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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?

thebody Sat 16-Feb-13 14:30:44

I think it's the people who are very very pro or very very anti complex questions like this are the ones to fear really.

Your arguments seem very sensible to me.

My dd was badly hurt when a driver fell asleep at the wheel, I absolutely hate him and wished he would die in my head but I couldn't really shoot him in real life.

noblegiraffe Sat 16-Feb-13 14:31:56

I think it is perfectly rational to be against the death penalty in a justice system but acknowledge you'd want revenge if something happened to your loved ones. That is why the sentence is not decided by the victim's family.

manicinsomniac Sat 16-Feb-13 14:33:42

YANBU nobody has the right to take away another person's life without their consent. Ever.

HollyBerryBush Sat 16-Feb-13 14:40:44

I don't generally see, in countries that still have the death penalty, that their murder rates are lower than ours? Certainly aren't in the USA per head. I wouldnt want a 'blood money' exchange like Japan or Saudi either, that just puts a monetary value on life.

Thing with 'murder', it's an emotive subject. There are always varying degres of severity - 'murder' implies violence, someone with a gun or knife, but what about the hypothetical 92yo man who gets no help from SS for his 86yo wife with dememtia and he smothers her out of love? Would we be swinging him from the yard arm, or would that be different?

Most murders are domestic, very very few random murders are committed in comparison. Most will never reoffend. Those who are a danger tend to remain locked up, Sutcliffe, Branson, Huntley etc.

Then you get those who think child or cop killers should automatically hang - why? is a child or policemans life more valuable than yours or mine?

Too many ifs and buts - but something that comes out time and time again is life should mean life.

BegoniaBampot Sat 16-Feb-13 14:43:40

I think some people do such awful crimes that TBH, they deserve to die and the world would be better without them. But I don't trust the system, it can be corrupt and unequal, justice isn't always given out and especially not fairly. it's complex and I wouldn't want to pull the switch so then I can't accept that we would expect other people to do our dirty work. Better if we just lock them up forever or at least till they have forfeited the best part of their life.

StickEmUp Sat 16-Feb-13 14:44:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NynaevesSister Sat 16-Feb-13 14:46:14


I think I would want revenge but I know that I wouldn't in reality want a justice system based on revenge. I believe that we simply don't have the right to take anyone's life. And also the risk of getting it wrong once is a risk too far.

FreudiansSlipper Sat 16-Feb-13 14:46:51

I am totally against the death penalty and wold never support it

though I can fully understand why people want revenge for the murder of those close to them but thankfully the law is not about revenge

Veritate Sat 16-Feb-13 14:55:39

I think the use of the death penalty by any state puts them morally at a level lower than that of the people they're killing. I am absolutely horrified at the thought of a system which cold-bloodedly puts someone in a condemned cell and makes them wait there, absolutely helpless to do anything about it, knowing that they are going to be taken out and killed at a specified time next month, next week, the next morning.

As for the people who say that we should have hanged two damaged children - they really need to take a long, hard look at themselves.

Trills Sat 16-Feb-13 15:07:37


We've had a few death penalty threads recently.

I got called "disgusting" for saying that all humans deserve to be treated with dignity, no matter what they have done.

I believe that human rights should apply to all humans. It is not right to kill another person.

In order to be for the death penalty you need to believe two things:
1 - that it is right to kill people if they have committed certain crimes
2 - that the number of people falsely accused/convicted/killed would be acceptably small (or zero)

I don't believe #1 or #2.

Trills Sat 16-Feb-13 15:08:34

If my child were killed I would feel that I wanted the perpetrator to die but I would still think that it would be wrong to kill them, IYSWYM.

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


I am against the death penalty.

HoratiaWinwood Sat 16-Feb-13 15:14:46

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".

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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 15:29:24

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.

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?

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).

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.

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.

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