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Tags death penalty , death penalty issues , donald trump , executions , Trump controversies

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Old 11th December 2020, 04:38 AM   #1
Vixen
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Trump's Executions Drive

What do people think of Trump's transitional executions drive? Whilst I have every sympathy with Brandon Bernard's victims, it seems unnecessarily vindictive of Trump.

Quote:
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — The Trump administration on Thursday carried out its ninth federal execution of the year and the first during a presidential lame-duck period in 130 years, putting to death a Texas street-gang member for his role in the slayings of a religious couple from Iowa more than two decades ago.

Four more federal executions, including one Friday, are planned in the weeks before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
AP

If executions are to be carried out, it should be promptly, as in mediaeval times, not on average, ten year's after.

Quote:
The case of Brandon Bernard, who received a lethal injection of phenobarbital inside a death chamber at a U.S. prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, was a rare execution of a person who was in his teens when his crime was committed.
ibid
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Old 11th December 2020, 04:44 AM   #2
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Adam Serwer nailed it in The Atlantic 2 years ago: The Cruelty Is the Point

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Trump’s only true skill is the con; his only fundamental belief is that the United States is the birthright of straight, white, Christian men, and his only real, authentic pleasure is in cruelty. It is that cruelty, and the delight it brings them, that binds his most ardent supporters to him, in shared scorn for those they hate and fear: immigrants, black voters, feminists, and treasonous white men who empathize with any of those who would steal their birthright. The president’s ability to execute that cruelty through word and deed makes them euphoric. It makes them feel good, it makes them feel proud, it makes them feel happy, it makes them feel united. And as long as he makes them feel that way, they will let him get away with anything, no matter what it costs them.
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Old 11th December 2020, 04:47 AM   #3
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I feel the urge to fake a haunting of Trump properties.
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So what are you going to do about it, huh?
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Old 11th December 2020, 06:38 AM   #4
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Do executions upset the left?

Yes?

What possible factor is there left to wonder about or talk about?
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Old 11th December 2020, 06:52 AM   #5
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This is comic book villain stuff. Even in fiction, this kind of cardboard-bad-guy stuff wouldn't ever be put down except maybe ironically.

I must have said this like a hundred times, that Trump's craziness is what it is; his spineless hangers-on's self-serving ways too are what they are; but what makes my jaw drop, even now after having seen this for so long, is how so many millions -- ******* millions! -- still support, still ******* worship, this crazy POS, this cardboard cutout prototype of the lowbrow villain, even as he loots them and literally kills them.
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Old 11th December 2020, 06:59 AM   #6
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It strikes me as someone having a To Do list and skipping to the bottom because the higher priority tasks have become difficult or impossible. They just want to get one more thing done. I doubt there are actually damns given, this is so a "tough on crime" bullet point can be added to summaries of Trump's four years.
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Old 11th December 2020, 08:56 AM   #7
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Also people, especially outside America, need to understand is that Capital Punishment isn't just something that's opposed by the Left and vaguely tolerated by the Right.

A good section of the Right absolutely loves it.
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Old 11th December 2020, 10:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Also people, especially outside America, need to understand is that Capital Punishment isn't just something that's opposed by the Left and vaguely tolerated by the Right.

A good section of the Right absolutely loves it.
And a good section of the left likes it.

Remember when Bernie Sanders came out opposed to capital punishment in principle there was some significant pushback from some of his followers.
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Old 11th December 2020, 10:48 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
A good section of the Right absolutely loves it.
While simultaneously claiming to be Christians!
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Old 11th December 2020, 10:52 AM   #10
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Hey, he's just taking back what's rightfully his. He couldn't get the Central Park Five executed, so the world owes him a few *******.

Edited by Agatha:  Edited for rule 10. Please type all curse words in full. For this particular one, you may use the construction "n-word".
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Old 11th December 2020, 12:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
Hey, he's just taking back what's rightfully his. He couldn't get the Central Park Five executed, so the world owes him a few *******.
Somewhat surprising to me, 5 of the 9 men executed under Trump's watch have been white.

Also kind of interesting, Alan Dershowitz, Ken Starr and Kim Kardashian West all tried to delay or block the execution. Five of the jurors and the original prosecutor supported clemency. He wasn't the shooter and he was only 18 at the time. He appears to had a clean record in prison. He seems like an odd choice to prioritize.

Still. If the death penalty is going to be on the books, it should be taken seriously. But Trump wanting to act tough seems like a crappy reason to resume federal executions after 17 years without them.

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Old 11th December 2020, 12:39 PM   #12
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In The Godfather, the big mafia don orders killings to instill fear in his rivals and cement his own power. Trumpy wants to be that guy. He thinks the movie is a user guide.
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Old 11th December 2020, 01:33 PM   #13
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Trump hate aside ... like that's possible here.

The death penalty exists for a reason.
As said earlier, if it is on the books then it should be taken seriously.
Don't murder people if you don't want to end up in that situation.

In Brandon Bernard's case and I'm sure most of the others, like the unbelievably awesome woman who cut a baby out of the womb of another woman,
most of the families of the victims and myself, think that the method of execution is too civilized for such uncivilized people.

If they accidentally kill or inadvertently kill circumstances could be different.
But when they go with the express intent of murder ??

**** 'em !



Also, to add, you guys/gals here trip me out.

You have no issue if someone takes 3 guys to rob a house and waits in the car while those 3 guys get shot to death by the homeowner and then that driver gets charged with felony murder.

No murder even occurred.
The homeowner legally defended himself, but she gets hit with felony murder charges.

I guess if convicted you guys are hoping for a light sentence ??

Jeez.
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Old 11th December 2020, 01:39 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Busta Capp View Post
Trump hate aside ... like that's possible here.

The death penalty exists for a reason.
As said earlier, if it is on the books then it should be taken seriously.
Don't murder people if you don't want to end up in that situation.

In Brandon Bernard's case and I'm sure most of the others, like the unbelievably awesome woman who cut a baby out of the womb of another woman,
most of the families of the victims and myself, think that the method of execution is too civilized for such uncivilized people.

If they accidentally kill or inadvertently kill circumstances could be different.
But when they go with the express intent of murder ??

**** 'em !



Also, to add, you guys/gals here trip me out.

You have no issue if someone takes 3 guys to rob a house and waits in the car while those 3 guys get shot to death by the homeowner and then that driver gets charged with felony murder.

No murder even occurred.
The homeowner legally defended himself, but she gets hit with felony murder charges.

I guess if convicted you guys are hoping for a light sentence ??

Jeez.
.

..

...

What?
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Old 11th December 2020, 01:44 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Busta Capp View Post
The death penalty exists for a reason.
Because a society decided that it is appropriate in some circumstances, because revenge is a primal desire most humans have. There is a reason the death penalty doesn't exist anymore in 130+ other countries. There is a good reason to suppress that desire, even if you believe the death penalty is just.

Originally Posted by Busta Capp View Post
Also, to add, you guys/gals here trip me out.

You have no issue if someone takes 3 guys to rob a house and waits in the car while those 3 guys get shot to death by the homeowner and then that driver gets charged with felony murder.
Yawn.

Quote:
No murder even occurred.
The homeowner legally defended himself, but she gets hit with felony murder charges.

I guess if convicted you guys are hoping for a light sentence ??

Jeez.
I don't know if that's an appropriate charge but retaliation isn't and never will be self defense.

Last edited by Venom; 11th December 2020 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 11th December 2020, 01:45 PM   #16
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I especially like how that entire stream of consciousness rant wasn't even about the case being discussed but just general "Oh so if you came home and found your family murdered" theatrics.
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Old 11th December 2020, 03:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Busta Capp View Post
Trump hate aside ... like that's possible here.

The death penalty exists for a reason.
As said earlier, if it is on the books then it should be taken seriously.
Don't murder people if you don't want to end up in that situation.

In Brandon Bernard's case and I'm sure most of the others, like the unbelievably awesome woman who cut a baby out of the womb of another woman,
most of the families of the victims and myself, think that the method of execution is too civilized for such uncivilized people.

If they accidentally kill or inadvertently kill circumstances could be different.
But when they go with the express intent of murder ??

**** 'em !



Also, to add, you guys/gals here trip me out.

You have no issue if someone takes 3 guys to rob a house and waits in the car while those 3 guys get shot to death by the homeowner and then that driver gets charged with felony murder.

No murder even occurred.
The homeowner legally defended himself, but she gets hit with felony murder charges.

I guess if convicted you guys are hoping for a light sentence ??

Jeez.

You are perhaps thinking of the Elizabeth Rodriguez* case which we discussed here:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...1#post11775751

As I recall, I was really shocked by this because of the young age of the persons shot but it's OK you'll be happy to know everybody jumped down my throat. I guess with US gun culture, it is too easy for a person to just shoot someone during the course of a crime and you could say the fact that prison sentences are so severe in the USA means perpetrators of crime are even more determined to escape justice (cf the EU where 'life' means you get out on parole after eight years, depending on the category of murder; only about 70 prisoners in all have 'whole life' tariffs).

In the case of Brandon Bernard, he was an eighteen-year-old at the time. His co-partner pulled the trigger on the couple, ordering Bernard to set fire to the car they were in. Now soot was found in the female's windpipe indicated she was alive at the time and had breathed in the fumes. However, with a shot to the head she is unlikely to have been little more than a cabbage were she to have been rescued. I am not defending Bernard. However, I do feel his young age at the time, 18, and his otherwise good character should hae been mitigation for a prison term instead. I also think it is barbaric to keep prisoners on Death Row for years on end before execution. To my mind that counts as a double punishment: ten years in a top security jail and then execution (= 2 punishments).

I do think people who kill small children should get tougher sentences than average, thus Darlie Routier who killed her two little boys savagely and cruelly deserves a much harsher sentence than the average murderer IMV. [Ah, I see she is scheduled for the lethal injection on 4 Feb 21.]

I get that there is a long appeals process which can go to as many as fifteen different hearings.

So, next up on Trump's list is a childkiller, who smashed his two-year-old's head into a car windscreen.

Quote:
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — The Trump administration plans to continue its unprecedented series of post-election federal executions Friday by putting to death a Louisiana truck driver who severely abused his 2-year-old daughter for weeks in 2002, then killed her by slamming her head against a truck’s windows and dashboard.

Lawyers for 56-year-old Alfred Bourgeois argue he has an IQ that puts him in the intellectually disabled category, saying that should have made him ineligible for the death penalty under federal law.
APhttps://apnews.com/article/donald-tr...9bb996cffe623b

To us in Europe, these executions seem mediaeval and belong to a different era. That is another issue. For now, it comes across as petty and spiteful of Trump rushing to get it done in his final days, rather than as a genuine justice issue, and despite it not being conventional to do so in the last 130 days of presidency when pardons are more the norm.

*To save people looking this up this is what happened to Rodriguez:

Quote:
Rodriguez was alleged to have orchestrated the March 27, 2017, burglary of a home in the 9100 block of Clearview Drive, near Broken Arrow. She was sentenced to 45 years in prison with all but the first 32 years suspended, according to court minutes.
Tulsa World Com
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Old 12th December 2020, 01:50 AM   #18
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So, childkiller Bourgeois has been despatched. Next up:

Quote:
Lisa Montgomery strangled a pregnant woman in Missouri before cutting out and kidnapping the baby in 2004. She is scheduled for execution on 12 January. Her lawyers have said she experienced brain damage from beatings as a child and suffers from serious mental illness. She will be the first woman to face federal execution in the US since 1953.
Cory Johnson was convicted for the murder of seven people, related to his involvement with the drug trade in Richmond, Virginia. Johnson's legal team has argued that he suffers from an intellectual disability, related to physical and emotional abuse he experienced as a child. His execution is scheduled for 14 January.
Dustin John Higgs was convicted in the 1996 kidnapping and murder of three young women in the Washington, DC area. Higgs did not kill any of his victims, but instructed his co-defendant Willis Haynes to do so. Haynes has said in court documents that Higgs did not threaten him, or force him to shoot. Higgs is scheduled for execution on 15 January.
BBC NEWS

Alfred Bourgeois was executed some twenty years after his conviction.
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Old 12th December 2020, 02:44 AM   #19
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This spate of executions - killings by any other name - at Trump's behest look a lot like a temper tantrum being taken out on people who cannot avoid the consequences. Trump has not liked where the election results have gone - he is a nationwide loser as a result. So he wants to kill somebody...ANYBODY! Disposing of Barr's great fat body, for example, would be too obvious. So these people who are already condemned will have to do.
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Old 12th December 2020, 03:29 AM   #20
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This is probably the first time Trump's been hard in years.
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Old 12th December 2020, 05:22 AM   #21
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Yeah, part of my problem with this whole thing is... that the controversy is around whether or not it is seemly to do this during a transistion. Is that really the point?

People are opposed to Trump because these are happening during a transitition, whereas the Democrats are saying, "Oh puh-leaze! wait until we get to do it!"

No, surely the question is whether or not captial punishment is bad.

Is capital punishment bad?

I think yes, they are. They are blood sacrifices in the sense that the executions don't fulfill any kind of deterrent effect, as far as I understand. And they don7t bring people back to life, as far as I understand. So the execution is visceral satisfaction alone.

So if you are against it, stop making dumb arguments about when they take place, FFS.
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Old 12th December 2020, 08:45 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Yeah, part of my problem with this whole thing is... that the controversy is around whether or not it is seemly to do this during a transistion. Is that really the point?

People are opposed to Trump because these are happening during a transitition, whereas the Democrats are saying, "Oh puh-leaze! wait until we get to do it!"

No, surely the question is whether or not captial punishment is bad.

Is capital punishment bad?

I think yes, they are. They are blood sacrifices in the sense that the executions don't fulfill any kind of deterrent effect, as far as I understand. And they don7t bring people back to life, as far as I understand. So the execution is visceral satisfaction alone.

So if you are against it, stop making dumb arguments about when they take place, FFS.
This thread is about Trump, choosing this time to suddenly pursue a bunch of executions. One needn't have a position for or against the death penalty to want to discuss why now, why this, in the middle of much more important events. Not everything must skew immediately to a discussion of "I like it!" or "I hate it!" to the eclipsing of all else.

I'm neither for nor against tapdancing, but were Trump to suddenly call press conferences and tapdance for eight hours at a time every day on the White House portico you can bet people would want to discuss that, and it wouldn't necessarily require every participant to be either for or against tapdance in general.
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Old 12th December 2020, 08:58 AM   #23
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If there's a silver lining to Trump's murder spree, it sets a precedent for executive meddling in every federal death penalty case. A president opposed to the barbaric practice can feel free to commute the sentence every time it's handed out.
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Old 12th December 2020, 10:42 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
While simultaneously claiming to be Christians!
And pro-life.
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Old 12th December 2020, 10:58 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Is capital punishment bad?
I think yes, they are. They are blood sacrifices in the sense that the executions don't fulfill any kind of deterrent effect, as far as I understand. And they don7t bring people back to life, as far as I understand. So the execution is visceral satisfaction alone.
Somehow you guys always forget about "preventing that happening again" part. I guess it is easy to forget arguments that are harder to defeat.

Sometimes it is just about physical elimination of someone that, if gotten free, would do it again and again and again...

Like shooting down rabid dog. It is not dog's fault it got infected and went nuts. It will still be killed.
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Old 12th December 2020, 11:59 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I think yes, they are. They are blood sacrifices in the sense that the executions don't fulfill any kind of deterrent effect, as far as I understand. And they don7t bring people back to life, as far as I understand. So the execution is visceral satisfaction alone.
They are not a deterrent for crime, but they seem to be an effective negotiating tool for prosecutors in many cases. Not that I think it's worth it.
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Old 12th December 2020, 02:07 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Mader Levap View Post
Somehow you guys always forget about "preventing that happening again" part. I guess it is easy to forget arguments that are harder to defeat.

Sometimes it is just about physical elimination of someone that, if gotten free, would do it again and again and again...

Like shooting down rabid dog. It is not dog's fault it got infected and went nuts. It will still be killed.
That might be a persuasive argument if you could guarantee 100% that the right person is being executed.
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Old 12th December 2020, 02:26 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
That might be a persuasive argument if you could guarantee 100% that the right person is being executed.
And that starts with access to very good attorneys which these guys almost never had at the time of their convictions.

Then there are police and prosecutors who have no qualms concealing exculpatory evidence because they are sure that ****** did it.


Teens should not be given the death penalty.

Despite not having a legal case to plead insanity, the mental health of the criminal needs to be considered in a death penalty. I doubt you could find a psychiatrist or psychologist who would think a woman who cut a baby out of the womb to pass it off as her own was sane at the time that occurred. The next person scheduled to die did just that.

Then there is the issue with the fact blacks represent a disproportionate number of death penalties among convicted murderers.

How many people on death row were convicted based on an unreliable eye-witness? Or based on someone else getting a deal for snitching on someone else? Both arguments for a moratorium on death penalties.

And I haven't even gotten into police interrogation techniques.
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Old 12th December 2020, 02:30 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Mader Levap View Post
Sometimes it is just about physical elimination of someone that, if gotten free, would do it again and again and again...
There was a documentary a few years ago in which death row prison guards were interviewed and said the majority of prisoners on it were people who, if they were released, would never commit any crime again, let alone another murder. They knew exactly which prisoners were in the category you describe, and they were very much the exception.

There was one case I remember reading about of a woman who, after an horrific childhood, committed a murder in her teens whilst out of her mind on drugs. In prison she finally got the help she needed, got clean and starting working with young offenders, helping many to get straight. The prison staff tried to get her sentence commuted, saying she was resigned to never being released but could still do a lot of good. Needless to say she was executed regardless.
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Old 12th December 2020, 02:31 PM   #30
turingtest
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
That might be a persuasive argument if you could guarantee 100% that the right person is being executed.
Which is my main objection to the death penalty as a system- there have been 167 exonerations of prisoners on death row in the United States since 1973 (Wikipedia). It's one thing to say that someone who has killed and not been executed for it could go on to kill "again and again and again," without showing any evidence that it has actually happened; but to use that argument when evidence does show that mistakes in the system can lead to innocent people being killed again and again is just specious. Surely it would be simple enough to make a life sentence an actual sentence for life, no possibility of release without exoneration, which would satisfy the "again and again" objection, and have the benefit of making possible exoneration meaningfully possible.

And remember, these successful and timely exonerations are only the ones we know about. The Innocence Project doesn't really have the time or resources to devote to exonerating dead people; and it's for sure that the system that sent these people to death row to begin with isn't set up for, or has any interest in, exonerating them, dead or alive. The US justice system is an adversarial one, two sides competing for a win; I would say for most cases, that's sufficient- maybe not perfect justice, but usually close enough. But for cases where the penalty for a loss is irreversible, maybe there should be a little more care taken in the name of actual justice than just to make it a contest. (And, of course, when the impetus for the final act is nothing but a loser like Trump trying to score political points, to call that "justice" would be a travesty.)
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Last edited by turingtest; 12th December 2020 at 02:47 PM. Reason: clarify
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Old 12th December 2020, 05:07 PM   #31
Mader Levap
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
That might be a persuasive argument if you could guarantee 100% that the right person is being executed.
Yes, court mistakes was major factor in my decision that death penalty is not something that should be done.

My problem here was with someone pretending there are only two possible arguments for death penalty, including moronically ridiculous "executing someone won't resurrect their victims" mother of all strawmans.
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Old 12th December 2020, 05:59 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
While simultaneously claiming to be Christians!
Because of their claim to be christians IMO.
An eye for an eye and all that is at the root of their “loving” religion.

Muslim nations are no different than their christian brothers in revelling in state-sanctioned murder.
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Old 12th December 2020, 06:46 PM   #33
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Perhaps the moderators would be so kind as to split this thread? One could be about the OP which was

Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
What do people think of Trump's transitional executions drive?
and the other could be the same old "death penalty bad!" vs "death penalty good!". That one could be placed in "Religion and Philosophy", where it belongs, and there people could mouth the same old old old old old old old old old old tired arguments they've always done whenever a thread mentions executions.
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Old 12th December 2020, 06:56 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
While simultaneously claiming to be Christians!
Why are two mutually exclusive in your mind? I'm an atheist but I've read the bible and the bible calls for a lot of capital punishment.
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Old 13th December 2020, 04:35 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Perhaps the moderators would be so kind as to split this thread? One could be about the OP which was



and the other could be the same old "death penalty bad!" vs "death penalty good!". That one could be placed in "Religion and Philosophy", where it belongs, and there people could mouth the same old old old old old old old old old old tired arguments they've always done whenever a thread mentions executions.
Problem is, politics is inextricably bound up with the law and justice issues. Trump could be seen on the one hand to be playing up to his support populist base, trying to make himself a hero to them. OTOH it could be seen to be an act of pure depravity on his part. Rather like King Henry VIII using the law to get his own way in his personal life and bully people. What goes through the mind of an absolute ruler who has the power to issue a pardon yet willfully denies it, knowing the pain and anguish that must bring to the person who knows that at break of dawn, he or she has to make their way to the execution chamber and be put to death.
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Old 13th December 2020, 05:11 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Mader Levap View Post
Somehow you guys always forget about "preventing that happening again" part. I guess it is easy to forget arguments that are harder to defeat.

Sometimes it is just about physical elimination of someone that, if gotten free, would do it again and again and again...

Like shooting down rabid dog. It is not dog's fault it got infected and went nuts. It will still be killed.
Who are "you guys"?

Oh, you're right though. That is a really tough one. How do you stop a murderer from doing it again, and again, and again.

I dunno. Maybe prison? Would that be too difficult?

Oh, but then they might break out of prison and start their rampages of murder all over again?

Is that really an argument that is so hard to defeat? You just make sure you have good prisons that keep people locked up, or rehabilitate them (if possible), etc....

Do you honestly think that is some kind of unassailable task and some knock-down argument? Jeeeeez....
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Old 13th December 2020, 05:14 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Mader Levap View Post
Yes, court mistakes was major factor in my decision that death penalty is not something that should be done.

My problem here was with someone pretending there are only two possible arguments for death penalty, including moronically ridiculous "executing someone won't resurrect their victims" mother of all strawmans.
It's a shame that the one you thought I forgot and thought was a very impressive argument was itself moronically ridiculous. I mean, I would be a little embarrassed if I were you.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 13th December 2020, 05:22 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Busta Capp View Post
Trump hate aside ... like that's possible here.

The death penalty exists for a reason.
As said earlier, if it is on the books then it should be taken seriously.
Don't murder people if you don't want to end up in that situation.
Also don't be a person with a below average IQ the police can manipulate into confessing.

Don't behave in a way the police find suspicious, like being too emotional or not emotional enough.

Don't expect the police to conduct lineups/photo arrays in fair/competent manner...

Etc, etc.
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Old 13th December 2020, 06:42 AM   #39
Mader Levap
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Do you honestly think that is some kind of unassailable task and some knock-down argument? Jeeeeez....
Nope. I think this argument is way, way better than these two that you presented, though.

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
It's a shame that the one you thought I forgot and thought was a very impressive argument was itself moronically ridiculous. I mean, I would be a little embarrassed if I were you.
I would be embarrassed if I peddled "but executing someone won't bring their victims back to life" as if it was some serious argument.
Show me anyone seriously arguing that we should execute murderers because that would magically resurrects their victims - and I will retract my judgement of that argument.
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Old 13th December 2020, 07:29 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by rockinkt View Post
Why are two mutually exclusive in your mind? I'm an atheist but I've read the bible and the bible calls for a lot of capital punishment.
The Bible calls for a lot of stuff including stuff that contradicts almost all the other stuff.
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