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Capital Punishment Discussion
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  1. #1
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Capital Punishment Discussion

    Ron Paul Comes Out Against Capital Punishment

    'Support for the death penalty is inconsistent with libertarianism and traditional conservatism'

    Ron Paul is bucking the stereotype of what it means to be a Republican by coming out against the death penalty, Reason reports.

    The retired congressman has declared his support for the group Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, a group critical of a system it claims is rife with "inefficiency, inequity, and inaccuracy," and at odds with conservative principles.

    "I believe that support for the death penalty is inconsistent with libertarianism and traditional conservatism," said Paul. "So I am pleased with Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty's efforts to form a coalition of libertarians and conservatives to work to end capital punishment."

    As Reason's Zenon Evans points out, Paul's views on the death penalty have shifted over time. A former supporter of the practice, he now says that "believers in the omnipotence of state military power are enthusiastic supporters of the death penalty." Anything they support is of course suspicious for someone of Paul's political persuasion, though he also claims the death penalty is unfairly used against minorities and the poor.

    "Rich people when guilty are rarely found guilty and sentenced to death," states Paul on his 2012 presidential website. "This leads to a situation where innocent people without enough money are more likely to get the death penalty."

    Via Reason.

    http://politix.topix.com/homepage/73...tal-punishment
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Member Johnya's Avatar
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    Is Paul going to run as a libertarian in 2016? Is that the point of this "breaking news"? He had plenty of time in the limelight to express this view when he actually had people still listening to him.

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    Banned TheKindExecutioner's Avatar
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    Ron Paul is a walking corpse that has no chance of winning anything! No one cares what that Skeletor thinks!

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    I agree with your assessment. It's a pity that his message is derailed by the fact that the man can't put a simple sentence together and deliver it in a manner that does not make it painful to listen.

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    In a post that was deleted I expressed my opposition to plea bargaining in the murder cases. The state should be required to proceed with a trial and the defendant should not be allowed to plea guilty. As things are right now, an innocent but falsely accused person, when looking as the prospect of being executed if found guilty, may out of desperation agree to LWOP sentence. I also stand by my statement that under some extreme circumstances such as rape and murder of a child I would not mind acting as the executioner. Somebody has to be it and being for death penalty in theory is just talk. In fact, while still in favor of death penalty, I would require that the jurors watch the execution if that was their verdict. To balance things out, a short movie or a re-enactment of what the victim had to go through would also be shown to the execution witnesses as well as the crowds protesting the event outside the prison.

    PS If you feel that my posts violate the forum rules, have enough decency to alert me about it by a private message instead of just deleting them because you don't like what you just read.
    Last edited by Richard; 01-04-2014 at 03:35 PM.

  6. #6
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Not all plea bargains are done to save the tax payers money, sometimes they make a deal for the location of a body, or to save the families the trauma of a court proceeding, or they don't have enough evidence to go forward without making a deal with one of the perpetrators. As for making the jurors watch the execution...I think that's asking a little much..don't yah think?? Just because I eat meat doesn't mean I want to butcher the cow, or visit a slaughter house.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Member Dillydust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    In a post that was deleted I expressed my opposition to plea bargaining in the murder cases. The state should be required to proceed with a trial and the defendant should not be allowed to plea guilty. As things are right now, an innocent but falsely accused person, when looking as the prospect of being executed if found guilty, may out of desperation agree to LWOP sentence. I also stand by my statement that under some extreme circumstances such as rape and murder of a child I would not mind acting as the executioner. Somebody has to be it and being for death penalty in theory is just talk. In fact, while still in favor of death penalty, I would require that the jurors watch the execution if that was their verdict. To balance things out, a short movie or a re-enactment of what the victim had to go through would also be shown to the execution witnesses as well as the crowds protesting the event outside the prison.

    PS If you feel that my posts violate the forum rules, have enough decency to alert me about it by a private message instead of just deleting them because you don't like what you just read.
    sounds like you would turn the execution into a circus. Maybe you could set up a hot dog stand and sell popcorn for the execution as well.

  8. #8
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Public Executions

    During the 18th Century, a primary purpose of capital punishment was deterrence – instilling fear in citizens through punishment so that they would not violate the laws. Thus, it had to be carried out in public, in a large space so that many people could witness it, and during the day.

    Historian Robert Johnson writes: "Colonial executions were well-attended, featuring high officials and common citizens. The behavior of the crowd was generally restrained, though an air of celebration – of confirmation of one's righteousness – would be apparent."[i] The punishment was also meant to be a solemn event, so as to achieve maximum effect on those who watched or who merely observed the long procession from the jail to the place of execution.[ii] Capital punishment during this time, according to historian Stuart Banner, was an "emphatic display of power, a reminder of what the state could do to those who broke the laws."[iii]

    Retribution – correcting the harms caused by offenders through punishment – was also a goal of capital punishment in the 18th Century. It was deemed not only appropriate, but also necessary to impose retribution for capital crimes. In part, this can be understood by the strong beliefs of people at the time in biblical verse. The death penalty achieved not only justice for harms inflicted by offenders but also allowed opportunity for expiation, repentance, and chance for eternal salvation.[iv]

    Repentance was important because criminals were viewed as no different than "normal" citizens; anyone could conceivably end up facing a death sentence. In modern America, criminals are viewed as different than "us" and thus undeserving of any pity of chance at repentance.[v] Additionally, the separation of religion from public policy makes repentance less important today.[vi] In the 18th Century, executions were preceded by lengthy speeches and sermons which focused public attention on sin and renunciation of it. Although it may seem strange when judged through today's lens, the execution ceremony provided the condemned with a chance at reintegration into society, even if it was only for a short-time before his or her execution. The fact that repentance was important to people in the 18th century is another reason why the punishment was administered in public.

    The nature of public executions changed in the 19th century. From the late 1700s and early 1800s to the 1850s, public executions went from a wholesome, moral experience to be enjoyed by all, to something to be avoided except by those commoners only out for a good time. Perhaps this is why from 1830 to 1860, every Northern state, led by Connecticut in 1830, moved its public hangings indoors to smaller spaces within jails. Pennsylvania hid its executions in 1834, followed by New York in 1835. Executions also became private because of a belief that public executions increased violent crime, even though most eyewitness accounts of public executions mention nothing about unruly behavior by those in the audience.[vii] In the 19th century, "it was common knowledge that execution day crowds were often mischievous, with alcohol consumption and pickpockets regularly associated with public hangings. Rioting at public hangings also was not uncommon."[viii]

    Historian John Laurence writes: "Executions in the times when they were universally public, were occasions for rioting, revelry and ribaldry, and seldom was the demeanor of the crowd decorous in the face of death."[ix] Yet, Johnson observes that the

    enlightened elite, of increasingly civilized and refined sensibilities, studiously avoided executions. Those who rallied around the scaffold were of a more coarse and vulgar nature; ironically, many were outsiders to the community who would travel to executions for the entertainment value. Their behavior often closely resembled the unruly English mobs ... and was quite unlike the quiet and penitent – even if smugly self-righteous – community members much-praised for their decorum and restraint by Puritan ministers over the preceding two centuries.[x]

    Perceptions of unruly crowds meant public executions were no longer perceived as legitimate exercises of state power nor mechanisms to deliver a message of lawful retribution.[xi] Further, the deterrent and incapacitative effects of executions were likely hindered by the fact that executions became private events. Over the next 100 years, every state hid its executions. Capital punishment historian John Bessler claims that executions became private "[o]nly in response to a movement in the 1830s to abolish capital punishment, and to a growing concern among civic leaders that public executions were unwholesome spectacles ...".[xii] Further, "executions were seen as acts of violence that were likely to reflect badly on the larger community, harden the public, and demean the condemned."[xiii]

    In the South, abolition of public executions took longer, but by the end of the 19th century, public executions had been abolished in at least seven states, including Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, although Kentucky brought it back for rape and attempted rape in 1920. When the electric chair was adopted by Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas in the early 1900s, the new method of death necessitated indoor executions.[xiv]

    http://gjs.appstate.edu/media-covera...lic-executions

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helen69 View Post
    Not all plea bargains are done to save the tax payers money, sometimes they make a deal for the location of a body, or to save the families the trauma of a court proceeding, or they don't have enough evidence to go forward without making a deal with one of the perpetrators. As for making the jurors watch the execution...I think that's asking a little much..don't yah think?? Just because I eat meat doesn't mean I want to butcher the cow, or visit a slaughter house.
    I would like to add my point of view to what you raised and what you raised is valid:

    1. A deal to locate a body. I know that this is very important to the victim's family and many prosecutors are sensitive to their need to be able to bury the victim. My reformed system would still include a trial. Once the defendant is found guilty, the prosecution has the option to ask for a lesser penalty if the defendant co-operates in locating the body and if it takes going with LWOP, I am all for it but after the trial.

    2. You are right that sparing the family the trauma of a trial with all the gory details should be considered, especially if minors are involved. My gut feel without proof is that by the trial time, the victimized family has been through hell already so the trial itself will most likely not add that much more to what they already suffered. I do admit that the possibility of the defendant being found not guilty would be there and it would be traumatic to the survivors but that is the risk in all the trials, including Zimmerman's.

    3. I added the thing about the jurors watching as a result of my general view in such matters. For example, many people are for wars (let's kick some ass, let's nuke 'em, etc) but few volunteer themselves or their paychecks because they know that somebody else will carry the burden. So you are right by calling me on it. I was just venting. I eat meet but I hypocritically don't like hunting and the hunters because most of them kill just for the fun of it, not because they are starving. No offense meant if you are one of them.

    4. The idea of removing a guilty plea from the murder cases is not mine. It's part of the U.S. military justice system. In the military courts, the guilt in a murder case must be established through a trial.

    The reason I brought up this point is not to be cute or to annoy. I did a fair amount of research for my book where one of the chapters is devoted to the subject of innocent people rotting in prisons because they, for a variety of reasons, admitted to the most heinous of crimes, including murdering their own parents, while completely innocent. The estimates are anywhere from 2 to 5% of inmates are innocent and this does not feel good.
    Last edited by Richard; 01-04-2014 at 07:56 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillydust View Post
    sounds like you would turn the execution into a circus. Maybe you could set up a hot dog stand and sell popcorn for the execution as well.
    This was not my intention. The main reason for my post is the elapse of time between the crime and the execution. In twenty years, as the DP opponents claim, we are executing a different man who may have finished a law school, found Jesus, and looks like a grandpa. Showing the victim in some acceptable manner to the witnesses might serve as a reminder for them. It would also, possibly, take some of that self-righteousness out of the antis with their candles.

    As I said, give me a picture of a 10-year old girl as she was dancing, another one after she was found raped and murdered, a license to kill and I will bring my own gun. This is how I feel and there is nothing I can do about it. FYI, I have four granddaughters ages 7, 4, 2, and 1 week. This may explain why I feel the way I do. No, I would not want hot dog stands.
    Last edited by Richard; 01-04-2014 at 09:30 PM.

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