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To reconsider my feelings re. Death penalty.

(273 Posts)
FoxgloveFairy Mon 01-Dec-14 23:41:12

Just read a story about a young guy in the US who broke into a house and, not finding anything to steal, decided to rape the female occupant. A 101 year old woman. Not a string-em-up advocate, but just looking at the arrogant grin on this young man's face in court, I feel right now I could be persuaded.

TidyDancer Mon 01-Dec-14 23:48:07

You are entitled to feel however you feel about it.

However, I personally feel that while there is a chance that a guilty verdict could be wrong (and there will always be cases where that is possible) then the death penalty is wrong.

I also do not believe in 'an eye for an eye'.

Behoove Mon 01-Dec-14 23:49:44

No, I agree foxglove sometimes there are crimes that just leave me speechless with horror.

TheAwfulDaughter Mon 01-Dec-14 23:50:10

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

SquidgyMaltLoaf Mon 01-Dec-14 23:50:27

The problem, so I have read, with introducing the death penalty for rape, for example, is that if it's the same penalty as for murder the perpetrator could think "Well, I'm going to die anyway if I get caught so I may as well go the whole hog and murder them."

FoxgloveFairy Mon 01-Dec-14 23:51:30

Fair enough he hasn't been found guilty, but apparently DNA evidence is fairly clear- police in the US seem to be allowed to make comments like that pretrial, it seems.

CaptainAnkles Mon 01-Dec-14 23:51:30

God, how awful. sad

FoxgloveFairy Mon 01-Dec-14 23:58:35

I also have grave concerns about people who may be guilty but mentally I'll are being executed. Also that it seems young black men are the ones, usually, who end up being executed. People, and not a small number of them, have been posthumously cleared. Not a huge help. No, okay, not death, but God I thought about it when I saw that arrogant grin. Actually, surely, you would have to have some serious psychosexual issues, if not mental health issues, to do this, though? Let's see how he goes with his psychosexual issues with his fellow inmates, who probably have a few of their own. Yes, I am feeling vengeful for this poor, very elderly woman. The aftermath of rape is grim for tough women, but at 101? So brave to put herself through it.

QueenTilly Mon 01-Dec-14 23:59:09

Studies have previously suggested that the death penalty reduces conviction rates. The jury who feels certain beyond reasonable doubt that Fred Bloggs is a rapist, if it means sending him to prison, may not feel so willing to declare a guilty verdict if it means sentencing him to death.

Remember that jurors don't just see mugshots and newspaper reports- they can share a courtroom with the defendant over a period of months. Imagine sharing an office with someone every day for months, and then being asked if they deserved to die.

QueenTilly Tue 02-Dec-14 00:03:39

this.org/blog/2011/07/29/35-years-without-death-penalty/

elephantspoo Tue 02-Dec-14 00:10:46

A society will always get as much rape and abuse of the vulnerable as it is willing to bear, and so long as society says, 'we can take it, give the guy a hug, lock him up for three years, with SkyTV, Xbox, free room and board, you'll get as many rapist and abusers as the system can take. It so ironic that there are one or two 'barbaric' countries in the world where stranger rape, child abuse and molestation outside of direct family members, is virtually unheard of. But the they would be, when those crimes come with a death sentence.

You're right, better to have them in society raping our elderly and young than risk a mistake in a justice system that eliminates sex crimes too quickly. It's not like there is any evidence that eliminating rapist would improve society in any measurable way.

Sorry, I just don't get the whole 'lets tolerate the rape of women and children in the name of building a more humane society' thing. Please explain that again to me.

Bulbasaur Tue 02-Dec-14 00:10:54

Studies have previously suggested that the death penalty reduces conviction rates.

That would not surprise me. I think alot of people would struggle to say they were 100% certain on something that would condemn a person to death. There's too many variables, lawyers are corrupt, police fudge or exaggerate testimonies.

It's easy to say it based on a news report, but you'd have to be pretty cold to see a person in the same room, look at them and be able to make a serious judgement on whether he deserved to live or die if you're not personally involved.

If it were my grandmother that happened to, I'd agree. Kill the bastard. Objectively, I'd rather him rot in solitary confinement with an opportunity for her family to pay off guards and inmates to make him miserable. It's cheaper to keep these animals alive than it is to go through mass court appeals to kill them.

QueenTilly Tue 02-Dec-14 00:13:27

Are those countries where it is in a woman's interests not to press charges, because if her attacker is found not guilty, she is convicted of adultery/extra-marital sex?

I bet stranger rape is "unknown"...

QueenTilly Tue 02-Dec-14 00:14:44

That's to Elephants, not Bulbasaur, btw.

VanitasVanitatum Tue 02-Dec-14 00:16:33

No one is tolerating it elephant and you know that. To remove someone who decides to harm others from society to prevent them causing harm is necessary. To murder them is not.

Bulbasaur Tue 02-Dec-14 00:16:43

QueensTilly Was about to say the same thing. These countries also use women as a business transaction. Sex, consensual or not, ruins her value.

Also, some women are made to marry their rapists because of this reason. The rapist ruined her value, and now he must marry her. It's meant to punish him, while making it clear the woman is merely property.

I don't think we want to model our system after these countries.

QueenTilly Tue 02-Dec-14 00:26:15

Take the convicted rapist, Ched Evans. Everything I've read suggested to me that he could not have had a reasonable belief his victim was consenting. If I had been part of the jury (who of course saw more evidence) and felt that way, I think I'd happily pronounce him guilty.

But after months of sitting in that courtroom with him, and listening to him defend himself, seeing his family anxiously waiting at the side... I think I'd be a tad more hesitant to sentence him to death. Imagine agreeing to deliver a guilty verdict, knowing his sister and girlfriend were out there.

FoxgloveFairy Tue 02-Dec-14 00:28:51

I just feel that the death penalty is murder. Whether sanctioned by the law or not. I don't think I could have anything to do with it.

caroldecker Tue 02-Dec-14 00:29:03

As a state we currently say killing someone is wrong. If we have the death penalty, we say killing someone is ok if we have a good reason - the state should not allow justification of murder.

heartisaspade Tue 02-Dec-14 00:55:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

elephantspoo Tue 02-Dec-14 01:10:40

@caroldecker - No, what you actually mean is, as a state we currently say killing a person convicted of a criminal act is wrong. We consider killing women and children in the pursuit of securing financial gain in foreign countries to be acceptable and not punishable in any way, and we are also happy to kill people anywhere on the planet so long as we can find some convoluted way of pretending they might think about killing us at some unknown time in the future. It's called hypocrisy and we all consent to it.

On the subject of hypocrisy, I often find it ironic that some people believe every woman should be allowed to chose when it comes to abortion, but suddenly become pro-life when it comes to child rapists and child murderers.

@VV - Yes, I do concede that removing a person from society is the solution, but we live in a country that will never consent to removing rapists from society. We live in a socialist collectivist state where the belief is that it is our responsibility to care for, love and nurture those less fortunate than ourselves, and these poor damaged souls need cuddling not killing. So as a society we tolerate them in our mists, we give them detention for a few months or a few years when their naughty, and we then let them back out because we're all nice people really and that's the civilised thing to do. We have all the rapist we want. When we don't want them anymore and society decides that they are no longer to be accepted or tolerated, we will remove them from our midst. That's the way societies structure themselves. So people can complain about this 'horrific' rape and that 'appalling' murder, but until we decide we don't want them anymore, they will be part of everyday life.

Example - America has by far the greatest number of school shootings and massacres on the planet. Does anyone here believe that removal of guns from American society will have no effect on the elimination of school massacres? Or is the argument that removing a thing should not be necessary because it is wrong. We should just force them to be locked up in cupboards?

Canyouforgiveher Tue 02-Dec-14 02:33:04

Wanting to kill someone when you realise what awful crime he has commited is reasonable. Wanting vengance and enshrining murder into law are two different things

I don't want to live in a society which sanctions killing by the state. I am lucky enough to live in a US State which does not have the death penalty.

The research into the death penalty in the USA makes grim reading from the point of view of innocence/race/IQ/poverty/education. I don't want any part of it.

It so ironic that there are one or two 'barbaric' countries in the world where stranger rape, child abuse and molestation outside of direct family members, is virtually unheard of

Elephanstpoo, that is a lie. there are no such countries. There are only countries in which rape, abuse and molestation are so defined so as to exclude them being recorded as such. But these things still happen, women and children still suffer them. They just aren't called rape or crimes.

Bulbasaur Tue 02-Dec-14 02:46:01

The death penalty is not a deterrent and nearly 90% of criminologists in the USA agree with this

Of course not. If they were intelligent or level headed enough to consider consequences and think ahead, they either wouldn't murder, or they'd plan it better so they wouldn't get caught. The majority of murders go unsolved, if you planned ahead well enough, I'd imagine you could probably get away with it. It's frightening, but we have a rudimentary justice system. Only the stupid criminals get caught.

Bulbasaur Tue 02-Dec-14 02:58:10

Does anyone here believe that removal of guns from American society will have no effect on the elimination of school massacres?

Guns kill people.
Pens misspell words.
Keyboards make stupid MN posts.
Spoons make people fat.

Let's ban them all. hmm

Realistically, there's just too many out there. We could never remove them all, and the law banning them would just take them out of the hands of honest people while keeping them in the hands of criminals.

There's new laws in some states that require gun owner to pay fees like a car registration. Guess what? People simply aren't registering their guns to avoid fees. It's not lowering the gun numbers or deterring people. It's just penalizing people who are following the rules. Getting rid of guns, same thing. Only honest people will hand theirs in, and even then most wouldn't.

The only thing gun laws accomplish is making politicians look like they're doing something. But really, it's just a useless formality to give cops a reason to keep a person in jail when arrested. Illegal gun? Detain. No more flight risk.

The root of the problem is that American culture is just infatuated with violence. We'll let our children watch a Saw movie, while out crying if they see a nip slip. Our movies are centered on violent revenge, and killing the bad guys. Even in our Disney movies, our villains have to die a horrible death. So until violence stops being worshiped as the go to solution for being wronged, we'll just have stabbings in place of shootings if we made all guns vanish.

Coyoacan Tue 02-Dec-14 03:10:41

The death penalty doesn't even act as a deterent. Crime abounded in late eighteenth century as did hanging.

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