OK... The Death Penalty...

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
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Luke T.
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Post by Luke T. » Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:01 pm

RCC wrote:
Luke T. wrote:
Crime doesn't evolve. Law and order does.
:lol:

(At least I hope that is a joke)
Not a joke. Dead is dead. Whether by a rock in the Garden of Eden or by an AK-47 at McDonald's. What is done to the murderer or what we do to prevent murder is the only thing we are capable of changing.
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V.2
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Re: OK... The Death Penalty...

Post by V.2 » Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:15 am

Grammatron wrote:How do you know it's evolution and not a step in
the wrong direction?
Some recent (d)evolution (same source)...
COUNTRIES WHICH HAVE ABOLISHED THE DEATH PENALTY SINCE 1976

1976: PORTUGAL abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

1978: DENMARK abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

1979: LUXEMBOURG, NICARAGUA and NORWAY abolished the death penalty for all crimes. BRAZIL, FIJI and PERU abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes.

1981: FRANCE and CAPE VERDE abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

1982: The NETHERLANDS abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

1983: CYPRUS and EL SALVADOR abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes.

1984: ARGENTINA abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes.

1985: AUSTRALIA abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

1987: HAITI, LIECHTENSTEIN and the GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (1) abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

1989: CAMBODIA, NEW ZEALAND, ROMANIA and SLOVENIA (2) abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

1990: ANDORRA, CROATIA (2), the CZECH AND SLOVAK FEDERAL REPUBLIC (3), HUNGARY, IRELAND, MOZAMBIQUE, NAMIBIA and SAO TOMÉ AND PRíNCIPE abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

1992: ANGOLA, PARAGUAY and SWITZERLAND abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

1993: GUINEA-BISSAU, HONG KONG (4) and SEYCHELLES abolished the death penalty for all crimes. GREECE abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes.

1994: ITALY abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

1995: DJIBOUTI, MAURITIUS, MOLDOVA and SPAIN abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

1996: BELGIUM abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

1997: GEORGIA, NEPAL, POLAND and SOUTH AFRICA abolished the death penalty for all crimes. BOLIVIA and BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes.

1998: AZERBAIJAN, BULGARIA, CANADA, ESTONIA, LITHUANIA and the UNITED KINGDOM abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

1999: EAST TIMOR, TURKMENISTAN and UKRAINE abolished the death penalty for all crimes. LATVIA (5) abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes.

2000: ALBANIA (6) abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes. COTE D'IVOIRE and MALTA abolished the death penalty for all crimes.

2001: CHILE abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes.
I'm curious the definition of "ordinary crimes".

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Post by Doctor X » Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:20 am

Just the typical heinous ordinary crimes such as making fun of Pinoche, asking about missing family members, and listening to country-western music.

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Re: OK... The Death Penalty...

Post by Luke T. » Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:39 am

V.2 wrote:
1989: CAMBODIA, NEW ZEALAND, ROMANIA and SLOVENIA (2) abolished the death penalty for all crimes.
Yes. We should be more like Cambodia.
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Re: OK... The Death Penalty...

Post by Luke T. » Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:46 am

V.2 wrote:

1990: ANDORRA, CROATIA (2), the CZECH AND SLOVAK FEDERAL REPUBLIC (3), HUNGARY, IRELAND, MOZAMBIQUE, NAMIBIA and SAO TOMÉ AND PRíNCIPE abolished the death penalty for all crimes.
So. How did things work out for Croatia and the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic by ending the death penalty anyway?
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Post by NightG1 » Wed Dec 15, 2004 2:16 am

Luke T. wrote:And if it costs 10 trillion to jail somone for 30 days and only the cost of a bullet to execute them?
Depends. Is the guy actually guilty and if so how do you know? This whole law enforcement evolves thing is a little naive. Prosecutors, no matter how evolved, will still resort to using shameless tactics if they think it will garner a conviction.

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Post by Doctor X » Wed Dec 15, 2004 2:21 am

Indeed.

Leave aside the "Evil Stop at Nothing Prosecutor" of Hollywood.

If you really believe in your position, you may block evidence against it. I know that is a shocking revelation on a skeptic board. . . .

A perfectly sincere prosecutor may forgt himself persuing the conviction of someone he is "sure" is guilty. The applies to police and others as well, of course. Defense attorneys are allowed this luxury.

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
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Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power."--asthmatic camel
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Re: OK... The Death Penalty...

Post by V.2 » Wed Dec 15, 2004 2:34 am

Luke T. wrote:
V.2 wrote: 1989: CAMBODIA abolished the death penalty for all crimes.
Yes. We should be more like Cambodia.
Nitpicking this raw data seems silly. But, if you insist... Irrespective of the DP laws being aboloshed, Cambodia does seem to be slowly evolving over the past few decades.

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Post by Loon » Wed Dec 15, 2004 2:46 am

The issue to me is not the morality of state santctioned killing. If we could know for a fact and without a doubt that a person is guilty of murder, then I have no problem with a swift, graphic and generally painless execution (I think firing squad, if handled properly, would not be cruel & unusual).

The thing is, even though we have clear-cut, yep-he-did-it cases, there is currently no legal way to differentiate those cases from more circumstantial cases (scott peterson?) or cases where the reason where we know they they did it is flawed and biased analysis from some West Virginian Serologist.

So while there are cases where I would love to see summary execution by alligator pit, there is no legal way to distinguish those cases from cases where I prefer a more moderate approach. This moderate approach is urged by the weakness of the evidence presented. Given the choice between feeding Richard Ramirez to the crows outside the LA county courthouse on the one hand and not seeing an innocent person put in the gas chamber on the other, I choose the latter.

It's not that the death penalty is inherently wrong- it is that we cannot be sure we are applying it correctly. The cost of error in application is more than the benefit of knocking off people we are better off without.

Another idea- what about life LWOP with an option for DP. A life sentence is just, as RCC said, death by old age and poor nutrition. I say we give inmates an option.
I guess there he chose to err on the side of more votes. -[size=75]Grammatron[/size]

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Post by V.2 » Wed Dec 15, 2004 3:48 am

Per Amnesty Intl (the source for these lists), an Ordinary Crime is:
Countries whose laws provide for the death penalty only for exceptional crimes such as crimes under military law or crimes committed in exceptional circumstances, such as wartime crimes.
If we grant this exception, and then except the countries that are abolitionist in practice (no executions in past 10 yrs), 84 nations remain. Summarized by region this time:

Far East: 5
Southeast Asia: 9
Central Asia: 5
Africa: 32
Persian Gulf: 9
Mid-East: 5
Former Soviet: 4
E Europe: 0
W Europe: 0
*North America: 3
South America: 1
Caribbean: 10

* USA, Guatemala, Belize

Here's another way to slice it...
First-world democracies with DP: 3 (USA, Japan, Singapore)

The surprises (for me) are the extent of DP in Caribbean, and lack of in S America.

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Post by RCC » Wed Dec 15, 2004 4:16 am

Doctor X wrote:
Of course, "easy" cases are "easy." I am pulling this from my nethers, so perhaps RCC can correct it, but I imagine the "clear" ones do not exactly cost as much with appeals--not as much to research/argue.
I actually do post conviction work, and only post conviction work. It is worse than it sounds, I'm in the office that gets the cases that other lawyers refuse to handle, because they are so nasty, hopeless, or maybe the guy is just a major asshole... My office is some kind of 6th amendment safety net. We don't have the DP, but the only difference between DP work and the LWOP cases I do besides the psychological mind-fuck of literally having a life in your hands and having to watch the client die if you lose is the fact that the DP appeals have to be heard by the courts, and that the DP has special sentencing rules that can present many issues for appeal.

The clear and notorious cases cost as much if not more in general. The cost depends on the lawyer and how much the guy wants to fight. On appeal, guilt or innocence is technically irrelevant and really cannot be revisited without newly discovered evidence. The Jury decision is held almost sacred, and maybe it should be. The whole post-conviction struggle centers around whether the trial was fair. The bigger the case the riper for weird bias issues. It goes to the mat unless the guy gives it up a la Gary Gilmore...

Even more important is the lawyer..

Ever see "True Believer?" "The guiltier he is, the more he needs us."

(I just stumbled upon a good law review article that uses "True Believer as an analysis of the ethical duties of a defense counsel. Some of the arguments sounded familiar, and lo and behold it was written by my Legal Ethics professor... http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/lpop/etex ... nger22.htm )

One lawyer in my office makes Eddie Dodd (The actual "True Believer" from the film) look like John Ashcroft. I'm not that far behind him though. The difference is that I think I have an ethical duty to be extremely zealous and try to maintain some doctor-like emotional detachment, and he really is emotional invested in the whole deal. I can only imagine how far he would go if it were a death penalty case. He's one of those dudes (my office is full of 'em) that thinks the death penalty can never, ever be justified. I went Godwin on him and he even passed that test, no DP for Hitler...

So when you get a highly skilled and experienced lawyer that raises "zealous represntation" to an absurd degree based on a personal belief that not even Hitler deserves his client's fate even if he is guilty of the crime charged and more... Well, this might cost a few bucks....

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Post by RCC » Wed Dec 15, 2004 4:35 am

Luke T. wrote:
RCC wrote:
Luke T. wrote:
Crime doesn't evolve. Law and order does.
:lol:

(At least I hope that is a joke)
Not a joke. Dead is dead. Whether by a rock in the Garden of Eden or by an AK-47 at McDonald's. What is done to the murderer or what we do to prevent murder is the only thing we are capable of changing.
You are aware that none of what you are typing makes any sense as per the nonsensical claim of crime not evolving.

Actually it doesn't pass any critical muster.
Dead is dead.
Sure.

Whether by a rock in the Garden of Eden or by an AK-47 at McDonald's.
Or by Professor Plum with a candlestick, or by the State, using lethal injection, or whatever...
What is done to the murderer or what we do to prevent murder is the only thing we are capable of changing.
Yep.

How does any of this support anything other than your apparent implication that you somehow are right because you feel more strongly about the victims? That is pretty much all you have, some ill-defined sense that somehow others, including myself, are disregarding the victim and taking the crime likely.

It is getting tired.

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Post by V.2 » Wed Dec 15, 2004 7:45 pm

Let's boil it down further ... countries that have death penalty for juvenile offenders (though not necessarily execution as juvenile):

China
Democratic Republic of Congo
Iran
Nigeria
Pakistan
Saudi Arabia
United States
Yemen

Nice crowd.

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Post by Grammatron » Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:05 pm

Fun with Lists!

Countries with official state religion(I'll keep it down to Christianity):
* Argentina
* Bolivia
* Costa Rica
* Denmark
* El Salvador
* Finland
* Greece
* Holy See
* Iceland
* Malta
* Monaco
* Norway
* Paraguay
* Peru
* Samoa
* United Kingdom
* Vanuatu

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Post by V.2 » Wed Dec 15, 2004 9:22 pm

Grammatron wrote:Fun with Lists! Countries with official state religion(I'll keep it down to Christianity):
It's always amusing to me when people are put off by raw facts, especially skeptics. (Raw facts pertinent to the topic at hand, I should add.)

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Post by Grammatron » Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:12 pm

V.2 wrote:
Grammatron wrote:Fun with Lists! Countries with official state religion(I'll keep it down to Christianity):
It's always amusing to me when people are put off by raw facts, especially skeptics. (Raw facts pertinent to the topic at hand, I should add.)
I'm not put off, I'm just trying to point out that those lists are of no use in the argument.

As you can see some "evolved" countries have an official state religioin, not to mention monarchies, yet no one is arguing that we should get one. So why is it ok to bring up those countries in a DP debate?

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Post by Doctor X » Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:05 pm

No, we just recognize argumenta ad [No Latin!--Ed.] appeals to popularity and misery.

Besides, you do not want to be with the FRENCH, now do you?

Fallacies are fun!!

RCC:

Ah! I wonder where the money comes from--trick question!

However, I have to agree with another "mythical" member-or-the-bar Horace Rumpole who frequently quotes some mentor or another than declares, "Better 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man be convicted."

The State {L' Estate est Moi!!} Shh! the State has far more resources than the poor slob. The more able and powerful the defense the more certain the conviction.

As a tangent, a wonderful movie on the need for a good lawyer: The Castle. How you argue is more important than your basic argument.

So . . . yes . . . if we want to protect the innocent--us--we have to be willing to accept a vigorous and expensive defense.

Case-in-Point:

O'Reilly and the Rest are pissing all over a decision the WA State SC which overturned a conviction based on the mother listening in to a phone conversation of her daughter with a creep. The Rigtheous Religious are screeming that "it is illegal for parents to monitor their children?!!!"

Well, the lawyer for the scum explain--many times--that O'Reilly did not have his facts correct--Heavens to Betsy! The issue was the POLICE ASKED the mother to listen into the conversation because they could not obtain the warrents.

Believe O'Reilly, and it becomes admissible for police to use proxies to conduct illegal searches, wire-taps, et cetera.

THAT is why we have defense attorneys.

Breaks free and ascends Soap Box. . . .

Blame the media and Hollywood--and Hal, of course--for the depiction of lawyers. We always see the Scummy Do-Anything Mouthpiece getting the Multiple-Baby-Raper-Nun-Molester, who posted films of his crime on the Big Screen in Yankee Stadium, off because Jerry Orbach chewed gum during the investigation.

What we do NOT see is INNOCENT guys getting off. It is not news.

Right, I recommend a great documentary: Capturing the Freemans Sorry, better film than Bowling for Columbine--which I liked, actually.

--J.D.
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"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
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"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
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Re: OK... The Death Penalty...

Post by V.2 » Thu Dec 16, 2004 12:58 am

My position is that the human race at this point and time has largely out-evolved the death penalty.
Grammatron & Luke, this is the opening sentence from the OP. (Which, incidentally, I've not taken a stand on other than by implication. I'm against DP without exception, fwiw.)

Are you actually suggesting that the behavior of other members of the human race is irrelevant when analyzing if the particular behavior is "out-evolved"? We can reasonably debate how much weight these facts should be assigned, but to dismiss them out of hand as irrelevant seems downright bizarre.

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Re: OK... The Death Penalty...

Post by Luke T. » Thu Dec 16, 2004 1:06 am

V.2 wrote:
My position is that the human race at this point and time has largely out-evolved the death penalty.
Grammatron & Luke, this is the opening sentence from the OP. (Which, incidentally, I've not taken a stand on other than by implication. I'm against DP without exception, fwiw.)

Are you actually suggesting that the behavior of other members of the human race is irrelevant when analyzing if the particular behavior is "out-evolved"? We can reasonably debate how much weight these facts should be assigned, but to dismiss them out of hand as irrelevant seems downright bizarre.
I am not clear on what you are saying here, but if you are talking about my dismissal of lists of countries that do or don't have the DP, it is the use of these lists which is bizarre.

Notice how no one has answered my question about Croatia? The argument was made that Cambodia is evolving (almost choked on that one), but I noticed folks are ignoring how the Balkans devolved after eliminating the DP.

So the evolving and devolving stuff and lists of countries with or without the DP is bullshit.
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Post by Luke T. » Thu Dec 16, 2004 1:37 am

Question for you, V.2, since you are against the DP without exception.

Your country is invaded. Do you protect it? By killing an enemy soldier, aren't you carrying out a death penalty for invading your country? And wouldn't you even kill an invading soldier who hasn't killed anyone yet?

What about going to the aid of another country that has been invaded? There's no direct self-defense argument that could be made.

And if you wouldn't do it yourself, are you okay with someone else doing it?
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