I live in Britain, which as you probably know doesn't have capital punishment. How many of you are for it, and how many against? My own opinion is absolutely no, but then that's just me. The only time this came up, was in M.S. class, and I was the only person that thought it was wrong.

If you can be bothered to know what I think (I can’t see why you would). There was a case here in Britain about fifty years ago, (I can’t remember the names) two friends were escaping across a roof. They were cornered by the police, one drew a gun, the one behind (who was young (I can’t remember how young)) told the one with the gun to “let them have it”. The friend fired and killed four policemen. In court the person who shouted out was accused of egging on (don’t know legal term) and was hanged. He was later cleared, but only after he was killed. In my opinion, if just one innocent person is killed, you can’t do it.

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Replies to This Discussion

How is it justified?
I do.
You're certainly entitled to your opinion, however wrong it may be.
Come on Aiden, let's play nice.

Capital punishment is state-sponsored murder. That's how they do it in Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and other countries to which Americans would be loathe to be compared.
Aside from the fact that the use of capital punishment in the US makes it no better than these other countries, here's another thought: those who argue in favor of the death penalty see it as the fitting and ultimate punishment for those who commit crimes that are considered so repellent as to make the perpetrator unworthy to live. Given that most of us non-believers would agree with the idea that there's probably no afterlife, what kind of punishment is that? Aside from the terror the condemned experiences up until the point of his or her execution--when you consider that the capacity to experience, know, or feel anything at all ends at the moment of death, it's not much of a punishment at all, is it? Far better to let the convicted killer or child-rapist or what have you languish in jail for life, knowing that they'll never again experience the life of a free person--that they've thrown their life away. I lost a dear friend to a horrific act of domestic violence. She was shot point-blank with a shotgun. In front of her children. But I do not want to see her killer executed. I want him to live a long, lonely life, full of the suffering, isolation and despair that a person who commits such a despicable act deserves.
And then, as pointed out in this thread, there's the fact that innocent people DO get convicted. That's bad enough if you've served twenty years for a rape you didn't commit, because in the age of DNA testing, there's the chance that the mistake will be rectified and you'll be set free. It won't give you back those lost years, of course, but at least you're still alive to enjoy your remaining ones. Not so with an innocent person who gets strapped to that gurney. You can't kill somebody and then take it back. There are no do-overs with the death penalty. Even one innocent person dying as the result of a botched investigation is one too many. I can't fathom the mindset that finds the idea of even a single wrongly-executed victim to be acceptable collateral damage, merely in the interest of providing a sacrificial lamb at the altar of the collective conscience.
And even if, at some point in the future, there is found a way to determine beyond ANY doubt the matter of one's innocence or guilt--it doesn't change the substance of capital punishment. It is STILL murder. It is still state-sponsored murder. And--regardless of the crime--that is a barbaric and immoral and immoral thing.
So, in short, you support torture over murder..?
I'm not sure I understand your question, Aiden...but no, I don't support torture. I don't have a problem with a person spending the rest of their days feeling miserable about having done something terrible and about having been deprived of their freedom for it. But I don't think that's torture, either.
So locking someone away for the rest of their life, in solitary confinement with little to no contact with other humans and little to no access to news or anything related to what's going on in the outside world... that's not psychological torture? What of those wrongly convicted?
I don't think it's psychological torture. If you willingly commit an act that you know is illegal (ie murder, rape, etc), you've made a conscious decision to break a law knowing full well that there are penalties you will face if you're caught. So feeling shitty because you got caught and are being punished accordingly--I don't think that's torture. That's reaping what you sow. I have little sympathy for a person who kills 10 people in cold blood and then sits in prison for the rest of his life feeling sorry for himself because he did a bad thing and got caught and punished for it. If that's your definition of torture, then I guess I'm for it.
What of someone wrongly convicted? It happens, and it's terrible (and, thankfully, advances in DNA technology have helped reduce such occurrences), but that's my point--it's better that they're incarcerated, and not executed. You can release a wrongly-convicted person. You can't un-execute one.
Sure, you can release someone who was wrongly convicted, but you can't give them back the time they served, nor can you undo the psychological damage they may have suffered as a result of being locked up.
So, I suppose that killing them instead would alleviate this problem? I'm not sure I follow your argument.

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