Without death penalty, prisons would be overloaded. Criminals would be released to make room for new criminals and many of these criminals who were sentenced for life for murdering or raping someone would be roaming the streets where you live. lots of tax money is wasted on these criminals, people who plan to murder would have nothing to fear since they are guaranteed they won't get any harsh punishment and that would increase the crime rate. And the planet is already over populated, so why not get rid of the rotten apples?

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You haven't actually done any study on these issues, have you? You're just speaking from a purely hypothetical viewpoint that's completely unrealistic.

First, let me make my views: The death penalty should be used when no other means of control is successful. If a person is able to either escape prison (such as Ted Bundy) and kill again, or if the person kills in prison for any reason other than the death penalty, then they clearly pose a continuing threat to any society they have access to. It should not be used for party law cases, at all. I'm from Texas and we have a man on death row who provided the guns for his fellow gangsters to rob a crackhouse. He did not participate in any other way. >.X

It costs far more to execute someone than to keep them in prison for the rest of their natural lives, because of the expenses of appeals, which they are entitled to up until the Supreme Court. It does not reduce crime rates by instilling fear because the consequences are too far ahead for the average criminal to be concerned. Consequences needs to be immediate to prevent a crime from occurring. And as crazy as it seems, there are not enough murderers on the street or in prisons to make any kind of dent in the population.

If you want to deal with overloaded prisons, primarily you should fight to make marijuana possession a lesser sentence. A large portion of prisons are filled with drug-related activities not crimes-against-persons.
Well, that's good to know. I'm going to school here in California, going for a doctorate in forensic psychology with the hope of working in prisons. I will most likely go for my license here before I go home, because California has the strictest requirements.

I know with increased populations, there is also an increase in moving over to private prisons.
I always wonder - don't private sector companies market their product to increase business? Does that mean private prisons have an incentive to lobby for more laws that result in prison sentences?
It's possible. But at the moment, just keeping the drug laws intact gives them plenty of business.
I think the person who came up with the 3 strikes law said it was the most regretted thing he ever did.
Well put, the problem with population of prisons is not due to the number of violent crimes. Its bogged down with people who are on drug offenses. http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/62 has many resorces to back that up.
I know a PO up here in Washington State. One the things I was surprised to learn from her is that the prisons up here are so over populated with drug offenders that they've been releasing rapists and murderers.
Well, isn't that lovely. >.X 'Cause harm to the self is so much worse than harm to others?

Reminds me of a whole other issue, though, too. People who do the time for their sexual offenses but are labeled violent sex offenders, so after "release" they are taken into custody at rehabilitation centers for years longer.
To make the death penalty it an efficient money-saver and brake on population growth, it needs to be applied swiftly, and often. This would mean lowering the bar for the death penalty to where it is applied for, say, the top 25% of crimes, and reducing the amount of appeals and examples of due legal process. It would be a simple case of being found guilty and being exectued in a cheap fashion in a few weeks time.

This would raise the amount of fatal mistakes in an already highly fallible justice system, and make becoming a suspect (not neccesarily being guilty of a crime) a LOT more dangerous.

I find your reasoning a bit blockheaded, and quite seflish.
I agree. The whole idea of using the death penalty as a population control, or a means to improve the quality of people in the world is a step away from ethnic cleansing of the nazi's. It's a disgusting ideal to look at extinguishing life as an appropriate response to lawful indiscretions.

I also agree with your views on the 'punitive' justice system that we have. The idea that tougher penalties will curb crime is insane and clearly doesn't work. To think that way you must believe that we (humans) are either good or evil. Whoever thinks THAT way would make a VERY good christian ;)

The quicker we stop judging people by degrees of good/evil, the sooner we will actually address the causes of crime. We need to see each individual as essentially a beautiful human being and provide the support and guidance each needs to make crime the nonsensical, least attractive option that it should be.

It amazes me how many people understand the psychology of cognition, behaviour and motivation, yet our society still reverts to a VERY basic (almost biblical) deterant system, disassociated completely from the ethical dynamic of the transgression. God wanted 'eye for an eye'. We should know better and promote restorative justice which allows the victim to feel heard and the offender to redeem themselves, leaving a way forward for a clean slate.

When are we going to learn that 'discipline' means to teach, not get revenge.
Getting rid of the rotten apples would be great if the system in place to determine who those rotten apples are actually worked in a fair and efficient manner. The reason I oppose the death penalty is because I have yet to see a justice system that works in a fair and efficient manner.
One issue that I haven't seen raised yet is about what's best for the criminal, as well as questioning how "guilty" they are, even if they certainly committed the offense.

Firstly, because if it was the result of some psychological disorder, such as a combination of bad genes and a poor childhood, it's hard for me to say the criminal is really at fault. Secondly, if it was because of plain old bad character, then the person could most likely be taught to behave better.

More pragmatically, prison systems that focus on rehabilitation rather than simply being punitive have lower rates of recidivism while also being cheaper to run. So, I'd add these to the reasons already posted for not supporting the death penalty.

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