    I haven't heard anything about Charles Manson, Rodney Alcala or Scott Peterson doing work in the prison system. Please provide your sources. Are you somehow privy to their mental condition? If not, on what do you base your assertion that they are neither safe nor happy?

    By carrying out, do you the mean the penalty or the execution?

  439. robertallen1

    As you know, just about all species of cockroach are quite hardy and have been known known to withstand just about anything that's been thrown at them. So what would you do if your residence were infested by them? It can happen to anyone. Ask any exterminator.

    P.S. With microscopic creatures, you can do nothing. The moment you turn on the gas or electricity to cook your food, you decimate untowards numbers of them.

  440. robertallen1

    So you're the arbiter in such matters and you feel that your moral stance is the only one to be practiced in the world. Do you also regard yourself as the way, the truth and the light--and the only one at that? Talk about delusions of grandeur and a bloated opinion of one's own worth--and now everyone in the military is immoral. Well, I don't like the military any more than you do, but I'm not about to go that far. How about enumerating more groups of people who in your view are immoral or will just about the entire world almost cover it?

    No, it's name-calling pure and simple to term those who disagree with you immoral, socially dysfunctional and mentally unbalanced and far worse than calling them stu*id or a**holes. Now, speaking of mentally unbalanced, from this post . . .

  441. Achems_Razor

    Just wanted to say one thing, since you are Canadian and no one brought it up, in Canada at least, anyone over the age of 65 are entitled to OAS, (old age pension,) does not matter what type of scum of the earth the prisoner may be.

    So in other words they will be receiving 1,000+$ per month from the taxpayers until they die.
    How do you feel about that?

  442. Kuntao Kunaya

    I have a request for all of you. Lets vote on this with our common sense, and not our hearts. Weall have suffered the horror of loving another because we let our heart make that decision. Ok, we have over 2 million people in prison. Who makes up the vast majority of them? Well, those same people are not only costing us 80 billion a year,(or is it 800) but not one person on this thread can tel me that since the advent of civil rights, can anyone-black,white,hispanic or asian, walk the streets any safer nor are we happier as a species. In fact when you reward someone for good behavior with a rediculous differential in lifestyle, such as rewarding a failing student to one who now passes and gets C's with unlimited rights, a new car, affirmative action,welfare,food stamps the right to prey on each other,and get reduced sentences because of race it would not be common sense but it would also backfire on the giver because it would not be appreciated! Freebies and rewards far in excess of the effort and accomplishment sachieved would be expected.Free speech is gone. A white person can not dare say on public tv how threatened he/she feels living with or near people of color. You are labeled a racist! the 40 years since America has broken its back to make things more fair, have you ever once heard any person of color ever say thank you. Thank you to Abe Lincoln for giving his life, thank you "NOW" for all the charities that throw by the bucketfull, billions of dollars in aide to Africa,and most african-americans here cannot name 2 AFRICAN countries. We had affirmative action giving away free education and grants for God knows what, and our gang problem has increased 20 fold or more since civil rights. Still no thank you.And please dont tell me about the injustices of the LA riots. Thats dead and gone. New era, new technologies, new chances...for all! Considering what a black person faces in opportunity if they went back to Africa now, yes...just say thank you! Imagine a beautiful world where when black people moved onto your block and you really wanted to go "Great, lets go over with a pie and introduce ourselves." I prayed for that day as a kid. I was around when MLK gave his I had a dream speach. It died....still a dream! But this time, not thru any fault of white,asian or middle class America. And prison.........

    The bottom line: If a man of any race goes to prison, who is willing to bet that it will not be someone his own race that will sexuallly assault him or extort him? Bottm line: People of color can walk in most places and feel safer than in their own neighborhoods, but we cannot walk ion a neighborhood of color at night and LIVE...let alone feel comfortable. But is this racist if it is true.Ever really dangerous bully when I went to school 40 years ago was never white. We didnt carry guns or knives. The others did. Bottom line: Affirmative action: Not only was there very little action taken with the free money, but very little of the action was affirmative. Gangland ,the documentary shows that almost all the money we sent to New Orleans from Huriicane Katrina was "given to people who never had that much money in their hands before, and created an explosion of drug selling,violence and crime. Say "Thank You" anyone. Look at the words a person uses and I will show you their destiny. Certain people do not believe in counseling,12 step programs, using words like closure, introspection, clarity,psychosomatic, just any kinds of words that show the ability for introspection. Carl Jung said in 1909 "I think they are very nice people but they dont seem to have any capacity for introspection." That was after 2 weeks in this country. "Warriors who have no one to fight will create an enemy."-Unknown Black historian from History Channel. Make no mistake, I love Opran, Condie Rice, Michelle obama is as classy as they get, but the whole does not come close to equaling its parts. Question: In NYC, if you heard that 2 female employees stabbed to death a 3rd one, would you have any doubt what race the perps were? Now I have dated and wooed 20 black women living in the USA from Africa. Not one has said they were grateful to be here. But they point out our faults fast enough.

    I offer proof from professional documentaries made from the History Chaennel and more about gang life and prisons, and all I can say is, if you "still" believe in equal treatment WITHOUT a person showing equally civil behavior, you deserve what you will get. Go to Netflix and for $8.00 a month you can watch streaming movies and even get a free trial. Watch,GANGLAND,LOCKDOWN,LOCKUP,American Gangster and if you dont start wondering "when" martial law or anarchy rules the USA, you are crazy.When I see white teen girls getting into fights, they are almost always around black girls. It is never the other way around where white girls get black girls fighting. Sadly the people I feel worst for are black women who bare the shame of being used and abused like a sex blow up doll especially by younger men and they just suck it up and dont complain or think of dating outside their race. Heres some things from YOU TUBE:Teens Arrested for gang rape and forcing mother to have sex with her son ! -The rest you can get just by putting in "Gangland" or" gang crime" in the you tube search box. THE COMMENTS ARE SCARIER THAN THE VIDEOS! I see comments where people of color call each other MF'S MORE THAN ANY OTHER WORD! The women call each other ho's. And I hear talk of how America will belong to the blacks very soon. Did I hear "Thank you" anyone. Yes terrible things were done. Long agao and far away. lets live with today. We have nothing to apologize for. But ever mother of color who lost a child because of a stray bullet, as Jesse Jackson once said..."No race has done more to desroy itself than Blacks."
    You will never leave your door open again. LOOK AT the threads pertaining to black issues. You can tell just by their usernames and vulgar disgusting language who they are before ever viewing the screen. I for one am in favor of equal rights.......IF EQUAL BEHAVIOR IS FIRST PROVEN!!!! It never has,and never will. Whats sad is while so many of you believe me to be a racist, I am only talking about the way I raised my own daughters. I give you love first. If you dont give me respect and love back, you now have to "EARN" yes.... "earn" it. Yet, I am the first to say, that a black man should be given the dignity to do his time if he did the crime. Not to be extorted, gang raped and constantly in fear for his life. This was never like that in the 60's when most prisons were filled with whites. So.....tell me, have any of you ever gotten a thank you? Or seen one written in the newspaper. Its time for affirmative action to stop as nothing affirmative is taking place and the only actions that are being done are making us into a 3rd world country. We must teach blacks that without whites America will fall. Look on you tube and see how many blacks call us "cracka" an educated black man "Uncle Tom" and more vulgarity than God knows what. I DON'T WANT MY KIDS LIVING IN A VULGAR WORLD. Bottom line. And we have lost our right to free speech so we dont offend a minority, and we have to walk in fear on top of that. Give me a break! And why we dont have all prisons set up as self sustaining entities where prisoners work for money to pay for their upkeep, they are given a human wage, and half the money goes back to the prison, and half goes into a 401k which they would never do on their own and gives them a good start when they leave prison.My research shows that we could cut prison recidivism by 33% at minimum, if we took away their excuse," I had to kill in order to survive." Men being released deserve a stake and a chance which if you give them no money we will only be housing them at 40k per year all over again. Better to give them work, a trade,some money to get set up with and now....they really DO have better choices. This is black and white. Lets fix this broken prison system. Govt thought privatizing prisons would be the answer, it isnt. But we still need the brilliant minds out there in private sector for advice. Hire them! They can make prisons as a business work in 2 months. I often say to haters of white that white people invented Google, Yhaoo, You tube, facebook and all the social tools the richest white people in the world never had access to until now. Is there a thank you? No! They want more. Always more. When will it be enough?

  443. over the edge

    Kuntao Kunaya
    you want a group of people to say "thank you"? for what? kidnapping the young and strong from their homes and forcing them to work for free. all the while it is fine to torture them. or is it an establishment and law enforcement that passes laws that discriminate against minorities. maybe it is years of holding them down and not giving the same opportunities and then expecting a instant turn around when things are made more equal. or is it voter laws that try to suppress their voice?

    you speak of aid to Africa. maybe if we didn't rape their resources, use them as pawns and force ably relocate countless young people to be slaves they would be better off.

    to answer your question concerning "racist". YES you are.

    just so you know Christians are over represented in prison and they are a powerful majority with no discrimination issues. by your logic all Christians are criminals. or maybe we look at the whole picture. you know education,socio-economic, location,history, law enforcement, views of others and so on and when all the evidence is examined look for an appropriate and just answer.

  444. robertallen1

    So, what is your point--and in a nutshell?

  445. Kuntao Kunaya

    You cannot be serious when you read of all the genocide in Rwanda, you think that was whites or Americans doing that? You think all the child soldiers who watch their mothers and fathers being shot in front of them is done by whites or Americans?. And you really feel youll be as safe in a black area as you will in a white one. Forget christianity for minute. Why did you bring christianity into this??? As I said, Ive done my research. I watched every single episode of Ganglamd, Lockdown and lockup twice or more! And coming from brooklyn NY, home of Mike Tyson, I went to Brownsville boys club day camp. I loved it. All my joy in childhood came from that camp. In 3 years my mother had to stop sending me into brownsville because she didnt feel comfortable putting me on a bus with all the blacks that moved in. She never knew it was to become a zoo and the murder capital of NY. wHEN i WENT TO SCHOOL i NEVER FELT UNSAFE no matter how many crazy whites were around me. But the blacks in my school, making up just 2%, held us all in fear. End of conversation! And yes, if "all prisoners, especially blacks tried as hard as it must be to do to say thank you, you bet your last dollar they would be given better treatment. Gratefullness is the cornerstone of every 12 step program and spiritual growth. So are certain people exempt from saying thank you??? And mind you, Im not happy that blacks OR whites either live like kings in prison,extorting and living off the others, or are given food that actually says and I quote one prisoner "UNFIT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION." Yes its disgusting. But maybe if you said thank you to everyone BEFORE you got in, you wouldnt be in. I dont know of one criminal who had an attitude of gratitude .And if they did when they went in,they definitely didnt when they went out. May I ask what nationality you are since you are so opinionated about me. I have lived with blacks and whites and asians and hispanics. What is your life experience? Oh, and so youll feel better if a rapisy of any color is given a 3 yr sentence because the jails are too full, and then he goes and kills someone you love? That is acceptable to you? By the way, when you go to any school, there is always one group "leaning" squuzing another group for money. Is that an accident that christians should apologize for too? You are not an American, are you? Look at my last name. Can you not tell what MY nationality is!?

  446. DigiWongaDude

    Perhaps a better analogy than your spider & puppy, is a rat and a squirrel. Both rodents that carry disease, but we love one and hate the other. People are fickle.

  447. Kuntao Kunaya

    And to show you my research as I do it all day, The Pelican Bay Warden admits that that prison is the last stop for people who have badly hurt or murdered other inmates! THat their severe rules are the last stop on a bus with nowhere else to go with these particular "kind" of violent men. That... the human rights people don't want you to hear! Also, Pelican Bay is considered the Harvard of Prisons. It is the greatest badge of Honor as a criminal to be there. I heard it from many prisoners. In fact your chances of being given "sweet" jobs in a gang or more power goes way up if you live thru Pelican Bay. I spend 1/2 my life researching what will bring some balance into the US prison system.I dont agree 3 strikes is the best thing. But if it will keep my daughters safer....... As someone who has taken many course given by police officers about safety, I can say most people have no idea how many people in prison have no conscience, no soul almost, no remorse, no regret. And as several cops said to me " There are many people in this world that would take a kitchen knife and while talking to you calmly in the middle of the street, would gut you like an animal with that knife, severing all your intestines and watching the steam come out of your stomach and your Intestines fall to the ground and just walk away as if they just ate a snickers bar. Its too late IMHO to ever,ever rehabilitate anyone like that. Sadly we missed the chance to help him in his childhood. Do any of you agree with me that some people are either born bad thru genetics, or...pass a certain point where they cannot change. Why are there so many martial arts classes and gun shops popping up all over America. We are a nation in fear! Racist or not. Bigotry or not, we have a right to live without fear. Yes ,even bigots, and lazy people, homeless people and anyone who doesn't hurt others.
    Do we give Wardens and guards regular lie detector tests? Do we even give prisoners lie detector tests? Do we give policemen lie detector tests? Why not? It should be a mandatory part of these type of jobs. Yuh think??????

  448. over the edge

    Kuntao Kunaya
    i brought up christianity as an example of how a group can be over represented in jail but the fact that they are christians is most likely not the answer to why they are there. or better put "correlation does not equal causation" . personal testimonials mean nothing as i have no way to know if that is true. my nationality is none of your business and it lends no weight or subtracts from my point. again you bring up Africa. i cannot say for sure but i would be willing to bet that the raping of their resources (including their people) and colonization have something to do with the issues. and even if it doesn't the right thing to do is help those less fortunate. you seem to think that the civil right movement happened and now everything is totally equal. do you think that racism and discrimination is gone? do you not see that judging based on color is wrong? what is your opinion concerning Trayvon Martin?

  449. robertallen1

    Again, what is your point?

    And, by the way, it's easy to write in paragraphs; doing so makes your text much more readable and all it takes is another stroke of the enter key.

  450. robertallen1

    Again, what are you rambling on about? Again, why can't you write in paragraphs?

  451. Epicurus

    Good for them. they are not scum. they are people who have been made to be a certain way because of some failing of society.

  452. Epicurus

    do you assume i think hitler should be put to death.

    Manson has been attacked and injured numerous times. people with their notoriety are constantly under threat from other prisoners and COs

    watch an interview with manson to get a glimpse of his mental condition.

  453. robertallen1

    I'm a member of society and I particularly resent it when you try to blame me or the society in which I live for the heinous acts of this garbage which constitutes only an infinitessimal portion. You tell me how society is to blame for a Rodney Alcala, a Charles Manson, a Jared Lochner, a James Holmes. You forget that their victims were INNOCENT! Why don't you put the blame where it belongs, on the perpetrators?

  454. Epicurus

    "So you're the arbiter in such matters and you feel that your moral stance is the only one to be practiced in the world."

    look up moral imperative.

    comparing me to a messiah is not even close but you seem to be grasping for straws.

    yes most people in the military are immoral.

    you didnt address anything i said.

  455. robertallen1

    I have watched interviews with him and the more I have watched, the more I have regretted that he and his pack were spared execution only by a fluke.

  456. Epicurus

    you are a member of society yet you refuse to take any blame for the creation of murderers? sad.

    im not going to give you a criminology lesson.

  457. robertallen1

    What makes you think that you are the last work in morality? Talk about mentally unbalanced--moral imperative or no moral imperative--and yes, I've read Kant.

  458. Achems_Razor

    "Good for them. they are not scum."??... Yes they are scum!

  459. robertallen1

    You're right. I refuse to take any blame for the acts of this wanton trash. And saying that I or the innocent people in the society in which I live should is despicable.

  460. robertallen1

    I had forgotten about him. Thank you for reminding me. To think that he had been receiving social security checks for so long when he should have been executed.

  461. Epicurus

    you really dont get this.

    mentally unbalanced is taking joy in watching someone die.

  462. Achems_Razor

    Actually there are many more serial killers for Canada, will give you the list of all serial killers in all countries, I very much doubt that anyone of them have any redeeming qualities.

  463. Epicurus

    Clifford Olson was a sociopath. he was mentally unstable and should not be put to death for behaviour he cant help. he was made to be like that by environment and genetics.

  464. Epicurus

    well criminals are not born, they are made.

  465. Epicurus

    what if you mother had murdered people? and upon speaking with her in prison you realize she is sorry, knows what she did was wrong, and is willing to take the punishment in prison.

    would you still think we ought to kill her and call her garbage?

  466. robertallen1

    No, mentally unbalanced is believing yourself to be the sina qua non of morality. Mentally unbalance is blaming the innocent for the crimes of the guilty.

  467. robertallen1

    I've already seen this, but thanks. Then if they don't have any redeeming qualities, let's not redeem them.

  468. robertallen1

    Oh, yes he could have just like anyone else. So now genetics is responsible for child molesters and murderers--well, let's wipe out this gene!

  469. Achems_Razor

    I do not know if he was mentally unstable, have not read the trial transcripts, did you? How do you know "he was made to be like that by environment and genetics"
    If he was, why was he not put into a mental home, like the be-header Vincent Li.

  470. robertallen1

    One way or the other, they are responsible for what they do and blaming innocent people for their acts is despicable.

  471. robertallen1

    Absolutely--and the same with any of my relatives. I don't judge people by blood relationships, but by what they are and what they do.

  472. Achems_Razor

    I did not say anyone should be put to death, I am supplying information. I am staying neutral on the death issue? On the fence, so to speak.

  473. over the edge

    an argument can be made for the death penalty for specific cases (i don't agree but a case can be made). until someone can develop a system that never makes mistakes and can guarantee an innocent will not be killed the rest is irrelevant to me. also as a society we should try to be responsible for each other. we the "civilized" should act that way and not resort to revenge and "eye for an eye". to paraphrase: you can judge a society by how it treats the least of its members. not sure who originally said it

  474. Emanouel

    over the edge

    Innocent people die every day on the roads-should we ban cars?
    It's the world we live in- risk is inherent.
    If we believe capital punishment is morally correct for certain people, then we should retain it, not discard it for fear of making a mistake.

  475. over the edge

    that is ridiculous. execution is not an accident it is done on purpose. anytime an innocent person is killed on purpose by his/her government it is wrong. the fact that you try to justify the killing of innocent people lets me know what kind of person you are. if our government was using cars to purposely kill innocent people then yes we should take them away. and i never said i believe it is morally correct. it is disgusting

  476. Emanouel

    over the edge

    "anytime an innocent person is killed on purpose by his/her government it is wrong"

    Did I suggest otherwise?

    I merely proposed that accidents/mistakes can occur, even in the judicial process unfortunately.

    I find people like Breivik digusting; as well as those who defend his right to live. I guess that "lets me know what kind of person you are."

  477. Emanouel

    over the edge

    1. "an argument can be made for the death penalty for specific cases(i don't agree but a case can be made)."

    You sound really confused!!
    Do you really know what you are saying here?

    2. "until someone can develop a system that never makes mistakes and can guarantee an innocent will not be killed"

    So, you do agree with capital punishment if such a fool-proof system could somehow be devised?

    3. "you can judge a society by how it treats the least of its members."

    The "least of its members" was intended to refer to the poor and disadvantaged, not the vile criminal element.

  478. Emanouel

    I wonder if any crim yelled upon arrest,

    "It was my genes. My genes made me do it!"

  479. robertallen1

    I am not responsible for anyone except myself and those of my choosing, not for society in general and by the same token, society in general is not responsible for anything that I do; that rests with me. If someone goes out and commits a heinous crime, I am not responsible and neither is the society in which I live.

    I don't judge a society harshly merely because it puts "the least of its members" away for good.

  480. robertallen1

    Fine. DNA now helps us achieve this.

  481. over the edge

    1. i am not confused.

    2. no i do not agree with capital punishment. just that i feel the most important part of the issue (innocent people being killed) is skipped over.

    3. i know what the original message was. many of the people we choose to kill were/are "the poor and disadvantaged"

    a. "I merely proposed that accidents/mistakes can occur, even in the judicial process unfortunately." but until these "mistakes" can be eliminated you will "eliminate" these mistakes. and that is acceptable? the people who's right to live i defend are the innocent ones. i refuse to move beyond that and discuss the guilty persons punishment until until what i see as the more important issue is discussed.

  482. over the edge

    " DNA now helps us achieve this. " yes it helps but until the system is 100% why not lock them away forever with absolutely no chance of release (unless they are innocent)?

  483. robertallen1

    As it's not only DNA but corroborating evidence as well, there's little chance for a mistake in this day and age. What about Jared Lochner, Rodney Alcala, James Holmes, cases in which guilt or innocence is not an issue? I see no reason why these individuals and others like them should be kept alive due to some infinitessmial chance of a mistake in unrelated cases.

  484. over the edge

    "cases in which guilt or innocence is not an issue? I see no reason why these individuals and others like them should be kept alive due to some infinitessmial chance of a mistake in unrelated cases. " why? because the system needs to be fixed first. and my opinion is that we can never eliminate 100% of the errors. so lock them up forever and never let them out (again unless they are innocent).

  485. robertallen1

    99% is good enough for me.

  486. Epicurus

    there is nothing mentally unbalanced about thinking your morality is correct and others is sometimes wrong. dont be silly.

  487. Epicurus

    if you can locate the gene and if it doesnt affect anything else, then be my guess. until then, how about we not kill people?

  488. Epicurus

    he wasnt put in a mental home because his mental illness wasnt the same as Vincent Li's. they are not comparable. Vincent suffered from schizophrenia and voices.

  489. Epicurus

    no one is blaming INNOCENT people.

  490. robertallen1

    Then why are you calling those who take comfort in watching a perpetrator die mentally unbalanced? Put the shoe on the other foot.

  491. Epicurus

    what if you realize that she had been abused and molested her whole life growing up and had a skewed view on reality? really think about it. what if she had episodes of black out rage where she acted without thinking?

    i certainly dont think you believe in some absolute free will. but you have no problem thinking in such extremes.

  492. Epicurus

    no that is not how genetics work.

  493. robertallen1

    Once again, a person is responsible for his actions, genes or no genes. Besides, we don't even know if all these acts are the results of "bad" genes and who knows if we ever will. Meanwhile, I don't believe in keeping this garbage alive on taxpayer's expense while we putter around.

  494. robertallen1

    You are when you state that the problem lies with society.

  495. robertallen1

    If "black out rage" could be clearly demonstrated, the defendant would not be indicted on first degree murder. Some time ago, there was a similar case (I can't recall the name; it's been too long) of an epileptic who when denied his insulin went into an uncontrollable rage and killed someone--he was not indicted for first degree murder.

    A person's social background should not provide him with any sort of a passport and for that matter should not even be taken into consideration.

  496. robertallen1

    I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Tsakumis.

  497. Epicurus

    because they are taking joy in watching a human die. if that is not mentally unbalanced (as far as a happy progressive society is concerned) then i dont know what is.

  498. Epicurus

    "I don't believe in keeping this garbage alive on taxpayer's expense while we putter around."

    I dont believe my tax money should go to killing anyone.

  499. robertallen1

    You're right. You don't know what it is, just as you don't know what a happy, progressive society is either.

  500. Epicurus

    proving black out rage is not possible.

    a persons social background should always be taken into account when they act a certain way. their conditioning ought to be looked at deeply.

  501. Epicurus

    if he wasnt curable than we ought to keep him locked up forever.

  502. Epicurus

    "Olson is an insane, narcissistic, psychotic, braggart and criminal."

    yet we still think we should treat him the way he treated people? f*ck sakes.

  503. robertallen1

    At least it's a lot cheaper to ice them than to keep them alive. One way or the other, it's what the law says, not what you think constitutes social dysfunctionality or mental imbalance.

  504. robertallen1

    Absolutely not. I person is responsible for what he does and that's that--no free rides.

  505. robertallen1

    If he is not curable, all the more reason to separate him permanently from all humanity.

  506. robertallen1

    And just why should I accept these subjective standards?

  507. robertallen1

    No, I don't think we should treat Olsen the way he treated people, just ice him in the most efficient way possible. While this individual case is moot, f*ck sakes is hardly an answer.

  508. Achems_Razor

    Like I said 3 days ago, am not condoning the death penalty, still sitting on the fence with that.

    But also not condoning that taxpayers should
    foot the bill for life internment, And have parole hearings yet?? don't know what the answer may be.

  509. Emanouel

    I still cannot understand why some vigorously defend these monsters from receiving the death penalty.

    Let's face it; the reality is that people all over the world die every day for whatever reason and each of us barely bat an eyelid. Naturally, the death of people we do not know hardly affects us.
    So why defend a monster you do not even know, especially given the
    cold-hearted callousness shown to his victims?
    While it may be noble to put faith in humanity by promoting ideals such as mercy, forgiveness, compassion and understanding; let's be honest and stop pretending that many humans don't suck (obviously the ones who write comments on TDF are excluded!).

  510. over the edge

    "I still cannot understand why some vigorously defend these monsters from receiving the death penalty." i am not defending them. i am defending the innocent ones that the same system that kills these "monsters" also kills

    as for the "people all over the world die every day " i do not know in advance that they are going to die and do nothing about it. again i am not defending these monsters but i will not kill an innocent or resort an "eye for an eye" mentality

  511. robertallen1

    I certainly believe in doing everything possible to prevent an innocent person from being executed, but as for this other scum, the eye for an eye mentality doesn't in the least bother me.

  512. TLW_Minecraft

    What happens when they kill an innocent man/woman because someone lied in court?

    Better yet, what if it was you who was being accused of something terrible, then you were facing the death penalty when you, in your mind, done nothing wrong... Exactly, that's the issue here (for me anyway).

    It's a risky situation, because as you know, many people have been put in jail/charged with something they didn't do. It could happen to you then the very thing you vouched for would literally be the death of you.

    It seems a bit far fetched but, you never know what could happen.

  513. robertallen1

    What do you mean by many? Many in comparison to what? One way or the other, how do you know that "many" have been incarcerated for something they didn't do. "Because as you know" simply doesn't cut it.

    DNA is 99.9% reliable and coupled with corroborating evidence brings the odds of a false conviction for capital murder down to an infinitessimal level which is good enough for me.

    It takes a lot more to convict a person than merely one mendacious witness. I suggest that you read up on "beyond a reasonable doubt," the highest standard of proof in law and thus the one used in criminal trials, as opposed to lower standards such as "clear and convincing proof" or "preponderance of the evidence."

    Do you honestly believe that James Holmes, Anders Brevik, Jahred Lochner and Rodney Alcala, to name a few, are innocent, i.e., someone else committed the crimes for which they are charged, and that executing them would amount to a miscarriage of justice?

  514. robertallen1

    Yes, there are cases of prosecutorial misconduct which is why we have defense counsel, defense experts and courts of appeals. Any prosecutor or law enforcement official who forges evidence to obtain a conviction or withholds exculpatory evidence should suffer the same penalty the defendant would have suffered were he guilty, even death when the crime calls for it. In addition, there is plenty of time between conviction and execution (in Texas an average of 10 years) for further investigation which is why those 103 on the list who were sentenced to death were exonerated. Also, a cursory glance shows that the crimes for which the 103 defendants were charged occurred for the most part over twenty years ago when DNA was not as highly developed as it is now, which explains the large number of cases in which defendants were exonerated by later DNA testing.

    I could add more names to my roll call of those who can be considered 100% guilty and who should be executed, regardless of their supposed sanity--and by the way, sanity is a legal term, not a medical one.

    And yes, I did see "The Life of David Gale" --and you're right; it's just a movie, and an unimpressive one at that, and nothing else. In addition, the thesis doesn't hold for the movie. Amateurs can't fool experts, i.e., in real life, an experienced forensics expert would have realized that the death of the teacher was a suicide and not a murder.

  515. robertallen1

    While the presence of defense counsel, defense experts and courts of appeals do not guarantee innocence, they are certainly a counterbalance to false conviction, as is DNA testing which as your articles show has been responsible for exoneration as well as inculpation.

    DNA techniques have improved considerably within the last 20 years, the general period covered by the death-sentence cases in the exoneration list. So no wonder DNA made a difference in only roughly 22% of them. One way or the other, the defendants' exonerations came because there was more than enough time from sentencing to date of execution for a thorough investigation to be conducted. So there is another counterbalance as well. The approximately 43 of the people who were sentenced to death in the DNA era were sentenced mostly for crimes committed considerably before when crime scene investigations were not as sophisticated as they are now which might be one of the reasons why Ted Bundy had such a long run (1974-1978).

    Now, which of the cases in the last section of the wikipedia article were "David Gale" type cases, i.e., those in which the defendants were set up and which of the cases involved prosecutorial misconduct?

  516. Vlatko


    The link takes you directly to the "Fake DNA" section of the article. There are two cases known: Dr. John Schneeberger and Phantom of Heilbronn.

    Dr. John Schneeberger was able to fabricate the DNA evidence with a surgically inserted Penrose drain.

    In the "Phantom of Heilbronn" case, the DNA evidence pointed to the same woman on various crime scenes in Austria, Germany and France. Long story short, cotton swabs used to collect the samples at the crime scenes were not DNA free.

  517. Vlatko


    Do you seriously consider this "there was more than enough time from sentencing to date of execution for a thorough investigation to be conducted" as something good. Meh, they only spent 20 years in jail for nothing.

    We are talking about hundreds of people who spent years in prison because the legal system is rife with human error and incompetence. They would have been killed if they didn't fight for themselves. In fact what you've said above is one argument more to avoid death penalty.

    It seems you again have biased approach to the statistical facts. At first you've just glanced and generalized the exoneration list and then when presented with detailed observation you've decided to simply discard it.

    What you wage here is just your emotions against tons of facts. Nothing more, nothing less.

  518. robertallen1

    So the members of the gang I mentioned are really innocent men who should be spared the death penalty due to possible mistakes made in other unrelated cases or for that matter in cases involving murders which haven't yet taken place.

    A lot of the time spent in jail is not due to the time it takes to conduct a thorough investigation (which I agree should have been done in the first place--that's what investigators on either side are for), but to the time it takes for an appeals hearing to be scheduled.

    Also, I wonder in how many first degree murder trials the question of guilt or innocence arises and in how many it's plea bargained away.

    P.S. I haven't discarded anything.

  519. robertallen1

    I saw these two cases in which no one was charged with a capital crime.

    Forensic science has developed considerably since halloween of 1992 and I doubt whether twenty years later, anyone would be able to get away with the Schneeberger technique, especially if the suspect were a physician.

    In the Phantom of Heilbronn, no one was charged; no one was prosecuted, so it's no harm, no foul. Furthermore, when the police realized they were looking for someone who didn't exist, they quickly changed the course of their investigation and discovered where the problem was.

    One way these unusual cases are still not enough to spare the individuals I've named along with others from the death penalty.

  520. Frank Matthews

    Most of the people are there because of drugs what I don't get is why the government makes the rules on what you can do to your own body if someone wants to do drugs that should be there choice as long as they are not robbing murdering raping people it's supposed to be a free country but yet the government can tells us what we can and can't do to our bodys and mind if all the people that have a drug charge came out of jail and prisons there would be tons of room to put real criminals away

  521. Frank Matthews

    It's a joke the 3 strike law for these guys that are in jail for petty non violent crimes I don't get how they can do that to people that are not killing murdering raping kidnapping or robbing anyone that's just crazy

  522. robertallen1

    What about Bernie Madoff and Jeffrey Skillin?

  523. Epicurus

    i hear ya, whatever the law says at the time is FACT.

    on a side note, do you think people should be put in jail for possession of cannabis?

  524. Epicurus

    ya ya ya, as soon as you dont agree with the study, their standards are subjective.

  525. Epicurus

    i wasnt answering anything. just exclaiming that i find your views awful.

  526. robertallen1

    Yes, it is whatever the law says. If you don't like it, try to change it, as what happened here in California. While I do not agree with supporters of Proposition 34, they certainly went about what they felt was their mission in the right way.

    I haven't made up my mind about cannabis. What keeps me on the fence is the statement made by Charlie Barnet in his autobiography, "Those Swinging Years" (1984): that the cannabis in his day had nothing in potency over what is now available. Perhaps cannabis should be treated as a prescription drug. One thing about "big pharma" is that it pays its taxes; street dealers and distributors don't.

  527. robertallen1

    It has nothing to do with my agreement or disagreement. When I look at a study, I also regard its possible bias.

  528. robertallen1

    And while I applaud your scientific views and have benefitted from many of the links you have posted and, in addition, feel the same way you do about abortion (although perhaps for different reasons), I find your views on capital punishment off the mark, especially when you endeavor to saddle me and other law-abiding members of society with blame for the disgusting acts of these hunks of protoplasm.

  529. Epicurus

    its true, its much stronger now. thats a good thing. we dont need to smoke as much as they did back then. healthier.

  530. Epicurus

    i also blame myself and everyone else. including those people.

    of course some people are of complete sound mind. but those people i dont believe we ought to kill either.

    the people you listed are all insane and i think society is to blame in some ways.

  531. robertallen1

    I don't know about that. Does 151 proof brandy make people drink less? Is it any healthier?

  532. robertallen1

    I am responsible only for my own actions, not for anyone else's and I particularly resent being told that I am.

    In this country, insanity is a legal, not a scientific term and is used to mean whether a person knew right from wrong at the time he committed the acts with which he is charged. From their actions, these people knew they were doing wrong which makes them sane in the eyes of the law. Therefore, they should be made to pay the forfeit. They should not benefit at taxpayers' expense.

  533. Epicurus

    and the law should get out of the field of psychology.

  534. Epicurus

    alcohol is not the same as cannabis.

    but yes 151 does make people drink less. You wouldnt likely see someone finish a 26er of that but i know girls that polish off 26ers of rum all the time.

    so when you inhale less smoke to get the desired effect you are smoking less thus harming your lungs less.

  535. robertallen1

    I agree. No testimony from psychologists or psychiatrists should be admitted.

  536. robertallen1

    I admit that 151 knocks you out sooner, but it sure lessens the enjoyment. The problem with stronger cannabis is that people don't know when to stop and merely get higher and higher. One way or the other, you asked my opinion about cannabis and I told you.

  537. Epicurus

    that clearly wasnt my position.

  538. Epicurus

    and what happens when they get higher and higher? where is the harm?

    they get happy hungry sleepy. they laugh, then they eat your food and fall asleep on your couch....

  539. robertallen1

    Is this always what happens?

  540. Epicurus

    vast majority of the time. they certainly dont go home and beat their wife and kids or get in a car and smash into a family.

    What stories have you heard?

  541. Kuntao Kunaya

    Edge, I have not stated what race I am, but my name gives a big hint I am not white,correct? So why am I racist? I just am tired of any group of people,even if it is my own or not of never saying thank you. To whom? Abe Lincoln to start who knew he would die over his actions to free the slaves and definitely over his speech to allow blacks to vote in an already enraged atmosphere. I studied this in college and all over the web, so should you. And what about all the whites that rsiked their life for Harriet's train to freedom back then? Oh they dont count eithyer. How many volunteers, red cross workers and peacekeepers and doctors and nurses that went to Africa to help,and were killed or raped as a thank you. Look at the photos of these "volunteers. 95% white, 1% African American 4% -other. I just dont like ungrateful people because the unspoken truth is that if you ask 100 african americans if they could undo slavery, but it would mean they would either not be born or if they werte, they would be in the "Homeland" right now.....I wager my life savings 98% would vote "HELL NO!" So as Jack Nicholson said in A few Good men" Just say thank you and be on your way." I do say thank you. I do appreciate every ounce of opportunity this country gave my parents, even though bigotry came along with it. Id rather get bigotry from whites in America, than by other Africans from a different tribe in my supposed "Motherland." THANK YOU GOD, FOR LETTING ME BE HERE!
    I say this because I know how 80% or more of Africans live over there. And the poorest, person living in an American city today,lives twice as good as any middle class African over there. Whats not to say thank you about????? That would be like white people complaining because they werent given the same opportunities as Donald Trump! Whites own everything, make everything and are happier because they dont have time to whine about their past. They dont act, and then think of the consequences later. I want to be around THOSE kind of people, black, white or green.

  542. Kuntao Kunaya

    And edge, the kidnapping stuff was before you, me or even our grandfathers were born. It is moot! Over! Finished! What have you done for me today? Gangbanging,chaos, and prisons filled to the brim is something no other race of people be they asian, mexican,latino or white give a damn about how or why you got there as long as they have to foot the bill! Right now there is billions of unused "affirmative action" money just waiting for minorities and especially female minorities to claim for small business loans and grants. The money has been waiting for years there. I know because my ex-girlfriend has been begging all her black cousins and friends to get off their asses and start a business and claim some of that money. None in her family did. There is more opportunity for a black man today in America than there was for any white man just 50 years ago. WHY CANT WE SAY THANK YOU. You do know white America would open its hearts and purse 5x as wide if we did!!!! But they are aware that the average "African-American" cannot name 3 countries in Africa. Add to that all the tens of thousands of adorbale children of brothers and sisters!!!!!...that have been shot just for fun or out of no reason but carelessness and white america will soon start losing patience and turn that incarceration machine on...big time. So Mr Obama, National Corporations,small business people who dug their way out of poverty like me with NO assistance......THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY I NOW HAVE TO OWN A CAR, 2 COLOR TV'S and a mortgage on a modest clean condo in a peaceful quiet area and I only work 30 hrs a week. The richest white man 50 yrs ago might not have had it so good. Here is the secret to success in America regardless of color....SAY PLEASE WHEN YOU WALKIN, DO THE JOB ASKED OF YOU, AND SAY THANK YOU WHEN YOU LEAVE! NO MATTER WHAT! Then the next black man will have it 20% easier and if he does right the next one behind him,20% easier and so on. Thats all we should talk abouyt. Opportunity not who wowes who what? If you want to go down that road and blacks had to reimburse the vicitms of their crimes with cash, we'd be in poverty another 1000 years! This country starting 20 years ago has been very lenient towards us and everyone. Maybe we all need to focus on the real problem----Our borders! And thats my point. Borders!

  543. robertallen1

    And just what are you getting at--in plain English?

  544. Kuntao Kunaya

    Robert, An almost humorous analogy about your nmicroscopic pests might be that, if we stop leaving food around for insects they go away. If we stop building basketball courts and cities with too many dark areas and empty space to get into trouble...they go away. But on the microscopic level, why is it when certain groups of people merely "walk" as a group in certain areas....we scurry away? And if we walk in their areas,we are robbed at least, killed at most. 80% of the time. You get lucky sometimes.

    Oh I forgot,the invisible microbes. Ig we had radio stations in a city that outlawed rap music, nasty commercials and entertainment only the violent A.D.D. can appreciate...they would starve "socially" and die off.Or, Moses splitting the red sea.....assimilate into the culture.(Im embarrassed to say that is false 99% of the time) I still have friends who have cousins who say what "white boys watch on TV is corny." And words much worse than that.

    I once had a chat with a Police Chief in an all white town in NJ, he took a liking to me, and we satin his office discussing this very matter. He beated around the bush yet was brutally honest. He said...."Certain people do not assimilate into new areas as well as others." And he is look ing right into the face of the people he is talking about. I loved him for being so honest. And he loved me for acknowledging him. Now, if I ever have a problem getting pulled over on the Interstate anywhere near Hoboken, I have a friend.

    As I said in my other posts, the secret to success for ALL people, especially minorities are: ENTER SAYING PLEASE AND EXCUSE ME. STAY-DOING WHAT IS ASKED OR EXPECTED OF YOU. AND WHEN YOUR TIME AT THE JOB OR PLACE IS DONE-JUST SAY THANK YOU AND BE ON YOUR WAY! Nothing in the way of race relations and all the marching and violence will never work better than that! And that is my point.

  545. robertallen1

    Once again, in clear English, what is your point?

  546. lex lexich

    comparison : usa 758 inmates per 100k ppl
    eu 123 inmates per 100k ppl
    my 'state' 85 inmates per 100k ppl
    iceland 39 inmates per 100k ppl

  547. lex lexich

    i would say that it's just good business sending people in prison for a loooong time, of course -tax payers collect the bill

  548. DigiWongaDude

    @ Vlatko
    Damn you're good at this.

    "What you wage here is just your emotions against tons of facts." - speaks volumes.

  549. DigiWongaDude

    @ oQ Thanks for the heads up...checking it out right now...done. (Quick huh?)
    *** WOW ***

    Quote: "We will ultimately not be judged by our technology. We won't be judged by our design. We won't be judged by our intellect and reason. Ultimately you judge the character of a society, not by how they treat the rich and the powerful and the privileged, but by how they treat the poor, the condemned, the incarcerated. Because it's in that nexus that we actually begin to understand truly profound things about who we are." - powerful stuff, especially in the context of the talk.

    P.S. Your red snow shovel post to me was hilarious, but I can't put my finger on just was. So thanks for the grin.

  550. Morthund

    As school-kids in Australia, we were shocked to learn that many poverty stricken Britains were sent to that old penal colony back in the 1800's for the crime of only stealing a loaf of bread.
    Later on, I read that even way before THAT, how Aristotile had proposed that history is cyclic... and boy oh boy was he right

  551. pjle

    How Ironic that Al Jazeera will go beyond the borders to produce this doc.Certainly no one will disagree about the violent thugs murderers and especially the rape hounds.You ask any person on the street about RAPE and I will guarantee they will say lock them away.Murder.Drive buy shootings,robbery with violence is and always will be the biggest fear factor for just about every human but being put away for life for stealing a car jack or a slice of bread or pizza.That is a crime in itself to portray someone as a criminal when poverty hunger are the reasons for these unlucky many.I certainly don't hear about those Wall Street crooks who bankrupted and entire nation only to have their cases delayed for years while they live in the most well protected homes and amount of fortunes and lives they ruined only to scoff at some poor b*stard who wants his life savings back.Something is so sadly wrong and the injustice done here certainly is not justice to those who are greedy and protected from that jail cell because they wear a suit.The punishment fits the crime.Not the money prevents the time GOOD DOC.

  552. Tasm

    Crime pays, even more so if they get no prison time.

  553. watmiwori

    NO crime is minor or "petty" to the victim. Being caught three times is a
    strong indication of habitual criminal behaviour; I have to wonder how
    many times a third-striker was _not_ caught.... I marvel that inmates and their bleeding heart advocates have not considered a simple sol-
    ution to prison overcrowding and nastiness: if you don't like prison,
    don't keep doing stuff to get thrown back in! Prisons are _supposed_ to
    be nasty and unpleasant -- you're not supposed to like them!

  554. watmiwori

    It would if applied as nearly as possible to immeduately.
    A convicted criminal should get ONE GO ONLY through
    the appelate system, and if upheld, sentence executed
    forthwith. As it is, we have the worst of both worlds as
    the state has to clothe and feed them for decades whilst
    they file endless appeals.

  555. ChefBryn

    Its not rocket science. Prison's make money. Bet the Judges are on fantastic bonus scheme's

  556. bringmeredwine

    Before we used DNA, many innocent people were wrongfully convicted. Some could still be serving life sentences to this day if nobody cared enough to fight for years on their behalf.

  557. bringmeredwine

    I agree.
    Canada stopped giving the death penalty for this very reason.
    Wilbert Coffin was wrongfully convicted of murder, then hung in 1953.
    Who knows how many others suffered the same fate?
    To my knowledge, after the death penalty was abolished, three additional innocent men spent years in prison serving life sentences, until their families finally got them released.

  558. robertallen1

    His innocence has never been established, quite the contrary.

  559. bringmeredwine

    What have you been reading?
    His innocence was painfully obvious.
    Because he was poor, a drunken , incompetent lawyer volunteered to represent him.
    And he had no motive.
    It was an appalling miscarriage of justice.
    Of course, you are entitled to your opinion, as am I.

  560. robertallen1

    There's a Wikipedia article about him and another about the case. Not one of these articles concludes that he was innocent.
    Your statement about having no motive should be revised to read having no apparent motive.

  561. bringmeredwine

    Okay Robertallen1,
    I'll allow you to believe you are totally in the right, and I am sooo wrong.
    I'm going to my camp now.
    Have a nice weekend!

  562. Alvin R Lenford Sr.

    It saddens me that people can take sides with a system who, when it boils down to it, cares nothing about human life, health or happiness, unless it's their own. Mo Money, Mo Money, Mo Money, That is the major objective! I certainly agree with incarcerating people who break the law, and that only depends upon the crime committed. Minor and petty offenses that have nothing to do with violence should not draw out ten fifteen years of lock-up, I don't care if I have ten strikes. Americas solution is to lock up everyone who violates the law. From minor offenders to major offenders. Whether you are a juvenile or a grown person. This is the only way to rid society of these evils. Every incarcerated head is worth MONEY! This is utterly rediculous. Community safety is of course important, and I do agree that it is necessary to have a sense of security in the neighborhood. But I'll tell you this, community safety, when compared to world safety, is a far more pressing issue.

    There are greater evils at work in this nation. We are dogged and taken advantage of every day by those criminals who run wall street, and the BIG BANKS who are leading this country to a third world war! When Martial Law is declared across this land, and the Fema Camp doors are opened wide for all of us who fight against an oppressive system whose total agenda is to demean, control and diminish the freedoms that we have fought long and hard to attain, then the blindfolds will fall off of our decieved and misled eyes and we will see what the hidden agendas really are. Then, of course, it will be too late.

    As a side note, there are more blacks locked up inside these prisons than any other race. Hmm, I wonder what that is all about?

  563. David Terpea

    I have been the victim of a violent crime and I can honestly say that I don't want my attacker put in jail for 7 plus years. I don't find it logical to have that person be in prison for that long. The type of broken person that commits this sort of crime needs help, not a lifetime in and out of prisons. For my part, as a normal non-offending citizen, I long ago took the steps needed to make myself as small a target as possible to these folks. I know how to take care of myself, I'm tactical in everything I do, and I know the law well enough that when I was attacked, I defended myself with the maximum amount of force needed to stop my attacker without going to jail myself.
    When you use the police to stop crime you invariably create a police state, when you use prisons to "stop" crime, you invariably create a prison state, but when citizens are active in preventing crime...

  564. slpsa

    yes. yes i have. the fatherly genes kicked in. nothing to extraordinary here my friend. :)

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