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  1. says

    Giving the state the authority to kill its people, seems like a dumb thing for the people to do. Oh, wait, what do you mean “we didn’t?”

    Weird how a lot of death penalty supporters also claim to be against big government. Isn’t a government that asserts the power of life and death nearing some kind of theoretical maximum?

  2. says

    Those numbers are closer than I would expect in the very Red State of Kansas. I would have thought that a much higher number than 55% would support the death penalty there. Perhaps there are less right wing asshats there than I thought?

    That said, I agree PZ I would have much rather seen a national poll. It would be more interesting to me. I think that it will be very hard, if not impossible to repeal capital punishment laws nationally. The whole States’ rights issue comes into play and I have little faith that the courts would rule against the States on that—I have no faith the current Supreme Court would do so.

  3. says

    I don’t have any moral objection to the idea that a murderer should pay for the taking of an innocent life with his own life. But what I do have a very strong moral objection to is a corrupt and far-from-infallible criminal justice system in which wealth buys acquittals, the penniless innocent are put away, and even one wrongful conviction runs the risk of sending a man to the gallows. Besides, 60 years in a dank cell with no friends seem much much harsher to me. So let’s do that instead.

  4. Usernames are stupid says

    If it can’t be repealed, then move it to 12 noon and require everyone to witness at least three a year.

    I predict that would end it right quick.

    ‘They do get so noisy,’ she said. ‘They’re disappointed because they couldn’t go to see the hanging, that’s what it is. I’m too busy to take them. and Tom won’t be back from work in time.’

    ‘Why can’t we go and see the hanging?’ roared the boy in his huge voice.

    ‘Want to see the hanging! Want to see the hanging!’ chanted the little girl, still capering round.

    Some Eurasian prisoners, guilty of war crimes, were to be hanged in the Park that evening, Winston remembered. This happened about once a month, and was a popular spectacle. Children always clamoured to be taken to see it. — George Orwell, “1984″

    … or not.

  5. says

    Weird how a lot of death penalty supporters also claim to be against big government.

    The same fundamental disconnect that allows them to use the government to push religion as a way of “increasing religious liberty.” They don’t think through their ideas that far–not even as far as the first, most obvious implications.
    In Oregon, our governor John Kitzhaber announced (last year, I think) that he wasn’t going to sign any more death warrants while he’s in office. This caused a big outcry that he was subverting the will of the people, usurping control etc. etc. etc. Never mind that he was elected democratically and, as governor, has the legal power to grant stays, pardons and so forth.
    Government is only too big when it helps poor people and outlaws discrimination.

  6. Usernames are stupid says

    I don’t have any moral objection to the idea that a murderer should pay for the taking of an innocent life with his own life. — Martin Wagner #3

    When someone is executed, it is done in the name of the people of the state.

    By your reason, when an innocent person is executed, who is to pay with his own life? The Judge? The Jury? The people of that state?

  7. donny5 says

    Americans should ask themselves why they are the only country in Europe and North America who still has a death penalty. You people don’t trust the government with your money (i.e. taxes) and yet you trust them to kill people?

    Strange, very strange.

    Donny

  8. Alverant says

    I believe there are some people who have committed crimes so vile they no longer deserve the right to live. But we’re suppose to be better than that. We are aware that we make mistakes and as such I cannot condone the State executing anyone no matter how badly they deserve it.

    But I am tempted to suggest an alternate solution of leaving the prisoner alone in a locked room for 10 minutes with two books of their choosing and a gun with one bullet in the chamber. What they do then is their choice.

  9. ulgaa says

    There was serious discussion of getting rid of the death penalty here in Kansas some years back. Discussions ended about it though not long after the Carr brothers committed several murders.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wichita_Massacre

    Republican state with Brownback as governor, probably not going to be repealed.

  10. 'Tis Himself says

    The problem with the death penalty is there’s no do-overs. If someone is wrongfully imprisoned, they can be released and can even sue for compensation. If someone is wrongfully executed, oh well.

  11. anubisprime says

    Seems to an observer of the American way that various states have absolutely no regard for the severely mentally incapable.

    Whether they are educationally or mentally retarded…makes not a bit of difference.

    I suppose the righteous have absolutely zero concern about affectively putting to death someone with the mental age of a child.

    How very enlightened and …modern!

  12. tubi says

    If it can’t be repealed, then move it to 12 noon and require everyone to witness at least three a year.

    I’d like to see executions committed publicly as well.

    But instead of requiring people to witness it, how about making them do it? In cases where lethal injection is used, there are three chemicals requiring the pressing of three buttons individually and in the proper sequence. I say, if you’re registered to vote in the state your name goes on a list. Each execution, we pick three people to push the buttons. After all, it’s in your name, you should be willing to do the work, right? Obviously, you run the risk of getting some bloodthirsty lunatic who would enjoy that, but I don’t think it would take long to make the point.

    Also, the same list of names could generate an audience list and if you didn’t show up you could be fined and jailed yourself.

  13. tubi says

    But I am tempted to suggest an alternate solution of leaving the prisoner alone in a locked room for 10 minutes with two books of their choosing and a gun with one bullet in the chamber. What they do then is their choice.

    Presumably these people are sociopaths who wouldn’t show remorse, and so couldn’t be relied on the “make the right decision.” I’m assuming you want them to shoot themselves, right?

    What if they just sit there calmly for 10 minutes reading “Killing Lincoln”? Back to gen pop?

  14. says

    #6: You made my point for me, though it appears you didn’t bother to read my comment past the sentence you quoted. The minute you have one innocent person executed, the state has become guilty of the very crime it sought to punish. And naturally, they will not apply the same punishment to themselves. Which makes the whole thing a clusterfuck. At least a wrongly convicted breathing inmate can be freed and compensated.

  15. says

    Alverant:

    But I am tempted to suggest an alternate solution of leaving the prisoner alone in a locked room for 10 minutes with two books of their choosing and a gun with one bullet in the chamber. What they do then is their choice.

    The point being? I can guarantee you that the man who raped and almost murdered me and raped and murdered many other women would never once consider turning the gun on himself. On someone else, yes.

    A fair amount of people manage to commit suicide in prison, it’s not as if it’s impossible. Those who do require being caged for life aren’t the types to kill themselves.

  16. says

    But I am tempted to suggest an alternate solution of leaving the prisoner alone in a locked room for 10 minutes with two books of their choosing and a gun with one bullet in the chamber. What they do then is their choice.

    Oh joy. No we won’t kill you…we’ll just torture you until you choose death.

    Pro-tip: Probably never a good idea to ask the government to start spending time thinking of creative ways to torture or kill their citizens.

  17. says

    I believe there are some people who have committed crimes so vile they no longer deserve the right to live. But we’re suppose to be better than that. We are aware that we make mistakes and as such I cannot condone the State executing anyone no matter how badly they deserve it.

    But I am tempted to suggest an alternate solution of leaving the prisoner alone in a locked room for 10 minutes with two books of their choosing and a gun with one bullet in the chamber. What they do then is their choice.

    You actually stopped and thought up of a fantasy for mentally torturing people into suicide…

    I really need to know, who the fuck are YOU afraid of?

  18. Hayden says

    @3

    I came here to say almost exactly what Martin did. I oppose the death penalty, because I cannot abide the idea of an innocent person being put to death. Even one is too many, and the only way to ensure no innocent person is put to death is to not have a death penalty at all.

  19. says

    Anyway, what I really wanted to say has already been said a couple of times here: how the hell can people who are so frightened by government involvement in their money, businesses, etc… be okay with the government killing people? I just can’t get my head around it.

    Oh, and Alverant,
    You are one sick individual. Forced suicide… WTF!

  20. Alverant says

    Forced suicide? Torture? When did I say that? Looks like a bunch of strawmen to me. If they don’t want to they don’t have to, nothing forced about it. If someone would rather die than face life in prison, then we let them make that choice.

    Pro-tip. If you’re going to quote someone, make sure they actually said what you’re quoting.

  21. says

    Alverant:

    If you’re going to quote someone, make sure they actually said what you’re quoting.

    I understood what you said and responded to it. How about you manage an actual response, rather than an ego-driven bristle?

  22. Alverant says

    How about you read the first part of my post Caine? And why do you think I was responding to you? Ego-driven bristle? Well that’s the pot calling the kettle black.

  23. says

    Alverant:

    Ego-driven bristle?

    Yes, Sugar. I notice you’re spending more time on that then responding to all the people who took issue with your post. By the way, I did read the whole thing. You still haven’t responded to my comment on your little notion.

  24. left0ver1under says

    The day that killing prisoners is acceptable is the day that innocent people can be brought back from the dead. You can’t overturn a death penalty.

    Then again, those who actually believe that dead people can walk are the ones who want the killing of prisoners…except, of course, their own (e.g. Kopp, Rudolph, Roeder, etc.).

  25. Weed Monkey says

    donny5 #7

    Americans should ask themselves why they are the only country in Europe and North America who still has a death penalty. You people don’t trust the government with your money (i.e. taxes) and yet you trust them to kill people?

    Agree with your sentiment, just getting facts straight. Belarus actively executes prisoners, and in Russia it is legal, but the policy is (at the moment) to not do it any more.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_capital_punishment_by_country#Europe

  26. says

    I voted no. I see no reason why I should pay to support the scum of the earth with 3 meals a day and a roof over their head for the remainder of their lives. If someone has a good argument though I’m game to here.

    Also,it’s funny when you think about… the people here that say supporters of the death penalty should have to witness the act or maybe even participate in it sound a little like the pro-lifers who demand a woman should have a sonogram before having an abortion.

  27. says

    I think Alverant didn’t make it entirely clear what they are proposing. If they meant that after your ten minutes in the room with the gun they open the door and lead you to a normal prison cell where you will live out a life sentence, well, that’s still a bit sick, but it’s not exactly torturing someone into choosing suicide, it’s just saying: we the state consider that you don’t deserve to live any more and would prefer not to go to the expense of keeping you alive and locked up for the next x decades – we will do it if we have to, but we’d be grateful if you adjusted your own opinion of your worth as low as ours is.

    Is that what you meant?

  28. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    If someone has a good argument though I’m game to here.

    Innocent people are sometimes executed. I’d love to hear your thoughts about that.

  29. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Also,it’s funny when you think about… the people here that say supporters of the death penalty should have to witness the act or maybe even participate in it sound a little like the pro-lifers who demand a woman should have a sonogram before having an abortion.

    P.S. You’re not being asked to house the killers in your abdomen. Nor is capital punishment in any way a medical decision about your body (unless you are the one being executed).

  30. says

    If someone has a good argument though I’m game to here.

    Innocent people are executed. That’s just dandy, ’cause you don’t like “supporting scum”?

    Just how much to do you know about the justice system? What’s your involvement with the penal system? How many convicted criminals do you know? What crime[s] have you been a victim of in your life? What advocacy do you do, both victim advocacy/support/help/law changing and penal reform? Or is it none of the above?

  31. says

    It also costs less in taxpayer’s money to imprison someone for life than it does to go through the appeals process, which is automatic when a death sentence is meted and can go on for decades.

  32. says

    Adamkiehl@27: the reason to vote yes is that no system of justice will ever be able to weed out every wrongful conviction, and if we don’t want innocent people to be murdered by the state, then the cost of keeping the ‘scum of the earth’ alive is simply the price we have to pay for knowing that the state isn’t going to snuff out our lives in any circumstances.

    Many people consider that a price worth paying.

    Many people also consider the fact that a lot of people sent to Death Row in the USA are suffering from mental health problems and not fully in control of their actions to be a disgrace, and if having no executions at all is the price we have to pay for not executing those whose culpability is in doubt (even in those cases where the fact that they did the deed is not in doubt), then, again, many of us consider that a price worth paying.

    It’s probably also about time someone brought up Sam Harris’s arguments about the illusory nature of free will – how if free will as generally conceived is not in fact how the world works, then having a criminal justice system based on retribution (and that seems to be the only argument that people seriously make for the death penalty – that some people just deserve to die) makes no sense, and that we would be better to design our justice system around maximising public safety, with revenge not being part of the equation.

  33. says

    Martin Wagner:

    the appeals process

    A great many people on death row do 20+ years before being executed. A number of them die a natural death first. They are still being supported that whole time, so I really don’t see the point of anyone citing “not wanting to support scum” as a reason for being pro-death penalty.

  34. Weed Monkey says

    adamkiehl #27

    I voted no. I see no reason why I should pay to support the scum of the earth with 3 meals a day and a roof over their head for the remainder of their lives. If someone has a good argument though I’m game to here.

    Killing someone in custody is not a defensive action against imminent aggression, and that is the only use of violence I find acceptable.

    I’m sure your mileage will vary.

  35. marcus says

    adamkiehl, Besides the absolute fact that innocent people will be killed by the state(think of all the people who have been exonerated by DNA evidence), there is the fact that any compassionate society worthy of being called such will require such assurances of guilt (by means of appeal, multiple trials, etc) that “life in prison without possibility of parole” is actually much cheaper in the long run. If you say “limit the appeals” then you are also saying that it is alright if a more innocent people die. So this is a case where compassion and mercy is actually cheaper. Before you say “Why should they deserve mercy?” Remember that “mercy” is not earned, that would be called justice.

  36. says

    I see no reason why I should pay to support the scum of the earth with 3 meals a day and a roof over their head for the remainder of their lives.

    Ah, so it’s all about you, then.
    Never mind that what we’re talking about here is giving the state the right to execute people, and that, given that it’s a matter for individual states, will be applied differently in different areas. And that mistakes will always be part of the picture. And never mind what giving government such a power might mean in the future, or how many ways that power could be abused.
    No, it’s about your goddamn wallet.

  37. says

    Martin Wagner:

    Economic arguments in favor of CP don’t really hold.

    No, they don’t. The man who raped and assaulted me was tried (full trial) 5 times, once for me, once for each of the other survivors (3) and once for one of his murder victims. 6 other trials (that I know about) were dropped. The cost involved was utterly staggering. I think a lot of people who natter on about “supporting scum” don’t even have a superficial knowledge of the justice system or the penal system. Trials and appeals eat up an enormous amount of money.

  38. says

    “Innocent people are sometimes executed.”

    Not to be a contrarian, but my knowledge of such things are limited. Would you be willing to tell me of a few instances within the past 50 years that this has happened?
    More to the point, if it has happened I see that as a reason to improve what goes on at the trial not necessarily what happens after.

    “P.S. You’re not…” A little doesn’t mean a lot.

    “Just how much to do you know…” A fair amount, a few, I’ve only been a victim of minor assaults (the most jail anyone every received for victimizing me was 9 months).

    “It also costs less in taxpayer’s money”

    A fair enough point to make at present, but why is this an argument against the death penalty instead of a reason why we shouldn’t work to lower costs of the trials. Are we already getting the best price for our justice system?

    “A great many people on death row do 20+ years”

    Right and I naturally have a problem with this. As the average age range of murderers is between 18 and 30(Wikipedia) it seems plausible that we’d have to support them an additional 20 to 40 years if we didn’t execute them.

    “And never mind what giving government such a power might mean in the future”

    Slippery slope, no?

    ” having a criminal justice system based on retribution ”

    I sincerely believe the justice system should be there to rehabilitate criminals, but I think the death penalty is an honest answer to the question “What do you do with those you can’t rehab?”

    Thank you all for responding so quickly, it’s hard to keep up.

  39. Phalacrocorax, not a particularly smart avian says

    Belarus actively executes prisoners

    You beat me to it, Weed Monkey, so I’d just like to point out that Belarus is a dictatorship. So, the exceptions to the rule are America and oppressive governments.

  40. says

    Would you be willing to tell me of a few instances within the past 50 years that this has happened?

    Randall Adams springs to mind. Are you unaware of Thin Blue Line? By the way, he’s a prime case as to why your “expedite trials” is crap. There was a great deal of corruption involved in Adams’s case and it’s much more common than you might think.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_exonerated_death_row_inmates

    You might note that in the U.S. alone, there have been 140 people exonerated. Just how much blood do want spilled to spare your wallet?*

    *As has already been demonstrated, your notion of “sparing your wallet” is stupid and doesn’t work in reality.

  41. Weed Monkey says

    adamkiehl, the things you chose to respond to are all worthy of consideration, but you didn’t have a response to one basic idea that I’ll repeat:

    Killing someone in custody is not a defensive action against imminent aggression, and that is the only use of violence I find acceptable.

  42. says

    “Randall Adams springs to mind.”

    I’m sorry it must not be clear. I was asking for an instance of an innocent person having been executed as that was the claim made in the post to which I was responding.

    “you didn’t have a response to one basic idea”

    I will have to think about this to be honest.

  43. says

    I was asking for an instance of an innocent person having been executed as that was the claim made in the post to which I was responding.

    Oh FFS, you dimwit. Do you think people are making shit up? They aren’t, that would be you. There’s a large number of people who were exonerated posthumously. How about you learn to fucking educate yourself?

    I’m done doing your work for you.

  44. says

    @adamkiehl: The most recent instance of an execution of someone widely believed to have been innocent is Cameron Todd Willingham in Texas. Much of the evidence used to convict Willingham of arson and murder in 2004 was debunked in later years by experts in the field. But even though Texas changed its standards, Willingham was not granted a new trial, and after he was put to death, Rick Perry quashed a further investigation into re-examining the forensics in the case. It’s troubling, to put it mildly, and reeks of a disturbing level of corruption at the state government level. Here’s a brief article with some other names.

  45. cactuswren says

    I’d prefer to think I live in a country too civilized to practice ritual human sacrifice.

  46. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    More to the point, if it has happened I see that as a reason to improve what goes on at the trial not necessarily what happens after.

    And up until the point when that’s all solved and the courts are perfectly just and always correct, how many innocent people are you willing to see executed so as to save you money?

  47. says

    And to reiterate Caine’s point: there is a thing called Google, it’s your friend, and it wants you to use it. Search for “innocent people executed” and go from there.

  48. Weed Monkey says

    “you didn’t have a response to one basic idea”
    I will have to think about this to be honest.

    I’m glad, really. Think thorough.

  49. says

    Whenever I hear someone make the argument that they support the death penalty because they really do not want to pay for some murderer living in jail I immediately have to wonder why they have an opinion about this topic at all. It becomes obvious at that point that they have done absolutely no research on the topic.

  50. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    It becomes obvious at that point that they have done absolutely no research on the topic.

    And especially depressing and scary, because they’re advocating people’s actual deaths based on their no research.

  51. marcus says

    adamkills, Don’t feel too bad. Reducing the number of people executed won’t actually affect your tax burden one way or the other, the State is going to take its pound of flesh anyway. And besides, look on the bright side, they’ll just find some other poor chump in some third world shit-hole to kill instead (who is probably at least as likely to be innocent).

  52. says

    Not to be a contrarian, but my knowledge of such things are limited. Would you be willing to tell me of a few instances within the past 50 years that this has happened?

    Wait wait wait wait wait.

    You have formed an opinion, apparently a strong one, about whether MANY people should live or die. And you haven’t actually researched it? Are you always this blase with the lives of others? Isn’t that what the death penalty is for? people who blatantly disregard the rights of others?

  53. says

    Are you always this blase with the lives of others?

    We seem to be very good at not caring about the lives of others, just look at how bad many drivers are. They roll around in 1500kg of pedestrian flinging, cyclist tossing car and rather than taking it seriously many people just laugh off their near killing experiences or worse, blame the person they nearly hit. Too many people really do not think about life and death very often, unless it is their own I suppose.

  54. says

    “Are you always this blase with the lives of others?”

    Perhaps. There was apparently a tribe at some point in time in Africa who upon the birth of a severely defective child would feed it to the hippos. Now, I have no idea if this is true or not, but I’d like it to be. And I wouldn’t fight against all societies returning to that point (and am happy that with the improvement in technology such defects are detectable prior to birth and the fetus may be aborted should the parents so choose). I may be heartless but I see little reason to sustain an individual who has been judged to be of zero value to society. And Violent criminals who will spend the remainder of their days sitting in a cell doing nothing have zero value to society. Granted I’ve seen some impressive matchstick clocks from death row inmates but really they do nothing substantial. They are essentially society’s pets and much as there’s no protest when shelters put unwanted pets to sleep after a few days in the pound, I see little more reason to protest an execution; all that’s different is the species.
    But wait you say, what about the innocent? I grant it’s upsetting that sometimes bad things happen to good people and that try as we might to do right we sometimes err.

    In response to weed monkey, I don’t agree with the statement you provided and I also don’t think it applies. First, if in a hypothetical scenario two groups of people, group A and group B, occupied an area but only group A had secured ready access to food and were peaceably resistant to sharing that food with Group B; then I would have no qualms with Group B violently seizing that food in order to avoid death even though Group A was non-aggressive. Second, my understanding of the death penalty is that it is a rather structured affair and the prisoners from what I’ve gathered generally put up little resistance and so can hardly be called violent.(Admittedly the gas chamber and the electric chair are some what violent and should be replaced.) The practitioners actively work to sterilize the process with great effect. For the case of lethal injection, the condemned could just as easily have the same experience had he participated in sedation dentistry with the only difference being that he doesn’t wake up in the end.

    At Ing, prior to this comment I don’t think I’ve spoken too strongly on this and surely asking a question about one subset of a problem does not mean I haven’t done any research on the whole. Also since you already perceive me as pedantic I might point out that the law I’m interested in upholding is on American soil and I specifically asked for examples within the past 50 years. So, while I know math is hard and geography is worse, examples from the forties and fifties on foreign soil just don’t make the cut.

    At Marcus: witty indeed, who knew my name was similar to other English words? You did.

    At Boselecta: That’s cute, I liked it.

    At Travis: We can both think the system is flawed for entirely different reasons. You think the death penalty should go away, I’m guessing; I think we should work to minimize costs throughout. That’s not however my argument for the death penalty and in fact acknowledged earlier that at present it’s not even true. The essence of my reasoning for the death penalty can be found at the very end of my previous comment # 40 and down below.

    And at Caine: I disagree on the point that you’ve done anything for me thus far, so please just this one last favor and tell me one name of someone who was executed and later officially exonerated. Please note, I do not claim that such a person doesn’t exist; in fact Martin Wagner was kind enough to give some names of likely candidates to be officially exonerated in the future though none appear to have gained that status yet. (Also, you said I made something up, but I’m at a loss as to what. Please tell me.)

    And lastly as to my remark about paying for the three meals and roof over their head which some of you have seized upon, it’s more on principle than simply balancing the books. I’m not in favor of rewarding someone who breaks the rules with a free, and admittedly constrained, ride.

  55. Just_A_Lurker says

    adamkiehl

    They are essentially society’s pets and much as there’s no protest when shelters put unwanted pets to sleep after a few days in the pound, I see little more reason to protest an execution; all that’s different is the species. But wait you say, what about the innocent? I grant it’s upsetting that sometimes bad things happen to good people and that try as we might to do right we sometimes err.

    Yes, there fucking is protest about that. How dare you, you dehumanizing piece of shit. You are okay with innocent people dying because you “think” it costs your wallet less? Even if it was true that state murder was cheaper than incarceration (which it isn’t) that is no fucking reason to murder people.

    later officially exonerated

    You are hung up on this? Fucking A. Our system is jacked the fuck up there are cases where there is sufficient, if not conclusive proof, that the person put to death by the state. You know why they don’t “officially exonerate”? Because that would mean admitting they were wrong, admitting they murdered an innocent person and no way are they going to hand anti-state murder advocates that shit on a platter. Not”officially exonerating” them gives them a very thin vaneer to keep ignorant, selfish assholes like you on their side.

    Fuck off.

    And lastly as to my remark about paying for the three meals and roof over their head which some of you have seized upon, it’s more on principle than simply balancing the books. I’m not in favor of rewarding someone who breaks the rules with a free, and admittedly constrained, ride.

    I-I-I can’t even express the contempt I feel for you right now.

    I’m fucking done. Fuck you, fuck this bullshit. Good fucking bye. Killfiled. You worthless piece of shit, you contribute fucking nothing. Why if I had your mentality, that would mean I would be okay with the state killing you! Good thing I don’t have have an ass where my head should be.

  56. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    adamkiehl, I don’t have time for your bullshit right now, but I just want you to know that you are fucking disgusting, ethically bankrupt, and exceptionally fucking obtuse to top it off. The platitude that “sometimes bad things happen to good people” does not justify doing bad things to good people, you callous, self-centered dipshit.

    And by the way, if you try to justify harming human beings by calling them pets again, you and I are going to have a major fucking problem. Take that from someone who knows more about dehumanization than your stupid ass has ever had the opportunity to fucking comprehend.*

    Just refreshed and wanted to agree with Rip: J_A_L, thanks for the great post.

    *And that’s above and beyond the assumption that killing pets is uncontroversially justified. “No protest” my ass.

  57. says

    Just_A_lurker,you appear to have glossed over where I 1) said that financial considerations were not my main consideration for executions and 2)admit that at present it is in fact not cheaper to execute. Perhaps you should calm down somewhat and process what is on the page before responding.
    Your argument about official exonerations sounds very conspiratorial; I almost felt like I should be wearing a tinfoil hat when I read it.

    Cassandra, why would I be scared of having “a major fucking problem” with you? Just curious why people say this on the internet as if it matters. Hell, I’ve used my name and still don’t see the point of your threats. Are you going to track me down and hurt me so that I’ll see things your way? If so, this sounds somewhat inconsistent with your death penalty stance.

  58. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Cassandra, why would I be scared of having “a major fucking problem” with you?

    Oh right, I forgot. If you were a person with any sort of moral consideration or empathy, you wouldn’t be advocating your disgusting stance in the first place. Slime like you is only motivated by fear. Never mind, then – the fact that I’ll consider you a sociopathic fucking monster is immaterial. Carry on and I hope you get your ass banned.

  59. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    P.S. For those people who are not sociopathic fucking monsters and aren’t already aware, I’ll lay my cards on the table about this: I was substantially dehumanized by my abuser, who used the claim that I wasn’t fully human to justify his physical, psychological, and sexual abuse of me. Any person who calls other people “pets” (or, for that matter, “objects” or “toys”) and uses that to justify hurting them is a dangerous person, and not just to their current target of choice.

  60. Amphiox says

    I’m not in favor of rewarding someone who breaks the rules with a free, and admittedly constrained, ride.

    A free ride?

    We TAKE AWAY THEIR FREEDOM, you pathetic moron. (And most of their dignity, too).

    And what was that phrase again that’s always been so celebrated? Oh yeah, it’s “give me freedom or give me death”.

    We as a society in general in modern times most definitely value freedom at least as high, if not higher, than life.

    Hell, our culture not infrequently looks upon a life OF COMPLETE LUXURY without freedom as WORSE THAN DEATH.

    Taking away someone’s freedom permanently is a HORRENDOUSLY SEVERE punishment. At least equal in severity to, if not worse, than execution. Even if its a guilded 20 acre cage in the Taj Mahal.

  61. demonhype says

    Seriously suggesting that the argument about “official exoneration” is just a tinfoil hat conspiracy? That is obscene and dishonest. So evidence turns up that prisoner A is ABSOLUTELY NOT GUILTY, as in DID NOT DO IT, but the refusal of the state to “officially exonerate” is just…what? What other reason could those who put this innocent person on death row have to do that besides to avoid the responsibility they hold? And how on fucking EARTH can there be “reform” of this supposedly wonderful death penalty establishment if those in charge of it CAN’T EVEN BE TRUSTED TO ADMIT WHEN THEY FUCK UP? How on earth can we possibly even get to that magical pink-unicorn-infested land where courts are always right and the innocent are never convicted or executed (supposing for the sake of argument that this can ever happen, which it can’t) when those in power are doing everything they can to protect the system from any criticism or scrutiny?

    But no, to doubt the good faith of those heroes of the death penalty establishment and/or suggest that their refusal to admit when they screw up is to protect their own asses, that is clearly the kind of thing a mentally ill paranoid person would say and nothing more. When you can’t beat an argument, dismiss the argument as “insane”–because there’s no sane reason to believe that people in charge of an establishment might have a motivation to protect their work from scrutiny, after all. And, ya know, the murder of innocent people by the state is just the price we pay to protect our fucking egos–bad things happen to good people and all that, so let’s just roll with it.

    I agree with you Cassandra. Hope this piece of shit gets his ass banned. I wasn’t even going to say anything as this bullshit has been pretty typical of the pro-state murder crowd and you guys were doing a fantastic job handing his ass to him, but that smug “tinfoil hat” dismissal of a valid point…well, that was just nauseating. There’s just no arguing with someone that willfully ignorant and self-righteous.

    BTW, I used to be pro-death penalty. I used to make the same smug, pig-ignorant arguments. When I actually did some reading*, I very quickly changed my mind about the entire situation. I simply couldn’t continue to justify it in the face of the evidence and the ethical arguments (just like with god- and afterlife-belief). It’s always disgusting and a little embarrassing to hear those same smug pig-ignorant views coming from yet another pro-state murder supporter–this must be how the formerly religious sometimes feel. I’d always wondered and now I think I know. (It’s not nice, is it?)

    *That is, when I actually did some reading that was not propaganda for the pro-death penalty contingent and was confronted with some plain and untarnished facts off my guard, actually when I started lurking on atheist sites–yet another thing for which I have atheist sites to thank!

  62. amoeba says

    Setting-aside any moral considerations, the fact that no legal system is ever likely to be free from error and that no crime investigation agency is ever likely to be 100% infallible. It follows therefore any judgement that cannot be reversed following the discovery of new evidence therefore must be unjust and be considered uncivilised.

  63. Koshka says

    I may be heartless but I see little reason to sustain an individual who has been judged to be of zero value to society.

    How about the disabled?

    Or the elderly?

    Or the longterm unemployed?

  64. Loud says

    adamkiehl #59

    There was apparently a tribe at some point in time in Africa who upon the birth of a severely defective child would feed it to the hippos. Now, I have no idea if this is true or not, but I’d like it to be.

    Wait, you’d like it to be true that somewhere people feed ‘defective’ babies to hippos? WTF?

    Not that you had any credibility anyway, but hopefully even people who agree with your fucked up viewpoint on the death penalty are starting to distance themselves from you.

  65. Anri says

    adamkeihl:

    Perhaps. There was apparently a tribe at some point in time in Africa who upon the birth of a severely defective child would feed it to the hippos. Now, I have no idea if this is true or not, but I’d like it to be. And I wouldn’t fight against all societies returning to that point (and am happy that with the improvement in technology such defects are detectable prior to birth and the fetus may be aborted should the parents so choose).

    You might want to be careful – a person with no empathy for their fellow human beings might be reasonably judged ‘severely defective’.

    Then again, you might have been able to hide it effectively as a child.

    The rest of your post is equally well thought out, generally speaking.

    (Anyone wanna start a pool that adamkiehl is spoofing us in an attempt to get a ‘stereotypical darwinian’ quote attributable to a public atheist group? I’m probably over-thinking this…)

  66. says

    The State of Connecticut repealed the death penalty just a few days ago, on April 25.

    Governor Malloy gave this reason for supporting and signing the bill to repeal: “My position on the appropriateness of the death penalty in our criminal justice system evolved over a long period of time. As a young man, I was a death penalty supporter. Then I spent years as a prosecutor and pursued dangerous felons in court, including murderers. In the trenches of a criminal courtroom, I learned firsthand that our system of justice is very imperfect. While it’s a good system designed with the highest ideals of our democratic society in mind, like most of human experience, it is subject to the fallibility of those who participate in it. I saw people who were poorly served by their counsel. I saw people wrongly accused or mistakenly identified. I saw discrimination. In bearing witness to those things, I came to believe that doing away with the death penalty was the only way to ensure it would not be unfairly imposed.”

    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/category/categories/states/connecticut

    The repeal affects only future cases; the people currently on death row (there are about a dozen, I think) are not affected.

    The link above also includes the summary of (and link to) a recent NYT editorial which comments on the “growing movement against capital punishment.”

  67. Lars says

    Again: Mass Murderer or Death Penalty Advocate!!? There’s no way to tell!

    Well, maybe there is.

    A fascist on death row is most likely a mass murderer. A fascist not on death row is most likely a death penalty advocate.

    I might be wrong, though.

  68. David Marjanović says

    Yes 68%
    No 29%
    Unsure 2%
    Total votes: 496

    What, that few total votes? We’ll have it at 99.9 % yes within a few hours!

  69. Just_A_Lurker says

    I may be heartless but I see little reason to sustain an individual who has been judged to be of zero value to society.

    How about the disabled?

    Or the elderly?

    Or the longterm unemployed?

    I’m one of those people and so are my parents. So yeah, I take this person with no value = pet shit seriously.

    It’s funny just like in welfare threads, when someone a dumbass poster like adamkeihl, will ignore or disregard what I say because in their worldview people like me don’t exist. At least not personally. They straight up deny, play the “emotional” card or ignore because someone they wish death on is actually speaking to them. Most don’t have it in them to say to me “Yes, I think you are worthless and should starve in the streets.” Most being the key word here…

  70. Amphiox says

    I may be heartless but I see little reason to sustain an individual who has been judged to be of zero value to society.

    Right. A who exactly is judging this, and how infallible might they be?

    Even a criminal in prison does not necessarily have zero value to society, as anyone familiar with the literature of author O. Henry could certainly attest to.

    And if an individual is loved and valued by others, even one other, such that his existence provides comfort and boosts morale of that other person, and that other person participates and contributes more effectively to society as a result, that too, is value.

  71. says

    Unlike adamkeihl, I actually have a valid reason to be pro-death penalty. However, I’m not. The amount of innocent people already executed is too high, the cost of one more innocent person too much. Posthumous pardons are cold comfort and a travesty. They make a parody of our justice system.

    I also know, from firsthand experience, that while the death of the person who tried to take my life might make me feel safer on some level, it wouldn’t change anything. It wouldn’t change what happened, it wouldn’t make it magically better.

    Life in a cage is a terrible punishment. It’s enough.

  72. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    And at Caine: I disagree on the point that you’ve done anything for me thus far, so please just this one last favor and tell me one name of someone who was executed and later officially exonerated. Please note, I do not claim that such a person doesn’t exist; in fact Martin Wagner was kind enough to give some names of likely candidates to be officially exonerated in the future though none appear to have gained that status yet. (Also, you said I made something up, but I’m at a loss as to what. Please tell me.)

    You do realize the difficulty here? Once an execution is carried out there is little want or push by the government to prove they were wrong. In fact there are often barriers erected to keep third parties from showing so. There are many cases where evidence was discovered exonerating executed prisoners after (and even before) their sentence was carried out. Even a cursory search on google will show you this.

  73. Louis says

    Aaaaaaah it seems we have a quasi libertarian moralising monster. Societies need to revert to the point where “defective” babies are fed to animals because they can’t “contribute” to those societies? Impressive. And paying for someone to die, even though more expensive, is a point of principle?

    Nice principles!

    Kill “defective” babies and anyone who commits a certain type of crime. Remind me, when did “taking the moral high ground” look so much like ableism and vengeance?

    Louis

    P.S. I have my own comedy argument against the death penalty: if someone harmed someone I loved, I would want to kill them. I am a vengeful, violent, nasty idiot. My wishes should therefore not only be ignored, but actively worked against.

  74. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Not to be a contrarian, but my knowledge of such things are limited. Would you be willing to tell me of a few instances within the past 50 years that this has happened?

    Try Illinois. We dropped the death penalty because more people on death row were being exonerated than executed. I believe there were a couple of executions that would have also been exonerated if the state wasn’t trigger happy. Anybody who thinks someone is absolutely guilty because of one trial is full of ignorance.

  75. Lars says

    P.S. I have my own comedy argument against the death penalty [...] I am a vengeful, violent, nasty idiot. [...] therefore [...]

    Auto-ad hominem arguments are now comedy? Color me confused. ;p

  76. says

    Louis:

    I am a vengeful, violent, nasty idiot.

    You aren’t the only one. I don’t want to say what I’d do to the man who assaulted me if I had the opportunity. What I will say is that I would easily become every bit as monstrous as he is and I fail to see how that’s helpful in any way.

  77. Louis says

    Lars,

    The fallaciousness is what makes the LULZ.

    After all it’s a classic trick in comedy to provide a disjunct. A logical break where the tale appears to go one way then illogically, or perhaps merely playing on words, goes another way.

    I HAS COMEDEH EXPLANASHUNS!

    Louis

  78. dogfightwithdogma says

    Everyone who has posted here thus far has been a foe of the death penalty with the exception of adamkeihl. And until reading the posts here and following up on many of the links I was more inside the pro-capital punishment camp than outside it. But I have definitively made up my mind: abolish the death penalty and substitute life without possibility of parole. Thank you to all those of you who posted here. This exchange has made a difference.

  79. says

    dogfightwithdogma:

    But I have definitively made up my mind: abolish the death penalty and substitute life without possibility of parole. Thank you to all those of you who posted here. This exchange has made a difference.

    Thank you.

  80. Loud says

    dogfightwithdogma #86

    Thank you to all those of you who posted here. This exchange has made a difference.

    This forum (and its posters) really helps clarify your thinking, doesn’t it? The many, many threads battling MRAs opened my eyes to my privilege in that respect, and helped clarify my own thoughts on that issue, among others.

    It’s an oft missed point with trolls and other idiots that argue on forums like this, that even if they will never change their viewpoint, other people will come along and read the comments and the links, who will listen to reason.

  81. Anri says

    This forum (and its posters) really helps clarify your thinking, doesn’t it? The many, many threads battling MRAs opened my eyes to my privilege in that respect, and helped clarify my own thoughts on that issue, among others.

    THIS!

    Pharyngula is one of those strange places that makes you feel simultaneously stupid (when you read what these smart people have written so clearly), and smart (once you’re done reading these clear ideas).

  82. Weed Monkey says

    Pharyngula is one of those strange places that makes you feel simultaneously stupid (when you read what these smart people have written so clearly), and smart (once you’re done reading these clear ideas).

    Indeed. That’s why I read almost every day. This is a place to learn.

  83. says

    Feralboy:

    The same fundamental disconnect that allows them to use the government to push religion as a way of “increasing religious liberty.” They don’t think through their ideas that far–not even as far as the first, most obvious implications.

    The rhetoric sounds garbled because it’s a dogwhistle. The only “liberty” they care about is that of a very small slice of the population: straight, cis, male, white, and the “right” kind of xtian. But coming out and saying it is more fraught than it used to be.

    Donny and Pentatomid, most Americans trust the government to “kill people” because they believe the “right” kind of people, i.e. those like themselves, will never be killed.

    Tubi, requiring people to execute prisoners won’t work. Too many submissive authoritarians in this country who are OK with anything so long as it’s countenanced by the “right” authority.

    Alverant said something stupid and creepy? Say it’s not so!!

    Adam:

    Perhaps you should calm down…

    Listen, shitcake, some things are worth getting furious about, and your worldview is one of them.

    If you actually wanted to educate yourself about the number of innocent people on death row, you could google “Innocence Project.” But you don’t want to, because you’d risk your image of yourself as “pragmatic” and “honest” and “unsentimental,” which is usually how sociopaths justify their outlook toward people less fortunate than they.

    CC:

    Any person who calls other people “pets” (or, for that matter, “objects” or “toys”) and uses that to justify hurting them is a dangerous person, and not just to their current target of choice.

    Yes. This.

    J_A_L:

    Most don’t have it in them to say to me “Yes, I think you are worthless and should starve in the streets.” Most being the key word here…

    I’ve seen a liberturd tell someone who grew up on food stamps that his family should have simply been allowed to die.

    Dogfightwithdogma: I echo Caine’s thanks.

  84. Amphiox says

    Note how the despicable troll assumes without justification motive for the example of infanticide it advocates.

    Generally, infanticide in traditional cultures is done not because the baby is deemed to have no value to society, but because it was determined that there were insufficient resources available at the time to support the child, and the child was doomed to not survive anyways. This would be doubly true for disabled infants in such cultures.

  85. says

    Amphiox:

    Note how the despicable troll assumes without justification motive for the example of infanticide it advocates.

    Oh, I expect AdamKills thinks that legal abortion picks his pocket as well. Let those slutty wimmins pop ‘em out and feed ‘em to the nearest hippo! It’s cheaper and who gives a fuck anyway?

  86. says

    “CAN’T EVEN BE TRUSTED” You haven’t established this, you stated it in one sentence and then took it as true in the next. People on all sides of the political spectrum reach office, even in death penalty states; one would like to imagine that far from simply halting executions, an anti-death penalty governor would yield his power to uncover the truth of the matter. Why hasn’t this happened? “Sounds very conspiritorial” and “insane” are light years away from one another. As to what Quodlibet points out: while I would say that Governor Malloy is in the perfect position to investigate the recent executions in his state to find an example of an innocent man and officially exonerate him, only two people in the state have been executed in the last 52 years. And they apparently volunteered. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suzanne-langlois/connecticut-repeals-the-d_b_1453897.html

    “How about the disabled?

    Or the elderly?

    Or the longterm unemployed?”

    Is there still some function that the elderly or disabled can perform or at minimum someone who loves them enough to care for them?
    As far as the longterm unemployed go, one of them got my last dollar off of me last night in the parking lot of a book store; see, I’m not completely heartless. And to answer any questions that might arise from this, though his current offering to society is rather small, his potential is not; this is not true of people who plan to spend the rest of their days in jail.

    “Wait, you’d like it to be true that somewhere people feed ‘defective’ babies to hippos? WTF?”
    I’m also a staunch promoter of abortion in such cases (in that I wish more people took this option), do you see a difference?

    “…will ignore or disregard what I say because in their worldview people like me don’t exist.”
    What are people like you? I don’t know what that is.

    “…because someone they wish death on is actually speaking to them.”
    They let inmates on death row chat on Pharyngula? Oh, have you instead decided, by your own accounting, that you have 0 worth to society based on something else I wrote? You certainly don’t seem entirely incapable, even if bed-ridden you at least appear to have the capacity to be a medical transcriptionist. See: http://www.medtranscriptioncourse.com/

    “deny, play the “emotional” card or ignore ”

    I haven’t denied anything, the closest I’ve come to such is in asking for an official exoneration, and ask for that because the state is the tool society uses to determine the guilt or innocence of a person. I do in fact prefer that people here were less emotional. I asked for your arguments against the death penalty and I’m not much swayed by your feelings. If my point were to ignore, it stands to reason I wouldn’t be here.

    “Right. A who exactly is judging this, and how infallible might they be?
    Even a criminal in prison does not necessarily have zero value to society, as anyone familiar with the literature of author O. Henry could certainly attest to.”

    Society is judging in the best way yet formulated (my opinion, but of course echoed by the fact that it’s what our society has chosen). I made no claims that every prisoner had 0 value, so cherry picking a guy who did a three year stint doesn’t show much of anything.

    “And paying for someone to die, even though more expensive, is a point of principle?”

    I believe I’ve noted elsewhere that we should work to reduce the costs associated with executions and the justice system in general.

    “If you actually wanted to educate yourself…”
    Why is asking people who care deeply about the other side not an attempt to educate myself? It seems that truly engaged people would be able to condense the information on the internet down significantly, a better education and time-savings as well.
    ” But you don’t want to…”
    Let’s be honest: you’ve strayed beyond what you could possibly know. (And also note that claims of having made done no research either prior to yesterday or after are entirely false.)
    ” people less fortunate than they”
    I don’t typically see death row inmates as less fortunate than me at least not in the same way I would an abandoned child.

    “note how the despicable troll assumes without justification”
    I related the story here exactly as it was related to me. And you seem to agree that a child with sever disabilities would motivate infanticide. The only difference is that you’ve expanded who they killed and in fact by at least one metric have now scored the children with negative value to their respective societies instead of the slightly less bad sounding no value I gave them.

    “thinks that legal abortion picks his pocket as well”
    I don’t think you’re really reading my comments at this point. It might surprise you to know I’m fully in favor of implementing a national health care system.

    Lastly, I apologize about the font I wrote this up in notepad.

  87. says

    adamkills, you aren’t welcome here. You have zero credibility and your Decent Human Being card has been revoked. Get the fuck off the bus, please. You may take this rotting porcupine with you – be sure to pound it, Cupcake.

    Comment by adamkiehl blocked. [unkill]​[show comment]

  88. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Why do liberturds/RWAs think they are smarter than a tapeworm? They are parasitic worms. Take your theology of hate elsewhere.

  89. Just_A_Lurker says

    AdamKills

    As far as the longterm unemployed go, one of them got my last dollar off of me last night in the parking lot of a book store; see, I’m not completely heartless.

    Oh goodie for you. Have a fucking cookie.

    “…will ignore or disregard what I say because in their worldview people like me don’t exist.”
    What are people like you? I don’t know what that is.

    context & reading comprehension, get some. Using welfare as an example should have been a clue. Or you know, lurk moar before you shit in someone’s living room.

    “…because someone they wish death on is actually speaking to them.”
    They let inmates on death row chat on Pharyngula? Oh, have you instead decided, by your own accounting, that you have 0 worth to society based on something else I wrote? You certainly don’t seem entirely incapable, even if bed-ridden you at least appear to have the capacity to be a medical transcriptionist. See: http://www.medtranscriptioncourse.com/

    Wow, WTF is wrong with you?

    Condescension and privilege abound.
    ———————–

    Ms. Daisy Cutter,

    Most don’t have it in them to say to me “Yes, I think you are worthless and should starve in the streets.” Most being the key word here…

    I’ve seen a liberturd tell someone who grew up on food stamps that his family should have simply been allowed to die.

    Oh yes, I’ve been told shit to that degree in real life and here. It’s just that here I’m ignored more likely than not.

  90. Weed Monkey says

    “How about the disabled?

    Or the elderly?

    Or the longterm unemployed?”

    Is there still some function that the elderly or disabled can perform or at minimum someone who loves them enough to care for them?

    This is where I stopped reading and started to think adamkiehl is someone to be warned about.

  91. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    This is where I stopped reading and started to think adamkiehl is someone to be warned about.

    I find the idea that there are people who are ‘worthless’ to be extremely scary by itself. adamkiehl, though, takes that to another level.

  92. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    I wonder if adamkiehl is aware of the concept of life unworthy of life.

    Yeah, I just Godwinned.

  93. Muse says

    Are you aware of the fact that the US justice system is profoundly racist? Are you okay with the fact that being non-white makes you significantly more likely to be sentenced to death than a white person?

    How many innocent people is it okay to kill?

    Additionally, are you familiar with the Innocence project?

    Also – do you think it’s reasonable to expect the state to review its own actions in the death of someone and say, wait yes, of course we were wrong?

  94. says

    AdamKills:

    Is there still some function that the elderly or disabled can perform or at minimum someone who loves them enough to care for them?

    So if they’re all alone in the world, and they’re unable to work, they should be fed to a hippo, I guess.

    As far as the longterm unemployed go, one of them got my last dollar off of me last night in the parking lot of a book store; see, I’m not completely heartless.

    Really? Did you make them dance for you first? Or suck your dick? Just to prove they had something to offer society and were thereby worthy of your dollar?

    I do in fact prefer that people here were less emotional.

    People like yourself who lack empathy, which sociopaths often deride as “emotional,” are considered sociopathic; i.e., as said upthread, defective, because you are dangerous to others.

    In any case, emotion is a core component of moral reasoning.

    Why is asking people who care deeply about the other side not an attempt to educate myself?

    Because it’s not our job to hold your fucking hand. You’re a grown-ass man, or at least an older adolescent, who can use Google for himself.

    Let’s be honest: you’ve strayed beyond what you could possibly know.

    Of course, speculation on the motives of others are just that, speculation, but I stand by my assessment, based on your short but… noteworthy track record here.

    I don’t typically see death row inmates as less fortunate than me at least not in the same way I would an abandoned child.

    Most are poor. A majority are black. Quite a few have intellectual disabilities. Those are three axes of oppression that, I am guessing, you are not on.

  95. says

    Why is asking people who care deeply about the other side not an attempt to educate myself?

    Because the fact that you have made an opinion without being educated is horrific. It shows that you honestly do not care that much whether others live or die. You hear about people dying and literally lack the curiosity to even question it. That’s monstrous.

  96. Muse says

    Caine – I read the thread – I didn’t catch anyone else bringing up the racism issue…

  97. says

    Muse, it won’t matter to adamkills, none of it. He seems to think asking questions of “the other side” constitutes educating himself, while handwaving away links to reading material as “non-helpful”. He doesn’t believe anyone innocent has been executed recently, nor does he care whether or not many people on death row are people of colour or mentally ill. Just toss ‘em to a hippo or something.

  98. Amphiox says

    It is, if one were to think about it naively, ironic that a libertarian should favor the death penalty. One would think that if anyone should agree that taking away freedom for life is an equal or more severe penalty than death, it should be a libertarian.

    Of course, those of us who are not naive already know that libertarians are hypocrites who don’t actually care (or even understand) about liberty.

  99. Jules says

    But wait you say, what about the innocent? I grant it’s upsetting that sometimes bad things happen to good people and that try as we might to do right we sometimes err.

    Emphasis mine.

    Did y’all catch that? He recognizes that some people might be upset by murdering innocent people.

    Wait. Wait. Didn’t he refer to those who kill innocents as –what was it–yes, here: scum of the earth.

    That sounds a bit emotional to me.

    Not really. It sounds fucking hypocritical and psychopathic, like he’s looking for justification to see blood. Fuck him.

    As far as the longterm unemployed go, one of them got my last dollar off of me last night in the parking lot of a book store; see, I’m not completely heartless.

    Oh fuck you, asshole. As if a fucking dollar means the same thing to you as it does to that person. Was it the goddamn difference between a meal or not for you?

    I bet you want a pat on the back for not advocating that we just line up terminal cancer patients and shoot them instead of blowing all of that precious money on palliative therapy.

    Just. Fuck you.

  100. says

    Jules:

    I bet you want a pat on the back for not advocating that we just line up terminal cancer patients and shoot them instead of blowing all of that precious money on palliative therapy.

    No need to give him ideas. He probably hadn’t thought that far yet. My guess is that he’d suggest setting up wilderness homes for starving hippos…

  101. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    Screw the hippos. Let’s feed them to an actual carnivore — a Nile Crocodyle, perchance?

    I wonder, though, if adamkiehl found hirself in a situation in which xe was sick, broke, and uninsured, how much value xe would find in hir life?

    And to answer any questions that might arise from this, though his current offering to society is rather small, his potential is not; this is not true of people who plan to spend the rest of their days in jail.

    I find it interesting that xe makes this argument, that those who are in jail are disposable as they have nothing to give to society (or, more accurately, sell to society), and then writes:

    I made no claims that every prisoner had 0 value, so cherry picking a guy who did a three year stint doesn’t show much of anything.

    in the same comment.

  102. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    Fuck. Trying again:

    Screw the hippos. Let’s feed them to an actual carnivore — a Nile Crocodyle, perchance?

    I wonder, though, if adamkiehl found hirself in a situation in which xe was sick, broke, and uninsured, how much value xe would find in hir life?

    And to answer any questions that might arise from this, though his current offering to society is rather small, his potential is not; this is not true of people who plan to spend the rest of their days in jail.

    I find it interesting that xe makes this argument, that those who are in jail are disposable as they have nothing to give to society (or, more accurately, sell to society), and then writes:

    I made no claims that every prisoner had 0 value, so cherry picking a guy who did a three year stint doesn’t show much of anything.

    in the same comment.

  103. says

    Ogvorbis:

    I wonder, though, if adamkiehl found hirself in a situation in which xe was sick, broke, and uninsured, how much value xe would find in hir life?

    I’d like evidence that anyone values his life right now, outside of himself. If he has people who care for him, he lies a lot.

    I made no claims that every prisoner had 0 value, so cherry picking a guy who did a three year stint doesn’t show much of anything.

    It’s obvious Cupcake thinks 3 years in prison is nothing, a mere trifle. It’s equally obvious that this piece of shit doesn’t know the first thing about the penal system.

    Given Jules’s point, that Cupcake considers those who murder innocents scum of the earth and Cupcake is perfectly willing to see innocents murdered via state execution, the solution is rather clear. Cupcake should be punished in the manner he himself deems to be suitable.

  104. Jules says

    It’s obvious Cupcake thinks 3 years in prison is nothing, a mere trifle.

    And yet he deserves Good Citizen status for parting with a fucking dollar.

  105. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Muse, fwiw, thanks for your SIWOTI :) Adamkills won’t care, but in a conversation with someone like him, it’s all about the lurkers.

  106. gworroll says

    CT is almost there. Unfortunately, our repeal is prospective, meaning existing death sentences are still in place and can be carried out. Better than nothing though, at least no new ones will be imposed. If making it prospective is the political cost of getting repeal through, I’ll accept it. Won’t like it, but while a lesser evil is still an evil… it’s also lesser.

    As for my thoughts in general on capital punishment- taking a human life can be justified only to prevent an even greater evil, and it must be the absolute last resort, or such an emergency as to prevent even an evaluation of less extreme remedies.

    Capital punishment does not pass this test. It could be argued in many cases that it can prevent a greater evil(I’d agree, in cases of people like Charles Manson), but with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole being an alternative we could implement, it fails the “last resort or emergency” tests. Once we’ve got the person in custody, less extreme measures can be effective at protecting society.

    As for cost, if we cut out enough of the appeals to bring the cost of capital punishment below life imprisonment, we’d guarantee the execution of innocents, a risk that is already a real concern. People do get exonerated on their last appeal, and even after their last appeal in some cases- hope you have a governor that gives a shit. Cutting these appeals removes the chance to correct a mistake and give the wrongly convicted some of their life back.

    There’s also defense by excuse, such as an insanity plea. Should someone be at risk of execution because they had a shitty psychiatrist examine them? Yes, these people need to be locked up, whatever compassion you might have for someone that ill does not change the fact that they are dangerous. But they aren’t evil. They literally don’t know any better, or do and are literally incapable of acting appropriately on that knowledge. These people should not be at risk of execution. You don’t kill the sick, you care for them. Much like the innocent, while sending them to prison is bad, at least it gives us the option of saying “oops, we screwed up, let’s put you where you belong”. In this case, it would be a secure hospital.

  107. says

    Just_A_Lurker: What does welfare have to do with this? Honestly clueless. I haven’t expressed an opinion one way or another on this and I’m not sure why you bring it up. But while I’m here, I’m perfectly aware that hard times fall on people all the time and sometimes those people need help to get through a rough patch. The beauty of it is that they’re later able to help others (through taxes probably) in the same situation.
    “Because it’s not our job to hold your fucking hand”
    True, but speaking to me here at all is done of your own choosing. You could have equally well invested your time in typing up your best argument against the death penalty or saved yourself from all of it and typed nothing. One would think that if you believe your convictions as strongly as you appear to, that you would relish in the opportunity to sway others to your side; seems one would be wrong.
    Caine #111:
    “He doesn’t believe anyone innocent has been executed recently”
    Where did I say this?
    “nor does he care…”
    Or this?
    “Just toss them to a hippo or something.”
    Misunderstands me entirely. Please see #59 for the way I feel about some forms of execution.
    Amphiox #113 “ironic that a libertarian…” Less so, when you find out I’m not libertarian.
    Jules #114 “Didn’t he refer to those who kill innocents…”
    I referred to death row inmates as the scum of the earth, so to answer your question: no that’s not what I said. My view is slightly more nuanced than you portray it to be.
    “That sounds a bit emotional to me.”
    Not really emotional sounding to me either and that you don’t even think so makes it all the more strange that you wrote it.

    Brother #118: “I find it interesting…”
    I think this is only because you may be overlooking the difference I make between those who have been jailed for the remainder of their lives and those that haven’t. For instance, I never said that those who are in jail are disposable. I did however argue that a subset was. I admit it’s sometimes confusing, to demonstrate: if all bleeps are blorks and all bleeps are blue, are all blorks blue? Maybe? Not enough information to tell…
    Caine #119
    “It’s obvious that…”
    Compared to being executed, three years is a mere trifle especially considering that there’s no record he spent time in a cell block (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Henry)
    “Given Jules point…” I’ve note this above, but I’ll say it again here: Jules’ representation of my point was wrong.

    gworroll #124
    Thank you for your reply.

  108. demonhype says

    You are the one who conflates “a bit conspiratorial” with “insane”. After all, you are the jackass who responded to “they don’t want to admit they made a serious mistake” with a “tinfoil hat territory” dismissal, which is a common way to dismiss someone’s argument as insane. But you have clearly identified yourself in this thread as a sociopathic monster who is willing to lie to further your own sense of superiority, so why should it surprise me that you conveniently leave out your tinfoil hat comment while emphasizing “a bit conspiratorial” to create the illusion that you made a completely reasonable comment.

    The fact is that the pro-death penalty powers-that-be have made considerable efforts to block any inquiry into their actions. I know you’re not interested in educating yourself, only in handwaving and letting yourself feel like some persecuted martyr for your sociopathic beliefs, like a common creationist, but recently a man who was exonerated sued because he was convicted based on PROSECUTOR CORRUPTION that was actually found out. He won, but a higher court removed his victory, because they, as a part of that pro-death penalty power, don’t want prosecutors or their offices to be held responsible for committing willful deception in order to get an innocent man executed. I would expect that by pro-CP standards, those prosecutors should be tried for attempted murder (or first degree murder, should the exoneration be post-mortem) but the pro-CP establishment doesn’t believe that corrupt prosecutors should even be held accountable on any level!

    Anti-death penalty people have not been shown to be covering anything up, but pro-death penalty people, just like any other immoral authoritarian scum, keep popping up on the radar as liars and sociopaths. Even the people who created the death penalty standards decades ago abandoned the death penalty a few years ago, claiming it was no longer defensible and it is futile to continue to try.

    The fact is that anti-death penalty people have nothing to hide, unlike their opponents who are in the position of power right now. What is there to hide? Someone got acquitted who was guilty? Guess what–that happens even with a death penalty. You can’t execute someone who wasn’t convicted and sentenced. The only thing the anti-death penalty people are claiming is that you can’t take back a wrongful execution though you can try to make amends for a wrongful conviction if the person is still alive. There is absolutely nothing to hide in that. They don’t even claim that no innocent person is ever going to be convicted, just that given the strong possibility of that happening coupled with the strong evidence that it is happening at an alarming rate it might be good not to carry out a permanent sentence, unlike the pro-death penalty stooges who prefer to live in a state of willful ignorance of the facts, handwaving anti-death penalty arguments as members of the tinfoil hat brigade in order to maintain their libertarian standard of sociopathic egotism and their self-declared title of “Grand High Judge of Who is of Value to Life, Around Whose Opinions the World Turns”.

  109. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I referred to death row inmates as the scum of the earth, so to answer your question: no that’s not what I said. My view is slightly more nuanced than you portray it to be.

    If you say people on death row are scum of the earth, you are obviously calling them that for what they have done – raped, tortured, murdered.

    Some death row inmates are wrongly convicted. Which makes them innocent. Which then makes the government scum of the earth for killing them – by your own definition. They have wrongfully imprisoned and executed an innocent. I think that would make them guilty of some of the same things your scum of the earth do.

    No, your view is not more nuanced, it’s just as despicable on the second glance as it is on the first.

  110. says

    There’s also the recent case of Troy Davis. Many, many people tried to stop that execution, there was obvious corruption to the whole case, from the cops on up. Did it matter? No. He was executed and orders came from the top to slam the lid shut. There will never be an investigation, the people who did criminal wrong won’t be prosecuted and if Troy Davis was innocent, it will never be known and his name never cleared.

  111. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    What does welfare have to do with this?

    I’m betting here that you are just pretending to be stupid, but we’ll see.

    You wrote :

    I may be heartless but I see little reason to sustain an individual who has been judged to be of zero value to society.

    Is there still some function that the elderly or disabled can perform or at minimum someone who loves them enough to care for them?

    You are essentially saying that someone who has no one who cares and who doesn’t work can fuck off and die. They get money from the government and can’t give anything back. So don’t play stupid, because that’s exactly what you said and then reinforced it with the second comment. If there is no function to the society or any element of the society – bye, bye homeless person.

    You are one sick fuck.

    I recommend you to fuck off. And maybe stay away from people, because if you show this lack of empathy in your everyday life, I pity anyone who has to come in contact with you.

  112. Weed Monkey says

    The fact is that anti-death penalty people have nothing to hide, unlike their opponents who are in the position of power right now. What is there to hide? Someone got acquitted who was guilty? Guess what–that happens even with a death penalty. You can’t execute someone who wasn’t convicted and sentenced. The only thing the anti-death penalty people are claiming is that you can’t take back a wrongful execution though you can try to make amends for a wrongful conviction if the person is still alive. There is absolutely nothing to hide in that. They don’t even claim that no innocent person is ever going to be convicted, just that given the strong possibility of that happening coupled with the strong evidence that it is happening at an alarming rate it might be good not to carry out a permanent sentence, unlike the pro-death penalty stooges who prefer to live in a state of willful ignorance of the facts, handwaving anti-death penalty arguments as members of the tinfoil hat brigade in order to maintain their libertarian standard of sociopathic egotism and their self-declared title of “Grand High Judge of Who is of Value to Life, Around Whose Opinions the World Turns”.

    You are fucking sick and twisted in the head.

  113. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    You are fucking sick and twisted in the head.

    Er, wrong quote?

  114. Jules says

    You do realize that there are multiple people on death row precisely because they killed innocent people, right?

    They’re called murderers.

    I’m not exactly sure what’s so nuanced about your view, nor am I sure where I oversimplified it.

    Is it simply that you care more about the state label than you do what actually happened?

    Someone can be a murderer without being convicted. They can even be the kind of murderer who would end up on death row without being convicted. I’m pretty sure that’s a more nuanced understanding of reality than TEH COURT SEZ!

  115. Muse says

    Adam – I notice your lack of responding to my point re racism…

    Also – please tell me what good the death penalty does that is not accomplished by life without parole – preferably in a form that doesn’t involve weighing money against a human life.

    You are, I hope aware, that the death penalty is not a deterrent BTW.

  116. says

    “willing to lie to further your own sense of superiority”
    Can you point out where I did this?
    “conveniently leave out your tinfoil hat”
    I don’t consider conspiracy theorists insane, I see them as misled; they’re effectively like religious believers: Somewhere out there, they’ve been convinced, there is a being called “they” and “they” has power or the very real potential to have power over the theorist, and so the theorist must alter his/her life accordingly. The truth of the matter is that the state is run by people, the people are members of our society and come from all backgrounds, surely at least one anti-death penalty proponent has snuck in there and cause some havoc.
    “letting yourself feel like some persecuted martyr for your sociopathic beliefs”
    This statement is fairly inconsistent with my posts/reality. It might also be worth pointing out that I wouldn’t even have the opportunity to feel like a martyr if so many weren’t such “internet badasses,” and simply gave concise arguments for why I’m so incorrect. (Note: this is what I was originally asked for and thanks to the likes of gworrol and boselecta have in part received.)
    “self-declared title of “Grand High Judge of Who is of Value to Life, Around Whose Opinions the World Turns””
    If you’ll reread my posts, you’ll see I clearly cede this power to society; it would however make for some rather impressive business cards were it my title. What I’ve expressed thus far is clearly my opinion, and I’m not even of the opinion that my view is absolutely correct. I willingly admit I may be wrong.
    “If you say people on death row are scum of the earth, you are obviously calling them that for what they have done – raped, tortured, murdered.
    Some death row inmates are wrongly convicted. Which makes them innocent. Which then makes the government scum of the earth for killing them – by your own definition. They have wrongfully imprisoned and executed an innocent. I think that would make them guilty of some of the same things your scum of the earth do.
    No, your view is not more nuanced, it’s just as despicable on the second glance as it is on the first.”
    It’s also the manner in which they raped tortured and murdered and the intent while performing such actions. And while the end result of a murder and execution are similar (it differs mostly in how it affects those left behind), the acts themselves are vastly different. Those who sentence someone to execution or carry out executions do so because it has been deemed the most appropriate action by society; there is no effective maliciousness.
    Executions don’t make the government the scum of the earth my definition, not that I’ve yet given it. The government, composed of representatives of society, established laws and does its best to justly apply those laws. In instances that it errs, it’s not because it intended to err. Prosecutors/courts/juries/executioners don’t simply pick innocent people and convict them just because they like to watch them die.
    “There will never be an investigation”
    We all helped vote for the government (well, not me in this instance because I’m not from Georgia). It stands to reason you could use that same vote for someone else if you’re not happy with the current system.
    “I’m betting here that you are just pretending…”
    I fully agree with having a welfare system in place, please see other comments about this.
    “You are essentially saying that someone who has no one who cares and who doesn’t work can fuck off and die.”
    Not exactly. Throughout our working lives we contribute to society, I fully see this as an investment and know that people will expect some return on this investment, social security for instance. If however there is an individual who has never contributed to society and will never contribute in any way shape or form, then yes they’re of zero value according you my calculations. I do however understand, as noted above and elsewhere, that I’m not the final arbiter of these matters. I don’t think our society’s yet reached a point where we execute our homeless or that we ever will. Our current best practice is programs like Workforce Commissions that seek to help the homeless on to their own two feet.
    I’d also like to note that the question of mine you quoted, while leading, falls short of a statement. My answer to that question is almost always a “yes,” though I think you’ll find it of little comfort since I would still hope individuals that are unable to live without working would continue to work even beyond “normal” retirement age.
    “I notice your lack of responding to my point re racism…”
    I do of course see racism as an issue, though one that I hope continues to ease as time goes on. But no one on death row today was sentenced to die for failing to be white.
    “ please tell me what good the death penalty does that is not accomplished by life without parole”
    I’m not necessarily claiming any additional good comes from it except for a savings in time, effort, man-power, general wear on society, etc. My point of view stems from the fact that it is pointless to lock someone up for life instead of killing them. (And as I’ve written elsewhere I do see lifel0ng inmates as free riders.)

    Perhaps a larger disconnect between me and probably most everyone else is that my worldview doesn’t include a concept such as ‘human exceptionalism,’ for lack of a better descriptor. This is not to say that I don’t view humans as “better” for most all purposes. We most all come together to promote one another’s welfare, but those who don’t shouldn’t expect anything simply because we’re of the same species. I see nothing about being human that makes me intrinsically superior to any other animal on this planet.
    For instance, I don’t see why referring to a jailed-for-life-convict as society’s pet is so grating; they’re animals locked in a cage that someone has to feed and water. If we gave hamsters clothes and convicts exercise wheels, the comparison would be near complete. Instead we cruelly give convicts access to exercise only a few hours a day and make the hamster go naked.

  117. Phalacrocorax, not a particularly smart avian says

    I do see lifel0ng inmates as free riders

    Note how the word “free”, here, is being used in the somewhat unusual sense of “locked forever in a cell”.

    I don’t see why referring to a jailed-for-life-convict as society’s pet is so grating; they’re animals locked in a cage that someone has to feed and water.

    I should say this is unsurprising, as a necessary step for accepting the killing of people seems to be their dehumanization.

    we cruelly give convicts access to exercise only a few hours

    So much for the free ride.

  118. Lars says

    Note how the word “free”, here, is being used in the somewhat unusual sense of “locked forever in a cell”.

    Well, at least AdamKills has got his Newspeak right. All together now:

    WAR IS PEACE
    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

  119. Muse says

    Adam quoting me:

    “I notice your lack of responding to my point re racism…”

    I do of course see racism as an issue, though one that I hope continues to ease as time goes on. But no one on death row today was sentenced to die for failing to be white.

    That is quite simply untrue. If a black person and a white person commit the same crime, the white person is significantly less likely to be sentenced to death. See here

    “ please tell me what good the death penalty does that is not accomplished by life without parole”

    I’m not necessarily claiming any additional good comes from it except for a savings in time, effort, man-power, general wear on society, etc. My point of view stems from the fact that it is pointless to lock someone up for life instead of killing them.

    YOU CAN’T TAKE BACK KILLING SOMEONE. That simple fact should be enough. Have you looked at the Innocence Project yet?

  120. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    I notice a lot of your arguments seem to involve people’s value to “society” and “society’s” decisions about people’s lives. Who is this “society” you’re speaking of? Who makes it up? Who is qualified to make decisions for it? Why?

  121. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Apparently, we aren’t part of what comprises “society”.

    No, and neither are the people he’s apparently deemed worthless “to society.”

  122. Brother Ogvorbis: Advanced Accolyte of Tpyos says

    In instances that it errs, it’s not because it intended to err. Prosecutors/courts/juries/executioners don’t simply pick innocent people and convict them just because they like to watch them die.

    Innocent people still die. And there are no ‘whoopsies’ when it comes to the death penalty. Dead is dead.

    I’m reminded of a quote from Schrek: “Some of you may die, but that’s a risk I am willing to take.”

  123. Amphiox says

    Our odious killer troll is simply lying when it tries to claim that execution saves money, time, effort, and “general wear and tear” to “society”. It is well established that capital punishment costs considerably more than life imprisonment in all these spheres.

    The analogy to pets is pitifully dishonest to the core as well, since we generally DON’T lock up our pets in cages for life.

  124. says

    “Note how the word “free”, here, is being used in the somewhat unusual sense of “locked forever in a cell”.”

    Humorous, but no. I was calling them “free riders” i.e. people who consume “a resource without paying for it” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-rider)

    “I should say this is unsurprising”

    If it’s the second clause that’s got you down, I honestly thought I could take it for granted that humans are animals here. This was intended to be a matter-of-fact statement, not a value judgement on the people themselves. If you’re okay with the second clause, I may need you to clarify your issue with the statement as a whole.

    “If a black person and a white person commit the same crime, the white person is significantly less likely to be sentenced to death.”

    The link was broken but I don’t disagree with the statement. I’m sure you’ve guessed this by now, but I’m of the opinion that more people are deserving to be executed.

    “Who is this “society” you’re speaking of? Who makes it up? Who is qualified to make decisions for it? Why?”

    We all are. We vote for new qualified decision-makers every so often. As to the question of why, are you asking me why it is that humans tend to live in groups vs. alone or why we choose to conduct our business as we do?

    “Apparently, we aren’t part of what comprises “society”.”

    Apparently you missed in my last comment where I said to vote for the way you want this country to run. Clearly including you in the decision process. If that’s not enough for you, you could always run for office.

    “neither are the people he’s apparently deemed worthless”

    If things went the way I wish them to be, I’d actually be more lenient than the current system in some situations. For instance, I think felons who’ve done there time should be able to vote and this is not currently the case.

    “It is well established that capital punishment costs considerably more than life imprisonment in all these spheres.”

    This is why money isn’t in my list (even though you’ve included it in your own). I’ve also spoken to this elsewhere in this thread.
    Please tell me how locking someone up for 15 years and then killing him takes more time and effort than locking him up for 40 years.
    A small aside: though it’s immaterial here, if you’re going to quote me please be true to what I’ve said (i.e. general wear vs. general wear and tear). So many seem ready to twist what I say, I’d at least like the words they’re twisting to be my own.

    “The analogy to pets is pitifully dishonest”

    Yes, we tell our fish they can leave anytime they want and then laugh as they try and figure out what series of tubes needs to be constructed so they can find their way to open ocean. Parakeets actually prefer being in a cage instead of the wild. And hamsters, the pet mentioned in my last post, were actually already hanging out on our table tops before we decided to go to the pet store and buy them something to sleep in.

  125. Amphiox says

    Yes, we tell our fish they can leave anytime they want and then laugh as they try and figure out what series of tubes needs to be constructed so they can find their way to open ocean. Parakeets actually prefer being in a cage instead of the wild. And hamsters, the pet mentioned in my last post, were actually already hanging out on our table tops before we decided to go to the pet store and buy them something to sleep in.

    A brilliant example of deliberately missing the point and muddying the waters of the discussion with misdirection.

    The analogy to pets remains pitifully dishonest.

  126. Amphiox says

    Please tell me how locking someone up for 15 years and then killing him takes more time and effort than locking him up for 40 years.

    It does if you put in safeguards (even pathetically inadequate ones) to prevent abuses of the system from causing unfair and improper executions. The costs of these alone easily add up to more than the cost of keeping someone in prison for many, many decades.

    This not a matter of opinion. This is well-established, multiply-published, widely-known FACT.

    It is SO widely known that it boggles the mind that adamkiller would not already know this.

    Which leads me to the conclusion that the odious death-wisher does know it, and is deliberately dishonestly glossing the point.

  127. says

    Yes, we tell our fish they can leave anytime they want and then laugh as they try and figure out what series of tubes needs to be constructed so they can find their way to open ocean. Parakeets actually prefer being in a cage instead of the wild. And hamsters, the pet mentioned in my last post, were actually already hanging out on our table tops before we decided to go to the pet store and buy them something to sleep in.

    The point, along with decency, remains far out of your grasp

  128. chigau (副) says

    Yes, we tell our fish they can leave anytime they want and then laugh as they try and figure out what series of tubes needs to be constructed so they can find their way to open ocean.

    You haven’t seen the documentary Finding Nemo?

  129. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Apparently you missed in my last comment where I said to vote for the way you want this country to run. Clearly including you in the decision process. If that’s not enough for you, you could always run for office.

    So the all-important “society” qualified to decide whether you’re worthless enough to warrant killing includes whoever happens to be in power? So say we were in power, and we deemed that nobody ought to be killed – that would mean that, in fact, nobody ought to be killed? So, literally, might makes right?

  130. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Relatedly, you didn’t answer my question. Who is “society” precisely? Who do we need to demonstrate our worth to, so that it would be unjustified to kill us?

  131. Phalacrocorax, not a particularly smart avian says

    I was calling them “free riders” i.e. people who consume “a resource without paying for it”

    The resource in question being the minimum required to survive added to the costs of enormously restricting the prisoner’s freedom, it would seem more appropriate to say that it is the prison that consumes society’s money — in return providing the service of keeping in control those deemed too dangerous — rather than say that the prisoners — who already have to bear the costs of having their freedom confiscated — are taking a “free ride”. Especially if their treatment can be qualified as «cruel.»

    I honestly thought I could take it for granted that humans are animals

    Of course humans are animals, like hamsters. Humans are also groups of atoms, just like a chair or a rock. But, while these statements are self-evidently true, when they are brought up in the context of whether a group of people should be killed, they serve the purpose of removing the revulsion most people feel when facing the death of a human, and replacing it with the slaughter of a creature whose death can be more easily accepted. So, while we may still empathize with a human facing execution, we can easily dismiss their suffering when their status is reduced to that of rodents who must be eliminated.

    The process of dehumanization to make killings more acceptable would not, I admit, work in societies that give as much value to every animal as they give to humans. However, I have never heard of any culture that came even close to that, be it real or imaginary.

  132. says

    Yes, we tell our fish they can leave anytime they want and then laugh as they try and figure out what series of tubes needs to be constructed so they can find their way to open ocean.

    Oh look, adamkills thinks all fish are saltwater fish. Eh, so what, free the fishes in the ocean, who cares if half of ‘em are freshwater fish?

    You are an idiot, adamkills.

  133. Brownian says

    I was calling them “free riders” i.e. people who consume “a resource without paying for it”

    Wait, is this kid explaining Pol Sci 101 to everyone? Did I miss the lecture on the tragedy of the commons?

  134. says

    I was calling them “free riders” i.e. people who consume “a resource without paying for it”

    But they give back by helping to keep all those prison guards and officials gainfully employed. They should therefore be lauded as “job creators.”

  135. says

    “brilliant example of deliberately missing the point”
    “The point, along with decency, remains far out of your grasp”

    I was responding to the claim “we generally DON’T lock up our pets in cages for life,” since this was the justification for why the analogy was dishonest.

    “You haven’t seen the documentary Finding Nemo?”

    I’m still laughing about this. Thank you.

    Who is “society” precisely?

    A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. – Wikipedia.org/wiki/Society

    In the issue of executions conducted in states in America, the society would be comprised of the residents of those states. The larger society of all America citizens could come to bear if we were to elect a congress that did something like outlaw executions in general, though.

    “So, literally, might makes right?”

    We do live in a democracy where, theoretically at least, the majority rules. No one trips, stumbles and happens into power by the way; we put them there or, at minimum, put up with them there.

    “The resource in question being the minimum required to survive added to the costs of enormously restricting the prisoner’s freedom”

    This makes it sound almost like a business transaction ‘I’ll pay you three meals a day if you stay within this 6×8 box all day,’ this is not the case.

    “prison that consumes society’s money — in return providing the service”

    Money for service = not a free ride.

    “The costs of these alone easily add up to more than the cost of keeping someone in prison for many, many decades.”

    Please note I did not mention money except to deliberately exclude it. To say it takes more time to house an inmate for 15 instead of 40 years is absurd and after accounting for the additional decade’s worth of care (medical, cleaning, housing, food, security, etc.), the effort put forth on court proceedings should easily be overtaken in time.

    “these statements are self-evidently true… they serve the purpose of removing the revulsion most people feel when facing the death of a human…”

    If a true statement alters the way you think about a subject, should you blame truth or the way you thought?

    “I give up. The fact that you want us to kill more people did it. I give up.”

    It’s been clear almost from the start I am against life in prison; it follows that I would see little reason to sustain people currently serving those terms if they were deemed unable to rejoin society.

    “Wait, is this kid explaining Pol Sci 101 to everyone? Did I miss the lecture on the tragedy of the commons?’

    If so, you weren’t the only one. Please see post 138 and the pile-on posts of 139 and 140 for why I had to explain the meaning of the term.