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to be againt the death penalty?

(37 Posts)
BaresarkBunny Sat 16-Feb-13 14:24:58

With the Jon Venables and Robert Thompson pictures and hideous comments that have beem circling, this is a subject I have been thinking about alot, so in fact that it has been keeping me awake at night.

I am against the death penalty and i feel it has no place in a civilised society. It's not just because I think it's quite difficult to unkill someone if they are later found innocent but also for the definitely guilty.

However I'm struggling with the fact that I can't honestly say that I would be anti it if it were my loved one that was killed. (this does not relate to the above because I would never believe that if the perpetrators were children).

I don't believe that two 10 yo children should spend the rest of their lives in prison but again if it was my child they had murdered I cannot say 100% I would still feel like that.

I feel like a shit person and a massive hypocrite to boot. How can I say I'm against something as long as it doesn't affect me? I am no different to the other people with their mob mentality justice aren't I?

nokidshere Sat 16-Feb-13 18:32:53

I also think that the two things are completely different. I am totally opposed to the death penalty but it would be a very strong person who wouldn't want revenge for their loved one. It's possible to imagine the person who has hurt your family being killed in a horrible way without condoning the death penalty.

Nancy66 Sat 16-Feb-13 18:28:28

I am opposed to the death penalty but I'm sure that if a child of mine was ever tortured and murdered in the most horrific and unimaginable way that my standpoint would be seriously challenged.

lljkk Sat 16-Feb-13 18:25:11

I was raised in a staunchly anti-Death Penalty family (in a fairly pro-DP country). I can't help but regard DP as barbaric. "Why do we kill people to show people that killing people is wrong" etc. I don't have any strong principles about it, though (I tolerate lots of barbaric things).

So I'm relatively reactionary compared to my parents, in that I feel pretty indifferent about people receiving DP when they have been convicted of heinous crimes.

However, I am acutely aware that it would dishonour my parents if I wanted DP to avenge my parents' murders, I might even feel compelled to campaign against DP for my parents' (hypothetical) murderers; parents would be horrified if DP happened in their names. I imagine I would decline to express an opinion either way if DC were the victims. I don't think I would feel any greater satisfaction if the penalty went as far as death.

maddening Sat 16-Feb-13 17:44:33

An example is a pack of dogs - if a member of the pack stepped out of line the pack would kill it or expel it - it is natural and protects the society they live in - the order of the pack.

We have the ability to deal with societal infractions differently - humans have greater capacity for compassion.

Narked - actually the death penalty is well known to cost more than a full-life prison sentence, at least in countries with due process - appeals are hugely expensive, for instance.

maddening Sat 16-Feb-13 17:37:26

The feeling of anger in reaction to actually thinking about what they did - I just think about the terror and pain Jamie went through and that he was crying for his mummy while they tortured and murdered him and I feel it - is natural - and probably comes from an innate part inside all of us that drives human society.

But as a conscious society we have decided that to act on that anger is wrong - the majority of us do not want the death penalty for many reasons and that is right.

I do not want the death penalty but understand that feeling of anger and that is what people are expressing - all be it in an awful way but it was an awful thing that happened.

I they were killed by someone taking revenge for example I would not support that act at all but I would not cry for their lives ending.

It is a natural response but as a society we have decided to rise above that. 

chickensarmpit Sat 16-Feb-13 17:15:50

My family was riddled with abuse before I was born. My great grandad was the perp. He didn't kill anyone but the damage that man has left behind is shocking. Him and his dirty friends should of been lined up and shot. But because it was the 60/70 and 80's nothing was done. The affects of what they did still affect my mum and even me. I believe that men like him have no place in our society, they should be wiped off the face of the earth.

MsVestibule Sat 16-Feb-13 16:02:03

I've always been against the death penalty and when doing a university access course a few years ago, wrote a polemic explaining why I was against it. It was really interesting to research a subject so thoroughly, rather than just have a 'gut instinct' that it was wrong.

Bunny I don't think your 'hypocrisy' is particularly unusual; I feel quite murderous towards towards reckless drivers and will say/think "I hope he wraps his car around a tree soon", but I don't actually mean it.

I don't like the idea of families bring involved in the justice process at all (apart from as a witness if necessary). In some states in America, a statement can be read by the victims families describing how the murder has devastated their lives. That's fine if it is just to give the families their 'moment' but not if if is supposed to influence sentencing. What happens if a vagrant with no known family was the victim? Should the perpetrators get a lesser sentence because nobody misses him/her?

Trills Sat 16-Feb-13 16:01:42

Anyone who could abuse and murder a child is not human. They should be stamped out like the cockroaches they are.

It's tempting to want to separate yourself from people who could do things like this, to say they are not human, not like us, different.

But it's not true. They are human. And it's also not helpful. Trying to pretend that bad things are only done by "monsters" might make you feel better but doesn't help us to stop bad things from happening, because bad things are done all the time by people who seem to be nice and normal. If we say that only "a monster" can abuse a child then that makes it harder for someone who has been abused to come forward, or even to believe that it has really happened and that it is really abuse, because they know that the person who did it is not seen as "a monster".

Maebe Sat 16-Feb-13 15:57:09

God, no. It's nothing more than state-sponsored murder. Bringing back the death penalty is probably the one thing that would make me emigrate.

TidyDancer Sat 16-Feb-13 15:52:05

(Would probably kill for DP as well, if he's been good)

TidyDancer Sat 16-Feb-13 15:51:20

I am generally against the death penalty for reasons already given, but I know if someone took the life of my mother or my child, I would want them to suffer and then die painfully. I make no apologies for feeling that way.

I do not feel that every human being is deserving of respect or dignity, not by a long shot, but the possibility of a mistake happening means I could never really support the death penalty.

lljkk Sat 16-Feb-13 15:50:14

I think most of us struggle to live up to our principles sometimes. Doesn't mean we should ditch our principles.

FarBetterNow Sat 16-Feb-13 15:46:31

There are / were many people in prison, who did not commit the crime they were convicted of, including the Birmingham Six, Guildford Four, Maguire Seven, Stefan Kiszko, Sean Hodgson, Barry George, Sally Clarke.

The death penalty would result in many innocent people dying, though spending many years in prison when innocent, must be quite unbearable.

EllieArroway Sat 16-Feb-13 15:40:27

I'm also very anti the death penalty -

* It doesn't work as a deterrent. The states in America that have capital punishment not only have higher murder rates than those without, they have a higher crime rate generally. It's thought that the reason for this is that CP contributes to a sense of violence underlying society.

* Too much potential for miscarriages of justice. You can let an innocent person out of jail, but you can't bring them back to life.

* There's something inherently wrong with punishing killing by killing. It's retribution/revenge rather than punishment.

* We do not normally operate an "eye for an eye" style of justice. Rapists are not sentenced to being raped, burglars for being burgled. Murderers should not, therefore, be punished by being murdered

* Nobody, but nobody, should be given the right to end someone's life. The right to life should be absolute, for all people at all time. (I'm also in favour of assisted suicide - but the operative word there is "suicide").

So, I agree with you OP. You're not being unreasonable (imo).

Narked Sat 16-Feb-13 15:39:00

That's why I'm anti the death penalty. If anyone hurt my family I would want them to suffer and die, not be quietly put down by the state. Which is why people who are connected to the victim are not the ones you should be asking. And when you set aside anger and vengence as a reason for state killing, what's left? Recidivism? That can be dealt with through long prison terms so life does actually mean life. Cost? It is cheaper than keeping someone in prison for life but would anyone really want a state that killed people out of cost-saving?

HollyBerryBush Sat 16-Feb-13 15:29:24

If someone killed my family member I wouldn't want the death penalty, sanitised and ritualised, I'd want them slowly ripped to pieces so they felt every bit of the pain and horror.

I cant rememebr the girls name, its was one of those acid attacks in Afghanistan (maybe Pakistan) - she was allowed to pour acid in the eyes of her attacker - she said it didnt make her feel any better about being blind herself. His family offered her 'blodd money' to not do it and she declined.

Revenge eats at you. It destroys you as a person. It takes you down to their level, makes you as animalistic as they are.

BaresarkBunny Sat 16-Feb-13 15:27:10

Thank you for the replies. It's been difficult to feel like I had two such conflicting ideals. I feel that the death penalty is purely about revenge.

The point about the victims family not choosing the sentence is a very good one.

HollyBerryBush Sat 16-Feb-13 15:26:41

I just look at the Lucie Blackman case in Japan and think there are some bloody odd parents out there, profiting from the death of their child.

Narked Sat 16-Feb-13 15:26:14

The fact that you mightn't feel anti the death penalty if it were your family members who had been murdered is really all you need to know about why the death penalty is wrong. It comes from anger and vengence.

If someone killed my family member I wouldn't want the death penalty, sanitised and ritualised, I'd want them slowly ripped to pieces so they felt every bit of the pain and horror.

MissAnnersley Sat 16-Feb-13 15:25:41

Really chickens? What would happen if a mistake was made?

chickensarmpit Sat 16-Feb-13 15:18:43

IMO child killers don't deserve to live. Anyone who could abuse and murder a child is not human. They should be stamped out like the cockroaches they are.

feralgirl Sat 16-Feb-13 15:16:48

YANBU. And YANBU to have mixed feelings imo. I loathe the idea of the death penalty and felt very uncomfortable for the six months that I spent in Missouri whenever the subject was raised. I absolutely agree with Trills about it never being right to kill people and the fear of miscarriages of justice.

While I was in the States I spoke to someone whose brother had been murdered and the killer had been given the death penalty. Before, she had been all in favour of it but she said that it didn't help knowing that the state had killed her brother's murderer. She did say that, if she'd had the opportunity, she liked to think that she would have been able to do it herself though.

Not sure how relevant that anecdote is, but I found it interesting that a victim's family weren't 'comforted' by the state-sanctioned death of the man who'd ruined their lives.

What Trills said.

I think it is quite possible to hold two apparently contradictory thoughts at once. But I think the connecting thought is "I don't want vengeance to play any part in our justice system".

MissAnnersley Sat 16-Feb-13 15:12:19

YANBU.

I am against the death penalty.

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